Bracknell Town ended the season on a real high note as they defeated local rivals Binfield 3-0 in the final of the Reading Invitation Challenge Senior Cup at Reading’s Madejski Stadium.
It’s been an exceptional season for the Robins who ended a 23 year wait for silverware by winning not one, not two but three cup finals with tonight’s trophy joining the Berks & Bucks FA County Senior Trophy and the Bluefin Sports Hellenic Challenge Cup.
The Larges Lane side almost won the Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division but suffered final day heartbreak to finish runners-up to Thame United but that should not detract from a brilliant campaign.
For the Moles, they will be glad to see the back of Bracknell having faced them six times this season losing all six times and it’s a third successive Reading Invitation Challenge Senior Cup Final loss after previously losing to Wokingham & Emmbrook and Henley Town.
It was always going to be a tough ask for Roger Herridge’s side with leading striker Liam Ferdinand and Grant Kemp suspended whilst promising forwards Luke Hayden and Eddie Lee were also unavailable.
Mark Tallentire was able to welcome captain Carl Davies back into the Bracknell squad following suspension though he had to settle for a place on the bench and the absence of 45 goal Adam Cornell was a blow but Tallentire was able to call upon 47 goal TJ Bohane to lead the frontline.
Early chances were traded as Seb Bowerman’s shot was blocked by Gary Smith before Brad Pagliaroli fired straight at Chris Grace.
Mo Davies had a good chance for Binfield but sent his shot over the crossbar.
As half time approached Moles goalkeeper Mo Nyamunga dropped a corner but there were too many bodies for Callum Whitty to fire through as his effort was blocked.
In first half stoppage time, Jamie McClurg’s corner was met by the head of Bohane who must have thought he had scored only for Nyamunga to acrobatically deny him down low.
Half Time: Binfield 0 – 0 Bracknell Town
The early chances in the second period fell to Binfield with James Knight squandering a good chance, Ali Dickie firing wide from way out left before Davies raced towards goal but couldn’t beat Johnny Gray.
As the game entered the final twenty minutes it was Bracknell is the ascendancy and substitute Carl Davies almost opened the scoring on 75 minutes as he climbed high to meet Bohane’s cross but saw his header crash back off the tight hand post.
Three minutes later and the Robins wanted a penalty as Bohane’s header struck Jeff Brown’s arm but it appeared to be more ball-to-arm and was waved away as Tallentire’s side cranked up the pressure.
In the 82nd minute, Bohane turned on the edge of the area but was once again denied by a fine Nyamunga save.
The opening goal came a minute later and it had to be that man Bohane heading in Bowerman’s corner for his 48th and final Bracknell goal this term.
With Bohane getting cramp in the goal celebrations he was replaced by Khalid Senussi with three minutes remaining but there was still time for Senussi to add a further two goals.
Senussi scored his first in the ninetieth minute as his own ball was fumbled by Nyamunga in the now wet conditions and Senussi was alert to drill home the loose ball from seventeen yards.
Four minute into added time and the scoring was completed after a mix-up at the back saw a back-pass to Nyamunga go short with the goalkeeper slow to react but Senussi reacted quickest to nip in and slot home.
The final whistle was blown shortly afterwards allowing Bracknell to celebrate with their young fans despite the efforts of jobsworth stewards who tried and failed spectacularly to keep the junior Robins off the pitch.
It’s been a tremendous season at Larges Lane both on and off the pitch and to win three cups and finish runners-up in the league is a fine achievement for Tallentire’s side.
Binfield themselves have equipped themselves very well this campaign and can build upon reaching two cup finals and finishing a more than respectable eighth place in the league.
Full Time: Binfield 0 – 3 Bracknell Town
Binfield: Nyamunga, A. Walton, Dickie, Broome (Cook 57), Brown, Smith, Pagliaroli (Powell 90), Bayley, Bennett, Knight, Davies (White 72). Subs not used: Brighton, Edwards.
Bracknell Town: Grace, Hancock, Gray, Withers (Short 81), Rodrigues, Whitty, Maloney, McClurg, I. Davies (C. Davies 65), Bohane (Senussi 87), Bowerman. Subs not used: Smith, Roberts.
Main image: Bracknell Town celebrate by Colin Byers.