Both sides took to the field this afternoon in the scorching sun looking for points to secure their place in the playoffs. Westfield needing a point to guarantee a playoff spot, whilst Bracknell wanted a win to guarantee second spot.
The visitors had been dealt a blow even before the whistle with captain Dave Hancock pulling up in the warm up, and having to be replaced Ash Artwell from the bench, but it was them who had the first opportunities when Liam Ferdinand tried to release Joe Grant into the area, and then Grant got to the bye-line pulling a ball back for Ferdinand only for him to miss his kick.
Mark Scott was called into action to save with his feet as the ever dangerous Aaron Watson used his pace to get through on goal, and then Elijah Simpson pulled a shot wide of goal.
On their next attack Westfield tore through the Bracknell defence and Watson opened the scoring on 11 minutes, even though Scott did get his feet to it.
Joel Jacobs saw a free kick head over by Ferdinand, and Grant had a one on one with Gary Ross, but the keeper did well to save at his feet.
Another attack on the 18th minute from the home side saw them double the lead when Watson drove into the box before hitting a low ball into the 6 yard box which Simpson tucked in under Scott’s body.
Both sides traded blows as Arsen Ujaki, Simpson, Tinashe Nkoma looked to increase the lead for Westfield, whilst Ferdinand hit a weak shot at Ross.
The Robins did get a get back when Artwell was fouled on the edge of the box and Jacobs stepped up to curl the ball into the bottom left hand corner.
Bracknell created more half chances from Artwell, Ferdinand, Gater and Jordan Brown played the ball into the area for Grant, but his shot was blocked.
At the other end Scott made an immense double save to prevent Westfield scoring again and keeping the score at 2-1 at the referee blew for half time.
Half time: Westfield 2 – 1 Bracknell Town
No changes as the teams emerged for the second half and the home side had the first chance to threaten the goal but Watson’s cross went over the bar.
Grant was tripped on the edge of the area as he tried to get to Artwell’s pass, Substitute Seb Bowerman had a shot blocked, and Grant headed wide from the resulting corner kick.
Mind you the visitors found themselves back on level terms at 2-2 on the 67th minute when a free kick from Jacobs caused mayhem in the Westfield defence, and a clearance bounced back off one of their own players into the net.
Parity only lasted 3 minutes though because Watson was allowed to run across the back four from the left before slipping in Nkoma and he made no mistake to make 3-2.
Watson nearly got another goal, but Scott was out quickly to close him down, and then a timely last ditch tackle from Scott halted Dylan Cascoe’s progress when he seemed destined to score. Scott was nearly caught out by a snap shot from Nkoma, but he managed to tap it wide. Ujaki worked space for Cascoe, only for him to blast over, and Scott saved a shot from Cascoe.
But with a clock running down a Bracknell attack was thwarted and suddenly a long spinning bouncing ball was launched down the left wing which Cascoe latched onto and he strode into the box to fire home and put the final flourish on Westfield’s afternoon in front of their record home crowd of 229 spectators.
Thus winning 4-2 and securing fifth place and that valuable opportunity to gain promotion.
With both Cheshunt and Marlow winning this afternoon there is now just one point separating the teams in Second, Third and Fourth with one match to play next Saturday. All teams will be looking to gain that vital end of season win to secure the home draw.
Full time: Westfield 4 – 2 Bracknell Town
Westfield: Ross, Bower, Mngadi, Carter, Hayden, Steer, Nkoma, Ujaki, Simpson (Cascoe), Frith (Ajeon) & Watson. Unused Subs: Nuur, Downey & Burnham.
Bracknell Town: Scott, Artwell (Cornell), Jacobs, Gater, Day, Parsons, Davies, Maloney, Bayley, Grant, Ferdinand (Moore) & Brown (Bowerman). Unused Subs: Davies.
Main image: Mark Scott by Neil Graham.