Something had to give in this one off playoff final as Bracknell defended an unbeaten home record, whilst Cheshunt came to Larges Lane knowing that they had not lost to their opponents this season.
A chill wind blew across the 3G pitch as the players warmed up during which the Robins midfielder Harrison Bayley picked up an injury, and had to be replaced by full back and captain Dave Hancock, was this a sign of things to come?
In front of a bumper crowd of 837 it was the home home side who got the ball into the area first with a Joel Jacobs free kick which was head clear, and then Matt Day’s centre was headed wide by Adam Cornell.
The first shot on target came at the other end though when Brian Moses had a cross cleared out to Mark Hughes who steadied himself before shooting, but it didn’t cause Mark Scott any concern as he saved it.
Kensley Maloney looked to jink past some players in the midfield, but was dispossessed giving Moses the chance to stretch his long ‘he’s taller than you’ (The chant that was to be frequently heard by The Ambers faithful) legs however Carl Davies used his experience to get in front of him allowing the ball to run out of play.
Bracknell’s front two combined as Cornell set Liam Ferdinand in on goal, but his first touch saw the ball run away from him which made it easy for Harry Girling to come out and collect unpressured.
Joe Grant managed to get down the right and put in one of his trademark low crosses, but somehow it was just behind Ferdinand, and he couldn’t sort his feet out to get a touch on it. It ran through to Jacobs on the left and he fired another low ball back into the six yard box only to see it cleared.
Jacobs seemed to be the out ball for the home side as he space on the left and he put in a lofted cross for Cornell which evaded him. Moments later they combined again, this time Cornell met it with a powerful diving header, but he couldn’t direct it and the ball sailed over.
Moses continued to cause problems and he won Cheshunt a corner kick …. And from that Hughes had a bullet header which looked sure to make the net bulge, only for it somehow come off the inside of the post and amongst a mass of bodies get hacked out of the danger zone !
The visitors kept up the pressure when Shane ‘He’s smaller than you’ (I think you’re getting the idea now!) Cojocarez worked himself some space in the box and passed to Hughes who shot wide.
Hallet headed towards Moses, but Scott was out to collect.
Seb Bowerman put Ferdinand in at the near post, but Girling saved his effort ; Bowerman got to the byeline, but his ball into the six yard box was gathered by Girling.
It was still a frenetic end to end match as Hallet broke through on goal, but Scott was off his line to clear. Moses chased down a ball on the left which looked to have been in vain, but a tired pass saw The Ambers with a chance only for it to be snuffed out.
As the half was coming to close Grant won a free kick which allowed Jacobs to put an inswinging ball into the box …. However Cheshunt turned defence into attack in devastating fashion as they broke away rapidly with three rampant attackers bearing down on two back peddling defenders, and it was the easiest of tasks to find Cojocarez in acres of space and he dinked the ball over the outrushing Scott on the 45th minute celebrating with a backflip ! My grandson Luca was pretty impressed by this gymnastic move ….. hopefully he won’t be trying it at home !
Half time: Bracknell Town 0 – 1 Cheshunt
This goal certainly seemed to spur The Ambers on because only 4 minutes into the second half they doubled their lead as a far post cross appeared to have been missed by Moses, only for it to drop to Cojocarez who forced it over the line ….. cue wild celebrations behind the goal at that end !
Where as a free kick that went into Bracknell’s box nearly produced a third goal as the ball pinged around before being cleared. However it wasn’t long after when Cheshunt took an unassailable 3-0 lead when on the 54th minute Hallet released Moses at the far post and he slotted past Scott to start the chant of ‘He’s taller than you’ ringing out !
Miles put a free kick into the box and the clearance skewed clear where a lofted head was sent back in, but Scott used his height to grab it thankfully.
A couple of substitutions for the home side seemed to freshen them up a little as they started to try threaten again with Grant & Joe Gater combining, and then Grant fired a ball across the six yard box, but with Bracknell strikers queuing up to tap it in Girling calmly pushed it away from danger.
Ashley Artwell looked to break away but was tripped on the half way line which lead to several players rushing to get involved ; Grant put in a far post ball which was headed over by Davies.
In all honesty the game was petering out now as Moses had a weak shot at Scott, Cojocarez won a free kick which was cleared & then Moses shot way over the bar.
A cross from the left reached Gater at the far post, but another opportunity went by as he couldn’t connect with it.
When the referee blew his whistle for full time it was The Ambers who were able to celebrate as their players ran to be with their fans at that end of the pitch knowing that promotion would see them playing in the Bostik Premier League next season, whilst Bracknell will wait to hear what will be decided for them.
Full time: Bracknell Town 0 – 3 Cheshunt
Bracknell Town:Scott, Jacobs, Parsons, Day (Gater), Hancock, Davies, Grant, Maloney (Artwell), Cornell , Ferdinand & Bowerman (Brown). Unused Sub: Grace.
Cheshunt: Girling, Sinclair-Furlong (Westcott), Peters, Hughes, McKenzie, Kendall, Miles, Re, Hallet (Sanusi), Cojocarez & Moses. Unused Subs: Downey & Burnham.