Having finally negotiated the Parkway I managed to reach the Earlsmead Stadium just as the referee blew the whistle to start the match which saw Bracknell Town take on opposition from the Southern League Premier League South on a lush grass pitch which was at odds with the 3G from Larges Lane.
One wondered how former Robin Kensley Maloney would perform against his old club on such a surface.
As I didn’t have Luca with me this weekend I knew that I would have to be sharp eyed to make sure that I didn’t miss anything as I took notes for this report, because two pairs of eyes are always better than one.
Almost immediately the home exposed our frailties when after about 5 minutes a low ball in from the right found Anthony O’Connor in front of goal, and he picked his spot to beat Mark Scott making it 1-0.
Bracknell were certainly not being shown up though and Seb Bowerman put a free kick into the box which Dan Bayliss got his head to, but could only direct wide of the goal.
Around 20 minutes in Bowerman did one of his trademark runs into the box, and outfoxed the defender who lunged out taking him down which saw the referee point straight to the spot. Without hesitation Bowerman took on the responsibility of stepping up to wrong foot Hafed Al Droubi to level the scores at 1-1.
The lead lasted less than a minute though when a long ball over the top saw O’Connor muscle his way onto the ball before rounding Scott to tap in from a narrow angle to restore the lead at 2-1 to Harrow.
Incredibly a couple of minutes later the scores were level again at 2-2 when Shane Cooper-Clarke was adjudged to have been fouled in the area, and this time he stepped up to convert the kick !!
As we stood behind the goal we were at close quarters to see pretty much the last action of the half as Nicholas Bignall used his strength to stay on the ball before sliding a shot under Al Droubi to put the visitors in front.
Half time: Harrow Borough 2 – 3 Bracknell Town
It was obvious that Borough got a rocket at in the half time team talk because they came out much the better side with the brief to play possession football passing the ball about on the tricky surface.
Bracknell never really made much of an impression until about the 65th minute when Bowerman and Bignall combined to cause panic in the home defence, but the chance was snuffed out.
Bracknell made their mass substitutions shortly after that and it really invigorated them as Dan Price saw a shot deflected wide, Nathan Minhas headed a Joe Gater cross wide of goal and Ousman Darboe headed into the hands of Al Droubi.
Harrow still showed a threat though with an attack down the right which saw the ball pulled back from the byeline, but Scott got down to save the resulting shot, and substitute Max Holland hit a dipping shot from round which just went over the bar.
Full time: Harrow Borough 2 – 3 Bracknell Town
It was good to see the Bracknell Town frontline coming together, and I would say that they will cause most defences a problem this season. By the end the home side seemed frustrated at their inability to make their possession count and that included former Ultras favourite Maloney.
I am sure that they will have stronger days, but today belonged to Sam Lock’s rebuilt Bracknell squad. Watch what he had to say below:
Bracknell Town: Scott, Sheridan (Replaced), Bayliss, Brown, Clayton (R), Mulley (R), Hancock (R), Cooper-Clarke (R) , Bowerman(Capt), Bignall (R) & Genovesi. Subs: Gater, Darboe, Price, Minhas, Carr & Kibaki. (All subs came on 67th minute)