Bracknell set off to the south coast on this hot and sunny bank holiday Saturday to take on Bournemouth FC in the FA Cup Preliminary Round, and with the traffic already building Luca and myself decided to make an early start to make sure we got there on time, oh plus Luca had brought his swimming stuff with him, although three and a quarter hours later the beach had long been a forgotten possibility!
Both sides were coming off the back of league wins in their last matches with Bournemouth playing in Sydenhams Wessex League Premier League which is one step lower than the league where The Robins now play their football.
Bracknell’s management team of Sam Lock and Michael Butcher definitely felt that their players lifted their level in the victory against Uxbridge, and they stated that they were looking for such a positive display to continue this afternoon, despite the enforced changes through both tactics and injuries.
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It was the visitors who had the first chance when Caden Genovesi far post cross reached Dan Carr and he headed it back across goal to Nicholas Bignall who shot wide.
Mark Scott had to be alert though to come off his line to clear as Louis Coulson stole beyond the The Robins back line.
Carr and Bignall combined to win a corner kick, and Genovesi’s in swinging ball was headed back into the six yard box, but Bignall couldn’t score from it. Dan Price took the set piece from the other side and Justin Clayton rose to get his head to it, only to see the ball bounce wide.
The Poppies won a corner kick of their own off Dan Bayliss which Kevin Foreman took, but Clayton headed it clear.
Price tried to split the defence with a pass ; the ball through to James Mulley, but he pulled his shot wide as the pressure began to tell Joe Gater hit a deep cross to the far post and Genovesi stooped to head it past the static James Mayo to open the scoring for The Robins 1- 0 on the 23rd minute!
Mulley, Carr and Genovesi all put balls into the box the last came quickly to Clayton, but he couldn’t sort his feet out to get a shot on target.
Tyrone Carkeet was reduced to taking a pot from distance which flew high over the bar.
Nathan Minhas had a couple of half chances the second of which Mayo clutched gratefully, but a a short corner kick routine saw Price advancing into the area and although it was cleared the ball only came out to Gater who put curled a beautifully measured ball back over Mayo’s head to double the lead for Bracknell 2-0 on the 35th minute!
With the sun beating down Luca and myself had long since retired to watch in the shade but the play continued up until half time without any other major incident, although the home side’s frustration as their captain screamed out ‘ Just keep the ball !’ as he entered the players’ tunnel.
Half time: Bournemouth 0-2 Bracknell Town
I am not sure what the Bracknell management team had said during the half time team talk but the score was 4-0 Minhas working with Bignall to allow Clayton to head home for the third on 49th minute, and Carr latched onto a ball into the box to seal the tie on the 52nd minute !
Pretty soon after it could have been five when Bignall got through on goal only to be thwarted by a good sliding challenge from Lewis Harvey, and Bayliss had a shot cleared off the line.
As a reminder that they still held a threat Bournemouth did get a cross into the area which was put out for a corner kick and it ended up in the six yard box, but the attempt went over the bar.
Bignall had a couple of chances to add to the tally, but they both went begging.
With the intensity of the match petering out Karol Rog tricked his way into a dangerous position to shoot, but Scott made a fingertip save. Rog worked hard to win a corner kick only to see that centre punched clear by Scott.
Minhas set Bignall in on goal, but Mayo made the necessary save, and then Clayton headed Genovesi’s corner kick over the bar.
Substitute Ousman Darboe won a corner kick off Lewis Harvey, and from that set piece Gater headed home to make the score 5-0 with just a few minutes left on the watch !
The Poppies finished the stronger with Rog and Levi Ridealgh trying to get a late consolation, but to no avail.
When asked for his Man of the Match Luca had no hesitation in choosing Joe Gater, who showed that he has the ability to defend, score with his head, and even score a cultured goal as well ….. we’re just looking for a hatrick next time Joe!
The final whistle saw Bracknell Town into the hat for the next round of the FA Cup and waiting to see who they’ll draw in the next round when those ties are released at 1pm on Tuesday 27th August.
Full time: Bournemouth 0-5 Bracknell Town
Bracknell Town continue their BetVictor Southern Central campaign with a trip to Northwood on Bank Holiday Monday, but I have a strong suspicion that I’ll be painting the shed so won’t be making that trip.
Bracknell Town: Scott (c), Genovesi, Clayton, Bayliss, Mulley (Hancock), Minhas , Carr, Bayley (Herbert), Gater, Price (Darboe) & Bignall. Unused Subs: Sheridan, Brooks, Bowerman, Wheeler.