Bracknell welcomed BetVictor Isthmian League Premier Division opposition to Larges Lane this afternoon in the guise of fellow Robins Carshalton Athletic for this FA Cup First Qualifying Round tie, and the home side knew that it would be a tough test as their opponents were fourth in the division above them.
Sam Lock had rightly pointed out that the magic of this great cup competition is that league form and placing go out the window in these one off encounters.
However on this occasion the team from a higher division came through with a goal in each half which was no more than their dominant performance deserved. In fact if it hadn’t of been for Mark Scott it could well have been a much larger defeat, as he made several saves especially in the second half.
The visitors came out of the blocks much faster using their speed, agility and strength to push Bracknell back getting the balls into the area from Paris Hamilton-Downes and Bobby Price although Justin Clayton & Robb Sheridan cleared them.
A slight moment of indecision enabled Nathan Minhas to get on the ball, but any opportunity was soon snaffled out as he cut an isolated figure up front on his own.
Dave Hancock also did his best to get cross out of the box, before a defensive error presented Carshalton with a point blank chance, but somehow it was blocked.
Bracknell managed to create a decent opportunity from a Sheridan long throw which was flicked on by Clayton to Minhas, but he was crowded out and the ball was cleared to Max Herbert. He hit a crossfield ball to new signing Charlie Losasso and he pulled it back to Dan Bayliss but he leant back and sent his shot over the bar.
On the next attack Carshalton took the lead when quick thinking sent the ball upfield allowing Jeremiah Amoo to slip the ball past an onrushing Scott and Christie Pattison tapped it home to make sure it was 1-0 on the 27th minute.
Pattison sent another cross into the box which caused chaos and a shot bounced off Amoo’s head taking all the power out of it as the ball landed in Scott’s hands.
Early substitute Dan Carr had a shot which was deflected out for a corner kick which Bayliss headed back across the area, only to see it cleared.
Carshalton finished the half as they had started it pressurising the home defence when Ricky Korboa dinked past two defenders to get into the box ; he also took a snap shot from outside the box which went over the bar ; Amoo ran onto a long ball but his low cross was blocked out for a corner kick which saw Daniel Pappoe attempt an overhead kick, but that ended up being easy for Scott to collect ; and finally Hancock blocked a low cross from Korboa and although Scott initially dropped the corner which came in … he was straight there to make up for any mistake.
Although there wasn’t much to cheer on the field of play in that half another revelation had been become apparent to Luca which made up for it … “they’re serving bacon rolls in the tea bar now grandad !!” I guess you all know who was reaching into their pocket to fund that exciting news don’t you ?!
Half time: Bracknell Town 0 – 1 Carshalton Athletic
In contrast to first half it was Bracknell who came out on the charge with Losasso having the chance to take a free kick from long range which keeper Kelton Perntreoy watched go past his post. Carr fed Minhas, but his shot was deflected out for a corner kick and that set piece was headed clear. Losasso had a shot blocked. A long throw was again flicked on, but cleared. Minhas squared to Lasasso, but once again the visiting defence were quick to block it. In fact the best chance really came when Bayliss found himself in space on the left and sent in a low cross which Perntreoy had to flick wide, and once again Carr’s shot was block from that corner kick. Joe Gater had a goal bound header punched clear by Perntreoy. When nothing came from this period of pressure it did give the feeling that the visitors had weathered a storm.
Ernold Haxhiu picked up the ball in his own half, and managed to evade challenges so that he was able to run into Bracknell’s penalty area, but his shot was blocked after all that good work. Omar Korona had a shot blocked by Bayliss. Haxhiu & Price sent crosses in from either side, before on the 73rd minute Tommy Bradford managed to steal some space to break into the box, and although Scott parried his shot, it bounced out and the only player to react was Korona who took the chance to double the lead to 2-0 !
Substitute Nicholas Bignall worked with Minhas to give Max Herbert a chance to shoot from outside the box, but it went wide. Minhas squared the ball to Bignall, but Perntreoy was easily able to get down to his right to save his shot.
Scott had to be alert to make a save from Bradford as he ran into the box ; And then on the 84th minute it suddenly all unraveled from Bracknell as Clayton stayed down from a strong challenge, and although they had possession the home side continued their attack …. Only to be dispossessed which saw Bayliss bring down Levi Phillips …… the referee assistant waved his flag wildly, and the referee ran over immediately producing a red card to reduce Bracknell down to ten men !!
Scott made two more saves from Korboa & Bradford as Carshalton made the most of the space that this decision provided them, before the match ended with Carr hitting a shot wide of goal for Bracknell.
The final whistle saw Bracknell Town knocked out of the FA Cup for this season, and the old analogy of focusing on the league comes to mind.
Bracknell Town: Scott (c), Sheridan, Herbert, Brown (Carr 28 Mins), Clayton, Bayliss (SENT OFF 84th Min), Minhas (Darboe 80th Mins), Hancock (Bignall 72 Mins), Hancock, Gater, Bayley & Losasso. Unused Subs: Ben Mulley, Brooks, Kibaki & Wheeler.