A crisp bright afternoon at Larges Lane saw Bracknell Town host visitors South Park, as they looked to extend their good run of form in the BetVictor South Central Division. Both league position and recent form certainly suggested that this should be a match which The Robins should win, but of course anything can happen on the day, which was shown earlier in the season when The Sparks won the reverse fixture 4-2 write Nick and Luca Calvert.
Scott Rees and Nebay Haile were non-starters for The Robins this afternoon after their 2-0 victory over Westfield in the week, so Luke Holness and Alan Musoke were brought back into the starting eleven.
The visitors had made several changes from their last heavy defeat to Chipstead in an attempt to freshen things up.
The home side put on the early pressure with Joy Mukena heading a Max Herbert free kick wide of goal, Luke Holness sending in a low cross, and Seb Bowerman seeing his cross headed into the air by Mickel Platt.
A short corner routine ended with Craig Bradshaw making a point plank save from a Dan Bayliss header.
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David Fisher was able to advance into The Robins area, but his shot went across the face of Mark Scott’s goal without any of his teammates gambling that he might create such an opportunity.
The Bracknell ascendancy finally told with a superb break up the pitch on the 12th minute involving several players saw Bowerman hit a pass into the front post which Platt poked home to make it 1-0!
Three minutes later and another great move ended with Herbert lofting in a cross which Platt deftly flicked past Bradshaw to double the lead to 2-0!
South Park could not get a foothold in the game as Bowerman’s corner kick came to Mukena with his back to goal, but still managed to turn and get off a shot, but it went straight at Bradshaw. Geoff Kibaki had a cross headed wide, and Bradshaw punched Bowerman’s free kick away from goal.
However on the 31st minute the next attack saw Bowerman deliver a wonderfully measured cross which was headed home by Holness in the six yard area.
A minute later and Bowerman was brought down in the area meaning that the referee instantly pointed to the spot to give a penalty. Bowerman himself stepped up to send Bradshaw the wrong way and give The Robins an unassailable lead at 4-0 !
The Sparks made a double substitution to bring on Lea-Van Sullivan and Oamri Hibbert who certainly added more steel to their midfield meaning that they looked less likely to leak goals.
Even so Musoke still made an opportunity for himself from the edge of the box, but his shot struck the bar with Bradshaw stranded.
Kibaki sent in another sublime ball from the right, but the defender got his head to it first to clear the ball, and thus preventing the score from increasing any further before Half Time.
Half time: Bracknell Town 4-0 South Park
South Park came out with a much more compact formation in the second half, and limited the number of meaningful chances.
Even so balls kept coming into the box as Bradshaw had to punch clear Bowerman’s cross under pressure from Musoke. Musoke lofted in a cross which Platt headed against the post as he went for his hatrick. Bradshaw again punched the ball clear from Platt’s centre under close attention from Holness. Bowerman pulled the ball back to Platt, but his header went wide when he probably had more time than he realised.
Fisher evaded a challenge running into Bracknell penalty area, but he was quickly dispossessed.
With the clock running down Duarte Surpanu showed his youthful exuberance to break down the left before laying off the ball and then looking to pick up the return but he was inches short of doing so.
The finally half chance of the match saw Mike Atkinson try his luck from 20 yards, but the ball went well wide of the goal.
The crowd was a very healthy 336 at Larges Lane this afternoon, so perhaps everyone was getting their outdoor activity over with today before Storm Ciara hits in the early hours of the morning.
Full time: Bracknell Town 4-0 South Park
As continues to be the theme Luca chose Seb Bowerman as his Bracknell Town Man of the Match this week, and I believe that I am inclined to agree with him in that nomination.
Craig Bradshaw entertained the fans behind the goal all afternoon, especially when he announced that he had asked ‘to be allowed to go home at half time’ as he was feeling superfluous to proceedings.
The fixtures keep coming thick and fast as Bracknell will host high flying Maldon & Tiptree on Tuesday 11th February in the Velocity Trophy Quarter Final, before next Saturday 15th February travelling to top of the table Hanwell Town at Reynolds Field in their next BetVictor South Central Division fixture.
Bracknell Town: Scott, Kibaki, Genovesi, Mukena, Bayliss, Holness, Herbert (Capt), Atkinson, Musoke (Wright 69 mins), Platt (Surpanu 78 mins) and Bowerman (McCormack 78 mins). Unused subs: Jonas and Minhas.