The main talking points re the Bracknell Town squad were the return to the starting line-up of top scorer Nathan Minhas, and the absence due to a long term injury of goalkeeper Mark Scott.
However this paled into insignificance compared to what had been happening to the visitors Staines Town in the week as they had parted company by mutual consent with their manager Martin Kuhl, and lost to one of their relegation rivals Ashford Town (Mddx) 2-0. There was obvious turmoil within the club, but would that provoke a positive reaction as the players looked to respond to impress in these circumstances.
Initially it was Bracknell Town who looked the sharper in this BetVictor South Central Division match as Nathan Minhas ran onto a ball over the top, but Louis Dixon reacted well to save his shot. A similar opportunity presented itself to Minhas, but he over hit his attempted square ball which would have given Mickel Platt a tap in.
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Sheridan Campbell, William Efambe and Brandon Barzey worked well to win a free kick, but Harry Onuvwigum saw his centre headed out by the first man Scott Rees.
The Swans were nearly gifted an opportunity when Romario Jonas’s back header was held up in the wind nearly allowing Adam Sewell the chance to shoot, but Jason Matthews just got there to collect it.
With both sides on fairly level footing some intense pressing of a defender in the area by Platt meant that he rushed his back pass to Dixon, which in turn meant that his attempted clearance went straight to Minhas who seized upon it to calmly roll the ball home and open the scoring 1-0 !
Dan Carr was alive when a chance came to him on the right wing and hit in a low cross which Platt hit wide.
As The Robins took advantage of having the wind behind them another ball over the top saw Minhas latching onto it and firing past Dixon to make it 2-0 on 20 minutes!
Max Herbert’s free kick was headed back across goal by Seb Bowerman into the six yard box, but Dan Bayliss put it over under pressure from Dixon.
Again good pressuring by Platt allowed Minhas to pick up the ball, but this time Dixon was quickly off his line to smother the shot.
Only for Minhas to get his hat-trick on the 34th minute when Bowerman sent in a perfect cross from the left, and although Dixon saved the initial header it bounced back to Bracknell’s top scorer to put the Robins 3-0 in the lead !
Bowerman cut in from the left and hit a curling dipping attempt, but Dixon made a fine save to keep it out ; Dixon pushed another Bowerman shot wide, before Bayliss and Platt worked to give Herbert a chance to shoot, but it was blocked.
Mind you moments later on the 40th minute Herbert made it 4-0 with an absolute thunderbolt of a drive from outside the box which went it off the underside of the bar !
There was still time for Dixon to make another save down to his right from Bowerman, and for Platt to put another shot wide before the half time whistle was blown.
Half time: Bracknell Town 4-0 Staines Town
The home side made a change at half time as Minhas was substituted for Bobby Wilkinson’s latest signing Femi Azeez meaning that Bowerman took up a more central attacking roll.
Bracknell started the second half where they had left off when Bowerman’s far post corner kick was intricately played around the area until Bayliss saw the chance to shoot, and curled the ball just inside the left hand post on the 46th minute to give them a 5-0 lead!
It was 6-0 on the 51st minute when a deft touch from Michael Atkinson meant that the ball ran beyond the defender allowing Bowerman to sprint onto it, and slot it under Dixon !
Bowerman looked to beat Dixon from the outside of the box, but Dixon knocked it clear only for Bayliss to score with a free header from that corner kick to make it 7-0 on the 70th minute.
The Swans then had a period of their own pressure starting when Campbell forced Matthews to tip his shot over as he ran in from the right.
In fact they even got a consolation goal when Efambe ran onto the ball down the left side of the field, before cutting square across the area and letting fly back across Matthews on the 74th minute 7 -1 !
Barzey lofted a cross into the box, but the wind caught the ball and carried it out of play.
A Swans break resulted in Sewell hitting a shot which Matthews had to tip onto the bar, to maintain the goal advantage.
Efambe caused problems for The Robins defence again, but Atkinson managed to intercept, although his back pass to Matthews wasn’t the easiest to control.
Azeez had a couple of shots which didn’t trouble Dixon, because he got to the bye-line and pulled the back to Bowerman, but he lashed his shot over.
As the clock wound down Alan Musoke appeared to be brought down in the box, but the referee disagreed, although on the next attack Dixon advanced outside his area and appeared to handle the ball.
The referee had no hesitation in blowing his whistle for a free kick, and as a result brandishing a red card to send Dixon off.
Bowerman took another free kick, but although he beat the wall he also sent his shot wide of the post.
Full time: Bracknell Town 7-1 Staines Town
Another bumper crowd of 327 watched The Robins win at Larges Lane this afternoon, and that will probably maintain our place as the third most watched club in the league.
Despite the score, and that he was dismissed by the referee the general consensus at the end of play was that Louis Dixon was the Man of the Match this week.
Next Saturday is a huge away fixture as Bracknell head to the Imperial Sports Stadium to play Tooting & Mitcham United for the first time this season in the BetVictor South Central Division.
Bracknell Town: Matthews, Carr, Genovesi, Jonas, Bayliss, Rees, Herbert (Capt) (Holness 60 mins), Atkinson, Minhas (Azeez 45 mins), Platt (Musoke 60 mins) & Bowerman. Unused Subs: Mukena & Kibaki.
Staines Town: Dixon (SENT OFF), Barzey, Titchmarsh, Agombar, Gregory (Capt), Copeland, Campbell, Onuvwigum (Carter), Sewell, Docker (Adams) & Efambe. Unused Subs: Kinsaba, McEvoy & Unsworth.