Bracknell Town's form in league and cup could not be starker in contrast, and The Robins will be hoping that continues as they travel into Gloucestershire on Saturday, hoping for an FA Cup upset. Continue reading Robins’ Cup Runneth Over!
Both Bracknell Town and Binfield are in FA Cup Preliminary Round action on Saturday, with the reward for victory being a derby at Hill Farm Lane. Continue reading Weekend Preview: Potential Cup Derby Beckons for Robins and Moles
Both Bracknell Town and Bayer 04 Leverkusen have big home games this week, as they try and get vital wins.
Bracknell Town exited another cup competition at the first hurdle this season following a five goal thriller against Headington Amateurs that needed extra time. Going into the match as favourites against their opponents from the division below, manager Ed Carpenter made changes, but still named a strong team for the game, with top scorer Shane Cooper-Clark partnered in attack by Jake White.
However, Headington were certainly not there to make up the numbers. Straight from the kickoff they showed their intent, Liam Morbey getting on the end of a freekick but seeing his effort deflected wide. From the corner, Paul Hedger lashed a twenty yard volley narrowly over. Bracknell’s first effort came after seven minutes, when Shane Cooper-Clark controlled a cross, but he was stretching and could only fire over under pressure from visiting keeper Harry Jenkins.
The visitors continued to be the better side, and Paul Hedger should have done better when played through, but sliced his shot well wide of the near post. However, they deservedly took the lead on seventeen minutes, when Tom Payne met a cross from the left with a sweet left foot volley which gave Robins’ goalkeeper Josh Baker no chance.
Ed Carpenter was forced into an early change, when James King had to be replaced by Tom Nugent after just twenty minutes. The home side were starting to get a foothold in the game, with half chances for Cooper-Clark and Jake White, but it was Headington who almost doubled their lead on the half hour. Jamie McCuaig’s shot was parried by Baker, but the ball squirmed goalward. Thankfully, Tom Barratt was on hand to clear the danger. Five minutes later, goalscorer Payne almost turned goal provider, but Hedger somehow sliced a shot wide with the goal at his mercy after the cross bypassed Baker.
The last chance of the half also fell to the visitors; Jamie McCuaig played in and, with just Baker standing in his way, McCuaig tried the lob. He almost executed it perfectly, but Baker stood up long enough and was able to clutch the ball. Half time: Bracknell Town 0 Headington Amateurs 1.
As the players went down the tunnel at the break, there seemed to be an altercation between players from both sides. Ed Carpenter must have had words with the officials that were not to their liking, as when the teams emerged for the second half, he was asked to vacate the pitchside area
Ed must have had words for his team too, as the Robins looked a different side at the start of the second period. Just four minutes in and the scores were level, thanks to their strike partnership. Cooper-Clark broke down the right and drilled a cross to the far post, where Jake White was on hand to apply the finishing touch. Cooper-Clark was really tormenting the Headington defence now, and almost scored with a powerful rising shot after twisting and turning in the box. However, Jenkins tipped the ball over, and from the resulting corner Richard Hassingham sliced wide.
However, Cooper-Clark was not to be denied for long. A good move saw White and Ryan Coupland combine, before Cooper-Clark played a one-two with Coupland. The striker then grabbed his thirteenth goal already this season, thumping a volley into the bottom corner.
The game began to peter out a little, and it wasn’t until the final seven minutes before we saw some good chances created. Cooper-Clark’s cross found Tom Barratt, but his header was tame and straight at Jenkins. At the other end, Ollie Zaja hit a ferocious shot from 25 yards which Baker tipped over. Luckily the shot was straight down the middle, as either side of Baker and it would probably have been a goal. However, Zaja did grab the equaliser for Headington in stoppage time, his twenty yard freekick taking a slight nick to take the ball past Baker, and the game into extra time.
The thirty minute extra time only really had two shots of note, and both fell to the visitors, and both to Jamie McCuaig. The first should have resulted in a goal, as McCuaig worked some space in the box, but curled his shot wide of the near post with Baker diving toward his far post. However, the second shot did result in the decisive goal. Immediately after the second half of extra time started, McCuaig latched onto a pass from Zaja and fired past Baker to settle the tie.
It’s fair to say that the Hellenic Premier season has got off to an inconsistent start for Bracknell Town. Under new manager Ed Carpenter, The Robins have won two, drawn one and lost two of their five league games. And it is the home form that is the most shaky, with just one point from three games. The two victories have both been emphatic ones on the road; 5-0 at Wootton Bassett Town and 3-0 at Ascot United.
They currently lie ninth in the Premier Division table, but do have the league’s top scorer in Shane Cooper-Clark. The 22-year-old has hit eight goals in six matches so far, including a hattrick in the win at Ascot. He has pretty much got a goal-every-other-game record in his Town career, with 39 goals in 87 games.
Carpenter is certainly looking to instil an attractive style of play in the team, and he can be heard constantly shouting instruction and encouragement at his players from the touchline. The signs are promising for the season ahead, and a first home win would certainly lift the players’ confidence.
They will be looking for that first home win on Saturday, when struggling Reading Town visit Larges Lane. This game has been brought forward from its original date of Tuesday, September 9th as it is an FA Cup weekend and both teams are already eliminated.
Reading Town currently lie in seventeenth place, with one win and four defeats from their five games so far. Goals should be guaranteed on the day, as Bracknell are the second top scorers in the division with thirteen (leaders Flackwell Heath and third place Brimscombe & Thrupp have fifteen), while only two teams have conceded more than Reading.
The game kicks off at 3pm, but the bar will be open from midday to show the Premier League match between Burnley and Manchester United. Full details can be found here.
New Bracknell Town boss Ed Carpenter celebrated his first win in charge of The Robins, after seeing his side defeat Southern League side Uxbridge at Cantley Park.
In sweltering conditions, Carpenter’s men came from behind thanks to second half goals from Luke Angel and Harry Brown, and the result is seen as a massive positive step for the team.
Uxbridge started the better, hitting the outside of the post as early as the seventh minute, and it wasn’t until the 28th that Bracknell had an opportunity. Dan Broadbear caught a defender napping in possession, but could only shoot wide when one-on-one with the keeper. At the other end, Dan Smith saved well, but a well taken goal saw Uxbridge lead at the break.
Four minutes into the second half, Town were level when Luke Angel finished well with an overhead kick. Both sides had a goal chalked off – probably correctly – for offside in quick succession, as the game improved with a winner being sought by both managers.
Substitute Jake White was combining well with Shane Cooper-Clark, with the latter setting up multiple opportunities for young Jake. However, the Uxbridge goalkeeper denied the striker four times, including one that was set up by a magnificent backheel nutmeg on his marker by Cooper-Clark. The final save to deny White led to a corner, from which Harry Brown managed to scramble an 86th minute winner.
Following last week’s defeat thanks to a freak goal by the Wokingham & Emmbrook goalkeeper, it is great for the team to get into winning ways.
The Robins’ next preseason match is next Saturday, July 19th against Holmer Green. The match will again take place at Cantley Park, Wokingham.
Shane Cooper-Clark notched the only goal just before the hour as Bracknell Town saw off Brimscombe & Thrupp at Larges Lane this weekend.
An entertaining match between the sides ranked twelfth and thirteenth in the Hellenic Premier was decided when highly rated winger Sam Barratt – man of the match yet again – broke clear of the Lilywhites’ backline before unselfishly squaring the ball to Cooper-Clark to slot into an empty net.
The Robins were the better side throughout, creating the clearest scoring opportunities. As early as the third minute, Martin Bradshaw drilled shot that went wide, with Cooper-Clark inches away from getting a touch. Tustain volleyed over for the visitors, as did Barratt at the other end.
Barratt was involved again after twenty four minutes, flicking a header on to release Kahlid Senussi. However, the winger’s lobbed effort was marginally too high.
Brimscombe & Thrupp were forced to replace goalkeeper Adam Thomas with ten minutes remaining of the first half, after he landed awkwardly when catching a cross. Fortunately, they did have a goalkeeper on the bench, and on came Duane Portlock.
Bracknell were looking to test the replacement custodian, but both Cooper-Clark and Barratt were off target. At the other end, Tustain shot straight at Dan Smith, while Ben Snook had a powerful volley cleared off the line from a corner, but it remained goalless at the break.
Other than the goal, there wasn’t much to report from the second half, as Brimscombe made their other two substitutions but were unable to find an equaliser.
The victory continues a sparkling run of form from The Robins, which now stands at eleven wins and one defeat from their last twelve games. They now face a taxing end to the season, with three league matches and two cup semi finals in the space of ten days. Next up is the local derby at Binfield FC on Easter Monday. Kick off at Hill Farm Lane is 3pm.
In other news for Bracknell Town, Sam Barratt – wanted by a host of Hellenic Premier clubs and some higher up the ladder – has become the first Robins player to sign a contract since 2010. The eighteen year old has penned a deal for next season, meaning the club will be entitled to compensation should he leave.
Speaking to the club’s website, Barratt said: “It’s been a pleasure playing for Bracknell through the highs and lows. I’ve always been pushed and encouraged by those representing the club. I’m extremely proud to sign a contract for Bracknell Town FC, and I hope in the future this will help give back to the club as much as they have given me”.