Bracknell Town take chance in Bostik League play off race

Bracknell Town defender Joe Gater. Photo: Neil Graham.
Bracknell Town defender Joe Gater. Photo: Neil Graham.

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So having taken so many notes and not really had the chance to use them I thought that I would act on a fellow Robins’s fans words and put together a match report for the top of the table clash between Marlow and Bracknell Town.

Both teams started the day on 62 points with Bracknell Town in second place thanks to their better goal difference by virtue of the fact that Marlow had conceded late on last week to draw 2-2, and Bracknell had lost by the odd goal to runaway league leaders Hayes & Yeading. To make things even tighter in the run up for the play-offs Cheshunt were also on the same number of points having won last week.

So it was all to play for as both teams walked out onto the pitch at the Alfred Davis Ground in the glorious sunshine knowing that a positive result for either side would really boost their chances of securing a play-off place. As in recent weeks it was the visitors who started the brighter with new signing Anton Rodgers dinking a delightful ball into the box which Joe Grant collected but could not control and it ran out of play. Ash Artwell played the ball out to Dave Hancock on the right but his low cross into failed to find a teammate.

A weak defensive header at the other end nearly allowed the Blues in at the other end as it was intercepted but Mark Scott got down well to block the shot.

The Robins continued in the ascendancy and Liam Ferdinand chipped a ball into the box, but it was too high for Joe Grant to head his head to it.

However not long after, a free kick was conceded by Marlow on the left hand side of their half and after much deliberation Joel Jacobs stepped up to float in the perfect inswinging ball which allowed Joe Gater to rise unchallenged and head home past a static Simon Grant to give Bracknell the lead on the 13th minute and send the traveling fans behind the goal wild.

Moments later Kameron English broke down the right and hit a low cross straight through the 6 yard area, but there was nobody there to get a touch on it.

The ball went up the other end the ball bounced through to Grant but Jacobs tried to get there first but ended up getting a head injury as a result of their coming together. Despite the physios best efforts he could not continue and had to be replaced by Sean Moore.

English continued to cause the Robins defence problems with another low zinger across the area, and then a shot which probably didn’t live up to his hopes when he struck through it as it went high and wide.

Rodgers hit in a corner kick which Joe Grant could only head wide under pressure.

Dedicated Marlow player Devontae Romeo saw a shot be deflected wide as the half came to an end.

Half time: Marlow  0 – 1 Bracknell Town

Whatever Mark Bartley said to his players during the half time team talk it had them fired up and immediately Kelvin Bossman got through on goal but couldn’t make anything positive of the chance before he failed to capitalise on yet another great cross from English.

Issac Osei-Tutu made his first contribution to the game when he sent a bullet cross into the visitor’s area, but once again there was nobody to covert it.

Bracknell finally managed to get hold of the ball and Artwell looked to have stolen half a yard on his marker but overran the ball.  Ferdinand had a chance to shoot but saw it blocked.

Marcus Mealing came off the bench for the home side and immediately stepped up to take a free kick from a dangerous position, but Scott was able to claim it easily.

As the play went from end to end substitute Kensley Maloney rifled in a corner kick which was unintentionally flicked on by a defender and Gater was a whisker away from scoring his second of the afternoon.

A period of pressure for the home side saw Scott save a shot from Mealing before the Bracknell penalty area was peppered from the wings until one resulted in a corner kick and as Osei-Tutu’s ball in was head out it struck a player and there were calls for a penalty which the referee waved away.

There was still time for the Robins to construct one more great move as Ferdinand pulled the ball back to Sean Moore, but Grant got down well to save his effort.

And probably the best chance for Marlow came when Chris Ovenden hit a thunderous volley towards the top left corner of the net, but with Scott beaten it went fractionally over the bar.

A coming together involving Matt Day & Tom Collins lead to an exchange which drew players from all over the pitch, and as the referee called the offending players together it seemed as though a harsh punishment could have been handed out, but the official erred on the side of common sense taking no further action.

With the minutes ticking away substitute Adam Cornell used all of his experience to win several vital free kicks, which helped to bring the match to an end giving Bracknell the vital three points in this crucial encounter.

With Cheshunt only managing a 2-2 draw at Bedfont Sports it moves Bracknell into second spot with a 2 point cushion and six matches to play.

There was even time to notice a couple of celebrity Toms amongst the crowd of 280 in Kerridge and Chambers before we headed for the exit only to pass the entire Bracknell squad basking in their victory by the changing rooms ….. reward for a job well done ? Nope …. the person with the key to let them in had gone AWOL …. Probably talking to a Tom or two !!

Marlow: S.Grant ; Chapple ; Sackey ; Campbell (Welch) ; Richards ; Gallimore ; Romeo ; Ovenden ; K.Bossman (Mealing) ; Osei-Tutu ; English (Collins)

Bracknell Town: Scott ; Hancock ; Jacobs (Moore) ; Gater ; Day ; Parsons ; Bayley ; Rodgers (Maloney) ; J.Grant ; Ferdinand ; Artwell (Cornell)

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