Bracknell Town pegged back on historic opening day

Seb Bowerman. Photo: Neil Graham.
Seb Bowerman. Photo: Neil Graham.

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It was a historic opening day for Bracknell Town as the Robins kicked off in the third tier of non-league football for the first time since 1989.

Back then, Bracknell had spent three years in the Isthmian League Division One – the equivalent of today’s Southern or Isthmian League Premier Division thanks to the introduction of the National League’s North and South in 2004.

Suitable opposition for Bracknell’s big day came in the shape of Weston-Super-Mare, a side that spent 15 years in the aforementioned National League South until 2019, and surely Bracknell’s destination in the next season or two.

On the big day though it was the Robins who eclipsed their arguably more illustrious rivals, racing out of the gates with Jordan Esprit poking the ball home from a corner after five minutes.

After 12 minutes it was 2-0 with who else but Seb Bowerman converting at the far post.

So far so very straightforward for the Robins, but Weston clawed their way back into the game with a penalty before the break and then the visitors levelled in the seventh minute of injury time.

Post-match, Bobby Wilkinson wrote on Twitter: “Thank you to our fans today, I thought you were incredible! I thought today was a great advert for non-league football, it was just two great sides doing battle. Safe journey back to all who travelled from Weston, all the best for the rest of the season.”

What happened in the 1980s?

In 86/87, Bracknell finished third above the likes of Maidenhead United, Oxford City and Boreham Wood – all now established National League sides – as well as Stevenage Borough, now in the Football League.

The following two season were battles against relegation with the Robins ultimately succumbing in 88/89, returning to the Isthmian League Division 2 South.

A full list of all the weekend results is here.

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