Bracknell Town suffer more play-off heartache

Joe Grant. Photo: John Leakey.
Joe Grant. Photo: John Leakey.

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Bracknell Town were beaten 2-1 after extra time by AFC Totton in their Southern League Premier Division South play-off semi-final on Wednesday evening. The second season in a row the lottery of the play-offs has ended in heartbreak.

They fell behind in the 65th minute when Tony Lee blasted home a free-kick into the top corner, giving ‘keeper Michael Eacott no chance.

There were just three minutes of normal time remaining when Gary Abisogun fired in the equaliser, Josh Gould getting a hand to the ball but was unable to keep it out due to the sheer power of the shot.

So to extra time, with Town’s Jordan Esprit dragging a shot just wide, while Totton’s Marcel McIntosh produced a tremendous run down the field before shooting over the bar.

The winner came after 107 minutes, skipper Scott Rendell squaring the ball into the area for Ethan Taylor to force over the line.

The Robins, who had lost 3-2 to Truro City in the play-off final last year, threw everything at Totton in the closing stages, but it was not to be for Jordan Ive’s men, who were roared on by a large number of supporters.

“I am gutted for the team and for all the fans,” said Kayne Steinborn-Busse, whose reign as club chairman now comes to an end. I desperately wanted to get Bracknell to the Vanarama National League South. It was just not meant to be.”

On X, he added: “A massive thank you to everyone who has been part of this amazing journey.”
Totton, who finished runners-up to Chesham United in the league, will now host Salisbury in the Final on Monday afternoon.

Salisbury, who were third in the final standings, booked their place by defeating Gosport Borough also by a 2-1 margin with both goals coming in the last 10 minutes, the winner from the penalty spot.
The attendance for this game was 2,234, while 1,023 packed the Totton terraces.

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