On a foggy Sunday morning in November, Bracknell Manics Reserves took on Winnersh Town in the Bracknell Sunday League, Junior Cup to see who could book their ticket to the quarter finals of the competition.
The game started with a duel in the centre of the pitch between the two clubs midfielders; both trying to take control of the game in the early minutes but both unable to show any dominance. When Manics attacked Winnersh defended and vice versa. It was difficult to see where the goal was going to come from, but with great chances at either end it was clear there would be goals to decide the outcome and not extra time and penalties!
Bracknell Manics came very close in the first 30 minutes with Ben Parsons whipping in a corner only for Alfonso Jay to miss the target with a header at the back post. From then on Manics had the momentum of play and within a few minutes it was another big Manics attack who sent a flurry of blue shirts into the box. Jay put the ball in from a throw which took a deflection of a Winnersh defender in the box allowing Adam Spiers to get a flick on towards the far post for George Cooper to get a cheeky header past the keeper to give Manics the lead some say they deserved.
Winnersh kicked off and attacked well against Manics who defended with passion with strong challenges throughout midfield and defence and when they did get through Ash James made some cat-like saves to keep Manics in the lead.
After half time the momentum swung vastly in Winnersh Towns favour they attacked with ferocity after 60 mins of play and got back level with a well taken goal. Manics heads seemed to have dropped ever so slightly and gave Winnersh more hope of getting a grip on the game within 5 mins after their first goal Winnersh had got a second.
Manics then raised their game and brought confidence and composure back into their game, playing some great football; passing it around the Winnersh defenders with ease. Another great attack ensured Spiers could break through on goal only for a Winnersh defender to clatter into him with an awful foul – penalty awarded!
Un-fazed, David Stead stepped up to the spot and dispatched with great composure to bring the game level once more, 2-2. With belief in their hearts, Manics knew they could turn this game around and be victors.
It only took 5 minutes; a piece of genius Portuguese link-up play meant Hugo Santos would put a ball in beautifully for Nelson Lourenco to header into the back of the net, taking Manics into the lead. Then, soon after, Lourenco turned provider dodging defenders with a tricky run into the box and unselfishly passing the ball to Liam Moisey to calmly tap into the net giving Manics a cushion over Winnersh. Resilient defending finished a well fought game, Bracknell Manics Reserves 4 – Winnersh Town 2.
Manics Reserves now progress to quarter finals against either Bracknell Falcons or Bracknell Royals.
Manics Starting XI: James, Hughes, Couzens, Burton, Cooper, Jay, Botley, Parsons, Santos, Spiers, Cardoso.
Bench: Austin, Moisey, Pascoe, Lourenco, Stead.
Subs not used: NA
Refs MotM: Lourenco
Manics MotM: James