Tuesday 19th March 2003
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Manics Foiled By Old Stager's Dog & Partridge

Bracknell Manics faced top of the league Dog & Partridge FC this weekend. James Blackman was welcomed back into the starting XI, with David Fenton banned and on the sideline. The rest of the team stayed the same as last weeks after their memorable win against the Finchampstead Reserves of Division 1.

Ryan Millward arrived just in time for the kick off by Dog & Duck. Their first attack was a long ball down the right wing. James Blackman was at hand to clear for a throw.

In the third minute, the Manics had the first good chance of the game. The Dog & Partridge clearance was won in the air by Elliott Fairs, flicked on by Paul Milner, and then nodded on by Darren Dean to David Comper who hit on the volley, but the keeper saved for the Manics first corner. Blackman took, but Dean was off target.

7 minutes later and Dog & Partridge would be the first to score. Tony Hemley's clearance was picked up at the halfway by the Dog & Partridge. Some good close passing opened up the Manics defence, and a ball over the top left Ryan Millward chasing the Dog & Partridge forward for the ball. Millward couldn't get there in time, and the forward tucked the ball into the net to give Dog & Partridge an early lead.

3 minutes after the Manics equalised. Evans put in a dangerous cross after a good spell of pressure, and despite a good clearance; James Blackman kept the ball in play. Crossing the ball with the outside of his foot, the ball was launched towards goal. The keeper lost his nerve and failed to catch the ball as both Dean and Milner charged on goal and the ball was in the net, much to the delight of Blackman with a nice jig to celebrate.

On the 20th minute the Manics put more pressure on Dog & Partridge for them to concede a free kick at a tight angle outside the box. Blackman crossed to the back post towards Millward, who was shrugged of the ball before the ball was cleared. The ball came out to Gary Sarney who hit the ball on the volley, blocked and then the ball fell to Elliott Fairs who copied but the ball went high and wide of goal.

5 minutes later and there was more pressure when Sarney turned a defender and put in a low cross to Aaron Goddard who was unlucky to hit the ball over after doing so well to reach the ball.

Then Sarney had a shot from far out twelve minutes later, after a clearance from Hemley and a flick on from Goddard. Sarney was unlucky - the shot wide of goal.

James Robinson who must have been bored or insane, one minute later took on a defender, then and then his sloppy clearance fell to a Dog & Partridge midfielder. Sarney was back to help out and so too was Ryan; unlike Blackman who walked back to help out whilst the Dog & Partridge attacked the goal. ucky for the Manics on this occassion, Millward was fouled and play switched.

Then the Manics hit the bar. Dog & Partridge struggled to clear, and Dean had just enough time to shoot at goal. The shot deflected of the Dog & Partridge defender, and fell to Sarney. A through-ball was played to Comper, who's shot curled and was tipped by the keeper at full stretch onto the bar and out for a corner, which eventually was cleared from trouble.

Then 5 minutes before the end of the half, Dog & Partridge put the pressure on the Manics. Two free kicks were awarded for fouls by Blackman and Hemley, but the defence worked hard to see the result at the end of the half stay at 1-1, with the Manics having the better of the first half.

Dog & Partridge went straight to work from the second half and within a minute they had a shot that just went over. A minute later Goddard gave a free kick on the edge of the box. Dog & Partridge shot on goal and hit the bar and luckily the ball went over for a goal kick.

2 minutes into play and the Manics had gone to sleep. Dog & Partridge won a free header in midfield, and then won the second against Hemley. The flick on was met by their quick winger who outpaced Millward and scored the second goal.

Evans was next caught knapping. A clever overlap by Dog & Partridge saw them shoot at goal, but Robinson made a good save to keep the Manics in with a chance.

15 minutes of play and Evans had a free kick on the edge of the box, after a foul on Sarney. Evans took, and the shot was on target but in easy reach of the keeper who saved.

3 minutes later and Millward would need medical attention from Stephen Pierce after a challenge in the air. 5 minutes after that, Millward gave away a free kick after a miss-kicked clearance. The kick came to no good though, and neither did the counter from the Manics struggling to find their feet in the second half.

Alan Morris made his debut, as the boss changed things around pushing for the draw. This meant Goddard would come off.

Morris made his presence felt 8 minutes later with a decent shot in front of goal. Fairs worked hard to win the ball in midfield, and passed to Sarney who spotted Alan's run. Morris collected the ball, turned and shot, but the ball was deflected and went out for a corner. A spell of pressure followed by the Manics, but Dog & Partridge nearly got another goal near the end when Hemley came close to an own goal.

The final whistle went to end the Manics unbeaten run, 2-1 the final score.

The Manics had a great first half, but were caught in the second, next week's game promises to be a tough one with the Manics up against Avis, slowly re-capturing their form!!!

Thanks to the fans for a great turnout for the game, see you at the Crem this Sunday against Avis...

 Final Result: Dog & Partridge 2 Bracknell Manics 1

 Man of the Match
   "Dedicated to monkey. D & P, see you in the Gowrings Final!!!!"
Elliott Fairs  

 Next Week's Match: Bracknell Manics vs Avis Europe
 Ground: Great Holland Crematorium, pitch 2

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