would be the 9th May, and Bracknell Manics would take on the
Dog & Duck Embrook in the Final of the Gowrings Cup at Bracknell
Town. Having beaten the Dog & Duck already twice in the league,
and with both sides promising to be good sportsmanly football,
this match would be as tough as ever for the Manics.
Bench: Andy Impey, Brian Judge, James Blackman, Ryan Millward, Lee Wilcox
From the first whistle, the Dog & Duck kept hold of the ball, playing it round between the players, pushing the ball forward quickly. For five minutes, the Manics were made to chase and defend the ball as Dog & Duck teased the Manics and tested its defence. On the 6th minute, the Manics pushed into the Dog & Duck half for the first time, and won a corner through Aaron Goddard.
Glenn Evans stepped up to take, and despite a clearance, again Manics won the corner at the opposite side. This time David Comper stepped up to take. Another good delivery and Milner rose to head the ball just inches wide of goal.
Dog & Duck replied just 2 minutes later with chances off corners as well, but the low punchy corners were cleared from danger. Dog and Duck began to create more chances soon after, but the final ball was lacking and the forwards were struggling to get into the game.
On the 11th minute Glenn Evans conceded a free kick outside the box, but Robinson caught the ball calmly and then distributed it quickly for a counter attack, resulting in a corner against Dog & Duck. David Fenton picked up a sloppy clearance and shot, but it sailed wide of goal and out for a goal kick.
A free kick was awarded to the Manics on the 15th minute after a foul on Paul Milner. David Fenton stepped up to take the kick at the half way, just inside the Dog & Duck half. A long ball to Milner was headed on, and into the path of Darren Dean, who inside the 6-yard box hit the shot against the post. Milner turned his man, and floated the ball back into box, but it was put out for another corner. David Comper took, but the poor corner went into the side netting of the goal.
The Manics began to raise their game, but on the 20th minute David Fenton fouled a Dog & Duck player in the Manics half. The free kick was taken and the Dog & Duck had his first taste on goal with a free header, just wide of goal.
Minutes later, and Dog & Duck attacked again. Attacking down the left wing, Dog & Duck cut inside and delivered a low cross into the box. The Dog & Duck player miss-kicked the ball taking Robinson the wrong way, but Fenton was at hand to save the ball off the line.
The remainder of the half was well fought with both sides playing some good football, but it was clear that towards the end, Dog & Duck had the better of the period, and Bracknell Manics would need to settle down and begin to play the standard they all knew they were capable of doing. Just before the end Tony Hemley won a ball from a corner kick but couldn't believe his bad luck as he could only watch it just go over the bar.
Bracknell Manics went straight to work in the second half. Within the first minute of play, the Manics won the ball in midfield, and attacked down the left wing with some nice passing between Comper, Curran & Sarney, but the final ball was just too long for Milner to reach.
3 minutes later, after more pressure from the Manics, a corner was won. Curran took and the in-swinger took a deflection. An ambitious bicycle kick from Evans was saved by the keeper, and tipped onto and then off the bar by the keeper, before being cleared.
Minutes later, and Dog and Duck had a shot on goal after some nice passing and a good turn from their forward, but the shot was wide of goal.
On the 15th minute, Dog & Duck had another chance to make it 1-0. Pressuring in the Manics half, a poor clearance was cut out by the Dog & Duck. Their pacey forward picked up the ball, and unmarked ran on towards goal. Robinson saved the shot though, and it looked like nothing could beat this goalkeeper, who was having the game of his life in goal.
Only a minute later and Robinson saved the Manics again. A free kick was awarded to Dog & Duck in the Manics half, and a dangerous ball was whipped into the Manics box. Their shot was hard and low, but Robinson went down quick and parried the ball to safety.
Then the Manics pushed back. David Comper was beginning to enjoy a much better second half. A series of free kicks and throw-ins were subsequently won, and the Manics were beginning to fight back.
Gary Sarney went down injured with cramp, and despite a first spell of treatment, minutes later, Sarney needed more, as it only seemed to get worse. Both the Managers were on the pitch now, attending to their injured players. Unfortunately for Dog & Duck their player could not continue, and a substitution would have to be made. Pierce was on and it seemed to do the trick, as Sarney assured the boss he was still ok to play. Pierce agreed also, and so no change was made on the Manics side.
It was only 2 minutes after that the first goal would come to open the game.
A long ball up field from Dog & Duck was met by their midfield who were pushing on goal. The winger showed a burst of pace and received a ball over the top on the left. A square ball across the box, and it would be the Dog & Ducks super sub who would be the player to bring the Manics to their knees. It was 1-0 Dog & Duck.
There was still 15 minutes of play, and the Manics would have more work to do now pushing for the equaliser. The fans piped up and began to really get the Manics going.
On the 32nd minute Paul Milner came close to making that equaliser happen. A free kick taken by David Fenton was floated high in towards the back post. Milner met the ball, but was unlucky again heading it wide of the goal.
The 38th minute saw the first substitute for the Manics. Lee Wilcox would come on as right back. Darren Dean after a quiet second half came off, and Glenn Evans known for his ferocity in front of goal was pushed up front.
Soon more treatment would be needed for the Dog & Duck keeper when Evans caught him in the face in a 50/50 challenge on goal. In further desperation, the Manics pushed David Fenton up front too, and then with 2 minutes of injury time played, when a corner was won in the Dog & Duck half, Robinson added to the drama, running up the pitch for a corner.
But all this
wasn't good enough, Dog & Duck held out and the final whistle
blew after only 2 minutes of injury time to make the final score
1-0 to Dog & Duck who would be the winning team to lift the
cup on the day.