Sunday 19th February 2006
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12 Man Priestwood Punish Manics

Bracknell Manics cursed lapses of concentration and iffy refereeing as they were gunned down by Athletico 6-1.

Beginning the game at high tempo, Manics were clearly on top in the early exchanges. And they deservedly took the lead through Mark Robertson after he was cleverly put through by Barry O'Connell; not forgetting some good skills on the ball from Lee Blackman prior to his pass to O'Connell. Robertson missed another good chance to extend Manics' minutes later, breaking quick from a Priestwood corner, but Robertson blazed the shot over the bar.

As the first half wore on, Priestwood began to enjoy the kind of possession they had in the last game between the two sides. With full backs comfortable on the ball, and a midfield duo with the ability to pick a pass out, Manics were relieved that no clear chances were created. Unfortunately though, Tim Roake decided enough was enough and his time out on pitch would be short lived, making way for youngster Harry Clowse on the right wing.

However with 5 minutes remaining in the half, an equaliser came after an offside flag was ignored by the increasingly incompetent referee.

Minutes later, a long testing free-kick from Gavin Baker was collected nervously by the Priestwood keeper. Manics players charged the goalie aggressively who stumbled backwards over his line. No contact was made on the keeper, but the Manics were penalised leaving the boys scratching their heads as to whether the goal should have stood.

With this in their minds, and the debatable equaliser still causing frustration, Manics went off the pitch disheartened. This was a shame as they'd dominated much of the half.

The second half saw a much more ragged Manics team come out than the first. The decisions against the away side had clearly upset them, and the timing of the equaliser had lifted Priestwood.

But it was to get worse. A well floated cross into the Manics box was greeted by the welcome flag of Luke Phillips. However, again the referee ignored it as Baker glanced the ball past Robinson into his own goal.

Manics were furious. Heads were difficult to lift after this latest refeering mistake which left them 2-1 down. Soon after this own goal, Priestwood were awarded a free-kick which was bent accruately into the bottom corner. Robinson was rooted to the spot.

Frustration spilled into the Manics play now, with Robertson, O'COnnell, Sarney, Blay and others notably losing their cool in front of the ref. Robbo was booked for his protests at the ineptitude of the man in black. At one point referee Sherry gave a quite biast decision which in turn saw Simon Blay run half the pitch shrieking at the top of his voice: "REFEREE!!! THAT WAS RIDICULOUS!!!! HOW COULD YOU NOT HAVE SEEN THAT?!?!?!!!!!".

A fourth goal soon followed and another controversial (offside) fifth went in. Despite tackling hard and never giving in, the Manics were loose in their passing and dithered in possession.

An excellent 6th turned the hammering into a rout. Athletico are an excellent side that did not need the assistance of the referee to win this game. Such a shame this fixture was unbalanced in this way. However, Bracknell Manics need to learn to control emotions and handle going goals down if they are to make any impact in the Premier Division.

Scorers: Robertson (1).
Assists: O'Connell (1).

The Manics Man of the Match went to Gareth Jones and the Referee's player of the match went to Gavin Baker.

Thanks to the fans who came to watch.

 Final Result: Athletico Priestwood 6 Bracknell Manics 1

 Man of the Match
   "I'm never drinking Sherry again, leaves a sour taste in my mouth"
Gareth Jones  

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