| Friday 5th
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Life is the name of the game. And I want to play the game with you.
These lyrics to a well-known game show cannot be applied to Manics and
Saracens. Indeed, life is the name of the game, but we DO NOT want to
play the game with you. For this Cup Final was a bruising one. Sure, the
dreadful Bracknell pitch didn't help the teams, but some of the foul play
made the centrepiece of the BTDSFL season an eyesore from start to finish.
Saracens had shifted their good quality centre half, Davis, into midfield
and he looked up for the fight. In fact the tall man was lucky to escape
without a caution in the first half as he twice wrestled Manics players
to the floor. Manics, too, flew in at times and the skillful Saracens
winger Twyman was withdrawn with injury after a rough challenge from Sarney
What's on the board Miss Ford?
Nothing. And no chances in the first half really. One long range effort
from Whitty for Saracens and a sliced drive from Evans for the Manics
were the only notable threats on goal. On the bobbly surface attackers
were snatching at chances and the scoreboard never looked threatened.
In the second half Manics began to play a bit and looked bright. Baker
had begun to get involved at long last as Manics launched a few big long
balls into the box which gave Vlad the Jawbreaker something to think about.
The most problematic of these was a lofted pass won in the air by Robertson
who was duly clattered round the mush by the keeper. In fairness to giant
Estonian, he didn't mean to cause harm, but cause harm he did as Robertson
lay motionless for 30 minutes whilst an Ambulance arrived.
Nice to see you, to see you nice
Ambulance came and the game resumed with a beered up crowd finally finding
their voice. This vocal backing did nothing to improve the play, which
continued to be extremely poor. The boredom finally got to the ref who
pulled himself off with 25 minutes to go. He claimed he was injured, but
we all knew the truth - he was paralysed with the mundanity of it all.
Or if he HAD injured his calf like he said, I can guess the muscle had
gone on strike. Returning to the game, Manics seemed to be affected by
the loss of Robertson and could find no rhythm as Saracens dominated the
midfield. That said chances were still at a premium and only a misunderstanding
between Robinson and Gates saw the deadlock broken. As the ball squirmed
loose from the keepers arms, Saracens skipper and top scorer Whitty gratefully,
but uncovincingly, tapped it into the empty net. Manics attempted to lift
each others spirits but they looked crestfallen. After a game of so few
chances, they knew another one wasn't going to come along soon. But they
tried. And with Graaff and Jones pushed forward the long balls did threaten
to come off once or twice. A flurry of late corners did not penetrate
the Saracens goal and the Manics suffered their second Cup Final heartbreak
in 4 seasons.
Manics though, could look on the bright side - it was a good hard fight,
and Jason Graaff earnt the Manics some glory, winning the Bracknell Town
& District Football League's Man of the Match award.
Looking down the conveyor belt of Winners trophies, the Manics needed
not to be too disheartened. They had competed against a team that had
led the Premier Division nearly all season, and nearly beaten them not
once, but three times. All in their first year in the top flight of the
Bracknell league. They've learned, the hard way at times (Robertsons broken
jaw testifies this), that they need to stop being so cuddly and start
hitting teams harder. As this league is not won purely on skill alone.
The BTDSFL Man
of the Match went to Jason Graaf and the Referee's player of the match
went to Mark Gates.
done to all the people who came to watch, it was great to hear you all
cheering us on from the sidelines.
Manics 0 Saracens 1
Man of the Match
got my Manics Jacket???"
for Bracknell Manics FC