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Sunday 28th January 2007

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A Royal J-Oak as Manics are left Wandering?!

Steve Dennaford


Ben Taylor

Ben Westwood (C)

Brian Judge

Joel Curran

Harry Clowse

Gary Sarney

Lee Blackman

David Comper

Chris Wilson

Colin Pike

Bench: Andy Robinson

Their 4th game in 3 months, Manics Reserves faced Royal Oak Wanderers on this chilly, blustery January morning. Chris Adams and powerhouse Henry Abrahamian were a few of the notable absentees. That said, the pitch was in good condition, spirits were up and Manics started brightly, attacking with purpose. The Oak fought back well, holding The Manics off and creating a chance of their own.

The 15th minute however, saw The Manics slip up a gear. After some fantastic interplay, the ball came to Harry Clowse on the right wing. His cut back found the bendy David Comper at the back post who duly guided his shot into the bottom left hand corner of the net to make it 1-0. Manics were in dangerous mood, scoring a goal of such quality instilled confidence and assurance into the side.

Within 2 minutes came a setback – An Oak goal - Their forward coolly finishing after a lapse in the Manics defence. The goal however did not phase Manic names in the slightest. They played some of the best football they had played all season and it was no surprise when in the 32nd minute after another clever passing move, Manics took a deserved 2-1 lead, David Comper supplying an inch perfect pass for Chris Wilson to slot home.

Manics were in the driving seat and continued their onslaught. Another pass from Comper and a sneaky dummy from Wilson saw Lee Blackman whistle a shot over the bar. Manics kept up the pressure without scoring as the half-time whistle sounded.

Royal Oak kicked off the second half going downhill with the wind behind them instantly launching the long ball over the top. Manics stood firm and continued where they left off in the first half by creating chances of their own but in the 56th minute some calamitous defending allowed The Oak to snatch an equaliser and level the score at 2-2.

This gift of a goal was again brushed aside by a resilient Manics who stamped their authority on the game 10 minutes later by scoring again in style. This time, Colin Pike finished off the move from David Compers pass. Oak heads dropped and Manics passion grew.

Then came 5 minutes of madness. With Manics firmly in control and 70 minutes on the clock, an Oak striker began puking on the edge of the area. The referee paused the game and Brian ‘The Judge’ Judge and the ever caring Joel Curran went to the assistance of the ailing forward. Ben Taylor grabbed a drink and Ben Westwood chatted with a recently returned Gary Sarney. The sun was shining, birds twittered and Wilson enjoyed surveying a lovely Sunday morning scene.

The sound of a ball being kicked turned Manic heads and then shock-horror set in. Wide eyed Cries of “What the?!” rang out as The Oak forward shot the ball into the net?! What was going on cried Wilson as Sarney and others bellowed in disgust. An unfortunate Steve Dennaford had decided to take the goal-kick without any of his team-mates watching resulting in another leveller.

As if things couldn’t get any worse, from the resulting kick off, Oak immediately nicked the ball, broke into the area and won a penalty! True Manic, Brian Judge the guilty party, but was it a dive? Judge thought so and voiced his opinions dramatically!

The referee had been sold and Oak converted leaving Manics stunned. Their hard fought lead had been taken from under their noses in the space of 1 minute and they found themselves 4-3 down?!

Despite this drama, Manics continued to play spirited football but The Oak nicked a fifth five minutes later, a long ball over the top and defensive indecisiveness to blame.

5-3 down and ten minutes to go Manics could have easily scored 3 or 4, sublime teamwork creating chances galore. When the final whistle blew, Manics were left scratching their heads in wonder at how they had just lost a game which they had totally controlled.

The question is now, can The Manics still win the league? They will need a miracle to do so…

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The Manics Man of the Match went to Chris Wilson.

Thanks to the fans who came to watch the game!

 Final Result: Bracknell Manis Res 3 Royal Oak 5

 Man of the Match

 "We were robbed. Oh Well! COME ON YOU MANICS!"

Chris Wilson  

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