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Sunday 9th September 2007

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Manics, A New Hope

Manics got their season underway at their new home ground against Hope and Anchor. A new breeze of freshness was in the air this season with a solid pre-season behind us it was business as usual.

A lot of new faces this year saw the Manics take the field with James Robinson in goal, Mark Gates, Simon Blay, David Fenton and returning utility man Matt Rain at the back. The midfield was made of Ben Westwood and Harry Clowse, who had moved up from the Reserves, Gavin Baker (Captain) and the new young Freddy Eastwood look alike Chris Hollis. Up top was Alan Matthias again moving up from the reserves and Gareth Evans. The Bench also had class on it which is a nice change to last season with Gareth Jones and Bradley Gibson.

The game kicked off in sweltering September heat, with the Manics not sure what to expect from the new Premier team. Play was scrappy to begin with and chances were few and far between. Manics began to play some good football after about fifteen minutes and opportunities started to be created with Matthias shooting straight at the keeper and Clowse going close with a shot from distance. Hope countered well but the defence looked a solid wall compared with the leaky roof it was last season. Manics account was opened by debutant Chris Hollis after he played a neat one two with Matthias. Hollis went through on goal and slotted the ball under the keeper at his near post. It wasn’t long until the second came, Clowse broke down the right and swung the ball across the defence. Gareth Evans scampering in and had a left footed shot parried by the keeper. Hope’s defender in an effort to clear the danger booted the ball straight to Gareth who took a touch and hammered the ball into the net at the keepers near post again.
More chances came with a break down the left from Gareth Evans and a cut back to Clowse who drilled his shot just wide.

Hope looked strongest on the counter attack but everything was cleared up by Gates and Rain. Fenton and Blay made strong bursts from full back and put in decent balls as the Manics dominated in all areas. Hope were given a hope by linesman Nikos when he couldn’t tell friend from foe because of the sun. An offside Hope player raced clear to beat Robinson. Not before the zany keeper had pulled off an outstanding save to stop a previous one on one.

On the stroke of half time Manics injury woe of last season looked to have followed them to the new ground when Baker fell awkwardly on the stroke of half time. It proved to be the end of his day as a Shaky Baker headed to hospital to assess the damage.



The second half gave an introduction to Jones and he moved up front with Gevans pushing out left.

The second half flew by with chances few and far between. The best chance fell to Fenton who had a header saved by the keeper with any other shots being speculative long range efforts. Hope never really threatened in the second half, despite having more of the ball in the last 20 minutes. Westwood, who had dominated the aerial battle for the Manics, began to feel the heat towards the end of the game as Hope enjoyed more and more possession, but carved out no real openings. The score remained 2-1 and Manics got their winning start.

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The Manics Man of the Match went to Nikos Patsalides and Referee's Man of the Match went to Chris Hollis.

Thanks to the fans who came to watch the game!

 Final Result: Bracknell Manics 2 Hope & Anchor 1

 Man of the Match

 "Awful, I know awful. Stop stitching me up!"

Nikos Patsalides  

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