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May 1 2017

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Bluefin Sport Challenge Cup Final (played at Northcourt Road, home ground of Abingdon United)

Bracknell Town 2 Highworth Town 0 (Report by Dave Wright)

Bracknell Town received some compensation for losing out in the Uhlsport Hellenic League title race in their final fixture by beating Highworth 2-0 to win the Bluefin Sport Hellenic League Cup. The Robins sealed victory in a thrilling tie played on an excellent surface at Abingdon United FC with goals from Adam Cornell and TJ Bohane early in the second half.

They must also have seen this result as revenge, for it was Highworth who prevented Bracknell from lifting the championship by winning at Larges Lane last month, combined with champions Thame United putting nine goals past Henley on the same day. Bohane caused his former club problems early on and nearly scored when he lobbed the advancing keeper, Kent Kauppinen, only to see his effort drop just wide of the post.

Soon afterwards, Kauppinen did well to cut out Bohane's low cross as Cornell moved in at the far post. Bracknell looked more threatening in attack, but Highworth never stopped probing in an even first half and it needed the save of the match to deny them a goal. From just outside the area, Ash Edenborough's free-kick took a deflection off the wall to put Chris Grace on the wrong foot, but the big keeper managed to put his hand back and palm the ball out. It fell invitingly to young Ellis McSharry, but he only headed the ball straight back to Grace. Highworth made it difficult for Bracknell by not allowing them to dwell on the ball, but they were also conceding many free-kicks and corners, which kept dead-ball specialist Carl Withers particularly busy.

Going into the second half the final could have gone either way, but within three minutes of the resumption that all changed.

Bracknell skipper Dave Hancock sent Kensley Maloney away down their right flank and he cut in before crossing for Cornell to sweep the ball over the line from close range for his 45th goal of the season. Within 10 minutes it was 2-0, again following good work by right-back Hancock. Bohane, beating the offside trap, moved into an empty space just inside the area and had time to pick his spot before slotting home left-footed just inside the left-hand post.

It was Bohane's 46th Bracknell goal and his 47th in all, having started the campaign at Royal Wootton Bassett. From then on, the Berkshire side never looked like losing their grip on the game, which was watched by a crowd of nearly 300. The match was refereed by Ivan Gelov, who was officiating at his last Hellenic League game before his promotion to Step 4.

Bracknell manager Mark Tallentire was full of praise for his players, saying:  “We were in a dark place a few weeks ago, so to come back from the disappointment of not winning the league to win two cups is fantastic. The players have shown great courage and resilience, mental strength as well.  It shows what a fantastic group of players we have here and I have nothing but admiration for them. I am over the moon, really buzzing."

For Bracknell, it was their second cup win in successive finals, following their Berks & Bucks Senior Trophy triumph when local rivals Binfield were their victims. But that was in complete contrast to Highworth, who five days earlier had lost 2-1 to Swindon Supermarine in the Wiltshire County Senior Cup.

Bracknell are also in with a chance of a third trophy as they are through to the semi-finals of the Reading Invitation Senior Cup, where they are due to meet Uhlsport Hellenic League Division 1 East side Wokingham & Emmbrook. The other semi-final between Binfield and Woodcote Stoke Row was abandoned with an hour gone following a flare-up among players. Binfield finished with two red cards, while their rivals from the Thames Valley Premier League were shown four. It is hoped the final will be played at Reading FC's Madejski Stadium on May 20th.

(courtesy of Football in Bracknell)

Bracknell Town lifted the Bluefin Sport Hellenic League Challenge Cup on Bank Holiday Monday at Abingdon United with a 2-0 win over Highworth Town.

A goalless first half that saw the Robins have two penalty appeals dismissed gave way to a second half double from Bracknell’s top scorers Adam Cornell and former Highworth striker TJ Bohane.

Cornell had the biggest shout for a penalty in the first half while Chris Grace was kept busy throughout a game that was far from one sided.

Minutes in to the second period it was Kensley Maloney who slotted in the Robins forward to open the scoring while Bohane scored to put the match and Bracknell Town out of reach on 56 minutes.

It is Bracknell’s second trophy of the season after over two decades without silverware and the possibility of a hat-trick with the Reading Senior Cup up for grabs.

2017 hellenic league cup officials simon maynard steve anderson steve shannon sam read


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