Grendon Rangers 0 Bracknell Town 1By Darrell Freeland
January 28, 2013
A first half strike from Taylor Elliott-Money was enough to book Bracknell Town a spot in the semi-final of the Berks & Bucks Intermediate Cup courtesy of a narrow win at Grendon Rangers.
The only goal of the game came in the 28th minute, when the full-back nodded home a Jake White cross past a stranded Tom Weymes at the far post.
Played in conditions far from perfect, the game was only given the go-ahead following a pitch inspection on Saturday morning.
This was only possible, though, following a gallant effort from officials and supporters of the North Bucks & District League outfit, who kindly gave up their spare time during the days leading up to the quarter-final to help clear the Main Street pitch of both snow and excess water.
The heavy playing surface, however, saw both teams struggle to find any sort of fluidity during the opening exchanges.
But it was the visitors who first went closest to breaking the deadlock in the sixth minute, when captain Eddie Gray saw his effort from 22-yards shave the outside of the far post.
The Robins then rattled the woodwork again moments later when Sam Barratt thumped the crossbar.
Yet for all their work in front of goal, Bracknell almost fell behind, but Chris Adams and Dan Sleet combined to deny Grendon's Nick Harrison and Paul Gibbs.
With Adams having rushed off his line to prevent Harrison from opening the scoring, Sleet was then in the right place at the right time to block Gibbs' follow up on the line.
And having survived the scare, Bracknell took the lead.
Craig McKay fired over for the hosts as they looked for a response, but Town were able to defend their lead going into the half-time break.
White was then given the chance to add a goal to his earlier assist shortly after the restart, but he failed to control his effort when under pressure from Weymes.
Shane Cooper-Clark later missed the target when connecting with a White cross, while Barratt brothers Tom and Sam both stung the fingertips of Rangers keeper Weymes with long-range efforts.
White then struck the crossbar as Bracknell went in search of a game-killing second goal, but the lack of a cutting edge in the final third was almost punished when the hosts went close to grabbing an equaliser, but a late shot from inside the box was closed down and later cleared by Sleet as Town hung on for the win.
The victory ensured Bracknell, who are the highest ranked side in the competition, secured a place in the last four of the county cup.
They will learn who their opponents will be when the draw is made later today.
Attention, meanwhile, now turns to this Saturday's trip to Chinnor in Hellenic Division 1 East.
Bracknell Town: Adams, Brown, Clarke, T Barratt, Sleet, Riddell, Gray (Bradshaw 75), Elliott-Money, White (Delander 70), Cooper-Clark (Havermans 80), S Barratt. Sub not used: Nebbett.