BRACKNELL Town edged further along the Buildbase FA Vase trail thanks to a 1-0 win at Kent-based Lordswood, writes Dave Wright.

An early goal from Joe Grant booked their place in the last 32 for the first time since the 1985-86 season when they lost to Camberley.

But if the Robins are to make it past the fourth round next month, then they will need to perform better than they did at Martyn Grove on Saturday.

It was by no means among their most impressive displays of the season.

However, at this advanced stage of the competition, it is not about playing attractive and entertaining football, it is a lot more about working hard to grind out a result. They did just that!

Bracknell travelled to Chatham without TJ Bohane, who was still feeling the effects of his recent car accident.

This left leading scorer Adam Cornell as the sole striker in a 4-5-1 formation with Jamie McClurg the most advanced of the midfielders.

Town’s main threat came from the flanks with Grant and Seb Bowerman creating the bulk of their chances throughout the afternoon.

With Cornell being closely marked, the two wide runners largely ploughed a lone furrow on the grassy surface.

But with 10 minutes gone, Cornell did create space for himself to head the ball down to his right, where Grant made ground before lashing the ball into the net.

The goal followed a bright start to the game at this stage of the afternoon Town looked capable of going on to score a few more, especially with the home side not appearing too secure in defence.

At times, however, Bracknell did not seem too convincing themselves at the back with Jack Mahon, in particular, looking dangerous and testing keeper Chris Grace on a number of occasions.

Town were also unable to take a tight grip on midfield and they didn’t help themselves by giving away free-kicks or not making better use of their set-pieces from corners.

Southern Counties East League side Lordswood came more into the game as the first half progressed, but the visitors deserved to be leading at the interval.

In the second half, the Robins were pushed back on a more regular basis and they had a close escape in the 67th minute when Mahon hit the left-hand post low down with the ball rolling across the goalmouth much to Bracknell’s relief.

Despite being forced to drop deep on occasions, Grant and Bowerman continued to be a danger to the home defence, but the end product was lacking on this occasion with the pair also being denied by the keeper, Ryan Chandler.

With time running out Lordswood threw three men up front and went close to snatching an equaliser, but the Robins, well marshalled by skipper Carl Davies, managed to hold on to their lead to the final whistle.

Town are one of three Hellenic League sides to have reached the fourth round of the Vase, joining Thatcham, who beat Sevenoaks 3-1, and Windsor, who scored two late goals to win 2-1 at Walton & Hersham.

Bracknell travel down to Gloucestershire on Saturday to play Longlevens (3pm).

Town’s Bluefin Sport Hellenic League Cup third-round tie away to Division One West leaders Ardley United will be played a week on Saturday, December 16, replacing their scheduled league fixture at Fairford which has been re-arranged for February 10.