LIAM Ferdinand celebrated his international call-up with a late equaliser to earn Bracknell Town a 1-1 draw with Bedfont Sports at a rain-lashed Larges Lane on Saturday, writes Dave Wright.

The unbeaten Robins looked to be heading for their first Bostik League defeat of the season and would have been more than a goal down had it not been for two outstanding saves from keeper Mark Scott, one from the penalty spot.

But with two minutes of normal time remaining, Ferdinand popped up to score the vital goal, having been teed up by Joe Grant, who is on stand-by for next month’s trip with the Football Association’s representative side to the Falkland Islands.

Town, who lose the top spot to Waltham Abbey in the South Central Division, just about deserved to take a point, but it was not one of their better performances in front of a crowd of just over 200.

They lacked their usual sharpness, partly down to the fact they hadn’t played a league game for two weeks, but also due to them being constantly closed down by a useful-looking Bedfont.

Robins struggled to produce their usual brand of flowing football or dominate the midfield and it wasn’t until the last 10 minutes of the first half when they threatened to score.

Seb Bowerman’s corner was scrambled away from just in front of the line, Ferdinand fired wide after a sweeping move and keeper Josh Richardson stuck out his right leg to deflect Bowerman’s effort over the bar.

So, it all came as a surprise, when Town ended the half a goal down – and it could easily have been worse.

In the 43rd minute, a misunderstanding between Scott and Carl Davies led to Charlie Postance having a clear run on goal.

The Robins skipper pulled him down, earning a yellow card from referee Lisa Benn, but was then mightily relieved to see Scott, diving low to his left, superbly save Jack Mills’ spot-kick.

Within two minutes, however, Scott was picking the ball out of his net when a cross from the Bedfont left wing was headed home by the unmarked Scott Harris at the far post.

Bedfont, whose two previous league wins had both come away, soon made it known in the second half they were happy to sit on their lead, defending deep, slowing the game down and deliberately time wasting.

Kensley Maloney did manage to pierce them just after the hour mark, but Richardson managed to deflect the ball over the bar with his outstretched leg.

Adam Cornell, Jamie McClurg and Kane Fitzgerald all came off the bench to give Robins some fresh legs, with Town going to a three-man defence and pushing more men forward.

But Bedfont threatened on the break and 10 minutes from time Scott did superbly to deflect Postance’s shot onto the crossbar.

With time running out, Bracknell upped the tempo, but the crosses from both flanks were overhit and it was looking like they would fail to score.

They kept plugging away and were rewarded in the 88th minute when Ferdinand, gaining possession from a Grant flick-on, had time to pick his spot and fire low past Richardson.

On Saturday, Town visit Haywards Heath in the preliminary round of the FA Trophy (3pm). A potential replay will be at Larges Lane on Tuesday (7.45pm).