BRACKNELL Town are preparing for what looks sure to be their biggest match of the year next week, writes Dave Wright.

The Robins host Reading FC Under 23s in their eagerly-awaited Berks & Bucks Senior Cup second-round tie at Larges Lane next Tuesday (7.45pm).

Both sides are enjoying a highly successful season and the prospect of seeing Reading’s exciting young professionals has caught the imagination of the Bracknell public.

Town are expecting a crowd of at least 1,000 – nearly four times their average home gate.

Club secretary Ricky Simons reported earlier this week that the advanced ticket sales had topped the 800 mark.

And that is also partly due to the fact Town are charging just £5 for admission with £3 concessions.

A four-figure attendance is going to stretch the compact ground to the seams and could bring traffic congestion to the immediate surrounding area, particularly as there will be no parking for spectators at the ground or along Larges Lane.

The club are strongly urging spectators to use public transport or use the public car park at Braccan Walk in The Ring or the other car parks in the town centre, all a short walk from the stadium.

They are also recommending that fans arrive early with the gates being open from 6pm.

With Reading’s Championship side playing away at Leeds, a good number of Royals fans are expected to support the Under 23s, who have been in tremendous form of late, showing themselves as one of the best sides in the country at their level.

Town chairman Kayne Steinborn-Busse said: “We are looking forward very much to welcoming Reading FC to our ground for what should be a great match.”

However, as far as the Bracknell players are concerned, their preparations must wait until after this weekend.

Player-manager Carl Davies commented: “The cup tie is going to be a good occasion, so I can understand why fans are getting excited, but at the moment we are not thinking about it as we have a tough league game at Tooting & Mitcham on Saturday to prepare for.”

Their last two weekend games have both resulted in a 2-2 draw, but they were disappointed not to have collected all three points from last Saturday’s home encounter with fellow top-six side Hanwell.

Robins twice took the lead through Joe Grant and Seb Bowerman, only to be pulled back by equalisers in the 44th and 85th minutes.

“I feel for the lads as they deserved to be on a winning team,” said Davies.

“We had some chances and should have had the game won by midway through the second half.

“We had total control for the first 44 minutes and probably the second 40 minutes, but conceding late goals is something we have got to work on as it has happened three or four times in recent weeks. We need to address it quickly.”

The player-manager offered some credit to Hanwell, commenting: “They kept themselves in the game and got their reward.

“We gave them a sniff and they were hungry for a goal, but we were gutted their second goal came so late.”

With strikers Gavin James and Ashleigh Artwell sidelined through injury, Bracknell signed Binfield’s Sean Moore on a dual registration.

He came on as a substitute just before the final whistle and nearly set up a winning goal in stoppage time.

Tickets for the Reading game are available from the Bracknell club or can be ordered via