BRACKNELL Town came from behind to defeat Tooting & Mitcham 3-1 and maintain second place in the Bostik League's South Central Division ahead of their big clash at leaders Hayes & Yeading next Saturday, writes Dave Wright.

And their spirited fightback was helped on its way by one of the most bizarre own goals – it involved three Tooting players – the Robins have ever been gifted.

A poor first-half performance left the Robins trailing to a side on an 11-game unbeaten run at half-time and they would have been further in arrears had it not been for two outstanding saves by keeper Mark Scott, the second of them coming from a penalty.

In the end, however, Town deserved to win and secure three more points which keeps them strongly-placed for the play-offs, 11 points clear of the fifth club, Ware, with a game in hand.

Yet their display in the opening 45 minutes saw them well below their best as they looked to return to winning ways following their shock defeat at Hanwell a week earlier.

They struggled to cope with Tooting's powerful-running attacks, particularly down their flanks, where Isaiah Jones was particularly dangerous.

He got beyond the defence and shot inches wide of the far post early on, but Town did not heed the warning and a minute later, in the 12th, the pacy Jones squared the ball for David Carty to sweep home from close range.

Joe Grant found David Hancock's right-wing cross a bit too strong for him and put it over the bar and, from Joel Jacobs' corner, Carl Davies saw his half-volley blocked by keeper Morgan Campbell, who shortly afterwards used his legs to thwart Adam Cornell.

But Campbell was outshone by his opposing number in the last 10 minutes of the first half.

Scott somehow managed to tip Antonio Simeone's point-blank effort over the bar, but from the corner, Saidou Kahn went down in the area to earn a penalty. Scott, however, came to his side's rescue by blocking Daryl Coleman's spot-kick.

Bracknell didn't make the best of starts to the second half and in the space of seven minutes Jacobs, Liam Ferdinand and Davies were all shown the yellow card.

There was movement on the Robins' bench to suggest manager Geoff Warner was about to send on Ash Artwell, which would have meant a change of formation.

But before he could make it, his side won a penalty with Grant being tripped from behind by Morgan Griffiths and Ferdinand drove his spot-kick down the middle to bring the scores level in the 62nd minute.

It was his 25th goal of the season and keeps him top of the South Central Division scoring chart ahead of four Hayes & Yeading players headed by Lee Barney with 21 goals.

And within five minutes Bracknell went ahead thanks to a gift goal. Simeone, to the left side of the Tooting penalty area, received a back pass which he pushed across towards Campbell, but the keeper appeared to take his eye off the ball, allowed it to roll on and, with the wind assisting, it trickled over the line.

Only the crossbar stopped Matt Day from scoring, but Bracknell were now playing with a lot more conviction.

Substitute Artwell offered them fresh legs and it was the midfielder who threaded the ball through for Grant to smash home Town's third goal in the 89th minute.

Earlier, Grant had been on the end of a bad challenge which saw Coleman shown a straight red card by referee Ryan Hillier-Smith.

In the closing stages, 17-goal Grant gave way to substitute Seb Bowerman, who was making his first appearance since fracturing his leg two months ago.

Town's trip to Egham, postponed last week due to a waterlogged pitch, has been re-arranged for Tuesday, April 9.