THE play-off pressure on Bracknell Town has intensified quite significantly following their 4-2 defeat at rivals Westfield on Monday, writes Dave Wright.

They remain second in the Bostik League South Central Division, but will need to win their final league game – home to Ashford Town this Saturday – to finish the season there.

With Hayes & Yeading champions, this is how the other four places look - Bracknell 74 points (goal difference of 47); Cheshunt 73 (+33, 76 goals scored); Marlow 73 (+33, 66); Westfield 70 (+26, 77).

In next Tuesday's (7.45pm) play-offs it is second-versus-fifth and third-versus-fourth.

So it means three crucial games this coming Saturday, with the highest-placed team having home advantage.

While the Robins take on mid-table Ashford at Larges Lane, Cheshunt play Westfield in a real crunch game and Marlow host Ware who are seventh.

Rather worrying, is that Town will go into the game on the back of two below-par performances.

They struggled against Chipstead last Saturday before edging home 1-0 thanks to a Liam Ferdinand penalty and then on Monday were far from their best at Woking Park.

After going two goals down, they fought back to level with a Joel Jacobs free-kick and an own goal, only to concede twice more in the last 20 minutes.

And it would have been even worse had keeper Mark Scott not been in such excellent form, making a number of saves in one-on-one situations.

Even manager Geoff Warner admitted: "The scoreline probably flattered us."

He found it hard to explain the reason for his side's poor showing on an afternoon which had started badly when skipper David Hancock suffered a groin injury during the warm-up.

"That did disrupt us a bit, but Ash Artwell came in and he has played at right-back before," said Warner.

"We were 2-0 down after giving away two bad goals from our point of view.

"Then we changed our shape and for the last 20 minutes of the first half we looked threatening.

"We got back in with a goal from Joel and started the second half quite well and got level.

"But then we seemed to just stop playing. I don't know why, perhaps we thought we had done enough.

"We looked flat in the last half-hour, we looked tired – and that has never been us."

The manager continued: "In the past we have always been able to get ourselves back in the game, but we just didn't look like it at all. Fortunately for us, Scotty was in good form. He made three or four really good saves.

"There was no shape to us, we didn't pass the ball well, we were going long all the time.

"You can't blame the pitch (which was a bit bobbly) as Westfield controlled the ball and passed it alright.

"All round, it was very, very poor from us and we have now got to lift ourselves up and make sure we win on Saturday.

"Ashford won't be easy. They have nothing to play for, so they can play freely. They have some good players who could be a threat to us."

There are three youth cup finals taking place at Larges Lane in the morning, which could make parking difficult around the area, so it may be advisable to use the public car parks in the town centre with Braccan Walk being the closest.