NEW signing Mitchell Parker marked his home debut with a brilliant goal as Bracknell Town defeated Coggeshall 2-1 in the FA Trophy, writes Dave Wright.

But some of the gloss of an excellent team performance was taken off when keeper Mark Scott received his marching orders for a challenge on a visiting forward.

This left 17-year-old Joe Whiter to take over between the posts for the remaining 20 minutes. He got a hand to the penalty conceded by Scott, although without managing to keep it out, before surviving a nerve-wracking experience as the Essex visitors – who had co-owner Olly Murs, the singer, sitting in the dug-out – laid siege to the Robins goal in an effort to save the game.

Town, however, held on for a thoroughly deserved win in this extra preliminary round tie watched by a crowd of nearly 250 at Larges Lane on Saturday.

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Manager Sam Lock had not named Parker in his original line-up, but the striker was a late replacement for Nathan Minhas, whose car had run out of diesel when driving to the game.

With his international clearance from the FA having come through last week following his spell in Portugal seven years ago, Parker scored in the 24th minute with a goal brilliantly engineered by Geoff Kibaki.

He intercepted an intended Coggeshall cross-field pass some 45 yards out, accelerated away towards goal before being confronted by at least three defenders. He went one way, then the other and was close to losing possession, but managed to lay the ball off to his left for Parker to hammer an unstoppable shot high past keeper Ashelee Jones.

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Four minutes later, Ross Wall missed a good chance to equalise, the striker having been denied by a flying save by Scott, although he was in an offside position at the time and so it would not have counted had his volley ended up in the net.

Scott also saved Joe Gater's blushes when the centre-back's slip gifted the visitors a chance, while fellow defender Dan Bayliss went close at the other end.

The Robins had another chance to extend their advantage before half-time when Seb Bowerman created a chance for himself down the right, but he drilled the ball wide of the far post.

Their pressure continued at the start of the second half with Dan Carr, set up by Charlie Losasso, sending the ball narrowly past the post and then Losasso’s cross caused problems for Jones, who just managed to turn the ball behind for a corner.

As the ball came over there were loud shouts for handball, but a moment later Bowerman's cross was headed down by Bayliss for Carr to poke home and make it 2-0 just before the hour mark.

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With the hosts continuing to dictate the pace of the game, Town looked in control and appeared to be coasting to victory.

However, that dramatically changed after 75 minutes. Scott came out to the left side of his area to gather a high-ball as Jack Simmons moved in to challenge. The goalie brought up his knee to protect himself, but on the way down he caught the Seed Growers substitute with his boot.

That angered Simmons and some of his teammates and their protests led to referee Andrew Connor going over to consult his assistant David Pilling.

The result was a penalty and a red card.

Bracknell withdrew Kibaki to accommodate Whiter, their Under 18 and U23 keeper, to face the spot-kick. The John Madejski Academy student made a brave effort to keep out Nnamdi Nwachuku's fiercely-struck spot-kick by trying to push the ball away, but could only deflect the ball into the other side of the net.

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Carl Davies had also been sent on to bolster the defence and the centre-back, who last week rejoined the club from Binfield, made three vital blocks as the Essex men went in search of a late equaliser.

Whiter also took the sting out of a shot, leaving Caden Genovesi to clear off the line.

There were more than five minutes of time added-on, during which the substitute keeper was cautioned for time-wasting.

In the next round on October 12, the Robins will be away to the winners of the replay between Haywards Heath and Ramsgate.

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