IT has been some time since Bracknell Town were outplayed as much as they were at Chertsey on Saturday, writes Dave Wright.

The margin of defeat was only 2-1 – which included an own goal at each end – but the difference between the sides was considerably more.

Injury-hit Robins, who had three players making their debuts, were second best in most departments and were lucky not to have been on the end of a heavier defeat.

It was a bitterly disappointing performance against last season's FA Vase winners and there were very few positives manager Sam Lock could take out of the game.

Their defence struggled to cope with the blistering pace of Jon Hippolyte, who must surely be the fastest winger in the Isthmian League.

Town did manage to compete reasonably well in midfield, but the new strike force of Anthony Mendy, signed on loan from Isthmian League Premier Division side Wingate & Finchley, and 19-year-old winger Owen James, from Oxford United Under 23s, offered very little threat to the home backline, although the latter did occasionally look threatening and had a hand in Town's late goal.

The other debutant was James Hoskins from Watford U23, their fifth goalie in the past month. It was his second visit to Chertsey in 11 days, having previously played there on-loan for Northwood in their 8-2 defeat.

On Saturday, the 18-year-old replaced Mark Scott who had hurt his previously-broken neck in training last week. He made one excellent save before being beaten in the 36th minute when he was left wrong-footed as Lubo Guentchev's shot took a deflection on its way into the net.

Lanky flier Hippolyte was giving Robb Sheridan the runaround, setting up several good chances, and Town were fortunate to be just one goal down at half-time.

Manager Lock knew he had to make changes in a bid to improve things, and he took off Sheridan and Dan Brown at half-time, replacing them with Geoff Kibaki and Dan Carr.

Town did improve marginally, but their hopes of getting back on level terms ended in unfortunate circumstances when the airborne Kibaki, in attempting to clear Sam Murphy's cross, could only flick the ball over his own head and high into the net, making it 2-0 after 61 minutes.

Lock had made a third change with Shane Cooper-Clark taking over from Mendy and the substitute did add some much-needed urgency to the attack.

Town were unfortunate when Charlie Losasso saw his free-kick rattle the crossbar, but they enjoyed better luck in the 89th minute when a right-wing cross from James was sliced into his own net by Chertsey's Michael Peacock.

In stoppage time, Carl Davies, who by now had switched from defence to attack, created space for himself on the left and delivered a dangerous ball in the direction of Cooper-Clark, but a home defender intercepted the cross and Town's hopes of snatching a late equaliser disappeared.

In addition to their usual team debrief at the end of the game, Lock and assistants Michael Butcher and Aaron Steadman stayed on the pitch for quite a time analysing their side's performance and probably planning how they can improve it – and that may not happen until they get most of their injured players back playing.

Town are without a game this Saturday as scheduled opponents Tooting & Mitcham are involved in the FA Trophy. Their next fixture is at Staines on November 2, followed by a Velocity Trophy group game at home to Chalfont St Peter the following Wednesday.

They have also been drawn away to Chalfont St Peter in the first round of the Berks & Bucks Senior Cup.