BRACKNELL Town’s gamble to play Kensley Maloney in the Hellenic League Cup Final certainly paid dividends, writes Dave Wright.

The young midfielder, who had missed five games through injury, set up the first goal for Adam Cornell to put the Robins on their way to a 2-0 victory over Highworth at Abingdon United FC on Monday.

Maloney, however, appeared to be struggling at the start of the game and not showing his usual pace.

“Kensley had a bit of an in-and-out first half, but was miles better in the second,” said manager Mark Tallentire.

“We had words with him at half-time and he started to perform to his levels in and around their area, and he was very difficult to contain.”

Bracknell also took a gamble in starting with Seb Bowerman, but that did not pay off. Nursing a hamstring problem, he was substituted at half-time.

“Like with Kensley, we took a risk playing him. In fact, Seb should not have played really,” admitted Tallentire.

“But we are at the point of the season where we are willing to take risks on players.

“They were a couple of little gambles, one paid off, one didn’t pay off – but that’s football.”

Maloney, having been fed by skipper Dave Hancock, provided the cross for Cornell to open the scoring two-and-a-half minutes into the second half.

And 10 minutes later TJ Bohane beat the offside trap to double Town’s lead against one of his former clubs.

It was his 46th goal in a Bracknell shirt this season, one more than Cornell.

“They were two quality finishes in a fantastic 15-minute spell – we totally dominated that part of the game,” added Tallentire.

The Bracknell manager also praised Callum Whitty and Kennie Chamberlain, the two players he brought in to replace suspended duo Carl Davies and Jamie McClurg.

Speaking after Monday’s final, Tallentire said: “Callum has been unfortunate this year in that he has had people in front of him “He never moans when I leave him out, but then he comes in and puts in performances like the one today.

“He’s the sort of guy you want in the trenches alongside you.

“As for Kennie, he ‘disappeared’ for a few months. He didn’t come training, we didn’t see him.

“Then all of a sudden we are short, we call on him, and comes back and plays out of his skin. He did it in the Senior Trophy at Windsor and he has performed again today.”

With the Senior Trophy and League Cup already won, Bracknell are looking to finish the season by lifting the Reading Invitation Senior Cup, but they are still awaiting to see if their tie with Wokingham & Emmbrook is the semi-final or final.

The decision rests with the competition organisers, who still have to decide what to do with the abandoned semi-final tie between Binfield and Woodcote Stoke Row.

If one of them is expelled from the competition, then their opponents will go through, leaving Bracknell and Wokingham to play their semi-final next week.

But if both are kicked out, then the Robins and Sumas will meet in the final at Madejski Stadium, probably on Saturday, May 20.