SCORING three goals at home is a pretty common sight at Larges Lane. But conceding five is certainly not, writes Dave Wright.

So, not surprisingly, there were a few anxious faces among the management team following Bracknell Town’s 5-3 defeat by Basingstoke last Saturday.

Pre-season friendlies take place to iron out several matters - in personnel, the shape of the team and tactics, so there was still plenty for the Robins to take out of this game against opposition from the Southern League Premier Division.

Two levels separate the clubs in the non-league ladder and in most areas Mark Tallentire’s men matched those of a side managed by Terry Brown, a Wokingham Town striker from several decades ago.

But the main difference was in the finishing, with Basingstoke a lot more clinical, although they were assisted by some sloppy defending.

Both keepers also pulled off several fine saves, but Bracknell’s Karl Steinborn-Busse, standing in for the unavailable Chris Grace, will be left disappointed to have let in five.

Torrential rain and a slippery surface certainly did not help the players as they continued their build-up to the start of the season proper next week.

With skipper Carl Davies returning from injury, the Bracknell defence were stretched at times, as the visitors made good use of both flanks.

They fell behind to a Rob Atkinson header after 10 minutes, but drew level on 20 minutes when Liam Ferdinand finished off a good move.

Rob’s brother Michael restored his side’s lead on 25 minutes with a soft goal, the ball looking to go in off Bracknell’s George Short.

Robins twice went close to equalising early in the second half with Adam Cornell and Ferdinand being denied by two great saves by the keeper.

They looked to be holding their own until Tallentire started to make changes. Robins lost their shape, passes went astray and it became clear that most of the replacements were not in the same class as those they had replaced.

Bracknell then conceded two goals in the space of five minutes through Ben Wright before Cornell did find the net to make it 4-2 in the 65th minute.

Charlie McCann added Basingstoke’s fifth while Callum Whitty, one of several substitutes used in the second half, completed the scoring for the hosts in the 85th minute from a chance set up by Jamie McClurg.

But Bracknell returned to winning ways by defeating Southern League side Chalfont St Peter 4-2 at home on Tuesday.

They conceded a sixth-minute goal to Jake Cass from a free-kick, but Cornell equalised on 33 minutes and three minutes later he headed in a Seb Bowerman cross to make it 2-1. Soon afterwards, he had the ball in the net again, only to be ruled offside.

Ferdinand also struck twice, in the 47th and 67th minutes, with Craig Manderson pulling one back after 72 minutes.

Robins had Khalid Senussi carried off just before the final whistle with a leg injury and he was taken to hospital for a check-up.

Bracknell, who won 3-1 at Holyport in a friendly last Thursday with Jon Bennett (2) and Khalid Senussi the men on target, complete their pre-season fixtures by taking on Evo-Stik Southern East League side Uxbridge at Larges Lane on Saturday (3pm).

Robins then kick-off their Hellenic League fixtures next Tuesday (7.45pm) against neighbours Ascot United.

“It’s against decent sides like these that you find things out about your players and the team,” said Tallentire.

“These games are all about gearing up for next Tuesday when we play our first league game.”