BRACKNELL Town found themselves in an unusual position of being without several regulars and then going a goal down on Saturday, writes Dave Wright.

But they dug deep and thanks to a couple of excellent strikes in the last 10 minutes emerged victorious by a 3-1 margin at Royal Wootton Bassett in their Hellenic League Premier Division tussle.

The Robins have won all of their three games so far without striking their best form, but this was tougher than the previous two against Ascot United and Cowes Sports.

They travelled down the M4 without suspended skipper Carl Davies, while Kensley Maloney and Khalid Senussi are both recovering from injury.

But in addition to that trio, vice-captain and influential midfielder Jamie McClurg, wide-man Joe Grant, full-back Rob Garrard and utility player Callum Whitty were all absent for various reasons.

Thank goodness goalkeeper Chris Grace’s wife of two days agreed to delay their honeymoon.

The once-retired Jonny Gray came into the defence, while there was a Hellenic League debut for 18-year- old midfielder Kane Fitzgerald, a new signing from the Sandhurst Town team that won the Allied Counties Premier League title last season.

Bracknell, having beaten the Wiltshire side twice by a 6-0 margin last season, took time to strike any sort of rhythm, but then Wootton Bassett were not much better with a squad boosted by five new signings last week.

However, the hosts had the more clear-cut chances, with Dave Coleman seeing his 25-yard free- kick sail over the bar and left-back Dale Richards sending a close-range header straight at Grace when he should have done better.

Bracknell, not finding it easy to push the ball around in their usual style on a deep grassy surface, pumped some long balls downfield, but must have been caught offside on at least six occasions.

But they were the faster side out of their blocks in the second half, with Seb Bowerman and Adam Cornell looking threatening, and were unlucky not have taken the lead.

Ferdinand fired a low cross which Cornell just couldn’t reach with the ball being turned away for a corner.

From Carl Withers’ flag-kick, George Short saw his header blocked on the line and moments later Cornell’s effort was deflected into the hands of debutant keeper Matt Bulman.

Soon afterwards, Ferdinand moved onto a ball from Bowerman (pictured) and created space for himself, only to shoot straight at the increasingly-busy Bulman.

But on 66 minutes Bracknell conceded their first goal of the season. Sam Packer took possession on the left and had time to fire over a perfect cross for the unmarked Ben Lodge to head past Grace from close range.

Robins, however, reacted in the best possible way, taking less than three minutes to equalise.

Cornell won possession and quickly threaded the ball over the defence to Bowerman, who coolly lobbed the advancing Bulman from 25 yards.

Bracknell had a let-off in the 78th minute when Packer struck the foot of the post and moments later Giorgio Wrona flashed a shot inches wide of Grace’s post.

But that was their last anxious moment, as Mark Tallentire’s men then struck the killer blow.

Dan Roberts, having replaced Fitzgerald, delivered a perfect corner to the far post, where Joe Gater side-footed the ball high into the net to give Town an 83rd-minute lead.

And two minutes later Bowerman played in Ferdinand, who created space for himself to slot past the keeper.

Bracknell now turn their attentions back to the FA Cup, with a preliminary round tie against Southern League side Winchester City at Larges Lane on Saturday.

Bracknell, along with other Hellenic League clubs, will be competing in the Berks & Bucks Senior Cup this season and they have been drawn at home to Evo Stick League side Aylesbury in the first round.