HAVING seen Abingdon United win 4-2 at Highworth last Wednesday after losing to the Hellenic League Premier Division leaders themselves earlier in the month, Bracknell Town must have thought they were in for a tough fight at Northcourt Road on Saturday, writes Dave Wright.

But it just didn’t happen. The Robins were outstanding, totally dominating the game and running out the emphatic 5-0 winners with one of their most impressive away performances of the season.

Once again, joint-managers Jeff Lamb and Paul McGrotty made changes to their line-up and formation. TJ Bohane was up front by himself with leading scorer Adam Cornell, Jon Bennett, who had scored twice the previous week, and Kensley Maloney, their late goal scorer in the 1-0 Floodlit Cup win at Ardley on Tuesday last week, all on the bench.

In a rather surprise move, centre-back Joe Gater was switched to a defensive midfield role, but immediately settled into it and played as though he had done the job before. To crown a good day, he also scored an excellent goal.

Despite the incessant morning rain, the pitch lived up to its reputation of being one of the best in the league.

The surface certainly suited the Robins as right from the kick-off they launched incessant attacks on the home goal, with Seb Bowerman missing an early chance when clean through.

So it came as no surprise when they took a 17th-minute lead. Jamie McClurg, having been fouled himself out on the left, fired over one of his customary dangerous free-kicks into the area which Carl Withers flicked on towards the far corner with Bohane making sure, and so being credited with the goal.

Town doubled their lead just after the half-hour mark. Bowerman was brought down by Joe Green as he weaved his way into the box and picked himself up to score from the spot.

Soon afterwards, Joe Grant and Bohane set up McClurg, who fired low into the net, but, unfortunately, was ruled offside by a linesman. It looked a very close call.

Helped at times by Abingdon’s reluctance to close them down, the visitors continued to dominate in the second half, but had a let-off when Abingdon’s Luke McCormack shot wide of an open goal after keeper Chris Grace had allowed the ball to slip from his grasp.

But apart from one other chance, when Justin Clayton raced back to deny Dejon Noell-Williams a clear shot on goal, Town’s defence never came under any serious pressure.

That allowed Gater to push up field and in the 62nd minute he lashed the ball through a crowed goalmouth to find the back of the net.

Three minutes later it became 4-0 with McClurg’s quickly-taken free-kick finding Bohane, who from outside the area hammered the ball home with the help of a deflection.

Town made three substitutions in quick succession with Bowerman, Withers and Bohane giving way to Khalid Senussi, Bennett and Cornell.

Senussi sent a shot wide from distance before Bracknell scored their fifth in the 85th minute.

Abingdon keeper Eddie Cavanagh made a poor clearance towards the centre circle, from where the quick-thinking Grant lobbed it straight back over him into an empty net to treat himself to an early 21st birthday present.

Bracknell, having played Slough in the Berks & Bucks Senior Cup last night (Tuesday), travel to Lydney on Saturday (3pm) to take on a side that crashed 8-0 at Thatcham last weekend after having two players sent off.

Then next Tuesday they visit Didcot Town Reserves in the Perpetua Press Floodlit Cup (7.45pm) with the winners facing a long trip to Longlevens in the quarter finals.