F/T: Fairford Town 0 Bracknell Town 2

TWO goals in the last five minutes secured three points for Bracknell Town against a determined Fairford Town side, who were unfortunate not to have taken a share of the spoils.

The home side produced one of their best performances of the campaign but were undone by an 87th minute penalty from Jamie McClurg and a neat finish by Adam Cornell.

Fairford had to play the second half with substitute keeper James Hemming, with regular stopper Ben Mitchell forced off just before the break with a dislocated finger.

The hosts carved out two early opportunities with Matt Boucher, operating at right-back, sending a fine through ball to top scorer Lee Smith but he was unable to find a way past Chris Grace in the visitors’ goal. Liam Gale then went through one on one but was denied by the saving Grace.

TJ Bohane then fired over 13 minutes into the contest after what had been a bright start from both sides before Cornell cannoned a free-kick over the bar. Fine defensive work from the home rear-guard then kept the score level. Keeper Ben Mitchell then made a string of excellent saves, several of them one on one, to retain parity but the hosts were dealt a blow before the break. Mitchell, making a stop from close range, dislocated a finger and was unable to continue with substitute ‘keeper Hemming stepping off the bench with two minutes remaining of the first period.

Half-time: Fairford Town 0 Bracknell Town 0

Gale’s pace took him away from the visitors’ defence after the hour but his left foot effort fizzed over with opportunities at a premium. Promotion-chasing Bracknell made a double change before Callum Preece was forced off injured for the home side, with midfielder Josh Hergest coming off the bench for his Fairford debut.

The game looked to be heading for a stalemate and a much-needed point, but an 86th minute penalty award for a foul right on the edge of the box by Josh Gregory saw the referee point to the spot. McClurg found the bottom corner to put his side in the ascendency with just minutes remaining.

The second goal was a breakaway with Cornell lifting a left-footed effort over Hemming as the hosts pressed for a leveller – putting the seal on another away win for promotion-chasing Bracknell.

It was a sucker-punch for Fairford, who had given it everything and held a side regarded by many as the best in the division for all but four minutes of an entertaining and competitive Hellenic Premier Division contest.

F/T: Fairford Town 0 Bracknell Town 2

Fairford Town: Mitchell (Hemming ’43); Boucher (Bevan ’88), Hawkins, Saunders, Thomas; Reynolds, Preece (Hergest ’67), Gregory, Bailey; Gale, Smith

Substitite not used: S Hall

Bracknell Town: Grace; Hancock, Parsons, Maloney, Gater, Davies, Grant, McClurg, Cornell, Bohane (Senussi ’69), Wheeler (Herbert ’74)

Substitutes not used: Smith, Legg, Withers

Attendance: 76

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