Game 13: Sandhurst Town 0.2 Old Bradwell United (Berks & Bucks Senior Trophy) 09.02.2019
This game caught my eye a few weeks ago in the Non League Paper as it featured two teams at different levels and in different leagues in a cup semi-final. Sandhurst are currently mid table in the Combined Counties Division 1 (Step 6) while Old Bradwell United are fourth in the South Midlands Division 2 (Step 7). The heavy rain over the last 24 hours saw many games postponed but Sandhurst managed to get this game on after some work on the pitch. Alan and I arrived in plenty of time so we could get to our plan B option so spent an hour catching up in the clubhouse over some drinks.
Old Bradwell United took the lead very early in the game. They pressed forward from the kick off and after only three minutes a low cross-shot from the edge of the area beat the home keeper and nestled into the corner of the net. The visitors kept up the pressure and came close with a couple of chances in front of their travelling supporters. The home side started to settle and won a couple of corners that didn’t come to much. On the half hour the Sandhurst keeper acted as a sweeper to try and clear the ball but was beaten to it by an Old Bradwell player. He couldn’t get the ball past the keeper to take a shot and the ball was cleared. Sandhurst had the next chance from one of their long throws. When the ball landed in the area one of their players took a stab at it but poked the ball wide. They had an even better chance after 36 minutes when a player running away from goal towards the ball was tripped in the area. The referee awarded a penalty but the visiting keeper stood tall and then guessed correctly, diving to his right to tip the ball around the post. Just before halftime Sandhurst managed to get the ball in the net but the assistant had already flagged for offside.
The second half saw the home keeper creating another chance for the visitors when he cleared the ball straight to an Old Bradwell player. The Old Bradwell player took aim and fired a shot over the keeper’s head only to see it crash off the bar and out. Old Bradwell had a chance to extend their lead but an unmarked player headed wide from close range. Sandhurst made a change and their substitute almost created an equaliser with his first touches of the ball. He ran with pace through the centre of midfield and crossed the ball low from the right hoping to set up a team mate. Old Bradwell’s covering defender reacted the quickest and managed to clear the ball before a Sandhurst player could reach it.
Old Bradwell broke away and their speedy number eleven took the ball through the Sandhurst defence and chipped the keeper, only to see the ball bounce off the bar. With his next run he reached the edge of the area and crossed the ball past the keeper. A home defender slid in to try and block it from reaching an opponent but only managed to take the ball into the back of the net with him. The visiting fans celebrated with a one man pitch invader joining the blue shirted players in their celebrations. The Sandhurst bench tried to lift their team by saying that one goal would get them right back in it but time was running out and their only chance before the final whistle saw the ball fly well wide.