BRACKNELL TOWN displayed strength and quality as they came agonisingly close to earning a replay against League One Cambridge United in the FA Cup first-round.
More than 3,000 fans turned out at the Abbey Stadium to watch the tie as Southern League Premier South side Bracknell looked to cause a cup shock, with 94 places separating the teams in the football pyramid.
Cambridge United v Bracknell Town Pictures: John Leakey
But it was the U’s who scored the first goal of the game with 23 minutes on the clock when Fejiri Okenabirhie played a neat one, two to turn his marker before he dispatched the ball into the net via the underside of the crossbar.
The second-half started in disastrous fashion for the away side as Olukayode Osu was robbed of possession in his own box and despite goalkeeper Michael Eacott’s best efforts to claw the ball off the line, the ball scuttled over the line to double Cambridge’s lead.
With a chance to reduce the deficit, Bracknell were denied a strong penalty shout after Zeno Isben Rossi’s challenge on Ben Harris was waved away by the referee.
However, Bracknell didn’t let that phase them and staged a late fightback which was ignited in the 88th minute when Max Herbert drove down the left and fired in a superb delivery for Ben Harris to convert from close range.
Cambridge managed to hold out to avoid having to take the game to a replay having been given a scare by their non league opponents.
Cambridge United: Stevens, Bennett, Morrison, Bennett, Andrew, May, Cousins, Digby, Kaikai, Okenabirhie, Gordon
Subs: Brophy, Thomas, Lankester, Okedina, Rossi, Janneh, Haunstrup, Simper, Mannion
Bracknell Town: Eacott, Tack, Osu, Harrison, Legg, Jackson, Herbert, Lodge, Grant, Esprit, English
Subs: Harris, Gurteen, Owusu, Holland, Burden, Fraser, Vaughan, George, Richards
Goals: Okenabirhie 27’, Osu 48’ (og), Harris 88’