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A new name will be placed on the Berks & Bucks County Cup after Bracknell Town defeated holders Chesham Utd on penalties at Beaconsfield SYCOB F.C. on Sunday evening.
It was reward for a brave performance by the Southern Region League team against higher ranked opponents who had dominated play for much of the match but were unable to find the finishing touch to many dangerous attacks. Chesham missed their first three attempts from the spot which meant that Town's third successful conversion was decisive.
The first forty five minutes were closely contested with chances at a premium. Chesham goalkeeper Michelle Elrick had to dive to clear a dangerous through ball into touch on 21 minutes and Chesham failed to convert two good shooting chances from close in after a corner, but two well organised defences had been on top.
The introduction of Dawne Campbell after 58 minutes gave Chesham more options up front. Kat Bowers started to find space out on the right and the chances started to occur for the South West Combination side. Bracknell defender Dawn Campbell headed a dangerous cross away from under the bar and Campbell just failed to connect with a diving header from another Bowers cross. The same player burst clear a minute later but shot wide as Bracknell keeper Sam Holloway advanced.
Bracknell found it difficult to mount sustained pressure but Elly Maggs went on a fine solo run, ending with a shot just wide and Tracy Corkett shot over the bar on 81 minutes. Justine Haw went close for Chesham as the tie moved inevitably towards extra time.
During the extra period, Shantell Woodward curled a 25-yard free kick inches wide on 113 minutes and Bowers hit a difficult volley just over as Chesham continued to pile on the pressure but could not find a winner before the 120 minutes were up. Chesham had played well throughout the last hour of the match but just failed to convert several good opportunities.
Bracknell's win was based on outstanding defensive work from the back four, Dawn and Emily Campbell, Tash Boyle and captain Angie Barton helped out by midfielders Jen Patterson and Ali Pankhurst with the experience of Sam Holloway behind them. However, all 14 players used worked incredibly hard to earn their penalty shootout chance and Angie Barton lifted the Cup to the song of 'Happy Birthday' and champagne flowed for Bracknell Town players, management and supporters.
Bracknell Town: Sam Holloway, Emily Campbell, Dawn Campbell, Tash Boyle, Angela Barton, Jen Patterson, Elly Maggs, Tracy Corkett, Michelle Turner, Jen Friar, Ali Pankhurst. Subs: Sarah Cox, Sue Bowen, Emma Turner, Tracey Beales, Kim Lockyer.
Chesham Utd: Michelle Elrick, Diane Killey, Justine Haw, Katie Milton, Cath Andrews, Tash Sandalls, Shantell Woodward, Amy Fisher, Kate Bowers, Anneka Nuttall, Sian Williams. Subs: Dawne Campbell, Alex Rogers, Katie McGloin, Kayce Garcia, Selina Khakee.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
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