Willen – 2
Maidenhead Town Reserves – 4
Maidenhead Town Reserves won the Berks & Bucks Junior County Cup on Saturday at Bracknell with a win over Willen in a pulsating cup tie that had everything, twice they took the lead only to be pinned back, two penalties, open goals that were missed, and once the team in blue took the lead for the third time with eighteen minutes remaining their opponents tried as best they could to find another way back, but with the clock ticking down a late corner saw the keeper advance to add numbers in the box but the clearance sent long saw a mis placed pass in the Buckinghamshire sides half twinned with the shot stopper out of his area leave Town with a simple fourth to kill the game off.
Willen had the first chance just two minutes in when Adam Booth was released down the right and sprinted away from his marker, reaching the edge of the area he drove low at the target but Town custodian Alistair Passey got enough of a block to allow a defender to clear, a free kick at the other end taken quickly saw Darryl Wearn in behind and as he put the ball through the advancing keeper Adam Wheeler’s legs towards the empty net, Jack Whitehead was heading towards the six-yard box where he managed to clear. The Milton Keynes side then went close again when Paul Edgeworth flashed across goal and wide of the far upright, their opponents did the same through Jonathon Palmer-Smith ahead of a glancing header from Wearn that bounced past the post.
An in swinger from the wing saw Passey go up against Booth whose looping header looked to be going in until Maidenhead skipper Phil Lowe headed over his own bar, a Willen free kick some twenty-yards out saw Lewis Smith go for glory forcing Passey down low at the foot of his post to save, closely followed by a deep cross that Edgeworth headed down and again the keeper did well to get something on it to turn over his frame. Just past the half hour mark a clever pass through the middle saw Clarke Abrams through on goal however a defender on his shoulder managed to get a slight block to divert for a corner, at the opposite end a deft lob over the red backline saw Aaron Keenan try to lift over Wheeler however there was never enough pace to trouble the shot stopper.
The Berkshire side took the lead on thirty-eight minutes through Wearn, set free on goal down the middle he waited until Wheeler advanced before absolutely smashing home, moments after going behind Willen conceded possession in their own half allowing Wearn down the right where his low drive was straight at Wheeler, a throw along the eighteen yard line saw a Cameron Netherwood-Meek swivel to dink over everyone but land on top of the netting, from the restart Booth was released down the flank and his shot from distance saw a flying save from Passey diving away to his left, another ball dinked over the blue defence saw Booth denied again by an outstretched boot, although it just wouldn’t come down quick enough for him to connect properly. H/T: 0-1
An early chance of an equaliser was spurned when a pass laid back to Lewis Hopkinson was lifted over the top, but just four minutes in his side were awarded a penalty when Booth was fouled inside the area and Smith almost broke the net with the power despatching it past Passey. Moments after the equaliser the ball was in the back of the net again however Booth was clearly offside & then on the hour mark Town regained their lead following an attack that was cleared in the box, as it went out for a throw for which most of the players on the pitch prepared for the assistant on the far side was noticed to be flagging furiously and once the referee went over to consult he blew his whistle and pointed to the spot, much to the disgust of those in red.
After the protests died down Bell despatched the spot kick to restore the Maidenhead lead, just four minutes later they missed a chance of going further ahead when sloppy defending saw Willen give the ball to Wearn with Wheeler out of his box trying to help his defence he could only pull his shot from twenty yards wide of the nearest upright, parity was restored mid-way through the half when a corner curled towards the near stick saw Jason Pinnock rise to it first to knock inside the post. Jed Chapman almost gave his side the lead for the first time in the contest when he collected on the edge of the area, sensing a challenge coming in he turned the defender before dragging wide, Booth was next to try getting down the right channel but could only fire into the side netting.
Maidenhead retook the lead on seventy-two minutes when a free kick out on the wing almost on the half-way line was floated in and as a mass of bodies all challenged it was headed back across goal to Scott Cooper who rolled into the empty net. Willen from there simply couldn’t find a third leveller, a late chance for Booth saw him sent down the middle of the pitch but Passey advanced to meet the striker and got enough of a block to loop the ball over the top for a corner, the collision resulting in the front man having to go off injured, the set piece was cleared long which the red defence tried one too many passes only to give it to Wearn who fed Adrian Manez to go round the retreating Wheeler and seal the game. F/T: 2-4
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