Old Bradwell United 1-3 Highworth Town
By Mike Markham
An then there were ten!
The Reserves travelled the long trek to Milton Keynes to face Division Two East side, Old Broadwell United Dev in the Bluefin Sports Supplementary Cup. In windy conditions and the pitch in a shocking state this didn’t have the makings of a classic. With several missing through work commitments and two with the first team, the Reserves were down to the bare bones with Leon Summers in from the Development team and Will Davidson on the bench after signing in the week.
Highworth started well, playing some nice stuff considering the pitch and Clint Lomax forced the opposition keeper into a decent save from 15 yards out. Max Slinn also going close with a free kick from the edge of the box.
With Highworth pretty much dominating the ball, it was no surprise that they took the lead midway through the first half when Harry Ayres fired in from a tight angle. With half time approaching Johny Holland was finally called in to action. Tipping over a Bradwell effort from 25 yards out. This was the last action of the first period and the Worthians went into the break a goal up.
The team talk was on the emphasis that we were still playing within ourselves and that if we could just step it up a bit we could kill the game off.
The second half started pretty much in that vein as we again controlled the game with Aaron Dale blasting a couple of efforts over. With the second half barely 10 minutes old, Max Slinn skipped past two defenders before curling a shot into the top corner with the opposition keeper rooted to the spot.
Not long later and it was 3-0 after some good football down the right, ended with Harry Ayres squaring the ball for fellow wing back Billy Aldrich to tap home from 6 yards. This seemed to spur the opposition on and it took a fine save from Holland at the near post to keep it at 3-0.
With 20 minutes left, Holland came for a cross but not catching his punch properly it dropped to the Bradwell number 8 who volleyed the ball back towards the empty net and an eventful day saw Ayres given his marching orders for tipping the ball over the bar.
Now down to 10 men and with Bradwell pulling one back from the resulting penalty, it was going to be a case of shutting up shop.
Reverting to 4-4-1 for the last 20 minutes with skipper Liam Haines and assistant manager Ross Adams marshalling the back four, we were never really troubled again and with Will Davidson making a solid debut as he filled in a right back.
The Ressies progressed to the next round with a 3-1 away victory. Credit to the lads who came in and have caused a selection headache for the management team with lots of players returning next week.