After six weeks without a game, and eight weeks without a home match at the New Windmill Ground, Brakes looked rusty this afternoon against Swindon Supermarine, many of whose players had at one time featured for Swindon at some level. Fortunately they were able to ride their luck and emerge as 3-1 winners.
Supermarine went 1-0 ahead after 8 minutes with an own goal which deflected in off the post leaving Chris Kiely with no chance. However, Brakes equalised three minutes later through the goal machine that is Mark Bellingham. Then a minute before the end of the half former Reading ace Guy Sanders ran to the crowd after he made it 2-1.
Brakes were under the cosh in the second half. They seemed unable to clear their lines or keep possession. A frisson ran through the crowd on 59 minutes when Mark Barnes was taken off in favour of former Fairford Town star, the one and only Ashley Edenborough. Attack after attack came from the visitors with the ball cleared off the line by a defender and hitting the crossbar. Stuart Herlihy replaced Richard Batchelor on 78 minutes.
Somehow or other Brakes managed to hang on and then in 91 minutes Luke Corbett put the game beyond doubt with a third goal. Corbett had earlier been rebuked by the young but effective referee with a shout of 'You're getting on my nerves, No.10'. There was still time for two late Brakes substitutions in the considerable amount of time added on.
I wasn't greatly impressed by the new signings, particularly Peter Faulds: given his Stratford connections, is he the son of former MP and Shakespearean actor Andrew Faulds? For me the stars of the show were Bello and Jacko, although the latter picked up a yellow card and at times looked in danger of being sent off. Kiely was also more assured in goal than usual.
Still, three points is three points, but there will have to be some sorting out before Brakes go to Chippenham on Tuesday.