Bracknell boss Jamie McClurg ‘choked’ as Cambridge progress in FA Cup

By Sports Desk November 04, 2023

Jamie McClurg said he was “choked” at Bracknell Town’s exit from the FA Cup at Sky Bet League One Cambridge following a 2-1 defeat.

The Southern League Premier Division South side were playing in the first round for the third time and looked set to be heading out following Fejiri Okenabirhie’s opener and Olukayode Osu’s own goal soon after half-time.

Joint manager McClurg was left ruing a penalty appeal which was turned down midway through the second half for a challenge on sub Ben Harris, whose goal two minutes from the end proved in vain.

“If it’s down the other end, it’s a penalty. That’s how I see it,” McClurg said afterwards.

“Ben’s gone through and he’s been taken from behind, it’s clear as day. Even the fourth official’s agreed with me and then changed his mind.

“We said we wanted a performance, and every single one of them has given us that. I’m extremely proud like Carl (Withers, his fellow joint manager) is and all the management team.

“I am choked about a couple of decisions, the goals, the penalty, there’s a chance at the end. I’m actually really choked about things but I’m so proud of the lads.

“Football comes down to moments. I want to focus on all the lads and what they gave us, all the efforts that have gone into this, but I really thought this would be the time that Bracknell got into the second round so I’m quite emotional about it.

“I’m sure the whole town is proud of what of what we’ve achieved. I felt it was there for us today, but that’s football.”

Cambridge boss Mark Bonner felt his side had nearly thrown the victory away despite looking comfortable at 2-0 up.

“If you want the magic of the cup you’ve got to get through the first few rounds, so we’re pleased to have done that, but the second half was ridiculous,” Bonner said.

“The way the game finished was ridiculous as well. We got away with one, really.

“They had chances to do it and they’ll think they should have done it. They probably should have done in the end because we gave them so many moments.

“We were really comfortable up to the second goal. Obviously we had lots of the ball, created lots of chances, could be a bit more clinical, but we were happy enough with the first half.

“In the second half we get an early goal and you just say ‘right, let the game roll away from them and take the game,’ but we got scruffy and scrappy.

“Every time we made changes we kept getting worse, so it was a horrible end, but just get through and have the opportunity to play another game.”

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