IT WAS a proud day for Brading Town Football Club — in its 150th anniversary year — as its first team won the Hampshire Intermediate Cup and its reserves finished as runners-up in the Hampshire Plate in back-to-back finals today (Saturday).
The Romans put Shanklin to the sword — the scoreline 4-0 after Shanklin were reduced to nine-men in a tumultuous second half for the Seasiders at Beatrice Avenue, East Cowes.
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But Brading were solid in all areas of the pitch. They defended superbly — snuffing out Shanklin attacks, led by the excellent Aaron Burford — were strong in the middle of the park, preventing the blues from playing their quality passing game, and up front, finishing their chances with aplomb.
Barry Calvert scored the first after 23 minutes — rolling a defender superbly before seeing his shot take a deflection that looped over the keeper.
After Wayne Newnham and Jason Smythers were sent off, Brading took full advantage of the extra two players with a ruthless display of finishing — the scorers being skipper Dan Vale, Oli Wilso, who scored within two minutes of coming on a sub, and a second from the excellent Calvert.
Brading chairman, Geoff Ruck, applauded his team’s performance.
“I am hugely proud of the boys. What a wonderful way to celebrate our club’s 150th anniversary,” he said.
In the other final, the Hampshire Plate, which kicked off at noon, Brading Reserves came up against Southampton side, Testlands — an unknown quantity in the region.
After going a goal down after only six minutes, Brading were under the cosh against a better side.
Belief should have been restored when Testlands went down to ten men — a player red-carded for an off the ball incident with more than two-thirds of the final remaining.
But Testlands continued as they were and played as if they had not lost a man.
When Testlands scored their second and with one shot registered, you could not see how they were going to get back into the game.
Ironically though, once Max Fallone was sent off for another off the ball incident, Brading started to play better and pulled one back through substitute Alex Boirand a minute into injury time.
Boirand almost equalised a minute later, but it was too little too late, losing 2-1.
Reports on both matches will appear on the County Press website tomorrow (Sunday), with more match action pictures from Paul Blackley.