BERKS & Bucks FA Under 18s were beaten 5-2 by Staffordshire in their FA County Youth Cup semi-final at Bracknell Town’s Larges Lane ground on Sunday, writes Dave Wright.

They finished the tie with nine men following late dismissals for Jeevan Panesar and Kai Stubbs – the two players who had scored their goals.

B&B made a dreadful start, conceding goals to Jordon Dodd after 10 minutes and Brad Sharman four minutes later, the latter coming with a superb strike from 28 yards high past keeper Matt Carr.

But they responded well and created three reasonable chances before opening their account on 22 minutes. Ethan Burden was brought down in the area to win a penalty.

Panesar’s spot kick was parried by keeper Jamie Pardington, but the Maidenhead United player followed up to score.

After losing Alfie Touceda with mild concussion following a clash of heads, the hosts finished the first half well and at half-time were very much in the game.

The boys in blue conceded again on 53 minutes with Sharman netting his second goal of the afternoon, but within four minutes an excellent strike from Stubbs made it 3-2.

The Highmoor Ibis boy then shot wide before a mistake in defence let in Dodd to restore the visitors’ two-goal advantage and substitute Liam Riley-Stewart made it 5-2 after 86 minutes.

These late goals added to B&B’s frustrations and that led to dismissals for Panesar and Stubbs, each being shown a second yellow card late on.

B&B had done well to get this far in the national competition, getting through four rounds with wins over London (5-2), Sussex (5-1), Cambridgeshire (4-0) and 2015-16 winners Liverpool (5-1).

The last time they reached the final was in 1946 when they defeated Durham 4-3 on aggregate following two legs played at Elm Park and Roker Park in Sunderland, where the crowd topped 11,400.