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Premier Division Bottom Places - 23 March

What's likely to be the final positions at the bottom of the Premier Division at the end of the season? Darell Freeland provides his opinion, based on a Bracknell Town viewpoint.

Bracknell Town’s defeat of Highmoor Ibis this past Saturday meant that Abingdon United became the first team officially relegated from the Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division.

In addition, the gap between the Robins and the relegation zone (bottom four) has increased to six points with Mark Tallentire’s side bettering the results of other teams around them in the battle to avoid the drop.

With eight games remaining for us, we thought this would be a great time to apprise everybody of the current standings.

Results this past weekend concerning teams in the relegation battle:

Ardley United 0 v 3 Kidlington
Brackley Town Saints 1 v 1 Thame United
Highmoor Ibis 1 v 2 Bracknell Town
Milton United 2 v 5 Longlevens AFC
Tuffley Rovers 2 v 2 Flackwell Heath

Wokingham & Emmbrook played a cup match whilst Abingdon were without a fixture.

The current bottom of the table reads:

Pos Team PL GD PTS
13 Royal Wootton Bassett Town 34 -29 41
14 Ardley United 33 -21 35
15 Brackley Town Saints 35 -23 35
16 Bracknell Town 30 -12 32
17 Milton United 35 -41 26
18 Tuffley Rovers 30 -21 25
19 Abingdon United (R) 35 -62 21
20 Wokingham & Emmbrook 30 -60 9

Nineteenth place Abingdon can still get to thirty points but knew that a Robins victory over Highmoor moved us to 32 points and a total that United could not catch and that proved to be the case.

Basement side W&E can still get to 33 points and are not officially relegated yet but it’s an almost foregone conclusion. For the Sumas to avoid the drop, they would need to win all eight of their remaining matches (having only won twice all season) and for the Robins not to pick up a single point from our last eight matches. Mathematically possible but I won’t be betting on it.

Seventeenth place Milton United look most likely to join the other two in making the drop. Currently six points behind Bracknell with only three matches remaining. Even maximum points for United would probably not be enough to save them with the Robins needing just four points to condemn Milton to the drop. That is assuming of course that Milton pick up maximum points.

Eighteenth place Tuffley Rovers are most likely to mount a campaign to climb above Bracknell but their fight suffered a bitter blow losing 6-1 at home to the Robins. With new manager Shayne Bradley at the helm and new players joined with more possibly on the way, they can still earn 24 more points and are currently seven points behind us. This past weekend they trailed Flackwell Heath at half time before two goals in a minute put them 2-1 up only to see Heath salvage a point with a stoppage time penalty. Rovers do still have to play Kidlington twice as well as Thatcham Town but they certainly have plenty of winnable matches.

Fourteenth place Ardley United and fifteenth place Brackley Town Saints currently have 35 points and are three ahead of the Robins. Currently ten points ahead of Tuffley, both will probably feel safe enough but they would certainly like to get more points on the board.It’s more pressing for the Saints who only have three more matches to play. Both United and Saints could be overtaken by Bracknell and Tuffley so it’s not a done deal yet.

For ourselves, we host Brimscombe & Thrupp on Saturday whilst Ardley and Brackley do not have a league match this midweek or on Saturday so if we can secure three points that would move us above both Ardley & Brackley.

The most important thing for us is to pay close attention to Tuffley Rovers and ensure we stay above them. As long as we do that we will be safe and avoid the drop but we could conceivably finish above Ardley and Brackley too.

 

Crucial Game For Both Teams - 11March

Bracknell Town travel west tomorrow to face Tuffley Rovers in what can surely be classed as the biggest match so far this season for both sides.

darell freeland hellenic league footballDarrell Freeland comments." The Robins are currently in 17th place with Rovers sat in 18th place or to put it another way fourth and third bottom respectively. Both sides have eleven league matches remaining. Milton United are currently in 16th place, one point above Bracknell but having played six games more so it really does look like a straight dogfight between Town and Rovers to see which side finishes just above the bottom four and which side finishes in the last relegation place."

"Rovers visited Larges Lane in December and the match ended in a 0-0 draw despite both teams going close to scoring. Twice, Bracknell cleared shots off the line whilst Adam Cornell, Seb Bowerman and Callum Whitty all had chances to find the back of the net."

 

Leapfrogging Possible – 13 November

Nineteenth placed Bracknell Town travel to Ardley United tomorrow knowing victory over their relegation rivals could see them leapfrog United and climb to seventeenth place – maybe putting them just one point from climbing out of the relegation zone.

It’s a far cry from last term with United finishing eighth and the Robins ninth in the Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division. Both sides have changed managers though as they seek to arrest the decline and start to move back up once again.

The Robins travelled to Ardley in November last season too and came away with a fantastic 3-2 win. The sides were deadlocked at two each with Scott Drummond-Bayne and Sam Whiting scoring for us before Shane Cooper-Clark was sent off with 30 minutes still to play. Despite being a man down, Jake White struck a last minute winner to send the ten men home happy. The return fixture at Larges Lane near the end of the season saw United run out 1-0 victors. It was the same 1-0 score which earned Ardley victory at Larges Lane and three valuable points in August this season too.

United have not won in the league since the end of September but have faced some very good sides in Thatcham Town, Kidlington and Highworth Town. They have two cup wins to their name in that period defeating both Hook Norton and New College Swindon both in the Perpetua Press Floodlit Cup.

Goal keeper Kieran Beesley is one Ardley player to watch.  With Didcot Town last season, having played in goal for their first team, reserves and youth team during a three season involvement with the Railwaymen. It’s been tough for Beesley conceding seventeen goals in the last five league matches. If the new look Robins click tomorrow, Beesley could be called into action.

For Bracknell Jamie McClurg, Ed Chappe and Johnnie Dyer all signed this week with the latter making his debut in Tuesday’s 2-0 defeat at the hands of Royal Wootton Bassett Town in the Bluefin Sports Challenge Cup.

Callum Whitty and Dave Fenton both made their debuts after re-signing whilst Danny Oliphant came off the subs bench.

 

Bassett First Home Opposition For Tallentire - 10 November

Mark Tallentire is back at Larges Lane tonight for a first home match since being appointed manager of Bracknell Town for a second time.

Royal Wootton Bassett Town are the visitors in the Bluefin Sports Challenge Cup 2nd Round fixture. It’s a great recent record for the Robins who are unbeaten against Bassett since joining the Uhlsport Hellenic League.

Darrell Freeland comments. “We’ve met once already this year as we knocked RWBT out of the Emirates FA Cup this season with two Shane Cooper-Clark goals giving us a 2-0 victory. Last season was a 5-0 win for us in Wiltshire. Cooper-Clark struck twice with Adam Cornell, Ryan Coupland and Jordan Rowland also finding the net in a 5-0 victory. The reverse match in Berkshire was a 2-2 draw. Cooper-Clark struck twice on that day but the visitors scored twice in stoppage time to salvage a 2-2 draw. In 2013-14, the opening day of the season as Larges Lane saw a 4-1 victory Sam Barratt, Joel Davidson, Ben Knight and Garry Sargeant all scored whilst Barratt struck a solitary goal to earn a 1-0 win in the reverse fixture in Wiltshire. 2010-11 was our first season in the league and it was one win and a draw for the Robins. Neil Hansen and two Sam Whiting goals gave us a 3-0 win at Larges Lane whilst Tom Nugent scored in the reverse fixture where it ended 1-1. RWBT do hold a famous victory over us though. In 2007 and despite a two division gap (Robins were Southern League side, Bassett were Hellenic Division One West) we were knocked out of the FA Cup following a 2-1 loss.”

Four wins and four draws in their last eight league and cup matches but the defeats have all been in challenging matches. Bassett are able to call upon the services of Stephen Robertson who leads the way with eighteen goals in all competitions as his two goals this past weekend moved him back to the head of the scoring charts.

Freeland continues. “Carl Davies, Dave Fenton, Danny Oliphant, James Suarez and Callum Whitty make it five new faces signed so far that I know of and all are eligible for tonight’s match. We can expect further signings in due course as Tally sets about strengthening the squad but he has suffered a massive blow with talismanic striker Shane Cooper-Clark deciding to leave and join title chasing side Thatcham Town.

 

Shane Cooper-Clark hellenic league footballPlayer Movements In & Out Of Bracknell - 9 November

Bracknell Town’s leading goalscorer Shane Cooper-Clark (pictured) has decided to move on, to Uhlsport Hellenic League counterparts Thatcham Town.

He was the subject of a seven day approach from Thatcham Town – who saw their forward Marcus Mealing rejoin Marlow – and has decided the time is right for him to seek pastures new.

Cooper-Clark has previously turned down a host of approaches from Hellenic and Southern League clubs. The club are sorry to see Shane go but would like to thank him for his level of commitment and effort for the club over the past three and a half seasons and wish him all the best for the future.

However Bracknell announce new signings of James Suarez, Callum Whitty and Carl Davies who have all signed from Burnham.

Suarez and Whitty have both previously played for the Robins while Davies counts Woodley Town, Binfield and Hungerford Town amongst his former clubs.

The club are pleased to announce the signing of defender Dave Fenton, who has just moved back to the area. ‘Fenners’ has previous experience at Larges Lane after breaking into the first team under Alan Taylor.

 

County Cup Game - 2 November

Spartan South Midlands League side Holmer Green entertain Bracknell Town in the BBFA County Senior Trophy as tomorrow night.

We’ve played in the Senior Trophy four times in recent history losing at the first hurdle each time. Following our relegation to the Uhlsport Hellenic League we lost 1-0 to Flackwell Heath in the 2010-11 season in a match which saw Junior Arquimbau red carded. 2011-12 was the turn of Abingdon Town to knock us out 4-3 with Sam Barratt, Alex Eastman and Elliott Rushforth scoring our goals. 2012-13 was our one year in Division One East so we were in the BBFA County Intermediate Cup where we lost to Aston Clinton 2-0 in the semi-finals who went on to lose in the final to Pitstone & Ivinghoe.

Following promotion back to the Hellenic League Premier Division, it was back in the BBFA County Senior Trophy in 2013-14 and Reading Town beat us 1-0 when Graham Lewis converted a penalty conceded by Harry Brown. Last season it was Flackwell Heath who once again beat us. This is time it was 2-2 with goals from Lewis Burn and Jake White not enough on the night. Incidentally, each team that defeated us went on to lose in the final with Flackwell Heath losing to Newport Pagnell Town on penalties in 2010-11 and Abington Town losing to Binfield a year later also on penalties. Windsor have won the last two finals beating Reading Town 3-0 in 2013-14 and then Flackwell Heath last year in a thrilling final winning 3-2 after extra time. Throw in Aston Clinton’s final loss too and that’s the runner up in the last five years who have knocked us out.

Mark Tallentire’s first game in charge ended in defeat on Saturday as home side Longlevens saw us off 3-1, so a win is awaited. Jake White misses tomorrow night as he serves the second of his three match suspension

 

Mark Tallentire hellenic league footballTallentire's First In Charge - 30 October

New manager Mark Tallentire leads his side for the first time tomorrow as Bracknell Town travel into the unknown to face an opponent they have never played before.

‘Tally’ was appointed on Monday evening but first team coach Lee Simpson led the team on Tuesday night as a brace from Shane Cooper-Clark and another from Dan Money gave the Robins a 3-1 victory away at Abingdon United.

This weekend sees Gloucester based Longlevens entertain Tallentire’s side and it’s a first ever encounter between the two teams. Impressive in winning the Uhlsport Hellenic League Division One West title last year, Levens have made a good start to life in the top division currently fairing best of all five promoted sides. It’s eight wins, eight defeats and one draw in their seventeen league matches to see them comfortably sat on 25 points in eleventh place. Six of their eight wins have come at home so Tallentire can expect a tough match for his opener.

Callum Whitty has joined Bracknell from Burnham whilst Marvin Niyee has also signed to become Tallentire’s first two signings. The rest of his squad will come from existing players with a welcome return for Tom Nugent who made his 100th first team appearance in Tuesday’s win.

Bracknell Town from: Garry Aulsberry, Laymar Clibbon, Michael Watson, Jake White, George Lock, Elliott Garrington, Gareth Brown, Luke Hanley, Andre Kelly, Callum Whitty, Dan Money, Dan Ridge, Ryan Coupland, Martin Bradshaw, Matt Bradshaw, Sean Hanley, Shane Cooper-Clark, George Brazier, Marvin Niyee.

 

Management Change At Larges Lane - 27 October

Keith Pennicott-Bowen hellenic  leagueThe Board of Directors at Bracknell Town announce that the club has parted ways with first team manager Keith Pennicott-Bowen (pictured right). ‘Bowes’ took over from Ed Carpenter one year ago and guided the Robins to their highest ever Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division placing (ninth place). Unfortunately, despite good cup results this season, league points have been hard to come by and the club is currently in nineteenth place on seven points and is now seven points from safety.

Chairman Chris Day said “’Bowes’ has been a pleasure to work with and we wish him all the very best for the future. He is a fantastic coach but we feel a change of manager will see us move up the table and create a buzz once again around Larges Lane”.

Mark Tallentire hellenic league footballFollowing the announcement concerning Keith Pennicott-Bowen, the Board of Directors at Bracknell Town announced that Mark Tallentire (left) has returned to Larges Lane.

‘Tally’ is well known at Larges Lane having previously been a player, assistant manager and manager before he enjoyed a successful spell in the managerial seat at Binfield.

Tallentire played for the club when Steve McClurg was manager and then under Nicky Collier. Having run the all-conquering Sunday league side Winter Royals, Tallentire and his brother Clive took over the first team reigns to jointly manage the Robins in the summer before the 1999-00 campaign.

After a year consolidating whilst rebuilding the team, the 2000-01 season saw the team start in unstoppable fashion. A great FA Cup run culminated with the clubs most famous moment – reaching the first round proper of the FA Cup and an away day at League Two side Lincoln City. 500 people rocked Sincil Bank to cheer on the Robins who lost 4-0 but equipped themselves well. It was always going to be a tough ask but having scored in seventeen consecutive matches, confidence was not as issue. The resulting fixture congestion caused by the famous cup run and inclement weather that followed left the side with too much to do and they finished eighth.

The Tallentires stepped down at the end of the season although Tally later re-joined the cub as assistant to Alan Taylor. During his time as Taylor’s assistant, a 40 something Tally came on as sub in a league match against Paulton Rovers where he duly scored from 30 yards and promptly ran over to and jumped the fence to leap into the crowd.

Upon returning to the field of play, he was duly booked before telling the referee “Last time I scored you could do that without getting booked”.

A six year managerial spell at Binfield then followed which coincided with the Moles most successful period.

On the appointment of Tally, club chairman Chris Day said “Mark Tallentire is a proven manager at this level of football and is exactly what we need. He matches the ambition of the club and we hope his appointment generates a positive buzz around the club and can drive up attendances”.

First team coach Lee Simpson is in charge tonight as Abingdon United host Bracknell Town in a big match between teams at the wrong end of the table. Points have been hard to come by and it is currently nineteenth place for the Robins who have one win and four draws from their thirteen matches.

United had a massive win this past weekend which saw them climb to fourteen points and more importantly move them out of the relegation zone.

Shane Cooper-Clark missed Saturday’s loss at home to Highmoor so will be rated 50/50 for tonight at best. New signing Gareth Brown made his debut in place of the missing Andre Kelly so the former Basingstoke Town, Hungerford Town and Thatcham Town man will be hoping to keep his place.

Bracknell Town from: Garry Aulsberry, Laymar Clibbon, Michael Watson, Jake White, George Lock, Elliott Garrington, Gareth Brown, Luke Hanley, Andre Kelly, Dan Money, Adam Kennedy, Dan Ridge, Ryan Coupland, Martin Bradshaw, Matt Bradshaw, Sean Hanley, Shane Cooper-Clark, George Brazier.

Return To League Competition - 16 October

With four of their last six matches being in cup competitions, it is a welcome return to the Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division as Bracknell Town entertain Lydney Town.

There’s only one previous encounter when the Robins made the long journey in the 2011-12 season and were on the wrong end of a 5-1 thrashing in the Bluefin Insurance Brokers Challenge Cup Second Round. Louis Wilson scored the only goal in what was a dismal campaign that saw us finish bottom and get relegated.

Lydney have settled into life in the top tier well and are currently in 13th place with sixteen points. Their record is symmetrical with four each of wins, draws and losses from their twelve matches.

Garry Aulsberry, Andre Kelly and Martin Bradshaw all return to the squad having sat out Tuesday’s cup match.

Bracknell Town from: Garry Aulsberry, Jake White, Michael Watson, Elliott Garrington, George Lock, Andre Kelly, Luke Hanley, Dan Ridge, Dan Money, Ryan Coupland, Ben Hall, Kennie Chamberlain, Martin Bradshaw, Shane Cooper-Clark, Sean Hanley.

 

bluefin Sport InsuranceBluefin Sport Contest - 25 September

Chinnor are the visitors at Larges Lane tomorrow when they face Bracknell Town in the Bluefin Sport Hellenic Challenge Cup 1st Round.

The clubs have met three times in the past with two of those being Uhlsport Hellenic League Division One East fixtures in the 2012-13 season. Two of those were drawn league games and the other saw Bracknell exit the Floodlit Cup last year.

It has definitely been a mixed start this season for both clubs. With two wins and three defeats in their five league matches for Chinnor who also fell at the first hurdle in both the Emirates FA Cup and FA Vase. With Bracknell only managing to secure five points from a possible twenty-four in league competition. Though they fared well in the Emirates FA Cup going out on September 12 at Southern League Shortwood United in a close game, ans still remain in the FA Vase.

John McMahon is a Chinnor player The Robins will be conscious of. An experience centre forward who has played at higher levels. He is comfortable on the ball and has scored four times this season. He was leading scorer last season too with 25 goals in 31 appearances.

For Bracknell Mike Lokwa returns to the squad following his injury absence although Andre Kelly misses out having gone off injured Tuesday evening. Davidson Mendes-Borges is included in the squad for the first time with his International Clearance having come through on Monday.

Bracknell Town from: Garry Aulsberry, Laymar Clibbon, Jake White, Elliott Garrington, George Lock, James Brazier, Luke Hanley, Dan Money, Dan Ridge, Kennie Chamberlain, Martin Bradshaw, Matt Bradshaw, James King, Davidson Mendes Borges, Shane Cooper-Clark, Mike Lokwa, George Brazier.

 

Tough Game Against Kidlington Expected - 22 September

It was a first league win of the season last weekend for Bracknell Town who also moved off the foot of the table but it’s a tough ask to make it back to back wins as a very strong Kidlington side visit Larges Lane tonight.

Andre Kelly could return to the squad following his hamstring injury whilst Kennie Chamberlain was a second half substitute last weekend as he is on the injury recovery trail.

Adam Kennedy is also available after missing last weekend whilst youth team striker Connor Thorndike is included after scoring three times in the last two youth matches.

Tom Barratt and Tom Williams are unavailable whilst Michael Watson, Mike Lokwa and Tom Nugent all remain injured.

Bracknell Town from: Garry Aulsberry, Laymar Clibbon, Jake White, Elliott Garrington, Jordan Rowland, George Lock, Andre Kelly, James Brazier, Luke Hanley, Dan Money, Dan Ridge, Adam Kennedy, Kennie Chamberlain, Martin Bradshaw, Matt Bradshaw, George Brazier, Shane Cooper-Clark, Connor Thorndike.

 

Haven’t We Met Before? – 18 September

Tomorrow’s opponents for Bracknell Town at Larges Lane are Brackley Town Saints. A club which Bracknell have countered in the past, not actually Saints but they used to cross paths with Brackley Town when both clubs were in the Southern League.

The teams shared 1-1 and 2-2 draws in 2004-05 season but the following year saw Brackley win 3-1 and 2-0.  They were moved to the Southern League Central Division at the end of 2005-06 and subsequently they won that division before winning the Premier Division and earning a place in the Vanarama Conference North.

It’s been a positive start to the season for Saints, who are Brackley Town’s second string, they have transitioned well to life in the Premier Division. Two wins, three draws and four defeats in their nine league matches see them comfortably mid-table and they come to Bracknell on the back of a three game winning run with a Perpetua Press Hellenic Floodlit Cup sandwiched between two league wins.

Martin Bradshaw returns to the Robin’s squad which is a big boost to Keith Pennicott-Bowen. ‘Bradders’ scored five times last week but was unavailable on Tuesday due to work commitments. Tom Barratt and Tom Williams are unavailable whilst Michael Watson, Mike Lokwa and Tom Nugent all remain injured.

Bracknell Town from: Garry Aulsberry, Laymar Clibbon, Jake White, Elliott Garrington, Jordan Rowland, George Lock, Andre Kelly, James Brazier, Luke Hanley, Dan Money, Dan Ridge, Adam Kennedy, Dan Roberts, Ebenezer Opoku-Ware, Martin Bradshaw, Matt Bradshaw, Josh Delander, Shane Cooper-Clark.

 

Shane Cooper-Clark hellenic league footballShane Rejects Four Clubs To Stay with Robins - 18 September

Shane Cooper-Clark has has scored over 50% of Bracknell Town's goals so far this season and has once again confirmed his commitment to the Robins.

There is no denying that last year was a standout as Cooper-Clark scored 36 times and as well as being runner-up in the Golden Boot, he was voted Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division Player of the Year. He scored a hat trick on Tuesday to provide Bracknell with their first point this season

Last season, Bracknell were the subject of four approaches, one from Southern League side Marlow and three from step five clubs with Combined Counties side Hartley Wintney joining our fellow Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division sides Thatcham Town and Highmoor Ibis in all trying to sign the striker.

It’s no surprise to see approaches for him gain but four before August had finished was more than expected. The first approach was from Marlow who renewed their interest from last campaign whilst one came from Wokingham & Emmbrook the morning after the sides met with two following on from Thame United and Binfield.

Club secretary Darrell Freeland said “We are delighted than Shane has turned down the four clubs to stay with us and he is adamant that he loves it here and wants to stay with us for the remainder of the season. The fans love him and him rejecting the moves will make the fans love him even more”.

Cooper-Clark said “I love it at Larges Lane and don’t want to leave. I have 74 goals for Bracknell and want to get to 100 as that is my next target. We had a good FA Cup run but now we need to focus on moving up the league table”.

All at Larges Lane are delighted that Shane has turned down the moves and confirmed that he will reject further approaches to stay with us.

 

First Points Sought At Milton - 15 September

After five consecutive cup matches, Bracknell Town can get back to the job tonight of claiming their first league point of the season.

The cup run saw the Robins draw with Brimscombe & Thrupp in the Emirates FA Cup before defeating them 1-0 in the replay with the same score seeing off Hook Norton in the FA Vase. A resounding 4-0 win over Rayners Lane in the Perpetua Print Hellenic Floodlit Cup followed before Southern League side Shortwood United knocked us out of the FA Cup this past weekend winning 4-3 in Gloucestershire. It’s been some week for Martin Bradshaw with the winger scoring a first half hat-trick against Rayners Lane including a scintillating 70 yard run solo goal before he added two more in the FA Cup on Saturday. Shane Cooper-Clark scored our other goal against Shortwood.

Tonight's sides first met in the Uhlsport Hellenic League three years ago in Division One East with the Berkshire side coming out on top both times.  October 2012 saw a 3-1 win with goals from Eddie Gray, Reece Jacques and Lee Riddell. The return fixture was a 5-1 victory with Harry Brown, Tom Barratt, Shane Cooper-Clark, Lee Riddell and an own goal sealing the win. We were promoted at the end of the 2012-13 season and Milton won the Division One East title one year later to return to the Premier Division for the start of the 2014-15 campaign. The opening day last term saw two goals and a man of the match performance from Cooper-Clark earn us a 2-2 draw

One win and four draws in their eight matches see United sit in fifteenth place on seven points. Their solitary victory was a 2-1 win over Ardley United (who beat us 1-0) but they recovered from a 4-0 defeat at Thame United to earn a nil-nil draw with Binfield this past weekend, helped in a big way courtesy of some crucial saves from goalkeeper Craig Griffiths. With points on the board, the hosts know all the pressure will be on us as we hunt our first win.

Mike Lokwa, Josh Delander and Dan Ridge have picked up injuries this past week whilst Tom Nugent, Kennie Chamberlain and Michael Watson all remain on the injured list. Ebenezer Opoku-Ware is also unavailable.

New signings George Brazier and James Brazier are called into the squad with both brothers making a debut for our development side this past weekend. The brothers have played for Ascot United in the past but not recently.

Bracknell Town from: Garry Aulsberry, Laymar Clibbon, Jake White, George Lock, Elliott Garrington, Jordan Rowland, Luke Hanley, Andre Kelly, James Brazier, Dan Money, Adam Kennedy, Ben Poynter, Martin Bradshaw, Matt Bradshaw, Dan Roberts, James King, Tom Barratt, Shane Cooper-Clark, George Brazier.

Bracknell Travel To Meadowbank - 11 September

The Emirates FA Cup adventure continues for Bracknell Town tomorrow when they travel to Gloucestershire to face Evo-Stik Southern League side Shortwood United.

They are familiar foes having been an Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division side before their promotion and we have met four times in the past. Our first meeting at Larges Lane in August 2010 saw the Wood run out 3-2 winners in front of a 146 crowd as part of a ground-hop day. Sam Whiting and Rob Yorke-Goldney scored for us but it was not enough. The return visit in November 2010 was somewhat one sided as we lost 5-0. The following season saw another two big defeats with a 5-0 loss in Shortwood before Ben Knight’s goal was a consolation in a 4-1 loss at Larges Lane. Two previous visits to Meadowbank have both yielded 5-0 wins for the home side so the Robins will be hoping to avoid that tomorrow.

Despite them playing in the Evo-Stik South & West Division they are well known to us having defeated Binfield 2-1 in the previous round and they beat Burnham by the same score last weekend. Keith Pennicott-Bowen would certainly have been on the phone to both Roger Herridge and Mark Tallentire for inside information. Currently thirteenth in the division, its three wins and three losses apiece as the Wood have nine points. The nine goals scored have been shared between seven players.

A 4-0 victory over Rayners Lane on Tuesday evening in the Perpetua Print Hellenic Floodlit Cup saw a scintillating Martin Bradshaw hat-trick and a goal for Mike Lokwa on a night where Garry Aulsberry and Shane Cooper-Clark were rested for this weekend. James King played ninety minutes following his injury lay-off whilst KPB can also welcome back Tom Williams into the squad having missed the last two matches.

Bracknell Town from: Garry Aulsberry, Jamie Baseley, Jake White, George Lock, Elliott Garrington, Jordan Rowland, Andre Kelly, Tom Williams, Luke Hanley, Dan Ridge, Dan Money, James King, Ebenezer Opoku-Ware, Martin Bradshaw, Shane Cooper-Clark, Mike Lokwa, Josh Delander.

Bracknell Town Development were sent crashing back to Earth last weekend losing 5-0 at Penn & Tylers Green Reserves on the opening day of the season. Being let down by players not turning up meant the Robins had twelve players and had to change things around before kick-off so not ideal preparations at all. Tomorrow they entertain Thame United Reserves at Larges Lane. They had a winning start to the season beating Ascot United Development 1-0 last weekend. Manager Paul Howe is back from holiday for this one and three new players were registered last night (Thursday) to boost the ranks. In addition, Lewis O’Connor is fit to play after injury whilst Sean Hanley has returned from holiday.

Mixed Fortunes - 8 September

darell freeland hellenic league footballBracknell Town Club secretary Darrell Freeland gives his views on the ‘Robins’ season so far.

“It might be five defeats from five league games for Bracknell Town but Emirates FA Cup and FA Vase wins have ensured a happy mood around Larges Lane. The fixture calendar presented us with Highworth Town, Flackwell Heath and Thatcham Town for the first three league matches. That’s last year’s FA Vase semi-finalists, last season’s champions and a hotly fancied side and those sides currently occupy the top three in the Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division.”

“In between the Flackwell and Thatcham match, the Robins travelled to Royal Wootton Bassett Town in the FA Cup and won 2-0 as Shane Cooper-Clark continued his scoring form from the last campaign. Bassett were without strikers Steve Robertson and Nathan Gambling (now at Highworth Town) and us having our talismanic striker proved the difference.”

“Disappointing defeats at home to Ardley United and Wokingham & Emmbrook followed which see us side bottom of the table. We made individual mistakes in those matches but our management team and players have worked very hard improve us.”

“Holiday season also hit us hard and manager Keith Pennicott-Bowen was forced to field six different back fours in the opening six matches. Getting some of our more senior players back has certainly helped and we showed tremendous character to recover from 2-0 down away at Brimscombe & Thrupp to draw in the FA cup before last Tuesday saw 141 people witness a good 1-0 victory for Bracknell in the replay.”

“The Lilywhites certainly had to chances to put the game to bed in Gloucestershire whilst our desire to win through the replay told on Tuesday and Brimscombe were left to rue what might have been. This past Saturday saw Division One West side Hook Norton travel to Berkshire in the FA Vase and another 1-0 win saw us win through in a difficult match against a tough side who had defeated Southern League side Burnham earlier in the week in the FA Cup.”

“It would be nice to have some league points and not be bottom but rest assured, the mood around Larges Lane is positive and we look forward to moving up the table. Our FA Cup and FA Vase journeys have proven our character and qualities as a side and we are relishing our FA competition involvement.”

 

Emirates FA CupWin Would Be Nice - 4 September

Bracknell Town go into this weekends FA Vase tie with Uhlsport Hellenic Division 1 West side Hook Norton looking to break an unwanted sequence that has seen them without a win in the competition for four seasons.

Since dropping into the Hellenic League and step 5 of the national football pyramid at the end of the 2009/10 season, Bracknell have been eligible once again for the FA Vase – a tournament they previously played in as a Ryman League Division 3 side in 2001/02.

In the intervening years, Robins played eight seasons in the FA Trophy – the national competition for sides from the Conference down to step 4 (Ryman/Southern League Division 1 level).

Bracknell’s last win in the tournament was back in 2010 when Harry Swabey and Sam Whiting gave Robins a 2-0 win over Wodson Park at Larges Lane in the first round proper. As a club relegated from step four the previous season, Bracknell were handily given a ‘bye’ from the qualifying rounds.
That was it though. Steve McClurg and Richard Whitty – managers at the time – saw their side dumped out by Epsom & Ewell in the second round, beginning a barren run that has seen Bracknell lose in the opening round for the subsequent four seasons.

The Larges Lane side aren’t the only Berkshire club with a less than exemplary record in the competition – Southern sides in general are poorly represented in the latter stages of the competition with Northern based teams traditionally being stronger. In fact only three sides from the ‘south’ have won the tournament in the last decade – Didcot Town, Sholing and Truro City.

Whilst Bracknell’s league form has seen them without a win this season, Keith Penicott-Bowen’s side have won two and drawn one of their three Emirates FA Cup ties this season. Bowes will be keen for his side to continue their cup form and hopefully carry it back into league action.

One note of caution, opponents Hook Norton beat Southern League Division 1 side Burnham in an FA Cup replay on Tuesday night – suggesting the Vase tie will be no cake-walk for the men in red.

 

Fight Back Earns Replay – 31 August
A great Bracknell Town fight back last Saturday means an Emirates FA Cup replay at Larges Lane tomorrow night (Tuesday).

With Brimscombe & Thrupp leading 2-0, it did not look good, though Bracknell battled back with goals from Shane Cooper-Clark and Ebenezer Opoku-Ware earning 2-2 draw and another bite of the cherry.

Brimscombe looked very good in the early stages on Saturday and have a great record against the Robins so they will be equally as confident of getting into the next round. An added incentive for the Lilywhites is that Shortwood United defeated Binfield on Saturday so whoever wins tommrow’s tie gets a trip to the Evo-Stik Southern League side who were Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division runners up in 2011-12, and gained promotion.

Tom Barratt and Tom Williams both featured on Saturday after re-joining Bracknell last week and should be in the squad. Harry Stevens and Kyle Spence also signed forms last week making it a quartet of playing from last season signing back on. Keith Pennicott-Bowen also welcomes Tom Nugent, Dan Money, Luke Hanley, Mike Watson and Jordan Rowland back from festivals but the latter two are still doubtful through injury. Dan Roberts also returns to the squad after missing the last two matches.

Bracknell Town from: Garry Aulsberry, Laymar Clibbon, Jake White, George Lock, Elliott Garrington, Mike Watson, Jordan Rowland, Andre Kelly, Adam Kennedy, Tom Williams, Luke Hanley, Dan Money, Tom Nugent, Dan Ridge, Chris Gibson, Harry Stevens, Dan Roberts, Ebenezer Opoku-Ware, Martin Bradshaw, Matt Bradshaw, Shane Cooper-Clark, Mike Lokwa, William Kyeremeh, Connor Thorndike, Kyle Spence.

 

Robin's Head For Lilywhites - 28 August

With five league matches played so far all yielding losses, Bracknell Town take a break from the Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division this weekend as Brimscombe & Thrupp play hosts in the Emirates FA Cup Preliminary Round.

A 2-0 victory over Royal Wootton Bassett Town in the previous round courtesy of two Shane Cooper-Clark goals sets up this match with the Lilywhites defeating Abingdon United 3-0 in their Extra Preliminary Round tie.

A positive start to the season saw B&T win their opening two fixtures at home before their cup victory make it three wins from three. Three more league matches have followed with a narrow loss away at Tuffley United and then two losses against much fancied Kidlington and Highworth Town. Still with six points on the board, they comfortably sit in thirteenth place, some eight places higher than the Robins. Big striker Karl Nash, who leads the line well and is a right nuisance for defenders with his size and work-rate, is the player to watch. Scored in both matches against The Robin's last season with a man of the match performance in the home fixture.

Bank Holiday Festival weekend hits Keith Pennicott-Bowen's hard with Dan Money, Tom Nugent, Jordan Rowland, Luke Hanley and Michael Watson all at Reading Festival or Creamfields Festival whilst Sean Hanley is away on holiday. It is certainly a blow with the prize money on offer for winning.

Bracknell Town from: Garry Aulsberry, Laymar Clibbon, Jake White, George Lock, Elliott Garrington, Andre Kelly, Adam Kennedy, Dan Ridge, Chris Gibson, Ebenezer Opoku-Ware, Martin Bradshaw, Matt Bradshaw, Shane Cooper-Clark, Mike Lokwa, William Kyeremeh, Connor Thorndike.

 

Robins and Sumas After First Win - 24 August

With defeats for both teams this past weekend, tomorrow night’s local derby when Bracknell Town host Wokingham & Emmbrook takes on extra importance.

The Robins currently sit in nineteenth place on zero points with four defeats from their opening four matches whilst the Sumas are one place higher with one draw and four losses in their first five matches.

The home side can at least take comfort from a tough start which has seen them face three of the current top four sides and they do have a win this season in the Emirates FA Cup following a 2-0 victory over Royal Wootton Bassett Town.

Following years of not facing each other, the 2010-11 season saw both sides in the Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division. 379 people turned up when Wokingham played hosts at Larges Lane and the teams shared a 1-1 draw with Rob Yorke-Goldney scoring for us and Adam Cornell with the Emmbrook goal. In January 2011, the reverse fixtures saw the Sumas run out 2-0 winners thanks to two early goals.
 The following season bought two wins for Wokingham starting with a 3-0 victory as Garry Sargeant, Luke Lee (now Scope) and Dean Thomas all netted whilst Sam Whiting scored the only goal for the Sumas in the reverse fixture.

The sides separated divisions at the end of 2011-12 with the Robins relegated. When the Robins were promoted, the Sumas were relegated by virtue of not having floodlights so the teams had to wait until May 2014 before meeting again. This time it was the Reading Senior Cup semi-final with a place in the final at Madejski Stadium up for grabs and it looked good for the home side when Shane Cooper-Clark fired Bracknell ahead. Sadly, the Robins hectic end to a season where they also reached the Bluefin Sports Supplementary Challenge Cup final too meant a fourth match in eight days caught up with them and James Charlton and Jake Butler struck as Emmbrook profited from not playing in eight days as their fresher legs took them to another final.

W&E appear to have a similar side to last season as joint managers Dan Bateman and Matt Eggleston keep faith in the team that won promotion. Shaun Wanklyn has re-joined the team to bring some Hellenic League experience whilst Elliott Rushforth’s presence will be missed with the attacking midfielder on holiday.

Martin Bradshaw and Dan Ridge are both available again after missing Saturday’s defeat against Ardley United through work commitments. Chris Gibson and Matt Bradshaw are included in the squad for the first time this season though Elliott Garrington and Ebenezer Opoku-Ware are unavailable.

Bracknell from: Garry Aulsberry, Laymar Clibbon, Jake White, Michael Watson, Jordan Rowland, George Lock, Andre Kelly, Luke Hanley, Adam Kennedy, Dan Money, Tom Nugent, Dan Ridge, Chris Gibson, Martin Bradshaw, Matt Bradshaw, Shane Cooper-Clark, Mike Lokwa, William Kyeremeh, Elliott Amadieu.

Both Bracknell Town and Binfield need to win the Preliminary Round first but the draw has been made today for the Emirates FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round and the Moles will host the Robins if both sides make it through.

It is a tough ask however with Binfield hosting Evo-Stik Southern League side Shortwood United this Saturday whilst the Robins travel to fellow Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division side Brimscombe & Thrupp who have two wins and two defeats in their four league matches so far.

Emirates FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round
Binfield or Shortwood United      Vs.     Brimscombe & Thrupp or Bracknell Town
Tie to be played on Saturday 12th September

Both Sides Need Points - 22 August

Nineteenth place Bracknell Town host seventeenth place Ardley United at Larges Lane today with both sides searching for their first league win.

The Robins were hammered 6-2 away at Thatcham Town on Tuesday as Shane Cooper-Clark’s brace including an effort from just inside the Kingfishers half being in vain. They did beat Royal Wootton Bassett Town in the Emirates FA Cup last weekend so can take comfort from that.

Ardley on the other hand drew with Binfield 1-1 on the opening day of the season but have suffered three defeats since that. It’s a far cry from last season when United finished eighth in the Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division table and the home side finished in ninth – their highest ever Hellenic placing.

Spoils were shared last season with ten men Bracknell winning away whilst Ardley got the points at Larges Lane.

No points in the league so far but three very tough matches for Keith Pennicott-Bowen’s side. The fixture gods certainly were not kind on Bracknell this year. With that in mind, there is certainly no panic but it would be nice for the lads to get up and running in the league this weekend. More pleasing is the goal-scoring form of Cooper-Clark who has five goals from four matches and he struck a brace of goals in both of our last two matches.

Both Martin Bradshaw and Dan Ridge are unavailable due to work commitments but full-back Michael Watson hopes to feature following his injury.

Bracknell from: Garry Aulsberry, Laymar Clibbon, Jake White, Michael Watson, Jordan Rowland, George Lock, Andre Kelly, Elliott Garrington, Luke Hanley, Adam Kennedy, Dan Money, Tom Nugent, Ben Hall, Sean Hanley, Ebenezer Opoku-Ware, Shane Cooper-Clark, Mike Lokwa, William Kyeremeh.

Stern Thatcham Test For Robins - 17 July

Having recorded their first victory of the season this past weekend in the Emirates FA Cup with Shane Cooper-Clark’s double seeing off fellow Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division side Royal Wootton Bassett Town, Tuesday night sees a return to league action and a tough trip to highly fancied Thatcham Town.

The early fixtures were harsh on Bracknell Town pitting the Robins against Highworth Town (FA Vase semi-finalists last season), Flackwell Heath (champions last season) and Thatcham Town (multitude of new players and tipped for good things).

Two league defeats have not deterred Keith Pennicott-Bowen’s men as they hunt their first league points and they can look to last term for inspiration.

The Robins completed the double over the Kingfishers last term but due to an abandoned match caused by floodlight failure, they actually played three eventful encounters.

With the teams deadlocked at 0-0 the lights went out at Waterside Park but they were able to be started once more and Cooper-Clark put his side ahead. Minutes later he lobbed goalkeeper Chris Rackley and less than a second before the ball was about to cross the line for 2-0, the lights went out a second time and the referee abandoned the match.

The sides then met at Larges Lane in December with the hosts winning 4-3. Cooper-Clark struck early before Thatcham scored twice but Martin Bradshaw levelled matters.

The visitors regained the lead courtesy of a fine Chris Gerrard free-kick only for captain Sam Whiting to score twice including a sublime last minute lobbed winner.

In March, the replayed Waterside Park fixture saw the home side leading 1-0 at the break but there was great character shown by Keith Pennicott-Bowen’s team to fight back.

Firstly, Cooper-Clark scored a fine solo goal (his thirtieth of the season) before KPB moved Jake White further forward and he popped up with the winner. White was then dismissed in stoppage time for a needless and reckless challenge.

Many things have been written about Thatcham this summer and they have certainly bought some fine players in. Joint managers Gareth Thomas and Danny Robinson have done well to bring in strikers Marcus Mealing and Ian Davies, whilst midfielders Adam Morris and Tom Moran bring pedigree to the heart of the side and it’s clear to see why they are being tipped by many to win the title. 

Marcus Mealing is a Kingfisher’s player player to be wary of. Previously at Marlow for a number of years but played for Thame United last season scoring six goals in nine appearances. Started his Thatcham career off with five goals in the first pre-season outing and has not stopped scoring since. Three from three in competitive matches for the Kingfishers.

Cooper-Clark’s double this past weekend saw the Robins advance in the Emirates FA Cup where they will face Brimscombe & Thrupp in the next round. With that first victory of the season in the bag, Tuesday sees them aiming for their first win in the league following two defeats.

Martin Bradshaw returns to the squad having missed Saturday’s FA Cup win due to work whilst Mike Lokwa hopes to feature having gone off injured last Tuesday.

Michael Watson looks set to sit out his third match due to an injured knee but the squad should be similar to last weekend.

Bracknell from: Garry Aulsberry, Laymar Clibbon, Jake White, Jordan Rowland, George Lock, Andre Kelly, Elliott Garrington, Luke Hanley, Dan Money, Tom Nugent, Dan Ridge, Ben Hall, Sean Hanley, Martin Bradshaw, Matt Bradshaw, Ebenezer Opoku-Ware, Shane Cooper-Clark, Mike Lokwa, William Kyeremeh, Connor Thorndike.

Robins Land At Magpie Lane - 11 August

Saturday saw Bracknell Town defeated 3-1 on the opening day of the Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division as Highworth Town were too strong for the Robins who were disappointing after heading into the match full of optimism.

It does not get any easier however as last season’s champions Flackwell Heath host The Robin's tonight at their Magpie Lane ground.

It was a come from behind victory for Heath on Saturday as they trailed new boys Lydney Town at half-time but goals from Bryan Taylor, Chris Hurst and Seb Bowerman secured the three points with a 3-1 win. The champions have lost two players since the end of last season but have added eight players so will once again be strong and are expected to be ‘in the mix’ at the business end of the campaign.

Keith Pennicott-Bowen is boosted by the return of new captain Jake White and also Martin Bradshaw with both returning from holiday. It should be a big pool of players for KPB to pull his final squad of sixteen from.

Bracknell from: Garry Aulsberry, Laymar Clibbon, Michael Watson, Jake White, Jordan Rowland, George Lock, Andre Kelly, Elliott Garrington, Grant Goodband, Luke Hanley, Dan Money, Tom Nugent, Dan Ridge, Ben Hall, Sean Hanley, Martin Bradshaw, Elliott Amadieu, Ebenezer Opoku-Ware, Shane Cooper-Clark, Mike Lokwa, William Kyeremeh.

 

Robins v Worthians - 8 August

Bracknell Town start their Uhlsport Hellenic Football League campaign facing Highworth Town at Larges Lane this afternoon.

Darryl Freelend comments. “Like ourselves, Worthians have a largely settled side from last year which was a very successful one as they finished seventh in the league and won the Wiltshire Senior Cup. The highlight for them was of course reaching the semi-finals of the FA Vase where they lost to eventual winners North Shields over two legs. Manager John Fisher is still in charge but has confirmed this will be his last season and he hopes they can win the league but he expects stiff competition in the quest to be crowned champions.

“ A severely depleted Robins were hammered 7-2 by Evo-Stik Southern League side Godalming Town last Saturday but they have picked themselves up well with a good training session this past Tuesday and another one on Thursday coupled with a media evening. There is a positive vibe around the club from the management, players, committee and supporters all eager to get underway. New captain Jake White is suspended whilst Martin and Matt Bradshaw are on holiday and Kennie Chamberlain and James King are both injured.”

Bracknell from: Garry Aulsberry, Laymar Clibbon, Michael Watson, Jordan Rowland, Elliott Garrington, George Lock, Andre Kelly, Grant Goodband, Luke Hanley, Dan Money, Tom Nugent, Dan Ridge, Ben Hall, Sean Hanley, Elliott Amadieu, Ebenezer Opoku-Ware, Shane Cooper-Clark, Mike Lokwa, William Kyeremeh.

 

Lee Embarking On Stateside Journey - 3 August

Bracknell Town wish Steve Lee well as he embarks on a football scholarship in USA.

Steve was a regular player last season in our title winning Allied Counties Youth League South Division youth team and he also captained our Sunday U18 side to league glory winning the North East Hants Youth League U18 Premier Division.

He made nine appearances for the development team last term scoring once. He also made eighteen appearances for the youth team scoring twice.

 

Final Test for Robins - 31July

Bracknell Town travel to Evo-Stik Southern League side Godalming Town ahead of both sides starting their respective league campaigns next weekend.

In the four pre-season matches played so far for Godalming with one win and three draws. They opened with a 4-4 draw against Hartley Wintney before defeating Alton Town 3-0.

FREE Entry The game forms part of a military fun day they are hosting. Donations are being collected on behalf of the Royal British Leagion.

Gates will open at 2pm. There will be a bouncy castle for the kids as well as a Batak challenge (wall with flashing lights to test your reflexes) and a Powerbag challenge for people to try.

Five more of last season’s youth team have committed to Bracknell Town for this coming year. With the youth team winning the Allied Counties Youth Football League South Division and losing in the ACYL Cup Final, the side last year certainly contained quality and all five players are looking forward to Hellenic football now they are too old for youth football.

Elliott Garrington is the most high profile having broken into the first team where he played five of the last six matches last term and he has remained in the first team squad all of this current pre-season. He also made sixteen development team appearance and 22 youth team appearances. He scored three goals last year – one for the development and two for the youth team.

Lewis O’Connor is an uncompromising central defender. He appeared 22 times for the youth team last year scoring three goals and he also made one development team appearance. It was 21 youth team appearances and eight development team appearances for the rapid Jaimesh Patel in 2014-15. ‘Jay’ recently beat Jake White in a race over sixty yards so that shows how quick he is. He scored seven times for the youth team.

Midfielder Joe Pullen is an extremely tidy player who keeps things ticking over in the engine room and he works very hard too. He won the youth team Players Player of the Year award at the end of season presentation evening so certainly his peers recognise how valuable a player he was to the title win. Joe played 28 of the youth team’s thirty matches last year missing two due to a family holiday and he also scored three goals. He made one development team appearance.

Csaba Balla is a strong player who can play at the back or in midfield. Csaba made seventeen appearances for the youth team and will look to continue his progress in our development team this coming year.

 

Two More Sign At Bracknell - 30 July

The Bracknell Town defence has been further boosted this week with both Andre Kelly and Adam Kennedy signing up for this coming season.

Andre is a very composed and culture defender. He has great positional sense and always leads by example on the pitch as he rarely makes a mistake. Joining us at the start of the 2013-14 season, he played 29 times scoring three goals and went on to play 28 times last term scoring once.

Adam has had a few spells at the club starting with the youth team. He played 28 times in the 2011-12 season before he left the club due to work commitments. He played once last campaign helping us out when we were short of defenders and is looking to get back playing as regularly as he can this coming season – work allowing An assured defender, he reads the game very well.

We are delighted to have these two quality defenders commit to us for the coming year.

 

Defence Boosted 3 More Commit - 25 July

Another three players have committed to Bracknell Town for this coming season and it is the defence that has been boosted by the news that Liam Alleyne, Matt Bradshaw and Mike Watson are remaining with the club.

Watson is the longest serving player having like many others first played for the youth team in the Allied Counties Youth League. After a spell away from the club he re-joined in summer 2013 and made 41 appearances in 2013-14 before making 36 appearances last season. He is on course to make his 100th first team appearance this coming term.

Alleyne joined the club in summer 2012 after Steve Nebbett and Danny Oliphant were appointed joint managers. Formerly of Met Police, Liam played twenty times scoring twice in 2012-13 as we earned promotion back to the Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division before the following season saw him make 42 appearances and once again score twice. He then left the club due to family commitments but came home towards the end of last season playing six times.

Bradshaw also played for the youth team before progressing into the development team and now into the first team. Matt made six first team appearance last campaign and was called into action once the previous season. We are very pleased that all three have chosen to remain at Larges Lane.

Several of the Youth Team players are now eighteen and therefore too old for youth football and they have all signed Uhlsport Hellenic registration forms to stay with the club.

Goalkeeper Ellis Willett who was number one for both the youth team and development team (who he also captained) last term is remaining and looks set to be development team goalkeeper once again this year whilst providing back-up to Garry Aulsberry. Dan Ridge played for all three sides last year. An ever present for the youth team playing all 30 matches, he also played sixteen times for the development team and four times for the first team. Andre Howe made sixteen appearances for the youth team and scored three goals. Not a bad return for someone primarily coming off the bench.

Also remaining is striker Ebenezer Opoku-Ware who made three first team appearances in 2013-14 as a sixteen year old scoring twice. Last year he played for all three team and ended with thirty goals scoring eight for the development team and 22 for the youth team. Midfielder Ben Hall has also committed. A technically proficient player, he played development team and youth team last year and has made featured for the first team this pre-season. The versatile Christian Foumboua is also remaining. Suffering last year from being able to play numerous positions, he was unable to hold down a starting position but did very well in his eleven youth team appearances and three development team appearances.

Three players are still eligible for Allied Counties but they have also signed senior forms. George Lock, Sean Hanley and Connor Thorndike also played for all three teams last year. Lock played twice for the first team and was voted Manager’s Player of the Year for the youth team last season. A tenacious defender, he shows no fear despite most opponents being bigger than him. Hanley scored six times for the development team and eleven for the youth team and is very quick and skilful always posing problems for the defenders. Thorndike scored nine for the development team and six for the youth team. A very hard working forward, he was often played on the left hand side where his tremendous work-rate allowed players like Opoku-Ware a bit more freedom. The last player to sign is Mitchell Wheaton. He was a regular for Bracknell's North East Hants Youth League title winning Sunday U18 team last year and played twice for the youth team in the County Cup.

 

Met Police to Question Robins - 24 July

Apologies for another police related headline but they don’t come along too often, as Saturday sees Met Police Reserves welcome Bracknell Town to Imber Court.

Darrell Freeland said on the forthcoming game. "We are expecting a competitive match as Police will undoubtedly ask us questions with manager Keith Pennicott-Bowen hoping his players can answer them and more. Our last visit to Imber Court was on the opening day of the 2003-04 season which saw the unfortunate Met Police side trying to take a team photo in front of one of the goals with a load of Robins fans (myself included) lurking in the background wearing plastic police hats! That year we finished fourteenth in the Ryman League Division One South the Met finishing in twentieth place."

"Sadly ourselves, Ashford Town, Marlow and Egham Town were transferred to the Southern League Division One South & West at the end of the season which then saw our travel almost double. Myself and TC (Tom Canning) always enjoyed a trip to Imber court and saw them avoid relegation at the end of 2002-03 season when they had to play Wembley in a play-off with the winners avoiding relegation and they are certainly a hospitable lot."

"Jake White plays his last pre-season game before heading on holiday with the versatile player suspended for the first league game and Shane Cooper-Clark is away this weekend. Otherwise, ‘Bowes’ should have everyone available to call upon".

 

New Recruit At Bracknell - 23 July

21 year old forward Mike Lokwa has become manager Keith Pennicott-Bowen’s first new signing for Bracknell Town this season with all other registered players being those who were already at the club.

Lokwa was at AFC Wimbledon as an eighteen year old playing in the Football Conference Youth Alliance (an U19 youth league) before missing over a year through injury. Mike played in the 4-2 defeat to Conference South side Maidenhead United on Monday night and setup Bracknell’s first goal.

Three more of last season’s squad have decided to stay at Larges Lane as midfielders James King, Kennie Chamberlain and Dan Money have all signed for this coming campaign. King is another player who first played for the club in the Allied Counties Youth League.

Bracknell Town’s trip to Eversley & California was called off by the referee on Tuesday evening due to a gaggle of Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) setting up a mobile toilet on the Fox Lane pitch.

canada geese call off footballl match (Branta canadensis)

Bracknell manager Keith Penicott-Bowen was said – tongue in cheek – to be spitting feathers at the geese who put paid to his sides third game in four days after Saturday’s win over Guildford City and Monday’s defeat to Conference South Maidenhead United.

 

Robins & Magpies Take Flight Tonight

- 20 July

Vanarama National South side Maidenhead United are the visitors to Larges Lane tonight as Bracknell Town welcome the team who play three levels higher.

The match forms parts of the agreement which saw Sam Barratt transferred to York Road at the start of last season.

Despite not featuring much in the league, Barratt played a key part in them winning the BBFA County Senior Cup as he played in every match including the early round against Hungerford United which they drew 2-2 with him scoring both goals and also stepping up to score one of the penalties in the resulting shoot out which they won 5-4.

With Alan Devonshire once again in charge of the Magpies, several new faces have been bought in but Barratt is one of the few survivors from last term and he will be hoping to impress his new manager this pre-season. He has undertaken somewhat of a rebuilding programme with several players exiting and several entering York Road. Young players such as Barratt, Harry Pritchard and David Rogalski will be keen to show Devonshire the quality they possess whilst, St Vincent and the Grenadines  international, Gavin James who joins from our fellow Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division side Flackwell Heath where he scored 37 goals last season will also be hoping to show what he can do.

It is two wins from two so far in pre-season for Keith Pennicott-Bowen’s side with 4-0 and 3-1 victories over Hayes & Yeading U23 and Guildford City respectively. Several of last season’s squad have committed themselves to the Robins this coming campaign including Garry Aulsberry and Shane Cooper-Clark which is a massive boost.

Entry is £6 adults, £3 for OAP’s / U16, £1 for U12. A programme is included in the entry price, whilst stocks last.

In other club news Bracknell Town regretfully announce the death of Laurie Farmer. Formerly treasurer and secretary of the club, Laurie was instrumental in the redevelopment of our Larges Lane ground in the 1960’s as he arranged the development financing and secured Sir. Stanley Rouse to come along and formally open it. He made a significant contribution to the club over the years and he was made an Executive Life Vice-President in recognition of his services.

 

Positive Pre-Season So Far - 16 July

It has been a positive pre-season so far for Bracknell Town as they look to build on their highest Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division placing of ninth last season.

Darrell Freeland explains.”The three training sessions so far have seen attendees numbering 48, 38 and 41 and all three evenings have missed players due to work and other commitments. All three sessions have been high tempo and are all football based.”

“Our first pre-season match last Saturday saw us defeat Hayes & Yeading U23 thanks to four unanswered goals from Jordan Rowland, Jake White, George Lock and Shane Cooper-Clark.”

On the player front Freeland adds. “Three more players have signed up for another season at Larges Lane as Grant Goodband, Tom Nugent and Jordan Rowland have all committed to Bracknell Town for the coming season.”

“Nugent has been with the club the longest having been with the club for eight years. During  2007 and 2009, he played for our youth team in the Allied Counties Youth League. For the past four years he has been at university in Loughborough which has severely limited his availability for us.”

“Rowland joined the club two years ago making five appearances that season before he made the left back spot his own last term playing 28 times. He was an almost ever present until injury cut his season short in January last year but he is now fully fit and raring to go this coming season. ‘Jordy’ scored once last campaign but set-up countless others with Shane Cooper-Clark the player who most benefitted from his excellent free-kicks and corners.”

“Goodband also joined the club two years ago after he moved into the area. Grant can play at right back or the heart of defence and is best described as a ‘no nonsense tough tackling’ player.”

“We are delighted to see these three lads join the others in committing for the 2015-16 season. One player leaving the club is Khalid Senussi who has elected to leave us and join Binfield. We wish Khalid the best for the season though not when the Moles face us!”

There are still new faces turning up for training and we still welcome anyone else who wants to come along. Training is Tuesday and Thursday evenings on the grass at:

Birch Hill Recreation Ground
Birch Hill
Bracknell
RG12 7AQ

It’s a 7pm meet for 7.15pm start.

Please note there is no training next Tuesday 21st July due to the club having pre-season matches on Monday and Tuesday next week.

 

Century Makers Staying with Robins - 14 July

Martin Bradshaw hellenic league footballjake white hellenic footballMartin Bradshaw and Jake White have both signed Uhlsport Hellenic League registration forms for the coming season and committed to Bracknell Town.

The players are very similar in that they first played for the club as a youth team player in the Allied Counties Youth League. Both of them have had brief spells away at other clubs but both Jake (right) and Martin (left) completed their 100th first team appearance last season.

The final comparison is that the duo are highly versatile players who can (and have) played a number of positions for the club. We are delighted to have both of them back for 2015-16 season.

 

Aulsberry Remains With Robins - 12 July

garry aulsberry hellenic league footballBracknell Town will once again be in safe hands this season as Garry Aulsberry has turned down offers from other Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division clubs to stay with the Robins for the 2015-16 season.

Aulsberry was Keith Pennicott-Bowen’s first signing in October 2015 and he played 27 games out of a possible 28 (missing one match through work) as he proved Mr. Reliable both in terms of his commitment and also in goal where he made a string of fine saves for us.

Fellow goalkeepers Laymar Clibbon and Jamie Baseley have also signed Hellenic League forms for this coming season.

Laymar is a raw goalkeeper who is benefitting greatly from our goalkeeping coach Pete Aulsberry (who has also committed for this season).

Jamie is only 16 years old and played in goal last season for our Sunday U18 title winning side. Jamie will primarily be involved with our Allied Counties squad this season and he will provide back-up for our Development side.

 

shane cooper-clark footballGoal Man Remains With Bracknell - 10 July

Club goal machine Shane Cooper-Clark has confirmed he is staying with the Robins for the coming 2015/16 season.

Shane scored 34 goals last season and also earned his 100th first team cap during the campaign and the next target on his list is to reach 100 Bracknell Town goals – Cooper-Clark currently has 65 career goals.

Everyone at the club is delighted that Shane has rejected numerous offers to stay with us. The news of Shane’s commitment is a huge boost for the club who saw captain Sam Whiting join Southern League Fleet Town on Wednesday.

 

sam whiting moves to fleetRobin's Captain Joins The Fleet - 9 July

Bracknell Town first team captain Sam Whiting has left the club and signed for Evo-Stik Southern League Central Division side Fleet Town.

Whiting made 37 appearances (36 starts) for the Robins last term scoring seven goals in the process and the departing captain left with a heavy heart explaining to club secretary Darrell Freeland “It was a tough decision to make but I wanted to try my luck at a higher level. I always enjoyed my time at Larges Lane, the lads were fantastic”.

Whiting re-joined Bracknell Town from Southern League Marlow in January 2014 and was made captain by then manager Ed Carpenter last summer.

Keith Penicott-Bowen’s side play their first friendly on Saturday when Hayes & Yeading United visit Robins pre-season home at Cantley Park. Hayes & Yeading are sending their under 23 squad – which a little research shows to be their reserve side – to Cantley. The side finished bottom of a somewhat small five team Capital Football League last season that included Dulwich Hamlet, St Albans City, Walton & Hersham and Wealdstone. It is expect to see a number of the H&Y's Ryman Youth League West Division title winning side in action.

 

Bracknell AGM - 30 June

Bracknell Town Football Club Ltd. held their Annual General Meeting at Larges Lane on Sunday morning – with several new faces joining the committee and board of directors.

Long standing club and junior club servants Roger Chappe de Leonvel and Kayne Steinborn-Busse both take up the two available director roles in the club, while Hemi Mistry, Traci Garrington and Bill Canning join the general committee.

The club have had a vacancy on the board for over a year, while another spot opened up after treasurer Brian Ashworth stepped down due to work commitments.

Also stepping down is assistant treasurer Terry Mountjoy who is emigrating to New Zealand.

Terry has been a long-standing member of the club and a valuable member of the team that has helped rebuild the club on a financial level.

Four of the new committee and board members all join having spent considerable time rebuilding the Junior Club from the ground up, while Bill Canning is a life member who is on his first committee post at the club.

The club would like to thank those stepping down for their tireless efforts, and welcome the new members to our team.

The club president is Brian Fallis. The Bracknell Town board of directors are: Chris Day (Chairman), Darrell Freeland (Secretary), Kayne Steinborn-Busse (Commercial), Roger Chappe de Leonvel, Tom Canning and Mick Bradley (Licensee).

The general committee is: Bob Langridge, Traci Garrington, Hemi Mistry, Steve O’Connor and Bill Canning.

There are still open spots on the committee. If you would like to get involved, or find out more email club@bracknelltownfc.com

In other Bracknell news the U18 Youth Team were confirmed as members of the Allied Counties Youth League Premier Division this evening at the league’s AGM. Robins decided to accept promotion after winning the South Division for the second time in four seasons and will face the likes of Harefield United, Maidenhead United and Windsor. Bracknell of deafeated Harefield in the league cup on their way to the final where they were eventually beaten by Maidenhead. 10-teams will compete in the Premier this year with Ascot United earning a relegation reprieve due to Holmer Green dropping into the East Division.

Alongside Bracknell, North Greenford United and Marlow have been promoted from the East Division.

Bracknell Town under 11s enjoyed an unforgettable weekend at FC Barcelona’s Nou Camp stadium, playing on the famous turf and winning a competition. The Robins youngsters looked right at home in the famous old stadium, winning the u11/12s Plate competition in the process.

 

Keith Pennicott-Bowen hellenic  leagueBracknell Confirm Management For Coming Season - 21 June

Keith Pennicott-Bowen has agreed to stay on as First Team Manager of Bracknell Town FC for the 2015-16 season.

Club Secretary Darrell Freeland comments on the team management structure at The Robins. "Since KP-B took over near the end of October 2014, the club played 25 league matches as we went on to finish ninth in the Uhlsport Football League Premier Division. Lee Simpson will step down from managing our Development team and will become First Team Coach working with KP-B. Lee is a fantastic coach who this past year has earned his UEFA ‘B’ coaching badges. Pete Aulsberry will remain at the club as Goalkeeping Coach assisting all teams including the junior teams. Youth Team Manager Paul Howe – who guided his side to the Allied Counties Youth League South Division title this past campaign – is going to have a dual role this coming season as he will manage both the Development Team and Youth Team. Paul will have great support staff assisting him with Steve O’Connor Assistant Manager for the Development Team and Graham Ridley Assistant Manager for the Youth Team. Liam Day and Jake Keohane (who holds level 2 coaching badges) will coach the Development and Youth Teams."

The managerial set-up is:
First Team
Manager: Keith Pennicott-Bowen
Coach: Lee Simpson
GK Coach: Pete Aulsberry

Development Team
Manager: Paul Howe
Assistant Manager: Steve O’Connor
Coaches: Liam Day and Jake Keohane

Youth Team
Manager: Paul Howe
Assistant Manager: Graham Ridley
Coaches: Liam Day and Jake Keohane

Freeland adds. "It appears as though most of the First Team, Development Team and Youth Team Players have committed to us for next season."

Training for all three Bracknell teams commences on Tuesday 7th July. All current and new players are welcome. Training will be Tuesday evening and Thursday evening from 7pm to 9pm at Birch Hill Recreation Ground, Bracknell, RG12 7AQ.

 

Berkshire Robins Pre-Season - 18 June

Bracknell Town have seven fixtures lined up for a very competitive pre-season schedule, starting against Hayes & Yeading on Saturday 11 July.

As part of the transfer of Sam Barratt to Maidenhead United, the "Magpies", now managed by Alan Devonshire, the former West Ham midfielder and England international, will send a strong side to Larges Lane on Monday 20 July.

On Saturday 1 August, Evo-Stik Southern League side Godalming Town will host Bracknell at Wey Court. The day is a “Troops & Family Day” with free entry to members of the forces and adult entry at £5. In addition, there will be one or more bouncy castles for the kids.

The full pre-season schedule is:-
Saturday 11 July            3pm            Hayes & Yeading U23    Cantley Park
Saturday 18 July            3pm            Guildford City                  Away
Monday 20 July             7.45pm       Maidenhead United         Larges Lane
Tuesday 21 July            6.30pm       Eversley & California       Away
Saturday 25 July           3pm            Met Police Reserves       Cantley Park
Tuesday 28 July            7.45pm       Sandhurst Town              Away
Saturday 1 August         3pm            Godalming Town             Away

Bracknell feel the pre-season programme should stand them in good stead for the Uhlsport Hellenic League campaign which starts on Saturday 8th August.

 

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