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Major Breath Of Fresh Air - 31 March

Brimscombe & Thrupp manager Sam Prior has described Edd Major as a 'breath of fresh air' ahead of tomorrow’s Uhlsport Hellenic Premier Division clash against Bracknell Town. Major has scored 10 goals in his 22 matches since joining the Lilywhites from Slimbridge, including three in the last two games.

Talking to Jon Palmer of the Gloucester Echo, Prior said of Major, "We brought him across from Slimbridge, and it was a bit of a slow start because he was coming into a side he hadn't really trained with. We were trying to squeeze him in, but since he has came in he has taken his chance. He scored a hat-trick on his debut and he's just gone on. He has double figures this season and not from that many games. He's been a brilliant addition to get goals off the right hand side. He's just a really good player. You can tell he has played at a higher level and he knows what he's up to, so I'm really pleased for him."

Bracknell Town sit second in the table, two points adrift of leaders Thame United, and Prior says there is 'no pressure' on his side this weekend. "We went up there and put in a woeful performance when we got beat 7-2, which isn't good and not what you want," added Prior. "They are a good side, a team full of quality and they have to win the game if they are to stand any chance of winning the league. There will be no pressure on us at all, and they'll be coming to win and we will be doing our best. One thing for certain is the pitch will be different to their 3G one."

Brimscombe enter the match having won two in a row, including Tuesday night's Bluefin Sports Challenge Cup quarter-final success against Lydney Town. Prior is hoping his side can make that three at the weekend and head into their cup fixtures with a big win, but is aware it'll be a tough test. "It would be fantastic if we could do that," he said. "We are just approaching these games as they come. We won't look any further than Bracknell. We will train tomorrow night and whatever happens on Saturday, happens. Obviously we would like to get a win and win three on the trot after losing three, but we know it will be difficult against Bracknell. They don't lose many or concede many, but they do score goals, and that's the reason they are towards the top. We are as focused on this game as any other."

Dave Woodfield is the only player absent, missing the game due to work commitments.

Form & Fire? - 24 March

Sam Prior is hoping that Ollie Pitt and Jack Smith can keep up their fine form and fire the Lilywhites to cup success this season.

jack smith hellenic league brimscombeollie Pitt hellenic league brimscombeBrimscombe remain in two cup competitions and Prior praised the pair, who both have over 20 goals in all competitions, ahead of his sides Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division clash against Henley Town on Saturday. "They've been fantastic," said Prior. "It was well documented that Bishop's Cleeve and Cirencester made approaches for Ollie (left), and it's a testament to the boy that he decided to stay with Brimscombe because he believes in what we are trying to do and the way we are going, and he's been vital to what we have been doing this season. Jack (right) has gone under the radar really. He joined us from Cirencester Town last season and he had to wait his turn to get into the side. He's a proper number nine and for such a young lad he's handled himself well. He knows how to play with his back to goal. He's a different kind of striker to Ollie and Sam Blackie. Going forward we haven't had a problem this season. We've scored lots of goals, and it's possibly the other end that's caused the problems. The two boys are just the cherry on the top really on what has been a decent season with everyone playing well and fighting for places. Hopefully they can keep playing well and fire us to a final or extra points in the league."

Henley are struggling towards the bottom of the table, but Prior is preparing for a tough game against a side who will be 'scrapping for their lives'. "They are down at the bottom, but by the same token, they will be scrapping for their lives," added Prior. "They won't want to drop out of the league, so they'll want to gain points and climb the table to get themselves safe. From our point of view, we will just be worrying about us and not about them. We obviously lost again on Tuesday night, but the performance was good. It was just individual mistakes that cost us at the wrong time, and we have been punished for it. We are really disappointed to miss out on a final, but we put it behind us because there is still plenty to play for and the league position we are in, we could move up a couple and with still a final to make in two competitions, we will be dealing with Saturday and moving on afterwards."

Prior insists that his side will just keep focusing on every game as it comes and won't get carried away with the big games still to come. "We don't look too far ahead really," he said. "We've just been focusing on game to game, and it's what we have been doing all season. We want to get points against Henley to move up the table, and that is our main focus. If we make two finals down the road that would be fantastic, if we don't, we don't. It would be a great reward not just for the players, but for the staff and the club as a whole just to enjoy a day out."We did it last year and it was good, but the main focus is Henley and stop the losing streak."

Brimscombe remain without their captain Chris Greenhough who is on holiday.


Lessons Learnt? - 17 March

Brimscombe & Thrupp travel to Brackley Town Saints in the Premier Division of the Uhlsport Hellenic League tomorrow.

Boss Sam Prior is hoping lessons have been learned from last week's 7-2 defeat at Bracknell Town. "Last week was a learning curve for us and we just can't make the mistakes we made against such a good side," he said. "I'm hoping it's a one off and we move on, as we don't become a poor side after one game. Brackley are a side that try to play the right way and we failed to win in two attempts there last season."

Prior has a fully fit squad from which to choose, but Chris Greenhough is away.


Fit & Available - 3 March

Brimscombe and Thrupp have a fully fit and available squad for tomorrow’s home match against Highmoor Ibis.

Sam Prior's men enjoyed a thrilling 4-3 midweek win over Oxford City Nomads and the manager was delighted with the resilience shown. "It was a hard fought game and Oxford only had three chances in the whole match," he said in the Gloucester Echo. "The lad (Rav Shamsi) finished each one with real quality for a first half hat-trick, but we created enough during the first half to still give us confidence. We started the second half like a house on fire and either side of captain Chris Greenhough scoring, Sam Blackie finished brilliantly after a terrific build-up for his second of the game. We know Saturday will be tough against a physical Highmoor side. It's the first meeting between the two sides in the league but we did manage to win 2-1 away in the FA Cup back in August. I'm expecting another tough test and we certainly won't want to give them any chances to get their noses in front."

Five Out For Burnham Trip - 24 February

Brimscombe and Thrupp have five players missing for Saturday's Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division trip to Burnham.

Ben Snook, Alex Parrott, Kyle Pitts, Dan Hill and John Evans are all out, but boss Sam Prior is confident there is enough depth in the squad to win in Buckinghamshire. He welcomes Dave Woodfield, Tom Pass and Jack Holmes back after Tuesday's 2-1 reverse at Thatcham Town, which was their first defeat in 12 games.

"Tuesday night was hard to take, we were possibly the better side for the large majority of the game, but when you make mistakes around a striker like Shane Cooper-Clark, you get punished," Prior said in the Gloucester Echo. "We had good chances, hit the bar and had a last minute, stone wall penalty turned down by a referee who was abysmal on the night. I was delighted with the boys' application and work rate, it just didn't quite fall for us. We've had the rub of the green in previous games so we need to take it on the chin and put in a strong performance away to an improving Burnham to get ourselves back on track."


Chasing Siverware On Three Silver Fronts - 17 February

Brimscombe & Thrupp are still chasing silverware on three fronts, after progressing to the semi-finals of the Perpetua Press Floodlit Cup.

A 3-1 win over Oxford City Nomads on Tuesday night, moved them forward in that competition. They are already in the last four of the GFA Trophy and they can reach the last eight of the Bluefin Sport Hellenic Challenge Cup by defeating Slough-based Chalvey Sports at the Meadow on Saturday.

Chalvey compete in Hellenic League Division Two East, two levels below Premier Division Brimscombe, but boss Sam Prior has taken note of their impressive form this season. "We're looking forward to Saturday's game against a side who we don't know a lot about," Prior said in the Gloucestershire press. "Looking into their results, they've won every game this season bar one cup game and scored a lot of goals along the way. The two division gap means nothing and with them having a winning mentality, we will have to be switched on to get a positive result. We will be taking it as serious as any league game and the lads have been given the night off training tonight to rest up and prepare for the weekend."

Prior has also given his players a breather with Tuesday night's league match against Thatcham Town in mind. He has a fully fit squad from which to pick, having made several changes for the Oxford City game. "Tuesday was another good win for us and it was pleasing to get minutes into a few lads who haven't been playing as much as well," he said. "The squad is fully available and we will certainly be picking a team capable of winning the game to try and help us progress in another cup competition."


Xmas Derby Double Tonight? - 30 December

Brimscombe and Thrupp are hoping to complete a derby double against Longlevens tonight (7.45pm).

They beat Gloucestershire rivals Lydney Town 1-0 on Boxing Day thanks to Kyle Pitts' second half strike. It left them 10th in the table with at least two games in hand on all the sides above them, but 12th placed Longlevens have a good record against Sam Prior's team, writes Jon Plamer of the Gloucestershire Echo.

"I think we have only beaten them once in five or six attempts so they are a bit of a bogey side for us," Prior said. "We will be hoping to turn that around in front of a decent Friday night crowd at the Meadow. I was pleased with the win at Lydney because they beat us in the first game of the season and we were dreadful that night. We went there on a tough pitch against a big, direct side and got the goal and then managed the game well."

Sam Blackie and Chris Greenhough, who both started against Lydney, are unavailable, but goalkeeper Lewis Skyers returns. "We had Adam Thomas in goal on Monday and he was superb for us, but Lewis is back and apart from the two lads away it'll be a settled side," Prior said.

Ben Prictor is close to returning from an operation on his knee, while John Evans will play for County League Cheltenham Civil Service against Hardwicke on Monday to rebuild his fitness after injury.

Brimscombe are in the quarter-finals of both the GFA Challenge Trophy (v Cirencester Town Development) and the Hellenic Floodlit Cup (v Oxford City Nomads) and Prior wants to pick up at least one piece of silverware. "We finished fifth in the league last year and we will do well to match that because realistically I think we are chasing sixth," he said. "I really enjoy the GFA Trophy and always did as a player, so I am hoping we can go all the way in that, do well in the Floodlit Cup too and then finish as high as we can in the league."


mark lee hellenic league lydney

Rarity Of Home Fixture - 2 December

Brimscombe and Thrupp have something of a rarity this weekend as they play a home league fixture for the first time since the end of October when they take on Binfield.

"We need to take it seriously and place a certain amount of importance on it because the league fixtures are so sporadic at the moment," said boss Sam Prior in the Gloucestershire Echo. "Binfield are a good team. Roger Herridge (their manager) is very experienced and has built a decent little side down there. They come into the game off the back of two wins and we know it will be tough, but that's exactly what we need after last Saturday."

Brimscombe have six games in hand on some teams in the division, meaning that if they were to win all of those matches they would be right up at the top end of the league. "I'd rather have the points than the games in hand but if you look at our fixtures we've still got to play five of the bottom six, some of them twice, in the next few months," Prior said. "It's the same old cliché that we need to take it one game at a time and start picking up points and pushing up the table."

The Lilywhites were taken to penalties by Gloucestershire County League side Little Stoke in the GFA Challenge Trophy last weekend, but managed to squeeze through despite originally going 2-0 down. Prior said: "I don't know whether it's a mentality thing or an experience thing, because we've got quite a young side, but we were two behind before we started playing. But the positive, and the important thing I suppose, is that we got through – but the players know they need to be better and they will be this weekend."

They will now go on to play Cirencester Town Development in the quarter-final stage, a team that Brimscombe know well. "It's a little bit of a local derby I suppose but I'm happy to have the home draw," Prior said. "We've got some lads from Cirencester, and we beat them twice last season, but from what I've seen they're doing better this year so we won't underestimate them when the game comes around."


Cup Progress Hopes - 19 August

Brimscombe and Thrupp will look to pass the Emirates FA Cup Preliminary stage for the first time in their history when they play undefeated Highmoor Ibis at the Meadow on Saturday.

Premier Division, fourth-placed, Lilywhites secured their first back-to-back victories of the season when they stuffed Carterton, who lost to third-placed Highmoor in the Extra Preliminary Pound, by four goals to nil. Brimscombe manager Sam Prior has a fully fit squad to choose from with the exception of winger Dave Woodfield, who is away on holiday.

Prior knows the difficult afternoon Brimscombe are in for. "It is a hard game regardless," Prior said. “Highmoor are a tough cookie to crack – they have had great results so far this season. But we have been good in the last two games – anything can happen in the cup."

When Prior was asked by the Gloucestershire Echo how much it would mean to the club to get into the first qualifying round, he said: "Wouldn't it be fantastic? To compete in the FA Cup is a dream. To win is brilliant – but we should have done this last season. We were 2-0 up and drew last year against Bracknell before going out in the replay. Financially speaking it is great as it is for the players – we have a lot of work to do but hopefully we can do it."

Lilywhites Pre-Season Win - 3 July

Brimscombe & Thrupps's Ben Deakin starts the new season with a brace as Cirencester Town lose out at the Meadow in the Lilywhite's first pre-seaon friendly witnessed by well over a hundred spectators.

The club can't wait for the next entertaining fixture, as Gloucester City are the opponents on Friday night 7.45 k.o.

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