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Pitts On Form - 18 August

Ahead of Saturday's Emirates FA Cup Preliminary round qualifying match with Hayes and Yeading United, Brimscombe and Thrupp manager Sam Prior has praised the all-round game of defender Kyle Pitts, writes Johnny Morton in the Gloucester Echo.

kyle pitts hellenic leagueA second half Pitts header was enough to secure a 1-0 league win over Wantage Town on Tuesday evening, marking The Lilywhites first Hellenic Premier Division success of the season.

Prior says that Pitts (pictured right) has grown as a player during his time at The Meadow. "He's good in the opposition box," said Prior. "First and foremost he is a defender and we want him to do the right things our end of the pitch, but he seems to be a bit of a ball magnet in the opposition box. He reads it well and times his runs well, and he probably should have scored more than he did last season because he finds himself on the end of chances. He's a good player for us and he has grown over the past couple of years he's been with us. Along with the other defenders, he is a vital part to our squad at that end of the pitch."

richard joyce hellenic leagueBrimscombe have added former Forest Green Rovers man Richard Joyce (left) to their backroom staff, and Prior is hoping his match analysis will add an extra dimension of professionalism to the club. "We were made aware that Joycey was leaving Forest Green a few weeks back, and I phoned him because I've known him for quite a while just to see what his plans were," he added."I know he had offers from various other clubs, but he got a new job and he decided he wants to come on board. For us, it makes it more professional. We can get more match analysis and hopefully record more games now with him around. If we can look at us during matches and also the opposition. On Saturday with Hayes and Yeading, hopefully it can provide us with more information and see what we can do going forward into games. Off the pitch it will hopefully make us more professional, and on the pitch hopefully it helps with player input. He's a top bloke and I'm delighted to have him around."

Prior's side will be looking to replicate their cup heroics of last season, where they won four matches in the competition before losing to Weymouth. It will be a step up against a Hayes and Yeading side that were relegated from the Southern Premier League last season, and they will have to do it without Edd Major, Karl Nash and Ben Snook who are all missing.

"We got lucky last year in terms of the draw," he said."We played four step five teams, which is the same level as us. On our day, I would back us to beat anyone at our level. Hayes and Yeading are a step up, so it will be extremely difficult going there. We will have to go with a game plan in mind and deal with their dangers and threats, as we know they've got good players, with some ex-league players in their ranks. Hopefully we will be up for it and be aware of their dangers, but we will go ask questions ourselves. Coming off the back of Tuesday night with a win will hopefully give us more confidence and we have nothing to lose. I would expect we would be underdogs, so we will have a go and what happens, happens."

Nash Suspended - 11 August

Brimscombe & Thrupp will be without Karl Nash when they host Thatcham Town in the Uhlsport Hellenic Premier Division tomorrow, writes Johnny Morton in the Gloucestershire Echo.

Nash will serve a three match ban after being sent off in the Lilywhites' 4-0 win over Sun Sports in the extra preliminary round of the FA Cup last weekend. Which will also rule him out for the Emirates FA Cup Preliminary Round game next Saturday against Hayes & Yeading.

Brimscombe will be hoping to go on another cup run after winning four games in the prestigious tournament last season, and manager Sam Prior was delighted with his sides dominant performance."We started really well and kept on the front foot and put them under so much pressure," said Prior. "It was fantastic to score four and for Ollie to get four, but the all-round team performance was outstanding for the first 45 minutes, and in fairness, 4-0 flattered them in the end. We could have been five or six up at half-time we were that good. The sending off straight into the second half was disappointing and meant we had to play 40 minutes with 10 men, but the boys worked hard and it is credit to us that we created the better chances a man down. It was a dominant performance. We will play better sides without a doubt, but we can only beat what is in front of us and we did that comfortably."

Striker Ollie Pitt netted four first half goals, and after scoring 26 goals last season, Prior says Pitt will continue to be a key man for his side during this campaign. "He's going to be very important this season," he added. "His goal-scoring is not a problem for him. He proved last year when he got 26 that he can find the back of the net, and is a really key player for us. It is important for us that he continues to score goals and the others create chances for him. There's 10 other players who have to work hard for him to get those opportunities, and luckily for us on Saturday everything he hit seemed to go in the back of the net."The boys are working hard creating the chances for him, and it's not just about Ollie but the team as well, and if we all play well and he continues to score goals then I'll be happy, he will be happy and we will be going in the right direction."


Good Memories - 4 August

The FA Cup brings back good memories for Brimscombe & Thrupp after they reached the third qualifying round of the tournament last year, writes Johnny Morton in the Gloucestershire Echo.

The Lilywhites recorded victories over Henley Town, Highmoor Ibis, Peacehaven and Telscombe and Brislington before their cup run was brought to an end by Southern League Premier side Weymouth.

Saturday brings another opportunity for Sam Prior's side to create more cup magic for themselves when they host Sun Sports. "We know from last season how good a vibe you can get going around the club from a really good cup run," said Prior. "We won four games and went through five rounds culminating in the Weymouth game. It's good for the club because financially it can be of massive benefit, and it's good for the players to play in a competition as prestigious as the FA Cup.”

"The boys will be much better for having played a game mid week, and I think it will stand us in good stead and we can bring that into Saturday and try and go to Hayes and Yeading and enjoy that day."

Sun Sports compete in the Spartan South Midlands League, and Prior is expecting a stern test at The Meadow this weekend. "I'm expecting a very tough game," he added. "They are quite a strong side, and quite a big side. As far as I'm aware they had a cup run last season which was like ours, a record for them. It'll be what they are like on the day, and it'll be the same for them as well. We will be doing everything we can do to make sure we don't have to go to Watford on a Tuesday night for a replay!"

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