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BRIMSCOMBE & THRUPP FC NEWS
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Suspended Duo - 15 December

Brimscombe & Thrupp will be without suspended duo Ollie Pitt and Ash Caldwell for Saturday's Uhlsport Hellenic Premier Division fixture against Burnham, writes Johnny Morton on Gloucestershire Live.

Caldwell will miss the next three games after receiving a red card, while top scorer Pitt misses one game after accumulating five yellow cards. Strikers Sam Blackie and Jack Smith are also unavailable, while Edd Major remains sidelined with a groin injury.

The Lilywhites are coming off a 2-1 league loss to Binfield, with club captain Chris Greenough scoring the goal. Manager Sam Prior says the defender has a massive influence at the club."His influence on and off the pitch is massive for us," Prior said."He is an experienced player and pops up now and again with a goal in the opposition box. It's his influence which is so important, his talking and the way he plays - he always gives 100%. He's the first to admit when he has a stinker, and some of the other lads look at him and follow him a little bit. Sometimes you need someone to drag you through, and Chris does that."

 

Mid Week Preparation - 8 December

Brimscombe & Thrupp prepared for tomorrow's Premier Division with Binfield by playing a behind-closed-doors friendly against Hereford on Tuesday.

Hereford could face Leicester City in the third round of the FA Cup if they can beat League One's Fleetwood Town in a second round replay next Thursday night. They currently sit fifth in the Southern Premier League, and Brimscombe's manager Sam Prior says it was good for his side to get another game in after a disappointing 4-0 loss to Ascot United last weekend.

"We lost 4-0, but Hereford had a strong side out," said Prior. "It was handy for us. It was good to get minutes into the bank and get boys back out there so they didn't have to worry about it all week. If you win the game last Saturday, you probably don't need the friendly, but the way we lost and the way we folded, I thought it worked for us. Hopefully it will stand us in good stead."

 

bluefin insurersA Return To Winning Ways ?- 10 November

Brimscombe & Thrupp will hope to rebound from their first loss in 10 games when they travel to Abingdon United in the Bluefin Sport Challenge Cup tomorrow.

The Lilywhites nine game unbeaten run was brought to a halt with a 4-0 loss to league leaders Highworth Town last weekend. Manager Sam Prior says he is proud of what his side achieved over the last 10 games, but it is vitally important they bounce back this weekend.

"It's been their efforts," said Prior to Gloucester press reporter Johnny Morton. "When I got back from honeymoon we lost to Bracknell and Highmoor-Ibis, and we thought we had to get a little better off the pitch with organisation and discipline. We sorted those things out pretty quickly, and it transferred to the pitch. The boys have been outstanding. They've put the effort in, trained really hard and taken their chances. It's been and gone now. It's alright when it's happening, but it's gone now. There are no records - the last game that we played, we lost. It's important we respond on Saturday with good character and there's no reason why we can't."

Abingdon sit 16th in the Hellenic Premier Division table, and are winless in their last five games. Brimscombe face two away cup matches at Northcourt in the space of four days, with a Perpetua Press Floodlit Cup tie on Tuesday night.Prior says he might look to make a few changes to his squad, with defender Chris Pates likely to make his first start for the club.

"It's a lovely place to play football," he added. "I don't know a great deal about them. They are down in the lower end of the league, but it's a cup game. It's always going to be a tough game. They'll try and play football I'm sure on a good pitch, and hopefully it will suit us as well. We don't have too many missing, but might change a couple of people around to freshen it up a bit after last week and see how we get on in the two games before we are back to league action."

Captain Chris Greenough and Kyle Pitts are both suspended after picking up five yellow cards.

 

Lilywhite's Hoping To Extend October Form - 3 November

Brimscombe & Thrupp were top of the Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division form table in October, recording maximum points from the five league games played.

They have not dropped a league point since September 23, a seventh consecutive league win for Brimscombe could lift them as high as second in the Premier Division, but they will face their toughest task when they travel to league leaders Highworth Town. Highworth have won all but one of the fourteen league games played so far this season, only losing 2-4 to Wantage Town in their last league outing.

Manager Sam Prior says focus will be fully on Saturday and not any league position prospects."It's not on our minds whatsoever," said Prior in the local press. "We are completely focused on the opposition on Saturday. Yes, we have had a good run and it's been great to do so, but we are well aware that not just Saturday, but any game, we can be brought back down to earth. There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance. We should be confident because we have earned the right to be, but Highworth are a team packed full of really good players. It'll be the biggest test of the 10 we have played, so we aren't looking at that. We are just focusing on Saturday."

All four of the Lilywhite's strikers are in fine form, with Jack Smith, Sam Blackie and Karl Nash all on target in their 3-0 win over Ascot United last weekend. Ollie Pitt leads the way with 15, and Prior says it's a credit to the rest of the team with the amount of chances that are being created.

"They are in great form, but the boys are working hard to give them chances," he added. "Luckily of late we have been able to find the back of the net at the right times, and they are in the right positions to miss the chances as well. We scored three but we miss a few as well. If we can find the balance of keeping the quality but taking a few more of the chances, we will certainly see games out a bit more comfortably than we are doing at the moment."

Chris Pates will be part of the squad after signing from Bishops Cleeve during the week. "We are delighted to add Patesy to the squad," said Prior. "He brings Southern League experience and good competition to an already strong back line. When the opportunity came along to sign him, it was a no brainer from our point of view and he will fit in perfectly with what we already have."

 

chris pates hellenic league footballBrimscombe Chasing Pates - 27 October

Brimscombe & Thrupp have put a seven day notice in to Southern League Bishops Cleeve as they attempt to sign defender Chris Pates.

Johnny Morton writes in the Gloucester press. Cleeve currently sit bottom of Southern League Division One West, but recorded their first win of the season on Tuesday night, beating Shortwood United 4-0. Pates (pictured) wasn't involved in the victory, but started in losses to Bideford and Larkhall Athletic in recent weeks, and will now have a decision to make if he wishes to switch Kayte Lane for the Meadow.

The Lilywhites are eight unbeaten after picking up a 2-1 win over Highmoor-Ibis last Saturday, and will attempt to make it nine when they host Ascot United in Hellenic Premier Division action this weekend.

Striker Karl Nash scored on his return to the starting line-up, and manager Sam Prior says Nash has improved as a player lately. "I'm delighted for him," said Prior. "Like I said previously, he was nagging me to try and get him into the team when Jack (Smith) was playing and he wasn't, and on Saturday we used them both and used them both to good effect. He took his chance. He could have scored before he did, but his all round game at the moment has been a lot better. He is working harder and creating chances for the team. On his day, he is a real focal point and a real handful for the opposition. A good, positive Karl is a good influence on our squad."

Prior will be hoping his side can avoid a similar result to last year as they look to climb into the top five in the league. "Ascot beat us at home last season," he said. "They can pick points up away, so we just have to take care of ourselves really. We don't really know much about them. We will train tonight and make sure we get through it. After not having a midweek game, we have had a good rest and we will work hard tonight and get the legs going again and attack Saturday with a positive mindset and hopefully get another win."

 

jack smith brimscombe hellenic leagueKey Part - 6 October

After scoring in the last two matches, Brimscombe and Thrupp manager Sam Prior has described striker Jack Smith as 'a key part' to what his side are doing this season, writes Johnny Morton in the Gloucestershire Echo.

Smith (pictured) scored 25 goals last season for the Lilywhites, and has returned from holiday to net goals against Brackley Town Saints and Lydney Town. Prior also has Karl Nash at his disposal, and says as long as they keep scoring goals, then he will be happy.

"Jack's been top drawer," said Prior. "The boy got 25 goals last year, and if he's really critical, it could have been over 30. He's always in there. It doesn't matter if he misses one, he's always ready to put himself back in position and go again. He's a key part to what we have. He's got competition from Karl as well. They both play a similar sort of role, and it's great to have the pair of them. If one of them keeps scoring, then we will be happy."

Brimscombe are now three unbeaten in the league - a spell which sees them sit seventh in the league table, and a win against Oxford City Nomads on Saturday would see them enter the top six. They were five without a win from the start of September until they ended it with a 7-2 win against Fairford Town, and Prior says they have gone back to basics, and the results are showing that it has worked.

"I know we've gone three unbeaten, but it's only been a week," he added. "A week is a long time in Hellenic football and if you lose all three, then everyone is down in the dumps. If you win all three then they come into training with a spring in their step. It rolls into Saturday. You can play every day when you're winning games. We have started to get back to basics a little. We are working a little bit harder, defending in the right areas and we are creating chances and taking a couple of them. Once you start doing that, it becomes a little bit easier for everyone. Hopefully with a bit of hard work and desire, it continues."

Sam Blackie is likely to miss Saturday's game with a groin injury, but with most of his squad now available, Prior is hoping they can make it four in a row against Nomads this weekend. "They are very similar to Brackley," he said.

 

Keep It Clean - 29 September

After keeping their first clean sheet in over a month against Longlevens on Tuesday night, Brimscombe & Thrupp manager Sam Prior is hoping his side can continue in the same vein in their Uhlsport Hellenic Premier Division clash with Brackley Town Saints on Saturday, writes Johnny Morton, in the Gloucestershire Echo.

Prior had called on his side to show a positive response from their 3-1 loss to Highmoor Ibis last weekend in a performance he described as 'dreadful', and he got what he was looking for in a 1-0 win over Levens.

"The boys knew they had let themselves down last Saturday," said Prior.”Sometimes you get a game like that in a season, and it was just a one-off for us. We turned up on Tuesday night and had a chat about what we thought we needed to improve on, and they went out there and were much better. We worked harder, showed more quality on the ball, defended much better and did the basics right. We got lucky with the goal with the lad putting it into his own net. There is never much between us and Longlevens.

Their defence will once again be tested when Josh Bowden arrives at The Meadow this weekend. The Brackley striker has netted 15 league goals in nine league appearances, and only Highworth Town, Flackwell Heath and Bracknell Town can better the tally of 26 scored so far this season by the Saints.

Prior is expecting a tough test against what has proven to be a 'bogey' team for his side over the years. "For some reason they have been a bit of a bogey side for us," he added. "We scored six against them last season, but they were a completely different side to what we were used to. Before that, they've always had the upper hand against us. They have a young side that play football and keep possession, make you work and are coached the right way. They have the top goal scorer in the league in Josh Bowden, so there's an obvious danger there that we will have to get to grips with. It's always a tough game against them, and whatever we get from the game, we will have to work hard for. I said to the boys that we will have to be patient and wait for what we get on Saturday, and hopefully we can make a good game of it. We have to find consistency in our performances and then I'm sure the results will start following."

Sam Blackie will miss the game with a groin injury, while defender Kyle Pitts is suspended after picking up a red card against Highmoor last weekend.

 

tim wilkins hellenic leagueFortunes To Turn - 15 September

Despite a run of four games without a win, Brimscombe & Thrupp coach Tim Wilkins doesn't feel his side are far away from turning their fortunes around.

The Lilywhites are coming off the back of a 3-1 league loss to Wantage Town on Tuesday evening, but Wilkins (right) believes stability will start to bring better results.

"We are definitely getting there," said Wilkins in the Gloucestershire Echo. "We have had a few changes, and now everything should be fairly stable for this weekend. They have been difficult games as well. There have been a couple of them that we could have done a little better."Against Windsor we felt we should have taken all the points, but with two down with 10 minutes to go we were pleased to get a point from that one. Overall, we are definitely moving in the right direction and we have too good of a squad not to pull out of it. It's almost getting a bit familiar that we have a bit of a bad run, and then hit October and go on a big run of victories. Fingers crossed the same happens this season!"

Brimscombe welcome Bracknell Town to The Meadow this weekend in the Hellenic Premier Division, and it will mark the return of manager Sam Prior to the dugout. Prior has missed the last three games while on honeymoon in San Francisco, and Wilkins says it will be a boost to have him back. "We kept communication lines quite open during his honeymoon," he added. "He has been having a say in everything that has been going on and has been involved in team selection."

Bracknell are currently unbeaten and sit in third position in the table, but Wilkins is confident his side can get something from the game if they turn up. “They have an extremely strong squad all round," he said. "It'll be a difficult game. Once again, if we play the football we know we are capable of, then we will give them a good game and good competition for them. It's a tough ask, especially after the run of results we have had, but I am confident the boys can get something out of the game, which would be great."

 

sam prior hellenic leagueWedding First Priority - 25 August

Brimscombe and Thrupp manager Sam Prior has a very busy few days ahead of him, with marriage vows taking the prime position.

He will take charge of his side in two local games against Lydney Town on Saturday and Tuffley Rovers on Monday, but before all that, he will tie the knot with fiancée Charlotte this afternoon.

A day that has been almost two years in the making he said talking to Johnny Morton of the Gloucestershire Echo. "I'm really looking forward to it, it's been 18-20 months in the planning, and it gets to the stage were we are just ready to go and just ticking things off the list.”

Prior says six points from the two games and a great event this afternoon would be the most perfect scenario. "We have rehearsals tonight, then play Lydney on Saturday and Tuffley on Monday and off on Tuesday," he added. "The ideal situation is beautiful weather, have a great day, then three points at Lydney and at Tuffley, but life doesn't always work like that!"

Prior will be missing for the matches against Windsor, Leighton Town and Wantage Town as he flies off to San Francisco for the honeymoon. He says the squad have no excuses while he is away due to his exceptional backroom staff. "Without them we would be struggling at this moment in time," he said. "I'm only missing three games against Windsor, Leighton and Wantage, so it shouldn't be too detrimental to the side. I'm going to be there Saturday and Monday which is excellent. The guys will take charge of those three games and I'll be back for the Bracknell game. There are no excuses for them to not do well when I'm away."

 

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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