Presentation Day & AGM - 25th May
Cricklade held their presentation day on the 22nd May, with a good turn out from players, activity day format seems more popular than the traditional Dinner Presentation.
Winners on the Day
First Team Players Player: Richard Blankley
First Team Managers Player: Dane Moulden
First Team Top Goal Scorer: Steve Winchcombe
Young Player of the Season: Nathan Gambling
Reserve Team Players Player: Sam-Perry Smith
Reserve Team Managers Player: John Watson
Reserve Team Top Goal Scorer: Nathan Gambling
Clubman of the Year: Steve Winchcombe
First Team Fantasy Player: Steve Winchcombe
Reserve Team Fantasy Player: Nathan Gambling
Cricklade Town will hold their AGM on Monday 7th June at 7pm in the Old Bear, all Members / Players are welcome. Along with any people that would like to join the Clubs committee for the coming season.
Presentation Day - 8th May
Cricklade Town hold their presentation day on Saturday May 22 starting at 13:00. During the day several activities and games will take place and the European Cup Final will be shown on TV.
Injury Woes For Youngsters - 3rd May
In the final two games of the season Cricklade have two young talents that will be nursing injuries over the summer, with Bill Charman (pictured) and George Bull both breaking bones in games against Trowbridge and Lydney.
George 17 who has only made a couple of appearance in the 1st team towards the end of the season suffered his injury on Thursday night at Trowbridge, after jumping to head the ball and coming down awkwardly he fractured his fibula, lucky it looks like a clean break, if there is such a thing. In the last game of the season another youngster Bill Charman 18, again in a challenge jumping for a ball came down on his right foot breaking his foot, sadly Bill in his short career has had to deal with a broken leg only a few years ago. Bill has made over 30 appearance for the 1st team and 60 for the club in his 3 years at the club.
One of the club's more senior players Richard Blankley (right) also suffered a head injury against Lydney with a bad head cut that required gluing on Saturday night, captain for the day Blankley continued until 10 minutes into the second half bravely continuing with a bandage. The hope is that all three will make full recoveries over the summer and be back in a green shirt next season.
Cricklade Town finished their long run in with a 4-2 win against Lydney, in a game that started in the summer sunshine and finished with a winter shower. Graham Jackson commented after the game: “We started really well and should have made this game comfortable, but we have the great ability to let teams back into the game, I was really pleased for the young lad gambling, he has been scoring goals in the reserves and has not got 4 in a few appearances for the first team. It has been a strange season for us, being mid-table you would have thought that we have beaten all the sides below us and been beaten the teams above us, but most of our dropped points have come with defeats against the lesser sides in the division, that’s with 7 defeats and one draw out of 14 games against teams below us, those 23 points would leave is 1 point behind the top of the table."
On the season Jackson continued: “The start to the campaign was our best in the 5 years that we have been in the Hellenic Division One West, with 6 wins out of the first 7 games, and that put us top for a while, but with some poor commitment from a few players that left we were left vulnerable to some poor results that cost us dearly in the middle part of the season, but having pulled a squad together I really think that if we have all our players committed to next season without injuries we could challenge in this league. This weekend our thoughts go to a few players that hope fully recover over the Summer, hopefully we can get them back playing in pre-season, with new injuries to Bill Charman and George Bull, to add to Reece Gulliver, Max Leslie and Gareth Davies."
Run For The Points - 30th April
On an evening where the sun gave way to the rain, Cricklade’s youngsters gave a good Letcombe side a run for the points, with the winning dubious goal coming in the 88th minute. With no fewer than 12 first team players unavailable it was left to number of the reserves to take on Letcombe, with no points but some positive for Jackson to take out of the game. In a game that meant nothing to winning titles both team gave a good performance in what was a good game, and a pitch with grass on helped both as they went about their passing game.
Graham Jackson commented: “We had to play an under strengthen side, not that many watching would have known, with some good performances from the youngsters, Gambling, Maskell, Uffy, ant the Chairman at 37 making his first outfield appearance on of the season at Centre Back, the not so young of the team. I was pleased with the effort and hard work that was put in, by some players that have been playing 3 games a week for the last 21 days, and I think we deserved a point or even more, only to be denied at the last by a goal that should not have stood, Mr Cox was unsighted as our goalkeeper was pushed out of the way on a high ball it was down to the lines that should have ruled the goal disallowed. I felt for the players, as all that hard work was undone by a poor decision as agreed from the Letcombe bench.
Cricklade Town take on Lydney in the last fixture of the season for Cricklade at Stones Land this afternoon, with 3 points a must to finish of the season, Cricklade have always had tight games against Lydney and this should be no different, Lydney have always been a well organised side that are hard to break down. It was a few seasons ago that we had Lydney the last game of the season at Stones Lane, and in very different circumstances, they were top and going off to the Premier Division, this season both side find themselves in mid-table.
Graham Jackson made the following comments on Thursday: “This is our last game and I would like to go out with a win, as we start to look to next season, but no mistake this will be a tough game. Over the past few seasons they have been tough to break down, they always have a good unit that keep a good shape, not the highest scorers in the league, but generally done concede many. It will be one of the toughest team selections I have had to make this season, as all the players on Thursday put in a good shift, and we have 5 first team players available after missing the midweek game, Dane Moulden, Aarron Maximen, Adam O’Bree, Steve Winchcombe and Chris Green are all set to return.
Big Mac's All Round - 29th April
Cricklades' trip to Trowbridge on Tuesday cost the Chairman more than his petrol money as he had to provide the squad with a McDonalds on the way home due to no food provided after the game.
With Cricklade having to field a much changed side due to players injured and unable to get the time off work it was always going to be a struggle for the Wiltshire side, with 5 enforced changes from Saturday including a debut in the first team for Tom Maskell, and the Chairman in Goal.
“It was a very even game, with us have more possession, but Trowbridge creating the better of the chances" commented manager Grham Jackson." With only one shot on target in the first half Trowbridge took the lead as we were caught cold, we improved our effort I the second half but only managed one shot on target, for all our possession we didn’t create, we have to be more clinical in the final third. When we had chances to cross we wanted that extra touch, and the same when we had the opportunity to shoot”
Cricklade Fatigued - 26th April
Cricklade Town lost their unbeaten 4 game run in a lack lustre performance at Clanfield, after taking control of the game within the first 15 minutes it looked to be a forgone conclusion for 3 more points for the travelling team.
On a pitch that did not suit a good game, with a the hard ground it was hard to keep the ball on the deck as it looked a throw back to the old Loftus Road astro-turf minus the sand. Clanfield came back from an early O’Bree goal to take all 3 points with two goals in the last 16 minutes, in a game that they never gave up on.
Graham Jackson said: “This was a poor performance from us, we passed the ball badly. Trying to hit long balls down the middle which is not what we are set up for, we don’t have a 6 foot plus centre forward, we have a team that is best suited to playing football, and did not do that. Cricklade got the early goal and controlled the game, we got in good positions to win the game but poor passing and not taking on shots cost us. The equaliser was poor, Clanfield got what they deserved out of the game by working harder than us, we created more but that means nothing if you don’t shoot or score when you have the chance”
Cricklade Take on Clanfield -23rd April
This will be the third meeting of Cricklade and Clanfield this season, with the early cup game back in September last year and the league fixture only a week ago, both games resulting a 2-0 win for Cricklade, over the years Cricklade have played Clanfield 10 times with only 2 defeats 8 wins and no draws, so I think that Clanfield will be out for revenge being their last game of the season.
Graham Jackson commented: ”We are in good form at the moment with 3 wins and a draw in our last 4 games, but players have to remember that you have to earn your wins, we have a great record against Clanfield, with a couple of blips most notably in 2008 when we went to Clanfield a were played of the park resulting in a 0-6 defeat. Following on from the midweek games we should have a few of our players available relieved from their work commitments”
Cricklade Reach Mid-Table - 22nd April
Cricklade traveled to Bristol for their third game in the 7 days in a 14 day marathon climax to their season.
Cricklade managed to get a valuable 4-2 win without getting out of second gear, almost letting their host keep some points with some poor defending at the back. Graham Jackson said after the match: "Its three points which is what we went to Tytherington for, it was not our best performance as a few players were feeling the effects of a derby game on Monday, also with Tytherington playing a slow game we found it difficult to get a high tempo at times. We create a lot of opportunities that should have sealed the game, and gave away poor goals, but that's what you get when you have to change the back four again, with players out of position it difficult."
1 Down 6 To Go - 21st April
The marathon continues, Cricklade Town’s first Monday night game ended in a draw with neighbours Purton FC, in what was an excellent games form both teams, something rare in a derby, a good game.
Cricklade opened the scoring and had the better of the first 20 minutes, but Purton applied a lot of pressure and hit the cross bar in the first half, the second half Both teams fought hard to take the points home, with good pressure from Purton’s long direct game the Cricklade Defence gave few chances away, and create a some good opening’s before the equaliser on 74 minutes. After this a few more good chances went begging, for Cricklade, and one goal disallowed for offside.
Graham Jackson commented after the match: “It was a great performance and I could not fault the lads, I know speaking to them they were all disappointed with not getting the win they thought the hard work deserved, but that’s football, and on another day we could have lost Purton had some good chances and put us under a lot of pressure at times, but I thought the makeshift back four performed brilliantly, to reduce the opportunities Purton could create with their direct style. With two reserve players in the first 11 due to people working and one player that did not turn up, so full credit to Nathan and George. What was good was the type of football we played, getting the ball down and passing it well, especially for the winner that never was, I still think it was not offside . . . . but then I would be biased.”
Cricklade make to trip down the M4 to Tytherington on tonight with a tough fixture against Tytherington Rocks, a ground where Cricklade have not managed a win in 4 attempts, with only a single draw to credit. With the game called off earlier in the season, as many were, it will be a 6:30 kick off meaning a few players cannot make the trip. Bill Charman out through injury, Dane Moulden missing with work as will be Chris Green. This will give a few opportunities for another few reserve players to be in contention.
Jackson commented: “This will be a tough game, and one we should be looking at winning, with Tytherington just below us in the league this keep us clear of them catching us up. As with all midweek games playing home or away we will be missing a few and gaining a few back. With players not being paid it’s hard to ask them to miss work.”
Top Half Again - 18th April
On a hot day Cricklade Town moved into the top half of the table with a 2-0 win over local team Clanfield. With not many chances in the first half the teams went in 0-0, but a dominate second half by Cricklade ensure all 3 points remained in Cricklade. This was another game that should have been put to bed earlier than the 92 minute, and in the last 5 minutes Clanfield had a couple of opportunities hit the bar on one occasion.
Manager Graham Jackson commented: “It was game that we controlled and should have been able to see out without any fuss, but the last 8 minutes was a bit nervous for us all, not getting the second goal gave Clanfield the encouragement to try and get an equaliser. In the first half we controlled the game without really creating, the second half we shout have hit 5 or 6, it was a really pleasing performance, and something we will have to take into the next game."
On Monday night Cricklade take on Purton for the second time this season. Purton have had a great season and only faltered at the end with several defeats in the last couple of months of the season. With defeat at the Red House already this season Cricklade will go in as underdogs, something that they will relish. Games in the past Cricklade have the advantage, but not in recent games, with Purton will the last 3 by the single goal.
Jackson added: “Purton will be a tough game, and one that the boys should be up for, with winning our last two we are in a bit of good form. We have played Purton this season already so know how they play, and how to deal with it, it should be a different game to the one at the Red House, a game in which we had a lot of the ball but did nothing with it. With Purton not being out of the chase for the title it will be interesting to see how they treat the game, but it’s a derby so I expect them to be coming for the win. Monday will have a few missing through work and injury, Reece Gulliver limped of with a groin at the weekend, Chris Green, Adam O’Bree and Dane Moulden will all be unavailable due to work. This will leave an opportunity to bring a couple of the reserve players in."
It’s About Time - 16th April
Cricklade left it late to get the 3 points on Wednesday night against struggling Cirencester United.
Once again Cricklade looked to have proved their own downfall, with early goals the game looked won at 2-0 after 15 minutes. With Cirencester looking beaten 2 goals were given away with naive defending, and it took until 80th minute to gain the 3 points. With a new back 4 in for the game due to players missing through work, it was always going to be a difficult game for Charman, Murdock, McGunigal and Smith.
Graham Jackson commented: “After 20 minutes Cirencester were beaten, but we have the great ability to get into good positions and throw it away, with no help required from the opposition. I have told my players if they want to play at this level they have to be better at defending leads, you don’t try and play in your own box with neat flicks when you are 2-0 up. With us playing a lot of players at the back out of position I was pleased with the performance, and across most of the pitch. Price, Reason and Blankley controlled the middle of the park, and the font 3 had lots of good movement, all that was lacking with the finishing, it’s a game that could have been won by a far greater margin”.
Cricklade Town take on Clanfield this Saturday at Stones Lane on the start of 7 games in 14 days. Cricklade have yet to compete against Clanfield in the league this season, but did secure a 0 - 2 Challenge Cup win back in September. Graham Jackson said: “With a win under our belts this week I will be looking for the players to keep the winning mentality, we have 7 games left and we will be looking for another 21 points, it will be tough but players should be looking to win every game. Saturday team should look a little different to our midweek encounter, with Dane and Kyle Moulden, Chris Green all set to return to the first team, the only absentee will be Adam Smith.”
Three Points Must - 13th April
Cricklade Town take the short trip to Cirencester United on Wednesday night, with 3 points a must for the game.
With defeat against Launton on Bank Holiday, followed by 1 point and against Winterbourne, and the defeat at Headington last Saturday Cricklade have only picked up 1 point out of the last 9. With Cricklade taking all three points against Cirencester earlier in the year on a Sunday morning ground hop day, it's not thought that they will be caught asleep as they were on that day; a goal after only 20 seconds was the first of eight for no reply.
Graham Jackson commented: “This is a game that most people would think that is 3 points in the bag, but that is far from the case, as has been proved only a short time ago on our trip to Launton. If you underestimate your opponents you make a big mistake in this league, and that is not something that we are about to do. The squad will have to have a few changes this due to work commitments, and players being away, but hope this will be down to a minimum.
Last Minute Again - 9th April
Cricklade Town dropped another 2 points on Wednesday night against Winterbourne. With being 2-1 up and coasting to victory the game turned when Aaron Maximen received his second yellow card of the game to reduce “Crick” to 10 men after 60 minutes. After a brave fight to hold onto the 3 points until the 91st minute, winterbourne equalised after a mix-up in the Cricklade Defence.
Graham Jackson said: “We started the game really well, and committed suicide from our own corner by losing ball easily and allowing Potts to break free, that was disappointing as we had discussed how you deal with Potts in our team talk. The good side is that we got ourselves back into the games and should have really killed the game off by half time, and early in the second half, we even had good chances when we went down to 10 men. With 10 men the boys worked hard and my feeling is that we deserved the 3 points, but football is a cruel game sometimes, and this is one of those times. We take some positives from the game, we dealt with one of the best strikers in the league very well (except on one occasion), the boys put in good work rate event with 10 players I could not see them scoring.”
Cricklade Town take on Headington this weekend to have their say in where the title will go, as defeat for Headington would most probably rule them out of any chance of winning the Hellenic Division One West this season. Since being beaten 3-0 on the opening day of the season Headington have gone from strength to strength with some good results that see them in 4th place and games in hand on two teams above them, where as early setters Cricklade have fallen away after a good start to the season. Cricklade have now visited Headington 3 times in their history, with mixed fortunes.
2008 – Loss 2-1 after leading at halftime 1-0 and only 10 men.
2007 – Drew 2-2 a great game that could have gone either way
2005 – Won 1-0 a close encounter that produce a good defensive display.
Jackson commented about the weekends match: “Headington is always a tough place to go, and more so this season with the results and position in the table. Our recent results would suggest that our players would be low on confidence, but that would be far from the case, we have dropped 5 points against Launton and Winterbourne this week in games that we should have won. Both games we controlled and created enough chances to take all 6 points, and neither Launton nor Winterbourne would have any complaints. We had to change the side around midweek t give players that had been on the bench for a few games, and rest a few, and a few were unable to play. This has now give me a bit of problem in selection, as the players that have come did a great job on Wednesday, even Adam Smith playing in unfamiliar territory at left back, a position that he looked comfortable in. The squad from Wednesday should be boosted with the return of Watkins and Green in the defence.”
Hangover & Hope - 6th April
Launton were handed their second Hellenic win of the season by Cricklade’s Bank Holiday Hangover. Bank Holiday always holds problems for Cricklade with virtually no points gained over the years, and this should have been a great opportunity to correct that statistic, but once again the dreaded Bank Holiday gave Cricklade one of its worst defeats in the Hellenic League.
Manager Graham Jackson said: “This was an embarrassing defeat for us, the referee and opposing manager commented that we were unlucky not have taken all three points, but football is a funny game in which you have to put the ball in the net. We started well and got the lead after 14 minutes, and then should have score a further 4 within 25 minutes, and for the most part we played some great football in the first 30 minutes. After 30 minutes the players looked to try and play a different style, whether the energy levels had taken it toll for a few of the from the night before I don’t know but something changed. Over the whole game I counted at least 15 great opportunities to score, and apart from the 2 goals Launton never got into our box, our finishing was poor, the goals we conceded were poor, and the attitude from some to turn up to a game in that condition was poor, this has to rank as one of my worst times in football”.
But hope remains when Cricklade continue their Marathon of games 11 in 26 days by hosting Winterbourne on Wednesday night at Stones Lane, a fixture that has always thrown up a challenge in more ways that one.
Jackson stated: “I am hoping for a reaction from Monday’s game, my hope is that they are feeling hurt and upset about the result, and want to put things right. Winterbourne will be a very different game to Launton, with Jimmy Potts you always know that it is going to a tough day, if you don’t deal with him you come unstuck, as we have found out like other teams in the past. People will look at Winterbourne’s position and think that they might be an easy ride, but as we found to our cost, that is not always s the way. Earlier in the season we got beaten 5-0 down at their place, let’s hope that some have learnt a lesson from that day. Wednesday night might see a few players being moved around, as we get into period of games it is going to be important to rest a few players now and then, to keep the squad fresh.
On Then Off - 5th April
Cricklade and Purton both left Stones Lane disappointed on Saturday, with the news at 14:15 that the game was off.
The process of the day was:
10:30 – A pitch inspection was done with Malcolm Carter and that pitch at the time was heavy with small patches of lying water, but playable.
13:30 – Pitch inspection by Match Referee David Foulks who confirmed that the pitch was just playable, but any more rain and this would be in doubt.
14:15 – After a down pour for the past 30 minutes another pitch inspection was done, the league were informed that Cricklade v Purton Derby Match was off.
It’s disappointing for the both sets of player’s fans, and the travelling officials, but both managers Graham and Chris both were in agreement that it was not playable, and would have turned into a farce of a game that neither teams nor officials wanted, and most notably it would be dangerous for the players in the conditions. Both clubs now await the Fixtures Secretary juggling to fit the fixture in, especially with Cricklade congested programme.
Cricklade make the long trip to bottom club Launton today, a month ago we would have throught that this is 3 points for the taking, but over recent weeks under new management Launton have improved, last getting their first win of the season.
Graham Jackson commented: “After Saturday we are just hoping that we will be able to get the game on, so many times this season we have fall foul of the weather that has left us with 11 games left to play this season. Mondays trip will not be as simple as most people think, Launton have had some good results lately, and I am not a fan on Bank Holiday Monday games, we have had some disasters in the past, most due to players bad discipline from the night before, hopefully with the squad we have now that will not be the case. We should be unchanged from he squad that was due to take to the field against Purton”.
Cricklade Town Fund Raising Events - 1st April
Race Night - Saturday 3rd April 2010
Cricklade Town are holding their annual Horse Race Night on Saturday 3rd April at the VWH Club in Cricklade. The evening will start at 7:30 with all welcome, players you are advised this is a compulsory event, and fine will be incurred for non attendance.
Sponsored Shave - Saturday 8th May
Sponsored event at the end of the season, First Team and Reserve Team Manager Graham Jackson and Paul Braithwaite have volunteered to have their head shaved and chest waxed if the players can raid over £400 in sponsorship, proceeds will be going towards Max Leslie to help him with his recovery.
Fancy Dress Charity Match – Date to be confirmed
Cricklade Town players will be having a Fancy Dress Football match in the close season to raise fund for a local charity and the football club, players will be asked to write down a fancy dress outfit, these will then all be put into a hat. Lucky dip will then chose what outfit you have to wear for the game.
Five Of The Best - 29th March
Cricklade Town got back to winning ways with a comprehensive win against North Leigh Reserves. Cricklade dominated possession, but North Leigh created most of the chances in the first half, with some good counter attacking football.
Graham Jackson said; "It was good for the players to get back to winning ways, over the past few weeks they have given a lot of effort, but had not been creating the chances; we started well and controlled the match for the most part. The first half could have been different as North Leigh played a smash and grab tactic that almost gave them a half time lead, but with our possession came 2 goals, in the second half we were much better, and created enough good chance to win 3 or 4 games, pleasingly we finished of 3 of them, and reduced North Leigh to only one chance in the second half. It was great to have the goals spread around and see some of the team hitting form again, hopefully just in time to have a great end of season and move ourselves into the top half of the league."
Need A Performance- 25th March
Cricklade town go into tomrrow’s fixture on the back of two defeats against Purton and Slimbridge.
Saturday we entertain North Leigh Reserves for the first time at Stones Lane, with only one recorded fixture in our history, the 3-2 defeat at Eynsham Hall.
Graham Jackson commented: "After 2 defeats we need to get back to winning ways, and more important is the performance, I was not please with our we played against Purton last week, too many players went missing in what was an important game for us. Half the problem is to many players are carrying injuries, and this is affecting their performance, the hope is that most will have fully recovered by Saturday. The squad should be unchanged from last week, with late fitness tests on Chris Green, Adam O’bree, Peter Mcgunigall Sam Reason and Reece Gulliver, who all still have injuries or picked up knocks last week."
Some good news is that Bill Charman looks to have recovered from his illness, but needs games to get back to fitness, Gareth Davies knee has come through training well, and Steve Winchcombe look to have thrown off hi neck injury.
The last outing against North Leigh we threw the game away with some poor goals give away, and easy chances missed, so we should be looking to put that right.
Bad Day At The Office - 23rd March
Cricklade went into the local derby full of confidence with a good track record against their local rivals Purton, last Saturday, with 5 wins in the 8 games played in the league over recent years, this defeat now makes it 3 loses in a row, and a hard one to take. Goals in the opening minute and closing minutes with a scrappy game in the middle are how most would sum the game up.
Manager Graham Jackson stated; “Its always disappointing to lose games and no more than a local derby, but we just didn’t turn up, they wanted it more than us and that is what the difference was, overall it was a poor game of football, with so many free kicks the game never got going, the game needs to flow, and neither team was given that opportunity, by the opposition or the referee. On the day we caused our own downfall, in the opening minutes you clear you line turn the opposition around, not play one-two’s in your last third, we dived in when we should have stayed on our feet. We most probably had more of the ball, but they did more with it, Purton play a quick direct style that caught us a couple of times, but our problem was that we did not play well when we had the ball, too many times we played the wrong option, when we did the right option it was a bad ball. One of the players summed it up, you should come off the pitch with no regrets, put your all into the game. But sadly I don’t think that we would have had one player that could say that, with the exception of John Watson who came into the squad for only his second outing with the first team, the only good news is that we have Purton in a couple of weeks at our place, it gives our players the opportunity to put things right”
Injury troubles at Crick - 19th March
Cricklade Town go into this weekend’s local ‘Derby’ with Purton with injuries to eight key players in the first team.
With three of the players carrying injuries last week against Slimbridge, Manager Graham Jackson is hoping for some good news in the next 48 hours, that players are fit and recovered for the important trip to neighbours Purton.
Jackson said; “Its great, having not played during those 11 weeks and having a full squad throughout that period, then we get games and they have produced injuries, but that is football. I am sure that other teams are having the same problem, with the number of fixtures that we have coming up it will be a big drain on the resources that we have”
He continued; “This is one of the fixtures that I always look forward too, I used to play and manage Purton and still live within the town. Derby days are always good occasions, for players officials and fans, if you win, you get the bragging rights until the next game, and if you lose, you have to wait a while to try and get your own bragging rights. This season will be another tough one for our lads, and we most probably go in as underdogs, with a good record up to last season, where Purton did the double over us, and Chris has got his team off to a flyer this season, but anything can happen in derby games. I would expect my players to be up this one, it should hurt them that local rivals finished above them last season, and are above us again in the league.
On a more frivilous side every Cricklade Town ‘Home Match’ an item is selected for players to bring/wear to the game. The honour of selection is given to the man of the match from the previous game to choose. This season we have so far had, Slippers, Bra, Knickers, Dressing Gown, and Teddy Bear, this week Dane Moulden selected pink socks.
With no reserve game last Saturday it gave Graham the option of having four on the bench, one of which was Nathan Gambling, who was stitched by the Reserve Manager who advised him that he had to wear, tights and a dress………I would have just paid the £2 Nathan, or even better looked at the website.
This week you will see Nathan sporting a tracksuit as Cricklade Reserves travel to Clanfield, where 3 points will keep them top of the Div West Reserve table. Cricklade reserves should see the return of two players from the past this week, Mark Giles and Daniel Howe-Booth.
More positive player news for Cricklade was known on Friday, after a four week lay off with a virus Bill Charman makes his return to football on Saturday against Clanfield Reserves, Bill is taking the opportunity to get in 90 minutes after the long lay off. With 100% attendance in the first team until his lay off Bill will be looking to get his fitness and sharpness back over the next few weeks and then get involved with the First team, with lost of games in April I am sure Bill will be back sooner than later. Steve Charman will also make his return after a 3 weeks lay off after contracting the virus from Bill, Steve who should be on the bench helping out the first team this weekend against Purton, resuming his role as Assistant Manager.
Beaten Fair & Square - 15th March
Cricklade Town suffered their second defeat to Slimbridge in month by 3 goals to nil, in a game that had no real goal scoring opportunities created by Cricklade in the ninety minutes, although Cricklade managed to restrict Slimbridge to only 4 opportunities in 80 minutes.
Manager Graham Jackson said after the match: “I knew that this would be a tough game with very limited chances, and was the case for both sides, taking out the last crazy two minutes out of the game we restricted them to only a few opportunities. I could not fault the effort of any of my players, but we didn’t play well when we had the ball, I suppose I have to give Slimbridge credit for that, they closed us down quickly in 2’s and 3’s and restricted the space by getting two banks of 4 behind the ball, when teams do that you have to pass well with a good tempo, and we didn’t do that. The result I can’t complain about, but the goals I can, they were poor goals to concede, we gave the ball away in a bad position for the first, and then didn’t track any of the runner, the last two goals we just a lack of experience again by giving the ball away on the edge of our own box twice then conceding penalties, both I believed to be outside the box."
Taking On The Contenders - 12th March
Cricklade Town embark on a tough run of games with Slimbridge this weekend, and Purton twice in the following 3 weeks.
This season the "Cricks" have a good record against the Division One West top four, with 5 games played, 3 wins 1 draw and one loss, and 3 games to go, and that’s not a bad record against the best in the league. With Cricklade’s only fixture in known history against Slimbridge some 4 weeks ago it will be a good challenge to see how the team has improved in fitness since then, as that look our biggest downfall in the 2-0 loss.
Graham Jackson stated. “These are the games that we relish, big games against good teams, when we played them 4 weeks ago it was after 11 weeks without a game, and that showed a lot especially in the 2nd half, but on the game as a whole I thought we handled them. Slimbridge look to be the best team as a whole that we have faced this season, only second to Cheltenham how are great going forward, where as Slimbridge look to have tighter unit, so I anticipate a close low scoring game. We have played well against the big team in the league, and had some good results, taking 6 points of Bassett and 4 from Cheltenham, but with a poor run of results in October and November with 6 league defeats more or less ended our chances of the title against some of the less teams in the league it has been quite disappointing, but since them we have strengthened the backline, if we had that backline back in October we would have been challenging for this league.”
“Saturday we will be missing Max Leslie who is still recovering well in hospital, Reece Gulliver who looks to be out for a while with a groin strain, and we will be waiting to see if Chris Green, Peter Mcgunigall can shake of injuries, apart from that we will be at full strength, and without reserve game this week we should have five on the bench.”
Cricklade Win Tight Game - 11th March
Easington proved to be the tough opposition that Cricklade thought, with a good contest on Tuesday nigh, hard fought by both sides. Goals from Winchcombe and O’Bree Cricklade managed to edge this encounter, and collect 3 valuable away points.
Manager Graham Jackson said: “This was one of my more pleasing results this season, I knew that Easington would be a good outfit that would challenge for everything, and we watched them against Purton the previous week, a game where I thought they had a few good players missing. The whole games was a tight, and these are the games that we had been previously been losing, with some great performance by the back 4 and the misfiled protection is was great to get clean sheet again, something we have been missing for the past 7 or 8 games” Jackson continued “We didn’t have a many chances as we would like in a game, but sometimes you have to give the opposition some credit, in the 2nd half they came at us and had most of the play, but if we defend like that for the rest of the season then we wont be far away our best finish in the Hellenic League”
Max on the Mend - 10th March
After a routine warm up the Cricklade Reserve team made its way back to the dressing room last Tuesday, 2nd March, to listen to Graham Jacksons deliver his pre-match team talk when Max Leslie declared he wasn't feeling too good.
The whole team thought it might have been linked to the concussion he received playing against Bassett. However nothing could prepare the team for what happened next. Max fell to the ground and complained of severe chest pains, after being rushed to the John Radcliffe Hospital it was discovered Max had heart problems so severe that the doctors declared it could have been fatal. If it wasn't for the professor on duty then the story could have been a lot worse.
Max underwent a minor operation the following day to remove a clot in his neck, but the big day was to be the day after that where he was to have a life saving operation that the doctors declared 50/50. But Max being a strong lad pulled through the operation with flying colour and after 2 days of sedation woke up and is now breathing without the aid of machines and is also walking around and eating which is a great sign.
Max has a 3 month recovery period but is determined to come back and wear the green and white of Cricklade, which is great news for everyone involved as he is one of the most naturally gifted players you can find. He will return home on Friday 12th March where he will be resting up before steadily getting his life back to normal.
Just to re-iterate the seriousness of the operation, Max will now appear in a medical book that will be sent to all Universities and hospitals with details of the operation as it was the first of its kind, it just goes to show you really do never know what’s around the corner.
Thanks to everyone for putting in to the collection for Max we have raised nearly £200 which is going to get him an Xbox360 with FIFA 10 a subscription to XBOX Live, and the box set of the TV show the Wire, which Max is addicted to.
Personal Message from Max “Lads thanks for all your support I can't believe it, it means a lot and I will be back playing with you all soon".
Cricklade Town Football Club would like to thank the Witney United Football Club for their help and support on the night, Darren Teggart, Witney Reserve Manager, and his partner who is a nurse, were able to assist in getting Max to hospital and received the medical treatment that he required.
Long Hard Trip - 5th March
Tomorrow Cricklade Town travel to Easington Sports, the trip made even tougher with a couple of players missing, and no fixture last week.
Manager Graham Jackso said: "Our last visit to Easington ended in a 1-1 draw, the final game of the season (2008/9)for us, in the past it’s been a mixed bag with 1 win and 3 losses prior to last season. This is not one of the games that I look forward to each season, it’s a long trip and a difficult place to get points, last week with our game being off it gave us an opportunity to have a look at Easington at Purton, they look the better of the two side and came away with 3 points, not very teams have done that to Purton this year”
“We should more or less have a full squad to choose from on Saturday, with Paul Fisher and Tom Price returning from injury along with Chris Green, player out will be Max Leslie missing through illness, and Reece Gilliver with a groin injury”
The Weather & Cricklade - 3rd March
It seems a common theme for Cricklade Town this season, if we play home or away the games keep getting called off, but again last Saturday it was across most games in the Hellenic League.
With now only 9 Saturdays in the season left and 15 games left its going to be tight on fixtures. It was a late downpour on Friday night that ended any chance of a sensible game. An interim pitch inspection was made on Thursday afternoon and the game was on, 24 hours later it was a different story. Cirencester 10 miles down the road had no signs of any rain from the downpour that hit Cricklade, as the Reserves managed to get in their fixture in Reserves Division 2 West.
Cricklade Take On Fitness Tes t- 27th February
Next Tuesday, 2nd March, Lucozade will visit the CrickladeTown training session to give the lads their Performance Test. Town have been fortunate this season to join the LSPL (Lucozade Sport Performance League), a partnership which teams have to complete Challenges to gain prizes, from Lucozade products to Trips at Premiership grounds. The Challenges range from the results that you get on a Saturday through to skills challenges.
On Tuesday night the players will be put through their paces in the following disciplines.
Decision making and reaction time are crucial in football, picking the right pass or a quick change of direction to beat your man can change games in an instant. The Serpentine test is an ideal way to analyse and sharpen these attributes. This test is used throughout top flight football and was the subject of a Lucozade Sport applied research project last season with Tottenham Hotspur FC to measure speed, agility and reaction time.
Over a distance of 30m, the ball is dribbled between 3 mannequins at full speed, with a light signal determining which direction the mannequin should be passed.
Speed is a vital weapon in a player’s armoury, and can be devastating if applied at the right time. Week-in week-out in the Barclays Premier League you’ll see how an extra yard can make all the difference, both in attack and defence. Some players naturally have pace in abundance, even if you’re not one of them it can be still be tested and honed to maximise your ability which is why top flight clubs rely this type of test.
An all out sprint over 30m, designed to test acceleration and the ability to maintain speed over the full distance. Performance is broken down at 10m, 20m and 30m to identify areas of strength and weakness within the sprint.
Work rate is another key factor in football, as well as maintaining energy levels for 90 minutes every player needs to be ready to make the transition from a walk to a sprint instantaneously. Teams can’t afford to have any player not covering enough ground or a yard off the pace.
The yo-yo test replicates game intensity and gives a reliable measure of each player’s work rate. The test starts off comfortably allowing intermittent recovery periods, then progressively increases in intensity throughout.
Repeat Sprint Test:
The final minutes of Barclays Premier League games so often determine the outcome, that’s why a huge amount of emphasis is placed on ensuring every player maintains intensity right up until the final whistle. Every player needs to have the fitness to be chasing every lost cause, closing down every player or making that vital attacking breakthrough. The best players are able to make the difference while others around them might be fading; Steven Gerrard is one of those players, with almost 70% of his Barclays Premier League goals coming in the second half of games.
The repeated sprint test combines the Yo-Yo and Sprint test, with a 30 m sprint every 30 seconds, repeated 80 times. This tests the ability to maintain sprint speed over multiple distances, providing data between sprints on how much players fatigue from the first sprint to the last.
Cricklade Chairman Alisdair Ross commented, from the comfort of his armchair. " It all sounds very tiring, and I wish all the boys the best of luck with this test.
Park Side Has The Double - 23rd February
Derby games are always good but only if you win, and without a win in 9 not many would have thought that Cricklade would have taken all three points at Bassett. Goals from Reason and Maximen gave “Crick” three points against their illustrious neighbours for the second time this season, and it was no more that Cricklade deserved.
Manager Graham Jackson commented; “I told my players at the start of the game that we had enough talent in this room to win this game, and if we can match that with as much effort we will win it today. My players were fantastic for ninety minutes, I thought that we played some good football at times on a poor pitch, when they had the ball and put pressure on us we got stuck in we dealt with it, we looked like we wanted those 3 points more.”
Cricklade - Bassett Derby - 19th February
Tomorrow will see Cricklade Town take on local rivals Wootton Bassett at Rylands, this will be the second fixture between Cricklade and Bassett this season, with Cricklade taking the 3 points in the first game with a hard fought 1-0 win at Stones Lane.
In the past 5 years Cricklade hold the advantage in games played, but most that have watched or been involved in the games will know that they were all closely contested.
Manager Graham Jackson commented. “This will be a tough game against a team that is flying and have not lost since we played them last September, during the week Wootton Bassett record a win against Clanfield and moved level on points with Slimbridge, but all that does not concern us, we have a good record against Bassett in past season and a local derby is a dangerous game, as you never can tell how it will turn out”
“After last weeks performance against Slimbridge, we should go into this game with high confidence and no fear, the result was disappointing but the performance was good, against a good side”
“This week we should see the return of Adam Smith and Chris Green to the first team to make their return to Crick after completing their transfers from Malmesbury this week. With no injury worries I have a full squad to pick from this week, and that means that a few will have to drop to the reserves, with some of the players that still haven’t played since December there is no point taking them to sit on the bench at Bassett, they may as well get 90 minutes in the reserves so that they can get their sharpness back.”
Two New Signings For 'Crick' - 18th February
Cricklade Town have just completed the signing of two former players from Malmesbury FC, Adam Smith and Chris Green who both have had a long history with Cricklade.
Chris Green, made 75 appearances since 2003 scoring one goal, limited appearances due to a Football Scholarship in the United States. Adam Smith made 204 appearances since 2003 scoring 35 goals.
Both players left for local rivals Malmesbury FC in the Hellenic Premier this season making 35 appearances between them for Vic’s. Whilst it's good for Cricklade that old players return, but all at Cricklade hope that Malmesbury can get some stability this season, as it’s hard work for clubs at the moment financially and getting a squad that will turn up week after week, not to mention the work that the committee put in behind the scenes, and in some cases this is only a few people that carry a whole club.
Cricklade Manager Graham Jackson said; “Its great to get players back that have give so much to the club over the years, both players were involved in helping the club get promoted to the Hellenic League back in 2004, and with the games we have remaining they will be helpful additions to the squad, as they are both honest and reliable, it not often they will miss games except through injury. We now have a squad that is larger than the 16 players that we can register for a game, so players will have to realise that every week their place is up fro grabs, and performances will be required to hold on to a shirt each week, its something that the club have need over previous season, where players would be away for two weeks and walk back into the team as we did not have the strength in depth. With the remaining fixtures come April we will be playing 2 games a week up to the 1st of May, and the whole squad will be needed, as players will be away injured or dip in and out of form, and some weeks we will need to refresh the team to the amount of games left, I am not looking to get lose any of the players that we have, as we are building, and maybe not this season but next if I can keep the players together we would have a team that can compete at the top of the league, so some players may have to be patient”
Cricklade Suffer Late On - 17th February
With a tough fixture after 9 weeks laid off Slimbridge was always going to be a difficult game for Cricklade, made even tougher with the missing some key players, most notably Ben Goody in the Cricklade Goal.
Manager Graham Jackson commented: “I cant fault my players, for 75 minutes we gave as good as we got, and were the only team to have any attempts on target, Slimbridge had more of the ball than us but we contained them and defended well, on several occasions go in we broke well and created some good opportunities. Fitness was always going to be a problem for us without a game for the past 9 weeks, and training can only help so much, and with 15 minutes to go it showed at times, with key players having to be rested. But the fitness was not our downfall, and I don’t want to put any blame on him, but if we had a full time keeper available on the day we would have walked away with a good point, Alisdair has been deputising in the sticks while a replacement for Elliott Jackson was found from last season. We had hoped that Ben was the answer but with illness was unavailable on the day, and we will have to see how his long term his illness is prior to looking at another keeper for the trip to Wootton Bassett this weekend. Overall we had a lot of positives from the defeat, with a bit more sharpness and the right ball in the final third we know that we can compete against the best teams in this league, and we believe our league position to be a bit false, and it’s up to us to now prove that.”
Cricklade Town to Start - 13th February
This week, as every other week, Cricklade hope to have a game. This will be the longest time that the first team have been without a game in any season, the date of the last games was 12th December.
Manager Graham Jackson commented. "Today we travel to Slimbridge for what is believed to be Cricklade’s first visit to the club and one that I have been looking forward to, its always good to visit new clubs and see what they are like."
"After all the weeks that we have had full squads to chose from this week we will be missing a few key players that all seem to occupy the same position, full backs, Paul Fisher doubtful with a groin injury, Kyle Moulden & Peter Mcgunigall missing with family commitments."
13 Down 17 To Go! - 11th February
With another game off last weekend this time at Trowbridge, Cricklade Town for the 9th Week have not been able to get a fixture played. With only 13 league games completed this season, this leaves a further 17 games, with only 12 Saturdays of the season left this means several midweek games to be fulfilled by the end of the season.
Manager Graham Jackson commented; “It’s going to give us problems this season, trying to get players out of work to travel to places like Trowbridge and Tytherington for a midweek games, we don’t pay players so it makes it difficult for those working shifts and even for those finishing at 5:30 to get out early, with evening traffic you have to leave 4:30 to get to these places in time for warm up and kick-offs. We have played the least games in the league, and yet in the past weeks we have seen Wootton Bassett hosting Cheltenham who have played the most games, and Clanfield v Wootton Bassett tomorrow night, all teams that have lights, this could have been a good opportunity for teams like Trowbridge and ourselves to catch up on some games by playing at Clanfield and Wootton Bassett, or even Cheltenham for Trowbridge. I am not having a go at the League or Fixture Secretary as its not a job that I would want to do, as you could never please everyone, and its easy for me to say we should play here on this day etc., without being able to see the whole picture, and this season is the worst I have know since joining Cricklade for games being called off, but we seem to have been unlucky with fixtures and the weather more than most. We fell behind on three fixtures early on in the season, with games scheduled against Hardwicke and Harrow Hill that, changing a game to a Sunday coincide with the Ground Hop day, thus losing a fixture over the Bank Holiday, and with not playing over the last 3 Saturday with games at Cirencester, Trowbridge and one at home called off when other teams have started to play games again, It leaves us 6 games behind the rest of the league. Next week we travel to Slimbridge top of the League, And without a competitive game for 9 weeks it going to be a tough one to get back into”
League Office comment; “It is perfectly true Graham does not know the full implication regarding the re-arrangement of fixtures. It has been said many times too many clubs, if you see an opportunity that will assist give us the facts and we will act upon it. But don’t whinge, or moan, or it may come back and bite you!
Trowbridge If Ground Holds? - 6th February
Todays trip to Trowbridge will be a long over due game, Cricklades first game since the 12th December. But it's still in doubt as the pitch is very wet.
Trowbridge are old rivals from the Wiltshire League days, and have had some good success over the past few years, with Wiltshire and Hellenic League titles to go with their Wilts Cup honours, but in recent years the success has dried up.
The trip to Trowbridge will be the 5th league game Cricklade have had in the Hellenic League at Wood Marsh, with 2 victories a piece, last season game finished in our favour 2-1, and we would expect the same difficult game again this term.
Graham Jackson commented. “With a full squad available all throughout the cancelled games, you just knew that as soon as a game comes up someone would be away, and that is the case with Club Captain Sam Reason and right back Paul Fisher both away due to a wedding"
"Trowbridge have always been a difficult side that I have always looked forward to playing, you know what you are going to get when you go to Wood Marsh. We should have a full squad for the trip to Trowbridge except for the two players mentioned, with recent signings Ben Goody and Gareth Davies making their full debuts, and Max Leslie returning, our only injury concern is Reece Gulliver who is struggling with a groin injury, I will just be glad to be playing games again”
Tough Times - 30th January
For Cricklade's Graham Jackson and his team it’s been a tough 7 weeks without a game since the Trowbridge on the 12th December.
Jackon comments. 'Since then we have seen game after game being postponed. And even, sadly, the Supplementary Cup in which Lydney and ourselves were still both competing in. The decision was taken by the Hellenic League Executive on the 15th January due to the amount of cancelled fixtures and the belief that we would not be able to get the fixtures in before the season end. Looking at our fixtures this may not have been possible, but I would have hoped that other options could have been looked at. But in the past few weeks a few managers and ex-managers have been moaning in the local press about fixtures piling up:
“I saw in the Advertiser last week that my old sparring partner John Fisher, the ex-manager at Highworth, has had a moan at the Hellenic. "Now, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it’s not rocket science. Firstly, the Hellenic League should kick off at the earliest possible Saturday in July. They should put fixtures in every Tuesday and every Wednesday right through until Christmas for the clubs who have floodlights. The league should also scrap the Floodlit Cup and the Supplementary Cup.” John Fisher
Since John has so much time on his hands these days maybe he wants to contact the Hellenic League and offer his services, lets hope it doesn’t happen in the too distant future. Most of the Division One clubs I would hope enjoy the Supplementary Cup it’s a good competition for those that don’t have £1,000 a week to throw at players, maybe for some of the bigger clubs that get knocked out of the Challenge Cup it is an unwanted distraction. But for clubs like us we welcome the competition. The main worry that clubs should have is that without any games for the past few weeks I am sure that a few if they weren’t already are feeling the pinch, as without any games the club cant generate money, and training costs mount up due to having to hire venues for Saturdays when you should be playing generating the money not spending it."
This week hopefully all the cancellations will be over and we can get back to playing football.
The Wait Could Be Over - 28th January
Cricklade Town, as with many clubs, have had no games since the second week in December are hopeful of their first game in seven weeks. With training having been scheduled each Saturday and Tuesday for the players Graham will be hoping that it has been enough to keep them fit, even if not match sharp.
This Saturday Lydney will be the visitors to Stones Lane, with a only 6 games played between the team over the years it is Lydney that hold the upper hand by quite some margin, with 6 wins in 6 games, and Cricklade only scoring 3 goals against 15 in those games. Manager Graham Jackson commented: “Lydney has always been a difficult side for us, they play a style that does not suit us, players have to learn how to deal with it, and then dictate our style on them. As with every game against Lydney it will be tough, they are well organised and keep a good shape that makes them hard to breakdown, on the other side they have not been the biggest of scorers over the years. We should have a full squad for the visit of Lydney, and with a few additions some players may miss out on being with the first team, which is good for club as it makes it more competitive, but without Reserve game this week some could be not playing at the weekend with is not what we want for any of our players. I have told the players with the way that the fixtures are this season it will be a squad game, all the players that we have we will needed when we start to play catch up on the league fixtures, we should see a few overdue debuts for us this weekend, with recent signing Ben Goody and Gareth Davies making their full debuts, and Max Leslie returning, our only injury concern is Reece Gulliver who is struggling with a groin injury”
New Year Hope for Crick - 31st December
Cricklade Town hope to end their poor run of form with a win a local team Clanfield. With mixed fortunes at Radcot Road, 6-0 defeat in the last league outing, and 2-0 win in The 'Bluefin' Insurance Brokers Hellenic Challenge Cup at the 1st round stage.
Gareth Davies and Ben Goody both looking to make their long overdue debuts due to the weather, something that may be a factor again this weekend. Reece and Kyle Moulden will be missing due to holidays, but we should be at more or less full strength.
“We have been itching for games since our last outing on the 12th December, the new signings have looked good in training and fill some positions that we have had real problems with this season, one of the problems at this time of the year is cancelled fixtures, and it is proving that again this year. This is the time that you have to rely in players making sure that they get to training and keep themselves fit. We have played Clanfield already this season and won 2-0 quite comfortably, but since then they have improved with some good results recently, so I would envisage a tough time.”
The reserves look to stay top of the Reserve section with a tough game at Witney, Witney currently lie in 7th position with 5 games in hand, and should be considered a team that will challenge for this league.
|Boxing Derby Day - 24th December
Cricklade Town take on in form Purton on Boxing Day; with a 12:00 kick off.
With Purton unbeaten in 14 league games and Cricklade without a league win in 6, it would seem a formality for Purton, but you never know in derby games.
Cricklade should almost be at full strength, with a new addition Gareth Davies who should make his debut for Crick, and we are hopefully of a new signing prior to the Boxing Day game, having put in 7-days for a local Goalkeeper we are just awaiting a signature from his respective club.
Looking at past games between Cricklade and Purton in the Hellenic league Cricklade have the upper hand, but unfortunately not in the past two meetings last season. The two fixtures were hard fought and in the end could have gone either way, so the Boxing Day game should be a great encounter.
And Town’s search for a new goalkeeper is over, with the signature and transfer of Ben Goodey from Premier Division Highworth Town on Thursday.
Ben Goodey signed for Highworth after playing for New College Academy, at the age of nineteen Ben has made a couple of appearances for Highworth, but with little first team outings has made the move to Cricklade. “We have been looking for a new goalkeeper ever since Elliott Jackson left last season, nothing against the goalkeepers that have played since then, but I always feel that you need a strong spine to the team, and with Gareth Davies joining I finally think that we have that, Ben and Gareth should make their debuts against Purton in the Bank Holiday fixture”.
|Cricklade Town and Lucozade - 21st December
Cricklade Town have been fortunate this season to join the LSPL (Lucozade Sport Performance League)
Part of the partnership team has to complete Challenges to gain prizes, from Lucozade products to Trips at Premiership grounds. The Challenges range from the results that you get on a Saturday through to skills challenges. Earlier this season Cricklade completed their first task.
Test your accuracy from outside the box. Line-up a free kick and hit a Lucozade Sport bottle tied to the top corner, easier than you think, or it was our guinea pigs. To see how the players got on please visit the link below.
Cricklade’s Bogey Side - 5th December
If Cricklade had a bogey side it would be Tytherington, with played 8 and won none, conceded 21 scored 10.
This will be the 9th encounter between Cricklade Town and Tytherington Rocks, and Cricklade are still looking for their first win.
Manager Graham Jackson commented. “Tytherington have always been a difficult side for us, and in most of the games they have been worthy winners, on the couple of draws I thought we should have taken all the points, but with the defeats I would not have many complaints.
Teams change from season to season so it would be difficult to say how good a side they are this season, but I think that we are better equipped and it should be a good game, weather permitting.
This week we should have new signing Jason Lewis available after transferring from Clanfield, with only Iain Ross missing from the first team squad I should have a selection problem tomorrow, but in a good way. We have a few that are just coming back from injury that may find themselves with the reserves if not cup tied.”
With the announcement that the grounds man has been able to get onto the Stones Lane pitch to cut the grass yesterday morning we have high hopes that Stones Lane will not be under water today.
Cricklade Reserves Seven Ahead - 2nd December
With a good win, last Saturday, at high flying Old Woodstock Reserves Cricklade Town Reserves will hold onto top spot after their adventure in the Reserve Challenge Cup this weekend.
Reserve Manager Paul Braithwaite said “It was a good performance that I was very pleased with; Old Woodstock had been going well with only 1 defeat this season. And with a couple of first team players dropping down the side was strengthened for the second week running, the game was made a little easier with old Woodstock missing a few through injury. But I think we controlled the game from start to finish, and with a little better finishing and a goal that was scored but not given it could have been a bigger margin.
This week’s cup game at Supermarine will give the chasing pack a chance to catch up on games and hopefully not points. The cup game also means that a lot of what I would call first team players will not be available due to being cup tied, so it will be a chance for some of the players that have not played in recent weeks to stake a place in the team for the upcoming games.
Supermarine have been struggling in Division One, and currently are bottom, but as we all know the cup can bring many surprises, and with the being a division above they should be competing week in week out against better opposition”. Cricklade Town take on Supermarine at Hunts Copse with a 3pm Kick Off.
All Washed Out At Cricklade- 1st December
With last weekends fixture against local rivals Purton called off due to water logged pitch Cricklade Town have only completed 11 league fixtures compared with table topping Slimbridge who have now completed 16 games.
This season two fixtures at Stones Lane have been called off so far. Due to the extreme weather that has seen local fixtures called off at Cirencester, Wootton Bassett Highworth, Purton, Malmesbury and Fairford, it was one those weekend’s. One of the other reasons for the reduced amount of fixtures that Cricklade have played is due to games against Hardwicke and Harrow Hill being expunged due to their resignation from the League.
Even after the extra work done over the summer to make sure that this did not occur,it was eveident that you cannot compete with natures forces when it claims the upperhand.
Graham Jackson said. “I am always disappointed when games all called off, especially ones that you are looking forward too, but you also have to accept that sometimes its better to call the game off. If any game had gone ahead on the pitch it would not have been a game of football, but a farce that neither team would have wanted. We are behind on games, but with two teams out of the league we have less league fixtures to play this term, and should not have a fixture problem towards the end of the season, and Purton is one that could be played midweek.”
"This week we entertain Tytherington Rocks at Stones Lane, and with the weather forecast we are looking at heavy rain from Wednesday night through to the weekend, the forecasts do not look good".
Wiltshire Derby Day! - 27th November
Tomorrow Cricklade Town take on local rivals Purton FC, with several Ex-Cricklade players Steve Avenall, James Townsend and Lee Bowen returning to play their old club, as a club we always welcome back old ex-players, whether they are playing for us or against us, but generally this is left until after the game, on the flip side Graham Jackson who used to Manage and play for Purton will be in the opposite dugout against Purton, the place where he still lives.
The weather might be a problem for the game this week, rain is forecast for most of Friday and the early hours of Saturday, but hopefully with some of the work that has been done by the local council in clearing the drainage ditches around the pitch in the close season, we are hopefully, but as always with a pitch that is on top of clay, if we have a lot of rain, it takes a while to run through. The pitch inspection will be at 9:00.
The Manager’s Thoughts
“This is one of the fixtures that I always look for when the fixtures are announced, as I used to play for Purton and still live within the town. Derby days are always good occasions, for players officials and fans, if you win, you get the bragging rights until the next game, and if you lose, you have to wait a while to try and get your own bragging rights.”
“With a few players returning it should be interesting, Steve who has scored goals everywhere he has been, and a player that we would have liked to return to the club where he started his football, JT and Bowen two players that have left in recent years.”
“This season will be another tough one for our lads, and we most probably go in as underdogs, with a good record up to last season, where Purton did the double over us, and Chris has got his team off to a flyer this season, but anything can happen in derby games.”
“I would expect my player to be up this one, it should hurt them that local rivals finished above them last season, and are above us again in the league, we have a strong enough squad to compete with anyone in this league, I not sure we are strong enough to win it, but we should compete every week.”
“This week we will be without our top scorer Steve Winchcombe, and without winger Iain Ross as both will be away with work, returning to the team should be Chris Quinton and a first team start for Arron Maximen after is long spell out.”
As a re-affirmation of who believes who has the bragging rights, Cricklade have supplied a table of the meetings between the clubs during the past four years. . . . Though of course you are only as good as the game you are playing!
Cricklade Town Reserves Hold Top Spot -27th November
Cricklade’s Reserves holds onto top spot after a thrilling 4-2 win over a very accomplished Cirencester Town Reserves.
With Cricklade Town’s first team not having a fixture for a couple of weeks, it was a strengthened side that we were able to field, and by looking at the strength of the opposition it was very much needed.
Reserve Manager Paul Braithwaite commented “Cirencester Town reserves will be the team to beat this season, if anyone finishes above them I think that they will win this league, although they are a young side they have some very good players, and you can see that they have played together for some time.
If they can keep they squad together they should have a good season, but I would suspect that someone would offer the youngsters money and the opportunity to set up.”
“This week we Travel to Old Woodstock, which will be another tough test for us, especially missing Wes in goal, and Adam Farmer who will be unavailable due to work commitments, but with a couple of first team players that are coming back from injury along with the couple of new signings we should have a bit more strength in depth.”
Transfers From Cricklade - 26th November
After a call from Dave Turner, of Wootton Bassett, Cricklade Town agreed to release Craig Shand prior to the 7-days notice elapsing, allowing Craig to play that the week-end. With Craig not making an appearance for Cricklade since the 17th October, it was concluded that he would not appear from Cricklade again this season.
Graham Jackson commented on the transfer. “Craig is a talented player with a lot of technical ability, and I was pleased that we had secured his signature at the start of the season. Craig featured heavily in our opening games scoring 3 and has had a few assist. After a few poor performances it was clear that Craig would not be able to hold onto his shirt in the starting 11, the talent is there for all to see but the work rate is not, and with the system that we play we cant afford to carry anyone, I expect every play to put the effort in. You have games where you don’t play well, but you still have to put the running in to support your team mates, Craig is a nice lad and I wish him well”.
“Craig Shand follows Lee Bowen, who was surplus to requirements and transferred a few weeks ago to local rivals Purton, but I don’t think that the two mentioned players will be any loss to us except in their experience, both players have been at several clubs over the past few season, and maybe they would be better at sticking at one club and fight for their places instead of looking for a new club every time they have been dropped to the bench, and I hope that they both do at their respective new clubs. Our big loss is Dane Moulden (pictured) who would be one of our players of the season, who has left for Shrivenham in the Division above, and I think if it was not for the money that he was offered would have stayed.”
“Over the past few weeks we have been looking at a few players to bring into the squad, and have added several players to bolster the reserves, and with a few 7-days that we have put in, I hope to have a couple of signatures next week.”
Get Back To Winning - 14th November
With only one win in five games Graham Jackson will be looking for all 3 points when Cricklade face second place Slimbridge today.
Graham said “After a good start to the season, we have hit a bad run of results, and not necessarily poor performances, although a couple of defeats I can have not complaints that the better side won Pegasus and Devizes. In the two league encounters against Lydney and North Leigh we should have picked up some points on our travels, but with poor decisions in the last third and school boy errors at the back its cost us. People talk about crisis when you start to lose a few back to back, and look for problems within the team, but back in my playing days you used to just get on with it and put it right the following week, and that’s what I expect my boys to do, were a good team and I have every confidence in the players that I have."
"This week we will be missing a few key players, all from the same position, Centre back, with Scott Rivers out through illness, and Chris Quinton missing due to work commitments, and sadly Dane Moulden moving to Shrivenham this week, and all at the club wish him well and hope that he makes the step up. Centre back is an area that we will be looking to strengthen over the next few weeks, and I have me eye on a few, as well as trying to bring back an old face that might surprise a few at the club, so watch this space.”
A point against Letcombe Reserves last week was enough to move Cricklade Reserves into top place in the table for the time being. Reserve Manager Paul Braithwaite said that he was pleased with his team’s performance so far this season, with such a young side that has been brought together in a short space of time. And with two new more signings this week, Shannon Pocock and Mike Coope,r it will make more competition for places. "I realise that we have played more games than most, but its good to be at the top for a while, but the most important part of the reserves is developing players that can move up into the first team, but it would be nice to do well while doing that. This week will be a tough test for us, Shrivenham had a good result last week with a 9-0 win and currently sit one point behind us, but we won the home fixture 3-1 and looked good for the win, so I am confident that if the players perform we will be in with a chance."
Tough Challenge - 16th October
Cricklade expect a tough test in their upcoming Division One West match tomorrow. Manager Graham Jackson is preparing for a hard contest at Lydney.
Scott Rivers returns to the squad after coming through a good run out for the reserves last week, Scott has missed the season so far after picking up an injury in pre-season, some more good news was the return of Dave Probets to training this week, after breaking a bone in his foot again in pre-season, this is all good news for Jackson with Dane Moulden missing through suspension, Craig Ratcliffe injured, and the dependable Mcgunigall missing this week.
With a few changes in the squad this week it might be interesting to see how Graham lines the team up against a good physical side, with a poor result last week in the Wilts Cup places could be up for grabs. Graham said “recent history is against us, with a win away to Lydney since joining the Hellenic league it will be a challenge, we were poor last week against Devises, so I would be hoping for a reaction from the payers this week, the league is the most important to us and if we want to finish high in the league you have to go to these places and get points, we have had a good start to the season, but have had a few bad performances in amongst it, we need to get a bit more physical with teams and be better when they have the ball, as we can score goals, but the problem is that we have been conceding recently.”
Cricklade In Cup Action - 9th October
Tomorrow Cricklade Town take on Wiltshire side Devizes Town from Toolstation Western Football League Division One. Our last encounters with Devises Town was on the 8th April 2004 back in the Wiltshire Premier Division, against a Devises Reserve team, so this will be our first time that we have competed against the first team.
Graham Jackson advised that this is not our main challenge this season, I look at the league table at the end of the season, and if we have improved then it’s been a good season, and currently that is looking like a very good possibility. The Wiltshire Senior Cup is something that Cricklade have never won, and usually has a few outstanding teams, in the past Corsham, Highworth, Bemerton Heath and Melksham have been the teams to beat, but this season I think that it would be anyone’s, the competition is not as strong as it used to be, and on your day these teams can be beat. Last season, which was a poor season by anyone’s standards we fell at the first hurdle away at Westbury, with a depleted bear 11, we managed 0-0 until extra time, then with a few injuries the tie finished 0-6, which was hard on the 11 that fought hard that day, so a win on Saturday would be an improvement, and who knows we might improve on my best challenge in this cup and reach the Semi’s.
With a few missing tomorrow, it will be a chance for some to stake a claim for a starting 11 in the coming weeks, Craig Shand out due to work commitments, and Dane Moulden Suspended, and Craig Ratcliffe on the injury list.
Boxing Day Treat For Cricklade! - 9th October
For Cricklade Town the Boxing Day fixture has thrown up some strange games with trips to Trowbridge Town FC, Clanfield 85 FC, Oxford City Nomads and Letcombe in recent years, during all the years that we have been in the Hellenic League.
Both in the professional game and the amateur game traditionally matches on Boxing Day are played against local rivals. This was originally to lessen the burden on teams and fans of having to travel to an away game on the day after Christmas Day. It also makes the day an important one in the sporting calendar. But this tradition seems to have been lost over the years, this season we see Aston Villa travelling to Arsenal, Everton to Sunderland, Birmingham to Chelsea, and Trowbridge to Wootton Bassett.
At the top level it’s hurting the fans that have to make the long journeys on the Bank Holiday’s, at the lower level it affects the players and supporters that have to travel, teams at the lower levels would probably / maybe get bigger crowds with local derbies on Bank Holidays.
So this season I would like to say thank you to the fixture secretary for putting us back in a local derby on the 26th December, away against Purton. Purton have been local rivals for many years, but with Cricklade having played in the Wiltshire League for many years the rivalry has been mostly played in the Wiltshire Cup until Cricklade Joined the Hellenic League in 2005, were we have enjoyed good success against our local rivals, winning 5 out of the first 6 encounters, until last season where Chris and his team did the double over us. This season looks to be one of the most competitive games for several seasons with both clubs going well in the top half of the table. No doubt the weather will claim this game and we will be playing the local derby midweek in April.
Winterbourne, Cricklade’s Bogey Team! - 17th September
Cricklade take on Winterbourne United this Saturday in Division One West, with a poor recent record against the ‘Bourne’. Since joining the Hellenic League in 2005 Cricklade have taken on their opponents this Saturday on 8 occasions, with only one win and a solitary draw drawn game. The games have always produced goals with an average of 4.5 per game unfortunately generally for Winterbourne with a total of 26 to Cricklade’s 10 in reply, but at some point that must change!
Graham Jackson commented, “This season will be the first season that maybe we go into the game above them in the league, and maybe slight favourites, but you should not always look at the form book. We know Winterbourne well, and they still have a good side that can beat anyone in this league, I have been surprised by some of their results, but with a player like Potts they are always able to score goals, and with 7 goals already this season that confirms the threat that he poses to us, and we will have to deal with it. Confidence should be high with the players after a good win the local derby. With no injury worries from the Bassett game we should go into the game more or less at full strength, with the possibility of Kyle Moulden and Chris Quinton returning after a week away”
Shock at Stones Lane - 10th September
Wootton Bassett players could be forgiven this weekend for wondering if the Rocky Horror show is in town when they visit local rivals Cricklade Town.
A fines initiative for Cricks end of season doo whereby each player must bring an item to a game or in some cases wear an item. The players must comply with this to avoid a £2 per man fine, Manager Graham Jackson so far the biggest culprit for coughing up cash from his dusty wallet.
This week Cricks players are expected to arrive wearing lipstick, mascara and eye shadow. Fines master and striker Steve Winchcombe said, "Its all a laugh really, we want to make sure we do well on the field, but have a laugh off it, we have finally got a settled side who will be playing all year long, so if such things as paying £2 a man not to look a fool get us a decent end of season doo, it would be great to think we can celebrate a good campaign when we get there"
Change of Fortunes Reason - 8th September
Sam Reason, captain of FTL Futbol Hellenic One West side Cricklade Town gives his views on the change of fortunes for ‘The Crick’ this season.
He said; “The confidence we gained in our last 8 games of last season, where we gained more points in the 2nd half of the season than any Cricklade team had ever done before since gaining promotion to the Hellenic League, carried on through pre-season and seems to still be with us now” Reason added; “We have added quality in quantity to the squad which keeps everyone on their toes as no place in the team is safe. The squad seem to have a very good rapport and the team spirit is one of the best I have seen in any team that I have played in. The togetherness and team spirit is what will pull us through any bad patches we encounter over this season, I am pretty sure of that. Our league position and our results are no fluke as we fully deserve to be where we are right now.
He continued by saying; “We've had a fantastic start to the season with 5 wins and 1 defeat. We are the highest scoring team in the league and we have the best goal difference. Like I said it’s been a good start but that's all... we need to be conscious of that and not get carried away with what we have done so far. There is still a lot of hard work to be done starting again on Saturday against a very good Bassett team”. “They will be tough opponents as they have a good manager who expects nothing but the best from his team so we will have to be on top of our game if we want to continue our impressive run. if we perform and work as hard as we all know we can I predict a good afternoon for Cricklade Town FC”.
Management Positions Available - 4th September
Cricklade Town are looking for a new reserve Manager and Assistant to look after the team for the coming season.
With a young squad that likes to play football we are looking for a Manager that is has the same ethos as the club, developing the younger players to push for a place in the first team, with playing good football.
The first team Coach Paul Braithwaite is currently looking after the reserves until a new manager and assistant is in place.
Anyone interested in the above positions should contact our Chairman Alisdair Ross on 07970066581, or email email@example.com
Cricklade Town’s First Ground Hop Day - 28th August
Sunday marks another day in Cricklade Town’s History, with the first “Ground Hop” day at Stones Lane. When the call came from League General Manager Brian King last week to see if we could move our game to the Sunday and participate in the Ground Hop, as a replacement for Almondsbury Town, who were unable to fulfil their previous commitment due to success in the FA Cup.
With some agreement of help from the local community we willingly said Yes. We would like to thank Cricklade Youth for re-arranging some of their fixtures, Cricklade Leisure Centre for providing the food and beverages and the local school for allowing us to use their facility as a car park, also I would like to thank Gordon Varley from Cirencester for his help and advice on Ground Hop admin, its good to see the community working with the club.
It’s a big event for us as one of the smallest clubs within the Hellenic League, where most clubs have their own club house and lots of volunteers, along with better facilities, it makes us look at what we need to improve at “Stones Lane”, currently we almost have all the elements in place to apply for planning permission for the floodlights, stands, hard standing and fencing, but then it’s the cost, with a bill that will exceed £70k to have this all built the club will be looking to raise £35K, as the Football Foundation will only now give grants to approximately 50%. Hopefully the plans discussed with the Leisure Centre this will be alleviated with grants they are looking at to re-build the leisure centre, so watch this space.
Cricklade Town Manager Graham Jackson is looking for a better performance this week. He said; “we need to get our season back on track starting on Sunday, after winning the first 3 games of the season against tough opposition we took our eye of the ball, and gave a poor performance last week, lots of possession but no real penetration, it was a lack lustre effort with not enough pace or urgency in the game, we let ourselves be drawn into the game they wanted played”.
Jackson continued by saying; “It will be tough game against Cirencester and the players should realise that you don’t get any easy games in this league, it’s a local derby in front of a potential large crowd, and they will be up for putting in a good performance, people should not look at the league table when games like this come around”.
Chris Quinton and Gary Singh will be missing, Chris added to the growing injury table at the club with now 5 players already looking at a long time on the sidelines after only 4 games of the season gone, but it give chances o players that have not had a run in the side today.
Jackson’s final challenge is to the Cricklade player’s saying; “With a big crowd comes pressure, and we need to remember to play the type of football that has won us the first 3 games, and that’s getting the ball down and passing, but to do that we need to have better movement than last week, as I always say its not about what you do when your on the ball, but more what you do when you don’t have the ball the determines how good a player and team you are”.
Jackson Optimistic - 21st August
Cricklade Town Manager Graham Jackson is optimistic of another 3 points at home to Easington this weekend.
Jackson stated: " With 3 wins out of 3 this season we could not have started any better, when the fixtures came out I would have been happy with 4 points from the opening games. At the moment we are playing well and don’t really fear anyone, but as all managers know, you don’t play well in every game, and Easington will be a tough side as they are every year, they have a certain style of play that has not suited us in the past, but we will see how this group of players deal with it."
"On Saturday we will have a couple missing, with Gary Singh away, and a few still sidelined through injury, Paul Fisher, Scott Rivers, Chris Rivers and Dave Proberts. Aaron Maximen is still suspended. On the brighter note Kyle Moulden will return after missing the midweek game at Letcombe through work commitments."
First Time For Everything - 17th August
Cricklade break their open season duck, and head the table for the first time!
After 5 years in the Hellenic League Division One West Cricklade finally have won the opening game of the season, coinciding with being top of the table for the first time in their history. ‘Crick’ then visited Saracens on Saturday and collected three more points and sit joint top with North Leigh Reserves and Slimbridge. With tough opening games in the past few years Cricklade had failed to win on their last 4 attempts.
2005 – Lost to Winterbourne 4-1 – Winner of the league that season
2006 – Lost to Letcombe 2-0
2007 – Oxford City Nomads 0-0
2008 – Lost to Hardwicke 2-0 – Winner of the league that season
Cricklade Win At A Cost - 16th August
Cricklade Town Football Club Maintained their 100% record with a 3-2 win away to Cheltenham Saracens,though could be without new signing Paul Fisher for a while.
Early in the second half Cricklade lost Fisher through injury, whilst trying to clear the ball Paul's right boot was caught in the ground as the rest of his body turned, with what looks like ligament damage.
Paul, who transferred to the club on the opening day of the season from rivals Wootton Bassett, will be one of four that have become injured this early in the season, with the early loss of Dave Proberts in a friendly along with Scott Rivers, and Chris Rivers who was injured during a skiing trip in pre season.
With four of the first team squad out so early in the season, Graham Jackson will be glad that this season we have a lot more strength in depth than previous seasons, especially with Striker Aaron Maximen suspended until mid November.
Cricklade Loses Its Captain - 16th July
The sad news of Cricklade's pre-season is that last year Club Captain and Players Player Adam Smith has decided to join Malmesbury Victoria FC for the upcoming season. With Malmesbury playing in the Premier Division of the FTL Futbol Hellenic League, and having served Cricklade Town over 8 years not including at youth level, Adam has decided it was time for a change and a new challenge.
Cricklade Town would to thank Adam for all his years of committed service, and wish him well with the challenge ahead
With pre-season into the third week, Cricklade Town have completed the arrangements for the first team to have friendly fixtures each Saturday until the season opens on the 10th August, with some familiar fixtures against Wroughton and Taverners, and some new opponents and grounds to visit as “Crick” take on Briscombe & Thrupp AFC and Reading for the first time.
18 Sat H Wroughton AFC Friendly 15:00
25 Sat H Taverners FC Friendly 15:00
01 Sat A Briscombe & Thrupp AFC Friendly 15:00
08 Sat A Reading Town Friendly 15:00.