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Los Petirrojos Vuelan - 10 May

Bracknell Town players have this week flown out to Marbella for a well-earned break. It's their reward for gaining promotion following a season which the Robins crowned last Monday by lifting the Bluefin Sport Hellenic League Cup with a 3-1 win over champions Thatcham at Windsor FC on Monday,

Earlier in the year, chairman Kayne Steinborn-Busse had promised them the club would make a financial contribution to the short break if they secured promotion. He said: “The lads have had a magnificent season and I am only too pleased the club can offer some reward. They thoroughly deserve it.”

The players are spending four days in the Spanish resort with striker Adam Cornell revealing “We have a lot planned.”

In addition to promotion, the Robins are now also celebrating winning the League Cup for the second year running. They proved too good for Buildbase FA Vase finalists Thatcham with goals from Carl Withers, Cornell and substitute Elliott Legg, while former Bracknell star Shane Cooper-Clark replied for the Kingfishers from the penalty spot.

“This is the icing on the cake,” said player-manager Carl Davies. “It has been a long hard season and we deserved some sort of silverware. We pushed them so close in the league and today (Monday) I think we were the better team. I don't think anyone can begrudge us our win.” Davies felt the penalty awarded against him for his challenge on Elliott Ekow by referee Lisa Benn was “harsh.” He continued: “When they equalised, I was expecting a barrage from them but it never came.”

Shortly afterwards, came the moment that changed the game with coach Geoff Warner taking off scorer Cornell and sending on Legg to play wideout on right with Joe Grant moving inside and Kensley Maloney back into midfield. “It was game-changing, so all credit to Geoff and Nebbs (Steve Nebbett), that's why they are there,” said Davies. Within two minutes Legg had set up the second goal for Cornell and he went on to score a late third to seal a famous victory for the Larges Lane men. The student is returning to America in August, but Davies says he will back at Bracknell in November.”

“I am pleased about that as he is a very good player,” stated the player-manager who said he was “delighted” that Steinborn-Busse had kept his promise about contributing to this week's trip to Marbella. “I knew he would as that is the type of person he is. We could not have a better chairman,” concluded Davies.

 

hellenic league carl daviesA Deserved Promotion - 3 May

Bracknell Town player-manager Carl Davies says his team deserves to be playing at Step 4 next season.

The Robins just missed out on winning the Uhlsport Hellenic League title, but have secured promotion, most likely to the Evo-Stik Southern League. They had to beat Tuffley Rovers by 10 clear goals in their final league game last Saturday to finish above Thatcham but managed just eight after a magnificent display of attacking football.

“We won 8-0 and came off the field gutted – it's not often you say that,” bemoaned Davies (pictured). “Obviously, we are very disappointed as we wanted to win the title, but look at the season as a whole, we have got promotion and that was the club's main aim.”

The Robins, buoyed by their 7-1 win at Lydney last Thursday, attacked incessantly from the kick-off, scoring four goals inside the opening 20 minutes.But they just fell short of their ultimate target despite creating a whole host of chances.

Davies continued: “We had a right old go and but for their keeper, who is one of the best in the league, we would have done it. He (Dave Evans) has had an absolutely outstanding game.
“It could have been 15 goals easy. Two of his saves were unbelievable, we couldn't believe how he got to two of them.But I could not have asked for any more from my team today.We had a right old go. When we were 7-0 up with about 25 minutes to go, we were thinking this is on.But then we had a little patch where nothing really happened, and that perhaps killed the game a bit.
“I got one (a goal) at the end - rolling back the years - but it was too little too late.
“We had a good go, won 8-0, there's no shame in that. Everybody is dead on their feet. We have played three games in five days and to perform like that today is a real credit to the lads. They deserve to be Step 4 players because they are good enough.”

The promotion has come in a season where Town have had three sets of managers. Mark Tallentire, who had just failed to guide the club to promotion a year ago, left in September and was replaced by Jeff Lamb and Paul McGrotty. But following Town's exit from the Buildbase FA Vase on February 24, chairman Kayne Steinborn-Busse decided another change was needed. Davies was appointed player-manager with coach Geoff Warner and assistant manager Steve Nebbett both returning to the club.

“For all those changes to happen and still achieve promotion, is a real credit to the lads,” Davies commented. Since the last change at the top, Bracknell reeled off 13 straight league wins, but he stated: “I am not taking the credit. Yes, I pick the team with Nebbs and Geoff, but it's the players who deserve the credit. They have stuck together in the dressing room, they are a real credit to the club. They go out and perform week in, week out, they are a unit, they can manage themselves if I'm honest. But I must say that Nebbs is massive in the changing room, he's vocal and gets people rallied up, while Geoff has a lot of knowledge and experience. The two together are great to have on board. They are a massive reason as to why we have got that (unbeaten) record.”

Despite missing out on the title, Bracknell can still end the season with some silverware – at Thatcham's expense. The two promoted sides meet in the final of the Bluefin Sport, Hellenic League Cup, at Windsor's Stag Meadow next Monday (3pm ko). “We will give them a good game, there's no doubt about that. We are all looking forward to Monday's final,” added Davies.
“I would like to congratulate Thatcham on winning the league. The table doesn't lie and they are top on merit although we could hardly been any closer to them. We respect them, they are a good team. But we all want to win the trophy as it would be a nice way to finish off the season and all the lads deserve a winner's medal.”

 

Tuff Task To Take Title - 27 April

Bracknell Town will need to beat Tuffley Rovers by an 11-goal margin if they are to become Uhlsport Hellenic League champions.

The pair meet at Larges Lane this Saturday in what should prove an exciting climax to the league programme. It follows the two fixtures on Thursday when the Robins won 7-1 at Lydney, while leaders Thatcham defeated Brackley Town Saints 2-0. The margin of Bracknell's victory came as no real surprise. They are riding the crest of a wave and in tremendous form, while leg-weary Lydney were playing for the second time in 24 hours and their third game in four days.

Bracknell physio Liam Day said: "Lydney worked hard and gave us a good game. Fitness and the fixture structure didn’t help them, but we were class all over." He added: "We now go into Saturday's game knowing what we need to do and we will give it a right good go in front of our own fans, who have been tremendous this season." Town's leading scorer Adam Cornell netted twice to take his season's tally to 35 goals, with Joe Grant also bagging a brace, while there was one apiece for TJ Bohane, Carl Withers and Max Herbert.

Thatcham, who finish the season on 98 points with an amazing goal difference of 104, dominated the game at Waterside Park, but wasted numerous chances. However, the young Saints side deserve a lot of credit as they battled extremely hard and only the post and a bad miss prevented them from scoring. Thatcham's two goals came from ex-Bracknell striker Liam Ferdinand, moving him on to 38 for the season. Danny Robinson's men stretched their unbeaten run to 40 games in front of a crowd of 283, who included the Mayor of Thatcham. Councillor Ellen Crumly will also be following them to Wembley on May 20 for the Buildbase FA Vase against Stockton.

Between then and now, Thatcham will be looking to lift two trophies, as they face Binfield in the Perpetua Press Floodlit Cup final this coming Monday, followed the Bluefin Sport Hellenic League Cup final against Bracknell on Bank Holiday Monday, both ties taking place at Windsor's Stag Meadow.

It has been an extremely long season for the Hellenic League clubs, but surely it could not be finishing in a more dramatic fashion.
Will Bracknell score 11 goals? Can Thatcham win the title and three trophies? Will there be Wembley glory for Thatcham and the Hellenic League? Only time will tell.

 

Closing In - 19 April

Bracknell Town took another step closer to securing promotion to the Evo-Stik Southern League with a 4-0 win over Brackley Town Saints at Larges Lane on Tuesday.

The Robins move up to third in the table with four games left, trailing already-promoted Thatcham, who have 92 points and two matches remaining. Long-time Uhlsport Hellenic League leaders Highworth, beaten 2-0 by Thatcham on Monday when former Binfield and Bracknell player Liam Ferdinand scored twice in stoppage time, have completed their fixtures with 88 points.

The only slight threat to Town for a top two spot are Wantage who have 84 points with two games left, so they could end up with 90 points, meaning the Robins, who have a superior goal difference, need just another five points to finish above them.

This was Town's 12 successive league win, a run they will be looking to extend against mid-table Windsor at Stag Meadows this Friday (7.45pm ko).

Bracknell are also in action again next Tuesday (ko. 7.45pm) when they take on relegation-threatened Woodley United at Rivermoor Stadium in Scours Lane, Reading.

 

jamie mclurg hellenic league footballPraise For McClurg - 12 April

Bracknell Town work-horse Jamie McClurg came in for special praise after he had produced a man-of-the-match performance in their hard-earned 2-0 win at Fairford on Saturday.

The midfielder (pictured) fired home the opening goal from the penalty spot and then set up Adam Cornell for the second, both goals coming in the last five minutes. “He hates being given credit, but I have to give it to him today as he has done the business out there,” said player-manager Carl Davies after title-chasing Robins had maintained their winning run in the Uhlsport Hellenic League. “He (McClurg) took his penalty really well. He tucked it away and won us the three points basically. He has been one of our most consistent players this season.”

The inspirational McClurg came to Town's rescue after they had struggled to break down a side they had hammered 10-3 at Larges Lane three weeks earlier. Bracknell were unable to play the sweet, flowing football they show at home, but as Davies explained on Saturday: “We can't play the pretty stuff every week on pitches like this one today. It was so bobbly, it was horrible to play on, yet it was nice to see that side of our game where we kept on battling. It was a matter of staying patient and hoping we would get a goal or two, which we managed to do in the end.”

Davies continued: “The longer the game went on, the more confident they (Fairford) became. When the goals weren't coming, it was hard to keep on playing like we wanted to do. In the first half, we could easily have gone four or five goals up. On another day, TJ (Bohane) would probably have got a hat-trick in about 10 minutes. We just had to keep going and eventually we got the breakthrough. To be honest, I don't think it was even a penalty as it (the foul) looked outside the box to me. We should have had one or two penalties earlier, so perhaps the ref made up for it by giving us that one.”

Davies revealed there is a good atmosphere in the camp as his players realise they could end the season with one or more winners medals for the second year running. “We have a great bunch of players at the club,” he told Dave Wright. “Yes, some are disappointed being left on the bench and it's hard to keep everyone happy, but the attitude is great and I can't thank them enough. This was shown last Thursday when we made 10 changes and still managed to beat a decent side like Windsor. But I keep telling them lads, we still have a lot to do in the remaining weeks of the season. We've got six (league games) to go. We have got to expect Thatcham to win every game, so we have to do the same ourselves.”

 

dave hancock hellenic league footballSeven Wins For Title - 5 April

Bracknell Town are seven games away from clinching the Uhlsport Hellenic League title.

And skipper Dave Hancock (pictured) believes it will be a magnificent seven for his Robins side. “We are more than capable of winning all of them,” said Hancock following the 2-0 win over current leaders Highworth at Larges Lane on Monday.

First-half goals from Seb Bowerman and Kensley Maloney secured this crucial win over one of their championship rivals. Long-time leaders Highworth, however, have seen their advantage at the top of the table reduced to just four points and they have only three games remaining. So the team, recently beaten 3-2 at Binfield despite being two goals ahead with less than 15 minutes remaining, are in grave danger of dropping out of contention, leaving Bracknell and Thatcham to battle it out for top spot.

“It was very important for us to beat them (Highworth) and get the three points to close the gap,” added Hancock. “We have been playing catch-up with them all season. We've got seven big games for us and we will probably need to win all of them to win the league as Thatcham are also flying at the moment. We still have to catch Highworth, but we have plenty of games in hand and if we don't let our standards drop we are capable of winning all seven. It is looking good for us You can be sure we are not looking to finish second, we are all trying to win the league and we are more than capable of doing it. We are certainly focused on winning the league and have to be confident.”

Hancock has won all the games since taking over the captaincy from player-manager Carl Davies, and the experienced right-back's run never looked in danger in front of a near 400 crowd at Larges Lane on Easter Monday. “The aim today was to start sharp and get ourselves in front early on and it worked which was good,” he revealed.

And the Robins were celebrating a goal within two minutes of the kick-off when Seb Bowerman's shot slipped through keeper Garry Aulsberry's grasp into the net. “The first was a bit of a gift, but it was slippery out there and not easy for the keeper,” added Hancock. “It was nice to have a bit of luck especially in a big game and we made the most of it.”

The captain considered it was “very much a team effort”, adding: “At the back, we always want to keep a clean sheet which we did today and Chris (Grace) didn't have much to do in goal. In midfield, we won our battles and our front two both worked hard. We could always be better, we all know that, as we set ourselves high standards. Our fixtures are coming thick and fast these days, so testing the fitness of our squad. We've got three trips to Gloucester next week - that's weather permitting of course. Travelling down there is never easy, so if we can do that three times in a week and come away with nine points we are almost there.”

The Uhlsport Hellenic League title race now looks like developing into a straight fight between Bracknell Town and FA Vase finalists Thatcham. Robins' 2-0 win over H ighworth, the long-time leaders, has seriously dented the hopes of the current leaders. With just three games left, the Wiltshire side are on 82 points, while Thatcham have 80 with six games to go and Bracknell have 77 with seven remaining and none are against sides high in the table.
As Town coach Geoff Warner commented: "Goals win you matches, but clean sheets win you titles."

 

kensley maloney hellenic league footballMaloney Winner - 29 March

Carl Davies praised goal hero Kensley Maloney (pictured) after seeing him score the winner as Bracknell Town defeated Binfield 1-0 at Hill Farm Lane on Monday.

"He thoroughly deserved his goal for his performances of late, as he has done really well," said the Robins' player-manager. "I think the longer he has played in the middle of the park with Dodds (Jamie McClurg) the better he has become. But one thing I have said to him is that he needs to add goals to his game, he rarely shoots. I am always having a go at him for not shooting. Then I almost at a go at him tonight for getting in that shot as I thought he was quite far out, but he took it well and, and as I said, he deserves a goal and will probably win the man of match award again tonight. He worked his socks off, but we all did; we had to in order to match them (Binfield for work rate)."

Maloney's winner came in the 49th minute of a thoroughly entertaining Uhlsport Hellenic League derby clash that was played in front of a crowd of more than 300, Binfield's best league attendance of the season.
"It was a tough game," added Davies. "But we knew it was going to be. We had earmarked this as one of the hardest fixtures we had left, so to get all three points as massive for us, especially after their (Binfield) result at the weekend. All credit to them, because they were very good tonight."

Centre-back Davies, who was up against his former Binfield teammate and namesake Ian Davies, added: "He was a real handful and made it hard for all 90 minutes, he left me knackered. But it was a great game to be involved in and overall, I think we just edged it and deserved to win. It was three vital points for us."

Bracknell move up one place to fourth in the Hellenic League table with 71 points, 11 fewer than leaders Highworth and six less than second-placed Thatcham. But the Robins have nine games left, while Highworth have only four and FA Vase finalists Thatcham seven. "I am not really worried about what other teams are doing," admitted Davies, who boasts a 100 percent record since taking over as player-manager last month. We are just concentrating on ourselves and what we are doing. We are just taking one game at a time. Every single game now is a big one for us and we know we cannot afford any slip ups. If we win all our remaining games, we will win the league and that is what we are focussing on."

The Robins, whose last league defeat was at Highworth on December 30, play Royal Wootton Bassett at Larges  Lane on Saturday before the return game with the table toppers on Monday (3pm ko).

New Team Off To Flying Start - 22 March

Bracknell Town's new management team of Carl Davies and Geoff Warner have got off to flying start with a 2-0 success at Brackley Town Saints last Wednesday followed by a 4-0 home victory against Longlevens on Saturday.

geoff warner hellenic league football"That's two wins and another 11 to go," said Warner (pictured) as he assessed his side's Uhlsport Hellenic League title chances. "It's just unfortunate we recently lost three games to the bad weather, as if we had played we could well have been even better placed than we are."

Town stay fifth in the table with 65 points from 27 games, while leaders Highworth are on 82 from 33 games and Thatcham 77 from 31. "We have just got to keep on going and picking up the points, which I feel we capable of doing so," added Warner.

He was pleased with the result against Longlevens, admitting: "We would have taken that before the game. "I thought we played really well in the first half and took our chances. In the second half we didn't play anywhere near as well and we missed chances, but at the end of the day we won 4-0 and kept another clean sheet, so that is the main thing. We are now looking for another three points against Fairford next Saturday."

Davies has handed over the captain's armband to fellow defender Dave Hancock, with Warner explaining: "Now he's manager as well, Carl didn't want the responsibility of captain as well. "Hanks was captain last year when Carl was out. He was the automatic choice to do it. I thought he played really well today. He's a good player, at right-back or centre-half."

Warner expressed his sympathy for Adam Cornell, the club's leading scorer with 28 goals, but who has drawn a blank since netting in the 3-2 FA Vase win at Coleshill on February 3 when he started as substitute.  "We talked about it before the game," revealed the coach. "It's just not going for him at the moment, but we fell once he gets one, the goals will start to fly in for him again.  Adam is trying hard and it's just about getting the next goal that will give him back some confidence."

The Robins gave pitch-time to young substitutes Elliott Legg and Max Herbert on Saturday, the pair having come over from America where they are at university. "They have done well in training, did well in our cup win at Longlevens and it's good to get them involved," stated Warner. "They are just two of the good young players we now have at the club. They have strengthened the squad, which is now in good shape, as it needs to be with a lot of fixtures still to come. "

Town take on Fairford at Larges Lane this Saturday before their local derby at Binfield on Monday evening (7.45pm ko). "Fixtures are coming thick and fast for us now and that's going to be the case for most of the rest of the season. We are now looking to go on a roll," concluded Warner. The coach also has a new assistant alongside him in the dug-out with former Town player and assistant manager Steve Nebbett returning to the club two years after hanging up his boots.

 

First Game In Charge Called Off - 8 March

Bracknell Town players were left fuming after their Uhlsport Hellenic League match against Woodley United at Rivermoor Stadium on Monday night was postponed less than an hour before the kick-off.

The pitch looked in good condition despite all the rain, but the match officials said the heavily-sanded goalmouth nearest to the car park was waterlogged. “It was so annoying as we wanted to play,” said Robins' new player-manager Carl Davies, in conversation with Dave Wright.

It would have been Davies' first match in his new role and against one of his former clubs, having played a leading role in getting Woodley promoted from the Reading Football League to the Hellenic League back in 2009. “When we played a cup tie at Ardley the pitch was 10 times worse than it was tonight,” claimed Davies “There appears a lack of consistency among the refs when they come to making these decisions.”

Monday's late postponement was particularly frustrating for Town striker TJ Bohane. With his car off the road, he took the train from Swindon, but it broke down and had to change trains. It took him two hours to get to the ground in west Reading, only to be told the game was off.

Davies admitted he was “excited” about taking over as player-manager. “It's something I always thought I would end up doing, though perhaps not this early,” he said. “The plan is for me to do the job for the rest of the season, and then we will assess things during the summer. Kayne (Steinborn-Busse) wanted to keep it in-house and that is why we got Geoff (Warner) back. There may be another appointment as well.”

On becoming the manager as well, Davies commented: “I just want it to be business as usual. “I received texts from players and they all seem happy. The only thing will insist on is that they all become Cardiff (City) fans.”

Davies still believes Bracknell can produce a late charge for the title, saying: “If we win our 13 games we win the league, it is as simple as that. “As a captain that is all I wanted, and now as manager, nothing changes.”

geoff warner hellenic league footballExperienced coach Geoff Warner is also delighted to be back with Bracknell Town, comments Dave Wright – and believes the Uhlsport Hellenic League title is still within their reach. Having left last October following the change in management, Warner has returned to Larges Lane to assist Carl Davies, who was appointed player-manager last week for the rest of the season following the departure of Jeff Lamb and Paul McGrotty.

“I had no hesitation when asked if I wanted to go back,” said Warner. “I kept in touch with Carl and the players since I left, as I had worked with them for 18 months. I have also been down to see a few games and a couple of under-23 games as well. As I said before, Bracknell is my club. My dad played for them and so did I. So when I got the call about coming back I jumped at the chance.”

Warner, who has been heavily involved in coaching the academy teams of Football League clubs including Reading, was involved with Bracknell last season, the most successful in the club's long history. Assisting Mark Tallentire, the Robins finished runners-up to Thame United in the Hellenic League and won three cup competitions. But Tallentire left by “mutual consent” last September, with former Ascot United duo Lamb and McGrotty taking over.

Warner, who works full time with the successful FAB Academy based at Bisham Abbey, stayed with them for a short time before deciding to leave. He's now back and “can't wait to get started again.”

Warner met club chairman Kayne Steinborn-Busse, director Bob Langridge and Davies on Monday of last week before meeting up with the players the following evening. “It was a sort of clear the air meeting and players were given the chance to say what they wanted,” revealed Warner. “That went well, just clearing the air really. As the under-18s were playing, we couldn't go onto the pitch to train, but we had a session in the gym with Sean Faulkner which went well. We couldn't train Thursday either (due to the snow) and it was disappointing not to have played (Brackley Town Saints) on Saturday.”

Warner rejoins a Robins squad that is much the same as last season, with defenders Joe Gater and Ryan Parsons being the main additions. And he believes they are more than capable of having a big say in the title race, although Town do have a lot of ground to make up on the current top two, Highworth and Thatcham.

“The players here have proven before they can go on a long run of wins,” he commented. “I think we won 14 on the spin last year, so they have proved they are capable of going on a good run. We have a lot of quality in the squad and it's now a matter of everyone getting together for the big push. We are 20 points behind (Highworth) with six games in hand and have to play them at home. They also have to play Thatcham. Apart from Highworth, the only team we have got to play in the top six are Binfield although there are still some difficult games to play, like Lydney and Tuffley away.”

Warner continued: “I am optimistic. Knowing the players, everyone seems on the same side now. We can have a good go at it (title race) and I am confident we can do it.”

Bracknell are not expecting any players to leave the club following the change of management, but there is a possibility they may consider bringing in one or two on dual-registration forms. “Some clubs, like Thatcham with Slough's Gavin James, are doing it,” said Warner. “With so many fixtures still to play, we could be looking at playing Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday some weeks and if we have a few injuries, we might need one or two more players to come in.”

 

carl davies hellenic league footballDavies In Charge To Season End - 1 March

Carl Davies (pictured) has been appointed player-manager of Bracknell Town until the end of the season following the club's surprising decision to sack joint managers Jeff Lamb and Paul McGrotty on Monday morning. - Report by Dave Wright

Geoff Warner returns to Larges Lane as assistant manager, a role he occupied with Mark Tallentire earlier this season.

Tallentire left by “mutual consent” last September and replaced by former Ascot United duo Lamb and McGrotty. Derek Sweetman, who was their coach, has also left the club. As with Tallentire, the axing of Lamb and McGrotty came as a huge shock to Bracknell fans.

It came less than two days after the Robins had been knocked out of the Buildbase FA Vase, losing 3-0 to competition favourites Markse United in the quarter-finals at Larges Lane. Lamb and McGrotty said they were left “gutted and very disappointed” with the former adding:"I don't think we had done a lot wrong.”

Steinborn-Busse admitted it was a “tough decision” to part company with the duo, but it is understood Saturday's defeat doesn't appear to be the main reason for the sackings.

The Robins played well in the first half and missed chances to take an early lead before conceding a goal shortly before half-time. But in the second half, they were made to look second best by the Yorkshire side in front of a bumper crowd of 1,142, including Greg Clarke, chairman of the Football Association. 

Steinborn-Busse had brought in former Ascot United trio Lamb, McGrotty and Sweetman late last September after he had surprisingly parted company with Tallentire, stating the pair didn't share the same views on team matters. Warner, a highly respected coach, departed shortly afterwards. Tallentire, regarded as the club's most successful ever manager after finishing runners-up to Thame United in the league and winning three cup competitions last season, left after successive losses at the hands of Thatcham and Ascot. He was also among the spectators last Saturday.

Since Lamb and Co took over, the Larges Lane club have suffered only two further Premier Division league defeats, 3-2 at Wantage and 1-0 away to title rivals Highworth. They remain in the title race, although with a lot of ground to make up. The fifth-placed Robins have 59 points with 13 games remaining, while Highworth are on 79 with seven matches left, including one at Bracknell on April 2.

Steinborn-Busse, who has ambitious plans for the club's long-term future, regarded the Vase run as a bonus, but said their priority from day one has been winning the Uhlsport Hellenic League and gaining promotion to the Southern League. 

The players will regroup this week, determined to maintain their winning league run when they play Brackley Town Saints at Larges Lane on Saturday, followed by a trip to Rivermoor Stadium in Tilehurst on Monday (7.45pm ko) to face relegation-threatened Woodley United. Both games, however, will hinge on whether the snow and ice will have gone.

 

Management Changes At Bracknell - 1 March

Bracknell Town, who exited the Buildbase FA Vase on Saturday, parted company with their management team, Jeff Lamb and Paul McGrotty on Monday.

A statement published on Bracknell Town FC website reads. "Yesterday we made the very Tough decision to part company with Jeff & Paul. We would like to thank them for their efforts in their short time here and wish them all the best for the future."

"Carl Davies has been appointed Player Manager until the end of the season and we welcome back Geoff Warner as Assistant Manager."

The Bracknell News reports. "The pair - who guided Robins to the FA Vase quarter finals - were axed by email this morning (Monday). It is believed Bracknell's hierarchy were unhappy with the duo's tactics, despite reaching the last eight of the FA Vase where they were beaten 3-0 at home by Marske United in front of a 1,000-plus crowd at Larges Lane on Saturday. The Robins are also fighting for promotion in the Hellenic Premier and are in fifth place, 20 points behind leaders Highworth Town but with six games in hand."

Lamb and McGrotty, along with coach Derek Sweetman, were appointed at the end of September last year following the departure of Mark Tallentire, who left the Uhlsport Hellenic League club by mutual agreement.

 

buildbase fa vase badgeEnd To Past Vase Heart Aches ? - 22 February

Bracknell Town joint-managers Jeff Lamb and Paul McGrotty, along with coach Derek Sweetman, are determined to bring an end to their past FA Vase heart-aches.

Twice they guided their previous club, Ascot United, to the quarter-final stage, only to see their final dreams shattered - by Shildon in 2013 and St Austell two years later. "We don't want that disappointment again, we are going to get through this time," said Lamb with confidence ahead of Town's attractive tie against Marske United at Larges Lane on Saturday (3pm ko).

The Yorkshire seaside club, who lie third in the Northern League with nine games in hand of the two sides above them, are currently the bookies' favourites to lift the trophy at Wembley in May. Lamb is keeping his notes about the visitors close to his chest, but did admit: "We have the experience of Shildon from a few years ago, so we know what we are going to be facing. We also have some information on them and we will be setting things up accordingly for Saturday."

McGrotty added: "We've got a very tough draw, as a number of (Vase) winners have come from their league. There is a lot of talk that they (Markse) are not used to a 3G pitch, but I think they will enjoy playing on our pitch. We will have our hands full."

The managers are not expected to confirm their starting 11 until shortly before the kick-off, but definitely ruled out is experienced midfielder Carl Withers, who was sent off in the 6-2 win over Didcot Town Reserves in the Perpetua Floodlit Cup on Tuesday last week. Centre-back Justin Clayton, who injured his ankle in the previous round of the Vase at Coleshill, is doubtful, but skipper Carl Davies, who damaged two ribs in the same game, proved his fitness when playing in the 2-0 win over Burnham last Saturday.

Recent signing Jesse Wilson, who played against Didcot and Burnham, is likely to partner Davies at the heart of the defence if Clayton is ruled out. The Robins could be facing a player who knows what it's like to taste Wembley glory as Marske have recently signed midfielder Andy Stephenson, who collected winners' medals with Spennymoor in 2013 and South Shields last year. He made his debut in their 1-0 win over Shildon last Saturday.

Town chairman Kayne Steinborn-Busse is describing it as the biggest game in the club's long history and one of the biggest sporting occasions ever to be held in the town. With Marske planning to bring down two coach loads of supporters, the crowd on Saturday could be close to 1,000.

Extra refreshments kiosks and portable toilets will be available, but car parking in the immediate vicinity of the Larges Lane ground will be extremely limited and the club are urging fans to park in the town centre, a short walk away. There will be a special parking spot for those who wish to come on their bikes.

 

buildbase fa vase logoBracknell Have To Overcome Bookies Favourites - 8 February

Buildbase FA Vase favourites Marske United stand between Bracknell Town and the semi-finals.

And the Robins will have home advantage when they take on the Northern League Division 1 club at Larges Lane on Saturday, February 24. Marke's visit could attract a crowd of close to 1,000. The North Yorkshire seaside club currently lie fourth in the table with 52 points from 21 games, eight matches fewer than the sides above them.

For Bracknell's management trio of Jeff Lamb, Paul McGrotty and Derek Sweetman, it is the third time they have reached the quarter-finals of the competition, having previously achieved it before with Ascot United in 2013 and again two years later. But as Lamb pointed out: “We never got past the quarter-finals, so, hopefully, we will this year. We want to get to Wembley.”

The Robins' joint-manager admitted his side had made “hard work” of beating Coleshill 4-2 after extra time in their fifth-round tie last Saturday “With the number of chances we had, we should have buried them in the first half. But overall really chuffed with the performance. The boys' character and the way they fought was impressive, as was their willingness to win the ball. They showed a real desire to win and maybe in the end we looked as if we wanted it a bit more than they did.”

Despite dominating the opening 45 minutes. Town were only one goal ahead at half-time and found themselves on level terms when the Midland League leaders scored six minutes into the second half. “After their equaliser, it looked like Coleshill had the ascendency, but we went two up top (Adam Cornell joining TJ Bohane) and I think that turned the game back in our favour,” said Lamb. “Gracey (keeper Chris Grace) also pulled off a vital save, but we grew into the game and they got tired. In the end, it was a fantastic display.”

Joint-manager Paul McGrotty added: “The whole team stood out, so it's not fair to single individuals out, but our goalie has pulled off a great save with the scores level and two minutes later we score. We are chuffed for them all.” With Thatcham travelling to Melksham and Windsor to Stockton, there is still a chance of three Uhslport Hellenic League and Berkshire clubs reaching the semi-finals which are held over two legs.

 

buildbase fa vase logoHomework On Vase Rivals - 1 October

Bracknell Town have been doing their homework on Buildbase FA Vase rivals Coleshill this week ahead of their away fifth-round tie this Saturday. The Robins are looking for a place in the quarter-finals to take them closer to the final at Wembley in May.

"We know what to expect from Coleshill," said joint-manager Jeff Lamb talking to Dave Wright. "We have had them watched and have gathered other bits about them. They are a good side and will be lively going forward. We will sit down and work out ways to beat them."

Bracknell will also be helped by the fact Coleshill have a similar 3G surface to the one at Larges Lane. The Warwickshire side are in great form - currently on an 18-match unbeaten run in league and cup games - and are top of the Total Motion Midland League. Last season they reached the semi-finals of the FA Vase before losing 6-1 on aggregate to South Shields, who went on to lift the trophy at Wembley. In this season's competition, they have beaten Blaby & Whetstone Athletic 8-1 with Jordan Nadat scoring six times, Highgate United 2-0 and Newcastle Benfield on penalties in a home replay with keeper Paul Hathaway scoring from the spot and then saving two kicks as his side triumphed 4-2 win in the shoot-out.

The winners on Saturday will collect £2,500 from the FA Vase prize fund to add to the £4,725 they earned from the previous four rounds.

Bracknell have had more time to prepare for the tie as their Uhlsport Hellenic League game at Lydney last Saturday was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch. It is now likely to be played in late April. The Robins were also originally scheduled to visit Didcot Town Reserves in the Perpetua Press Floodlit Cup on Tuesday, but the tie was put back to next Tuesday (7.45pm ko).

Bracknell will make fitness checks on Joe Grant and George Short before confirming their squad to play Coleshill. It is a massive weekend for the Uhlsport Hellenic League and Berkshire football with three sides all involved in the Vase. New league leaders Thatcham, in red-hot form, are home to Bromsgrove Sporting, lying second in the Midland League, while Windsor take on Sydenhams Leaguers Hamble Club at Stag Meadow.

 

paul mcgrotty hellenic leagueConcentrate On League Games - 18 January

Paul McGrotty says Bracknell Town players must put the Buildbase FA Vase out of their minds and concentrate on their Uhlsport Hellenic League games for the next three weeks.

The Robins visit Coleshill in the fifth round on February 3, the Midlands League leaders having beaten Newcastle Benfield 4-2 on penalties in their replay after grabbing a stoppage-time equaliser to take the tie into extra time. “The Coleshill tie is some way off. We have six matches before then, three of them in the league and those are games we need to win,” said joint-manager McGrotty (pictured).

Town defeated Lydney 4-1 at Larges Lane last Saturday to narrow the gap between themselves and runaway leaders Highworth to 17 points with four matches in hand. “There is still a long way to go and we know we need to win every game to keep the pressure on Highworth,” added McGrotty. “But we are also in a position where we hope other teams drop points. You would rather have the points on the board or be just five behind at this stage, rather than 17, but all we can do is to keep on winning.”

Their victory over Lydney extended their unbeaten home run to 12 games, but they did have to come from behind after conceding an early goal. McGrotty continued in conversation with Dave Wright: “That did give us an early scare, so we were pleased to go on to get the three points. We looked a bit flat at times, but perhaps that wasn't surprising following the euphoria of our two Vase ties. Before the game, Jeff (Lamb) and myself were a bit worried about that happening today. We have won without playing that well.”

Terence Bohane scored twice in the first half with Jon Bennett adding a brace in the second after making a rare appearance in the starting 11 in place of Adam Cornell, who was away working.
“Jon has been knocking on our door asking why he can't get more minutes on the pitch, so I was pleased for him today,” commented McGrotty. Bennett is not the player wanting to play more regularly as the joint manager confirmed. He said: “People want to play football., but you can only start with 11. You need a squad of 22, so there is always going to be unhappy players, and that is a horrible part of being a manager trying to keep everyone happy. but we want everyone who is here to stay.”

One who has already left, however, is defender Adam Kirby, who signed for Ascot United last week. “He is a good player, but it didn't work out for him here. We hope he does well for Ascot.,” said McGrotty. Kirby made an unhappy debut for the Yellamen on Saturday, being sent off late in the first half of their 4-0 defeat at Wantage. Bracknell visit Abingdon United this Saturday and that will be no easy task after United's excellent 4-2 win at Highworth on Tuesday.

 

Robins League Points Priority - 11 January

Bracknell Town's victory over Blackfield & Langley in the Buildbase FA Vase replay on Tuesday night secures a fifth round place against either Coleshill or Newcastle Benfield on Saturday, February 3. The Coleshill v Newcastle replay is scheduled to be played this weekend at Newcastle.

In the meantime, the Robins need to concentrate on picking up Uhlsport Hellenic League points, currently trailing runaway leaders Highworth by 20 points.

“We have games in hand of them and they still have to come to our place, so the title race is far from over, that's for definite,” said Robins joint-manager Jeff Lamb. Commenting on the Vase win, he stated: “We started really well, having a real go at them, showing a lot of intent. The early goal settled our nerves and we fully deserved to be two goals up at half-time. But there was a lot about them (Blackfield) tonight. They played really well on Saturday with 10 men and tonight, at 2-0 down, they had a real go at us, so they deserve a lot of credit. We did come under pressure, but you would expect that in a game like this. I thought at times we were dropping a little too deep, but the lads were tiring. But to a man, they defended very well and we have beaten a very good side.”

Lamb continued: “We must now put this game behind us and concentrate once again on the league. Lydney on Saturday is a massive game for us. After losing at Highworth we have bounced back well in the Vase and we will be going all out for three points.”

Bracknell have confirmed there will be free entry to Saturday's game. “We want to thank the fans for their tremendous support,” said chairman Kayne Steinborn-Busse. We had a large following at Blackfield and an amazing crowd for Tuesday's replay."

 

Can Be Hauled In - 4 January

Bracknell Town joint-manager Jeff Lamb still believes runaway Uhlsport Hellenic League leaders Highworth can be caught despite losing 1-0 to them on Saturday.

The Robins, in fourth place, now trail by a massive 19 points, but have four matches in hand and the Worthians are to visit Larges Lane at the end of the season. Lamb admitted their defeat was a setback, saying to Dave Wright: "After a good run of results, this is a little bit of a knock, but we will regroup and pick ourselves up.
"We are only halfway through the season. We will need to go on another good run and we are more than capable of that."

Lamb felt his side were unfortunate not to have Highworth with a point. "Being honest, I think the fairest result would have been a draw," he said. "Their goal came from a wicked deflection. We made enough chances, had a few penalty appeals turned down and we hit the crossbar right at the end of the game, so luck wasn't on our side. Obviously, it was a disappointing result for us, but we were not outplayed. The effort was there."

Lamb did agree, however, that not all of his team were at their best, but defended them by saying: "You cannot expect every player to play great every game. You just hope they don't come around in games like this."While accepting Highworth's ground is far different from Larges Lane with its sloping pitch and uneven surface, Lamb stated: "It is a difficult place to come to, but conditions were the same for both teams and you can't make that an excuse."

Lamb said Bracknell will "get in a couple of good training sessions this week" ahead of their FA Vase fourth round tie away to Hampshire side Blackfield & Langley on Saturday (3pm ko). "It is going be a tough game, but you expect that at this stage of the Vase," commented the manager. "We know bits and pieces about them. We have spoken to a few people about them and had them watched." They currently lie second in the Wessex League following 18 wins, four draws and three defeats with a goals record of 66 for and only 16 against.

Justin Clayton, who played for the last five minutes as a substitute at Highworth, Kensley Maloney and George Short are on the way back from injury. "It is good to have these players coming back as it is important to have a strong squad going into the second half of the season," concluded Lamb.

 

buildbase fa vase logoVase Homework - 30 Novemberjeff lamb bracknell town  hellenic league

Bracknell Town joint-manager Jeff Lamb has been doing homework on Buildbase FA Vase rivals Lordswood as he looks for a place in the last 32.

"We know little bits about them," he said to Dave Wright as the Robins prepare for their third-round tie in Chatham on Saturday (3pm ko).

Lamb, pictured, continued. "There are some very good sides in their league, so we know it's going to be a tough game, but you can't expect easy ties at this stage of the competition. Lordswood are in the same league as Beckenham, who a few years ago knocked us out of the Vase when we were at Ascot. We are doing some homework on them before we go, that's for sure."

The Robins will travel as favourites with BetVictor pricing them at 4/6 with Lordswood 5/2 and the draw 7/2. The Kent club, who are fifth in the Southern Counties East League's Premier Division with 28 points from 15 games, go into the game on the back of a 3-0 defeat at the hands of league rivals Sheppey United in the Kent Senior Trophy last Saturday.

At least the Martyn Grove club must have been pleased the game went ahead as the previous week they had been forced to postpone their fixture with Deal Town because of problems with the generator for their floodlights.
Bracknell, without a game last weekend, hope to have most of their injured players back fit as they bid to make further progress on the long road to Wembley.

Providing a replay with Lordswood is not required, Bracknell will return to Uhlsport Hellenic League action next Tuesday (7.45pm ko) when they host Windsor at Larges Lane. The visitors have been showing good form of late - they are up to ninth in the table - with their highly-experienced striker Barry Hayles, who played for a host of Football League clubs, still knocking in the goals at the age of 45.

In Hellenic competitions, Bracknell have been drawn away to current Division 1 West leaders Ardley United in the third round of the Bluefin Challenge Cup. The Robins have also been paired away to Division 1 East side Didcot Town Reserves in the Perpetua Press Floodlit Cup although this depends on the outcome of their abandoned second-round tie at Highmoor Ibis which is subject to a Berks & Bucks FA investigation. The referee stopped the game with 15 minutes left to play when confronted by a Highmoor player he had sent off.
Bracknell's derby at Binfield has been switched from Boxing Day to the following day, Wednesday, with a 7.45pm kick-off.

 

Hungry For Buildbase FA Vase Success - 17 November

Having twice had a taste in recent seasons, Bracknell Town's management team are now hungry for more FA Vase success.

And they revealed the exciting prospect of getting to a Wembley final went along way towards them moving to Larges Lane this season. The Robins are through to the last 64 after thrashing Cricklewood Wanderers 8-0 at Larges Lane on Saturday and will be away to Southern Counties East League club Lordswood – a trip of around 72 miles to Chatham­ – in the third round on December 2.

Dave Wright pens. Joint managers Jeff Lamb and Paul McGrotty, along with coach Derek Sweetman, guided their previous club, Ascot United, to the quarter-finals in 2013 and again two years later. They were then knocked-out, but now they are hoping to take Town even further along the road to Wembley. Lamb, who replaced Mark Tallentire as manager in September, stated: “The Vase is a competition we hold in high regard, so we are certainly looking for a good run with Bracknell. One of the reasons why we (Lamb, McGrotty and Sweetman) wanted to get back in involved again was the Vase, as it is a good opportunity for clubs at our level to get to Wembley. So our tie on December 2 is going to be massive for us and we are already looking to it.”

The Robins have certainly made an impression in the competition so far, blasting Buckingham Athletic 6-2 in the first round and Cricklewood 8-0 last Saturday. Both opponents came from lower leagues, so Lordswood are likely to offer Town a much sterner test. That said, Town were given some early scares by Wembley-based Cricklewood from the Middlesex League, with the visitors twice hitting the post and having another effort cleared off the line in the opening 25 minutes. “They were excellent in the first half,” admitted Lamb. “They came at us straight away and gave us something to think about. Their shape was causing us problems, so all credit to them for trying. To be honest, it (the scoreline) was a bit harsh on them.”

While questions could be asked of the Bracknell defence, the hosts were always a threat going forward and the team that had won their previous two Hellenic League games 7-0 could easily have reached double figures. The Robins, however, have lost the services of Liam Ferdinand, who has switched to league rivals Thatcham. He joined the club this season as the replacement for TJ Bohane, but the latter recently returned to Larges Lane from Swindon Supermarine to link up again with Adam Cornell, the pair having scored more than 90 goals between them last term. Ferdinand, who netted 41 goals for Binfield in 2016-17, has been left on the sub's bench in recent games. Lamb said he was “disappointed” to see him leave, but added: “I understand why he has done it. We have four or five forwards who are firing now and with Joe Grant is back from holiday we are strong going forward.”

Forward Jon Bennett, who has been on dual registration with Combined Counties League side Godalming in recent weeks, was back on the Robins bench on Saturday and, after replacing Cornell, scored Town's seventh goal.

 

Goals Galore - 15 November

Bracknell Town took their goal tally to a remarkable 22 in just eight days by crushing Cricklewood Wanderers 8-0 in their FA Vase second-round tie at Larges Lane on Saturday.

It was the biggest winning margin of all the 64 ties played at the weekend although they were extremely fortunate to have kept a clean sheet against the lowest ranked team left in the competition. 

Bracknell could be among the goals again this Saturday when they host Uhlsport Hellenic Division 1 West side Cheltenham Saracens in the second round of the Bluefin Sports Hellenic League Cup. 

The Berkshire hot-shots are also through to the quarter-finals of the Berks & Bucks Senior Cup following an excellent 2-1 win at National League South side Hungerford on Tuesday with Seb Bowerman and Jamie McClurg on target in the first half. The Robins now await the winners of the Slough and Wantage tie.

 

Game Abandoned - 2 November

Bracknell Town's Perpetua Press Floodlit Cup tie at Highmoor Ibis on Monday was abandoned with 15 minutes remaining, reports Dave Wright.

It is understood referee Keith Kennett feared for his safety after sending off Highmoor's Ibe Bangura, having previously booked six home players mostly for dissent.

It was not the first time they have experienced problems at Rivermoor Stadium this season. In the Uhlsport Hellenic League fixture there in September, the floodlights went out with 10 minutes remaining at a time when the Robins were pressing hard for the winner with the score at 2-2. The lights did come back on, but the Robins were unable to regain their momentum and there were no further goals.

Like on that occasion, Bracknell found Highmoor a tough nut to crack this week with the home defence looking solid with Jamie Porter and Zak Tull outstanding as they stood up to prolific scorers TJ Bohane and Liam Ferdinand. In a game where there was not a bad foul, Bracknell enjoyed the majority of the possession but struggled to create many clear-cut chances.
The Reading side threatened on the break and, of the two keepers, Bracknell's Chris Grace, who was captain for the night, had to make the better saves.
It certainly wasn't the most entertaining of games and the only real noteworthy items in the second half became the number of times Mr Kennett had to produce the yellow card.There were four cautions in a short space of time before Bangura saw red.

The player had to be dragged away from the referee by Bracknell defender Philip John and whipped his shirt off as he trudged back to the dressing room. There was then a lot of dialogue between players and the referee before he abandoned the game.

With their red card count this year now in double figures, Highmoor will also certainly be financially punished by the Berks & Bucks FA, but the club will almost certainly ask for a personal hearing. It remains to be seen if the tie will be replayed.

The two sides meet again next Tuesday (7.45pm ko) in a league match at Larges Lane.

 

Bracknell Hot Shots - 26 October

tj bohane hellenic league footballadam cornell hellenic league footballThe most prolific goalscoring duo in Bracknell Town's modern history are back in business. Terence 'TJ' Bohane and Adam Cornell, who between them scored more than 90 goals last season, have been reunited at Larges Lane.

Bohane (left), having previously been signed on a dual registration for a month, made his move back from Swindon Supermarine permanent late last week.

He started on the bench as Cornell (right) bagged a hat-trick in Town's 6-2 win over Buckingham Athletic in their Buildbase FA Vase first-round tie on Saturday before going on to score a goal himself.

But, as he looked on from the substitute's bench, Bohane will have noticed there is now extra competition for one of the striker's role in the shape of Liam Ferdinand (bottom right). The forward signed from Binfield, who also bagged 40 plus goals last season, made his return from an ankle injury and capped a useful performance with a goal.

liam ferdinand hellenic league footballAs joint manager Jeff Lamb remarked: "There is now a lot of competition for places in the team." With wide-men Seb Bowerman and Joe Grant capable of setting up threatening moves on a regular basis, Town now boast an extremely potent attacking force. There are surely going to be plenty more goal treats like this one against a youthful Buckingham side and Bracknell will need to score as they will certainly leak goals if they defend like they did last weekend.

Not for the first time this season, there was a lack of understanding among their rearguard. It cost them two goals and it would probably
have been one or two more had they been playing a team at their own level, rather Step 6 opposition. Town were odds-on favourites to beat their Spartan League Division 1 visitors Town, now third in the Uhlsport Hellenic League table following their 3-0 win over Wantage on Tuesday of last week, host fourth-placed Thatcham at Larges Lane on Saturday, seeking revenge for last month's 3-0 defeat at Waterside Park.

Then on Monday, the Robins are away to Highmoor Ibis in the second round of the Perpetua Press Floodlit Cup.

 

Two Signings Top Of Great Week - 19 October

Another great week for Bracknell Town has been topped off with the signings of two more quality players.

The Robins followed up their 3-1 win at second-placed Flackwell Heath on Saturday by defeating the fifth club, Wantage, 3-0 at Larges Lane on Tuesday. Town move up to third place in the Uhlsport Hellenic League standings with 34 points from 15 matches, one point behind Flackwell with a game in hand, and five points fewer than pace-setters Highworth, who boast a 100-per-cent record after 13 fixtures.

Now Bracknell have strengthened their squad even further by bringing in two experienced players from Evo-Stik League clubs. Left-back Ryan Parsons has joined from Marlow, along with Chalfont St Peter captain and midfielder Adam Kirby.

Parsons has played for several clubs, including Aylesbury United, Egham, Slough and Windsor, where he was captain. “He's a very experienced player with four or five promotions with other clubs, so the type of player we need. His experience will be vital,” said joint-manager Jeff Lamb. He has also brought in winger Daryl McLean from his former club, Ascot United.

The Robins are still trying to get Terence (TJ) Bohane back on a full-time basis. The hot-shot is currently on a dual registration with Evo-Stik League club Swindon Supermarine, and followed up his goal for them on Saturday with one for Bracknell on Tuesday.

Bohane ended Wantage's stubborn resistance on 70 minutes by heading in Seb Bowerman's cross. Wantage, who had won all their previous seven Hellenic League meetings with Bracknell including a 3-2 home success two weeks ago, were down to 10 men at the time with Ryan Markham being shown a straight red for his challenge on Bowerman. Five minutes after taking the lead, Joe Grant made it 2-0 with a fierce shot across keeper Curtis Meare and Grant helped set up the third for Adam Cornell on 81 minutes “It was a comfortable win in the end, but until the sending off it was a tough game for us,” commented Lamb. ”It was nice to get revenge after losing at their place."

Bracknell launch their Buildbase FA Vase campaign this Saturday (3pm ko) at Larges Lane and will be warm favourites to beat Spartan League Division 1 side Buckingham Athletic. There is a good chance that striker Liam Ferdinand could return from an ankle injury, but new centre-back Justin Clayton remains sidelined following the hamstring injury he sustained at Flackwell.

 

harrison gilkes hellenic league footballJoy and Despair - 12 October

There was joy and despair when Harrison Gilkes made his debut for Bracknell Town in their 3-2 Uhlsport Hellenic League defeat at Wantage on Saturday.

The 23-year-old son of Reading FC coach Michael Gilkes scored an excellent goal, but minutes later pulled up with pain with what appeared to be a hamstring injury. Town have signed the Slough and former Basingstoke player on a dual registration as he needs match time following a long lay-off with an anterior cruciate ligament injury.

Gilkes (pictured), playing mainly wide on the left, looked impressive and caused the Wantage defence plenty of problems.
And his sad departure from the field certainly contributed to the Robins' third Hellenic League defeat in their last five games as they suddenly became a less of a threat to the Wantage defence.

Town, who previously had beaten Oxford City Nomads 5-0 and 5-1 in the space of four days, were forced to make changes with keeper Chris Grant and midfielder Jamie McClurg both at team official Liam Day's stag party, and central-defender Joe Grant suspended. As all three have vital roles, they were badly missed and their absences also contributed to their defeat.

Bracknell have a quick chance to gain revenge as the return fixture with Wantage is next Tuesday.

 

jeff lamb bracknell town  hellenic league Lamb Takes On Robins - 28 September

Jeff Lamb has been appointed the new manager of Bracknell Town. The former Ascot United team boss replaces Mark Tallentire, who left the Robins earlier this week.

His first two Uhlsport Hellenic League games in charge will both be against Oxford City Nomads with the home fixture on Saturday and the return next Tuesday.

Town chairman Kayne Steinborn-Busse is expecting Lamb (pictured) to strengthen the team following successive defeats in the past week - 3-0 at Thatcham last Saturday and 2-0 at Ascot on Tuesday. Previously, Town had gone eight Hellenic League games without defeat and, so to the outside world, Tallentire's sudden departure came as a surprise. Last season, he led the Robins to a second-place finish in the Premier Division and to three cup-final victories, making him the most successful manager in the club's modern history. However, this season there have been rumblings of discontent between Tallentire and Steinborn-Busse, mainly concerning team matters, and the chairman decided the manager's time was up when the lack-lustre Robins were outplayed by Thatcham.

Speaking to Dave Wright after the game, Tallentire said he would be looking for a reaction from the players at Ascot, but he left on Monday and, though there was a big improvement in their performance at The Racecourse Ground, Town were unable to stop the Yellamen securing only their second league win of the season. It just wasn't Bracknell's night, with the usually-reliable Seb Bowerman having a first-half penalty saved by keeper Lee Allen, Joe Gater being sent off on 40 minutes and then losing the game in the final 15 minutes. This was the centre-back's second red card of the season and he now faces a three-match ban. Even with 10 men, Bracknell had chances of winning, but they were unable to break through a defence that included new signing George Lock, who has been with both Bracknell and Binfield
It was another new boy, Cameron Gyeabour, who won the game for the Yellamen with goals in the 78th and 84th minutes. In between those goals, Ascot were reduced to 10 men with skipper Rob Lazarczuk being sent off for a challenge on Bowerman.

In the meantime, Tallentire had had this to say about his sudden exit from Larges Lane: "It's with a heavy heart that my time as manager of Bracknell Town has ended. I am so proud of my squad of players and how far we've come together over the past couple of years. My gratitude goes to all the staff at the club and to our amazing supporters. It really is a great place to be and a club to be very proud of. I hope my record there speaks for itself and feel that I can leave the club with my head held high. I wish the boys every success for the rest of the season. I believe we have a great squad at Bracknell and can go on to achieve great things."

Steinborn-Busse said Tallentire's departure was by "mutual agreement", adding: "The club would like to thank Tally for all his work and effort over the past two years. The club will not be making any further comment at this stage."

The highly ambitious Steinborn-Busse, the powerful driving force behind the Berkshire club, recently commented: "When you make bold changes and invest in the infrastructure like we have, it puts a massive target of expectation on everyone associated with the club on and off the field. The expectation and the responsibility on all our shoulders now are massive."

mark tallentire hellenic league Tallentire Departs Bracknell - 25 September

Bracknell Town Manager, Mark Tallentire, has left the Uhlsport Hellenic League club by mutual agreement.

The club website ststes. “The club would like to thank Tally for all his work and effort over the past two years including saving the club from relegation when he took over, winning three cups last season and taking the club to the brink of promotion to the Southern League last season where they were only denied in the last game of the season.”

“The club wish him all the best for the future, in the meantime Geoff Warner will take charge of team affairs on a caretaker basis for the game against Ascot United on Tuesday evening.”

 

Heart & Desire - 7 September

Bracknell Town manager Mark Tallentire has praised his players for showing “heart and desire” after seeing them come from behind three games in a row.

They came from 1-0 down to beat Binfield 6-1 on Bank Holiday Monday, then last Saturday a one-goal deficit was turned into a 3-2 win over Abingdon United. Last Monday, Bracknell went 2-0 down in the opening 20 minutes away to Highmoor Ibis before netting twice late on to force a draw, so ending a run of five straight Hellenic League victories.

“I'm trying to work out why we start so poorly,” admitted a puzzled Tallentire. “We have to start making sure we don't give our opponents a leg up, it's making our job a whole lot harder. We spoke about this (to the players) after the Abingdon game, but it happened again against Highmoor. But that said:I am proud about the way we set about getting back into the game.”
The Robins twice trailed a stubborn Abingdon side before sealing victory with goals from Joe Grant, George Short and substitute Jon philip john hellenic league Bennett. “It was a tough afternoon for us, but we showed so much heart and desire to get us across the line in the end, we have that about us,” commented Tallentire.

During the second half at Highmoor, Tallentire introduced his latest signing, the experienced Philip John (pictured left), against one of his former clubs. “I thought he made a bit of a difference when he came on. He showed good vision, switched the ball really well, looked lively and was unlucky not to score. We are pleased to have him on board.”

This Saturday, Bracknell host fellow unbeaten side Flackwell Heath, who went top of the Uhlsport Hellenic League table with a 1-0 win at Abingdon on Tuesday. They have 19 points from seven games, while third-placed Town have 16 points from six.

 

Club House Interior Ruined - 17 August

Bracknell Town chairman Kayne Steinborn-Busse has been left devastated after seeing his new clubhouse flooded by 6,000 gallons of water.

Damage will run into tens of thousands of pounds and it will take several weeks before the place is fully operational again. The cause of the problem, which was quickly identified, has also created similar instances worldwide.

The Larges Lane clubhouse, under a year old, was engulfed by water when a faulty valve blew in the plant room, situated behind the bar last Wednesday. The luxurious club room with its leather sofas and deep-pile carpet, along with all electrics, were totally ruined, as were the fridge area and store room, while some damage was caused to the home team's dressing room. Water also gushed out of the door and formed a mini river down the car park towards the main entrance.

"Thank goodness everything was insured," said Steinborn-Busse. "It is too early to say how much damage was caused, but it will be very substantial. "There may be some structural damage, hopefully, there won't be, but it will need to be thoroughly inspected."

Steinborn-Busse revealed the manufacturer of the faulty valve, Joule, has accepted liability, adding: "They have recalled 80,000 valves around the world ​ ​ although had not notified the wholesaler that supplied our valve. "

M.R. Flynn Plumbers of Bracknell raced to the club's rescue, while representatives of Insurance companies Aon and Belfor Fire and Flood Restoration soon arrived at Larges Lane to assess the damage. "I can't praise these people enough," said Steinborn-Busse. "It was heartbreaking when I discovered the extent of the damage, so it was reassuring to have these professional people on hand quickly offering their advice and support."

This week the Uhlsport Hellenic League club are planning to instal temporary facilities ahead of their Emirates FA Cup Preliminary round tie against Winchester City this Saturday. "We plan to instal a large marquee with full bar facilities and a TV screen," commented Steinborn-Busse. "We are expecting a large crowd for this cup tie and despite all the problems and inconvenience , we will do everything possible to make it a great experience for supporters from both sides."

 

Never In Real Trouble - 10 August

Manager Mark Tallentire commented on last weekend’s Emirates FA Cup win : "Defensively, we looked quite tight and I don't think we ever looked in real trouble."

Dave Wright adds regarding the Robins 4-3 home success. “At half-time, however, he must have been more concerned with the number of times his men gave the ball away. Ever what was said during the break, Town looked much sharper in the second half and soon had chances to double their lead. Bowerman fired just wide, while Dave Hancock missed a golden opportunity when the ball fell to him to the right of the goal. Adam Cornell shot over the bar and was denied by Hatt after the keeper had sent an attempted clearance into his path. Hatt then tipped Gater's effort over the bar. The pressure finally paid off in the 64th minute. Joe Grant, receiving from Carl Davies, put Ferdinand through on the right and he drew Hatt off his line before firing low into the far corner. And within 10 minutes it was 3-0 when centre-back Gater moved into an unmarked position to nonchalantly head home Bowerman's cross from the left for his first goal for the club since his transfer from Basingstoke.”

The scoreline did not flatter the Robins and their fans left the ground knowing there are even better things to come from their team.

Town midfielder Kensley Maloney underwent a knee operation last weekend and is likely to be sidelined for up to a couple of months.

But there is better news concerning Khalid Senussi, who was carried off in the pre-season friendly against Chalfont St Peter with an ankle injury. He expects to be back in training within the next week.

tj bohane hellenic league footballBohane Signs For Supermarine - 23 June

TJ Bohane, who scored 47 goals in 44 games in the Uhlsport Hellenic League last season, has decided to move from Bracknell to Evo-Stik Southern League Swindon Supermarine.

The Swindon Advertiser reports Marine manager Dave Webb believes the time is right for TJ Bohane to prove himself in the Southern League. The 29-year-old has been a prolific goalscorer in the Hellenic League over the last few years and has reunited with Dave Webb after following him to the Webbswood Stadium five years ago. Following the retirement of John Fisher, Bohane joined Bracknell Town last term and netted 44 goals.

“When we first got the job here five years ago we brought TJ with us, he has matured a lot since then,” Webb said. “We started speaking a couple of weeks ago and he was really keen to join us. He is a proven goalscorer and the time is right for him to give this league another go. He scored 44 goals with Bracknell last year and he scored a lot for Highworth before that. I think we have been missing a player like TJ since Luke Hopper left us (in December 2015).”


Tallentire Looks To Strengthen Squad - 1 June

Joe Gater, a 20 year old central defender from Basingstoke, has agreed to sign for Bracknell, when the first registrations are made on July 1.

He had previously played for Barnet and Chesham United. Manager Mark Tallentire is also looking to make further aquisitions as he strengthens his squad that won three cup finals and finished runners-up in the Hellenic League.

The Robins will be back in training on Tuesday, June 27 and have arranged an attractive selection of pre-season games, starting a week later by taking on Hungerford at Larges Lane. Pre-season games continue with a trip to Holyport on Thursday, July 20 and three more home matches - against Basingstoke on July 22, Chalfont St Peter the following Tuesday and Uxbridge on Saturday, July 29.

Bracknell are also hosting a four-team tournament on successive weekends - July 8-9 and 15-16. Windsor were scheduled to compete, but the Uhlsport Hellenic League newcomers have now decided to opt out. Their place will be taken by Eversley & California from the Combined Counties League Division 1. Binfield, beaten six times by Bracknell last season including two cup finals, and Wokingham & Emmbrook complete the quartet.

Their opening Uhlsport Hellenic League game is likely to be on Tuesday, August 1.

Bracknell, in conjunction with Soccersixes, have launched a weekly league for older players which will be held each Friday, starting at 7.30pm. This is in addition to the all-age Monday and Sunday evening six-a-side leagues at Larges Lane. The new competition will feature regular games for the over-35s and over-55s, while there is also be a walking football session.

Matt Scoffham, the development director for Soccersixes, said: “This is a great way for players to get together on a Friday night for a game of football and a social drink in the bar afterwards. There will be a host of specials on in the clubhouse afterwards including some free food for players.” Teams can join online at www.soccersixes.net or more information is available from Matt on 07796696837.

Bracknell are also to host a regular nine-versus-nine competition for under-21 teams on Sunday afternoons from July 23 to August 27, with a separate event for ladies teams. Town chairman Kayne Steinborn-Busse said: “We’re looking to turn Larges Lane into a hotbed for local football and working with Soccersixes will ensure that we can concentrate on the running of the club. We are very keen to see our Vets Friday night and our Sunday afternoon sessions take off. We are sure they’ll be a success."

 

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