40 Years With Fairford - 16 May
'Carry On Camping' is the message from president Mike Tanner as he reflects on a 40-year association with Fairford Town FC.
In the Swindon Advertiser Tanner reveals he was caught completely off guard at the club’s awards evening on Saturday when he received an engraved wine presentation box as a memento of his unbroken service for the Hellenic League club at Cinder Lane.
The president feels as optimistic as he has been for some time about the prospects at Fairford Town FC and has no doubt what has turned around the fortunes of the club which was close to going out of business in 2006 with debts of £25,000. “I recall we had a committee meeting and the idea was floated that we could rent out our land to visitors at the Royal International Air Tattoo for camping,” said Tanner. “It took some time to get the planning permission but it was the best decision we ever made because we were able to pay off our debts and that money has been the lifeblood of the club ever since.”
Following a humiliating 9-1 defeat to eventual champions Brimscombe & Thrupp, Fairford have gone on a 12-game unbeaten run since Christmas and finished the Hellenic League Div 1 West in a respectable fourth place.
“We flirted with relegation from the Hellenic Premier for three or four years before it actually happened and we just needed this year of consolidation. We needed it to regroup,” he said. “But we now have an excellent and ambitious manager in Paul Braithwaite and a hard working team both on and off the pitch. Paul instigated the new Young Player of the Year award which was won this year by Cameron McLarty, but there were a number of talented youngsters in the running for that. The players began our presentation day with breakfast in the Swindon Harvesters restaurant – all dressed in pyjamas – and came on to the club to play a really entertaining friendly between mixed teams from the firsts and reserves. Then we had a barbecue before our awards ceremony and we all settled down to watch the FA Cup final. There is a great camaraderie among the group, with the first team and reserves integrating well, something which has not always been the case. Next season I think we can have a real go at getting back in the Premier, perhaps with some lucrative runs in both the Vase and the FA Cup along the way.”
Tanner is a passionate observer of non league football and feels it is symptomatic of the game that cash-strapped sides like Sholing, Winchester City and Abingdon United have all taken the decision to demote themselves from the Southern League, “Unless you have a budget of £2,000 a week, football is just not sustainable at that level,” said Tanner. “It is perhaps my greatest frustration that the Football Association think grassroots football ends with the Conference. There is such a lack of funding from above at our level. Wigan did not need the £1.8m for winning the FA Cup but there would be a real incentive for clubs like Fairford if the prize for getting through the first Preliminary Round was £5,000 and went up from there.”
Fairford Town do not pay their players and Tanner insists that would still be the case if they were to win promotion back to the Hellenic Premier. “We had no way of competing with the likes of Shortwood, their rich benefactor and a rumoured budget of £1,600 a week,” he said. “It is the way of the world that players will switch clubs for £20 a week but we value loyalty which is why we gave awards to four long-serving players on Saturday, including Lee Clark (500 plus games) and Dan Bailey (220+).”
Tanner joined the Fairford Town FC committee in 1973 while living in Swindon, and moved to the town in 1980. He was chairman of the club for 22 years before assuming the role of president. But in the last six years he has also had to be acting chairman.
A great admirer of the football hub that has been created at Thame FC in Oxfordshire, Tanner knows just what he would do if his lottery ticket came up. “Thame now have a marvellous set-up and the first thing I would do if I won the lottery would be to build 3G pitches because that is the way forward,” he said. “You can train in all weathers and the surfaces are suitable for all sports and ages.”
In the meantime, Fairford Town FC will have to rely on the inspiration of Sid James and Barbara Windsor and – carry on camping.
Fairford Awards - 14 May
Fairford Town Football Club held an End of Season awards day at Cinder Lane on Saturday 11th May.
The first team and reserve squads joined management, officials and supporters in the function hall for the end of season presentations. The players took part in an inter-club friendly at 1pm - with the two teams made up of first team and reserve players - before a two-course meal, end of season awards and the FA Cup final was shown on the big screens.
“It has been a fantastic season for the club,” said manager Paul Braithwaite. “The first team have produced some superb results and finished very strongly, going on an unbeaten league run since December. The reserves came through a very difficult period of change early in the season and now have some very good young players coming through. We are all looking forward to next season and plans are already being made for pre-season and beyond.”
Player of the Year Awards:
Players’ player: Callum Parsons
Manager’s Player: Henry Trass
Players’ player: Ben Anderson
Manager’s Player: Grant Davis
Club Player of the Year: Ben Anderson
Young Player of the Year: Cameron McLarty
Four long-serving players have been recognised for their loyalty to Fairford Town Football Club.
The club thanked Lee Clark, Ben Anderson, Colin Curtis and Dan Bailey for their long service to the Reds a presentation at Saturday’s End of Season awards day.
Manager Paul Braithwaite said: “It’s important to recognise not just the stand-out players, but those who have shown exceptional loyalty and commitment to the club. Lee, Ben, Colin and Dan have been with Fairford for a long time and the awards are a thank you for that.”
The quartet were presented with a trophy each to recognise their efforts.
500+ games - Lee Clark
100+ games – Ben Anderson
140+ games – Colin Curtis
220+ games – Dan Bailey
Cinder Lane Cup Final Event - 8 May
Fairford Town players, supporters and officials will wrap up the 2012/13 season with an End of Season event this Saturday 11th May.
The day includes a friendly fixture between the first team and reserves and a screening of the FA Cup Final between Manchester City and Wigan Athletic on the big screens - with a £2 per pint promotion available.
Here is the itinerary for the day:
1pm - Kick-off, first team/reserves friendly
3pm - Food for players in the clubhouse
3.30pm - End of Season Award presentation
4pm - £2 per pint promotion starts
5.15pm - Kick-off, FA Cup Final on big screens
Everyone is welcome to be a part of the day!
Entry is free so come along to Cinder Lane and enjoy what should be a celebratory end of season event.
Four Goals Secure Fourth Place - 29 April
Fairford Town finished their uhlsport Hellenic League Division One West season on a high with a 4-1 thrashing of near-neighbours Cricklade at Cinder Lane.
With the motivation of fourth place in the table, Fairford started in spectacular fashion and barely let up for the remainder of the 90 minutes. “The boys were absolutely desperate to get fourth position and it was the perfect finish,” said manager Paul Braithwaite. “I don’t mind us finishing behind the champions Brimscombe & Thrupp, Wootton Bassett, who are an established team, and Tytherington, last season’s champions. We have to take your hat off to the teams above us. OK, on points maybe we weren’t close to the top two but we have beaten Brimscombe, and I think fourth proves we’re not that far away.”
Braithwaite felt Fairford were always in control against Cricklade and were well-worth victory on the day. “We don’t really look at Cricklade as a derby, we just went about doing what we had to,” he said. “We dominated the game and our back four and goalie were superb as they have been all season. We’ve got the second-best goals against total in the league and we’ve used 15 players at the back.”
Three Points But Disappointed - 2 April
Paul Braithwaite was not a happy man despite his Fairford side’s One West 4-2 win over New College Academy at the Webb’s Wood Stadium yesterday.
Goals from Nathan Gambling, James Eddie, Dan Bailey and Alex Rudd secured all three points, but manager Braithwaite was still disappointed.
He said: “We controlled the game but for the first time me and my assistant weren’t really happy. The goals we gave them were sloppy and we gave them a couple of other chances as well. Those type of games you have to take by the scruff of the neck and try and go on and do really well. We didn’t seem that professional about what we were going to do. Maybe a few late nights didn’t help us if I’m honest, there were a few people with red eyes out there. We had a few people phoning up in the morning and I’m not going to comment on whether it was alcohol or sickness, but I hope it was sickness. The only thing you can’t complain about is the three points, that’s 10 unbeaten in the league now so that’s excellent.”
No Risks To Be Taken - 15 March
Paul Braithwaite will take no selection risks as Fairford make the trip to Carterton in the third round of the Bluefin Insurers Supplementary Cup tomorrow.
The Cinder Lane boss is contending with a lengthy absentee list but is determined that he will not play anyone who is carrying a niggle. Braithwaite is also mindful of the fact his team have a good opportunity to finish third in Division One West and he wants to give that the best chance possible. “It's not a game where I'm looking to put people in who are struggling with injury,” he said. “I'm not in the mood to risk players for the cup. The league is the priority and we want to win the four games we have left in that. But the lads that are coming in and playing on Saturday will be well up for it and will take it seriously. There's no pressure on them because it's a cup game and they can just go out and give 100 per cent.”
Braithwaite is missing the cup-tied Richie Carter, Brad Gill, Sam English and Jack Clifton. The manager had hoped to complete the signing of Wootton Bassett striker Ethan Delaney last night but even if that went through as expected, he will still be cup-tied. Nathan Gambling is suspended while centre-backs Ash Taylor and Richard Stubbs are still missing. However, Steve Hall could come back from a virus after six weeks out.
Competitions At Fairford - 4 March
Fairford Town host Uhlsport Hellenic Premier Division opponents Ardley United in the semi-final of the AM Print & Copy Floodlit Cup at Cinder Lane tomorrow night.
The game will kick-off at 7.45pm with the Cinder Lane clubhouse open from 6pm. Hot food and a range of refreshments will be available on the night with entry £5 per Adult and £2 for U16s or O65s.
There are now just five team places left for the Easter Quiz Night on Saturday 30th March at Cinder Lane.
The event, which will be held in the function hall here at Cinder Lane, will be compered by Phil King with other games included on the night as well as a raffle. Fairford Town FC hosted a Christmas Quiz night in early December, with 130 people taking in part in what was a memorable event.
The Easter quiz will begin at 8pm with the clubhouse and bar open from 7pm. The cost is £5 per person for teams of eight people including food. If you would like to book a team place then please call Chris on 07815 57 97 84.
Stronger Position - 25 February
Fairford Town strengthened their case for third spot in Division One West as they ran out 3-1 winners at Tytherington in Division One West.
Three first-half goals put the Cinder Lane side in control and despite conceding early in the second period, they gave themselves a fighting chance of holding onto third in the standings ahead of the Rocks. Cameron McLarty handed Fairford a 1-0 lead before Henry Trass added a second following good work from McLarty. Callum Parsons put away the third for the visitors thanks in no small measure to the play of frontman Alex Rudd. Sam Taylor pulled a goal back for the hosts shortly after the interval, but Fairford held on to secure victory.
Fairford boss Paul Braithwaite said: "We said to the lads before the game that Tytherington would most likely start in a 4-4-2 and told them the way they were going to play. They came out flying, were physical and strong and made some big tackles. But to be fair to the lads they have learned to fight and play football. When they need grit they will give it but when they have the ball they play and enjoy themselves. When we were 2-0 up they changed to a 3-5-2 and we didn't even have to say anything to the lads. We got our third goal and that was a good lead but they scored eight minutes into the second half which made us a little bit nervous, but we showed grit and fight to see it out."
Braithwaite was delighted that his team had managed to secure such an impressive result against their rivals at the upper end of the table. He said: "It's probably the proudest day that me and my assistant have had, even though Tytherington didn't play great, their manager said to me afterwards that we found them out. People have all said the same thing to us, that Fairford have been the surprise team in the league. If you had offered me fourth place at the start of the season I'd have snapped your hand off, third would be absolutely brilliant."
Controlled Win - 18 February
Fairford's 6-0 victory at North Leigh Reserves was a display manager Paul Braithwaite labeled ‘controlled’.
The Cinder Lane side jumped up to third in Division One West after pulling away in the second half against their Oxfordshire rivals, scoring six goals for the second weekend in a row.
Boss Braithwaite said: “It wasn’t an easy game but it was a controlled performance. We knew North Leigh hadn’t played in a while and they looked pretty unfit to be fair to them. In the first half we didn’t make the most of playing up the slope, but in the second half they were having to run about a lot more. We controlled the ball and made them work and once they got fed up of chasing we picked them off and got the goals.”
Fairford have six games left of the league season and Braithwaite is still hopeful his side remain in the top three. The Gloucestershire outfit were relegated from the Hellenic Premier last term and a top-three finish would represent more than mission accomplished for the manager. “We’re looking to win every single game we’ve got left,” he said. “We got relegated last year but we’ve rebuilt, we’re solid at the back, strong in goal and we work hard as a team. As long as we’re set up right we have the confidence to go and get the results. Realistically I’d like to finish fourth and if we can nick third that would be fantastic. We’ll see what happens towards the end of the season. Teams will be playing a lot more so they will have more of a chance of catching us up.”
Fairford Sixes - 11 February
A stirring second-half display was given by Fairford Town to thump struggling Purton 6-1 in Division One West, in a game that saw both sides finish with 10 men.
Purton gained the lead early on when keeper Ben Mitchell’s clearance rebounded into the net off Steve Campbell. Home skipper Henry Trass levelled matters before the break before adding a second soon after the resumption, to put Fairford in front for the first time.
The Swindon Advertiser reports, a Purton player was then sent off for a stamp on Trass and Nathan Gambling was dismissed for raising his hands as matters got heated in the aftermath. After that it was all about the hosts, Callum Parsons driving into the net from a tight angle before Cameron McLarty added a fourth. Dan Bailey rounded off the scoring with a couple of goals of his own, an excellent individual effort and a close-range finish.
Fairford boss Paul Braithwaite hailed the impact of Trass (pictured) afterwards and said his captain had changed the game. “The first 30 minutes we couldn’t get ourselves going,” he said. “When they scored that shook us up and we looked a bit nervous for a bit, but Henry Trass turned the game round. He could see things weren’t going right and he upped his effort and the lads around him did the same. He scored two great goals and that gave us the edge. The players took everything on board at half-time and put it into practice with five good goals in the second half. Like Purton we had some players missing but we just seem to have the squad rotation right at the moment where whoever comes in will do a job. There’s a lot of effort and commitment from the lads and it’s working.”
According to the Press report Fairford plan to take the unusual step in non-league football of appealing against Gambling’s dismissal, as Braithwaite explains. “All Nathan did was go in to try and break up the situation. The ref really did get it wrong,” said Braithwaite. “He’s pushed him in the chest to break up an argument. We will appeal as the assessor has his own report of the game.”
Preparation Key - 8 February
Paul Braithwaite has revealed that preparation was the key to Fairford’s AM Print & Copy Floodlit Cup defeat of much-fancied Marlow.
Fairford play a division below the Hellenic Premier leaders but booked their place in the last four with a 2-1 victory on Tuesday. Braithwaite said: “We prepared well and spoke to a couple of players at Highworth who played them a few weeks ago. We got 35 minutes of footage from their recent game against Binfield and managed to pick out some weak spots. We knew what the likes of players such as Ian Davies were all about and all that preparation made a bit of a difference. You’ve got to think to yourself that you can go forward in the competition if you have beaten the best team in the Hellenic league. There’s no reason why we can’t push on.”
Fairford welcome Purton to Cinder Lane in Division One West tomorrow and Braithwaite intends not to dwell on the midweek cup success. “We’ll forget Tuesday quite quickly,” said the boss, who is missing the absent James Eddie. “You can never tell what you’re going to get from Purton. They have a good squad but have had a hard season with injuries, but with a full side they will beat anybody.”
Stunned - 6 February
Fairford Town produced a battling display to beat Hellenic Premier Division leaders Marlow to a place in the Floodlit Cup semi-finals on Tuesday night.
Fairford won through at the quarter-final stage thanks to a gritty display which saw the Reds defy the odds and win 2-1. Facing the Uhlsport Hellenic Premier Division leaders, Fairford took the lead with Dan Drewitt scoring a superb individual effort. He jinked past several markers before unleashing a low effort which nestled into the bottom corner. The half-time lead was reduced after the break, but Fairford bounced back with a set-piece from Dan Bailey securing a 2-1 victory.
The win secures Fairford a place in the semi-final of the Floodlit Cup, to the delight of manager Paul Braithwaite. He said: "The lads were superb and all credit to them. They have taken on the Premier Division leaders and done it with a determined attitude. They got the ball down and played and scored some fantastic goals. Dan Drewitt's strike was right out of the top drawer. The pitch played superbly too and we are delighted to be through to the semi-final."
Routine For Fairford? - 14 January
Fairford Town cruised to a 4-0 win over Letcombe in Division One West in a display manager Paul Braithwaite described as ‘routine’.
Braithwaite said: “It was a good result and pretty routine to be honest. The lads were all very professional. They had one moment in the first half but apart from that our keeper wasn’t really tested. It could have been a few more to be fair, I think the referee let them off a penalty. Brad Gill came in and got his first and second goals. It was a good performance from him and he worked off the shoulder well.”
Gambling Loss! - 11 January
Fairford are missing the suspended Nathan Gambling for their away game at Letcombe, in Division One West, and centre-half Richard Stubbs is also away.
Cinder Lane boss Paul Braithwaite said: “Letcombe are towards the lower end of the league but they seem to be involved in the majority of games they play, they aren’t getting walked over. We certainly won’t be going there expecting everything on a plate. We know we’ll need to work hard to ensure we come away with three points.”
Stalemate At Cinder Lane - 7 January
Fairford played out a 0-0 stalemate with Clanfield at Cinder Lane as a 20-minute cameo from new signing Bradley Gill failed to inspire them to victory.
Home manager Paul Braithwaite declared himself content with a draw but said his team must improve in front of goal. “Our goalkeeper made one fantastic save in the first half but apart from that he’s done nothing but take goal kicks,” said Braithwaite. “We didn’t concede which was good and we now need to focus on putting it in at the other end. We didn’t finish the opportunities we created for the amount of chances we had. Clanfield use the ball very well in the channels and we dealt with that very well, but unfortunately we were missing that cutting edge. We weren’t quite on it which was a shame, but I was happy with a draw.”
Gill Returns To The Reds - 5 January
Division One West Fairford Town have signed striker Bradley Gill on transfer from Premier Division Club Shrivenham.
The frontman returns to Cinder Lane having spent a spell with the Reds a few seasons ago.
Gill has hit nine goals to far this term and is eligible to face Clanfield this afternoon as Paul Braithwaite's side go in search of three points.
New Year Start With Clanfield - 3 January
Fairford Town's first game of 2013 will be a home encounter against Clanfield this Saturday 5th January, 3pm kick-off.
Paul Braithwaite's side were without a game on Saturday 29 December as the away encounter at Tytherington Rocks fell victim to the weather. The last game saw a 3-1 home win over New College Academy at Cinder Lane on Thursday 27th December. Braithwaite is looking for revenge over Clanfield after suffering defeat when the two sides met earlier in the season. “Our target this season was to take points of every team in the league this season, but they beat us earlier in the season so there is a little bit of revenge there,” he said. “We want to get three points back on them, because when we played them earlier in the season they won with probably the last kick of the game. About five of their players were offside too when the ball came back in from a corner, but we want to go and get the win now. Pete Osborne has gone back to the club and have given them all a bit of a boost, so they will be looking to climb up the league, so it will be a hard game for sure.”
The weather has meant Clanfield have not been in action since December 8, and Braithwaite is keen to take advantage of their lack of match practice. “We are lucky because we have managed to get all of our home games on, but I don’t think they have played since the start of December which could really help us,” he said. “Our players have had a few games so they should be ready for it, and we need to take advantage if they are not.”
Braithwaite will have to do without striker Nathan Gambling who is suspended, and Colin Curtis who is still in Spain.
Swindon Town Ladies return to Cinder Lane on Sunday 13th January for the visit of Keynsham Town Development. There are three games scheduled for January with Southampton amongst the sides set to visit Cinder Lane.
Forthcoming STFC Ladies fixtures for January:
Sunday 13th v Keynsham Town Development
Sunday 20th v University of Portsmouth
Sunday 27th v Southampton Saints
All kick-offs for the STFC Ladies games will be 2pm and entry to these matches is free of charge.
Fairford Kick Off Early - 27 December
Fairford Town's home game against New College Academy is ON this evening with a 7pm kick-off, though the other two scheduled Hellenic fixtures are postponed.
Fairford's clubhouse will be open from 5pm so please come along and support the Reds as they look for another three points in the Hellenic Division One West.
The game was due to take place on Boxing Day but the match was switched to encourage a big crowd to Cinder Lane for the game, whilst also allowing players, fans and officials time with families on Boxing Day.
The match will kick-off at 7pm and normal ticket prices of £5 per Adult and £2 for Concessions(O65/U16) will apply.
Prime Floodlit Tie For Fairford - 20 December
Division One West Fairford Town are looking forward to meeting Hellenic Premier Division leaders Marlow in the quarter finals of the AM Print & Copy Floodlit Cup.
Fairford Town have enjoyed a successful run in the competition this term, which began with a penalty shoot-out victory over Bracknell Town at Cinder Lane following a bye to the second round stage.
The third round saw a home tie against Shrivenham and the Reds made light work of their Hellenic Premier Division opponents with a 6-2 victory which included goals from Callum Parsons, Henry Traas and Shannon Pocock.
The date of the quarter final fixture is yet to be agreed and will be early in the New Year. The next game for Fairford Town is Thursday 27th December, 7pm kick-off against New College Academy.
Improving Fairford Travel To Table Toppers - 14 December
Fairford head to league leaders Brimscombe & Thrupp tomorrow afternoon in an Uhlsport Hellenic League Division One West encounter.
Paul Braithwaite’s side, who occupy fifth place in Division One West, go into the game on the back of a 1-1 draw at Carterton Town on Tuesday night. Which despite being played in difficult conditions, saw some good football.
Jack Williams scored Fairford’s solitary goal of the evening but Steve Hall, who came off the bench in midweek, will miss out for Saturday.
New signing from local side Down Ampney, and former Highworth Town player, Alex Rudd, is available again as the Reds look to continue their unbeaten run.
Brimscombe are currently top of the league with 40 points from 16 games played. Fairford are in fifth place with 28 points from the same amount of fixtures.
Kilkenny Lane Trip For Fairford - 10 December
Fairford Town make the short trip to Carterton Town on Tuesday evening in a rearranged Uhlsport Hellenic Division One West fixture.
The game was due to be played on Saturday 22nd December but was brought forward due to Carterton having a number of players unavailable for that date. Fairford cooment that they now suffer the same fate with a number of regulars unavailable for the game at Kilkenny Lane.
Boss Paul Braithwaite said: "We could be without as many as five players for the game. Nathan Gambling, Callum Parsons and new signing Alex Rudd are all out as they have to work. Richie Carter and Steve Hall are also struggling with injuries so it's going to be difficult."
Braithwaite takes his side to Carterton in good spirits after a 7-2 win over Lambourn Sports at Cinder Lane on Saturday. Looking back on the game, Braithwaite said: "We started very quickly and Nathan Gambling had his perfect hat-trick within half an hour. We were 3-1 up at that point and we knew we had them. They had a lad sent off and that really didn’t help them, it was a fair tackle on him and he reacted the wrong way. After that they lost their way and we were good enough to take advantage, we continued to play our football and didn’t look back. I don’t think the sending off affected the game a lot, if I’m honest. We were 3-1 up at that point and the game was panning out the way we wanted it to."
Kick-off is 7.45pm at Kilkenny Lane with updates available via Twitter @fairfordtownfc
Wary Of Lambourn - 8 December
Lambourn Sports are in a false position, say Paul Braithwaite ahead of the Fairfords’ meeting in Division One West today.
Braithwaite’s side might be riding high in sixth with double the points total of their rivals, but the Cinder Lane boss (pictured) is not reading much into that statistic. “If you look at the league table they have played three games less than us, and if they pick up two wins from those they will only be six points behind us,” he said. “They aren’t an easy side to play against, pretty solid at the back and very attacking. I don’t think they justify their position in the league but we’re at home and without being complacent it’s a game we should be looking to win.”
Town are missing the unavailable Ash Taylor but have Alex Rudd available to them after he returned for a second spell with the club. Rudd is a former Highworth player who has been playing for Down Ampney for two seasons due to work commitments.
Fairford travel to Carterton on Tuesday and Braithwaite has questioned the wisdom of the Hellenic League in rescheduling the fixture. “That match has been brought forward 11 days because a few of their players are in the RAF and aren’t available,” he explained. “It’s madness that the league can allow that to happen. We’ve now got to fulfil that fixture and because it’s a midweek game we will be missing players ourselves. It’s not helped us at all as our reserves have a game that night as well.”
Braithwaite's Praise For Players - 7 December
Paul Braithwaite has praised his Fairford squad for a determined attitude after a successful start to life in Uhlsport Hellenic League Division One West.
The Reds have made a promising start to the 2012/13 campaign and host Lambourn Sports at Cinder Lane this weekend with a 3pm kick-off.
He said: “It’s important that our young squad continue to learn and grow in confidence every week and Chris and I will endeavor to do everything we can to help the lads in every way. It’s never easy being relegated and you look for players to move on and buy into something new. I would like to name a few players who every week as a manager they make you proud of what you are doing."
“Jack Williams, Richard Stubbs and Dan Bailey have been at the club for a few seasons now and have seen managers come and go, but their commitment to the club and myself is fantastic and I thank them all for this. I’m not taking anything away from the other players in the squad but I m sure they would all agree with me.”
Rudd Joins For Second Spell - 6 December
Fairford Town have signed striker Alex Rudd who returns to Cinder Lane for a second spell with the club.
The former Highworth Town frontman is expected to be available for Saturday's home Hellenic League Division One West encounter with Lambourn Sports.
Manager Paul Braithwaite said: "Alex has been playing at Down Ampney for the last two seasons and scored a lot of goals. He had been playing there due to work commitments but he is now ready to return to Hellenic football and test himself. He likes the way Fairford are going as a club and he's heard good things that he wants to be a part of."
A reminder that the home fixture with New College Academy will now be played on Thursday 27th December with a 7pm kick-off at Cinder Lane.
Floodlit Diversion - 27 November
Fairford Town just three points outside of the promotion places in Uhlsport Hellenic League Division One West, are striving for a place tonight in the last eight of the AM Print & Copy Floodlit Cup.
With half their league games already in the bag, manager Paul Braithwaite believes they can afford to divert their attentions away from their promotion push and try to bring some silverware to the club in the guise of the Floodlit Cup.
“We’ve been quite lucky,” Braithwaite admitted. “We played a lot of league games early doors, so there is plenty of time to recover from tonight’s game. And if we do go through, pushing for the semis would be quite nice. The league is most important for us obviously, and we’ve used the cups, apart from the FA Vase and FA Cup, to ensure people get games. Tonight’s game will be the same, but I expect we’ll go out and carry on what we’ve been doing.”
Squaring off against the Hellenic Premier Division’s basement dwellers Shrivenham, the Fairford boss is well aware that progress is a good possibility. But he expects Shrivvy to come out fighting. “When they’re in the situation they find themselves in, confidence of winning games is what they need so I imagine they’ll put out a strong side.”
Fairford will be without top scorer Nathan Gambling (ankle), while Callum Parsons’ participation is in doubt. Centre-half Ashley Taylor, who made his return for the reserves last week, is likely to feature.
Town Hero - 19 November
Ben Mitchell (pictured) was the hero of the hour as he saved a 92nd-minute penalty in Fairford Town’s 1-0 victory over Lydney in Uhlsport Hellenic League Division One West.
The only goal of the match came shortly after the break when Jack Williams and Dan Drewett were involved in build-up that resulted in Henry Traff playing in Callum Parsons, and he slotted home from 10 yards.
All Fairford’s hard work was nearly undone when the referee pointed to the spot after Parsons was adjudged to have brought down his man, but Mitchell superbly saved the spot kick. Cinder Lane boss Paul Braithwaite could not watch the penalty being taken, but he was naturally delighted when he realised it had not gone in. “Our keeper only made one save and that was the penalty, so he takes a lot of credit,” said Braithwaite. “It would have been very disappointing to draw because our two wide players had torn them to bits and their keeper had made so many good saves. But we got the win and we're aiming to be in the top six at Christmas now.”
Team Management Sought - 7 November
Fairford Town Football Club are looking for a new reserve team manager following the resignation of Mark Saunders and his assistant Jerry Stokes on Tuesday 6 November.
Club President Mike Tanner commented: “Unfortunately Mutley and Jerry have decided to resign from their position of running the reserve side here at Cinder Lane. They have cited disagreement with the policy of trying to integrate both reserve and first team – thus giving players the opportunity to move between the two sides for the benefit of the club. This policy also gives young players the chance to progress from local football to first team. They have also been unhappy for some time with player commitment and hence their decision to resign. It is unfortunate from the club’s perspective that they should take this stance, at this point in the season, as finding replacements may not be easy and no doubt some reserve team players will also decide to move on. If the position is not filled within the next week or so, and sufficient players are available, then it will be with great regret that we have to resign from the reserve league thus incurring the club with a £250 fine. Money we can ill afford to spend on such avoidable expenses.”
Tanner added: “I would like thank both Mutley and Jerry most sincerely for their efforts over past seasons in the management of the reserves – a job which everyone in football knows is not an easy one.”
Fairford Town FC runs a reserve side in Hellenic Reserve Division One and interested parties in taking over reserve team management should call Mike Tanner on 07917 861 866.
Keeper Out With Ankle Break - 19 October
Fairford boss Paul Braithwaite is without Forest Green loan keeper Rob Brown, who has broken his ankle, while Ash Taylor is still not fit.
Dan Drewett and Nathan Gambling will also not be available for tomorrow’s game at Wootton Bassett, ahead of which Braithwaite has paid tribute to Bassett’s strength.
He said: “Bassett are probably the most experienced team in the league when you look at the players they have got - the likes of Steve Yeardley and Matt Bennett who have played at Highworth. I’d expect them to be doing what they are doing at the moment and they are the sort of team we can learn from.”
So Close - 15 October
Fairford Town nearly sprung an FA Carlsberg Vase First Round Proper shock in front of more than 200 spectators at Thame, but ultimately were defeated 3-2 at the ASM Stadium.
Nik Rhodes gave the higher-division hosts a 12th-minute lead, only for the in-form Cameron McLarty to grab the equaliser three minutes before half time.
Boss Paul Braithwaite said: “The performance was superb, the lads moved the ball well and made the most of the pitch.They battled well against a well-organised Thame side who will be top six in their division. I don’t think there was a single person in the ground who thought we didn’t deserve extra time at least. Thame probably had the experience and caught us out a little bit, but I can’t take anything from my lads.”
Makeshift Town – 12 October
Paul Braithwaite admits there will be a makeshift look to Fairford Town’s defence as they prepare to make the trip to Thame United in the first round proper of the FA Carlsberg Vase.
A £900 prize pot is Fairford’s if they can beat their higher-division opponents at the ASM Stadium, but they go into the game without injured centre-back duo Richard Stubbs and Ash Taylor. Luigi Hernandez, on loan from Swindon Supermarine, is expected to fill in with right-back Jack Williams as his partner.
“Stubbs and Taylor probably would have started on Saturday because they started in the previous round,” said Braithwaite. “They could have continued on, but it looks like we will have to pick a makeshift centre-half. We’ve got nothing to lose at all, we’ve been to watch Thame so we know a bit about them. We’ve met as a team to go over what we know and now we’re looking forward to going to one of the best facilities around.”
Steve Hall, Nathan Gambling and goalkeeper Ben Mitchell are all available.
Expressive Side - 5 October
Paul Braithwaite says his Fairford players have bought into the ‘expressive’ ethos he has instilled at Cinder Lane this season.
Fairford have made a solid start to the Division One West season, sitting fifth after nine games. The boss may have used no less than 30 players in all competitions already, but he insists this is little to do with his players’ performances and much more about the injury problems he has had to contend with.
“With the lads that have stayed from last year and the young lads that have come in, we’ve just let them play and they have bought into it really well,” said Braithwaite. “They have worked on the shape and discipline, but that hasn’t stopped them expressing themselves. The only thing that has let us down has been the amount of injuries we’ve had, but hopefully we’ve got our bad patch out of the way now. Thankfully we’ve got a bit of depth in the squad, though it did go the wrong way for a bit.”
Fairford host North Leigh Reserves in the league tomorrow, who were thumped 5-0 by Wootton Bassett on Wednesday. “I don’t read too much into that result,” said Braithwaite. “North Leigh ran Cricklade close at the start of the season so they seem a bit hit and miss. We will rest a couple of players for this weekend in preparation for the FA Vase game against Thame next weekend. For us as a club, it’s important we get the money from that competition if we can.”
Nathan Gambling, Steve Hall and Ash Taylor are all away this weekend so are unavailable for selection. Recent signing Cameron McLarty will be hopeful of continuing his recent run of goalscoring form.
Fairford Raise Funds For British Heart Foundation - 28 September
A charity match between Fairford Town FC and a Swindon Town Legends XI on Sunday 26th August 2012 raised £1,007 for the British Heart Foundation.
A cheque presentation took place at The County Ground on Thursday 27th September with Fairford Town Chairman Mike Tanner handing over a cheque to Alison Rosier, British Heart Foundation Fundraising Volunteer Manager.
Alison Rosier, Fundraising Volunteer Manager at BHF, says: “We’d like to thank both Swindon Town Football Club and Fairford Town Football Club for organising this fantastic charity football match. The BHF can only continue its life-saving and life-changing work thanks to money raised from events like this. We urgently need more groups like STFC and Fairford Town to support us. Keep working with us and together we will beat heart disease - for good.”
The game, in memory of former Fairford player and Swindon coach John Hathaway, took place on Sunday 26th August 2012 and saw a host of former Swindon regulars turn out for the game including David Duke, Ian Woan, Jerel Ifil, Paul Bodin and Alan McLoughlin.
Current Swindon boss Paolo Di Canio also played 90 minutes on a sun-drenched afternoon in Gloucestershire as the Robins side took on a spirited Fairford side. Fairford went ahead with an own goal before Paolo Di Canio levelled the scoring with a neat run and finish. Former Swindon, Yeovil and Hereford midfielder Jamie Pitman put his side ahead with a header before the break before an impressive finish from Fairford's Rob Simpson levelled the game at 2-2. Second half goals from Andy Caton and David Duke gave Swindon a 4-2 advantage in front of a crowd of just under 300, who enjoyed a fun afternoon of football on a superb Cinder Lane surface.
Up Close With 'The Blade Runner' - 14 September
Paralympic volunteer Bill Beach from Fairford has spoken of his intimate chat with Paralympic blade runner Oscar Pistorius about his controversial cheat claims.
Bill who is Secretary of Uhlsport Hellenic League One West club Fairford Town met controversial sprinter Oscar Pistorius, shortly after his angry outburst at coming second in the T44 200 metres final
South Africa’s Oscar Pistorius hit the headlines after he claimed he was beaten unfairly in the T44 200 metres final by Brazil’s Alan Fonteles Oliveira because the athlete was wearing longer artificial limbs. And while the media clambered for an interview with the South African, Paralympic volunteer William Beach got the surprise chance to meet him in a close security area near to the Athlete’s Village. Bill said: "We talked about his defeat the night before. He said he didn’t regret what he said but rather when he said it. "He was apologetic for taking the glory away from the Brazilian. He said he would deal with it and move on to his next event."
Bill added: "He was a real pleasure to talk to and a very pleasant young man. Meeting him has been a highlight for me."
As a "high class taxi" driver for the Paralympics, the 58-year-old said he has had the chance to drive several officials to events. "Even in my car I can hear the roar of the crowd from the back of the stadium and you get involved," he said. "It’s been really special - a once in a lifetime experience – and I feel very privileged to have been part of it."
Braithwaite Takes The Positives - 5 September
Despite a narrow defeat at Lambourn last weekend, Fairford Town boss Paul Braithwaite is looking to take the positives from the performances.
The Reds were edged out 2-1 last Saturday with a goal deep into injury-time doing the damage to deny Fairford a share of the spoils. He said: “We must take the positives from what has been a hard week. We have already had something of an injury crisis despite the season being less than a month old. “We had eight first team players out for the Old Woodstock game and seven ruled out for the games against Clanfield and Lambourn. “Hopefully we will start to see a few more regular faces, who began the season so well, return to the side soon. We matched Clanfield and Lambourn in our last two games but were denied a point in both games with the last kick. It’s been hard to take but then that’s when we need our experienced players to see the games out.”
Di Canio Scores - 27 August
Fairford Town Football Club staged a charity match to raise funds for the British Heart Foundation on Sunday 26th August 2012.
The game saw a host of former Swindon regulars turn out for the game including David Duke, Ian Woan, Jerel Ifil, Paul Bodin and Alan McLoughlin.
Current Swindon boss Paolo Di Canio also played 90 minutes on a sun-drenched afternoon in Gloucestershire as the Robins XI took on a spirited Fairford side.
Fairford went ahead with an own goal before Paolo Di Canio (pictured left) levelled the scoring with a neat run and finish. Former Swindon, Yeovil and Hereford midfielder Jamie Pitman put his side ahead with a header before the break before an impressive finish from Fairford's Rob Simpson levelled the game at 2-2.
Second half goals from Andy Caton and David Duke gave Swindon the advantage in front of a crowd of just under 300, who enjoyed a fun afternoon of football on a superb Cinder Lane surface.
Fairford Town Squad: Chris Evans, Lee Hartshorn, Steve Jones, Mark Webb, Mark Saunders, Steve Bennett, Rob Simpson, Richard Hadgkiss, Mark Walters, Derek Labbett, John Burn
Swindon Town squad: Steve Hale, David Duke, Phil King, Paul Bodin, Jerel Ifil, Paul Godfrey, Jamie Pitman, Brian Hughes, Jeremy Newton, Paolo Di Canio, Ian Woan, Domenico Doardo, Adam Wainwright, Andy Caton
Full-time: Fairford Town Vets 2 Swindon Town XI 4
An Evening With Ray Parlour Fairford Town 23 August 2012
Good Progress - 7 July
With pre-season training at Fairford Town now underway ahead of the new 2012/13 season, manager Paul Braithwaite is happy with progress being made. Town will begin the new campaign in Uhlsport Hellenic League Division One West following relegation at the end of last term, but with a number of new additions to the coaching staff and playing squads, the signs are promising.
“After the first week of pre-season I am very happy with what we have done so far,” said Braithwaite (pictured). “The sessions we have had so far have been of a very high standard and the player numbers are good. The workrate and effort has been great from them all. There is progress being made off the pitch too and we are delighted to welcome Chris Green to the club as assistant manager/coach. Ian Dowling has also come to the club as physio.”
Braithwaite has also confirmed Ashley Taylor, Steven Hall and Nathan Gambling are amongst those to commit to Cinder Lane for the forthcoming campaign. New signings Ben Mitchell and Kyle Moulden have joined with more to follow soon.
Training takes place at Cinder Lane every Tuesday and Thursday night starting at 7pm for each session. New players welcome.