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Review of 2018 - part 4 of 4

By Andy Morris

As 2018 draws to a close it’s time to look back on a fantastic year for Thatcham Town Football Club, concluding with October to December…

OCTOBER

TUE 3 - Thatcham announced the signing of Jack Stanley from Salisbury City. The 19-year-old, who can play at full-back or in midfield, was formerly on the books of Swindon Town. Later that week he was joined by Jordy Ngathe from Banbury United, who can play in similar positions. Ngathe came through the ranks at Oxford City and also previously played for Bishops Cleeve.

SAT 7 - James Clark scored another winning goal to earn Thatcham their first away victory in the Southern League since March 2014. Sean Brain put the hosts ahead on the stroke of half-time but Lewis Gabbidon and Clark struck in quick succession mid-way through the second half. The hosts were reduced to ten men towards the end.

TUE 10 - Thatcham added central defender Stuart Cattell to the squad. He played a key role in Didcot Town’s successful campaign last season and previously played for Wantage Town, Witney United, Aylesbury United and Oxford City.

SAT 13 - Shane Cooper-Clark returned to form with a brace as Thatcham defeated Cirencester Town in the Preliminary Round of the FA Trophy. Cooper-Clark fired home a goal in each half as the Kingfishers enjoyed a comfortable win over their Southern League D1 South counterparts in front of 232 spectators.

TUE 16 - Thatcham lost at home to Hartley Wintney in the First Round of the City Security Services Limited League Challenge Cup. The game ended 0-0 with Town more than matching their Premier Division opponents, but in an epic penalty shoot-out in which the first 17 penalties were all buried, Tom Moran saw his effort saved which sent the Hampshire side through 9-8 on penalties.

SAT 20 - Street won 1-0 at Waterside Park thanks to Ross McErlain’s 11th minute header from a set piece. In a tight game of few chances, Thatcham plugged away but were unable to breach the Somerset outfit’s solid defensive unit.

SAT 27 - There will be no return to Wembley for Thatcham Town this season as Melksham Town won 2-1 at Waterside Park in the FA Trophy. Jon Davies and Luke Ballinger struck from outside the box to give the visitors a commanding first-half lead, with Lewis Coyle pulling a late goal back. The visitors escaped a red card in the first half for a woeful challenge but Kingfishers captain Tom Melledew was sent off in the closing stages, as Melksham gained revenge for Thatcham’s FA Vase quarter-final win in Wiltshire last season.

NOVEMBER

THU 1 - Former Scotland Youth international Jack Alexander joined Thatcham Town from Swindon Supermarine.

SAT 3 - The Kingfishers had a day to forget at Cirencester Town, losing 6-2 on the Corinium Stadium’s 3G playing surface. George Jeacock levelled the scores at 1-1 from the penalty spot following a foul on Shane Cooper-Clark, but James Tennant’s late second from a Jeacock cut-back was merely a consolation.

SAT 10 - In a tight game which could have gone either way, Moneyfields ran out 2-0 winners at Waterside Park, with Steve Hutchings scoring both on 53 and 86 minutes. Jack Alexander came close to levelling on an Autumnal afternoon when his 25 yard first-time strike bounced off the crossbar.

SAT 17 - The Kingfishers returned to winning ways with a 2-1 victory at Mangotsfield United. Ekow Elliott slotted home George Jeacock’s pass to give Town a first-half lead but the hosts levelled early in the second half through Jake Thomas. However Lewis Coyle’s 75th minute free-kick won the points for Thatcham.

SAT 24 - Thatcham earned a point from a thrilling game against Cinderford Town thanks to George Jeacock’s equaliser deep into injury time. The visitors built up a two-goal lead through Nick Rhodes (2 mins) and Lorcan Sheehan (11) before Shane Cooper-Clark pulled one back early in the second half. Matt MacDonald’s restored Cinderford’s two-goal advantage from a penalty, but Gareth Thomas’s header and Jeacock’s late strike made the score-line 3-3.

DECEMBER

SAT 1 - Thatcham lost 3-0 away to Blackfield & Langley, a result which lifted the hosts to the top of the table. The first half was tightly contested but B&L pulled away in the second half and the Kingfishers were reduced to ten men towards the end when Scott Rees picked up a second yellow card.

FRI 7 - Thatcham Town FC Manager Danny Robinson had the honour of switching on the town centre Christmas Lights alongside Mayor Jan Cover.

SAT 8 - The Kingfishers made their longest journey of the season and returned from Bideford with the points following a 1-0 win. Shane Cooper-Clark scored the winner just before half-time, firing home into an unguarded net after the home keeper had come out to clear. The hosts hit the woodwork a couple of times and had a player red-carded in injury time.

SAT 15 - The all-ticket league fixture at home to Melksham Town was postponed due to a frozen pitch.

SAT 22 - The final home fixture of 2018 ended in a Thatcham Town win, as Adam Kelly, newly signed from Mangotsfield United, scored an injury time winner to defeat Paulton Rovers 1-0. Following a scrappy ninety minutes with relatively few chances, substitute Kelly converted at the far post from Curtis Angell’s cross.

WED 26 - The Kingfishers won the Boxing Day clash at Fleet Town by 2-1. Shane Cooper-Clark curled a free-kick around the wall to give Thatcham a first-half lead, then Adam Kelly fired in the second on 63 minutes. Fleet ended with nine men but pulled a goal back on 80 minutes in between their two red cards, before George Jeacock missed from the penalty spot in injury time.

DEC 29 - Yate Town ended Thatcham’s winning run, but the Kingfishers picked up a useful and impressive point away to the second-placed team. Shane Cooper-Clark fired the Kingfishers ahead from outside the box but Ollie Mehew made the final score 1-1 when he fired past Chris Rackley shortly after the hour mark.

Updated 07:41 - 31 Dec 2018 by Andy Morris

Where next?

Review of 2018 - part 3 of 4 As 2018 draws to a close it’s time to look back on a fantastic year for Thatcham Town Football Club, continuing with July to September…

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