Review of 2018 - part 3 of 4

Review of 2018 - part 3 of 4

By Andy Morris
30th December 2018
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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…


JULY

SAT 14 - Thatcham Town began pre-season with a 3-2 win at Brimscombe & Thrupp, followed over the next week with defeats at Sholing and Salisbury City.

WED 25 - The Kingfishers lifted their first trophy of the season! Following a 1-1 draw Thatcham beat Hungerford Town on penalties to win the Hungerford Cup.

AUGUST

SAT 11 - Following friendly wins over AFC Stoneham, Tadley Calleva and Whitchurch United, plus a heavy defeat at Hayes & Yeading United, the Kingfishers completed their pre-season schedule with a 6-1 thrashing of Aylesbury United of the Southern League D1 Central.

Over half of last season’s double-winning squad have departed, with most unable to commit to the greater amount of travelling required in the Southern League. However the management have recruited a large number of quality replacements and are optimistic of another good season.

SAT 18 - Town’s first game back in the Southern League ended in disappointment as Nick Peare’s 78th minute goal earned Yate Town a 1-0 win at Waterside Park. Thatcham were unfortunate to lose, having hit the bar through Matt Scott, and been the better side even with ten men following Scott Rees’s red card. Yate also finished with ten men after Adam Price was sent off.

MON 20 - Thatcham announced the return of striker James Clark on dual registration from Wealdstone and the signing of midfielder Jahson Downes from Marlow.

TUE 21 - Thatcham threw away a two-goal lead at the Simplyhealth City Ground, losing 3-2 to Winchester. Town led through early strikes from Shane Cooper-Clark (penalty) and James Clark, but City scored twice early in the second-half to level. After the hosts were reduced to ten men, Thatcham thought they had scored when Gareth Thomas’s header appeared to cross the line, but as play continued, Winchester broke to score an 84th minute winner.

SAT 25 - The Kingfishers drew a blank in the FA Cup, drawing 0-0 at home to Bemerton Heath Harlequins in the Preliminary Round at Waterside Park.

MON 27 - Thatcham Town hit Fleet Town for six on August Bank Holiday Monday to get the season up-and-running. In the first minute Ben Cook put the Kingfishers ahead, and he added his second shortly after Ekow Elliott had nodded home. In the second-half Lewis Coyle and Andy Jenkinson thumped home stunners either side of Shane Cooper-Clark’s emphatic penalty to seal the 6-0 win.

SEPTEMBER

SAT 1 - Thatcham returned from Bath point-less after slipping to a 2-0 defeat at Larkhall Athletic, for whom Lewis Powell scored a goal in each half.

TUE 4 - A dismal first-half performance cost The Kingfishers as they were knocked out of the FA Cup in a replay at Bemerton Heath Harlequins. The Wessex League side opened up a three goal lead by half-time, and though substitute James Tennant and then Shane Cooper-Clark pulled goals back to make it a tight finish, Thatcham left themselves with too much to do and were defeated 3-2.

THU 13 - The Kingfishers added to their squad with the signings of midfielder Lewis Gabbidon and forwards Josh Helmore and George Jeacock. Helmore scored 48 goals in 99 appearances in his previous spell with the club, between 2015 and 2017. Meanwhile Matt Benham left Waterside Park for Winchester City.

SAT 15 - George Jeacock scored a debut hat-trick as Thatcham beat Barnstaple Town 3-2 at Waterside Park. Jeacock converted two first-half penalties and shortly after the interval smashed home his third when put through on goal. Despite being point-less Barnstaple competed well, levelling at 1-1 through Jack Langford and pulling back a second through Jack Jenkins, but Danny Robinson’s men saw the game out.

SAT 22 - It was a day to forget for Thatcham as the Kingfishers slumped to a 5-0 defeat at Highworth Town. Despite beginning brightly and looking the more likely team to open the scoring, Thatcham fell behind just before half-time. The Worthians then ran riot, adding four further goals in the second-half.

TUE 25 - Thatcham were knocked out of the Berks & Bucks Senior Cup, losing 3-1 at Hellenic League Premier Division leaders Ascot United. After falling behind early on the Kingfishers conceded twice more on the stroke of half-time. Gareth Thomas nodded one back for Town three minutes after the re-start.

SAT 29 - James Clark’s 90th minute strike earned Thatcham a 2-1 win over Bristol Manor Farm. The visitors played almost the whole game with ten men after captain Jack Durrant received a very early red card, yet they took the lead in the second half through Dean Stamp. George Jeacock raced on to a through ball to level for the Kingfishers, and in the closing stages Town’s persistence paid off as substitute Josh Helmore teed up Clark to curl a shot home.

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