Football didn’t stop for Christmas, but it did feel like there were fewer games than usual.
That is certainly true for Bracknell Town who only played once between Christmas and New Year, earning a 3-1 win at home to Westfield to go back up to second in the Bostik League South Central Division.
The Robins have had injury concerns through December but they appear to be getting the numbers back and full back Ryan Parsons has reportedly turned down a move away according to the Bracknell News.
You have to feel for club secretaries, transfers and player registrations didn’t stop for Christmas – there was plenty of movement going on across the leagues.
Ascot United saw their top scorer – and the Premier Division’s exit the Racecourse Ground early. Nathan Minhas was off to National League South Billericay Town five months early. The Yellamen have already signed a replacement though.
Roger Herridge had said he wanted to bring in some new faces to bolster an injury hit squad and he’s snapped up former Reading Town and Highmoor Ibis attacker James Piercy as well as dual registered Dan Read from Bracknell Town.
One player leaving a club is Damien Smith who has decided to temporarily step away from football. Speaking to Football in Bracknell he said: “I still think I have a lot to offer a club.”
Ascot United lost top spot after a 3-3 draw with Lydney Town but are still very much ‘in the mix’ when it comes to the Premier Division title race after beating Longlevens 2-0.
Brackley Town Saints hold all the aces though and have the small matter of home advantage..
It’s been a rollercoaster for Windsor. They’ve the small matter of an FA Vase Fourth Round tie with AFC Uckfield Town on Saturday but the festive league form tailed right off. A Boxing Day defeat to Virginia Water and a 1-1 draw with struggling Tuffley Rovers made it one point from the last three.
Reading City picked up a first win under new manager Simon Johnson when they beat Fairford Town 3-0 but the real unknown quantity in everything is Binfield.
The Moles have six games in hand on top of the table Brackley and have won their last five games in all competitions – a run that includes three league fixtures.
In Division 1 East, the brief news is Burnham extended their lead at the top of the table to 15 points but have played more games than most sides after an 11-0 win over Abingdon Town while Woodley United continued their improvement with a 2-2 draw against Milton United after being 2-0 down and Wokingham & Emmbrook were beaten 2-1 at Chalvey Sports.
Combined Counties League Division One
Eversley & California have a new manager in Matt Angel and already have a couple of new faces through the door since Ellis Woods departure but the only Christmas fixture saw the Boars beaten 1-0 at Epsom & Ewell.
It wasn’t a bad Christmas for Sandhurst Town though, the Fizzers games in hand mean they could still have a say at the top of the table after beating bottom side Cove 2-0 on Saturday. They have a big test against Burnham though coming up in the Berks & Bucks County Cup.
In manager news, former Bracknell Town assistant Gavin Smith is back in football after joining Badshot Lea as joint-manager.
Further reading: What the Hellenic Premier table would look like if the season ran January to December 2018.