Newly promoted Shrivenham have had one heck of a season in the Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division.
Wiltshire Oxfordshire side came up from Division One West at the end of the 2017/18 season after finishing second and initially struggled to adapt to life at step 5 of the English Football Pyramid.
The keen-eyed amongst you will have course noticed that Shrivenham is neither in Berkshire, nor even anywhere near Bracknell, but when a Hellenic League side beats the odds we thinks it’s probably worth highlighting.
In the middle of November, Shrivvy were 16th of 19 teams having won just four of their opening 17 games, they also drew two in that time but a tally of 14 points wasn’t a lot to go on nearly four months in to the season.
On the 17th November though something clicked following a 3-3 draw with Lydney Town. Shrivvy started down a path that lead to an unbeaten Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division run that to date stands at 16 games.
Crucially, all but two of those games were draws and the run puts them in an incredibly health fifth position having beaten Reading City 2-1 on Monday night.
‘In October when we were in a bit of trouble’
Football in Bracknell spoke to Shrivenham manager Gareth Davies about the run and what changed to launch the club up the table. He said: “It took a few months to adapt to the level of football after being promoted last season.
“Mainly our form, is down to pure hard work. The boys have never given up, even when things were tough, we kept playing, and trying to do things our way, and our style.
“Winning becomes a habit and the boys know how to win games of football now and when we step on the field, we look like we are enjoying our football which also goes along way.
“I would like to think now that teams respect us a little more than they did in October when we were in a bit of trouble. We now need to focus on the next three games and see where it takes us. Either way the players have been superb on and off the park and deserve a huge amount of credit. It’s been a pleasure working with this group of players this season.”
Shrivvy’s Hellenic League history
Shrivenham were a fairly well established Premier Division side between 2004 and 2015 when they were relegated to Division One West.
This season though, the club are on course for their best ever finish at step 5. They originally joined the league in 2001 from the North Berks League.
Twice the club have finished eighth in that 10 year or so period more often than that it was mid table or below.
Any sort of continuation of their current run in the final three games against Tuffley Rovers, Bishops Cleeve and Binfield will almost certainly result in a best ever finish for the club. Certainly those player of the month beers will be well deserved!
Main image: Shrivenham score a decisive penalty at Ascot United by Rob Mack/Shooting Stars