We take a look back on a season that included a sixth Bracknell Town & District Sunday League Premier Division title for FC Fernhill, a League and Cup double for Crownwood Dukes in Division 4 and League and County Cup doubles for both Loveman United (Div 1) and Bearwood Wanderers (Division 3).
FC Fernhill clinched the title with games to spare having dominated the competition for much of the season suffering just the one defeat (to Morale Madrid). For the second time Crowthorne Inn finished runners-up. WAB finished the season strongly following promotion with a sequence of 5 wins and a draw in their last 6 games, finishing in a very creditable 5th position. Newcomers Athletico Forest (moving across from the Reading League) and newly formed Panthers struggled to find their feet at this level and finished in the bottom 3 though Forest did progress to the semi-final stage of the League Senior Cup whilst Panthers managed to hold champions Fernhill to a 6-6 draw late on in the season.
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Competition for the title went right down to the wire and, in fact, wasn’t settled until the final day of the season when, needing a win, Loveman United defeated Wokingham & Emmbrook 6-1 to clinch the title ahead of Berks County who finished the season strongly with an undefeated run of 11 games (10 wins and a draw) after Christmas to push Loveman all the way. AFC Crowthorne Stiffs, who themselves topped the division at times, finished third.
Sandhurst FFC were crowned Champions as early as March and finished the campaign unbeaten. Promoted Woodley Saints put in a strong surge in the second half of the season to finish as runners-up. The two were to later compete for the League Junior Cup.
Bearwood Wanderers were crowned Champions though were pushed all the way by runners-up Bracknell Cavaliers and 3rd placed Braybrooke Athletic. Braybrooke finished the season as the League’s top scorers with 77 goals.
Despite a small post-Christmas wobble, Crownwood Dukes finally won their first League silverware by winning the Division 4 Championship by 7 clear points. For a number of weeks, FC Harmanswater, runners-up, topped the league, but once Dukes got into their stride, they took top spot and never looked back.
Bracknell Sunday League teams dominated the Junior Cup and Trophy, lifting both on the same day at Slough Town. Bearwood Wanderers were first up and eased to victory by 3-1 against Jolly Sportsman who had beaten Woodley Saints at semi-final stage. Mention is due also to Winnersh Town who reached the quarter final, also beaten by Jolly Sportsman.
Loveman United were up next and were made to battle all the way by Three Horseshoes, winning out by 2-1. Bracknell Athletic also reached quarter final stage.
In the Intermediate Cup, FC Fernhill went the furthest of our teams reaching the last 16 only to be beaten 3-4 by Datchet Village.
Advantage Printroom Senior Cup
Having lost 0-4 the previous week in the Aldershot Cup Final, FC Fernhill looked to secure successive league and Cup doubles against Finchampstead Athletic in the final tie. Finch defied the script though, and following a lower than usual finish in their league campaign (6th) won by 3-1, attention being given to Finch’s third goal scored by an evergreen Gareth Ainsworth with a stunning free-kick.
A classic was in store as the two teams finishing as Champions Sandhurst FFC and runners-up Woodley Saints contested the final. Two-quickfire goals by Saints, both scored in the first two-minutes of the game, gave them the early advantage. They were to score twice more before the break and, though leading 4-0 at half-time, Sandhurst created their fair share of chances in front of goal.
A tall order for the Champions then in the second half that proved to be a tighter affair. Saints were the first to score and, following a late goal apiece, the game finished 6-1 to Woodley Saints. Man of the match was awarded to Jamie Burnett of Woodley Saints , impressive throughout, who chipped in with 2 goals.
Full Neil Graham gallery here.
Despite winning through to the final Moore Close Manor were unable to take their place in the final tie, so the opposition for Division 4 Champions Crownwood Dukes was to be FC Harmanswater. Honours went to Dukes following a 2-0 win and in doing so clinched a league and cup double.
Full Neil Graham gallery here.
Football in Bracknell Teams of the Season:
Crownwood Dukes – Division 4 champions and Subsidiary Cup winners, first silverware for this club that have competed gainly for a number of seasons
Loveman United and Bearwood Wanderers – Champions of their respective Divisions and County Cup winners.
Woodley Saints – Champions of Division 3 in their first season (2017-18), finished runners-up in Division 2 (back-to-back promotions) and League Junior Cup winners (finalists last season). Oh, and County Cup semi-finalists too!
FC Fernhill – 6 times Champions of the Premier Division
2018/19 Roll of Honour
- Premier Division Champions – FC Fernhill; runners-up Crowthorne Inn
- Division 1 Champions – Loveman United; runners-up Berks County
- Division 2 Champions – Sandhurst FFC; runners-up Woodley Saints
- Division 3 Champions – Bearwood Wanderers; runners-up Bracknell Cavaliers
- Division 4 Champions – Crownwood Dukes; runners-up FC Harmanswater
- Berks & Bucks Sunday Junior Cup winners – Loveman United
- Berks & Bucks Sunday Junior Trophy winners – Bearwood Wanderers
- Advantage Printroom Senior Cup winners – Finchampstead Athletic
- Junior Cup winners – Woodley Saints
- Subsidiary Cup winners – Crownwood Dukes