The nine-team Allied Counties Youth League Central Division has seven Berkshire sides amongst its constitution this season, each competing for a place in the end of season ‘Champion of Champions’ competition with the title winners of the North, South and East sections. Hanworth Villa of the East section are the current holders.
Wokingham & Emmbrook – entering a team in the competition for the first time since 2013/14 – have games in hand and have made an impressive reintroduction to the division with seven points from their first five games played. Binfield are ahead of last placed West Oxfordshire outfit Clanfield ’85 on goal difference but also have games in hand whilst Thatcham Town and Windsor might perhaps just about be out of the running for the Divisional title, despite very respectable showings thus far with the young Kingfishers still unbeaten from their league fixtures at the Stacatruck Stadium.
At present, the title looks a four-way shoot-out between current leaders Ascot United along with Bracknell Town and Maidenhead United, whilst Basingstoke Town – with games in hand – should in no way be discounted from the reckoning. Six points separate those top four sides and the first couple of weeks of January 2020 could see some real twists and turns in the title race.
Maidenhead are due to entertain Basingstoke Town on 6th January, The Dragons having already defeated the Magpies in North Hampshire earlier this season and that return fixture could be a pivotal one. Ascot United will look to take advantage of home fixtures on their 4G against Windsor and Thatcham Town on successive Tuesday nights, 7th and 14th January. Bracknell travel to Clanfield on Thursday 9th January and host Wokingham & Emmbrook on the 13th whilst Basingstoke Town will look to take advantage of their additional fixtures when they entertain Binfield on 14th January.
In the ACYL League Cup, Windsor, Bracknell, Thatcham and last season’s runners-up Maidenhead are still alive and kicking in the competition heading into the new year.
ACYL fixtures tend to be high-scoring affairs with plenty of flowing football and they also give a good opportunity for a bit of ground hopping! They are well worth an evening of your time, and you may even see a future Premier League footballer on display with Wolves centre-half Max Kilman an ACYL graduate who is earning rave reviews! Given the time of year however, matches can be subject to the obvious limitations of weather so I’d suggest checking out club’s social media accounts, the excellent ACYL website and the always up-to-date FA Full Time website to ensure that you don’t make a trip in vein.