Attendances through the roof in opening weeks of Berkshire’s non-league football season

It's been an incredible start to the season for clubs when it comes to attendances
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The crowd at Binfield vs Bracknell Town. Photo: Neil Graham / ngsportsphotography.com
The crowd at Binfield vs Bracknell Town. Photo: Neil Graham / ngsportsphotography.com

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It’s been an incredible start to the season when you look at the level of crowds attending non-league men’s football across Berkshire so far.

From the expected four figures at Maidenhead United in the Vanarama National League to huge FA Cup crowds for Ascot United and one of the largest step 4 crowds for the Binfield vs Bracknell Town derby on Bank Holiday Monday.

Football in Berkshire asked the excellent Non-League Crowds Twitter account run by Andy Campbell (@NonLeagueCrowd) to dig in and give us some of the big numbers.

The top 10 Berkshire non-league crowds this season are:

  • 1060 Maidenhead United v Dover Athletic
  • 671 Binfield v Bracknell Town
  • 639 Slough Town v Chelmsford City
  • 560 Slough Town v Chippenham Town
  • 451 Thatcham Town v Basingstoke Town
  • 450 Ascot United v Holyport (FA Cup)
  • 403 Binfield v Basingstoke Town
  • 353 Hungerford Town v Tonbridge Angels
  • 267 Bracknell Town v Sutton Common Rovers
  • 257 Ascot United v Risborough Rangers (FA Cup)

What’s driving this though? Of course the release of Lockdown restrictions, a lack of foreign holidays and quite likely a basic wish to get out and about to some football, but what about and increased media interest locally and perhaps the focus on the local game generated by a certain national cup run last season?

Clubs getting their social media and websites up to scratch and basic improvements in facilities will almost certainly be factors as well as disengagement with the professional game but we’d love to hear your thoughts on all that in the comments below.

Then of course there are the Bank Holiday fixtures which always throw up a series of local derbies for fans to get their teeth into.

Andy has also provided further breakdowns by steps as well as the top crowds by Step/FA Cup competition which we’ll keep updating:

  • 1 Maidenhead United v Dover Athletic 1060
  • 2 Slough Town v Chelmsford City 639
  • 3 n/a
  • 4 Binfield v Bracknell Town 671
  • 5 Wokingham & Emmbrook v Ascot United 230
  • 6 Bucks County v Rayners Lane 71 (NB – 2 Crowds from 31st August are unknown at the moment from games at Langley and Sandhurst Town, so this may still change)
  • FA Cup Ascot United v Holyport 450
  • FA Trophy n/a
  • FA Vase n/a
Young supporters in the crowd for Maidenhead United vs Dover Athletic. Photo: Darren Woolley / darrenwoolley.photos
Young supporters in the crowd for Maidenhead United vs Dover Athletic. Photo: Darren Woolley / darrenwoolley.photos

The six Berkshire teams at Steps 1-4 have played just nine home League games between them with the following crowds:

  • 1060 Maidenhead United v Dover Athletic
  • 671 Binfield v Bracknell Town
  • 639 Slough Town v Chelmsford City
  • 560 Slough Town v Chippenham Town
  • 451 Thatcham Town v Basingstoke Town
  • 403 Binfield v Basingstoke Town
  • 353 Hungerford Town v Tonbridge Angels
  • 267 Bracknell Ton v Sutton Common Rovers
  • 147 Thatcham Town v Northwood

At Step 5, the five Berkshire clubs have played nine home games with the following attendances:

  • 230 Wokingham & Emmbrook v Ascot United
  • 164 Windsor v Virginia Water
  • 124 Reading City v Southall
  • 114 Winsor v Edgware Town
  • 103 Windsor v Wembley
  • 100 Ascot United v Reading City
  • 84 Windsor v Reading City
  • 82 Holyport v North Greenford United
  • 82 Holyport v Wembley
  • 80 Holyport v Egham Town

The real acid test for the game across the county will come as the nights draw in and it gets significantly cooler. Whatever happens though, it’s been a very positive start to the season.

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