The mathematics are simple for Bracknell Town, a win on Tuesday night in the Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division at Woodley United and they will be promoted back to the Southern League after an eight year absence.
Even a draw will most likely be enough for Bracknell given a far superior goal difference to Wantage Town to ensure a return to the level they’d played at between 1984 and 2010 when a last place finish ended a 26 year association with step 4.
For Woodley it’s a very different story. The Kestrels are officially relegated following Lydney Town’s win on Monday night but James Anderson’s side are now engaged in a fight to finish the highest of the four sides at the bottom in the hope of a similar reprieve that has seen Tuffley Rovers and Burnham maintain their Premier Division status’s in recent seasons.
Bracknell will be without George Short who is out for the season while Kensley Maloney is suspended.
What happened in 2009/10?
It’s probably not unfair to say the last placed finish in Bracknell’s 2009/10 campaign was fully deserved – finishing as they did rock bottom on just six points from 42 games conceding 187 goals in the process.
The club were managed at the time by former Tottenham Hotspur defender David Tuttle who took over in difficult circumstances from Kerthney Carty and despite a two decent league wins against Taunton Town and VT (now Sholing) it was a season to forget for supporters who suffered three 9-0 defeats, two 8-0 defeats and 11-1 reverse at Cirencester Town amongst 40 other league defeats.
Showing what can be done though, it’s interesting to note National League South side Hungerford Town finished two places above the Robins that season – albeit 27 points ahead while current Hellenic League rivals Thatcham Town and Abingdon United all finished above Tuttle’s side.
If you’d like a little further coincidence, Bracknell could seal promotion back to step four at the very ground that saw them slump to the lowest level since the 1970s when they were relegated to Hellenic League Division 1 East on the final day of the 2011/12 season following a 5-3 defeat by Reading Town. The stats for that game saw Ben Knight score twice while Tom Nugent also netted and Sam Barratt picked up the man of the match award.
Main image: Bracknell Town’s Adam Cornell by Richard Claypole.