The first Saturday of the New Year brings with it a fairly busy day of football with most but not all of our local sides in action.
Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division
It’s bound to be an emotional farewell when the management team of Jeff Lamb, Paul McGrotty and Derek Sweetman take charge for their last Ascot United match with Royal Wootton Bassett Town the visitors.
Since Lamb and McGrotty took over in May 2011, the club has gone from strength to strength culminating in two fantastic FA Vase runs, three top four league finishes and winning the Perpetua Press Hellenic Floodlit Cup last term.
Elsewhere, Binfield are also at home when they welcome Ardley United to Stubbs Lane.
With the hosts seventh and United only one place and one point above the Moles, a close game is expected and manager Roger Herridge is hoping striker Liam Ferdinand will be available having missed the last two matches.
Central defender Lewis Leonetti partnered youngster Luke Hayden up front last weekend and he duly scored but having 23 goal Ferdinand available would be a massive boost.
Bracknell Town are without a match on Saturday.
Uhlsport Hellenic League Division One East
Woodley United will look to bounce back from last weekend’s disappointing 1-0 defeat at leaders Penn & Tylers Green and they will have to be on their guard as AFC Aldermaston visit Scours Lane in an eagerly anticipated derby affair.
Whilst improbable, a three goal victory for the Atomics could see them jump from fifth place all the way up to second and move above Woodley in the process.
United’s Charlie Oakley has 14 goals this term with Aldermaston’s Kai Parton-Edey on 13 so which striker and which side will come out on top?
It’s twelfth vs eleventh when Wokingham & Emmbrook host Didcot Town Reserves and without a victory since 26th November, Sumas manager Clive McNelly will be hoping that 2017 starts better than 2016 ended.
Didcot themselves are without a victory since 11th November so Wokingham have every chance of getting the three points.
Sandhurst Town travel to third placed Chalfont Wasps on the back of two wins from two over the festive period seeing off Holyport 2-1 and Chinnor 3-1.
Wasps themselves are unbeaten since 5th November so something has to give when two sides full of confidence meet.
Finchampstead are without a match.
It’s back to action on Sunday afternoon in the Southern Region Women’s Football League on Sunday as Bracknell Town Ladies head to Chesham United.
The Robins will want to put 2016 behind them quickly and get some points on the board – Sean Haynes side are still looking for their first of the season.
In the first division, Ascot United make the short trip to Wargrave while Woodley United host Alton.
The Thames Valley Counties Women’s Football League also gets back underway on Sunday with Bracknell Town Development playing their first game ever at Larges Lane. Harefield United are the visitors for that one while promotion chasing Sandhurst Town host Taplow United.
Thames Valley Premier League
Having not played since 10th December, Berks County will surely be relishing getting 2017 underway when they travel to second placed Newbury on Saturday.
County only played twice last month but lost both times and will be looking to start the new year well but it’s a tough ask to secure all three points at Faraday Road.
Newbury are a former Hellenic League club only relegated due to off field issues and they boast Danial Langford who has scored 13 goals in only eight appearances.
Suburban Football League
Binfield Reserves make the short journey to York Road which is the to be the oldest continuously-used senior association football ground in the world by the same club, having been home to Maidenhead United since 1871.
United U21 are seventh in the Premier Division with the Moles in tenth and there’s goals in both teams with Mo Davies and Aaron Rowland having 8 and 7 goals respectively whilst David Rogalski has 8 for the Magpies.
In the Central Division, sixth placed Bracknell Town U21 entertain Eversley & California Reserves who sit just one place above them so it should be an even affair.
Dan Roberts has 9 goals for the Robins whilst Myles White and Harry Bowman have 15 between them for Eversley.
All the weekends fixtures in short:
- Ascot United v Royal Wootton Bassett Town
- Binfield v Ardley United
- Chalfont Wasps v Sandhurst Town 2.15pm
- Wokingham & Emmbrook v Didcot Town Reserves 2.15pm
- Woodley United v AFC Aldermaston
- Newbury v Berks County 2pm
- Maidenhead United U21 v Binfield Reserves
- Bracknell Town U21 v Eversley & California Reserves
All matches kick-off at 3pm unless otherwise stated.