Football in Berkshire took a little break over the festive period – what with the limited amount of football to cover – so we thought we’d try and fire out a quick round up of what you might have missed over the Christmas break.
Admittedly, not much of it is ‘on the pitch’. Additional reporting by Abi Ticehurst.
Matt Lench: Slough Town’s impressive midfielder has made the step up to the Vanarama National League with Rebels co-boss Neil Baker’s blessing: “‘Lenchy’ has been upfront throughout his time with us about his desire to play in the National League Premier, and for that reason he goes with our blessing.”
Lench – who has rejoined Wealdstone – made 120 appearances for the Rebels since his debut in 2017 and is the clubs reigning Supporters and Managers Player of the Season.
Danny Robinson: Footballing wise, 2020 has been good to the Hungerford Town manager (if you discount the likelihood he’d have lifted the Southern League South Division One trophy in May). Leading an all-conquering Thatcham Town side at the start of the year that almost certainly would have been promoted to the Southern Premier, to being appointed manager of National League South Hungerford in the summer and, against expectations, ensuring a flying start to the 2020/21 season.
The Crusaders remain third at the time of writing and have rewarded their boss with a contract extension to 2023.
Kyle Tooze: Sticking with Hungerford, battling forward Kyle Tooze announced his departure from the club at the start of the month but thanked boss Robinson for giving him the opportunity and not letting him quit football. Tooze had played under Robinson to such great effect at Thatcham Town and moved to Bulpit Lane with his boss in the summer. According to the FA Full Time website, Tooze has joined Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division Royal Wootton Bassett Town and played four times so far prior to the suspension of football.
It’s worth noting that with both Tooze and TJ Bohane on their roster, Bassett have a formidable looking strike force.
Connor Hall: He’s been back at Chorley in the Vanarama National League North since October, on loan from Woking. His goal tally since returning sits at six in 13 appearances including an important equaliser in the FA Cup Second Round tie with EFL League One Peterborough United that earned him a place in the official ‘team of the round’.
We spent a month in lockdown through November, so teams were no doubt chomping at the bit to get back to action but as is anticipated this time of year, games were called off left, right and centre with just 20 games going ahead over the first two weekends of December. As a result, S4K FC Berks County Ladies and Slough Town Ladies found themselves top of their respective tables in the Thames Valley Counties Women’s Football League. In their final game of the year, it looked as though S4K and Taplow were set to share a point each with goals from Kiah Owen and Sammy Sadler for The Fawkes and 1 from Taplow’s leading goalscorer Jacqueline Hanson and another from Nicola Kirk, however, S4K pinched all three points as Claudia Periquito lobbed Taplow’s keeper from 25 yards in the final five minutes. Slough remain unbeaten in a run of 6 wins in 6 games and 39 goals, the most of any team in the pyramid.
Maidenhead United Women entered the fray at the 2nd Round Proper of the Vitality Women’s FA Cup, but were knocked out after travelling to Essex side Billericay Town in a 4-0 defeat.
Reading Women academy graduate, Emma Harries made her first starting eleven debut for Reading against Manchester United at the Madejski. She’s definitely one to watch in the Women’s Super League this year as she’s set to cause a defensive nightmare with her pace and skill for opposition.
Grace Moloney picked up her first senior cap for the Republic of Ireland in a 3-1 defeat against Germany in Round 1 of their Euros qualification group.
Tash Harding, Rachel Rowe and Jess Fishlock all got on the scoresheet for Wales in their Euros qualification group in an impressive 3-0 display against Belarus with Angharad James in the starting 11 and Lily Woodham also coming off the bench to feature in the winning squad.
Anything else we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below.