....something we shall be celebrating throughout the season.
Hungerford Town Football Club
Hungerford Town Football Club has come a long way since its formation in 1886.The club first played on Hungerford Marsh field but soon moved to the present ground at Bulpit Lane.
Initially playing at Intermediate level (Newbury & District League and also the Swindon & District League), Senior status was consolidated in the ranks of the Hellenic League in 1958 and in 1961 the club won the Hellenic League Benevolent Cup.After a period of team rebuilding in the 1960's Hungerford won the Division 1 League and Cup double in the 1970/71 season.
The 1970's were memorable times as the club reached 3 Berks & Bucks Cup Finals in four years losing to Chesham Utd in 1976 and to Slough Town in 1977 (though only after a replay at Elm Park,Reading).The 1977/1978 season,Hungerford's last in the Hellenic League,saw them finish third in the league and win the League Cup.The club also produced a fairy tale run in the FA Vase eventually losing out to Barton Rovers in a semi final replay.These achievements enabled the club to gain election to the Isthmian League in 1978.In addition to the action on the field,the current clubhouse was opened in 1974 and new changing rooms and floodlights were added in 1975.
The 1978/79 season,Hungerford's first season in the Isthmian League,ended with a twelfth place finish in Division 2 and another Berks & Bucks Senior Cup final visit (the third in 4 years - this time it was the mighty Wycombe Wanderers who narrowly won after a replay).
In the next two seasons the club narrowly missed out on promotion finishing in 3rd place each time,though some consolation was gained in 1981 when Hungerford Town was invited to compete in the Anglo Italian Semi-Pro tournament.
1982 brought further success when Hungerford defeated Wycombe Wanderers 1-0 to win the Berks & Bucks Senior Cup.Promotion was again narrowly missed in 1984/85.However this was also a turbulent period for the club as,after 9 successful years as manager,Jim Kelman left the club.
1988/89 saw a return to prominence under joint managers Gary Goodwin and David Dodds who guided the club to sixth place in the table and a third FA Vase Semi Final appearance.This time it was Sudbury Town who denied Hungerfordits much deserved trip to Wembley.The 1990-1993 seasons saw the club finish 9th,9th and 10th under Gary Goodwin and later ex Man Utd player,Wilf Tranter,before a dismal start to the 1992/93 season saw the departure of Tranter at Christmas.Former Hungerford goalkeeper Jimmy Greenwood briefly returned to the club as manager and achieved Division 2 safety though he departed 5 months later to rejoin Thatcham Town.
The club then secured the services of two ex players ,Gerald Smith and his assistant Norman Matthews from the Hellenic League club,Kintbury Rangers,and the two together managed to keep the club ticking over in the Isthmian Division 2 for the next two seasons..
1996/97 brought the club its highest finish for several seasons and a Quarter Final Associate Members Cup appearance though in the following year the club narrowly escaped relegation again.The following year former Swindon Town player Don Rogers was appointed as manager and although the club reached the third qualifying round of the FA Cup,the league form was disappointing - Rogers resigned just after the start of the 1999/2000 season to be replaced briefly by Richard Evans who parted company with the club at the start of the 2000/01 season.
Evans was replaced by Gary Ackling who changed the emphasis of the club to looking for local youth talent and produced a strong mid table finish in the 2001/02 season,with help from assistant and long time player Tim North. Unfortunately for the club,the deadline for ground improvements was not met at the end of the 2001/02 season,and a forced relegation to the newly restructured Isthmian Division 2 followed.
Despite achieving a respectable fifth place finish in the league on top of a great FA Cup run into the third qualifying round,the decision was taken,for the long term benefits to the club,to rejoin the Hellenic League for the 2003/04 seaso, they finished the season in a creditable sixth place and winning the Hungerford Cup defeating AFC Newbury 2-0.
After a disappointing start to the next season Ackling resigned in October and was replaced by assistant Tim North.The club ended the 2004/05 season by winning the Hellenic League Supplementary Cup by beating Ardley Utd 3-2 after extra time.
2005/2006 began with the election of Andrew Fitton as Chairman and following a disappointing below mid table finish to the end of the season Tim North resigned and was replaced by Alan Clark
With the pieces in place, the 2006/2007 season began with high expectations and a marvellous F.A.Cup run to the 4th qualifying round,which included victories against Weston Super Mare (Conference South) and Bashley (Southern League South champions) before a 0-3 defeat against Conference league side Weymouth.The league results were vastly improved on previous seasons and eventually the club finished in 3rd place.There was consolation in the fact the club won the Linaker Brokers Challenge Cup beating Witney Utd 2-1 in the final.
The 2007/2008 season began with high hopes for success in the league and with some great league and cup performances, they entered March still chasing trophies on three fronts.Unfortunately home defeats in the FA Vase quarter final against Whitley Bay and Ardley in the league proved costly. Consolation was once again achieved by retaining the Challenge Cup by beating Almondsbury Town 2-1.During the season club chairman Andrew Fitton announced that he was leaving to form a consortium to take over at football league side Swindon Town.
The 2008/2009 season began with the election of a new chairman, Nigel Warrick a local businessman who stated he wanted to improve the club both on and off the pitch.He immediately set about a refurbishment program for the club including both bars.On the pitch despite a sticky start in the league and a disappointing early exit in the FA Cup,the club went on a 22 match unbeaten run which took the club to the top of the league and after a period where the lead swapped between ourselves and Shortwood United,a last day draw at Hook Norton enabled the club to clinch the Hellenic League championship on goal difference and promotion to the Southern League.There was disappointment for the team in both the Floodlit Cup final where we lost 2-3 after extra time to Marlow United,and also the FA Vase 5th round where we lost 3-4 also after extra time after leading twice in normal time.
2009/2010 begins with the club entering the Zamaretto (Southern) League and also the club reforming its Reserve side in the Hellenic League.
2010/2011 Saw Bobby Wilkinson take over the regns for the new season. With the team performing creditable and finishing an excellent seventh in his first year in charge.