Thatcham Town Football Club

Thatcham Town Football Club
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Thatcham Town Football Club was founded in 1894, and, for the first two seasons only, friendly matches were played at "The Marsh", Dunston Green, before the Club joined the Reading Temperance League in 1896 where they remained for the next fifty-seven years. Steady, if not remarkable, progress, was made winning Division Two in 1905/06, as well as the Berks & Bucks Junior up in 1935/36. During this period Thatcham also won the Reading Town Senior Cup and were runners-up in the Reading & District Premier League.

After playing on two more sites in Thatcham, at Brownsfield, home of the Cricket Club, and at Station Road, the Club purchased eleven acres of land off Northfield Road in 1949. This became known as Lancaster Close. Early in 1970, seven acres were sold and the proceeds used to finance the construction of a new clubhouse and dressing rooms. In 1953, Thatcham became founder members of the Hellenic League and won the Championship in 1958/59, 1964/65, and 1972/73, winning the First Division Cup in the latter season.

The Club's most successful season was in 1974/75, when, in addition to winning the Hellenic League Championship and the Premier Division Cup, Thatcham also reached the Final of the Berks & Bucks Senior Cup where they lost to Wycombe Wanderers. They were, however, awarded the Cup by default because of a dispute between Wanderers and the Berks & Bucks FA.

By 1983 floodlights had been erected and were first used when Thatcham entertained Fulham FC at Lancaster Close in January of that year. After a short stay in the Athenian League, which was disbanded in 1984, they spent two seasons in the London Spartan League before joining the newly formed Wessex League in 1986, also reaching the last sixteen in the FA Vase that season.

In 1989 Thatcham reached the last eight in the FA Vase, having been drawn away in all six rounds before eventually losing to local rivals Hungerford Town.

In order to provide improved facilities, the Club moved to a new ten acre site at Waterside Park during 1992/93. A record gate for the new stadium was set when 1400 saw Thatcham lose by a single goal to Aldershot Town in the 1993/94 FA Vase.

The ultimate success came in 1995/96 when Thatcham won the League Title and the following season saw the Club's best ever FA Cup run, reaching the Fourth Qualifying Round after defeating highly placed Southern Premier Gloucester City and Southern Division Bashley. In 1997 Thatcham reached the Final of the Wessex League Cup for the sixth time in eight years, and won the Cup for the fourth time.

In 2002/03, Thatcham Town FC was awarded the FA Community Standard Charter, the first club at this level in the south of England to earn this award. Two seasons later, under the guidance of Jason Braidwood, in his debut season as a manager, the Club reached three local Cup Finals, winning two of them, and finished third in the League. in the 2005-2006 season, the Club went one better and were Runners-up to Winchester City, and, with the Club meeting FA ground-grading requirements, the superb efforts of everyone involved with the Club meant that Thatcham Town made for the first time in its history, its debut at Regional Level. The Club finished an impressive 6th place in 2006-07 missing out on the playoffs by a single point. The Club is now under new management with Gary Ackling taking over from John Goddard and Lee Tillen towards the end of the 2007-08 Season.In the 2008-09 season in his first full season in charge Gary Ackling guided the club to an impressive 6th place,finishing just outside the play-off places.The club also won the Basingstoke Senior Cup.

In the 2009/10 season despite an early exit in the FA Cup against Cirencester Town, Thatcham started the season well and on October 10th 2009 hit top spot in Zamaretto One South West with a 3-1 home victory against Uxbridge. Then came an exit in the FA Trophy away at Truro City and a run of league defeats followed. There were some memorable games during the season an entertaing 0-0 draw at home to eventual league winners Windsor & Eton and The Berks & Bucks Cup Semi Final against Maidenhead when although going down 4-2 after extra time and down to 9 men it was a game and a performance to remember. Thatcham eventually finished in 12th position in The Zamaretto League Division One South West and now look forward to their 5th season in the league.

In four seasons at "level four', Thatcham have finished in sixth-place twice, on both occasions missing out on the play-offs by one position. Last season the Kingfishers finished in 12th place but topped the table in October. At the end of the 2009/10 season, Gary Ackling, who had been in charge since April 2008, moved "upstairs' to become the Club's General Football Manager. Colin Millard was appointed the new manager and brought many players and staff across with him from Reading Town. Despite major on- and off-field changes that have taken place over the summer, the Club were optimistic that 2010-11 will be a successful season, but after a poor start to the season and with the team sitting 3rd from bottom in the league, Millard was releived of his duties in October 2010. Gary Ackling stepped in as Manager and brought in Ex-Thatcham Boss Jason Braidwood as his Assistant. The duo steadied the ship and improved results saw the team gradually rise up the table. With one game remaining The Kingfishers made it into the final Play Off spot, securing that place with a final day victory at Andover. A remarkable acheivement for all at the club. We traveled to 2nd place Sholing in The Play Off Semi Final, a game that ended in a 2-0 win for the home side. The season did finish with some silverwear after a 4-1 victory over Wessex League side Tadley Calleva in The Basingstoke Senior Cup. The 2010/11 season was also a successful one for the clubs Reserve side, achieving their second promotion in just two seasons. Now under the management of Garry Cook and his Assistants Gary Tingle & Matt Robinson, an exciting season with plenty of Derby Games against the likes of Newbury & Hungerford Town Res in The Uhlsport Hellenic League Division One East lies ahead.

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League Tables

Uhlsport Hellenic League » Premier Division

1 Flackwell Heath 5 13
2 Oxford City Nomads 5 12
3 Thatcham Town 5 12
4 Highmoor Ibis 5 12
5 Bracknell Town 6 10
6 Binfield 5 10
7 Kidlington 5 9
8 Highworth Town 4 9
9 Brimscombe & Thrupp 6 9
10 Thame United 5 9
11 Milton United 4 7
12 Ascot United 4 6
13 Shrivenham 5 6
14 Ardley United 5 6
15 Holyport 5 4
16 Wootton Bassett Town 5 4
17 Reading Town 6 3
18 Newbury 5 1
19 Abingdon United 4 1
20 Cheltenham Saracens 4 0

Last updated Sunday 31st August, 23:32

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