Club History 3 of 5

3. 2011/12 Season

The 2011/12 season saw three assistants step up from the shadows and take the reigns with Matty Wood, Ben Symonds and Rob Panting put in charge of the Firsts, Reserves and A's respectively. Freeland B continued to be run by Matthew Hardy and Richard Howe and Hardy also continued to chance his arm with Perkin for Freeland Yeoman.

The Firsts had an early game in August against champions elect OUP, and after battering the visitors they somehow managed to let victory slip out of their hands as they lost 2-1. They picked up their first win of the season in their next game though, when a youthful side picked up a one goal victory over Stonesfield. The Firsts then struggled, picking up only two points in the next five games whilst also seeing their Oxfordshire Senior Cup dreams fall at the first hurdle with a shock defeat to strugglers Launton.

The patchy form continued into December, but there was an impressive win just before the Christmas break when Adderbury were defeated in their own back yard.

The start of 2012 started well with two crucial wins against Kennington and then Bletchingdon to drag the Firsts away from the relegation zone. Bletch then got their revenge the week after and Freeland exited the Oxfordshire Charity Cup the week after at the hands of Yarnton.

They then had a flurry of wins again, this time beating OUP and Marston with back to back 3-2 wins. The Firsts then went six games without a win and looked in dire trouble. They came up against the impressive Hinksey, but a Chris Gilkes goal and a superb performance saw Freeland take home all the points. With Freeland needing a win to secure their Premier League status, they made everyone wait as they drew with Launton. The last game of the season saw them grab the required three points though, as they stormed to a 4-1 win against Oxford Irish.

Freeland Reserves started their season with three wins on the bounce and then a last gasp point at Yarnton. The run ended at Garsington but that was then followed up with six wins on the bounce.

The wins included the Oxfordshire Intermediate Cup which saw the Ressies reach the third round for the first time, but they came up against Eynsham Firsts and lost out 3-1. That defeat was followed by another defeat at Launton which left a long, long wait for the next game which saw the Ressies back to winning ways when they beat Bletch.

A frustrating time followed with postponments and a general lack of fixtures with the Ressies drawing their only two fixtures in over two months. They then only had one game in March, beating Adderbury to seal a place in the Clarendon Cup Semi-Final.

The Ressies league form remained steady as they worked their way towards a second place finish in the Oxfordshire Senior League Second Division. In the Clarendon Cup they were given a reprieve, when after being defeated by Oxford Irish in the Semi-Final it was found that the victors had played a number of ineligible players, this led to Freeland Reserves being put into the Clarendon Cup Final. The Ressies took full advantage of this as a Jamie Perkin penalty was enough to see off the challenge of Garsington Reserves (who had won the league) to bring the cup home to the Yeoman.

Freeland A also brought some silverware with them, not happy with having won the W&D Division 3 title in the 2010/11 season they made it back to back league titles with the Division 2 title.

They made an indifferent start with 5-1 defeats to Milton and FC Langford in the Junior Shield sandwiching big wins against Brize and Wootton.

The A's seemed to be winning a few games before losing one and this continued in to January. Suddenly a 5-2 win sparked a run of seven league wins on the bounce; a run that concluded with a dramatic win against Ducklington A to seal the title in a winner takes all bout on a rare sunny evening in April.

Freeland B had an impressive season themselves, pitted in a tricky bottom tier of the Witney & District they had the misfortune to come up against two very good Carteton sides and a number of newly formed first teams.

That did not deter them though, and they started superbly with five wins on the spin before being brought back down to earth with a thumping at Carteton Rangers.

They bounced back with two more big wins before unluckily losing to the other Carteton, they gained revenge soon after when a late Henry Smith goal earnt them a point in the return game.

After losing out to North Leigh in the Quarter Finals of the Jack Busby the B's went on a run of nine league wins out of ten including a 14-0 win over Eynsham Sports & Social Club in which Tom Forkner netted seven of the side’s goals.

With promotion looking just beyond them despite their fine form they were finally put out the running with a 5-3 lost against FC Mills. A win would have seen the B's needing a fairly big win against the champions Carteton Rangers, but they battled hard in the last game despite this and picked up a creditable point with a back to the wall job after being down to ten men most of the game.

Freeland B were actually promoted in the end through their third place finish, and Freeland Yeoman did a similar feat with their fourth place.

The Yeoman produced some entertaining goals which saw 155 goals for and against in just 24 games. There were some incredible games along the way including the 7 all thriller against ABBA Athletic and the controversial 4 all thriller against old rivals Zubry.

The Yeoman were inconsistent throughout the season, but showed glimpses of what they could do along the way. These included a Henry Smith inspired 5-1 win away at Research Machines, a 6-1 win away from home against Iffley Harriers and a hard thought 2-1 victory over Northway.

As well as finishing fourth the Yeoman managed to get through to the Quarter Final of the Ridgeway Cup, but they lost their tie against an impressive Saxton Pirates.

All in all though a good season was had by all, the Firsts secured another season in the top flight of the Senior League, the Reserves picked up some runners-up medals in the league as well as the Clarendon Cup and the A's, B's and Yeoman earnt promotions with the A's picking up their second league title in a row.