July 2007

Match Preview: Wigton Harriers

Eight weeks and two days ago Thatcham played their final game of the season, against Whitley Bay A. The Rugby Posts went up, the grass was allowed to grow and the players became free agents. It seemed as though the new season may never come around, but now, Thatcham are just two days away from their first pre-season friendly, against Wigton Harriers.

We met the Cumberland County League side during our preparations for last season, when we ran out 4-0 winners in the final of our friendly fixtures. This term, they will provide the opening test to a tough pre-season schedule, and Jimmy McMurdo and his side will be hoping for a repeat of last summers scoreline, when Chris Grainger, Lee Otway, Darren Addison and Ally Lang got one apiece, on August 7th.

Last season Wigton finished third in the Premier Division of the County League, behind County Cup Quarter-Finalists Netherhall and Salterbeck, while it was to the latter of these two that Harriers lost 3-2, away in the first round of the Cup.

Willington friendly cancelled

Thatcham’s tumultuous pre-season continued today when we received word that the pre-season friendly planned with Wearside League club Willington, has been cancelled. The game was scheduled for July 28th and the club and looking into finding a replacement game.

Victory in first friendly

Thatcham Town were victorious tonight in their first friendly, against Wigton Harriers. Thatcham beat the County League side 3-2 at the Sheepmount and Jimmy McMurdo fielded a total of 18 players, as the side look to get back to match fitness.

Steven Skinner, Lee Otway and Dave Lynn (thank you Ally) were on the scoresheet for Gilly, while new signing Stuart Moffat also played his first game in a Thatcham shirt.

Trialist Tyron Taylor played at Centre-back alongside Mark Butler, who returns from the Umbro Fives at Wembley where he was sent off as his team progressed through to the Quarter-Finals, while David Lynn, previously of Penrith and Workington Reds also took part.

Annan Friendly Postponed

Thatcham have had to postpone the friendly away at Annan Athletic on Saturday 21st July. We would like to apologise to all at Annan and thank the secretary, Alan Irving, for his assistance whilst we tried to overcome the problems.

Fortunately, Annan had planned to play two games and will now take the First Team up to Edinburgh to play Herriot Watt, against whom Harry Cairney had originally planned to field his Reserve side.

Thatcham to face The Steelmen

Thatcham Town have arranged a further pre-season friendly against Northern League opposition. In addition to a visit to Shildon on August 4th we will now play their Division One counterparts, Consett.

Gilly received news last week that Willington are unable to fulfil the fixture planned for July 28th, while games planned against Tayport and Ryton both fell through leaving the Durham side with a free Saturday, and we will travel to Belle Vue Town to play Consett, who finished fourth in the Northern Leagues top division last season, on July 28th.

Thatcham win at Greystoke

Thatcham Town’s pre-season programme continued on Thursday night as they travelled to The Playing Field to take on Westmorland League opposition.

Goals from Hayton and Taylor gave Greystoke, who play in the top division of Westmorland football, a two-nil lead and a late mark from new signing Craig Thomson (mk 2) proved only to be a consolation. Nevertheless, the game was a welcome ‘run out’ against a competitive side and the next game, as Thatcham try to build their fitness, comes on the 2nd August when they take on the Newton Rigg Development side, in Penrith.

Thatcham youth’s taste glory

You might think the off-season gives the people involved with Thatcham a chance to kick back, relax, and reflect on what’s been and what’s coming – but you’d be wrong.

For, throughout the summer break, our youth sides have been in action, with Mally Douglas’s Under-9s tasting glory in the High Hesket Football Tournament back at the end of June. We would have reported this earlier, but quite frankly, I have a memory like a sieve – so I apologise for this.

The side won through from their group having won two games and drawn two games, and ended the tournament unbeaten. All at Thatcham Town congratulate them on their achievement, and, as one supporter remarked, we’ll soon need a bigger trophy cabinet!

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