Burnham FC’s 1878 Stadium has become central to the East Berks Football League’s development this season with regular ‘showcase’ matches held at the ground in Slough.
Britwell are regulars in the Friday night showcase slot but on Friday (7:30 pm) two Division One title contenders will go head-to-head at the Combined Counties League sides immaculate facility.
Harts Of Bracknell are the unbeaten leaders of the Division and are making an impressive transition from youth football into the men’s game, while Chalvey Sports A have been rejuvenated by the arrival of new management and players in the summer.
Six points separate the two teams in the table and both know that a win under the lights at Burnham will give them huge momentum heading into the final third of the campaign.
Harts of Bracknell view
Harts Of Bracknell manager David Miles said: “I’ve been the manager of the group for five or six years, taking them through the age groups up to the Under 18s category but, this season has been a really important and significant one. It’s a really significant step for any group to go from youth football to men’s.
“Talent and tactics is not enough anymore. The elements of hard work and experience come into it as well. By the very definition of our age group, we’re going to have much less experience, and that can potentially lead to us working not as hard as other teams.
“And being inexperienced means other teams can use tactics against us, such as playing rough, controlling the game or manipulating the referee.
“We’ve brought in some experienced players, a centre back and a goalkeeper, which are key positions to help with the team from a leadership perspective.”
Miles continued: “We’ve started off really well with some really good results against good teams.
“There has been situations where we’ve been behind in games and against teams that we probably should’ve played better against but, we’ve shown a really good battling spirit to come back and win and that has served us really well.
“We’re now at the top of the league which is obviously really good. But getting to the top is easy, staying there is the hardest thing.
“We’ve got a really important run-in to the season and we need to continue the momentum going forward. That starts this Friday against a fellow team near the top. We just hope to put in a good performance and get the result.”
Chalvey Sports view
Craig Howard of Chalvey Sports A hopes that three points this Friday will help in their push for promotion to the Premier Division.
He said: “We were busy in the summer and our new manager, Al Smith, was able to bring back some old Chalvey faces and also very fortunate to bring in some new players. So we had a bit of a new team at the start of the year.
“It’s been a little bit mixed so far this season. We’ve had some really good victories but unfortunately some poor performances and dropped points when perhaps we shouldn’t have done.
“We’ve also been knocked out of a couple of Cups which has been a little bit frustrating but, all in all, it’s very positive that we’re sitting in third position in the league at present because we’re hoping to push for promotion.
“It’s going to be tough to beat Harts Of Bracknell and Old Windsor Reserves to the top spot. I think Baylis United and Southcote are strong teams as well and are going to come through.
“We’re looking forward to Friday and playing Harts Of Bracknell under the lights. They’re a really good young team and really it’s encouraging to see for the East Berkshire League.”