‘Closest Thames Valley Premier League in years’ as five clubs vie for title

Finchampstead vs Westwood Wanderers. Photo: Andrew Batt.
Finchampstead vs Westwood Wanderers. Photo: Andrew Batt.

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The Thames Valley Premier League title race is developing into one of the closest for years – and it could well turn out to be one of the longest as well.

A week into the final month of the season sees five clubs still in contention.

Most are well behind with their fixtures due to the wet weather earlier in the year that caused numerous games to be called off due to waterlogged pitches.

Following the Easter programme, Westwood Wanderers and ‘surprise package’ Wargrave sat joint top of the Premier Division table on 40 points, with Westwood having three games remaining, one more than Wargrave.

Two points behind them come Finchampstead, who have so far fulfilled 19 of their 22 fixtures.

Then come Windsor & Eton, with six to play, and Burghfield who have five games to go.

Near Christmas, league newcomers Windsor were looking hot favourites for the championship at their first attempt as they were on a long unbeaten run.

But since the turn of the year the Stag Meadow men have shown inconsistent form and in the past few weeks have lost to Westwood and Henley Town, as well as being knocked out of the Berkshire Trophy
Centre Senior Cup by Reading YMCA.

Fiifi Carter tries to find a way through the Westwood Wanderers defence. Photo: Richard Milam.
Fiifi Carter tries to find a way through the Westwood Wanderers defence. Photo: Richard Milam.

They are away to YMCA on April 6th before the return fixture with Westwood at home on the 13th.
Matty Angell’s men remain favourites but they cannot afford too many more slip ups.

Labelling Wargrave the ‘surprise package’ is down to the fact that they had a dreadful start to the season last September, managing only one point from their first six games.

But then their fortunes changed unbelievably. They reeled off 13 successive wins, which shot them up the table.

However, their chances of the title are not good as they have only two fixtures remaining, against Holyport Reserves and Burghfield, both at home.

Action from Maidenhead Town vs Burghfield. Photo: Andrew Batt.
Action from Maidenhead Town vs Burghfield. Photo: Andrew Batt.

Burghfield also have a lot of ground but will probably need to win all of their remaining games to stay in the title race. Their final two fixtures are away to Wargrave and Finchampstead, with both fixed for early May.

Windsor are also due to play their last game of the season – home to Reading City U23s – on May 11th, an extension to a very long campaign.

The Berkshire Trophy Centre Senior Cup semi-finals will also take place in May. Burghfield face Reading YMCA on Wednesday the 1st, followed a week later (8th) by Finchampstead versus Maidenhead Town,
both scheduled for Rivermoor Stadium.

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