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Town crack open the season tonight

And cracking open the Champagne is the aim in promotion stakes

Malcolm Howe

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Malcolm Howe

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Town crack open the season tonight

Town drive back into action tonight

THATCHAM TOWN are the first local side back into league action when they entertain Abingdon United in a clash between the two former Southern Leaguers in the Hellenic League’s Premier Division tonight.

Thatcham go into the early start on the back of a perfect pre-season record, while newly promoted United have had a mixed warm-up campaign, drawing at Alton and at home to Cirencester Town, but losing at Newbury, Amesbury and Tadley Calleva before scoring a 3-0 win over Wallingford at the weekend.

But pre-season results are notable for not setting a competitive pattern, and much will depend on which side settles quickly into the competitive atmosphere

The early league kick-off is due to the August 5 start to this season’s FA Cup competition, which sees Thatcham entertain Wessex League Petersfield Town in the Extra Preliminary Round. United however, are absent from the competition due to an administrative error.

After falling fast when leaving the Southern League, United bounced back from the Hellenic League’s second tier on the final day of last season when they pipped Hook Norton to second place in Division One West.

They come to Thatcham with a number of young players in their side, nurtured by the experience of Graham Edney and Tom Butler, while Town have added a number of new signings to their ranks after finishing fourth last season. They include Joe Blount from Flackwell Heath, Harrison Bayley (Binfield), Curtis Angell (Amesbury and Burghclere), Henry Owen (Kidlington), Harry Grant (Highmoor Ibis), Dylan Knight (AFC Totton), Lamin Sankoh (Highmoor Ibis) and Ekow Elliott (Blackfield and Langley).

The game at Waterside Park kicks off at 7.45pm.

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