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  • Writer's pictureRob Stevens

Jack Skilton backs Braywood Beavers to have the ability to push on after securing a first league win

PICTURE: Braywood Beavers recorded their first league win of the season when beating Eton Wick 5-1 at Haywards Meadow on Saturday.

Braywood Beavers manager Jack Skilton believes his team has the ability to start to climb the table in East Berkshire League Division One after bagging a first win on Saturday.

The Beavers suffered defeat in four of their first five league matches this season, conceding a whopping 26 goals in the process, including eight in defeat to Eton Wick three weeks ago.

Skilton explained that is unlike Braywood considering his side conceded only 42 goals in 20 league matches last season - the fifth-best defensive record in Division One.

And he was proud to watch the team get the rewards for their efforts this campaign in a 5-1 win at Eton Wick on Saturday, gaining some redemption for their earlier humbling.

Skilton said: “It makes a big difference and has been a long time coming really.

“We’ve actually had some pretty devastating score lines this season. It’s the opposite of what we were expecting when we reflect back on last season where we didn’t score a lot but were very strong defensively.

“Having said that, across the board, teams know how tricky we are and how good we’ve been playing. The guys have been putting in some hard shifts and not getting any rewards for it but, it feels like that reward has finally come through to bare fruit. It was very commanding.

“We had a few guys come back from injuries which was nice, and a few of our cricketers have started to find their groove having been back in the team since mid-October.

“We dominated really and were 3-0 up at half-time. The only goal conceded was a penalty right after half- time.

“It’s a big pitch at Eton Wick, so a long ball over the top was causing havoc for their centre backs who just couldn’t deal with it, so we exploited that. And one of our wingers who has electrifying pace was getting in down the side every time. We found their weakness and really utilised it.

“I was very proud watching the guys play some really good football and we never looked under threat considering we had conceded eight against them the last time we played.”

Braywood had a three goals lead at the end of the first period at Haywards Mead thanks to a Martin Filipov brace plus a Dan Birtchnell strike.

Eton pulled a goal back through Adam Richards to give themselves a lifeline early on in the second half but, the visitors secured all three points with further goals from Tim McManus and Elliott Cass.

PHOTO: The current Division One table sees Braywood Beavers at the bottom but back in touch with the sides around them after a 5-1 win at Eton Wick on Saturday.

The win is not enough to move Braywood off the bottom of the league table but level on points with AFC Reading and now only three points behind the mid-table positions.

Skilton commented: “The new guys are all settling really well into the team, which is good, and we’ve developed a very consistent starting 11 unlike last season when we chopped and changed quite a bit.

“We've found a formation that works for us so people know their roles within the system, which is really good.

“Genuinely we’ve had some terrible results but, I look at individual players and compare them to other teams and there’s no reason why we should not be in the top three in this division.

“It’s obviously painful where we are but the aim is to close that gap as much as we possibly can and get close to the top half, and kick on from there. There’s no reason why we can’t do that because we have the players.”

Braywood face a difficult challenge in their bid for back-to-back league when making the trip to second-placed Stoke Poges this Saturday (2pm ko). Stoke boast a perfect-winning record in the division so far this season and recorded the highest winning margin when thrashing Berks Elite 10-0 last season.

Skilton said: “Stoke Poges are a tough team and come down from the division above, so fingers crossed we will be able to give them a good game.

“We know them fairly well and will know what their gameplay will be. We will set up in a similar way, be nice and consistent, as well as strong and hopefully we have the morale and wave to ride from last weekend.”

Saturday 12th November (2pm kick off unless stated)

Charles Twelftree Trophy Second Round (1.30pm ko)

Frontline v Kintbury Rangers

Old Windsor v Finchampstead

SB Phoenix v Southcote

Britwell v Chalvey Sports

Kennington Athletic v Sandhurst Town

Premier Division

KS Gryf v Surrey Rangers

Chalvey Sports v Iver Heath

Division One

Berks Elite v AFC Reading

Eton Wick v Baylis United

Stoke Poges v Braywood Beavers

To enter the East Berkshire Football League ahead of the 2023/24 season, or for further information about the league, or an entry form for the upcoming season, please email the team at


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