CCL; Buckingham Town II’s win again to set up thrilling finale to season

Buckingham Town II’s – 199-7 off 50 overs (25 points)

Challow & Childrey – 182 all out off 47.1 overs (10 points)

Buckingham Town II’s made it three wins on the bounce on Saturday when they beat Challow & Childrey at Bourton Road by just seventeen runs, in a game that went down to the wire yet again and a result either way being possible with just a minimal amount of balls left in the game. A superb half century from Ben Stafford off just 60 balls added to a great 45 from Matthew Thatcher set Town on their way to 199 off their allotted overs, Challow fought back and 64 from Ryan Gordon looked to be edging the game in their favour but the Town spinners got the wickets tumbling and some very alert wicket keeping from Alex O’Dell helped the home side clinch the victory that lifts them up to sixth in the Cherwell Cricket League Division One table.

Challow won the toss and put their hosts into bat and made an early breakthrough in the third over when Conor Jones bowled Ali Martin after the young batsmen had hit two boundaries, but Sam Younghusband came in to partner Towns other opener Alex O’Dell and the pair added 30 to the total before the new batsmen was trapped LBW off the bowling of Jones again.

Matthew Thatcher came to the crease and added a further 15 with O’Dell until the home wicket keeper going for a boundary only succeeded in finding the hands of Harry Whitehead, and at 54-3 a few nerves were obvious. But Callum Cater joined Thatcher and the partnership was worth a further 29 before Cater fell LBW to Ryan Gordon although clearly not convinced as he left the field.

Ben Stafford reaches 50

Skipper Steve Beck joined Thatcher to add 22 between them before being trapped leg before, this time off the bowling of Luke Cheshire; Thatcher was moving along nicely and as Ben Stafford joined him in the middle the pair added 33 until Thatcher suffered heartbreak being caught behind with his score on 45. Max Sutton came to the crease for his first start for the 2nds this season, and he & Stafford added a brilliant 54 between them.

Stafford reached 53 which included seven boundaries, of which three cleared the rope, in just over an hour; the last of which a four to see him over the half-century mark, then in the very next ball was bowled by Jones. In that time Sutton had also been scoring, and as Albert Johnson came out to replace Stafford just a few balls remained, Sutton ended 21 not out, and the home score on 199, Conor Jones the top wicket taker, 3-33 off his 10 overs.

Challow started well and reached 22 before Harry Kent was trapped LBW by Richard Pengelly, Harry Whitehead then joined Joe Harris and the pair added 18 until Harris was caught behind off the bowling of Albert Johnson with the scoreboard on 40. Just a run later Whitehead was bowled by Johnson, but Jack Chapman came to partner Ryan Gordon and the pair added 34 until Younghusband caught Chapman off the bowling of Wasim Fayyaz with his score on 26.

Justin Penrose was bowled by Fayyaz shortly after, and whilst Gordon was adding runs his partners were falling rapidly, James Coombs fell leg before to Fayyaz to leave Challow 89-6. At this stage Town looked confident but Gordon dug in and alongside Mark Foster the pair added 60 between them to frustrate the Town attack, Gordon reaching his half century just before Foster was eventually removed when O’Dell stumped him off the bowling of Thatcher.

Town celebrate the win

Hugh Atkinson came in and again Challow threatened to knock off the runs required, but just as their partnership reached 21 the vital wicket of Gordon came when he was brilliantly caught by Stafford off the bowling of Pengelly. Challow needing 30 to win, Town needing 2 wickets, it was now all Town on the field as they urged each other on; Luke Cheshire stood with Atkinson in the middle adding 12 between them before Johnson removed the bails of the former with his final ball of his ninth over.

Ben Stafford then came in for his final over and with his first ball watched as Atkinson advanced forward only for the ball to spin past him into the gloves of O’Dell who gratefully removed his bails to spark huge celebration on the pitch amongst the Town players. Johnson & Fayyaz finishing with 3 wickets apiece, the latter taking his tally to 33 wickets for the season to date, and proving invaluable at this crunch time of the season.

Next week Town host Tiddington who are one of the teams below them, so victory is vital as the final game see’s the 2nds travel to fourth placed Abingdon Vale knowing that will be a tough test, and not one wanted to face should they have to win to stay up.

Match scorecard: http://cherwellcricketleague.com/scorecard.php?Match_ID=6078

League table: http://cherwellcricketleague.com/leaguetable.php?Division_ID=1

Please Note: If you use any of our material or images, please ensure you credit sportsshots.org.uk

For match photography please click here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmqytAHd

FCCL; Great Horwood beaten by Eaton Bray to stare relegation in the face

Eaton Bray – 187-9 off 40 overs (25 points)

Great Horwood – 66 all out off 24 overs (4 points)

Great Horwood were convincingly beaten on Saturday at Eaton Bray, and now need to win both their final two matches of the Four Counties Cricket League campaign if they are to stand any chance of staying in Division One. Stuarts Parker’s men now sit twenty points adrift of third bottom and next week host third placed Thurleigh who haven’t lost in five, before finishing at New City (MK) who are currently in that third bottom position the week after, in what could possibly be a win or bust fixture although their fate may be sealed before that game commences.

Horwood won the toss and elected for their hosts to bat first and made an early break through when Adam Armitage removed Andrew Norris with the score on 11; fellow opener Wes Hosking was met at the crease by Joe Braddon and the pair made 47 before Braddon was caught and bowled by Simon Ridgway. With James Flecknell as a partner Hosking reached his half century before Olly Prendergast removed Flecknell, Glenn Hearn replacing him then partnered Hosking as they made fifty-three between them until Hosking was finally removed by Ridgway with his score on 87.

Simon Ridgway took 3 wickets

Two further quick wickets saw Lawrence Bunker & Jaco Jacobs removed by Ridgway & Robby Taylor respectively, and with the score on 173 Jamie Osborne was run out for the seventh Eaton Bray wicket to fall. With Hearn now on 28 Josh Edwins came to the crease but the pair failed to add any score as Dale Armitage removed the bails of Hearn, Philip Spicer & Edwins made a further 14 runs until the former was run out, and the home side finished their innings with a total of 187, Simon Ridgway taking 3-46 off his 9 overs the best of the Horwood bowling.

Stuart Parker & Sam Willett opened for the visitor’s and reached 17 before the skipper was seen off by Andrew Norris, Willett then fell just two runs later to the same bowler with his score on 11 & he was to be one of only two Horwood player to make double figures during the innings. Dale Armitage and Alex Gilder added six runs before Armitage was caught off the bowling of Josh Edwins, a run later Dom Pritchard became the first wicket of the afternoon for James Flecknell.

Simon Ridgway went for a duck after being trapped LBW off Flecknell, and a series of extras then helped the Horwood score along until Olly Prendergast was stumped off the bowling of Flecknell leaving the score 46-6. Alex Gilder fell a run later, Robby Taylor a further two runs later and Adam Armitage fell with the score on 56, Haydon Morrison came in and made 10 but when he was bowled by Jamie Osborne the game was over, Horwood making just 66, of which twenty-one were extras, James Flecknell took 4 wickets for 5 runs off 5 overs the pick of the bowling.

Match scorecard: http://4ccl.play-cricket.com/website/results/3368441

League table: http://4ccl.play-cricket.com/website/websites/view_division?id=78263

Please Note: If you use any of our material or images, please ensure you credit sportsshots.org.uk

SSMFL; INANE RAMBLINGS FROM UP NORFF 20.08.2018

THE INANE RAMBLINGS FROM UP NORFF

 ‘NOWT SO QUEER AS YORKSHIRE FOLK’

BY KAREN BROWNE

 

The Views Expressed Are Solely My Own, Are Written Tongue In Cheek

And Should Be Taken With A Pinch Of Salt

 

Saturday league football was once again the focal point with 50 of the 55 SSML clubs in action. For these clubs it was a busy afternoon for the numerous hard working volunteers who work tirelessly off the field ensuring that these games take place. One such person is a newcomer to the SSML this season, Barbara Bivens at North Greenford United and League stalwart Bill Hamilton went along to Berkley Fields to visit the club and meet her. Bill the ‘Mad-Scot’ took time out to send me the following – “A very welcoming club with an extremely hard working committee including an amazing woman, Barbara Bivens, who – wait for it – fulfils five roles! She is Membership Secretary, Football Secretary, Commercial & Development Officer, Welfare & Safety Officer and the Club Physio! As a side-line, she is also a very active member of the Middlesex FA”.

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SATURDAY’S HEADLINES

Twelve clubs went into the weekend with 100% records and like the balloons at a young child’s birthday party, many were burst. On the other hand four clubs opened their 2018/19 account with their first points of the new campaign. Biggest winners on the day were Totternhoe who found the net six times as they continue to be one of the front runners for the Division Two title. Three other clubs recording five goals in impressive wins. Martin Holland (Bedford) recorded the day’s only hat-trick. Saturday also saw the SSML say farewell to referee Charlie Dickens who is returning home to Warwick University to complete his PhD in Computer Science. The Spartan South Midlands League seems to have a habit of encouraging excellence on and off the field! No doubt we can look forward to ‘Great Expectations’ from ‘Our Mutual Friend’ and we wish him well on ‘The Long Voyage’.

 

18 August Stats: 25 games played of which 11 were home wins, 10 away wins and 4 draws.

 

100% league records to date: Biggleswade FC, Hadley, Hillingdon Borough, New Bradwell St Peter FC, The 61FC (Luton) and Wodson Park.

 

0% league records to date: Brimsdown, Clean Slate, Cockfosters, Grendon Rangers, MK Gallacticos, Stotfold, Tring Corinthians AFC and Wembley.

 

Saturday’s Highest Attendances: 99 Leighton Town v London Colney, 74 Colney Heath v Leverstock Green and 68 Baldock Town v Wembley.

 

SATURDAY 18th AUGUST

 

PREMIER DIVISION

It was a case of late drama as both Colney Heath and Tring Athletic scored twice late on to achieve results, Colney Heath snatching a draw while for Tring Athletic their late burst ended the 100% record of hosts Crawley Green. There was also opening drama at Crawley Green where the start was delayed due to an issue with the nets, reports that the officials found holes in them are unconfirmed although I did wonder what had happened to my fishnet stockings. Another club to benefit from a late goal was Hadley who came out on top in a seven goal thriller against Arlesey Town. As mentioned earlier Bill Hamilton was at North Greenford United and reports “The match itself was a little disappointing as a spectacle with defences very much on top and the ball too often in the air, rather than neat passing on the ground. Harpenden Town had more possession in the first half but North Greenford United upped their game in the second, taking the lead through Dominic Rhone’s penalty. With Harpenden Town pushing forward in search of an equalizer, they were caught on the break with Aaron McLeish wrapping things up with a second goal almost on the final whistle”. Full results and goalscorers (where known) are listed below.

 

2-1 Baldock Town v Wembley (Opponent Own Goal, Forsythe) / (Macpherson) Attendance: 68

1-4 Cockfosters v Biggleswade FC (Clay) / (Marsh [2], Northfield [2]) Attendance: 55

2-2 Colney Heath v Leverstock Green (Clarke-Mardell, Scott) / (Lacey [2] [1 pen]) Attendance: 74

3-4 Crawley Green v Tring Athletic (Bunker, Carney, Ajigbolamu) / (Dunstan [2], Campbell, Turner [pen]) Attendance: 60

4-3 Hadley v Arlesey Town (Idemudia [2], Milton, O’Hara) / (Smith [2], Darvall) Attendance: 42

1-1 Leighton Town v London Colney (Hall) / (Shuttlewood) Attendance: 99

0-1 London Tigers v Biggleswade United (Rhiney) Attendance: Unknown

2-0 North Greenford United FC v Harpenden Town (Rhone [pen], McLeish) Attendance: 48

2-0 Oxhey Jets v Stotfold (Jones [2]) Attendance: 57

1-2 Potton United v Edgware Town (Unknown) / (Machado [2]) Attendance: 59

 

DIVISION ONE

Bob Flight was at Bedford and sent me the following “Park View are still adjusting to life in Division One and whilst they remained unbeaten for the whole of last season in Division Two, they have lost two out of three of their opening games. A hat trick from Martin Holland and a fine goal from Dan Butler put Bedford in control before late goals from Park View from a harsh penalty award was converted by Francis Williams and a late strike by Daniel Amihere added some respectability to the score line. This however was a good performance from a young Bedford team”. Elsewhere Hillingdon Borough continue to impress, Saturday saw them defeat Buckingham Athletic 5-2 at the Middlesex Stadium. Rayners Lane played their first game on their new 3G pitch alas visiting Ampthill Town had not read the script and recorded a 2-0 win. At the foot of the table Winslow United picked up their first points of the season with a 2-1 win at Brimsdown, for the hosts the defeat leaves them rooted to the bottom of the table and the only club in the Division yet to register a point. Full results and goalscorers (where known) are listed below.

 

1-2 Amersham Town v FC Broxbourne Borough (Smith) / (Banks [2]) Attendance: 33

4-2 Bedford v Park View (Holland [3], Butler) / (Amihere, Williams) Attendance: 30

1-2 Brimsdown v Winslow United (Esan) / (Dalton, Bowers) Attendance: 28

3-1 Broadfields United v Codicote (Henley [pen], Lewis-Robinson, Lawrence) / (Burrows) Attendance: 36

2-5 Hatfield Town v Enfield Borough (Whitt, Belshaw) / (Bangura, Kennedy, Lawrence-Plentie, McKenna, Stevens) Attendance: 22

5-2 Hillingdon Borough v Buckingham Athletic (Greenidge [2], Harrison, Peter, Murphy) / (Olawale, Mitten) Attendance: 52

1-1 London Lions v Harefield United (Hatchwell) / (Opponent Own Goal) Attendance: 31

0-2 Rayners Lane v Ampthill Town (Porter, Unknown) Attendance: 54

5-1 Risborough Rangers v Langford (Read, Daly, Banert, Wylie, Hatt) / (Green) Attendance: 51

 

DIVISION TWO

Totternhoe top the standings following a 6-1 success at Clean Slate. Two sides who boasted two wins from two games met at the Pitstone Pavilion & Sports Hall and in an expected tight game it was honours even for the hosts Pitstone & Ivinghoe and visitors Bovingdon following a 1-1 draw. Old Bradwell United opened their account with a 2-0 win at newcomers Sarratt. A Jack Walker penalty separated home side The 61FC (Luton) and travelling Berkhamsted Raiders, for the hosts it was a second successive 1-0 win. Another club to gain their first win of the season were Unite MK as they put four past Tring Corinthians AFC at Manor Fields, for the visitors following re-election last season it looks like another long hard campaign is in prospect. Full results and goalscorers (where known) listed below.

 

1-6 Clean Slate v Totternhoe (Unknown) / (Hunter [2], Murray, O’Connor, Capehorn, Opponent Own Goal) Attendance: 30

2-1 Mursley United v MK Gallacticos (Skelton [2]) / (Mohamed) Attendance: 52

1-1 Pitstone & Ivinghoe v Bovingdon (Harris) / (Standen [pen]) Attendance: 40

0-2 Sarratt v Old Bradwell United (Hack, Butler) Attendance: 31

1-0 The 61FC (Luton) v Berkhamsted Raiders (Walker [pen]) Attendance: 26

4-1 Unite MK v Tring Corinthians AFC (Parker [2], Little, Rawson) / (Woodfine) Attendance: 20

 

AND FINALLY

Spare a thought to Hitchin fan Andrew Dewar and his dog ‘Elvis’. They travelled all the way to Lowestoft on Saturday by train only to be refused admission. It seems dogs cannot watch football at Lowestoft. No doubt Elvis will be hoping for better away days at Kennelworth Road or the Old Spotted Dog along with a trip to Barking.

HCPCL D2: Buckingham Town secure league title – Champions!

Buckingham Town are the 2018 Home Counties Premier Cricket League, Division 2 Champions.

Buckingham Town 2018 Home Counties Premier Cricket League Division 2 Champions

Jack Parish’s side secured a victory over Great & Little Tew in the limited overs fixture, earning the required 20 points to secure the title.

MATCH SCORECARD

Ash Pearson (16) and Leigh Tomlinson (18) opened for Town before Jonny Cater (19) and Parish (14) briefly supported Rob Large as the run rate slowed down and wickets fell.

Large stuck to his task and was in sensational form as he carried Town along as he lost partners at regular intervals. Joe Thomas picked up three for 31 with his slow left arm spin.

At 161 for 8 with just eight overs remaining, Large and Jason Ell amassed 44 vital runs in just over four overs before the latter was caught in the deep.

Lester Smart emerged from the pavillon to show a strong defence to play out the 46th over to give Large the strike.

Rob Large

The Town batsman reached his brilliant century with a huge six before then smashing another two further sixes off the next two balls.

With Smart looking solid, Large hit another six before his partner added a boundary with the last ball of the game.

Town had added 76 from the last eight overs with Large finishing unbeaten on 119 and Smart playing his part with 5 not out as they posted 237 for 9 from their 50 overs.

In reply Tew found the visitors’ opening bowling attack of George Humphries and Russell White a difficult proposition. The pair, who have given Town the early advantage all season, bowled well in tandem.

White’s pace saw him reduce Tew to 15 for 2 as a stump cartwheeled for one victim while the other nipped back to take the top of off stump.

Russell White

Harry Smith and Joe Thomas steadied the innings as they took Tew to 84 for 2 at drinks, 25 overs, as Smart and Jack Deal bowled tidy spells.

The pair had a clear game plan as the accumulation of runs prior to the break was accelerated as they took an aggressive approach from the start of the second period.

With Tew starting to get going, Smith’s shot was collected by Pearson who quickly returned the ball to Cater as the Tew opener scrambled to get back in. The Town wicketkeeper took off the bails with Smith adjudged to have been short of his ground. Town’s celebrations of getting a key wicket highlighted how big the breakthrough was.

With ten overs remaining White returned to see his short-pitched delivery wafted at by Tom Price and Cater accepted a catch above his head; Tew now 171 for 4.

One run later Pearson produced a brilliant diving stop before being alert to throw down the stumps with a direct hit from 25 yards and Curtley Slatter was out.

White (60) straight away looked to fight back but his skier was caught by Jack Deal off the bowling of Parish.

Tew had lost three wickets for just one run and Town were now on top.

Parish bowled Shurmer before White castled another victim in Joe Thomas.

Leigh Tomlinson took a good catch in the deep, again off the bowling of Parish.

It was fitting that the Town skipper Parish bowled Hirst to give Town the league title.

Jack Parish

Tew were dismissed for 189 all out, 48 runs short, with White taking four for 30, now 19 wickets in his last six games and 26 for the season. Parish returned with four for 57 and a league Championship with two games still to play.

LINK to match images click on the image below

Buckingham Town win HCPCL D2!

 

 

SSMFL D1: United Winslow looking to reignite season around at Brimsdown

Winslow United manager Paul Alleyne called on his team to work together as they look to reignite their season.

Hear what the honest Alleyne said after Tuesday night’s defeat when he spoke to us –

Unicorns Championship, WD: Oxon skipper buoyant going into the end of season

Oxfordshire captain Jonny Cater was in buoyant mood after his side recorded an incredible final day victory at Herefordshire.

Jonny Cater in action for Oxfordshire. Photo by Sports Shots.

Cater’s side go again this Sunday when they play host to Cornwall at Banbury in a three-day Unicorns Championship game.

Oxfordshire are able to name nine of the 11 who starred in the win over Herefordshire for Sunday’s match.

Oxford batsman Owyn Tong-Jones replaces Ollie Price, who is playing for Young Lions south-west, and seamer Brad Taylor comes in for Harry Startin.

Cater is looking forward to another test and hoping they can take their recent confidence and collective performances into the game.

Asked how he reflected on his side’s last outing, Cater said:

We were over the moon.

We always had the belief it was possible with them (Herefordshire) losing five wickets in the last twenty minutes of day two.

We opened with a seam-spin combination, picked up some early wickets and while our belief grew, the doubt crept in for them.

It was just jubliation when the final wicket was taken and the celebrations were very good! Winning a game from defeat staring you in the face and being in such a poor position, is the best feeling.

It’s been an excellent start for Oxfordshire’s young guns.

We have three wins from four games and have already surpassed last season’s points total.

The opportunity for young players coming in, and then doing a job, is a great feeling for the team.

Our last game saw the average age of the side at 21 years and we are playing a 16 and 17 year old. I am third oldest, with the experience in Gareth Andrew and Richard Kaufman being invaluable.

With targets from last season surpassed, the Oxfordshire skipper still is backing the ethos put in place by the Minor Counties set-up.

If we can win both games, we are then striving to get a core of six or seven players, both young and old, to play every game going forward.

The senior players are performing which allows the youngsters to come in and play with freedom and no pressure.

Teams come and go in cycles but we are third and if we can finish strongly then that would have been a great season, when realistically we were looking to improve and take a mid-table berth.

Oxon: J Cater (Buckingham), G Andrew (Ombersley), O Clarke (Banbury), T Condon (Aston Rowant), R Kaufman (Old Northamptonians), C Russell (Thame Tn), H Smith (Gt Tew), B Taylor (Banbury), J Thomas (Gt Tew), O Tong-Jones (Oxford), M Warner (Chesham).

Unicorns Championship, ED: Hampton looks ahead to Bucks trip to Staffordshire

Bucks CCC skipper Tom Hampton will be looking for his side to get back to winning ways when they head to Staffordshire in the Unicorns Championship, Eastern Division on Sunday.

Tom Hampton

Bucks CCC have been chasing the previous two games after losing early wickets in the first hour. In truth it is something they have been left to rue.

Good early season promise was clearly there, with Michael Payne, in particular, enjoying an incredible season. Hampton’s young side now need to add consistency to their game.

Looking ahead to this weekend’s encounter, Hampton told Sports Shots:

It was a game of frustrations last time round against Cambridge. We played on a wicket that offered lots of spin and variable pace and bounce from day one which was a shame because we had the best of the pitch as we batted first!

Unfortunately we didn’t bat well enough to post a big enough score to take control of the game. Some of the guys played well but when we had the opportunity to take the game by the scruff of its neck we let it slip. This happens though and to fight hard in the last innings and to have them 8 down was a great effort.

Moving into the next game we have to make sure when we have the opportunity to take control we take it, it’s a good chance to finish the year well.

Bucks CCC: Masoor Khan (Clevedon CC), AJ Woodland (Tring Park CC), Dan Marles (High Wycombe CC), Mike Payne (Tring Park CC), Garry Park (Swarkestone CC), Teddy Casterton (High Wycombe CC), Robin Pritchard Wkt (Chesham  CC), Matt Rance (Chesham CC), Cam Parsons (High Wycombe CC), Tom Hampton, Capt (High Wycombe CC), Andy Harris (Tring park CC), Jon Burden (High Wycombe CC)

SLD1E; Aylesbury FC pre-season + opener (v Coleshill Town) review with manager Scott Reynolds

Saturday 18th August 2018

Coleshill Town v Aylesbury

Southern League Division One East

Pack Meadow

K.O. 3.00pm

Aylesbury FC start their 2018/19 campaign on Saturday with the seventy-six mile trip to Coleshill Town, one of the many new teams The Moles will face this season after the non-league restructuring this summer. A much publicised ‘club in crisis’ towards the end of last season has seen many changes in the past few weeks, on & off the pitch, but now under new stewardship and management the club are hoping they can finally find some consistency & regularity to see the club through to better times.

This week Sports Shots caught up with new manager Scott Reynolds to see how life has been since accepting the job:

Hectic to say the least!! I took the job two days before my two week holiday in Florida and since then I have not had a day off, or five minutes to myself. I was well aware of the task ahead when accepting the job, but nobody could have predicted how the last few weeks would have gone. It would have taken a manager with a huge budget and a whole team to come in to solve the issues overnight, which for me is just not the case. We have only three players remaining at the football club from the sixty odd used at Aylesbury FC last season. That said, despite some up and down results in preseason, we are very pleased with the squad going into Saturday and will continue to work hard to add the right types of quality and personnel to the squad as the season takes shape. The door is always revolving in non-league football that’s for sure, added to that I am brutally honest, but I don’t burn my bridges with players too early, so who knows what may happen in the next few weeks and months!

So how have the pre-season fixtures been for the new look squad:

Up and down to be fair, we’ve played ten, including an in house training game, and won 4 but lost 6. Way too many games and way too many weeks of training and preparation in my opinion. The attitude and commitment, to my methods and ideas, from the majority has been superb, and despite some of what I am looking for being clearly the opposite to what players have experienced here in the past, we have now managed to identify a squad that we are happy to start the season with. Our best performance in pre-season was the 3-0 win against Oxford United U23. We matched them tactically, beat them physically and took our chances that night. Since then the team has changed, trialists have come and go, we picked up loads of injuries, had to put up with holidays, players coming and players going and only in the last ten days do we feel settled and united again. If we can perform to the levels we reached against Oxford Utd week in week out we will do well, of that I am certain!

Scott Reynolds

So where does Scott feel he is at in terms of his squad:

We are happy, for me it’s all about attitude and for now I am prepared to allow ability to come secondary. I want players who are prepared to work their nuts off in training and in games, you can have a bad game with the ball, but you cannot have a bad game without it!! For those who know me, I deal in facts. I want players who have achieved previously or played at this level or higher on a regular basis. I don’t need players who think the game owes them something, when in fact they have achieved very little to date. I have learnt a lot as a manager of the past year or two. Get the basics right, be honest and approachable and work hard. I expect the players to give me the same and would never ask for anything I, or my staff, are not prepared to give them back in return

So what is a realistic ambition for Scott this season?

To be competitive and proud every time we wear the shirt. We are under no illusions, there are teams with better players than us, bigger budgets than us and the task ahead is no easy one. That said I want work rate, passion, hard work and commitment. We need to be known as a difficult team to play against, hard to beat and a group that works hard for every point we earn. If someone could offer me a mid-table finish now, I would take it. However, we will set small and realistic targets each week / month and see where the season takes us

Jordan Jenkins has stayed at the club

So two really tough games to start the season with, what do Aylesbury expect?

I do my homework, I have had Coleshill watched and know that this game will be tough. Added to the quality of the opposition they are also at home, with the advantage of a 3G plastic pitch – not my preference, give me grass and mud any day. We then host AFC Dunstable who finished 4th last season on Tuesday night, and they will want to improve that finish this time around. Tough start as you say, but there are no freebie points at this level and every game will be difficult. I just want teams to be able to think the same about us when they look at their fixture lists

And finally, what games is Scott looking forward to?

I’m looking forward to managing in the FA Cup again, and on the back of a great FA Vase run last year, I look forward to a crack at the FA Trophy, however easy to say I am excited for all of them. We’re looking forward to getting some home games under our belt and proving to the people of Aylesbury and the supporters, or doubters, of me and the club that we are going to be much improved on previous seasons. I will let our results do the talking, and all though it may take time for our team to gel and for us to find our feet at this level, this is a marathon not a sprint.

Obviously, all our fans want us to beat and finish above Aylesbury Utd. They are on the back of a very successful end to last year and have an incredibly settled side. I am good friends with Ben Williams and look forward to that game. However, there are now a number of more local games and we have a lot of football to play prior, so one game at a time and let’s give it our best each week.

On behalf of my management staff, I must also put on record our thanks to Tony Masella, Steve McDonald, Mike Farquharson, Christine Martone, Rosanna Martone and all the club’s volunteers behind the scenes. The support and atmosphere behind the scenes has been incredibly refreshing for me personally. These people deserve to enjoy football again, and that is something we intend to sort out immediately with a fresh start and a new season on the horizon.

Come on you Moles !!

Sports Shots would like to thank Scott for his time this week

SLD1E; Aylesbury United pre-season + opener (v Kempston) review with manager Ben Williams

Saturday 18th August 2018

Aylesbury United v Kempston Rovers

Southern League Division One East

The Meadow

K.O. 3.00pm

Aylesbury United begin their Southern League Division One campaign on Saturday when they host Kempston Rovers, a side that took six points from The Ducks last season, so an early chance for United to try and reap some revenge. Just two defeats in the Aylesbury United pre-season schedule will lift the squad as they look to continue the fine form they ended last season in, after Ben Williams took on the managers role during the 2017/18 campaign.

This week we asked Ben how he feels his sides results have been in those friendlies:

We are not too worried about results in pre-season although they have been great against higher level opposition like Banbury United, Chesham United & Colchester United, but we have struggled against teams from our level and below, something we need to rectify going into the new season

How is the United squad shaping up this term?

I’m very pleased that all of last seasons end of year squad have re-signed, and with some new players coming in I am happy with what we have signed on; although our eyes are always open and our ears always to the ground!

Ben Williams

So who are the new boys?

New signings for us are Max Hercules from Tring Athletic, Sean Coles from Winslow United, Ollie Jones from Beaconsfield, then Kieron Lattille & Chris Crook who were both unattached. These are all significant as the add competition for places all over the team

We asked Ben if Aylesbury United can continue that run they ended last season on?

It will be very hard to continue that especially as we are going into a new league as such, we had a great run from January this year but that has gone now and we start a fresh on Saturday. Although it’s a long season we must start the first two months well, as momentum & confidence are key as shown in that run last season

Sean Coles has arrived from Winslow United

Who does the manager see as the main contenders this season for the top few places in the division?

On paper it looks a very tough league with lots of teams we don’t know about, teams that immediately stand out as being there or thereabouts are Kempston, AFC Dunstable, Cambridge City, Peterborough Sports & Bedford Town but there may well be others we don’t know about yet

Finally, we asked Ben on his thoughts for the opener this week against Kempston:

It’s a very tough fixture to start with, but then all these fixtures are. Kempston are historically strong with a settled squad, they are big and strong as are most teams at this level, so its something we need to start dealing with as our model of player is different to that. It will be interesting to see where we are at against one of the teams I see as being around the play-offs at least

Sports Shots would like to thank Ben for his time this week

FCCL; Great Horwood look to make a mess of Eaton in relegation dogfight

Great Horwood CC travel to Eaton Bray on Saturday as they begin their run in on what is a four-way battle to avoid relegation from Four Counties Cricket League Division One. The bottom four places which includes both teams are separated by just seventeen points, so a twenty-five point win would see a huge lift to the Horwood squad.

Sports Shots caught up with captain Stuart Parker ahead of the game:

This weekend we travel to Eaton Bray in a must win game if we are to avoid relegation. They sit 3 places above us but a win would probably see us jump above them depending on bonus points. We beat them comfortably at home so fingers crossed for a repeat performance!

Adam Armitage, Haydon Morrison and Alex Gilder return to the team from last week, however Glyn Davies, who hit 50, is unavailable

FCCL Div 1 table

Team:

S Parker

A Armitage

D Armitage

A Gilder

S Krajnyk

H Morrison

O Prendergast

D Pritchard

S Ridgway

R Taylor

S Willett

The match starts at 1.30pm