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Leighton Town 2-3 Tuffley Rovers

Leighton Town – 2

Tuffley Rovers – 3

For any fan of football that sits at home on a Saturday afternoon watching scores ticking over on a television screen, and thinks non-league football would be poor to watch should have been at Bell Close on Saturday afternoon. Any neutrals attending this game may not have recognised many of the faces on the pitch, but they would certainly have recognised the full bloodied approach to the game, and the ecstasy turning to agony that concluded this tie in the final five minutes that only the FA Cup can deliver at any level and any round.

Leighton Town played their first game in front of their newly refurbished main stand, shining brightly red and white on a sunny afternoon, and it will be a while surely before it witnesses another grand slam finish to a FA Cup fixture like this one. With eighty-four and a half minutes played the home side were two goals to the good, and were defending everything their guests could hurl at them. But a penalty awarded to Tuffley was converted and gave them belief and the momentum to not only equalise but also find a winner seven minutes into added time, and leave Leighton literally on the floor at the final whistle.

Newly refurbished stand

Tuffley enjoyed some good early possession and a fourth minute corner was met by the diving head of Brett James but a slight deflection off Alex Condon saw the ball deflect off the crossbar and over for a corner. From the clearance Leighton attacked with pace and the ball the ball was played up to Lorrell Smith, as Rovers keeper & captain Dave Evans fought to win the ball off the striker it fell loose to Alex O’Brien and with defenders straining to get back and cover the empty net Evans had no choice but to bring the Town man down and take a yellow card for his efforts. Dom Marsala saw his free kick punched back to him by Evans and the Leighton skipper fired at goal again, the ball striking James Hatch before going in to give the hosts the lead.

Home keeper Tom Wyant then made a good save from close range after some foot tennis inside the area, and then had to get down low to his left to smoother a free kick from twenty yards from Rovers player-manager Mark Pritchett. A left wing cross was then headed wide by Courtney Hamilton as the away side pushed for a leveller, before a long throw found Pritchett at the near post with Condon in close attendance who turned and fired only to see Wyant save with his feet.

Leighton fought their way back and just past the hour mark saw Leighton attack on the break when O’Brien was fed behind the Tuffley back line, with defenders hot on his heels he shot from just inside the box but never really troubled Evans, and Carl Tappin then laid off to Luke Marsh who side footed wide. The home side doubled their lead on thirty-six minutes when O’Brien knocked a ball over the top for Smith to run on to and lob deftly over the advancing Evans then round to tap into the unguarded net. H/T: 2-0

Smith scores Leighton second

Early in the second half a loose ball was driven low by Joel White for the visitors but Wyant was behind it all the way and gathered safely on his line, and a golden opportunity to get a foothold in the game was spurned when attacking down their right Wyant went out to meet Mann but missed the ball, Mann crossed to Brett James but with the goal gaping he lifted the ball wide of goal.

Hatch then got away down the Town right and delivered an inviting cross which Smith threw himself at acrobatically in front of goal, the slightest touch would have turned it home but it whistled away and was eventually cleared. Hatch & Smith then combined well again seeing the latter away on goal but Evans came out bravely diving at the feet of the Town striker to deny any shooting opportunity.

Hatch then released Marsala down the left channel, cutting inside he curled a shot around Evans and as the crowd held their breath the ball rolled agonisingly wide of the back post. Tuffley substitute Jamie Goodwin then tried his luck from the edge of the box only to see his effort crash back off the crossbar, and Mann could only head the rebound wide.

On seventy two minutes the Leighton goal frame was rattled again, a cross was cleared to just outside the box and a shot from Pritchett caught Wyant in two minds and he watched the ball again bounce of his back post and eventually cleared. A Leighton counter attack then saw Smith drag two defenders across field before laying the ball perfectly into the path of Hatch whose fierce drive was well saved by the feet of Evans, diverting for a corner.

As we entered the final five minutes no one saw what was about to unfold, a cross into the Leighton box looked harmless but as Pritchett went down under the challenge from Tappin, the referee awarded a penalty. Warren Mann smashed into the top corner, and reminded his colleagues during his celebrations that they were still in this FA Cup tie.

As we entered added time, Leighton were holding the ball at the Tuffley end trying to run down the clock beside the corner flag, but Brett James was having none of it, winning the ball back and knocking it down the left wing for Mann to chase down and cross into the middle where Pritchett spectacularly scissor kicked the ball as he hovered horizontally, into the corner beyond Wyant sending his team mates and supporters into delirium.

There was time for a Leighton cross to be palmed away by Evans off his own crossbar, before seven minutes into added time a fifty-fifty challenge on the edge of the Town box saw the ball squirm out to Mann who cut back for Sam Hill who from the acutest of angles fired across goal, and watch the ball hit the back post and go in to send his side through to the next round. F/T: 2-3

Attendance: 118

After the game Sports Shots caught up with Leighton manager Scott Reynolds: 

 

For full match photography click here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm3hpF96

 

Leighton Town v Tuffley Rovers preview

Saturday 19th August 2017

Leighton Town v Tuffley Rovers

FA Cup Preliminary Round

Kick-Off: 3.00pm

FA Cup fever will be in the air as Leighton Town entertain Tuffley Rovers on Saturday for the first game of the new season at Bell Close, after major refurbishment work on the Bedfordshire ground during the summer.

These sides have never met in the competition before, and both clubs saw off opposition from their own divisions in the previous round, Leighton beating Oxhey Jets whilst Rovers beat Woodley United to set up this South Midlands Premier v Hellenic Premier clash. Step 5 clubs alike, the winners of this clash will pocket a huge £1,925 and progress to the first qualifying round which will be played the first week-end of September.

Former Hellenic League side Leighton Town have started their season with a win and a loss in their two league games to date, whilst Tuffley have a win, a draw and a defeat in their opening three.

Town’s best FA Cup campaign was in the 2007/08 season where they reached the fourth qualifying round, where Tuffley reached the second qualifying round in 1999/2000.

Leighton manager Scott Reynolds spoke to Sports Shots ahead of the game:

“I know a bit about our opposition following my brief spell as assistant manager at Ardley United and therefore am looking forward to a tough encounter with a strong and experienced side. After a positive start to the season, we suffered a slight setback midweek but I felt we created enough good chances to win the game, and should have made better decisions defensively in the second half. That said, I have massive trust and confidence in our current squad and therefore this is our chance to get back on the horse and back to winning ways. A lot at stake financially in the FA Cup and the most prestigious competition we will ever take part in, so a massive game all round. Squad wise we are fairly strong. Both Bradley Kirkwood and Hateley Mercer picked up injuries on Tuesday. Tom Wyant, a goal keeper, comes back in from Kempston on loan & Carl Tappin returns to the squad”.

For Tuffley’s perspective on the game click here: http://www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/tuffley-rovers-make-fa-cup-345235

 

Bell Close, Leighton Buzzard

LU7 1RX

Mursley United 3-2 Old Bradwell United

Mursley United – 3

Old Bradwell United – 2

Mursley United beat Old Bradwell United on a glorious sunny Tuesday evening to climb up to second in the South Midlands Division Two table. Despite going behind early on they weathered the Bradwell storm and equalised before the break; a better start to the second period saw them take the lead and despite their visitors pinning them back found a winner fourteen minutes from time to leap frog their guests and after four games are one of only three times still unbeaten in the league.

Alex Feaver put Bradwell ahead in the second minute, a deep cross from the right was knocked back across goal by Aaron Bhasin and in the middle Feaver couldn’t miss from close range. The home side had their first effort on eight minutes when Adam Bone thumped a free kick straight into Bradwell keeper Liam Jahn’s gloves.

Opposite keeper Sam Jay then had to save bravely at the feet of Ross Butler as he sprung the Mursley offside trap, but there was nothing he could when Feaver tried his luck from twenty yards on fifteen minutes, but to his luck the ball crashed back off the crossbar and was eventually cleared.

Mursley then equalised on twenty-seven minutes, a ball down the right wing allowed Lewis Delahaye to get away from his marker, knock the ball past the advancing Jahn and slot into the empty net.

Delahaye scored twice

A free kick to the home side then saw a knock back across goal and Bone stuck out a boot and almost divert the ball home past the wrong footed Jahn, but the ball rolled agonisingly wide.

Feaver fired over from twenty-five yards, a Mursley free kick was then headed straight at Jahn by Ellis Spence, and in the final minute of the half a Bradwell counter attack saw Butler set free down their right before he crossed to Ben Green who off balance screwed his effort wide. H/T: 1-1

First chance of the second half saw Bhasin connect well with a cross field pass but he could only steer wide, before a Mursley corner was headed over by Spence. The home side enjoyed some lengths of possession and whilst several half chances were blocked in the box, Bone left footed high over the bar.

Just before the hour mark Delahaye scored his, and his sides second of the game, showing some strength inside the Bradwell area he went shoulder to shoulder with a marker but created enough space to fire into the bottom corner.

Another Mursley corner was then headed wide by Spence despite having two defenders in close attendance, before a slip in the home back line allowed Feaver in behind and his attempted lob over Jay saw the keeper back pedal before having to throw himself at the ball to fingertip around his post for a corner.

Old Bradwell got themselves level on seventy two minutes, a ball into the box saw defender and keeper both miss the cross and waiting in front of the empty net Green fired home.

Ben Green levels

Just as the visitors thought they’d got themselves back in the game, four minutes later they fell behind again, from far out on the right wing Oz Cribb floated a diagonal ball over to the back post where Santino Ciliberti got a shot away that eluded Jahn as he came out and somehow the ball rolled in.

Delahaye looking for his treble dribbled past three defenders before blazing over, and moments before the end Feaver looked to be in behind the Mursley defence but a superb recovery from Adam Moore saw him get in a vital block and the danger was gone. F/T: 3-2

Attendance: 34

After the game Mursley player / assistant manager Ellis Spence spoke to Sports Shots: 

 

For match photography click here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm2KURm9

 

Buckingham Town II’s CC v Challow & Childrey CC

Buckingham Town 2nd’s beat Challow & Childrey on Saturday to go second in the table, in a slow scoring game played out in warm sunshine.

Scorecard click here: http://cherwellcricketleague.com/result.php?matchid=5164

League table click here: http://cherwellcricketleague.com/leaguetable.php?Division_ID=2

Match photography click here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm6p1EXY

Olney Town v Thrapston Town

Olney Town – 2

Thrapston Town – 3

Olney got off to a shaky start on Friday evening at home to Thrapston, conceding inside two minutes and then having keeper Josh McAdoo to thank for a brilliant save shortly after and the crossbar to thank for denying from a penalty, but a brace from Drew Mitten saw them lead at half time. However the visitors came out for the second half with some intent and got the goals to take the points back to Northamptonshire.

Thrapston took the game to their hosts from the off, a cross half cleared by the Olney defence saw Dave Goodman thump over the bar just seconds into the game, but just a minute later they did take the lead when Goodman received the ball just inside the area and absolutely smashed it into the top corner.

Goodman opens scoring

Ox six minutes a corner to Thrapston saw Cory James run across his marker and glance a header at goal and McAdoo threw himself up and backwards to tip over for a corner. Olney had their first sniff at goal on thirteen, Luca Seminerio evaded three challenges out on the left as he drove into the box and fired across goal wide of the back post.

A long free kick from Thrapston then saw the ball simply sent long into the Olney box, as defender and striker chased the ball down a challenge was deemed a foul and a penalty awarded. Jedd Whiteman stepped up and smashed the spot kick against the crossbar and the danger was cleared.

Ten minutes before the break Olney were gifted an equaliser when Thrapston keeper Liam Fox taking a free kick got it all wrong, and in an attempt to play the ball out to his full back instead found Drew Mitten in front of the empty goal who calmly levelled the game.

The goal lifted the home side who won a free kick right on the eighteen yard line, and Mitten smashed it wide. Then on thirty nine minutes a foul in the Thrapston box saw Olney awarded a penalty, and Mitten put his side ahead going into the break. H/T: 2-1

Mitten gives Olney lead

A scrappy start to the second half saw neither side really take control, the referee’s whistle seemed more noticeable than any real goal chances. Thrapston then equalised out of the blue just before the hour mark, what appeared to be an attempted overhead kick on the left of the Olney box was sliced across the goal mouth and waiting in the middle Liam Hanley volleyed home giving McAdoo no chance.

Olney did get the ball in the net again on sixty five however the whistle had already sounded for an earlier infringement, and just two minutes later Thrapston were ahead when a superb left wing cross was met by the head of Wayne Brown at the near post.

Olney battled to get back in the game from there, Jordan Appleton had a run down their left from a goal kick, and fired wide of the advancing Liam Fox. Fox then flipped himself backwards to tip over a Josh Crawley header which was creeping in underneath the crossbar, and a Sam Parrish cross was then glanced into the waiting gloves of Fox by Crawley.

With time running out a Josh Crawley cross thumped against Jason Crawley inside the box, and before the substitute had time to react Fox had gathered the loose ball, and the last action saw a Seminerio cross met on the half volley by Christian Small but sliding into the shot as he met the ball he could only fire over. F/T: 2-3

Attendance: 86

After the game, Olney manager Neil Griffiths spoke to Sports Shots: 

For match photography click here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm2jzQDT

Banbury United begin season at home to Dorchester

 

Banbury United begin their league campaign tomorrow when they host Dorchester Town.

Taken from the Banbury United website:

United begin the new season with a game at the Banbury Plant Hire Community Stadium against Dorchester Town tomorrow afternoon (Saturday) 3.00pm

It has been a difficult last three seasons for Dorchester following their relegation from Conference South where they had spent the previous ten seasons. Last season they flirted with relegation but managed in the end to survive, finishing just a point above relegated Cambridge City.

Last season we lost to our visitors here early in the season, that was in the middle of our longest losing league run of four games that we had all season. However, just two weeks later we were back on track, winning convincingly down in Dorset in an FA Cup First Qualifying Round game and then won again there in the league in January.

Dorchester have a mix of a few experienced players and youngsters. Goalkeeper Chris Weale has over 250 Football League appearances behind him but a number of the side are stepping up in levels, having arrived in the summer from Portland United who won the Wessex League Championship last season.

As for United, they go into the game after an overall successful pre-season with six wins of out seven, including two wins over higher level sides. It is a mixture of some new players aiming to improve the squad with the nucleus of last season’s successful side. Latest squad news is that striker Damien Robertson who has scored over 100 goals from around 50 games for local side Chasewell Park over the course of the last two seasons signed Southern League forms last night. However, contrary to what supporters may have assumed from a piece in the Banbury Guardian, Darius Browne has not re-signed for the club.

You will notice a number of improvements at the Banbury Plant Hire Community Stadium over the summer. A flattening out of the Town End Car Park, a repainting and refurbishing of the entrance at that end to create a good first impression, an enlarged media area in the stand, a video tower put up (New York’s “Trump Tower” now has a rival in “Shadder’s Tower”!), a refurbished Town End Tea Bar, new professional looking dug-outs and much general painting and tidying up. And the pitch is looking great, thanks to the groundstaff. The club are grateful to all the club volunteers who have spent time this summer on all this work.

Repair work on the riverside terrace has though been delayed due to the heavy rain this week. So there is a small area over by the video tower that supporters should be advised to take some caution when in that area

Tomorrow’s match is sponsored by L Jarvis & Sons Limited. Banbury United are grateful for their support.

The Brighton v Manchester City game on BT Sport will certainly be shown on TVs and also on a big screen (if there are no technical problems with the first use of the screen) in the Clubhouse after the game – so no need to rush away, why not stay behind and watch the game down at the Banbury Plant Hire Community Stadium!

Away supporters are advised to use OX16 5AB for their Sat-Nav as the club’s official postcode may well take you elsewhere!

Admission Prices: Adults £10, Concessions (Over 60s and Full Time Students) £6, Under 16s £1.

Programme: £2.

Kick-off 3.00pm

Free to sit in the stand

Hot Food available in the Clubhouse.

Free parking

Aylesbury FC start season tomorrow at Hayes & Yeading

Aylesbury FC start their new season tomorrow with a trip to Hayes & Yeading, a club who not so long ago were in the Blue Square Premier (Conference in old money!)

Taken from the AFC website:

This weekend we travel to the SkyEx Community Stadium in Hayes for the first game of the season and the first competitive game at the SkyEx.

Hayes & Yeading have had back to back relegations, In The 2015–16 season they finished second from bottom in the National League South despite the reappointment of Garry Haylock as manager, resulting in relegation to the Southern Football League Premier Division. Former Oxford United coach Mickey Lewis took the manager’s reins for the 2016–17 season in the Southern League but dropped down to youth team duties in October after a poor run of form. Paul Hughes and Ritchie Hanlon were appointed as joint managers in November, joining from Kings Langley but they were then relegated from the Premier Division to complete their 3rd relegation in 5 seasons.

Despite this Hayes & Yeading today and Cambridge City on Tuesday will be a tough test for the new Moles side.

Manager Davis Haule has some tough selection decisions to make after an excellent pre season, he has a squad of 26 all eager to gain a starting spot. The only absentees will be Ben Stevens and injury doubts are Brian Haule and Aston Goss.

KO is 3pm on Saturday and entrance is £10.00

Olney Town v Thrapston Town preview

Friday 11th August 2017
Olney Town v Thrapston Town
UCL Division One
East Street
Kick-Off: 7.45pm

Olney Town host Thrapston Town on Friday night in their second game of the new season, having dispatched Melton Town last week-end with a thumping five goals to one victory. The visitors also won last week-end meaning the winners of this game will go top of the table for a few hours at least, and whilst Olney enjoy the second of their opening four league games all at home, for Thrapston the game will be their second of their opening six league games which are all away from home.

Olney finished fourth last season, whilst their guests finished in tenth place and in the process they took four points off Olney last term, a draw at Thrapston back in September was followed up by an impressive two goals to one victory at East Street in January.

Both sides will be eager to continue last week’s good start to the season, and look to going into Saturday sitting top of the UCL Division One table.

Taken from the Olney Town Facebook page:

Friday night football comes to East St tomorrow when the 1st Team, fresh from a resounding 5-1 win on the opening day of the season against Melton Town, take on Thrapston Town.

KO 7-45 pm and the Bar will be open from 6 pm selling a wide selection of ales, lagers, ciders, wines and spirits.

The Diner will be open at half time for teas/coffees etc

50:50 Draw
Sports & Social Memberships available
Match Day Programmes

SUPPORT THE NURSERYMEN!!!

Anyone wishing to travel down to watch the game can get address details using the link below.

Match location: http://www.olneytownfc.com/Home/ContactUs

 

Cropredy CC v Buckingham Town II’s CC

Buckingham Town II’s lost at Cropredy on Saturday by 115 runs.

Cropredy Cricket Club

The hosts posted a score of 263-7 in their fifty overs, and then bowled out their guests for 148 with seven and a half overs to spare.

For match scorecard click here: http://cherwellcricketleague.com/result.php?matchid=5159

 

For league table click here: http://cherwellcricketleague.com/leaguetable.php?Division_ID=2

 

For match photography, click here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm28Zuyy

 

Highmoor-Ibis 3-1 Buckingham Town

Highmoor-Ibis – 3

Buckingham Town – 1

Buckingham Town fell at the first hurdle of this season’s FA Cup against Highmoor-Ibis from the Hellenic Premier Division on Sunday afternoon. Despite playing higher level opposition, Town were looking for an equaliser for the majority of the second half, after falling behind to a screamer just before the break, but after a twenty-man brawl erupted near the end they just lapsed in concentration at the death to concede a killer third goal which ended the tie.

Buckingham got off to a nervous start, Highmoor dominated the opening quarter of an hour which saw their guests defending some relentless Highmoor pressure, and a third minute free kick saw Town keeper Ryan Thrussell having to parry the ball on his goal line and as a mass of bodies rushed to get to the ball the referee halted play for a foul.

A corner from the left a minute later saw the ball evade everyone and flash across the six-yard box before rebounding off the back post, and eventually thumped to safety. The home side took the lead on nine minutes when Buckingham conceded possession high up the pitch and the ball was sent long behind their defence, as the Town back line called for offside Mitch Parker sprinted away and slotted home.

Another Highmoor cross was then headed away but on the edge of the box Tristan Campbell struck first time but screwed his effort wide, and a corner moments later saw Nasir Bockarie climb highest but off balance he could only head wide.

As Buckingham grew into the game they equalised on twenty-nine minutes, a ball knocked over the Highmoor back line this time saw them all claim offside, however the flag stayed down and Kelvin Osei-Addo ran on and lobbed the advancing Aaron Watkins to level the tie.

Kelvin Osei-Addo levels

A Highmoor corner saw Bockarie glance a header on and at the back post Trevor Mutero tried an overhead kick but easily cleared Thrussell’s crossbar, and the Town keeper then saved well down to his right from close range when Stephen Peacock got a shot away, and Mutero then hooked a shot wide after working himself some space well to the right of goal.

Two minutes before the interval Highmoor retook the lead when Mutero received the ball out on the right of midfield, evading a challenge he then thumped across goal and into the corner giving Thrussell no chance, and a warm round of applause from the crowd. H/T: 2-1

A change at half time from Buckingham saw a better start to their second half, and from the kick off they attacked down their left; a ball squared to Warren Garcia saw him shoot over the top. Whilst Buckingham looked the better side for the opening fifteen minutes of the half, they never really troubled home keeper Watkins, and Highmoor were happy defending whilst occasionally hitting on the counter attack.

Ryan Thrussell had two regulatory saves to make as the half wore on, Highmoor gradually gaining more possession as the Buckingham pressure fizzled out, but the half became more about niggly fouls and free kicks rather than a game of football.

A Town counter attack saw them move the ball down the left wing at pace, on the edge of the box Garcia received the ball but hitting it first time he drove over the top. With seven minutes left a late challenge on Town substitute Dan Simpson sparked a brawl which took a few minutes for the officials to get back under control.

After speaking with both his assistants the referee showed a straight red card to Sanchez Commock for the initial foul, and then a flurry of yellow cards for the ensuing melee. The game eventually restarted with a Highmoor free kick!

In added time a ball up to Anthony Alleyne in the Town box saw him shrug off the challenge of a defender before smashing into the roof of the net to seal the game. F/T: 3-1

Attendance: 52

After the game Sports Shots spoke to Robins assistant manager David Barron: 

Full match photography can be viewed here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm2d62cc