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HLP; Saints sins are punished by Freds

Wantage Town – 3

Brackley Town Saints – 2

Brackley Town Saints went down to defeat at high flying Wantage Town on Saturday but made a fight of it after they found themselves three goals down after fifty-two minutes; pulling a goal back lifted some confidence and a late second from skipper Lewis Baldwin then saw the home side start to look nervous but they held out to claim all three points. Three individual errors gifted Wantage their goals, a trip in the box led to a penalty before two surrenders of possession in front of goal gave the Saints a mountain to climb but they can take heart from the effort they put in after Ryan Knight clawed a goal back, and with a little more time maybe would have claimed something from the game, although the experience in the Town side far outweighed the youth in the young Brackley side.

Brackley had the first chance on five minutes when a flick on in midfield set Josh Bowden away on goal, as the home defensive line called for offside the assistant referee point his flag to the floor allowing the Saints leading scorer to advance on Curtis Meare in the Town goal, but taking the shot on early he pulled his effort wide of the target. From the free kick the hosts saw Jim Glover away down their right, he peeled away from his marker and got his shot away which Saints keeper Farrell had to block with his feet. Farrell returning to the side after regular custodian Alastair Worby was called up to Brackley first team action in the FA Trophy semi-final.

Ryan Markham opens scoring

Saints tried again down the right with Matt Johnson who carved out some space, he squared across the box to Bowden who took a touch before firing over the crossbar, and at the other end a cross from Nick Thorne saw Glover go up with a Brackley defender, the ball headed across the penalty area where running in Jon Davoile lifted high over the top. Wantage then won a penalty on seventeen minutes when Jack Dunmall was fed in on the right of the Saints area and he went down under a challenge, giving the referee no option but to point at the spot.

Ryan Markham tucked home into Farrell’s bottom right hand corner to open the scoring, and bring some warmth to the home faithful who were braving the artic conditions and constant snowfall. Thorne then travelled down the Wantage right wing before squaring across the Saints eighteen-yard line to Markham who could only lift over the top.

The home side doubled their two minutes before the interval, conceding possession in their own half to Glover saw him advance into the area and shoot, Farrell made the block with his feet but the ball rolled across to the incoming Town striker Steve Robertson who side footed home his thirty-seventh goal of the season from twelve-yards out. There was still time for Mark Flanagan to cross to Glover who volleyed over the top, and it didn’t look as though it was going to be Glover’s afternoon at this stage. H/T: 2-0

Just seven minutes after the interval the game looked to be over, when Glover finally got his goal after again pressuring a Saints defender to give him the ball deep in the Saints half, the midfielder took the ball on before rounding Farrell and firing home. Three goals down and things looked bleak for the visitor’s, but they didn’t let their heads drop, and continued playing their football.

They were rewarded just before the hour mark when a ball down their left saw Knight away on goal, again the home back line screamed for the offside flag and again it didn’t materialise, Meare advanced but Knight finished with some aplomb, firing into the back of the net. The away side then should have had a second just eight minutes later, a back pass to Meare saw him try to outwit Johnson who was breathing down his neck, but the keeper got it all wrong and miskicked leaving him stranded, but with goal unguarded a rush of blood saw the Saints winger fire over the top.

Weather conditions were testing

Wantage almost hit their guests with a sucker punch moments later when Glover got away down the right and saw his fierce drive pushed away by Farrell for a corner. With six minutes left on the clock, Saints pulled another goal back, a promising attack saw a foul on Bowden right on the edge of the eighteen yard box, just to the right of goal. Baldwin took the free kick and at the near post Meare went down but the ball bounced in front of him, hit his trailing hand and went in.

Whilst the visitor’s sensed they could get back in the game, they were always subject to the counter attack, and with two minutes left a Brackley clearance saw the ball knocked back through the red & white defence to Glover who squared to Robertson, his first time effort pushed over the crossbar by Farrell. From the corner, Town substitute Paul Alder got his head to the ball first forcing Farrell into a point blank save, a follow up shot saw the keeper make another stunning block whilst on the floor.

Brackley threw everything into the final moments and won a free kick deep in the Wantage half, the ball was floated into the sea of bodies in front of Meare, as a head went up so did the flag, and from the free kick the final whistle sounded to the relief of the home faithful. F/T: 3-2

Attendance: 37

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After the game Sports Shots spoke to Saints coach Ben Lovatt: 

For full match photography click here:

SSMFLP; Top of the table stalemate

Leighton Town – 0

Berkhamsted – 0

A healthy crowd attended this South Midlands Premier Division top of the table clash at Bell Close on Tuesday evening, but the sides could not be separated despite both having numerous chances. Leighton had the better chances in the first half but were forced to defend for long periods after the break and had goal keeper Tom Wyant to thank for denying the visitors with some stunning saves, and when he was beaten his defence were on hand; one late clearance off the line from Tom Guiney especially.

The stalemate left Berkhamsted the happier of the two sides at the final whistle, as they remain top of the table with their hosts sitting third, but with fourteen games left yet to play, Leighton still have plenty of time to reduce the thirteen-point gap between the two promotion chasing clubs. Before the game Town manager Scott Reynolds was presented with the Team of the Month award from the South Midlands League for their superb unbeaten run in January.

Scott Reynolds receives award

The opening moments saw the away side take the game to Leighton, forcing two early corners before one half clearance fell to Adiel Mannion on the edge of the area and he fired just wide of Wyants right hand post. After weathering the storm Town slowly grew into the game, and on thirteen minutes a great attack down the right from Lea Coulter saw him fizz the ball across the six-yard box but with no one anywhere near forward enough, the Berko right back was able to clear.

Tom Silford & Lorrell Smith then combined well down the left and fed Matt Hall who made a run through the Berko back line, however the left back couldn’t connect with the ball properly and his attempted lob saw keeper Carl Tasker have to take a couple of steps back before claiming in mid-air. At the other end a ball across the Leighton box looked lost until Ashton Campbell retrieved, he pulled back to Steve Hawes who thumped high over the crossbar.

Back came Leighton with Alex O’Brien who collected a clearance in midfield, he splayed the ball out wide to Smith who attacked the right wing, making some distance he then crossed back into O’Brien who had continued his run but from twelve yards he never really connected properly on the sticky pitch and drove narrowly wide of the near post. Carl Tappin then threaded a great ball through for O’Brien but again a lack of decent connection saw Tasker behind the ball all the way.

Campbell then cut in from the Berkhamsted left and snapped a low drive wide, from the goal kick the ball was headed straight back into the Leighton half and Ashley Morrissey was away on goal, reaching the corner of the box he blazed over the top. Campbell then had another low shot saved by Wyant low down at his near post, what seemed a regulatory save hit a bobble and with two Berko players running in the keeper had to stick a hand out to quickly push out for a corner.

Healthy crowd urging Town on

Leighton had a spell in the Berkhamsted area which saw numerous opportunities arise but some unselfish play saw each player trying to pass, or cushion the ball to someone in a better position, but it would just not sit for someone to hit, and credit to the visitors who did not panic and simply hurried and pressured until the danger was eventually cleared. A cross from the right from Tappin then found George Boland unmarked in front of goal but his touch escaped him, and the ball bounced off him into the waiting gloves of Tasker.

Three minutes before the break a Leighton throw deep in the Berko half saw a defender go to clear, the ball bouncing off a team mate and hanging in the air, Tappin was first to reach it but could only lift over the top. A minute later saw the away side convinced they should have had a penalty, Morrissey got down the right and headed towards goal, inside the box he went down under a challenge, but the referee awarded the corner despite the huge protests. Matt Pateman met the corner at the near post and his glancing header flashed across the goal face eluding everyone and going out for a goal kick. There was still time for Smith at the other end to drag a shot wide of goal from a throw in. H/T: 0-0

Seven minutes into the second half Berkhamsted sent over a cross from the left which found midfielder Dan Jones in on goal, but his left footed effort looped over the crossbar, and a minute later another cross saw Pateman running in at the back post but he was always underneath the ball and could only head up and Wyant gratefully gathered with both hands.

Morrissey then threaded a great pass out to Mannion to the right of the Leighton goal, but he could only screw wide, and on the hour mark another cross from the left wing was met on the six-yard line right in front of goal by Morrissey and his shot was brilliantly tipped away by Wyant. The Leighton keeper was back in action soon after when a goal kick was headed straight back at him, in behind the red defence was Campbell who went for goal & Wyant again earned the applause of the crowd tipping away for a corner.

Tom Wyant made crucial saves

Within minutes Wyant was pushing another shot onto his own crossbar which bounced over for a corner, and it seemed only a matter of time before the deadlock was broken. With eight minutes left Campbell attacked down the Berko right, Hall went out and blocked the run but, in the process, lost track of the ball, in a flash the Berko winger was away with the ball, he flashed the ball across the Town six-yard box but again no team mates were forward enough to get anything on it.

Berkhamsted started to push harder as the clock ticked down, a clearance from the Town defence saw left back Josh Chamberlain drive forward and hit first time but over the bar. With a minute left of regulatory time, the away side thought they’d won it, a header from substitute Sean Coughlan was brilliantly saved by Wyant but as the ball seemed to roll towards the goal line, Tom Guiney somehow launched the ball away, the referee & his assistant were then besieged with claims the ball had crossed the line but all to no avail.

With an additional eight minutes of time added, Leighton had chances of their own at the death, Matt Hall seized upon a loose ball in midfield and surged forward, evading a couple of challenges the move ended with Bruno Brito shooting over his shoulder, his effort flew amongst a sea of bodies in the Berko box, but no one got near to trouble Tasker although a slight touch somewhere saw a corner awarded. There was still time for the corner, Leighton piled bodies forward but Berko defended resolutely clearing as far as Brito who thumped high over the bar. H/T: 0-0

Attendance: 176

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

After the match Sports Shots caught up with Town boss Scott Reynolds: 

For match photography click here:


Sports Shots wraps up new sponsorship

Sports Shots are delighted to announce that Aylesbury based Valu Tints have taken on a sponsorship package with us for twelve months.

Their sponsorship means that their logo appears on every page of our website, as with all our sponsors, and just a click on this logo will take you directly onto their website.

Full vinyl wraps can easily be changed or removed

Taken from their website:

Valu Tints provides professional services to clients throughout the Buckinghamshire. We are based in Aylesbury and we have 14 years’ experience in: car windows tinting, car full / partial wrap and head /tail lights polish/tinting. Window tinting offers the following benefits:

  • Improves comfort cutting down glare and dazzle
  • Protects and reduces the risk of injury of your kids as well as pets. It prevents the glass from shattering into many small dangerous pieces
  • Blocks UV rays
  • Reduces solar heat coming into your vehicle interior
  • Improves appearance

A vinyl wrap gives your vehicle a unique one-of-a-kind look, and protects your paint against fading, scratches & chips!

One of the main advantages of car wrapping is that it is completely reversible so if you become tired of the same look to your car or the colour becomes faded or dated, all you have to do is get it booked in to have the vinyl removed.

Open Mon-Sat 9am -6pm, you can see some examples of their work on their Facebook page or on their website page listed above.

Having sponsors like Valu Tints allows Sports Shots to continue covering all local football and cricket clubs in the region, and in return we hope many of our readers will call upon the excellent services that they offer.

Sports Shots would like to thank Alex at Valu Tints for their support, just one of many local businesses renewing or coming on board, details to follow in due course.

This is the perfect time to be joining us as a sponsor, our hits just keep growing month after month:

January 2017 – 503,135 hits          January 2018 – 537,605 hits

February 2017 – 376,230 hits       February 2018 – 467,033 hits

We are the cheapest way to get your name in front of all these local people!

Partial wrap


UCLD1; Nurseryman Mitten hands it to team mates

Saturday 17th March 2018

Olney Town v Bugbrooke St Michaels

United Counties League Division One

East Street

K.O. 3.00pm

Olney Town host third bottom Bugbrooke St Michaels on Saturday at East Street looking to claim maximum points as they battle it out with five other clubs all locked in their own challenge for fourth place in the UCL Division One table. Just four points separate the teams in fifth to tenth place, but Olney have played more games than any of them, so three points this week-end are vital against the side who are struggling for form.

Ahead of the game, Sports Shots caught up with leading scorer Drew Mitten, and asked how he expects the game to go:

Knowing us and how we’ve been this season it will be a tough game. We have performed well against the top sides but unfortunately have been too inconsistent against the so called lower teams

Drew Mitten

Drew scored a hatrick at their place earlier in the season, a game he reflects on:

It ended up a comfortable game over there I recall. They started brightly, they have a young athletic side, but I think I got three early on in the second half and it ended up being a fairly routine run out for us

Which team mates have helped Drew’s game this season?

Smaily (Christian Smail) has been fantastic this year, he could play a much higher level as could little Kevin (Owusu), we have really clicked and he is a cracking player. It’s also a massive shame that we haven’t had Sammy O’Neill all season as he has been class since he signed on

Christian Smail

We asked Drew where he sees Olney finishing the season?

We are likely to finish somewhere between sixth and eleventh unfortunately, and it has just been down to consistency. We can beat anyone on our day which we have proven, but we just haven’t been consistent enough over the course of the season which is a shame because with the standard of this league, it was really there for us at the start of the campaign

Sports Shots would like to thank Drew for his time this week.

SLD1E; Moles manager looking for sparkling future

Saturday 17th March 2018

AFC Rushden & Diamonds v Aylesbury FC

Southern League Division One East

Hayden Road

K.O. 3.00pm

Aylesbury FC face the biggest test of their season on Saturday with a trip to high flyers AFC Rushden & Diamonds, in a match that contrasts football clubs at the opposite ends of the non-league spectrum. Much has been written about the plight of Rushden since they reformed back in 2011, starting at the bottom of the pyramid and now sit top of the Southern League Division One East table with promotion seemingly a few weeks away. At the other end is Aylesbury, who this season have faced a wretched time, multiple squad changes, poor form, backroom changes aplenty, but now face life under new manager Kevin Poole. The former Thame Rangers boss was appointed earlier in the week and his first job was taking his new squad to Marlow on Tuesday night, where they only lost to a last-minute goal.

Ahead of the game on Saturday Sports Shots caught up with the new Moles manager:

Firstly, we welcomed Kevin to Aylesbury FC and at the same time Sports Shots, and asked how the first few days in the job had been:

Well first of all thank you very much. Yes, these last few days have been absolutely manic, trying to sort everything out in such a short space of time creates a lot of pressure, but everyone at the club is pitching in and helping out

We enquired how Tuesday nights game at Marlow went:

The game was as we expected really, Marlow are very strong at home and they brought some players in which they are fully entitled to do – however we played some good positive football & probably deserved a draw in all fairness, but in the end the difference in fitness levels told

Kevin Poole

We asked what impressions the squad had made in their first run out under the new boss:

There are some good lads here, but they have had a really tough season. I’ve been especially pleased to see so many young players which bodes well for the future

Any new additions or changes likely?

I will be looking to bring a few in yes, the squad is a little bit light at the moment, but I also want to use this period to look at some local players and see if they’re good enough to make the step up to this level of football. Then we will be looking to stabilise things, so we can then put our own stamp & style of play into the team

Finally, any message for the Aylesbury FC supporters:

Yes, we’d just like them to keep their heads up, Dave Morris my assistant & I will do our very best to bring some pride back to the team, and to the club as quickly as is possible, and we appreciate all the support we have been shown so far

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

HLP; Wantage v Brackley Saints preview with Alastair Worby & Lewis Baldwin

Saturday 17th March 2018

Wantage Town v Brackley Town Saints

Hellenic League Premier Division

Alfredian Park

K.O. 3.00pm

Brackley Town Saints face a trip to Wantage on Saturday as their current run of tough games against higher placed sides continues, ahead of their Supplementary Cup fixture on Monday down at Woodley United. Having played Bracknell Town & Thatcham Town in their last two games the respite from playing top sides does not ease with Wantage currently third in the Hellenic Premier League table. The Saints haven’t won away from home since October, and Alfredian Park is no easy place to go, especially facing a side battling for promotion back to the Southern League.

Ahead of the game Sports Shots caught up with goalkeeper Alastair Worby & midfielder Lewis Baldwin, and asked Lewis how difficult the recent run of games has been?

Wantage will be another tough game, as every single one is in this division, you just can’t tell what you’re going to face in each match. It will help that we’ve played Bracknell & Thatcham in our last two outings as we’ve had to play at a high intensity and been made to work much harder than in other less profile games

Alastair agreed about the last two games:

Thatcham & Bracknell are both very good sides, which is reflected in their league positions, both tried to get the ball down on our difficult surface to play football. Having said that, we can as a squad all take a lot of positives out of both those matches and leave with our heads held high, as I believe we frustrated both for large parts of the games

We asked Alastair what Saints can expect from Wantage:

They are yet another good side, they currently sit third in the table! Our previous two encounters against them this season have both been very close, with both sides walking away with a victory each. We come into this game off the back of those two home defeats, but confident that if we play to the same high standards we have set, we can get something from this game

Alastair Worby

Lewis looked back to those two games against Wantage:

They were deserved winners at our place last time out, both their strikers were very good in that game, but on the flip side we deserved the win against them two weeks previously. We didn’t take our chances in the league game when they came along and ultimately it cost us

We questioned Lewis how he rates this season so far for Saints?

It’s been a tough season as we’ve had so many changes throughout the year in terms of coaching staff, squad changes & injuries but all in all I feel we’ve done well. We had a rocky patch before Christmas where there was no consistency in the team at all, and recently it’s been tough as we’ve had so many games postponed like so many other sides, and we haven’t really had a chance to gather any momentum or rhythm. However, out last three games have all been very promising, although we lost the last two they were both close games, it took Bracknell until the last ten minutes to break us down!

Alastair believes the squad is improving:

From the start of the season until now, the squad and coaching staff have both improved massively. With still a very young squad, the jump from boys to men’s football is a huge one, but I believe we have held our own and produced some great performances along the way. The key for us now is to maintain that level, and find some consistency until the end of the season

We asked both players how their own personal season has been, Alastair first:

With this being my first season back playing after three years out of the game, I believe it has been a good one. For me, this season was all about being back on the pitch and enjoying the game again. I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to re-sign for Brackley & hopefully I can repay that faith which they’ve shown in me

Lewis Baldwin

And for Lewis:

I believe I’ve done well when I have been playing & hope I’ve brought something to the team. I’ve not played as many games as I would have liked due to injuries & work commitments but that’s life, part of the game at this level

Rounding up, we asked Lewis where he see’s Saints in the final league table:

We’ve set ourselves a target of finishing in the top half and I believe with performances like the last few then there is no reason at all that we cannot achieve that

Alastair has high hopes for his season finale:

As a squad we have set goals & targets to try and achieve in the remaining games we have. Also, to break into the top half of the table would be great for us. On a personal note, a strong end to season with more clean sheets & further exposure in the Brackley Town first team would be ideal. I have been involved in their FA Trophy run this season so to get to Wembley would be an amazing achievement

Sports Shots would like to thank Alastair & Lewis for their time this week

SSMFLD2; Grendon looking to clean up in Milton Keynes

Saturday 17th March 2018

Clean Slate v Grendon Rangers

South Midlands Division Two

Downs Barn Pavilion

K.O. 3.00pm

Grendon Rangers face the trip to Milton Keynes on Saturday to face Clean Slate, the side they shared a goalless stalemate with last week-end. A disappointing result against a side that have struggled this season, only two wins all season and both away, therefore a trip to the pavilion on Saturday will give Grendon hope of collecting some more points, after they themselves have collected four out of the last six points available.

Ahead of the game Sports Shots spoke with Rangers stalwart Stuart Leonard & asked for his thoughts on last week’s game:

Although we weren’t at our best against Clean Slate, we were disappointed to only come away with a draw, having had two goals disallowed after being judged to be offside by their linesman. We were struggling for fit players, so an injection of fresh legs in the second half would have really helped, but we didn’t apply ourselves as well as we could & they still looked dangerous on the break. We take the point and move on and take heart from back to back clean sheets and four points from the last six. Our defensive record as a whole this season has improved, which has helped us massively

Stuart Leonard

And moving on to this week’s game:

So, this week we face Clean Slate again, and another opportunity for three points. Despite being bottom of the league table they have some good players and we need to be aware of that. But with players coming back into the squad to make us stronger, we are looking forward to the challenge. We have Matt Ginger struggling with an ankle injury, but we welcome back Ricky Brown who makes a massive difference for us in the middle

And rounding up Stuart looked at the club and season in general:

It’s been a tough season for the club in terms of management changes, comings & goings affect everyone, but we have all pulled together and we can still achieve our best ever points total in this league, so that remains our aim. The mood at the club is positive as always, we are indebted to our fantastic committee for all their hard work behind the scenes. May I on behalf of everyone at the club send our thoughts & best wishes to our long-standing club secretary Pete Busby on the very sad passing of his mother recently. I would also like to thank Sports Shots for their continued support

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

TVCWFL; Haddenham Ladies 0-5 Buckingham Athletic

Haddenham Ladies – 0

Buckingham Athletic Ladies – 5

In what was potentially (weather permitting) the Buckingham Athletic Ladies final away game of the league season and seen by some as the biggest test of the season to date, they romped to victory and with it took a giant step towards the Thames Valley Counties Women’s Football League Division Two North title. Any fears that Haddenham could be the side to derail the Swans title bid were soon quashed in a first half display that saw the visitor’s take a three-goal lead and play some of their best football of the season. A couple more in the second half was only not increased by some fantastic saves by the home goalkeeper, but with four home games left for the Athletic, all they need now is two wins and a draw to clinch the title. If they beat second placed Banbury United at Stratford Fields in two-weeks’ time, then Athletic will need just a point to clinch the league, but victory over their closest rivals would pretty much secure the title as their goal difference is currently twenty-two goals better than United’s.

Buckingham were attacking from the off, and early ball knocked long into the hosts half saw the left back leave the ball rather than clearing, in a second Evie Hawkins was on it and away down the right wing, she squared into the box where Rachel Thorpe went to shoot only for keeper Clare Farrow to bravely dive at her feet to block. Sam Jolley then knocked a ball into the area for Hawkins to chase down, she beat her marker but again Farrow advanced to block the shot. Haddenham then almost shot themselves in the foot when a defensive pass went awry and gifted the ball to Dani Roberts, her shot charged down by a defender and cleared.

Evie Hawkins opens scoring

The visitors finally took the lead on fifteen minutes, a Haddenham attack was stopped just inside the Athletic half and the ball knocked up to Hawkins just the other side of the halfway line, she ran shoulder to shoulder with her marker enjoying a battle all the way into the penalty area, as another Haddenham player came across to help Hawkins jinked between both & slotted home. That lead was doubled eight minutes later when a Haddenham goal kick was headed back towards their goal by Nicola Ryan, Hawkins was in again behind the defence and raced towards goal before slotting home.

The away side continued to press, Hawkins again fed in behind the Haddenham back line to chase down a ball over the top, Farrow advancing to gain a vital deflection taking the ball out for a corner. However, from the corner Athletic grabbed their third when a shot from Thorpe was saved and half cleared to just outside the box, advancing from defence Emma Marshall hit the ball first time and it sailed over everyone including Farrow and nestled in the back of the net.

On thirty-four minutes another Karry Stapleton corner was met in the six-yard box by Kayleigh Harwood whose shot came back off the post, Hawkins was first to react, her shot cleared off the goal line by a defender. Stapleton then soared a free kick over the Haddenham crossbar, and from the goal kick the ball was headed back into the home half where Hawkins & Stapleton were away on goal, the ball eventually squared to Ryan whose shot found the waiting gloves of Farrow.

A late Buckingham throw was headed on by Harwood and Hawkins was away on goal again, her pace & power easily taking her away from any defender and she powered a drive wide of Farrows left hand post, and on the stroke of half-time the hosts missed a glorious chance to get a foot back in the game. A ball over the top saw Courtney Kelly bearing down on Ellen Fenables in the visitor’s goal, as she approached the eighteen-yard line she pulled her shot wide of the right-hand post. H/T: 0-3

Two minutes into the second half saw Jade Copas try her luck from twenty-yards, Haddenham replacement keeper Kirsty Kay having to push away single handed for a corner. Marshall swung the ball into the six-yard box where Copas met the ball and scored despite the best efforts of Kay to keep it out.

Jade Copas shot crosses line

Roberts then beat a defender to a loose ball and chipped inches over the crossbar, before the home side missed another glorious chance to get on the scoresheet on fifty-four minutes. An initial shot was blocked by Fenables, but with the keeper stranded the ball rolled out to Kelly and with the goal wide open she miskicked, and the chance was gone.

They were made to pay just a minute later when Athletic won another corner, Stapleton crossing right down the throat of the keeper where a defender went to clear but could only slice into her own net. With Buckingham five goals clear & the game done, the pace slowed, and mixed with some great keeping from Kay they could not increase their lead any further.

Hawkins continued to haunt the Haddenham back line, one such attack saw her simply knock a defender off the ball before advancing towards goal, her initial shot well saved by Kay, she then saw her follow up cleared off the line. Marshall then sent the striker away again with a clever ball through the middle, Kay this time pulling off a brilliant save turning away for a corner.

Jolley took a corner that Harwood thumped a header over from, before on seventy-three minutes Fenables had to make a save away to her left to ensure her clean sheet was kept intact. With nine minutes remaining a ball up to Jolley saw her turn and shoot on sight forcing Kay to use both hands to push away for a corner. Tempers started to fray towards the conclusion of the game, but the final whistle sounded to leave the title within touching distance. F/T: 0-5

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

After the game Sports Shots caught up with Athletic skipper Kerry Stapleton & midfielder Kayleigh Harwood: 

For full match photography click here:


SLP; Banbury put Farnborough through pure El

Banbury United – 4

Farnborough – 1

Banbury United kept up the pressure on the play-off places in the Southern League Premier Division with a thumping win over Farnborough; Elliot Sandy the hero scoring all four goals. United led at the break and seconds after the restart scored again to take a two goal lead, but when Farnborough pulled a goal back a few nerves kicked in until the visiting keeper Craig Bradshaw lost his head with Ricky Johnson, pushing the striker to the floor on the goal line, resulting in an early shower for the shot stopper and a penalty for the hosts. Sandy converted the spot kick to seal his hatrick, and with the extra man went on to dominate the remainder and exact some revenge for the defeats earlier in the season, and gain their first ever win over the Hampshire side.

The game started slowly, just a corner apiece without much threat in the opening ten minutes barely got the crowd excited as the skies grew increasingly darker. On fourteen minutes a cross from the left flank from Tom Winters almost caught Bradshaw out and had him back tracking to acrobatically turn over his own crossbar. As the half progressed United slowly took control and looked the more dangerous, on the half-hour mark a free kick into the Farnborough box was flicked on by Sandy to Ricky Johnson who netted however a raised flag denied any celebration.

Elliot Sandy gives Banbury lead

Farnborough however did not heed the warning, as just a minute later another Winters free kick was flicked on by Luke Carnell, and on the edge of the six-yard box Sandy turned and smashed home to give his side the lead. United continued to press after the goal however very few chances materialised as the game drifted out to the break. H/T: 1-0

Before either side had chance to settle after the break, Banbury doubled their lead barely forty seconds in when Winters crossed from the left wing and stealing in at the near post Sandy swept home inside the near post, sending the home supporters into raptures. The hosts now sensed more and a free kick into the Farnborough box was headed narrowly over by Johnson.

The visitors slowly but surely started to fight back, on fifty-three minutes half-time substitute Jaydon Antwi dispossessed a United defender out on the right touchline and advanced towards goal, from twelve yards out he fired wide despite colleague Connor Calcutt in the middle unmarked, who certainly made his feelings clear.

Kieran Rhule then forced United keeper Martin Herdman into a decent save at the foot of his near post, turning away for a corner. Then on fifty-seven minutes the away side pulled a goal back, a low drive from Josh Bailey on the edge of the box was saved by Herdman but following up Antwi knocked home running in from the six-yard line, despite the suspicion of offside.

Now it was the visitors turn to apply some pressure, sensing they could possibly get something from the game, Antwi got away from Carnell inside the Banbury box and saw a fierce shot saved at point blank range by Herdman who used to his legs to block. Paul Stonehouse then blocked a Keano Deacon shot as Farnborough started getting a head of steam up and the equaliser seemed imminent. However, it all fell apart on seventy-three minutes when a Winters free kick from the left was challenged for by Bradshaw & Johnson right on the goal line, as the ball was cleared the keeper appeared to clash with the Puritan striker and a push saw Johnson fall inside the goal area. The referee immediately pointed to the spot and brandished a red card to the Farnborough custodian.

Johnson & Bradshaw challenge

Skipper CJ Fearn donned the gloves, and his first job was to recover the ball from the back of the net after Sandy completed his hattrick from the spot kick. The goal changed the complexion of the game for both sides, Banbury pushed for more whilst their guests tried to defend as best they could. A corner saw Carnell head for the top corner but Fearn was quick to gather with both hands.

With a minute left, a free kick was awarded to the home side a few feet outside the area, Sandy angled the ball across the area and despite a few bodies trying to get something on it, the ball bounced into the far corner to complete a memorable afternoon for the Banbury midfielder. F/T: 4-1

Attendance: 373

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After the game Sports Shots spoke to four goal hero Elliot Sandy: 
And also manager Mike Ford: 

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ACYFL; Athletic run out of steam in title race

Buckingham Athletic U18 – 2

Didcot Town U18 – 3

Buckingham Athletic Under 18’s lost to Didcot Town on Thursday evening at Stratford Fields, suffering their second defeat to their opponents inside two weeks. Unbeaten in the league, Town stretched their lead over Athletic to thirteen points albeit having played two extra games, and even with half of their games yet to play the deficit looks healthy enough even with Didcot having to travel to Buckingham again before the season ends. Didcot took the lead, and despite being pegged back were confident enough to attack with pace and retake the lead before the interval, an early third goal after the break was immediately replied to straight from the kick off, but the home side could not find an equaliser, and had skipper Matt Chew sent off late on for a second yellow card to add to their woes.

The away side attacked from the off, two early offside flags thwarted their attempts and a tackle on the edge of the box by Athletic keeper Larry Mills certainly seemed to impede the Town player trying to latch on to the pass however neither of the officials in that half saw anything wrong. On seven minutes Town striker Henry Horton cut in from the left flank and unleashed a fierce drive that Mills had to push around his right hand post for a corner.

Walters makes vital tackle

An Athletic attack broke down shortly after and a superb long ball through the home defensive backline saw Brett Gardner get in behind full back Evan Walters, as the Town front man looked to shoot Walters recovered brilliantly to slide in and knock the ball away for a corner. The early pressure from the visitor’s paid off on fourteen minutes when another Buckingham attack was broken down in midfield, Horton threaded the ball through to Gardner who deftly lifted the ball over the advancing Mills and with one bounce the ball nestled into the empty net.

The hosts won a free kick on the edge of the box on twenty minutes, Rory Busby curled his effort around the wall and Town keeper Ash Stevens got his fingertips to the effort to turn over his crossbar. Just past the half hour mark saw Athletic equalise, a sublime pass from Chris Atkinson inside his own half saw Sam Olawale away on goal, his pace easily taking him away from any defender and once inside the box he tucked into the bottom corner with ease.

Moments after the equaliser Buckingham had another great chance when moving the ball neatly around the midfield leaving Busby a chance from twenty yards but he could only lift high over the bar. Then eight minutes before the break a Didcot attack saw Atkinson bring down a Town player and the referee did not hesitate to point for a penalty. Harry Hudson calmly stroked the ball home to regain his sides lead. H/T: 1-2

Six minutes after the interval Didcot increased their lead, a ball into the home penalty area caused chaos with numerous shots coming in that saw Mills & his defence throwing themselves at the ball to block, however it eventually fell to Riley Marshall who side footed home. Before the visitor’s had chance to calm down after their celebration they conceded, straight from the kick off Olawale made a nuisance of himself forcing an error which led to him in on goal with no one around him to reduce the deficit.

Didcot score from spot

Didcot continued to press when they could, one such attack saw Jack Badger played in behind the defence but a great sliding tackle from Harry Byron stopped him dead inside the area, and the defender managed to get up and clear the danger. A free kick to the hosts was half cleared to the edge of the Town box where Athletic substitute Finn Pardoe fired at goal but only found the waiting gloves of Stevens.

Straight up the other end Didcot substitute Tyrhys Luko refused to give up on a ball heading away from the Buckingham goal, he managed to get to the ball first despite some heavy pressure from the Athletic defence but he could only pull his shot well wide. Then with nine minutes left a tackled on the edge of the centre circle left Town midfielder Caelan Isaac floored, after consulting his assistant the referee brandished a second yellow of the evening to Chew and his evening was over.

With four minutes left the visitor’s had a golden chance to seal the game when Horton did really well to turn his marker some eight yards from goal, but he fired straight at Mills with the whole goal at his mercy. They were almost made to pay in the final minutes when a pull back from the byline found Tom Baldwin but as he lined up to shoot the ball bobbled on the surface, and he lifted high over the bar. F/T: 2-3

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After the match Sports Shots spoke to Athletic coach Sam Pateman: 

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