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Olney Town v Huntingdon Town preview with Robert Tapp

Saturday 16th December 2017

Olney Town v Huntingdon Town

United Counties League Division One

East Street

K.O. 3.00pm

Olney Town look for revenge on Huntingdon Town on Saturday and will be looking to kick on after last week-ends win at Rushden & Higham, a win that put a halt to their five game losing streak in all competitions. A frustrating time of late for Neil Griffith’s side that has seen his squad depleted through injury and suspension, was finally ended with the shock win at high flying Rushden, and now look to leap frog their visitors in the league table with three points again this week. Two huge games follow this for Olney so they will be looking to get some momentum going before they face Potton and Buckingham Town over Christmas.

Ahead of the game Sports Shots caught up with Robert Tapp, reflecting on their recent defeat in the reverse fixture against this week’s guests:

I really don’t know how we lost that day at Huntingdon, we had a full squad and we battered them for the whole game but just never took our chances. We could have been five up at half time, but as the way it goes in football we went in a goal down following a quick break and a well taken penalty by their forward. The second half was the same, we scored early to level and piled the pressure on but just couldn’t score again. Then a long ball and some sloppy defending from us saw us concede again, they battled hard and saw the game out to win

Robert Tapp

Robert looked back at the recent poor run that Town have been on:

We haven’t been very good to be honest, we were riddled with injuries and suspensions so Neil has been scraping a side together to be fair, but we now have a few players back so hopefully we are now back on the road to winning ways. We’ve needed to defend better as a team and that’s what will see us through the recent rough patch, we’ve made it far too easy for teams to score against us which is why we’ve been working on our shape recently. It doesn’t help when you have a constantly changing back four

He is looking to get back to the form he showed last season:

I would say my season has been ok so far, I’ve had a few good performances but nowhere near the level I was at last season. It can only improve from my own personal point of view

We looked ahead with Robert and asked what was more important this week-end, the win or the performance:

At this particular time I’d have to say the win is more important, after the win last week if we can get another three points then it will boost our confidence ahead of the Christmas fixtures. With our best eleven we can beat anyone in this division, we haven’t been on it of late but I’m sure it will come good

And finally looking into 2018:

We need to keep our squad fit, and firing on all cylinders going into the New Year. If we can do that then we will be back winning games and back where we should be in this league. We have a few new additions as well which will strengthen us so we need to build on this and carry it on into next year

Sports Shots would like to thank Robert for his time out with us this week.

Newport Pagnell Town 2-2 Deeping Rangers 2 UCL

Newport Pagnell Town – 2

Deeping Rangers – 2

Newport Pagnell remain in pole position in the UCL Premier Division title race after this draw on Saturday against close rivals Deeping Rangers, but could have been so much better had they converted their chances in the first forty-five minutes. Credit to Deeping who equalised just before the break and took the lead seconds after the restart, then piled on plenty of pressure in the second half but came up against a resolute Town back line that refused to be beaten again, and results in other games meant the draw kept the gap at the top intact. This may well be a crucial point come the end of the season!

An eighth minute Harry Stratton cross from the right saw a glancing header from Jordan Spruce which flew wide of Richard Stainsby in the Rangers goal, and moments later a long distance drive from Deeping skipper David Burton-Jones was always rising as it sailed over the top.

Another ring wing cross from Stratton then saw Tom Liversedge fighting to get to the ball, as he got laces to the ball it was enough to take the flight away from Spruce who was waiting in the middle and he could only stab wide as he tried to reposition himself under pressure.

Harry Stratton a constant threat

Newport continued to pose the bigger threat, and as another cross was headed clear by the Rangers defence, Josh Winters was waiting on the eighteen yard line but off the ground he chested the ball up and snatched at his shot which only helped it over the top.

On twenty-four minutes Town striker Fazel Koriya and Rangers full back Daniel Flack tussled for a loose ball inside the Deeping area, the Newport man did well to wrap his leg around the defender and get a shot away but only lifted the ball over the top, before Spruce tried a long range effort that never really had enough power to trouble Stainsby.

Then eleven minutes before the break the home side took the lead when a flick on saw Koriya in between the Deeping defence, Jonathan Clay & Flack gave chase but the pacey forward was too quick and as he approached the box he noted Stainsby off his line and superbly lifted over the stranded keeper and into the unguarded net.

Rangers almost threatened immediately when a clever pass from Burton-Jones set away Scott Mooney but Newport keeper Mark Osbourne was quick off his line to avert any danger. But a minute before the interval the away side drew level when a Newport move broke down in midfield, the ball knocked up to Mooney who looked no threat at all drifting slightly right of goal, but he flashed his shot past Osbourne and in. H/T: 1-1

Newport were caught cold from the whistle when just twenty one seconds into the second half Deeping took the lead, Henry Dunn was fed inside the box by Scott Coupland and he made no mistake smashing past Osbourne.

Liversedge upended for penalty

That lead lasted just five minutes, a cross from the Town right saw Stainsby and Spruce compete for the ball on the six-yard line but both miss, the ball squeezed through a mass of bodies to Liversedge who controlled before crashing the ball back off the goal frame, a hasty clearance only saw the ball knocked back into Liversedge with back to goal who was floored by a challenge from Flack and the referee pointed to the spot.

Koriya sent Stainsby the wrong way from the spot kick and again the game was level. Both sides had chances to win the game from that point in a much fairer contested remainder, both trying to win the game but also defending well enough not to lose.

A Deeping cross from their right saw centre-half Luke Hunnings climb highest to thump a header over Osbourne’s crossbar. The closest the game came to a winner was nine minutes from time when a free kick to the visitor’s way out on their left saw the cross sent in by Daniel Schiavi and almost deceive everyone including Osbourne who had to back pedal and tip over his crossbar.

With neither side really wanting the draw, both defences stood strong and saw the game out and a point apiece didn’t make any difference to the league table as Wisbech & Holbeach drew their respective games whilst Leicester Nirvana was called off meaning Newport ended the day retaining their eight point lead at the top. F/T: 2-2

Attendance: 116

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After the match Sports Shots spoke to Newport manager Darren Lynch: 

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Aylesbury United 0-2 AFC Rushden & Diamonds

Aylesbury United – 0

AFC Rushden & Diamonds – 2

Wednesday evening saw the clash between two football clubs who were once lower league footballing greats, but have endured similar painful pathways in recent years, both fighting hard to get back to some former glories. Similar paths, similar stories but different directions.

Once considered the biggest non-league club in the area, and famously hosting the England national team in a friendly, Aylesbury United are currently homeless and rent a room from Chesham United, sit in the bottom three of the Southern League First Division, and earlier this week parted with manager Glyn Creaser after two wins in their last sixteen games. Dark days for the Ducks.

At the opposite end of the table are AFC Rushden & Diamonds who just twenty-five years ago merged two small Northamptonshire clubs to go on and fulfil the non-league dream of becoming a football league club (climbing as high as Division Three – in old money). The money ran out, the club sank at double the speed it rose, and eventually folded. A group of supporters refused to let the club die; they’ve since also rented from various landlords and today top the division amid their rise from the flames. Sunnier days are ahead!

United installed Ben Williams as caretaker manager with Michael Hogg as his assistant on Monday after Creaser left the club, and within 48-hours of their appointments they had to pick their squad for the visit of the table topping Diamonds. In the end the visitors left with all three points, but were frustrated for long periods of the game struggling to break down a resolute United defence who were forced to reshuffle twice after red cards were issued, and it took a very late second goal to secure the points.

It was a cagey start from both sides, neither really settling down but on nine minutes the host’s got pacey winger Connor Furlong away down the left but just as he got away from Joel Gyasi, across came Blaize Punter to block for a corner. Moments later Furlong again attacked down the left at pace, whilst the initial defender pushed him back out wide he managed to turn and get to the byline but his cross was comfortable for Ben Heath in the Diamonds goal.

Straight up the other end Diamonds won a free kick some twenty yards out, skipper Liam Dolman thumped his effort wide, before Luke Fairlamb repeated the exercise from a similar distance, curling wide of Jake Sillitoe in the Ducks goal. Both sides at this stage looked even matched despite the league positions.

Jack Sillitoe see’s red

On twenty-three minutes the home side were dealt a crushing blow when Ben Farrell attempted to lob Sillitoe after pouncing on a loose ball, as the keeper rushed out to deal with the threat the ball bounced away off his extended frame and the referee saw fit to brandish a red card for handball outside the box.

Midfielder Greg Williams donned the number one shirt as Aylesbury reshuffled their pack, and his first threat came from the resulting free kick which Fairlamb could only cannon off the wall and away for a corner. However he was soon beaten when on twenty-nine minutes Tom Lorraine received the ball inches outside the United box and flashed a shot across Williams’ goal face and inside the far post.

The expected pressure from the visitors with the extra man didn’t really materialise and the half drew to a close without many chances, Tre Mitford stabbed at a ball left by the Rushden defence which drew a smart save from Heath, and at the opposite end Williams made a good save from a Fairlamb shot from the eighteen yard line. H/T: 0-1

A couple of early long range efforts from Farrell for Rushden at the start of the second half never really troubled Williams,  the first sailing wide before Sam Brown robbed possession from the Ducks midfield to set up his colleague but again he drove wide.

Aylesbury almost saw a chance fall to Furlong when a great pass from Ollie Hogg set him away but he was closely attended by two defenders who between them managed to get a deflection that took the ball back to Heath without too much of a problem.

Greg Williams proved hard to beat

A Diamonds corner was headed over by Lorraine, before he worked some space on the edge of the box to turn and shoot but straight at Williams. Aylesbury skipper Jack Wood was penalised on sixty-three minutes for a foul and shown a yellow card, and just six minutes later that was doubled up to a red when a tackle from behind felled Lorraine as he drove towards goal, and Aylesbury were down to nine men.

Despite the unbalanced figures, Rushden found it difficult to get past Williams in the United goal, he stood up to everything they threw at him. From the free kick he threw himself to his left to turn the Gyasi effort away for a corner. By this stage the hosts were defending wave after wave of Rushden attacks, and a free kick swung in by Fairlamb saw Lorraine and Brown get in behind the backline but couldn’t connect to turn the ball home.

With eleven minutes left a shot from inside the Aylesbury penalty area from Ryan Robbins saw Williams save, following up Farrell saw his shot blocked again by Williams. Gyasi was next to be denied by the stand in keeper, cutting in from their right his shot was brilliantly tipped around the post.

Joe Curtis was next to try, thumping a half clearance from the Ducks over the bar, before substitute Darryl Smith was set in behind the home defence but again Williams raced out and blocked with his feet. A long range effort from Farrell then saw Williams again make a fine save, and by now the Diamonds fans behind the goal were encouraging him every time their team had an effort at goal.

A glancing header saw Williams acrobatically tip the ball over his own crossbar from right underneath it, but there was nothing he could do two minutes into added time when Lorraine received the ball on the edge of the area and slotted home to ensure the points travelled back to Northamptonshire. F/T: 0-2

Attendance: 141

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After the match Sports Shots caught up with Aylesbury caretaker manager Ben Williams: 

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Winters & Emery discuss Newport Pagnell Town FC

Saturday 9th December 2017

Newport Pagnell Town v Deeping Rangers

United Counties Premier Division

Willen Road

KO: 3.00pm

Newport Pagnell entertain Deeping Rangers on Saturday at Willen Road and look to extend their winning run to five games and at least maintain their eight-point lead at the top of the league table. Darren Lynch’s men will be looking to avenge their defeat at Deeping back in October and make the most of their next five matches where four are at home. Sports Shots spoke with Josh Winters and Luke Emery ahead of the game:

Support your local team

We asked Josh if he feels Newport can maintain their position:

I think the next six weeks are going to be crucial, we play Deeping & Eynesbury this side of Christmas and then Holbeach, Leicester Nirvana & Wisbech all straight after. If we show the same commitment and desire we’ve shown the last few weeks, we’ll be fine

Luke also acknowledged the feel-good factor around the club:

I think everyone in and around the club has enjoyed our start to this season, there is a really good atmosphere around the team, the squad and the whole club in general

Luke doesn’t see any weak area’s in the squad:

I don’t really see anywhere on the pitch we need to improve on at the moment, we just need to treat every game as a big game and not relax for any moment

Josh has enjoyed his time at Newport so far:

I’ve been at Kempston for the past couple of years and thoroughly enjoyed my time there, however this season they couldn’t really guarantee me as much playing time as I would have liked. I knew quite a few of the lads here and I knew they would be strong this season so I spoke to the gaffer and here we are. It’s a really great group to be involved with and I am back enjoying my football

Josh Winters

Josh explained who he thinks will be Town’s biggest rivals in the remainder:

I don’t think there are any easy games in this division as recent results have shown. Sleaford beat Leicester and we only just scraped through against St Andrews, however I think the four main sides scrapping it out will be Deeping, Holbeach, Wisbech and ourselves. Whoever proves the more consistent I think will have the edge

Luke looked back at the defeat at Deeping just a few weeks ago:

It was a close game back in October, we took the lead twice but conceded some scrappy goals and before we knew it they were winning the game. Saturday should hopefully be a totally different affair

Goals will decide who finishes higher and Luke is enjoying a successful spell:

We go into every game wanting to win, and it’s really good that we have three strikers that are all in double figures for the season already. However, our goals are coming from all the pitch, it’s not just us front men that are contributing to our success

Josh also commended the strike force:

Our front line is very good, all slightly different with different qualities, fingers crossed they can keep sharing the goals around and keep firing & kick us on in the second half of the season

Luke Emery

What does Luke see as an end of season target?

I want to hit thirty goals this term, but more importantly we want that trophy come the end of the season! It’s a team game so as long as we are getting the results we need nothing else really matters

We asked Josh if he thinks the club would compete should they gain promotion:

Definitely, having played in the league above a few times for Kempston and Bedford I don’t think it is too dissimilar to the UCL, fair enough it’s quicker and the players are generally fitter but it’s not as physical. No doubt the gaffer will strengthen the areas he feels we need and we’d give it a really good go. But there is a lot of football to be played before we can start thinking about that

Sports Shots would like to thank both players for taking the time out to speak to Sports Shots this week. If you can’t make the game, stay updated with Sports Shots on Facebook and Twitter.

Woodstock Town Ladies 3-1 Buckingham Athletic Ladies

Woodstock Ladies – 3

Buckingham Athletic Ladies – 1

Buckingham Athletic Ladies were knocked out of the league cup on Sunday at Woodstock Town but for most of the game more than competed with their hosts who are second in the division above. Athletic faced their most challenging game of the season so far, and were given a taste of what life would be like should they gain promotion for next season, but they defended well and had their chances although the home side had the majority of the possession and scored at crucial times to kill off the Athletic resistance, in what was a very good game despite some very strange decisions from the officialdom again!

Woodstock tested their guests defence from the off, barely ninety seconds on the clock when a looping shot from the eighteen-yard line saw Buckingham keeper Ellen Fenables back track to gather, before Steph Kubat was fed in but she scooped her effort over the bar.

On ten minutes Evie Hawkins almost had the first chance for the visitors, set in down their left she had two defenders for company and as they battled for control one got a touch that allowed the ball to spiral back to keeper Amy Bourton before the striker could threaten.

Stapleton threatened from distance

An Athletic free kick was blocked inside the box, but the ball was knocked out to skipper Kerry Stapleton who forced Bourton to block with her feet and the ball deflected over the top, before some great work from Hawkins keeping herself behind the tight Woodstock back line saw Stapleton feed her colleague to beat the offside trap, run on and shoot from the edge of the area but the gloves of Bourton were waiting.

A Woodstock corner then cleared a few heads and fell nicely for Hayley Bennett six yards out but she didn’t get the connection she wanted and only helped the ball out for a goal kick, and a superb delivery from a free kick some twenty yards out from Charley Hamilton saw a mass of heads go up but elude everyone and as everyone jogged back for the goal kick the referee awarded a corner.

On the half-hour mark Stapleton blazed a free kick over the Woodstock crossbar, and two minutes later the home side took the lead when a ball into the box saw Chelsea Markwell use her knee to stop the ball and as it bounced up it deflected off her hand which the official deemed as deliberate and awarded a penalty. Despite the protests Kubat planted the ball into the bottom corner.

A cross from the right saw Rachel Thorpe head straight into Bourton’s hands, but with six minutes of the half left the away side did equalise when Thorpe was slipped in through the home defence and as a challenge came in which left the defender floored, Thorpe stayed strong and confidently knocked past Bourton.

On the stroke of half time the hosts almost regained their lead when a corner saw a header crash back off the crossbar, and a goalmouth melee ensued where no one seemed to be able to get a boot to either clear or score and eventually Fenables threw herself on the ball. H/T: 1-1

Rachel Thorpe in action

Ten minutes into the second half Hamilton screwed a shot wide of the Athletic goal from the edge of the area, but four minutes later the home side regained their lead when Kubat received the ball just outside the Athletic area and had time to slot across the goal face and into the bottom corner.

Central defender Emma Marshall then kept her side in the game on sixty-nine minutes with a superb tackle, a ball through the Buckingham defence saw an attack on for Woodstock, just as it seemed they were in on goal Marshall recovered and executed her tackle to perfection taking the ball off the player’s foot and away to safety.

Hawkins had a ball played through for her to chase down with a quarter of an hour left and out pacing her marker got inside the area before unleashing a dipping drive over the out stretched hand of Bourton but also over the bar.

Woodstock sealed the win with three minutes left when a corner was half cleared to the edge of the area and Bennett fired home to secure their passage into the next round. F/T: 3-1

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After the game Sports Shots spoke with Dani Roberts & Chelsea Markwell: 

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Gorleston 2-4 Leighton Town

Gorleston – 2

Leighton Town – 4

Leighton Town’s adventure in this seasons FA Vase continues after this pulsating cup tie saw them progress, although they were forced to dig deep after being pulled back level despite being two goals to the good at half time. The home side came out for the second period a different side to that of the first, and rocked Scott Reynolds’ side with two quick fire goals to level the tie and at that stage looked likely to go on and win the tie however the visitor’s showed they have some character by withstanding the pressure and regrouping before going on to score two more and secure their place in the competition going into 2018.

Leighton were dominant from the early stages, an eighth minute free kick from Alex O’Brien took a deflection off the Gorleston defensive wall and for a moment looked to have wrong footed keeper Taurean Molloy but the spin on the ball took it wide, and a corner shortly after saw a flick on from O’Brien almost tee up Tom Guiney at the back post however a defender got a flick which changed the direction of the ball and the chance was gone.

O’Brien free kick

A half clearance allowed Dom Marsala to shoot from the edge of the box but he screwed wide, before Lewis McBride took a chance from distance but again off target. Whilst Town had the possession neither keeper had too much to do until the twenty-eight minute when a cross found the head of Tom Silford which forced Molloy into a save away to his right.

Drew Mitten got away down the left and squared to Marsala inside the six-yard box but Molloy was quick to come out and dive at the feet of the Leighton captain, and there was a great chance for the home side when a simple ball over the top saw Joel Watts in behind and with plenty of grass to advance at goal, approaching the eighteen-yard line the wide man opted to shoot and got it all wrong and fired wide.

A long clearance from Leighton then saw Mitten set in and his shot brushed the side netting as it flew wide, and it seemed a goal was a long way from coming. But three minutes from the break the deadlock was broken when a Molloy goal kick was sent back into his own half for Silford to chase down, and before any challenge could come in he smashed the ball home giving the keeper no chance.

Two minutes later it got even better for the boys from Bedfordshire and again Silford was heavily involved, released down the left wing he got the better of his marker to square the ball across the box, initially it looked to have been behind all the red shirts but lurking at the back McBride had time to take a touch before firing through a crowded area and into the bottom corner. H/T: 0-2

Gorleston emerged for the second half and made it clear that they were not going to roll over and allow their guests the time they’d enjoyed in the opening forty-five, and looked a changed team as their drive and determination showed from the off.

Ten minutes into the half they pulled a goal back somewhat fortuitously when Watts received the ball out on the left, the Leighton defence pushed him out wide and it looked a standard cross but it eluded everyone including the Town number one Tom Wyant and nestled inside the far post. The home support now had something to cheer and the Green Army were urging their team on.

Within four minutes the scores were level, Watts sent a diagonal cross into the path of Peter Lambert who made no mistake firing into the bottom corner. Now the home side had their tails well and truly up and piled on the pressure but credit to Leighton who didn’t buckle.

A corner was half cleared by Guiney but a follow up header was looped up over everyone and was going in until some superb defending from Matt Hall saw him hook the ball off the goal line and away to safety. As the home side looked to make the most of their pressure, they were rocked when Leighton fought back and retook the lead on sixty-eight minutes.

A corner was swung in and blocked by a defender however Silford was on hand to toe poke in the loose ball and restore his sides lead. Now it was Leightons turn to put the pressure on and a three prong attack saw Mitten, Marsala and Silford all have shots blocked or saved inside the Gorleston box.

McBride seals the win

With eleven minutes left came the goal of the game to kill off the home side, a ball knocked through for James Hatch to chase saw Molloy come to the edge of his area to block, as he knocked it away the ball invitingly rolled out to McBride who chipped the ball over the stranded keeper and inside the back post from twenty-five yards out.

There was a late chance for Jackson Ramm to pull a goal back for Gorleston when he was sent clear down their right but he opted to power his shot at Bryant’s near post giving Bryant a regulatory save, and Town substitute Tegana James had the final chance of the game when fed in by McBride but he fired straight at Molloy. Leighton now look forward to the fourth round draw on Monday.

Attendance: 124

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After the game Sports Shots spoke to Leighton management Scott Reynolds & Adam Kirkup: 

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ACYFL Cup: Buckingham Athletic U18 3-1 Clanfield U18

Buckingham Athletic U18 – 3

Clanfield – 1

Buckingham Athletic progressed in the Allied Counties League Cup on Wednesday night at Stratford Fields, but were worked hard by their visitors who defended well for the opening stages before taking the lead and dominating the rest of the first half. After the break both sides had chances but an early equaliser for the home side saw them gain momentum and two late goals saw them home and gain a little revenge for the only league defeat suffered at Clanfield back in September.

Athletic had a multitude of opportunities in the opening stages, Robbie Carter attacked in the third minute down the left channel, getting into the penalty area his shot was blocked by the feet of Clanfield keeper Luke Haley and turned away for a corner.

From the corner Sam Olawale attacked the ball at the near post but could only steer into the side netting. Carter & Olawale then combined well to set Rory Busby in down the left, despite some close attention from the Clanfield right back he got a shot away which forced Haley to tip over the crossbar.

Busby swung the corner in and again at the near post Olawale got to the ball first and headed downwards but wide. A sixteenth minute free kick to the hosts deep in their own half saw the ball sent long by keeper Larry Mills, a flick on from Carter then saw Olawale away down the left but he blazed over the top.

A good save from Mills and some last gasp defending then kept Clanfield at bay but on twenty-two minutes they did take the lead when Isaac Oliver seized upon a loose ball outside the Buckingham area and slotted into the bottom corner.

Mills busy in action

The goal lifted the away side and seemed to knock the early confidence out of the hosts, which saw Clanfield go on and enjoy some good possession. Buckingham were restricted to the occasional attack, and looked a shadow of the side from the opening twenty minutes.

Olawale did have a chance ten minutes before the interval when a throw was launched at him on the edge of the box, taking delivery on his chest he then spun and superbly got his shot away before his marker had time to react but he could only lift high over the bar.

Just before the break Geraint Minney was fed in down the middle of the park, shrugging off a couple of challenges he got a shot away that Haley again blocked with his boots to divert to safety. H/T: 0-1

The home side came out with renewed vigour after the break, and a free kick just five minutes in saw them bring the tie level again. Busby took the kick out on the right and although the keeper got a hand to it the spin seemed to take it in before colleagues arrived to ensure it was over the line.

Another free kick moments later saw Luke McAndrew net, but the official’s flag was already aloft signalling offside in the build-up, before Busby received the ball on the eighteen-yard line with his back to goal, turning and firing at goal he pulled his shot across goal and wide of the far post. A corner was then headed wide by Olawale, and both sides ramped up the pressure searching for a goal to get their noses in front.

With fifteen minutes left Athletic took the lead for the first time in the tie when another free kick into the Clanfield box was half cleared to the edge of the area, Busby tried to take control but the ball ran away from him initially but he did not give up and whilst a couple of defenders hesitated he drove forward knocking the ball towards goal, and again he pushed on and managed to stab the ball past Haley.

Busby puts home side ahead

Busby then curled a free kick towards the top corner only for Haley to use two hands to tip around his post, and a late scare for the home side almost brought the game level again when a long ball down the guests left saw Mills start to come out but a high flying boot from Travis O’Connor looped the ball over the keeper and bounce towards the empty net, but off target a defender was on hand to clear.

Ethan McKop tried a late drive down the right but fired across goal and wide, before Carter saw a shot blocked and his follow up was comfortable for Haley to gather. Then with a minute left Carter put the game to bed when a poor Clanfield clearance was sent back upfield for the striker to chase down, leaving a defender behind he got inside the area before coolly side footing past Haley and home. F/T: 3-1

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After the game Sports Shots caught up with Athletic coach Kit Bamber and U18 Matthew Chew:

For match photography click here: 

Match images: Buckingham Athletic U18s v Clanfield 85 U18s


Holmer Green 2-3 Aston Clinton

Holmer Green – 2

Aston Clinton – 3

Aston Clinton deservedly beat Holmer Green on Tuesday night to progress into the semi-final of the Wycombe Senior Cup, and scored two goals that could well prove to be goals of the season in their own right. Despite going behind early on, Clinton fought back and led at the break, and had to dig deep to retake the lead after the interval when a Holmer substitution proved to be inspirational. Despite two divisions separating the sides, there were few left at the end of the evening that could argue that Jordan King’s side did not deserve the win.

It took several minutes for Clinton to get to grips with their hosts, although there was little threat from the home side initially, and it was Joe Kittle who had the first shot at goal on seven minutes cutting in from the right, skipping a couple of challenges he fired wide of Luca Gaster in the Holmer goal.

Three minutes later the home side took the lead, a close range effort from James Burrell was cleared away by a defender however the officials indicated the ball had crossed the line and the deadlock broken.

Lewis Workman lived up to his name all night, enjoying some good possession and tormenting the Holmer backline with his pace, and just past the quarter hour mark he was played in behind although his shot never really troubled Gaster who cleared with his feet. From the corner the ball fell to Workman at the back of the box and he fired into the side netting.

An Aston free kick just inside the Holmer half saw a mass of bodies waiting for the cross, however Vinny Grecco went for goal hoping to catch the keeper unaware but his drive cleared the crossbar comfortably. Minutes later another free kick again from Grecco was watched by the entire Holmer back line as it crashed back off the crossbar and away to safety.

As it seemed the visitor’s would not get their equaliser before the break, with four minutes of the half remaining Grecco pulled out a stunner; collecting the ball in midfield he looked for support but with little to aim at he simply knocked the ball to his left and unleashed a superb drive that flew over the outstretched hand of Gaster and nestled in the top corner.

Grecco screamer

Clinton continued to press and two minutes into added time won a corner. As the ball swung in to the near post a host of heads went up but climbing highest Alex McGowan headed home to give his side a half-time lead. H/T: 1-2

Eight minutes after the break Holmer equalised after a corner wasn’t cleared by the defenders in blue, landing eventually at the feet of substitute James Britnell who had literally only been on the pitch a matter of seconds, he took a touch before curling around Liam Smith in the Clinton goal and inside the far post.

They were only level for two minutes when Ryan Binnee combined well with Kittle down the right, the cross from the corner initially looked too deep but in the middle Workman positioned himself brilliantly to hit the ball over his shoulder on the volley and give Gaster no chance whatsoever.

The visitors grew in confidence after they restored their lead, and frustrated their hosts who found it difficult to mount any dangerous attacks without being broken down and hit with pace from one end to the other.

A huge penalty appeal was waved away to the relief of the home defence, but they were immediately caught square again when Kittle was sent away down the right and avoiding a challenge he drove towards goal, shooting from eight yards out the ball beat Gaster but rolled agonisingly wide.

Binnee then flashed a shot over the crossbar following a deep cross that eluded everyone, before Smith ensured his sides lead stayed intact when he brilliantly dived to his right and two handed pushed a shot away from Curtis Stone that looked destined for the back of the net.

From the corner Clinton struggled to clear and Stone regained possession but could only loop his shot over the bar, and despite enjoying the lion’s share of play for the remainder Holmer Green just could not break down the resolute Aston defence. F/T: 2-3

Attendance: 45

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After the game Sports Shots spoke with Aston Clinton manager Jordan King: 

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Pinchbeck United 3-0 Buckingham Town

Pinchbeck United – 3

Buckingham Town – 0

A heavily depleted Buckingham Town side went down to a heavy defeat in this top of the table clash with Pinchbeck United at Spalding, and were defending for most of the game yet for a while looked as though they could keep their hosts at bay. Whilst the home side created numerous chances early on, nothing really looked that dangerous and it took a piece of luck for them to then open the scoring on nineteen minutes. With regular keeper Ryan Thrussell failing a late fitness test, goalkeeping coach Diego Vazquez stood in between the posts, and the first goal came rather fortuitously when the experienced shot stopper misjudged a shot that opened the scoring. Town rarely threatened on a bitterly cold afternoon, with the United defence comfortably dealing with anything thrown at them.

It took ten minutes for the first chance for either side to materialise when a right wing cross found Oliver Maltby unmarked in the middle however he could only head up in the air and stand in keeper Vazquez had time to back pedal before gathering. A corner from their left then saw Chris Shipley head at goal but again Vazquez was behind it all the way.

Maltby had a chance on seventeen minutes to break the deadlock when a ball through midfield saw the Town backline completely miss the ball and the Pinchbeck striker was in on goal, spotting the keeper off his line he went for the long range lob but only managed to lift the ball over the crossbar.

Two minutes later the home side took the lead, despite creating the opening chances it took some luck to open the scoring when Josh Smith collected the ball inside the Town box, initially looking as if he’d missed his chance to shoot when Junior Maya got back to cover, he then cut back on the defender and took the shot on which eluded Vazquez and went in.

Opening goal

Pinchbeck continued to threaten and a clever pass through the Buckingham back line played in Smith on the right hand side of the penalty area, Vazquez advanced to narrow the angle and could only watch as the shot rolled inches wide of the far post.

Town had a half chance with ten minutes of the half left when Jelani Blair crossed from their right and running in at the back post Ricardo Archer climbed high but could only help the ball out for a goal kick. On the stroke of half time another cross this time from Samuel Tamakloe was met with a firm header by Chris Wreh but a defender managed to get a block and deflect for a corner. H/T: 1-0

Buckingham attacked early in the second period and driving forward from defence Enock Sare went for goal from twenty five yards but drove over the bar. It then went sour for the visitors just four minutes later as Pinchbeck attacked down their left and as a block came in from Steve Gavrovski the home side appealed for handball, and the referee pointed to the spot.

Pinchbeck double their lead from spot

Maltby took on the responsibility and duly sent Vazquez the wrong way as he planted the ball in the bottom corner. The United striker had another chance moments later after turning his marker but blasted his shot wide of goal.

As the hosts pushed on looking for further goals another good pass into Andrew Tidswell at the front post saw him closely attended by two Buckingham defenders, but he somehow managed to turn and fire the ball across the six yard box but no red shirts were forward enough to get close to tap home.

Town almost got one back when a decent passing move down their left slipped in Kelvin Osei-Addo but United keeper Dan Swan advanced and made a good block with his feet, and a defender was on hand to thump the loose ball to safety.

With ten minutes remaining Pinchbeck put the contest to bed when a throw on their left wasn’t cleared by the Town defence, the ball eventually fell to Liam Ogden who thumped home. F/T: 3-0

Attendance: 67

After the game Sports Shots spoke to David Barron: 

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BSCC,1R: Buckingham Athletic 2-0 Old Bradwell United

Buckingham Athletic – 2

Old Bradwell United – 0

Buckingham Athletic secured their place in the semi-finals of the Buckingham Senior Charity Cup with this win over near neighbours Old Bradwell United, with both sides missing a host of chances on a heavy and extremely slippery pitch made even worse when the heavens opened in the second half. The young Athletic side however made the most of the conditions and would have won the game by a bigger margin if not for Bradwell keeper Liam Jahn who made some excellent saves to keep his side in the game at crucial moments.

Buckingham were on the attack early through Ben Acquaye who saw his close range shot brilliantly tipped away by Jahn diving away to his left, and moments later another chance fell to the same player who didn’t connect at all when faced with goal from six yards and the ball simply rolled back to the Bradwell keeper.

Bradwells first chance came on eleven minutes when they were awarded a free kick just outside the box but Charlie Wells curled his effort straight into Athletic keeper Nick Bennion’s waiting gloves. Aaron Pike then broke from defence and his initial shot was parried by Jahn and the defenders follow up shot saw Jahn dive away to his right to turn away for a corner.

On thirty-five minutes Sam Olewale drove at the Old Bradwell defence and got as far as the six-yard box before flashing a shot wide, but with four minutes of the half left the home side finally broke the deadlock. Great work from Olewale some twenty-five yards from goal allowed him to break free and square to the unmarked Acquaye some twelve-yards out who curled into the top corner.

Acquaye opens scoring

A free kick to the hosts in the final minute of the half saw a glancing header from skipper Dan Staley flash across the goal face but wide for a goal kick, and there was still time for Olawale to be slipped in behind the Bradwell defence, as a defender slid in from behind he cleverly cut back to create the space for a shot only to see Jahn make another superb save pushing the ball away using both hands. H/T: 1-0

Olawale was soon trying the Bradwell defence again after the break, a cross from the right saw him collect on the edge of the area and turn his marker before firing straight at Jahn, and at the opposite end Ross Butler tried to curl one into the top corner but Bennion was behind it all the way.

An Athletic corner was punched clear but waiting on the edge of the box Jack Menday collected the loose ball and drove forward before unleashing a fierce drive that Jahn had to push up into the air before collecting at the second attempt.

Olawale attacked down the left and was brought to an abrupt halt, as his team mates urged for a foul and a free kick Acquaye carried on from where his team mate was stopped, going for goal keeper Jahn again thwarted the home side their second goal.

Jahn made several good saves

With eighteen minutes remaining the killer second goal did arrive when a free kick was awarded on the edge of the area, Rory Busby made no mistake powerfully despatching into the bottom corner. With the game now done, Buckingham saw out the remainder with little threat of being dragged back from their two goal lead, and could have extended the scoreline when Olawale had a shot saved by Jahn and the follow up from Acquaye saw the Bradwell keeper again turn away for a corner.

Bradwell had a late half chance when a cross from their left saw a couple of defenders and substitute Alex Feaver scampering after the ball but at full stretch he simply lifted the ball wide. The final action saw Butler put through for the away side and from eighteen yards he blazed high over the top. F/T: 2-0

Attendance: 37

After the game Sports Shots spoke with Athletic coach Kit Bamber: 


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