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Buckingham Athletic Ladies 8-1 MK City Ladies Reserves

Buckingham Athletic Ladies – 8

Milton Keynes City Reserves Ladies – 1

Buckingham Athletic Ladies powered to their fourth consecutive win of the season with a thumping win over Milton Keynes City reserves, with an assured first half performance that saw them six goals to the good with another hatrick from goal machine Evie Hawkins who ended the afternoon with four goals for the second successive game, and third hatrick for the third game running. MK gave a much better second half performance and held their own against a team that had run them ragged in the first forty-five minutes, and managed to score only the second goal that Athletic have conceded this term.

Evie Hawkins opened her account after just four minutes, when collecting the ball some thirty yards from goal and advancing towards goal, outpacing her marker she then rounded the MK keeper Sarah Cloherty and slotted home. Captain Kerry Stapleton gave yet another superb performance from midfield, covering what seemed every blade of grass when her team was defending or attacking, and she had a low drive that narrowly sailed wide of Cloherty’s right hand post.

Jordan Heron then doubled the lead on fourteen minutes when she shot past the stranded Cloherty from twenty yards, and with the goal empty Hawkins even had time to shadow the ball home to ensure it crossed the line, and unselfishly allowed the ball to roll home to ensure Heron got her goal. Yet another sign of the team spirit that manager Carmen Robinson has running through her squad already, most strikers would have touched the ball home but Hawkins waited to make sure the ball crossed the line.

Athletic were attacking again two minutes later, a cross from Heron was met in the middle by Hawkins but a superb sliding tackle from a defender diverted the ball for a corner. Heron took the corner and on the penalty spot Stapleton headed into the top corner to increase the lead. Heron then went close again after beating a defender and keeper to the ball and shooting from the edge of the area the ball rolled agonisingly just wide of the back post.

On twenty-eight minutes it was four when Hawkins received the ball inside the MK penalty area, with back to goal and a defender on her shoulder she battled to shrug off the challenge, turned and fired home.

Hawkins with her second

Sensing goals Buckingham poured forward at every chance, and Jade Copas fired wide from the eighteen yard line, and just past the half-hour mark Hawkins completed her hatrick, again receiving the ball in front of goal with a defender on her back, she turned again and fired into the bottom corner.

Seven minutes before the break Copas got her goal, and Athletics sixth when she had a shot from the edge of the area come back off the crossbar and as a defender looked to be in control of the ball Hawkins dispossessed her and squared to Copas who fired home. H/T: 6-0

Athletic started the second half as they ended the first, when Heron got down the right and crossed into the middle where Sam Jolley collided with Cloherty and the ball rolled away for a goal kick. Within seconds Stapleton tried to curl home from the corner of the box but only found that waiting gloves of Cloherty.

Heron proved to be a thorn down the Athletic right, and again outpacing the full back she went for goal from the edge of the area only to fire into the side netting. Jade Copas then saw her shot brush the top of the netting as it looped over, before Heron again fired across goal from the right and the ball bounced off the back post before being cleared.

Another Heron corner found Stapleton in the middle and her attempted over the shoulder volley found Cloherty waiting to catch. Then something kicked MK into life and on fifty-seven minutes had a goal disallowed for offside, and this seemed to give them a lift and all of a sudden tackles were more vigorous and challenges had more conviction.

As they were enjoying some possession Athletic then stunned them with a seventh goal on sixty-five minutes, a Hawkins shot rolled across the goal mouth and away for a goal kick. Cloherty took the goal kick but only found Kayleigh Harwood on the edge of the box who somehow managed to head the ball back into the empty net.

Credit then to Milton Keynes who went straight up the other end with Kiki Hurst who fired across goal and into the bottom corner, due reward for their much improved second half performance. Cloherty then denied Harwood from close range, and followed that up with another good save from Jolley inside the box.

Jordan Heron then took on a defender before fizzing a low drive wide, but with six minutes left Copas scored her sides eighth of the day when she received the ball some twenty yards from goal, without hesitation she went for goal, lifting the ball over the keeper as it flew in. F/T: 8-1

After the game Sports Shots caught up with Kerry Stapleton & Jordan Heron: 

For match photography click here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm6FhFYf

Aylesbury 4-3 Molesey

Aylesbury United – 4

Molesey – 3

Aylesbury FC supporters went through the full range of emotions on Saturday in this FA Trophy battle of the Moles, comfortable at half time with a two-goal cushion but then pegged back by two goal in as many minutes early in the second period, then relief again as the two-goal cushion was restored but a late Molesey third then saw the remaining minutes played out with the ball in the Aylesbury penalty area and a succession of blocks and challenges that had their nerves on edge until the final whistle eventually confirmed their passage into the next round.

Within the first minute Shayne Almond warmed visiting keeper Liam Allan hands with an early drive that saw the shot stopper having to use two hands to push the ball over his crossbar. Jeanmal Prosper then threaded a perfect pass through the visiting defence for Shayne Almond to latch onto and fire narrowly wide.

Almond was constant threat

Aylesbury took the lead on fourteen minutes through Ty Deacon, a diagonal ball across the Molesey penalty area found Deacon at the back post who slotted home despite the appeals of the away side for offside. Brian Haule then went close curling over the top from the edge of the area, and as Aylesbury played the better passing moves they went close again when a three man move resulted in Almond firing over.

Allan then kept the scoreline down when another good move saw Prosper cut down the Aylesbury left and drill the ball across the area, a defender in an attempt to block stopped the ball but lost his balance, Almond pounced on the loose ball feeding in Deacon who saw his shot brilliantly saved by Allan.

They did then double their lead on twenty-nine minutes, Brian Haule worked hard with the ball sandwiched between two defenders; he managed to hold them off and flick the ball through to Deacon who got down the right and from the tightest of angles crossed the ball only for it to loop over the keeper and inside the back post.

Almond got down the left wing again and squared across the area to Deacon who laid off to Prosper who drove straight into the keepers’ gloves. Everything Molesey tried simply wasn’t working, either the final ball wasn’t good enough or Aylesbury defenders got blocks in to deny their visitor’s any chance of getting a goal back. Josh Andrew tried his luck from twenty yards only for a defender to throw himself at the ball to divert for a corner being one such instance.

Six minutes before the break some good movement from Molesey presented Manny Quarshie with an opportunity on the left hand side of the box but he smashed the ball over the fence & into next week, and this was closely followed by Antonio Simeone who drove wide from twenty yards out. H/T: 2-0

Molesey came out for the second period and took the game to their hosts, Simeone arrowing an effort inches over the bar from the corner of the area, and Shayne Almond had the first chance for Aylesbury curling a shot just past the back post.

On fifty-eight minutes Molesey were given a lifeline when a trip on the edge of the box saw them awarded a penalty. Simeone stepped up and gave Aylesbury keeper Ashley Jenkins no chance from the spot. Within a minute the tie was level when substitute Ashby Charles crossed from the wing, and with no immediate danger a defender blocked the ball but then slipped, and on hand to steal the ball was Olu Akinsanya who thumped into the top corner.

Just as Molesey got themselves back in the game, Aylesbury fought back and we ahead again within five minutes, from a corner the ball fell to Jordan Jenkins at the far post and from close range he smashed home.

Jenkins gives Aylesbury lead

Three minutes later and Aylesbury had their two-goal lead restored when Almond fired home despite the close attention of several blue shirts, when fed in around the six yard line he made no mistake firing inside the near post.

With fifteen minutes left to play Molesey almost grabbed a third when a cross was met at full stretch by Quarshie who headed a couple of yards over the crossbar. As the game seemed to be petering out to a close, Molesey grabbed a lifeline with a minute left, a simple ball up into the Aylesbury box saw Ashby Charles acrobatically jump at the ball and hook over his own shoulder, and over Jenkins head and in.

As the clock ticked into the final minute, the referee indicated a further five minutes would be played, which led to the expected Molesey onslaught, they threw everything at Aylesbury, high balls were slung in, bodies thrown at any sight of a loose ball, but credit to the home side who withstood five minutes of pressure to secure the win. F/T: 4-3

Attendance: 77

After the game Sports Shots spoke to coach Ryan Wiffin: 

For match photography click here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm6D16vm

 

Aylesbury FC v Molesey FA Trophy preview

Non-League Day 2017

Saturday 7th October 2017

Aylesbury v Molesey

FA Trophy Preliminary Round

Kick-Off: 3.00pm

Aylesbury FC (Step 4) begin their FA Trophy campaign on Saturday when they host Molesey (Step 4) of the Bostik (Isthmian) Southern Division. The Surrey based side currently sit thirteenth in their league table having won four of their opening eleven league matches and drawing one. After collecting a reasonable four points from the opening two league games, they then fell at the first hurdle of the FA Cup which was the first of a four game losing run.

Since they stopped that rot on the ninth of September with a single goal victory at Ashford United, Molesey have seen their results mirrored with a win followed by two defeats twice, and after they won Tuesday at Grinstead, Aylesbury will be hoping they can continue their guest’s cycle with a defeat.

For anyone wanting to see how the visitor’s results have gone this season so far click here: http://www.moleseyfootballclub.com/teams/47215/fixtures-results

Aylesbury themselves are looking for a good run in the Trophy, having had a difficult start to the season after an opening day draw at Hayes they then lost at home to Cambridge before tasting victory in the FA Cup at home to Cirencester, but that was then followed by a six-game losing streak including defeat in the FA Cup at home to Leiston.

However, the form was turned around with two home league wins in a week, and although defeat at Chesham this week saw their league cup campaign over, the game was used as a chance for manager Davis Haule to rotate his squad ahead of the impending Trophy fixture. The moles faithful will be hoping that the two wins last week can kick start their season and prove to be an ideal start to a length FA Trophy run.

Fancy attending the game?

Click here for directions: http://www.pitchero.com/clubs/aylesburyfc/contact/

 

Sports Shots have this week spoken to three Aylesbury FC players ahead of the game.

When reflecting on whether the match would be a welcome distraction from league matters for a week, club captain Ben Stevens explained:

It’s definitely a game to enjoy but at the moment I’d say the league is more important for us, especially as we’d like to try and build some form off the back of our recent two league wins

Ben Stevens

Central defender Jordan Jenkins is looking forward to the game, especially after last week’s results:

I think the two league wins have given us a bit of momentum and a well-timed boost, those six-points have lifted us up the table and we go into this cup fixture with some of the weight lifted off our shoulders. The FA Trophy is a big competition for clubs at our level, and it can offer the chance to play against some bigger clubs the further you go, also the prize money is a big lure but our manager demands the same application in every game we play

Striker Shayne Almond believes his side can progress:

We definitely have a chance to progress on Saturday, we won’t know too much about our opposition but why not? I fully believe if we turn up and play to our full potential we can win the game

Jordan went on to describe how the Aylesbury squad has settled down since August:

Pre-season saw a large amount of players at the club, but since then the management have fine-tuned the squad and it’s no coincidence that the results have steadily improved with a more settled bunch. Davis has brought together a good mix of experience and youth, including Shayne who has been outstanding since he came in, he gives us that extra bite in attack we were lacking before

Shayne has enjoyed it since signing on:

I’ve settled very well, I came into the club quite late, they’d already played 5 or 6 games before I got here but they are a good bunch of lads that have made me feel very welcome

Shayne Almond

Ben Stevens admitted there is a lack of knowledge of their opponents:

Being honest we don’t know too much about Molesey other than what we’ve googled, but from what we’ve read we can see they’ll be a decent side and it should be a very entertaining game for everyone coming along

Shayne Almond joined the club recently after a prolific season last year for Thame Rangers:

I have two goals so far, and now my own personal target is to reach twenty league goals this season, anything more will be an added bonus for me. I fully expect us to climb that league table now and hopefully we can nick a play-off place at the end of the season

Ben discussed the team preparation for the game:

We prepare for every game in exactly the same way, the manager sets us all up in the same way whether it’s a league game or cup game, and we go out to win either three points or to get in the next round

Jordan also revealed his pre-match routine:

I have a pre match meal of pasta and a banana at 1pm, I have the same seat in the dressing room and make sure I am never late for a game. Nothing out of the ordinary really, just part of my pre-match preparation

Jordan Jenkins

Finally Ben looked back at the FA Trophy in his time at Aylesbury FC:

My favourite memory has to be when we went to Tooting & Mitcham United, it was a hard fought battle and we came away with a 2-1 win. Both sets of fans were magnificent that day, and I also picked up the MoM award!

Jordan recalled a game playing for Leighton Town:

I’ve played in the competition a few times, and the stand out game for me was when I travelled to Carshalton with Leighton, they had a brand new 3G pitch and we played them off the park winning 2-0. Last year here the Trophy run didn’t last long, I’m hoping we fare better this season!

Sports Shots would like to thank Ben, Jordan & Shayne for their time this week.

Non-League Day 2017

This Saturday see’s the annual celebration of non-league day, started seven years ago to promote non-league football during the ‘international break’ and to encourage people to “support their local team”.

 

Supporters up and down the country face a week-end of discontent with no top flight matches due to the international break, but are encouraged instead of sitting at home or going shopping to go out and discover just what their local non-league football scene offers.

Many clubs offer special deals in order to encourage more support this week-end, in the hope a few will come along and enjoy what they see and return again later in the season. Clubs often use the week-end to try and raise money for charity.

Read why ‘NLD’ was set up:

Non-League Day was set up by James Doe in 2010 as a social media experiment, after being inspired by a pre-season trip to Devon to watch Queens Park Rangers play at Tavistock. It has now grown to become an annual part of the football calendar, backed by Premier League and Football League clubs, MPs, celebrities, media organisations, charities and most importantly the non-league clubs themselves and the fans who turn up on the day.

Always scheduled to coincide with an international break, Non-League Day provides a platform for clubs to promote the importance of affordable volunteer led community football while giving fans across the country the chance to show support for their local non-league side.

Many non-league clubs are almost exclusively volunteer run, with money taken at the turnstiles often funding thriving youth set-ups, projects and facilities which are of benefit to the whole community. The level of skill on offer at non-league grounds will never compare to that at the Emirates Stadium or Old Trafford, for example, but there are other sides to the experience, from which the smaller club will always win hands down. The vast majority of games still kick off at 3pm, ticket prices are realistic, you can often stand (and drink!) anywhere in the ground and will always be guaranteed a warm welcome by people who run their clubs for a love of the game.

Whether you’re a Premier League or Championship fan without a game, a League One or League Two supporter who can’t make an away trip, or just someone who is curious about what their local club has to offer, there is sure to be something to interest everyone

If you are looking for a game to attend Saturday use link provided, all you need to tap in is your postcode: http://www.nonleagueday.co.uk/map.html

 

Sports Shots urges everyone to get out this week-end and discover the teams that are local to you! You never know, you may find a new passion, and when entry costs anything from £4 you’ll have enough to take the kids, other half and some places even admit your pet dog if you ask nicely. (Twitter page ‘non-league dogs’ love these pictures if you do!)

 

To find out more information about the campaign click here: http://www.nonleagueday.co.uk/index.html

 

Aylesbury United Ladies 0-8 Buckingham Athletic Ladies

Aylesbury United Ladies – 0

Buckingham Athletic Ladies – 8

Buckingham Athletic Ladies may have had a two week break since their last game but they certainly didn’t show any signs of relaxing their amazing start to the season, scoring another eight goals against Aylesbury United at Bedgrove Park on Sunday afternoon. It took until the second half for the Athletic side to assert their dominance and once again Evie Hawkins led the scoring with four goals taking her season tally to nine in three games. Jade Copas weighed in with her first hatrick of the season, including two long range efforts that gave the Aylesbury keeper no chance at all, and even some very strange decisions from the official could not dampen the spirit shown by the Buckingham Ladies.

Athletic team spirit

From the kick-off Hawkins took the ball off the foot of an Aylesbury player to attack & cross, but Copas just couldn’t get to the ball as it rolled away to safety. Hawkins was then fed in behind the home backline but could only shoot wide, before Copas fired over from outside the box.

A Buckingham throw saw Kay-Leigh Harwood steal in behind the United defence and take the shot on early but screwed wide, and on fifteen minutes Hawkins chased down a lost cause when the ball appeared to be heading towards Aylesbury keeper Keri Clark but the Athletic striker got to the ball first, turned the keeper and with the open goal to aim at opted for power but lifted the ball over the top.

Captain Kerry Stapleton then tried her luck from distance, only for the keeper to dive to her left and parry away and quickest to react was Harwood who flashed the loose ball across goal and wide. The visitor’s then broke the deadlock on twenty two minutes, Hawkins playing a good one-two on the edge of the box before advancing and slotting home with some ease inside the near post.

Harwood then found the net soon after only to be adjudged offside, and Aylesbury went close with a glancing header from a corner however Athletic keeper Ellie Fenables was never really in any danger of being beaten. Georgia Howell then set Hawkins away on goal only to be denied by a good save from Clark. H/T: 0-1

Two minutes after the break Katie French drove into Clark’s gloves from twenty yards, and a couple of minutes later Evie Hawkins was brought down in the box and a penalty awarded much to the derision of the home faithful. Hotshot Hawkins picked herself up to convert and double her sides’ lead.

Hawkins was in again moments later but the bounce wasn’t kind and she could only shoot wide, and at the other end Aylesbury saw Sarah Jackson fire high & wide from the edge of the box. Just before the hour mark the game was put to bed when a throw to Athletic found Copas on the corner of the eighteen yard area and she took a touch before smashing over the keeper and into the back of the net.

Copas scores her first

Two minutes later it was four when Copas again thrashed home from the edge of the area, and Buckingham were on a roll and playing some great football. A Stapleton corner was headed over from close range by Copas, before a cross was met by Hawkins and Harwood but they got in each other’s way before the latter fired wide.

Jade Copas completed her hatrick on seventy-seven minutes when an Aylesbury goal kick went straight to her twenty yards from goal, and with the keeper to the right of her goal Copas kept her cool to drive home. A minute later Hawkins completed her hatrick, from the restart of the previous goal Hawkins hunted the ball down, gained possession and dribbled past several defenders before stroking home.

A minute later Hawkins was brought down in the box and again the referee pointed to the spot despite being yards away from the offence. Kay-Leigh Harwood stepped up and scored her second of the season from the spot.

A minute into added time Hawkins grabbed her fourth when a long ball wasn’t cleared by a defender and Hawkins harried her to concede possession, she turned back in and from eight yards out smashed home. F/T: 0-8

Sports Shots spoke with Kerry Stapleton & Jade Copas after the match: 

 

For match photography click here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm51mkVv

 

Banbury United 2-3 Shildon AFC

Banbury United – 2

Shildon – 3

Banbury United were knocked out of the FA Cup on Saturday by a very well organised Shildon side, who looked nothing like a side from two levels below their hosts. A fairly lack lustre first half was brought to life when Banbury took the lead just before the half hour mark, but before the United fans could start to relax and look forward to the draw on Monday, Shildon struck back within minutes and after the break took a stranglehold on the game scoring twice more. They then withstood a late Banbury rally after they pulled a late goal back, but several blocks including some on the goal line saw the visitor’s progress into the fourth qualifying round.

Seconds into the game Banbury worked the ball wide left to Tom Winters whose cross looped over Shildon keeper Nick Liversedge and landed on top of the goal netting, which rallied the sizeable crowd gathering behind the goal, and both sets of supporters stretched their vocal chords to try and urge their respective teams on.

At the other end Dan Moore shrugged off some close attention before firing past Jack Harding’s left hand post, and moments later his Shildon strike partner Adam Burnicle got down their left and forced Harding down to his right to turn around his post for a corner.

Banbury won a corner on twenty-six minutes and Luke Carnell headed goalwards, a defender on the line headed away and it was met on the edge of the box by George Nash who fired over. Three minutes later the home side took the lead, a cross from Jefferson Louis was knocked on by Liversedge and as Conor McDonagh struggled to get the ball under control Winters pounced and drove into the top corner.

The lead lasted just three minutes, when a tackle on the edge of the United box left many waiting for the whistle to blow for a Shildon free kick, however Billy Gruelich-Smith fired the ball back in to Burnicle and he fired inside Harding’s near post to level the tie.

Burnicle levels the tie

Banbury almost had a chance before the break to retake the lead when Ravi Shamsi fed the ball in to Louis who was in behind the Shildon defence, however the ball bobbled up and his first touch took the ball into the grateful gloves of Liversedge. Gruelich-Smith then had time to fire straight at Harding from the penalty arc, and in added time a long punt upfield saw Burnicle win the race to the ball and he attempted to lob the advancing Harding and the United faithful held their breath as the ball bounced narrowly wide of the open goal. H/T: 1-1

Straight from the second half kick-off Louis got away down the Banbury right and from just inside the box fired the ball into the side netting. A Tom Winters corner was then headed at goal again by Carnell, a Shildon defender stuck out a boot and the deflection forced Liversedge to flip backwards to tip over his own crossbar.

A cross from the right was then headed straight at the Shildon keeper by Louis, and it seemed only a matter of time before the home side regained their lead, but Shildon rocked their hosts when they took the lead on fifty seven minutes. An attack seemed fairly harmless but United failed to clear, and as Lewis Dodds swung the ball back in to the Banbury box player-manager Dan Moore got in front of Carnell to head into the corner.

Banbury tried to get back in the game, a ball up to Louis was chested down to Winters who squared to Shamsi but he fired high over the bar, but then on sixty-six minutes the visitor’s extended their lead when Gruelich-Smith crossed from their right and in front of goal Burnicle had time to take a touch before firing across Harding into the bottom corner, to send those who had travelled down from County Durham into raptures.

Banbury tried to rally again and Jack Westbrook fired over from twenty yards, before a Louis cross was met at the back post by Winters but he just couldn’t get enough on the ball to turn it home. Banbury stepped up the pressure, and a Tom Winters deflected shot was somehow hacked off the line by a Shildon defender, then with eight minutes left United found a lifeline.

Tom Winters attacked down the left and swung in an inviting cross which substitute Ricky Johnson headed between keeper and defender on the line to give his side hope. Galvanised by the goal, the home support urged their team on and another Winters cross was headed at goal, blocked, and the follow up shot cleared off the line. Despite plenty of pressure the home side simply could not find an equaliser, and the FA Cup dream was over for another season. F/T: 2-3

Attendance: 700

Sports Shots spoke to Banbury manager Mike Ford after the game: 

 

For match photography click here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm3HJaP5

 

Banbury United v Shildon FA Cup preview & Tom Winters exclusive

Saturday 30th September 2017

Banbury United v Shildon

FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Round

Kick-Off: 3.00pm

Banbury United (Step 3) return to FA Cup action on Saturday when they host Shildon FC (Step 5) of the Ebac Northern League Division One. A game of intrigue lies ahead, with Banbury facing a side from two levels lower for the second successive round, and again a side that are doing very well in their campaign so far.

Whilst the side from County Durham face the long journey of over two hundred and ten miles each way, they will go into the game full of confidence, having yet to lose in their league campaign. Of their ten games to date they’ve won seven and drawn three, and currently sit second in their league table.

Shildon will not be daunted by the task ahead of them, having already knocked out a step three side in the previous round, winning by a single goal against famous ‘giant-killers’ Altrincham FC. In fact Saturday’s match will be Shildons fifth in the FA Cup this term already.

Banbury will be looking to pick themselves up after the midweek defeat at high-flying Kettering Town, and to get through to the next round and pocket the seven and a half thousand pound prize fund available to the winners. With the National League top division clubs entering in the next round, the rewards for winning Saturday will not only be financial but also possibly high profile with a number of sizeable ex-football league clubs entering the fold.

For anyone wanting to see how the visitor’s results have gone so far this season click here: http://www.shildonafc.com/results/

Fancy attending the game?

Click here for directions: http://www.banburyunitedfc.co.uk/contact/

 

Sports Shots spoke to Tom Winters exclusively ahead of the game, asking what he thought of the game on Saturday:

It’s a massive day for the club, everyone involved wants a good run in the FA Cup and I’m no different. We will be doing our very best on Saturday to make sure we are in the hat for the next round

Winters in action in previous round

 

We asked if preparation is key when playing teams from a different league:

I’m sure the gaffer as has done his homework on Shildon, and we’ll work on a few things in training on Thursday ahead of the match, but we must stick to the things we do well and play our own game

Tom has settled well into life at Banbury since joining permanently in the summer of 2017:

Yeah it’s been great here, I’m really enjoying paying for my home town club, the lads here are a great bunch and I’m enjoying every minute of it

And finally, just what has been the most memorable moment in the FA Cup so far:

Well my favourite memory has to be from back in 2008, although the fans may not like hearing it I scored for Brackley against Eastwood Town and my goal made it onto Match of the Day, a moment I shall never forget

Sports Shots would like to thank Tom for taking the time to speak to us this week.

 

Buckingham Athletic & Leighton Town both drawn away in FA Vase

Both our sides* remaining in the FA Vase have today learnt of their 1st round proper opponents.

 

Buckingham Athletic.

Buckingham Athletic (Step 6) face a daunting trip to Hellenic Premier Division side Bracknell Town (Step 5). Bracknell currently sit third in their league table, and are all geared up for a promotion fight after having their ground upgraded last season, which included a brand new 3G pitch and a new stand being installed. Town missed out on promotion to the Southern League last term on the final day of the season, when they lost their final game at home and Thame pipped them to the title.

Just hours before the FA Vase draw, Bracknell announced they had parted terms with their first team manager, meaning Athletic will be going into the game against a new manager so will have little time to research their opponents and any changes the new man may bring in.

The Berkshire side have won seven of their opening nine league games, drawn one and tasted defeat for the first time this past week-end at Thatcham. They won their extra-preliminary FA Cup tie but were knocked out the next round at home to Winchester. Having scored twenty-seven goals in their first nine league games, they have conceded just eleven, and with their FA Cup games included have scored thirty goals in eleven games in all, keeping four clean sheets in all.

To follow the progress of Bracknell follow this link: http://full-time.thefa.com/DisplayTeam.do?divisionseason=44806448&teamID=16577094

But Buckingham have seen some decent form themselves this term so far, currently sitting seventh in the South Midlands Division One table. Having won three, drawing two and losing just one of their opening six league games, they were knocked out of the League Challenge Trophy by higher opposition but have had a good run in the Vase, having overcome Bedford in a replay and then AFC Hayes on Saturday just gone.

Athletic have scored twenty-one league goals conceding just seven, and with all their cup games added have scored thirty-three goals and conceded thirteen, keeping two clean sheets in all. They have scored freely in three separate games alone, firing 6 past Bedford in their Vase replay, seven past Wodson Park away, and eight in their opening game of the season at home to Codicote.

To follow the progress of Buckingham Athletic follow this link: http://full-time.thefa.com/DisplayTeam.do?divisionseason=957608024&teamID=211499215

Ground to ground: 65 miles

 

Leighton Town.

Leighton Town (Step 5) have also been given an away trip, to Essex Senior League Premier Division side Burnham Ramblers (Step 5). Based in Burnham-on-Crouch the Ramblers haven’t got off to the best of starts this season, currently sitting second bottom of their league table having won just one of their opening nine league games so far, and losing seven. They have faced a team from Leighton’s league already this term, having been knocked out of the FA Cup by St Margaretsbury back in August.

Burnham have scored just ten goals in their nine league fixtures, and conceded twenty-six but are just a win or two away from climbing away from the bottom of the table. With their cup games included they have scored sixteen goals in total, with thirty-three conceded in reply, and their win on Saturday in the Vase was their first since the middle of August in all competition. They are yet to keep a clean sheet this season.

To follow the progress of Burnham, follow this link: http://full-time.thefa.com/DisplayTeam.do?divisionseason=601330614&teamID=8809795

Their guests Leighton Town have had a better start to their season, currently occupying eighth place in the South Midlands Premier Division table. Having won three, and drawing three of their opening seven league games, they have scored twelve and conceded nine goals. Town got through their opening FA Cup tie but were knocked out cold by Tuffley Rovers in the next round, conceding three in the final five minutes to lose 2-3 at home.

This will be Town’s third Vase game of the season and all three have been against step five clubs, having already defeated Brimscombe & Thrupp and Leverstock Green. With all their cup competitions added, Leighton have scored a total of twenty-seven goals, conceding seventeen in all. Leighton have kept four clean sheets this term thus far.

To follow the progress of Leighton follow this link: http://full-time.thefa.com/DisplayTeam.do?divisionseason=720645845&teamID=210036216

Ground to ground: 89 miles

 

*Newport Pagnell Town will also be involved in the FA Vase from the second round, to be covered by Sports Shots.

 

The full FA Vase 1st Round draw can be viewed here: http://www.thefa.com/news/2017/sep/25/buildbase-fa-vase-first-round-proper-draw-250917

Leighton Town 2-0 Leverstock Green

Leighton Town – 2

Leverstock Green – 0

Leighton Town progressed to the first round proper of the FA Vase on Saturday at the expense of Leverstock Green, who had their keeper Caolan Doyle-Creamer to thank for several fine saves during the game to keep their hosts at bay. Town go into the hat on Monday for the first round proper draw; the game to take place on the twenty-first of October, and will again be hoping for a home draw at Bell Close where they have only lost one of their six games so far this season. With the FA Vase draws regionalised until the fourth round, a home draw could prove crucial with so many good local clubs still involved in the competition.

Leighton showed just one change from last Saturday with Lewis McBride returning to the side for the first time this season after injury, and Leverstock were almost forced into an early change when a fourth minute free kick to Town was met at the front post by a clatter of heads and Green skipper Shane Woods went down, with immediate help from the bench called for. Despite a stretcher being called, Woods had some lengthy treatment and eventually returned to the action.

Leverstock had the first chance on nine minutes when a cross from the left was just a little too high and in the middle Matt Bateman just couldn’t get enough on the ball and looped his header over Tom Wyant’s crossbar. Leighton then took the lead three minutes later when a corner swung in from their right was met with a thumping header from James Hatch ten yards out, giving keeper and defender on the goal line no chance whatsoever.

Hatch heads home

Another cross from the Town right saw Lorrell Smith try a clever back heel towards goal which was blocked on the line and cleared, the ball then swung back in and Hatch headed wide. Alex O’Brien forced Doyle-Creamer into a flying save tipping over when shooting from the edge of the box, before Jakk Pursey tried curling into the top corner from twenty yards out but a slight deflection took the ball out for a corner.

The visitors should have made more of a corner on twenty-two minutes, the ball fizzed across the six-yard box and with numerous red and green shirts trying to attack the ball no-one managed to get anything on it and somehow it rolled away to safety. The game then calmed down for a period, where crosses and attempted through balls were comfortable for both keepers to gather.

But just before the break Leighton had a flurry of attempts again & threatened when a McBride shot was saved by the keeper, and following up Dom Marsala thumped a shot at goal that came back off a defender and eventually cleared. A free kick then swung in was met by Pursey who couldn’t quite get over the ball and headed over. Town skipper Marsala then got in down the right, his cross was blocked by a defender and the loose ball pounced on by O’Brien whose saved was brilliantly saved by Doyle-Creamer. H/T: 1-0

Four minutes after the re-start Leighton doubled their lead when Matt Hall did well getting down the left and his cross was met in front of goal by Smith and Greens defender Curtis Bird and with Doyle-Creamer committed one way the ball rolled in the opposite corner. Smith then had two successive balls played through for him to run onto and both times the Leverstock keeper denied him brilliantly diving at the striker’s feet.

Second Leighton goal by whom?

A Leverstock attack then saw a block in the Leighton box and following up Brima Johnson curled over the top from close range. Straight up the other end Smith fed in O’Brien and from just inside the box his shot was blocked by the outstretched boot of Bird. Town right back Dave Murphy then stretched his legs down the right wing, his cross met at the near post by Smith and his slight deflection rolled agonisingly across the goal face and wide.

A Dom Marsala cross after some good build up play then eluded everyone in the middle, where there were more red shirts than green, before Leverstock attacked through Mason Tunbridge who evaded a couple of challenges before flashing his shot across goal and wide. Leighton continued to move the ball well through midfield, and with just over fifteen minutes left were again denied by Doyle-Creamer when he advanced from his goal to throw himself in front of a Smith effort and block.

O’Brien fed in Smith behind the Greens backline, and his shot again saved by the determined Leverstock keeper, before Marsala and O’Brien combined down the right to set in substitute James Towell who from the corner of the eighteen yard box rifled a shot over the bar. The home side thought they had a third with minutes remaining when Hatch sent a long ball downfield for Smith to chase, with two defenders on him he got two shots away, the first saved and the second blocked and as the ball looked to be rolling towards the unguarded net Doyle-Creamer recovered to gather.

There was still time for an Alex O’Brien fierce drive to be diverted for a corner, before a superb crossfield pass from Tunbridge found his Green team mate Luke Preedy on the right touchline, he ran in on goal and Leighton keeper Tom Wyant came out to dive bravely at his feet to ensure his sides route to the next round was with a clean sheet. F/T: 2-0

Attendance: 116

After the game Leighton manager Scott Reynolds spoke to Sports Shots: 

 

For match photography click here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm5Nme38

 

Leighton Town manager Scott Reynolds talks exclusively to Sports Shots

Leighton Town manager Scott Reynolds spoke exclusively to Sports Shots this afternoon within minutes of the final whistle at Bell Close after seeing his side progress in the Buildbase FA Vase with a two goal victory over Leverstock Green.