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NBDL; United front man convinced he will be Guin-ing from ear to ear come the end of the season

Saturday 8th December 2018

Buckingham United v Brackley United

Inter Divisional Trophy Knockout Competition

Lace Hill Sports Centre

K.O. 1.30pm

Buckingham United are back in cup action this weekend as they attempt to bounce back after last week’s exit from the North Bucks & District League intermediate division cup, as they host Brackley United in the interdivisional trophy. Defeat at Lace Hill to Wing last Saturday by the odd goal in five means emphasis shifts to this competition, which will prove a sterner test overall for last year’s division one cup winners, a tough test this week as they welcome unknown Brackley from the second division of the NBDL; a team who are currently third in that division, following just three defeats in their fifteen league games to date. Two divisions may separate these sides, but cup games are great levellers especially on wet sodden pitches!

Ryan Guinnane

This week Sports Shots caught up with front man Ryan Guinnane to ask how he feels his season has been up until now:

I feel great so far, my fitness is good & I’m feeling fresh and ready to play! I’ve put in a few good performances and contributed to a few goals which is always a nice feeling

What is Ryan’s best position and system in his opinion?

I think my preferred formation is 4-3-3 as our team love to attack, and I like to play through the middle of that attack

How have United coped since gaining promotion last year?

We’ve coped really well to be fair, we haven’t come up against a team and been out played by a long shot, of course we haven’t won all of our games but have definitely been the better team in those we have lost, other than a charity game against Potterspury first team who have been the only team to beat us convincingly this season. No matter how well you play, there is always room for improvement

What does Ryan make of the current squad, and are they good enough to go up?

With the players that left, the players that have replaced them have made us stronger all round and recent new signing Jason Wilson will be a great asset to us and will help us to pick up some more points throughout the season. I don’t like to pick out individuals because I feel everybody has stepped up, it also helps with the lads having a lot of respect for one another and for our captain Paul Nevin and vice-captain Ricky McAdam. We would all love to give the premier division a go!

We asked Ryan which other teams have impressed so far this season in terms of title challengers:

I think it will be a tight one, with Bletchley Park, Wing and of course Marsh Gibbon all being very good sides, we need a few results to go our way so we can hopefully pip them to it

Defeat at home last week to Wing, how was the game?

Overall we can take a lot from the defeat to them last week, both teams played some good football and I’m pretty sure it would have been a good one to watch, we created more than enough chances to have won the game but the Wing stubborn defence stayed strong to hold on for the win

What is the aim for United this season?

Like I said earlier, as long as some results go our way and we keep picking up points I’m sure we can get promotion, it would be great if we could win the title but promotion is the main aim

Finally, we asked Ryan to look ahead to this week’s game:

We haven’t played this Brackley side this term as they are a second division side, but we never take any game for granted so as long as we’re up for it then we are always going to be hard to beat!

C’mon you bulldogs

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

SSMFL; INANE RAMBLINGS FROM UP NORFF 07.12.2018 – South Midlands League update #35

THE INANE RAMBLINGS FROM UP NORFF

 ‘NOWT SO QUEER AS YORKSHIRE FOLK’

BY KAREN BROWNE

 

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

And Should Be Taken With A Pinch Of Salt

 

TUESDAY 4th DECEMBER

 

MIDWEEK HEADLINES

Risborough Rangers were the night’s headline makers as they knocked Winslow United out of the Division One Cup. Enfield Borough reach the quarter-finals of the League Challenge Trophy. Biggleswade United’s current fine run of form continued as the club closed in on the Premier Division leaders.

 

4 December Stats: 9 games played of which 5 were home wins, 3 were away wins and 1 draw.

 

Highest Midweek Attendances: 110 Winslow United v Risborough Rangers, 64 Biggleswade United v Crawley Green and 58 Northwood v Harefield United.

 

LEAGUE CHALLENGE TROPHY Third Round

No giant-killing in the League Challenge Trophy as Division One Enfield Borough booked their quarter-final place against Division Two Sarratt, the hosts running out 3-0 winners with Tage Kennedy amongst the goals again. Full result and goalscorers are listed below.

3-0 Enfield Borough v Sarratt (Kennedy [2], Opponent Own Goal) Attendance: 20

 

PREMIER DIVISION

Biggleswade United moved up into fifth place as they extended their unbeaten run in the league to nine games (eight wins and a draw) when defeating Crawley Green 2-1 at Second Meadow. The night’s other game saw Edgware Town make five leagues without defeat with an impressive 3-0 win against visiting Colney Heath. Full results and goalscorers listed below.

2-1 Biggleswade United v Crawley Green (Holmes, Parkinson) / (P Draycott) Attendance: 64

3-0 Edgware Town v Colney Heath (Hunte [2], Carruthers) Attendance: 41

 

HERTS SENIOR CHALLENGE CUP Second Round

The last remaining SSML team Leverstock Green’s interest in the Herts Senior Challenge Cup ended by a solitary goal defeat against the youngsters of Premier Division Watford at Pancake Lane. Full result and goalscorer are listed below.

0-1 Leverstock Green v Watford (Hutchinson) Attendance: 37

 

WEST HERTS ST MARY’S CUP Quarter Final

With a big FA Vase replay coming up it came as no surprise as Tring Athletic made ten changes for this West Herts St Marys Cup tie against Herts County League opposition Chipperfield Corinthians. The visitors going two-up early in the second period before surviving a spirited Tring fightback. Full result and goalscorers are listed below.

1-2 Tring Athletic v Chipperfield Corinthians (K Johnson) / (Flanagan, Pooley) Attendance: 41

 

DIVISION ONE

London Lions picked up three useful points to move further from the relegation zone with a 2-1 win at seventh placed FC Broxbourne Borough. Full result and goalscorers (where known) listed below.

1-2 FC Broxbourne Borough v London Lions (Clarke) / (Unknown) Attendance: 30

 

DIVISION ONE CUP Quarter Final

Risborough Rangers produced a battling performance as they made nonsense of league placings when holding the in-form Winslow United to a 1-1 draw before progressing via the penalty shoot-out. Full result and goalscorers are listed below.

1-1 [2-4 pens] Winslow United v Risborough Rangers (Parsons) / (Griggs) Attendance: 110

 

MIDDLESEX SENIOR CHARITY CUP Second Round

With several key players rested it came as no surprise that SSML Division One table toppers Harefield United were soundly beaten 0-6 against higher ranked opponents Northwood in the Middlesex Senior Charity Cup. Full result and goalscorers are listed below.

6-0 Northwood v Harefield United (Pattie [2], Pett, Cooper, Worrell, Conrad-Lucan) Attendance: 58

 

HIGH WYCOMBE SENIOR CUP Quarter Final

Aston Clinton secured a semi-final date with either Risborough Rangers or Penn & Tylers Green with this solitary goal win against Hellenic League Division One side Chinnor. Full result and goalscorer are listed below.

1-0 Aston Clinton v Chinnor (@ Chinnor FC) (Stapleton) Attendance: 20

 

AND FINALLY

Looking for a new goalkeeper well a bargain buy of two packets of Bonio Dog Biscuits can be found in Argentina.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/av/football/46453844

WFAC; Billericay Town Ladies 3-1 Luton Town Ladies (aet)

Billericay Town Ladies – 3

Luton Town Ladies – 1

(after extra time – score at ninety minutes 1-1)

02.12.2018

Luton Town ladies were beaten in extra time on Sunday in the SSE Women’s FA Cup at Billericay Town, but did take their high flying hosts all the way inside the ninety to take the game into an additional thirty minutes where they went behind to a wonder strike before a late third sealed the game with some very tired legs unable to halt the run of Blues skipper Jay Blackie. A healthy crowd at the impressive AGP Arena saw the visitor’s take the lead after soaking up almost sixty minutes of pressure when Aurora Ryan chased down a back pass that was never reaching Billericay keeper Alex Baker, but the lead lasted just six minutes as Karen Steffanou equalised and the game drifted out to stalemate, but the home side found the goals in added time to proceed.

The Essex side had the majority of possession early on, a fifth minute cross from their right saw captain Blackie fire wide of Luton keeper Kezia Hassall’s right hand post, followed closely by Zoe Rushen & Amy Nash combining well in the corner to square to Lindsey Morgan who lifted high over the top. The visitor’s first chance saw a corner swung in by Zara Carroll met by Erica Byron who headed over, straight back up the other end a cross intended for Nash was brilliantly blocked by skipper Rachel Carter allowing Hassall to pounce on the stunned ball.

She was soon back in action having to dive to her right to push a fierce drive from Rushen away for a corner, Billericay looked almost certain to score when Georgia Box dinked a looping cross into the back post where a defender hesitated allowing Rushen to win the header but the ball sat in the mud in the six yard box giving Hassall the chance to simply pick up. The best chance of the half came seven minutes before the break when a superb cross from Lucy Jones found Rushen but her deft side footed effort didn’t have enough contact and she just helped it on its way out to safety.

There was still time for a pass through the Luton backline that saw Box inches away from opening the scoring, Rushen then curled a shot over from the eighteen yard line. The Bedfordshire side were almost gifted an opener in the final minute when a poor back pass saw Dionne Manning have a clear sight of goal, it seemed to take a moment for the striker to realise the opportunity presented to her but she advanced a yard ahead of firing straight at Baker. H/T: 0-0

Billericay were a constant threat to the Luton defence

The first effort after the break saw Morgan from the edge of the box fire wide, and Blackie receiving possession in midfield drove forward ten yards before shooting straight into the gloves of Hassall, the keeper then had to dive bravely at the feet of Morgan just as the home skipper looked odds on to connect with a cross from the right. A free kick to Luton saw Carroll lift the ball into the penalty area where Ryan got a brilliant header in that Baker had to gather with both hands underneath the top corner of her goal frame, then somewhat unexpectedly the away side took the lead on fifty-eight minutes.

A back pass from the Billericay left back did not have enough power on it and despite Baker advancing Ryan was down her throat in a flash, the keeper attempted to clear but the ball rebounded off the attacking player towards the empty goal where she ran on to fire home. Luton were lifted by the break through and looked for more, Manning slipped a ball through for Olivia Abraham and as she lined up to shoot a great sliding tackle came in and the chance was gone, then on sixty-four minutes the hosts equalised.

A Billericay attack wasn’t cleared allowing Nash to lift a hopeful ball over her head and as a defender tried to clear it fell nicely for Steffanou to hit it with the outside of her left boot past the despairing dive of Hassall into the far bottom corner. Luton tried again to regain the lead when Jess McKay tried her luck from twenty-five yards but it was always wide of the right hand post, whilst at the opposite end a pull back to Danica Dougal saw her blaze high over the top, a free kick then to the home side on the wing was floated across the box where it eluded everyone in orange but two blue shirts running in couldn’t quite get to it leaving it to bounce harmlessly away.

Amy Summerfield fed a ball wide to McKay who then curled inches wide of Baker’s far post, moments later a carbon copy of the opener almost gave the hosts the lead, a short back pass allowed Nancy Butler to nip in and Hassall’s clearance cannoned off the substitute, she went wide to collect before firing back across the open goal mouth and wide, and a counter attack from a Luton breakdown saw a pass slid through for Rushen to hit first time over the keeper which brushed the top of the netting as it cleared the crossbar.

Luton celebrate opener

A free kick saw Carroll clear the blue defensive line but Baker was behind it all the way and in the dying minutes Lucy Jones sent Morgan away down field however she was inches from connecting but Hassall was out to gather quickly, and a corner in added time almost saw the visitor’s snatch it when Byron headed over at the back post. F/T: 1-1

Two minutes into extra time Rushen drove forward from midfield before shooting over the Luton bar, a cross then cleared by their defence fell to Nash who had time to control ahead of flashing across goal and wide of the far upright, and a great move that saw Butler in between the orange centre halves deserved more than striking the woodwork although a raised flag would have denied anyway, whilst Manning saw a shot deflect off a blue sock for a corner at the opposite end.

Eleven minutes into extra time Billericay took the lead for the first time, hesitation in the away defence allowed Butler to find recently introduced Broghan Kelly who first time from twenty yards fired into the top corner giving Hassall no chance whatsoever. The visitor’s tried to get back in the game, McKay drove forward twenty yards but fired wide, Manning then slipped a delightful pass through for McKay who toe poked inches wide.

After the break a corner to the home side was headed narrowly wide by Dougal from close range, Kelly then fed to the left of the area flashed a shot a couple of yards wide of the back stick, then with three minutes left the tie was sealed when a Luton attack broke down and the ball played up to Butler who sent Blackie bearing down on goal, evading a tired looking challenge she poked past Hassall to confirm the win. F/T: 3-1

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

After the match Sports Shots caught up with Luton manager Nikki Baker: 

For matchday photography, please click here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmnYvbsb

SSMFL; INANE RAMBLINGS FROM UP NORFF 03.12.2018 – South Midlands League update #34

THE INANE RAMBLINGS FROM UP NORFF

 ‘NOWT SO QUEER AS YORKSHIRE FOLK’

BY KAREN BROWNE

 

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

And Should Be Taken With A Pinch Of Salt

Life as a Fixture Secretary in winter began on Saturday as the morning was spent by the phone waiting for the dreaded news of postponements due to the slight moisture in the air, no less than 10 games were postponed with 8 of those due to the weather.

 

WEEKEND’S HEADLINES

Harefield United remain the only first team yet to taste defeat in the league this season. Tring Athletic are now four games without a win but ended their successive defeats run with a battling 1-1 draw in the FA Vase. Harefield United, Buckingham Athletic, MK Gallacticos and Mursley United all hit opponents for six. The 20 games seeing 84 goals (an average of 4.20 per game). Richard Pacquette (Harefield United) and Charlie Wright (Buckingham Athletic Development) both weighed in with hat-tricks, for the former it was a second successive Saturday treble.

 

1/2 December Stats: 20 games played of which 9 were home wins, 6 were away wins and 5 were draws.

 

(Most League Wins – all Divisions): 14 Biggleswade FC, Harefield United, 13 Tring Athletic, Hadley, Broadfields United, 12, Arlesey Town, Hillingdon Borough.

(Most League Draws – all Divisions): 7 Leighton Town, Edgware Town, 5 Oxhey Jets, Wembley, 4 Colney Heath, Cockfosters, Crawley Green, Stotfold.

(Most League Defeats – all Divisions): 15 Hatfield Town, 13 Stotfold, 12 Brimsdown, Codicote.

Average Saturday Goals: 4.09 (2262 goals from 553 games).

Unbeaten:

(Division One League): Harefield United.

(U25 Development Division League): Berkhamsted Development.

Without a Win:

(Premier Division League): Stotfold.

Most Goals Scored:

(Premier Division League): 52 Biggleswade FC.

(Division One League): 58 Winslow United.

(Division Two League): 39 Pitstone & Ivinghoe.

(U25 Development Division League): 31 Berkhamsted Development.

Most Goals Conceded:

(Premier Division League): 47 Stotfold.

(Division One League): 63 Hatfield Town.

(Division Two League): 44 Clean Slate.

(U25 Development Division League): 31 Stotfold U25.

Fewest Goals Conceded:

(Premier Division League): 16 Tring Athletic.

(Division One League): 13 Broadfields United.

(Division Two League): 6 Old Bradwell United.

(U25 Development Division League): 4 Holmer Green Development U25.

Fewest Goals Scored:

(Premier Division League): 15 Stotfold.

(Division One League): 15 Hatfield Town.

(Division Two League): 9 Clean Slate.

(U25 Development Division League): 3 Holmer Green Development U25.

 

Weekend’s Highest Attendances: 239 Tring Athletic v Biggleswade FC, 212 Histon v Leverstock Green and 145 Lye Town v Leighton Town.

 

Season’s Highest Attendances to date (Premier Division Clubs): 239 Tring Athletic v Biggleswade FC (FA Vase), 211 Baldock Town v Arlesey Town and 203 Biggleswade FC v Biggleswade United.

 

Season’s Highest Attendances to date (Division One Clubs): 351 Winslow United v Easington Sports (FA Cup), 257 Harefield United v Winslow United and 177 Buckingham Athletic v Winslow United.

 

Season’s Highest Attendances to date (Division Two Clubs): 101 Aston Clinton v Pitstone & Ivinghoe, 92 Bovingdon v Old Bradwell United and 90 Bovingdon v Sarratt.

 

Season’s Leading Goalscorers to date (Premier Division Clubs): 19 Alex Marsh (Biggleswade FC) 17 Ashton Campbell (Tring Athletic) 16 Jonathan Lacey (Leverstock Green), Lorrell Smith (Arlesey Town).

 

Season’s Leading Goalscorers to date (Division One Clubs): 19 Tage Kennedy (Enfield Borough) 18 Harry Dalton (Winslow United), 17 Sean Peter (Hillingdon Borough), Leonard Farhall (Harefield United).

 

Season’s Leading Goalscorers to date (Division Two Clubs): 21 Nathan Skelton (Mursley United) 16 Joshua Smith (MK Gallacticos), Albie Hall (Pitstone & Ivinghoe) 12 Stephen Dodd (Bovingdon), Luke Little (Unite MK), Matthew Standen (Bovingdon).

 

 

Saturday 1st / Sunday 2nd December

THE BUILDABASE FA VASE Third Round

The SSML will have one club in the Fourth Round following Saturdays 1-1 draw between the Premier Division top two sides Tring Athletic and Biggleswade FC in front of the 5th highest crowd of the round. The clubs will replay on Saturday 8th December. Leighton Town following their re-instatement into the competition took Midland League side Lye Town to extra time before bowing out 0-4 to their Birmingham based hosts. On Sunday Leverstock Green exited the competition when being totally outplayed by Eastern Counties League Premier Division side Histon, the hosts winning 5-1. Full results and goalscorers listed below.

4-0* Lye Town v Leighton Town (McKenzie, Mercham, Billingham, Carter) Attendance: 145

1-1* Tring Athletic v Biggleswade FC (O’Connor) / (Northfield) Attendance: 239

5-1 Histon v Leverstock Green (Brown [2], Rolph, Ruddy, Bexfield) / (Smith) Attendance: 212

 

LEAGUE CHALLENGE TROPHY Second Round

Premier Division Colney Heath left it late to progress in the League Challenge Trophy at Division Two side Old Bradwell United on Saturday. A Jack Woods equalising goal deep in stoppage time securing the draw and a penalty shoot-out which they won 5-4. The day had got off to a good start for the lower ranked side, prior to the game the club unveiled their new changing rooms block along with receiving their award for Team of the Month for October. Darryl Smith then put them ahead midway through the first half. Full result and goalscorers listed below.

1-1 [4-5 pens] Old Bradwell United v Colney Heath (Darryl Smith) / (Woods) Attendance: 45

 

PREMIER DIVISION

It was honours even in the big ‘six-pointer’ at the relegation end of the table as Wembley fought back to earn a 1-1 home draw with Harpenden Town thanks to a Charlie Weir penalty. Hadley’s hopes of joining Biggleswade FC at the top were rocked when a stunning free kick from Phil Draycott earned hosts Crawley Green all three points. The day’s other fixture saw Potton United secure maximum points from their short trip to Baldock Town, the only goal of the game by substitute Aaron Murrell coming in the 85th minute. Full results and goalscorers are listed below.

0-1 Baldock Town v Potton United (Murrell) Attendance: 121

2-1 Crawley Green v Hadley (Ingham, Draycott) / (Linton) Attendance: 70

1-1 Wembley v Harpenden Town (Weir [pen]) / (Ashton) Attendance: 37

 

DIVISION ONE

Harefield United maintained their top of the table status with a resounding 6-2 success at Amersham Town with ex-QPR striker Richard Pacquette once again amongst the goals. Second place Broadfields United were beaten for only the second time this season when losing to a solitary goal at Risborough Rangers. Winslow United are up to third following a 5-0 success at fellow promotion hopefuls Park View. The day’s remaining fixture to survive the weather also brought about a glut of goals as six different Buckingham Athletic players all found their names on the scoresheet as the hosts thumped visiting Brimsdown 6-0. Full results and goalscorers are listed below.

2-6 Amersham Town v Harefield United (Camara, Edwin) / (Pacquette [3], Farhall, Mangan, Haule) Attendance: 40

6-0 Buckingham Athletic v Brimsdown (Golding, King [pen], Marsden, Olawale, Wigg, Bell-Toxtle) Attendance: 21

0-5 Park View v Winslow United (Bowers, King, Freshwater [pen], Miah, Dalton) Attendance: 25

1-0 Risborough Rangers v Broadfields United (Read) Attendance: 81

 

HERTS SENIOR CENTENARY TROPHY Quarter Finals

The SSML will be guaranteed one finalist as a result of Saturday’s quarter-finals with the league’s two remaining clubs in the competition set to face each other in the semi-finals in February. London Lions progressing thanks to a 2-0 home success over Herts County League side Bedmond Sports. The SSML’s other two representatives had mixed fortunes in the dreaded penalty shoot-out, Division One FC Broxbourne Borough drawing 2-2 at Eastern Senior League South side Wormley Rovers before winning the shoot-out 3-1 while Division Two leaders Bovingdon were held 1-1 at Herts County League side Belstone before succumbing in the penalty shoot-out. Full results and goalscorers (where known) listed below.

1-1 [4-3 pens] Belstone v Bovingdon (Unknown) / (Dodd) Attendance: Unknown

2-0 London Lions v Bedmond Sports (Arnold, Mattey) Attendance: 18

2-2 [1-3 pens] Wormley Rovers v FC Broxbourne Borough (Unknown) / (Wells, Daniel) Attendance: Unknown

 

DIVISION TWO

With the morning’s top two, Bovingdon and Berkhamsted Raiders, not in action it was the chance for the chasing pack to make ground. Pitstone & Ivinghoe kept up the pressure when winning 5-2 at New Bradwell St Peter FC to move into second place with the top three now all level on points. Mursley United are up to fourth with a 6-1 home success over The 61FC (Luton) while Aston Clinton now lie fifth following their 4-0 win over visiting Grendon Rangers. Totternhoe drop to sixth after suffering a 2-6 reverse at MK Gallacticos in the day’s remaining game. Full results and goalscorers listed below.

4-0 Aston Clinton v Grendon Rangers (Mealor [2], M Collins, Beckett) Attendance: 20

6-2 MK Gallacticos v Totternhoe (J Smith [2], Amoako, Ahmed, Simpson, D Smith) / (O’Callaghan [2]) Attendance: 20

6-1 Mursley United v The 61FC (Luton) (Brazier [2], A Lands, Skelton, Sylvester, Wardell) / (De Sousa) Attendance: 25

2-5 New Bradwell St Peter FC v Pitstone & Ivinghoe (Davey [2]) / (Doughty [2] [1 pen], Hall [2], Williams) Attendance: Unknown

 

NATIONAL CHRISTIAN CUP Second Round

A 2-3 defeat saw SSML side Clean Slate bow out of the competition at the hands of Beds County League side Christians in Sport. Full result and goalscorers (where known) listed below.

2-3 Clean Slate v Christians in Sport (Unknown) / (R Douglas, Nolan, Wilson) Attendance: Unknown

 

UNDER 25 DEVELOPMENT DIVISION

The weekend’s only action saw third placed Buckingham Athletic Development travelling to second from bottom Ampthill Town Development. Given the morning league placings this one went the way of the formbook with the visitors winning 4-1 and moving up to second place four points behind leaders Berkhamsted Development but with a game in hand. Full result and goalscorers listed below.

1-4 Ampthill Town Development v Buckingham Athletic Development (Kamara) / (Wright [3], Barker) Attendance: Unknown

 

AND FINALLY

After Hartlepool United advertised the job for first team manager on Twitter, many fans amusingly replied back to say how they’d be up for taking on the job after how successful they were on video game Football Manager.

Remember to tune into Three Counties Radio (Herts, Beds & Bucks) and a show all about local non-league football- The show is live every Monday evening from 7.00pm – 8.00pm and is the perfect opportunity to catch up with our local non-league scene at all levels. Both presenters of the show are on twitter, and to follow what’s coming up in the next show make sure you give them a follow, Ollie Bayliss is @Ollie_Bayliss and Luke Ashmead is @Ashmead72.

Featured on the show this week is Potton United’s Bev Strong.

Sports Shots smashes through milestone to reach seventh heaven

Since the beginning of this year Sports Shots have seen the number of hits we receive grow beyond our wildest dreams, and through the year we have posted updates as and when we have reached milestones.

On Friday morning we posted on our social media pages that we’d beaten our previous monthly hits record which we set back in May with 808,317 hits; at 10.15am this morning we had reached 808,471 hits for November to set a new record for monthly hits. This will obviously increase as we go into the final few hours of this month. Now we have more exciting news…

 

In 2017 we totalled 4.96 million hits for the year, in the New Year we set ourselves a target of 6 million for the whole of 2018. In early September we posted that we had already gone past 5 million hits for the year.

Well we’ve more than beaten that total, our targets and anything else we could ever have dreamed of, and we still have December to go yet!

As at 6.15pm this evening Friday 30th November 2018, we have received hits that takes our yearly total thus far to: Over 7 million hits in eleven months

 

To be exact: 7,001,924

We have surpassed our own expectations and we would like to thank every single one of you who takes the time to support us, and visit our website www.sportsshots.org.uk

Southern League; M.Herc driving towards Herculean second half of Ducks season

Saturday 1st December 2018

Aylesbury United v Kidlington

Southern League Division One Central

The Meadow

K.O. 3.00pm

Aylesbury United host Kidlington on Saturday in Southern League action looking to bounce back after two successive defeats against North Leigh & Corby and find themselves in the unusual position of sitting exactly five points off the play-off places and also off the relegation places. Having lost to second bottom North Leigh two weeks ago, Ben Williams men will not want a repeat to bottom place Kidlington, especially in those heavily congested lower reaches of the table where just five points separate the bottom eight places of the league that only holds twenty teams. The following four games after Saturday see the Ducks then tackle top seven sides, so a win is essential if they are to start any momentum going into the Christmas period where they then face three sides below them in the league as it currently stands. However the Oxfordshire side arrive at The Meadow this week buoyed by two successive victories and are just a win away from escaping the relegation places themselves.

Max Hercules

This week Sports Shots caught up with summer signing Max Hercules, and asked how he’s settled in to the club and how the move came about:

I feel that I’ve settled in to the club perfectly and so far, everything seems to be going great, it helped already knowing a few players here. I was always interested in playing for Aylesbury United, and playing under Ben for Bucks Sports Academy helped everything go through smoothly in terms of settling in

Has Max seen a difference in the level that he’s come in to and how has he adapted?

I’ve seen a difference in the teams that we play, no game is an easy game in this league and you have to be on it for ninety minutes. I’d say that I’ve just tried to play the same way as I usually do and just be confident

Have any of the United squad impressed Max, and are there any he feels could play higher level?

I wouldn’t say there was a certain individual that has impressed me the most so far, a lot of these players have, and I believe many could play in the leagues above

How were those two previous defeats and what cost Aylesbury on the day?

The North Leigh game was one to forget for us as a team, but I believe we easily deserved more from the Corby game. I don’t think we can say we lost it in certain parts of the pitch though, we play as a team, therefore we win or lose as a team

We asked Max how he’s found the support at Aylesbury, and if Cliff Hercules had come into any conversation:

I’ve heard many stories about my Dad & the support has been great so far, many of our away journeys are quite far yet lots of people still turn up to watch us play

So far Max has scored five goals, where does this stand in terms of targets?

I’m happy with the amount of goals I’ve scored this season but it’d always be good to get more. My target is to get double figures and also to provide as many assists as I can, for me they are as good as scoring a goal

What are the squad expecting Saturday from Kidlington?

We have information that shows they have a good squad, we all know that no game in this division is easy so we will have to prepare correctly for it

Finally, we asked Max what he believes the Ducks can achieve in the league this season:

We know what we need to do to keep away from the relegation places, and we would love to finish in and around the play-off places

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

OC; Archer targets cup Win to lighten Grave league form

Saturday 1st December 2018

Wingrave v Great Horwood

Oving Cup

Recreation Ground

K.O. 1.30pm

Great Horwood face a trip to Wingrave on Saturday in the Oving Cup and look to build upon their success over Deanshanger two weeks ago, in what has been a frustrating season so far. Their game against Deanshanger was the first they had played in four weeks, a good win was then met by another two weeks off, so no momentum is allowed to build when it is most needed and going into a spell of cup competitions without a good run of games behind them may be detrimental to their ambition. Wingrave are currently towards the base of the ADL Premier Division but their results in November show their games have encountered thirty-three goals in just four games, and they have lost their last three fixtures so Horwood will be confident of progressing.

Sam Archer

This week Sports Shots caught up with Great Horwood captain Sam Archer to ask how he feels the season has been so far:

We haven’t had the results we would want so far, and its easy to say that its down to players being out or the sporadic fixture schedule but the honest truth is that we haven’t been playing that well. We’ve knocked the ball around nicely but we’ve struggled to get it in the net. We’ve had two games this season where I really thought we played well and that was against Linford at home and our last game against Deanshanger, hopefully we can continue with that form

How has the season been for Sam Archer?

It’s been ok, but not really good enough. The only highlight for me so far is that I’m ahead of my brother in the goal scoring records!

With Horwood sitting eighth in the table, has it been a poor start or are their games in hand yet to play a part?

It’s been a disappointing start, but I’m hoping we hit some form now, and we usually play better during the winter months. We plan to be in the top four and to keep progressing in all the cup competitions

Having played nine league games to date, Horwood have already used twenty-five different players, has this affected things?

That is a lot higher than usual, we normally have about sixteen or seventeen players that turn up every week, that fact we have used so many isn’t enough to affect results though

We asked Sam which opposition have impressed so far?

Duston have to be the most impressive side that we’ve played in the league, they beat us two-one at home & their attitude is always great. I think when we play them away later this season it will be a closer battle

A good win over Deanshanger last time out, how was the game?

A lot better, as I said earlier our best performance of the season, we knocked the ball around nicely and if it wasn’t for their goalkeeper, we could have had seven or eight. Our back four were brilliant as well, I don’t think we conceded a shot on target

Away at Wingrave this weekend, what are the squad expecting to be up against?

All I know is they beat Stewkley from our league last year in this competition, but with the Oving Cup rules it could just mean that there were a few players ruled out. I’m sure it’ll be tough at their place so we just need to be confident in ourselves

Finally, we asked Sam with cup fixtures now coming thick & fast, does he see these as a welcome distraction or relief from the league campaign:

If I’m honest we are just happy with the fixtures, we all want to be playing every Saturday so we just take them as they come along. The cups must take priority after our start to the season and we seem to do well in them, I think we’ve been in at least one final every year for the past five seasons

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

SSMFL D1; Ash looking to stoke up smoking hot performance from last week

Saturday 1st December 2018

Hatfield Town v Ampthill Town

Spartan South Midlands League Division One

Cotlandswick Playing Fields

K.O. 3.00pm

Ampthill Town travel to Hatfield on Saturday for a league fixture they will be expected to gain points from as their hosts currently sit bottom of the Spartan South Midlands League Division One table with just a single victory from their opening seventeen league games to date, and Ampthill shook off a three game losing streak by beating third place Hillingdon Borough last weekend. Ampthill are just a couple of wins from pushing into the top five places, and their next four league fixtures are all against sides below them in the standings meaning this is an ideal opportunity to keep that winning momentum going and build up a head of steam going into the New Year!

Ash Higgins

This week Sports Shots caught up with striker Ash Higgins to ask how long he’s been at the club and how he’s enjoying it so far:

I joined this season, a good friend of mine was already playing over here and told me to come and have a look and I knew Paul (Toms) from playing for him over at Berkhamsted. I’m enjoying it here, it’s a good set up with a decent set of lads

How good does Ash think the squad is at Ampthill, and which players have impressed so far?

There is a decent squad here, as a striker I like to link up so would have to say that Brad Clarke aka The Magician has stood out for me so far, and also Jamie Cerminara but he’s always injured as he’s a bit of a wimp

Of all the games so far this season for Ampthill, which have been the best and the worst?

Probably both games were against Hillingdon, it was good to get back to winning ways last week and bag myself a couple of goals, then the worst has to be when we played them midweek with a makeshift side and we took a bit of a hammering on the night

We asked Ash what system works best to get the most out of him:

We’ve played a few different systems this season and at times I’ve been a bit isolated but I prefer having a strike partner to be honest, but as a side we have to have the right balance so I’m happy with what ever is best for the whole team

A great win last week over Hillingdon, how did Ash see the game and how did his goals come about?

Well we fell behind which we seem to do quite a bit, but we picked ourselves up and played probably the best we have all season for thirty minutes or so, we found ourselves three-one up before they started seeing a lot of the ball and they nicked a goal back but thankfully we saw the game out. My goals were just about making sure I was in the right place at the right times to get the rewards

Did the striker set himself any targets for the season?

No not really as I haven’t played Saturday football for a while but I would have hoped to be on a few more by now but there are still lots of games left yet to increase my tally, especially now as it seems we have a lot more of a settled squad

Away to Hatfield Town this week, a game that Ampthill will be expected to win, will there be any difference in approach to the game?

There is no easy game in this league really so we just have to play like we did against Hillingdon and hopefully notch up a few more goals

Finally, we asked Ash where he thinks Ampthill can finish the season in league and cup competitions:

We’ve played a lot of the top teams now and we know we can beat them so we should be finishing top six at least I would hope. As for the cup competitions we’ve beaten two teams in the league above so there is no reason why we can’t go on and win one of them!

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

SSMFL; INANE RAMBLINGS FROM UP NORFF 30.11.2018 – South Midlands League update #33

THE INANE RAMBLINGS FROM UP NORFF

 ‘NOWT SO QUEER AS YORKSHIRE FOLK’

BY KAREN BROWNE

 

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

And Should Be Taken With A Pinch Of Salt

 

TUESDAY 27th NOVEMBER/WEDNESDAY 28th NOVEMBER

MIDWEEK HEADLINES

The nightmare for every fixture secretary in football’s lower leagues appears to have arrived, excessive rain falling and games being called off, this midweek we lost six of the 13 scheduled games, five to the weather and one due to a FA Trophy replay. In the games that survived the attention turned to cup football, the League Challenge Trophy the pick of these. Tring Athletic tasted defeat for the third successive game (not the ideal preparation for their forthcoming FA Vase tie at the weekend). Potton United were taken to a penalty shoot-out by lower league opposition Buckingham Athletic whilst Winslow United now back playing football following recent pitch vandalism followed up their nine goals on Saturday with another four to progress into the quarter-finals.

 

27/28 November Stats: 7 games played of which 2 were home wins, 3 were away wins and 2 were draws.

 

Highest Midweek Attendances: 108 Bishops Stortford v Baldock Town, 76 Tring Athletic v Leighton Town and 75 Winslow United v Buckingham Town.

 

LEAGUE CHALLENGE TROPHY Third Round

With quarter-final places up for grabs it was a big night in the League Challenge Trophy. The midweek ties brought about an all Premier Division affair, an all Division One tie and a Premier v Division One match-up. In the first of these Leighton Town squeezed past Tring Athletic with a solitary goal win at the Grass Roots Stadium. The second brought about a comfortable 4-0 success for Winslow United against visiting Buckingham Town whilst the third, although going with form-book, was no easy route to the next stage for Potton United, the lower league visitors Buckingham Athletic came from behind twice to send the tie into a penalty shoot-out. Full results and goalscorers are listed below.

2-2 [5-4 pens] Potton United v Buckingham Athletic (Webb, Opposition Own Goal) / (King, Stimpson) Attendance: 57

0-1 Tring Athletic v Leighton Town (McBride) Attendance: 76

4-0 Winslow United v Buckingham Town (A King [2], Kedzierski, Brindley) Attendance: 75

 

HERTS SENIOR CHALLENGE CUP Second Round

No joy for the SSML teams in action although both did the league proud. Baldock Town travelled to Bostik League Premier Division fifth placed Bishop’s Stortford (two steps above them) and despite going down by the odd goal in three, the Reds can hold their heads high. Twenty four hours later Hadley entertained Bostik League South Central Division side Cheshunt, The Bricks came from behind twice to level before losing to the club one step above them in the pyramid in the dreaded penalty shoot-out. Full results and goalscorers are listed below.

2-1 Bishops Stortford v Baldock Town (Miles, Callander) / (Joy) Attendance: 108

2-2 [2-4 pens] Hadley v Cheshunt (Buraimoh, Linton) / (Sanusi, Re) Attendance: 47

 

MIDDLESEX SENIOR CHARITY CUP Second Round

No giant-killing in the Middlesex Senior Charity Cup as Step 6 Hillingdon Borough exited the competition following a 1-5 home defeat against Step 5 opposition Hanworth Villa from the Combined Counties League. Full result and goalscorers are listed below.

 

1-5 Hillingdon Borough v Hanworth Villa (Castanho) / (Fry [2], O’Cansey [2], King [pen]) Attendance: Unknown

 

DIVISION ONE

It appears the old adage is true, when you are riding high luck is with you whilst luck deserts you when you are struggling, this was clearly the case when second from bottom Codicote met second place Harefield United on Tuesday. The Cod took the lead from the penalty spot before being pegged back ten minutes later to send the teams in level at the break. The Hares were quickly out of the blocks after the break adding goals in the 49th and 65th minute. The hosts kept plugging away and goals in the 79th and 88th minutes looked to have earned them a vital point. However lady luck was to desert them in stoppage time and the Hares grabbed a late winner to send them back to the top of the table. Full result and goalscorers (where known) listed below.

3-4 Codicote v Harefield United (Unknown) / (Jordan [2], Baldwin, Harewood) Attendance: 32

 

AND FINALLY

New Hatfield Town boss Jason Beck wasted no time in his new role signing no less than seven players on his first day in his first day, not so much as Black Friday but more Tangerine Tuesday. Hatfield Town currently sit at the foot of Division One five points behind Codicote above them and seven points from safety. All eyes will be on them this coming weekend, weather permitting.

UCLP; Swans duo hoping to rebuild Bridge over troubled waters

Saturday 1st December 2018

Hullbridge Sports v Newport Pagnell Town

FA Vase 3rd Round

Lower Road

K.O. 3.00pm

Newport Pagnell Town face a trip into Essex on Saturday in the third round of the FA Vase, Hullbridge Sports host the Swans with £1,125 at stake for the winners, in the competition that Darren Lynch’s men reached the quarter final stages of two years ago. A difficult season for the Swans has seen numerous false dawns with just four league wins in a campaign they had hoped to do well in after last year’s success but the FA Vase could yet prove to be instrumental in another good year for the club. A trip into the unknown for this third round tie takes them into Essex to face a side that have lost just once in their last eight games in all competition, and currently sit top of the Essex Senior League; this looks a tricky tie if they are to progress!

To view the Essex Senior League table click here: http://fulltime-league.thefa.com/Index.do?divisionseason=413016327&league=2829940

Josh Winters

This week Sports Shots caught up with midfield duo Liam Smyth and Josh Winters, and asked Josh how his season has been so far and what position he prefers to play:

The season has been a bit disappointing so far to be honest, I felt fit off the back of pre-season and was looking forward to going one better than last year but it hasn’t quite worked out that way! During the last pre-season training session I pulled my groin and was out for the first five weeks of the campaign, and since returning in October things have been inconsistent to say the least. I have been playing either in central midfield or out on the right, I don’t really have a preference

Liam has been slightly happier with his form:

My season on a personal note so far hasn’t been that bad but as always it could be better. I play in central midfield and have contributed with a few assists, and have even scored a rare goal already, fitness has been good and I’ve only missed a few games due to a stomach injury

What does Liam think has contributed to the inconsistent start to the season?

It’s difficult to put my finger on it really as we started the season with pretty much the same squad as last year. I think we have just got ourselves into a bit of a rut and when you’re not winning its really hard to break out of, I also feel that we’ve been unlucky with injuries in key areas which also hasn’t helped

Josh agreed with the amount of injuries:

I think there a couple of reasons; our mentality hasn’t been right on a consistent enough basis but you can see from our results that when we do apply ourselves then we are still more than a match for anyone in this league. Secondly, our squad has been depleted with injuries, not just squad member but players that would start games, I think when we played Pinchbeck at home a couple of weeks ago I worked out that we had nine first teamers out which would damage anyone’s chances

Which players have impressed Josh so far this term?

I think the young lads who have come in have been a positive for us so far, Jake Stronge & Jake Watkinson have come up from the reserves & performed really well whilst scoring some really important goals for us at times. Young Harry Stratton has also re-joined us after a spell away & has caught the eye, I think all three players will be very important to Newport Pagnell Town in the future

Liam Smyth

Liam picked a couple of others, and admits they miss those who have left:

We’ve recently added a few new faces and brought some lads in from the reserves, of the new ones Adam Moussi has been a strong addition in midfield. With regards to the squad as a whole I think that Sedge (Tom Liversedge) has been very consistent and one of our better players, in terms of the lads that have left I think in their own way we miss them all but we can’t worry about them now, we need to concentrate on what we have and improving as a team

Two thumping wins were followed by defeat last weekend, how did Liam view the trio of games?

The previous games had gone our way and we had played some good football, we took our chances within those games then going into last Saturday at Harborough we looked good up until just before half time, after conceding two sloppy goals we just seemed to capitulate in the second period. It wasn’t good enough from us and we have to learn quickly so it doesn’t happen again

Josh agreed on the second half collapse:

It was one of the most frustrating games I’ve been a part of! We arrived at Harborough with five regular starters missing but our confidence was high coming off the back of two big wins, we started really well and were playing some really good football on the 4g surface. We took the lead on thirty-five minutes through Dommy (Dominic Lawless) and then had another good couple of chances to extend our lead but then they scored two soft goals on our part just before the break. We felt at halftime that we could get back in to the game if we started well, that didn’t happen and we never got going again and Harborough ran away with it, scoring another three soft goals in my opinion. A really disappointing performance and not what we wanted going into the biggest game of our season this Saturday

Josh Winters

We asked Josh to share his thoughts on what Liam Smyth brings to the team:

Liam is a top lad and one of the nicest guys you could meet, very calm on and off the pitch, he likes to get on the ball and make us play. He’s played well for us this season and scored a vital goal away in the first round of the Vase to get us back into that game

And Liam on Josh?

Wints is an important player for us as he gives us energy wherever he plays, lately playing out wide his direct approach has caused teams problems and he has been involved in creating and scoring a lot of goals. He is never one to hide and will put himself about, digs in even when we haven’t been at it

Did Liam start the season with any targets in mind and have they changed?

On a personal note I don’t really set targets, I just wanted to have an enjoyable season after a bit of a stop start one last year. It’s not been the most enjoyable results wise but hopefully we can change that and go on another good FA Vase run

Josh thinks the squad’s targets have changed:

I think the target for a club like Newport at the start of the season has to be either promotion or to win the league, however after the start to the season that we’ve had, I think you have to be realistic. I think now the target has to be to finish as high up the league as we can and to go as far in the FA Vase as we can. Newport had a great run in this competition the year before I joined & I know from the lads’ stories it included some great away trips, fingers crossed we can do something similar this time around

Where does Josh think Town can finish the season, and who is in the frame for the title?

I think it’s a two horse race between Rugby & Daventry for the title, but if we can go on a run then there is no reason we cannot finish somewhere between third and seventh. It’s going to be tough and a huge ask but if you get on a run and start building momentum then that is a powerful thing

Liam also believes his side can challenge at the top end of the division:

The target for the team was promotion especially after narrowly missing out last season, it obviously hasn’t gone to plan so far but there’s a long way to go and we have the players to definitely get into the top five, although I think even a top five finish would still be a disappointment on the whole after last year

Liam Smyth

Finally, we asked Liam for his thoughts on the Vase game this week:

The only thing I know about them is that they are doing quite well in their league, but we can only concentrate on ourselves and I know that on our day we can beat anyone. A couple of seasons back we knocked out some very good sides on our way to that quarter final and if we want to progress again then we have to be on it, focused and cut out the silly mistakes

Josh is looking forward to it:

I don’t really know too much about them in all fairness but you don’t get to the third round of this competition without being a decent side. I’m really looking forward to the game, it will be the biggest game of the season for us and we will be looking to put a few things right after our performance last Saturday. Hopefully we will have a few of our big players back and we can go there trying to get the win

Sports Shots would like to thank both Josh & Liam for their time this week