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SSMFL D1; Ampthill duo hoping they can Buck their recent trend against this weeks opponents

Saturday 9th February 2019

Ampthill Town v Buckingham Athletic

Spartan South Midlands League Division One

Ampthill Park

K.O. 3.00pm

Ampthill Town start life under new manager Paul Blackman on Saturday as they welcome Buckingham Athletic to Ampthill Park for what will be a stern test against the Spartan South Midlands Football League Division One seventh placed side, but it’s a new start for Town after Paul Toms resigned after two back to back defeats against Winslow a fortnight ago and the opportunity to kick start their season under the new gaffer. Town have won just twice in their last eleven in all competition, but have beaten higher place sides this season at home so this will be no stroll for the visitor’s and Town only need a couple of back to back victories to push them into mid table from where they can build going into their final third of the season, but this will be a real tough start as the host the side that currently boast the joint fourth best number of away wins in the league this campaign, the joint fourth least amount of goals conceded away from home, joint seventh best number of goals scored away from home, and have won four and drawn one of their last six away league games, but as this league continues to prove, anyone can beat anyone!

Louie Dillon

This week Sports Shots caught up with Ampthill duo Jamie Cerminara & Louie Dillon, and asked the latter when he joined the club, and how it’s been since:

I started at Ampthill playing in the under eighteen floodlit league at fifteen years old. I got given my first chance in the first team at sixteen and I’ve played here ever since, it’s a great club for bringing young players through the different youth & development squads. I’ve played in the first team ever since that first game at sixteen and have enjoyed it the whole time I’ve been here

Jamie has also been at the club a while:

This is my third season at Ampthill now, before that I was playing locally in the Bedfordshire league for Marston. I was there for six years so thought I’d have a go at playing in the league above, and Ampthill had asked me to come over and I’ve been here since. Gaz (Gary Maidment) the chairman and all the lads made me feel welcome from the minute I came over, so that side of things was really easy

How does Jamie feel his season has been thus far?

This season has been a difficult one for me personally as I’ve missed quite a few games through injury and suspension. So I haven’t contributed to the team as much as I would have liked

Louie has also had a disrupted campaign:

At the start of the season I felt I was the fittest I had been for a long time, I had a strong start and was available for every game, I contributed all over the pitch playing in various different positions and learning different roles. I then missed three months through illness which really halted my season and was tough to deal with as I felt I was playing really well. I got myself back to some sort of fitness over Christmas and was available again for the first game in January. Since then I’ve started nearly every game and have been getting my fitness back and playing well. I know I can contribute more to the team going forward and hope that I can bring that side of my game into the second half of the season

We asked Louis how strong he feels the Town squad is this season and which players have impressed?

We have one of the strongest squads I’ve been a part of at Ampthill this year, we are a very young team with some experienced heads but all over the pitch we have great players. The one thing we need to work on as a squad is to start games stronger, we are very much a second half team and we often start games slowly. Brad Clarke has always been a standout player and every year he continues to surprise me, he can single handedly get you a goal out of nothing and can produce magic on the pitch. Glenn Cooksley has really impressed me aswell, he’s got that engine and drive to never give up no matter what that you need in a team and he is a big voice in our squad. He never stops working and will always give his all on the pitch

Jamie Cerminara

Jamie has been impressed with the Ampthill goal keeper this season:

I think the squad we have this year is a lot better than our league position would suggest. Josh Thompson our keeper has impressed me a lot this season, he’s come up with a lot of very good saves this year!

What position and formation does Jamie feels best suits him?

My preferred position is as a striker, the formation I personally like is either four-two-three-one or old school four-four-two

Louie prefers a midfield berth:

My favourite position is central midfield, I enjoy contributing at both ends of the pitch and I feel that playing there I get the most out of myself as a player. I’ve played in almost every position this year and enjoyed them all but playing in the middle of the park is my preferred position. My favourite formation is four-two-three-one, I like the way you can press using this formation and how you can always seem to have players in the right places when defending or attacking, I think it really suits our squad

How does Louis view the departure of former manager Paul Toms?

Losing Paul Toms was a massive loss at this stage of the season, I understand his reasons for leaving and taking on the new challenge and I can only wish him the best of luck in his new role. The targets are now to build for next year and move up the league as far as we can, it would be great to get top ten and I feel with how consistent the squad is now that we can easily do this

Jamie agrees that the squad need to push on now for the remainder:

It’s never ideal to lose a manager half way through a season but it is what it is. We haven’t had a game since Paul left so we shall see if any of the other lads jump ship…… but as for the rest of the season, we’ve just got to try and get as many points as we can now and push up the table

How does Jamie view the draw at Risborough, home win over Hatfield and two recent defeats to Winslow?

I wasn’t involved in the game at Risborough, but I thought against Hatfield we were good, it is always nice to score a few goals as a team and get a clean sheet. Both games against Winslow were always going to be tough they’re a good side and are where they are for a reason

Louie feels the recent form has showed some character in the squad:

Since Christmas we have really come together as a squad and started playing for each other. The results against Risborough and Hatfield showed what we can do as a team and that when we play our game we can get the results. The Risborough game was a good battle and for long periods of the game I thought we would go on to score the winning goal. Both the Winslow games were very tough as they are a very good team, I feel we played well in both games but we didn’t do enough going forward in either games to worry them

How does Louie view this week’s game at home to Buckingham Athletic?

They have been a strong team over the last few years who we have struggled against previously. If we play our game and as a team I believe we can beat anyone in this league, we have a strong squad available and I think we can get a good result this weekend

Jamie isn’t that familiar with Athletic:

To be fair I don’t know too much about them but I’m sure like every game in this league it will be a tough one. Fingers crossed we will get the three points

Finally, we asked Jamie if he could pick any team mate to go on any television programme, who and what would he pick and why?

I’d have to pick Ash Higgins and I’d have him on The Chase. His all-round knowledge is second to none, so I’d tip him to do really well on there!

Louie picked Jamie for his:

If I could choose a player to go on any programme it would have to be Jamie Cerminara and I’d have him on any game show. People would pay good money to watch him hurl abuse and run his mouth at people like Noel Edmunds just because he got one answer wrong

Sports Shots would like to thank Jamie & Louie for their time this week

SSMFL D1; Athletic duo hoping for KO at Ampthill in order to RT

Saturday 9th February 2019

Ampthill Town v Buckingham Athletic

Spartan South Midlands League Division One

Ampthill Park

K.O. 3.00pm

Buckingham Athletic travel to Ampthill Town on Saturday for the first meeting between the sides this season, and face a side under the guidance of new management after Paul Toms left the job just two weeks ago and replacement Paul Blackman has yet to take a game since due to the poor recent weather conditions. Ath will be looking to build on their win at Codicote fourteen days ago which stopped the rot of three successive defeats in all competitions, and go into this weekend in seventh place in the Spartan South Midlands Football League Division One table but with two games in hand on the three teams above them, if they win those then they could go fourth. Neil Griffiths men currently boast the joint fourth best number of away wins in the league this campaign, the joint fourth least amount of goals conceded away from home, joint seventh best number of goals scored away from home, and have won four and drawn one of their last six away league games. Their hosts have won just once in their last seven in all competition, but coming up against teams under new managers isn’t always as comfortable as league form suggests!

Robert Tapp

This week Sports Shots caught up with Athletic due Kevin Owusu & Robert Tapp & asked the latter how long he’s been at the club, what attracted him and how he’s settled in?

It’s my first season down at Athletic, I joined in the summer when Griff (Neil Griffiths) took over as manager. I was with him last year at Olney so decided to stay with him this year as it seemed a good club with lots of young lads with bright futures and with a few faces from Olney aswell, everyone seemed friendly and I found it a good group that made it fine settling in

Kevin also followed from their previous club:

I’ve been at the club since the start of the season, I was with Neil at Olney Town & when he told me he was coming to Buckingham I knew a couple of players already here so it wasn’t a hard decision. Settling in has been easy, all the players have been welcoming and made me feel part of the team

We asked Kevin how he feels his season has been since joining:

In terms of fitness, availability and performances I think I’ve done well this season as I haven’t suffered from an injury for the whole season, so since pre-season I’ve felt good. I’m pretty much always available but because of work I am late quite a lot ha-ha, my performances have been up and down during the season so I’ve just got to find that consistency. If I can finish the season with 15 goals I’ll be happy

Kevin Owusu

Robert has also avoided any serious injury but has collected the odd suspension:

I’ve been available most the season so far, bar a few games suspended, but I was lucky enough to get straight back in considerng we have a good squad and plenty of competition for places. I’ve also been lucky with no injuries that could have kept me out, the target was to win a trophy but we’ve messed that up in the last few weeks, apart from the charity cup which we are in the semi-final of

How good does Rob think this current squad is, and have any players impressed so far?

We have a strong squad when everyone’s fit, but we’ve been struggling lately with a few illnesses and injury which has stretched us, but most are back and fit now. I have been impressed with Jack Mendy, Ryan Marsden and Robbie Carter, they’re all young and have very bright futures, also Josh McAdoo has been very good for us in goal making some vital saves

Kev also picked out the goalkeeper for impressing this term:

I think we have a strong group, it has shown from the start of the season where we had a lot of players and every week the team was different because everyone was making it difficult for the manager to pick who would play. Josh has been amazing in goal and has impressed me a lot, Sam Olawale has also with his pace & he’s managed to score loads of goals, some being very important. Also Ash Farmer who’s not playing in his preferred position but playing well week in week out, he is just so consistent

What is Kevin’s preferred position in the team and what formation best suits his style?

My favourite position is out wide but I also like playing the number ten role, but because we usually play in a four-four-two I’d be out on the wing, however if we play four-three-three then I do enjoy playing that number ten position. Either way I think both roles get the best out of me

Robert has to play where his body allows:

If I was to choose any position it would be centre midfield but I don’t think my legs can hack it anymore in there, so I’ll stick with centre back as it’s a lot less running.  I think when we have a full squad we’re best with four-four-two as everyone knows and understands it best, and with two forwards we can cause teams a lot of problems as most of our opponents aren’t used to facing two strikers these days

What has been Roberts’s path in football prior to joining The Ath?

I first started playing for my local village team Roade FC when I was about nine years old, I then went to play for Newport Pagnell youth for many years, after that I moved to MK City playing under eighteen and reserve team football at the Old Wolverton Park ground. I then took two years out before returning to Newport Pagnell and playing for them for thirteen seasons in a very good and successful team. I left there three years ago to go & play at Olney, before joining Buckingham last summer

Kevin has played football a little further afield:

I was born in France so I played for couple local clubs called Chelles, Champs and St Thibault, I then moved over to England and played for MK City before joining the MK Dons academy up until under eighteen level, I didn’t get a professional contract and ended up at Biggleswade United. From there I joined Kempston Rovers but that didn’t work out so went to Olney

The last four games have seen two cup exits, defeat at Langford before a much needed morale boosting win at Codicote last week, how has this period been for Kev?

It has been a tough couple of weeks, no one likes to lose semi-finals and with our squad and management wanting to win cups it was very disappointing. Langford was a kick in the teeth, I don’t think either team deserved to lose, and as we’re trying to finish as close as possible to the top it was a set-back but with a win at Codicote hopefully now we can kick on and give it a really push

The cup defeats linger in Robert’s memory:

The cup games were very disappointing for us, against Newbury we weren’t good enough at all, to be two goals up and lose was shocking from us. We then played Risborough in a very tight game which we were unlucky not to get anything from but one lapse in concentration cost us. The league game at Langford we should have won, we had so many chances but couldn’t seem to score then they got two break away goals very late on, the first a very good finish to be fair to the lad. We made hard work of a single goal victory against Codicote on a poor pitch with a scratch squad, again we had loads of chances but when it’s not going your way they don’t find the back of the net, but to grind it out with ten men for thirty minutes was a good win to get us back on track, with lads back from injury we can start pushing on again

What does Robert expect from Ampthill this week?

To be honest I know nothing at all about Ampthill, not even sure where they are in the league, I’m sure it will be another tough test for us

Kevin is equally unsure on their hosts:

No I don’t know anything about them or anyone there, but what I can expect is that they’ll make it difficult for us to win the game so we need to be at our best to try & keep going with our winning ways

Finally, we asked Kevin to pick anyone from the squad he would like to see on a television programme, and explain why?

Probably Robbie Carter to go on who wants to be a millionaire just because he doesn’t know anything except for scoring goals, so it’d be funny to watch him struggle on the first question!

Robert picks a collective of players:

I wouldn’t just pick one I’d pick a team to go on eggheads, because of their high IQ levels, the team would be Robbie Carter, Jack Mendy, Ryan Marsden and Ryan Kelsey, I don’t think this team would be beaten!

Also, thanks for what Sports Shots do for local football, really good reports and pictures of local games. Top work

Sports Shots would like to thank Kevin & Robert for their time this week

SL P; Banbury defender happy to be a Puritan and no Kid-ding

Saturday 9th February 2019

Royston Town v Banbury United

Southern League Premier Division

Garden Walk

K.O. 3.00pm

Banbury United travel to Royston Town this weekend looking to avenge their last minute defeat they suffered at their hands back in October at the Community Hire Stadium, and with it claim back some points after being docked four last week after an administrative error earlier in the season. The points deduction seriously hampers the clubs attempts to make the Southern Football League Premier Division Central play-off places, especially after a good January saw them only lose once in five games as they now find themselves twelve points off fifth place with just fourteen league games left to play, but they can build on their last two impressive results where a four goal mauling of Coalville was only blighted by two late goals, followed by a good one all draw at AFC Rushden & Diamonds two weeks ago. A win this week could push them back up the two places they lost in the league table after the points adjustment, and they come up against a Town side that have won just one league game at home since mid-October, can Banbury continue their recent good form?

Harry Whitehead

This week Sports Shots caught up with United defender Harry Whitehead to ask how long he’s been at the club and how it all came about:

I joined the club back in the summer. Towards the end of last season I’d been speaking to Eddie Odhiambo who was with me at Kidlington last year, he spoke to the gaffer about me and from there I enjoyed a tough but enjoyable pre-season at Banbury. This had a massive influence on me joining the club, the training was of a high standard, the set up was very professional & the gaffer explained his intentions on helping me to improve as a player. I found settling in really easy, the lads are all great and knowing a couple of them prior to joining really helped. I knew Charlie Hawtin from when I was at Oxford & obviously Eddie, Lewis Gabbidon, Darius Browne and Mark Bell from Kidlington

How does Harry feel his season has been so far?

I felt like I had a really positive pre-season and I was feeling fit and playing well, but then towards the end I missed a couple of games and the team were doing really well and picking up points so it was difficult to get back in so I went on a short term loan to Kidlington to get some game time and get match fit, something I and the gaffer felt was best for me. Since coming back I’ve tried to take the chance when it has been given to me and I’ve tried to help the team as much as I can. Even when I’m on the bench I’m working hard in training and learning from the likes of Lee Henderson and Charlie Wise who have much more experience than me at this level which is really helpful

How good is this Banbury squad?

The squad is probably the best I’ve played in. I can’t single out individuals who have really impressed me as everyone has impressed me in their own positions

So what is Harry’s best position in the team?

This a funny one, up until December twenty-seventeen I had played as a striker for my whole career. However, I now find myself as a centre back, but if I’m honest I’d play anywhere as you may have seen this season. But so far in this team my favoured position is probably the left side centre back

How has Harry’s football pathway led him to Banbury?

Being from Kidlington I started out in their junior sides until the age of seven when I was picked up by Oxford United. I stayed there until the under fifteen season finished and then I left to focus on my education. When I left I joined Kidlington reserves for a couple of seasons before making the step up to the first team a few seasons back. I played in the first team at Kidlington for about a year and a half before joining Banbury

Defeat at Stourbridge, a win over Coalville and a creditable draw at Rushden, how were these games?

I think the defeat at Stourbridge was a hard one to take, obviously they are very good side and their league position reflects that but I felt on the day we were the better side. They had two chances and took them both and we had chances but weren’t clinical enough, whereas against Coalville we took the chances we made for ourselves, stuck to our principles and got a good result. The result at Rushden was probably fair, it was a very scrappy game on a difficult pitch. But the main thing from that game is that we came away with something

Royston this week, a disappointing last minute defeat earlier in the season against them, what does Harry remember of this game and what do they need to do to get something this time?

I remember this game being one soon after I came back from my loan at Kidlington, they were a quick, physical side who played very direct football. I remember them scoring a wonder goal in the dying seconds of the game to take the three points from us. It wasn’t a nice feeling after thinking we’d done enough to get something from the game. I think we will work on a few things in training this week, how to deal with their threats and nullify any danger but also work on how we are going to play away from home, take our chances and get a result

Finally, we asked Harry to pick a player to go on any television programme, and explain why:

I’d love to see Charlie Hawtin go on Love Island. I think he’d go on to win it and take all the money for himself!

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

NBDL; Dan believes his side have Developed enough to get over the Finnis line

Saturday 9th February 2019

Mursley United Development v Clean Slate Reserves

North Bucks & District League Intermediate Division

The Playing Field

K.O. 2.00pm

Mursley United Development host Clean Slate reserves who currently prop up the North Bucks & District Football League Intermediate Division table, & who have won just one of their twelve league games to date and have a goal difference of minus sixty! Considering that the visitor’s have shipped in a total of thirty-two goals in their last four games, the United strike force will be eager to take the field on Saturday to exercise their shooting practise however Slate’s single victory back in November did see them score six themselves that day so on their day can be a threat. Mursley currently sit smack in the middle of the league table, with five teams above and below them, and cannot move either way no matter what the result, they would go level with Wing on points but with a far poorer goal difference, plus Wing have four games in hand, but the win this week would then see them go within three points of second place, which for their first season as a side is great progress under manager Mitch Toyer. United have won only one of their previous three games, this could be an ideal opportunity to get back on the winning trail….

Dan Finnis

This week Sports Shots caught up with front man Dan Finnis to ask when he joined the club and how it came about:

I have been at the club since the beginning of the season, I was asked to come over by the coaches who I knew from my previous club. In general it’s been good, it’s a friendly and well run club which is a two minute drive from where I live which is a nice bonus

How good a season does he feel he has had?

I try to be available for all matches and training, unfortunately I have had a one or two fitness issues which have affected my performances, but I have been able to chip in with goals and assists which is what I’m there to do. I have been working a lot on my fitness recently to try and get back to my best form and help the team as much as possible

How good is this squad and which players have impressed so far?

In general the squad is very good with some very talented young players who in my opinion could push on to play in higher divisions, players like Sultan Hussaini, Ben Johnson and Sam Cartwright are definitely in that category and have really impressed me with their quality. Having a young captain in Ash Urquhart who is also very experienced for his age can only be a good sign for the team going forward. I think a realistic target for us, if we can be consistent will be top four

What does Dan see as his best position and in what formation?

My favoured position is in the front three a four-three-three, preferably out wide, this gets the best out of me as I am an attacking player, not being quite as fit as I used to be I tend to go forward a lot more than I go back, this is something I am trying hard to improve on

We asked Dan how he has found the quality of the North Bucks league and which other sides have impressed?

This is the first time I have played in the division, the only team that have really impressed me are Wing who we have played twice and lost to twice, in my opinion they are the best team in the league going forward and play some very good football. If they can carry on playing the way they do for the rest of the season and take advantage of their games in hand, I think the league will be theirs

How have the last few games been for the team?

As I wasn’t at the Bletchley game I can’t really comment on that. The win over Buckingham, alongside our cup win against Marsh Gibbon, is the best performance we’ve had all season, unfortunately we didn’t take that into the Wing game. We have shown on our day we can compete with the teams at the top of the league, if we had taken the Buckingham performance into the Wing game I think we possibly could have taken something

Surely Mursley will be favourites going into this week’s game against Clean Slate reserves?

Yes I feel that we are favourites but we can’t turn up on the day thinking that we will repeat the performance against them that we gave at the beginning of the season. This league has seen some strange results over the course of the season and we need to go into it giving one hundred and ten percent from the minute we arrive at the ground, play like we can and if we do so I’m sure we can put in a performance to get the 3 points

Finally we asked Dan to pick a player and any television programme he could put him on, and explain why:

I would like to see Sultan go on Love Island. On his snapchat he calls himself the “Heart Break Kid”, it would be interesting and funny to see how many hearts he can break

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

NBDL; United midfielder hoping his side can keep up with the Jones’ in cup competition

Saturday 9th February 2019

Buckingham United v Brackley United

North Bucks League Inter Divisional Knockout Trophy

Lace Hill Sports Centre

K.O. 1.30pm

Buckingham United are back in cup action this weekend as they host Brackley United at Lace Hill looking to bounce back from two successive disappointing defeats in recent weeks against Mursley and AFC Santander, and coming up against a side from two divisions below is maybe what the squad need as they reignite their campaign, however Brackley currently sit top of the North Bucks & District Football League Division Two table, and have only lost once in their last nine outings in all competition. The interdivisional trophy knockout gives both sides the glimmer of silverware this season although the likelihood of meeting premier division reigning champions Potterspury in the next round may be a slightly different proposition all together, but after three defeats in their last four United will take this opportunity to get things back on track. Brackley are also still in their divisional cup campaign and will fancy their chances arriving on the back of their great run, and the opportunity of a cup scalp raises the game of all clubs at all levels

Aaron Jones

This week Sports Shots caught up with Buckingham midfielder Aaron Jones to find out when & how he joined the club:

This is my third year at the club, I came down here originally with two of my friends Josh Sullivan and Lewis Parkin. Because it was a new club at the time, I wanted to achieve things & win trophies with the club. I’ve settled in very quickly and well since the first season, and have built up a great bond with the club

How good a season does he feel he’s had so far?

I feel like I’ve had an average season so far, I personally think there is more that I can bring to the team as a player. I’ve played in every game this season & my overall fitness has improved since the start as I was carrying an injury from last season, hopefully this helps me with my performances for the rest of the season

How good is the squad at United this term and have any players stood out?

I feel like we have a very strong squad for this division that should be able to challenge for the title, but it’s been a mixed season so far, as I feel like we need to work more as a team and not individuals. If I had to pick one member from the team that has made a difference when playing then I would pick Lewis Parkin although he has not attended many games this season. But when he is able to play, he changes the game with his movement and goal scoring threat

What is Aaron’s favoured position in the team and what formation best suits?

My favourite position is centre midfield as most of the game normally gets played through the middle so I’m involved a lot. I think the formation we should play is a four-five-one as this allows us to attack in numbers as well as defend in a good shape so we are hard to break down

Two recent defeats to Mursley & Santander haven’t been the ideal start to the year, how were these games?

We have not played well in all three games this year, we deserved to lose the last two games we played. I feel like we need to forget how poorly we’ve played since the turn of the year, we need to focus on playing football in the way we would like to for the rest of the season, and try to get the results out of the games we have left this season

Up against lower level Brackley this week, what is he expecting?

I do not know much about Brackley United but they seem to be having a good season as they are top of the league in their division. We have to go into this game and not underestimate them just because they are two divisions below, anything can happen in ninety minutes

Is this cup important or is the league the main concentration for the club?

I feel like this is a trophy we can win as long as we work as a team and put in the performances we need. The league is important to us aswell even though we have lost a few games this season, we will still battle to be as close as we can to the top of the league

Finally, we asked Aaron to pick any team member and any television programme he could go on and explain why?

I would pick Daniel Parkin to be in Love Island as he thinks he is a bit of a lady’s man!

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

SL; Aylesbury FC to merge with Bedgrove Dynamos

Aylesbury FC have made the following announcement:

FC and Bedgrove Dynamos to Merge

Following on from recent discussions between Aylesbury FC and Bedgrove Dynamos, we are delighted to make the following announcement.

From the beginning of the 2019/20 season the two clubs will merge and become the Aylesbury Vale Dynamos. This will offer a progression for the youth of Aylesbury to achieve their footballing ambitions. Bedgrove currently offer junior football from the under 3’s age group though to Aylesbury and District Senior Mens football. Aylesbury FC have an Under 18s side playing in the Allied Counties Floodlit league and a senior team which next season will compete in the Spartan Premier Division. The merger offers the twenty six junior sides the opportunity to represent one club at every level up to semi professional standard.

Every one involved in both clubs is delighted, Mike Borrett who will chair the new committee commented that “This is a perfect fit for both clubs”.

More Information will follow in due course

SSMFL D1; Ampthill Town FC announce new management team

Ampthill Town FC have this morning confirmed their new management team following the departure of Paul Toms almost a fortnight ago:

After some positive discussions over the last week we are delighted to announce that Paul Blackman is to step up & take over as the manager of Ampthill Town FC in the interim period, until the end of this season, and he will be assisted by Anthony Christophi.

The pair came on board a few months ago having had a successful time at AFC Dunstable in charge of their youth and development squads.  Paul will also retain John Philips and Martin Powell in his coaching staff.

Paul Blackman (right) and Anthony Christophi (left)

The first game for the new management team see’s them host Buckingham Athletic this Saturday at Ampthill Park with a 3.00pm kick-off.

NHSC; Brackley Town Saints 0-1 Brackley Town

Brackley Town Saints – 0
Brackley Town – 1

05.02.2019

The first ever meeting of St James Park tenants v hosts saw the Northants Hillier Senior Cup Semi-Final played out in swirling wind and rain on Tuesday evening, and for the majority of the game the lower ranked Saints side defended for their lives against their higher level opponents and it took a hugely deflected goal to settle the tie, the only way that Town could find a way past a resilient Alastair Worby in the Saints goal and Gordon Kille’s men did have two glorious second half chances to level the fixture but with those spurned it was Town who progress to the final in April against AFC Rushden & Diamonds. A healthy crowd of over three hundred turned up to witness the two sides face each other for the first time in a cup which was not high in the priorities of either side, with Town still fighting for a play-off play in the National League North promotion battle as well looking to retain the FA Trophy they famously won last May, and Saints still in two Hellenic cup competitions as well as having led the Premier Division title race until last week, looking to gain promotion to the Southern League for the first time in their history.

It was the ‘home’ side that had the first chance of the evening when Ryan Knight was fed in down the left channel where he fired into the side netting from inside the box, but from there the step two side took control and dominated the half, a trio of corners were won in the opening twelve minutes however none were to really threaten. A cross from their right finally caused some concern when Worby advanced to punch away but as the ball looked set to fall perfectly at the feet of Daniel Nti the custodian threw himself forward to scoop away in the nick of time, moments later a ball played through for Nti to chase after saw the keeper out to the edge of his eighteen yard area to gather, his attempted throw out then to the opposite flank was intercepted and played inside to Omari Sterling James who powered narrowly wide of the goal frame.

Saints keeper Alastair Worby had a busy evening

On twenty-six minutes a stinging drive from Adam Walker saw Worby acrobatically tip over one handed for a corner, ahead of Gaz Dean collecting a pass on the edge of the box from where he turned his marker but could only drag wide of the target, and just past the half hour mark Carl Baker from twelve yards forced Worby down low to make a save that saw the ball ricochet up onto the crossbar and eventually cleared away. Glenn Walker then got down the right wing and crossed for Sterling James to get a shot away that again the keeper got fingers on to push away, the resulting corner swung where Walker glanced a header across goal and wide of the far upright.

Shane Byrne retrieved a cross that was far too deep into the Saints box & turned to thump a shot at Worby which the keeper put both hands up to block, on the penalty spot a defender was on hand to hook away to safety. The onslaught kept on until the final seconds of the half but the home defence stood strong, Shaun Jeffers had a low drive well saved by Worby before Sterling James collected just outside the penalty arc but curled straight into the waiting gloves of the keeper. H/T: 0-0

Town were on the attack early in the second period with Baker who from the left hand side of the box saw his shot brilliantly tipped over, and it seemed as though nothing was going to change from the first period, but then on fifty minutes came the only goal of the game when a shot from Jeffers took a big deflection to wrong foot Worby and bounce across the six yard box into the bottom corner. Within a couple of minutes of the goal the Saints keeper was in action again getting down low to his near post to thwart Sterling James, and a rare attack at the opposite end saw a ball played forward for James Hammond to chase but shoulder to shoulder with Walker the experienced Town player eased him off the ball before clearing out wide.

Charlie Kille almost snatched a late equaliser

Town full back Luke Fairlamb then got down the left and flashed the ball across the eighteen yard area but with no one any near it simply rolled away for a goal kick, moments later Baker did well inside the area twisting & turning to create an inch of space to shoot but his effort crashed back off the goal frame and away to safety. Still the pressure came with Baker pulling a shot wide from close range, but then with eighteen minutes left Saints had their best chance of the game when Knight got down the wing and delivered the perfect cross in between the Town keeper Danny Lewis and a defender but sliding in behind substitute Chris Jordan at full stretch just couldn’t quite connect.

Town sub Matt Lowe saw a burst of speed take him down the right wing but getting into the box he fizzed the ball across the six yard area but no yellow shirts were forward enough to get anything on it, from the clearance Jordan Godfrey found Hammond who tried to bend around Lewis but he simply had to fall away to his left to gather; in added time Saints had one final chance to level when a great chip into the back of the box found Charlie Kille on his own but as he went low for the near post defender Ellis Myles and Lewis threw themselves in front of the shot and between them it was somehow diverted for a corner. As the players left the pitch at the end of the game, a good proportion of the spectators waited to offer a huge round of applause to the young Brackley team for their efforts. F/T: 0-1

Attendance: 305

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After the game Sports Shots caught up with Saints manager Gordon Kille: 

For match photography please click here: https://flic.kr/s/aHskNipPo2

Sports Shots top three most viewed interviews for January 2019

The top three most popular post-match interviews (to date) for January on our You Tube page https://www.youtube.com/user/sportsshotsorguktv/videos were as follows:

No. 1: Aylesbury Flooring FC manager George Tomlin v AFC Jacks 20.01.2019 (637)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mtc4YxiuhTw

 

No. 2: Buckingham United player Will Wright v Mursley United Development 12.01.2019 (311)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxlLa_GdE2U

 

No. 3: Newport Pagnell Town manager Darren Lynch v Canterbury City 06.01.2019 (290)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JlTNHXWOtI

All viewing figures correct at time of publish

SSMFL; INANE RAMBLINGS FROM UP NORFF 04.02.2019 – South Midlands League update #48

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

 

SUNDAY 3rd FEBRUARY

 

WEEKEND HEADLINES

Biggleswade FC progress to FA Vase quarter-finals with an emphatic second half display in front of a record crowd of 557.

 

THE BUILDABASE FA VASE Fifth Round

Following a goalless first half in which lacked quality although both teams had half chances. After the break it was a different story. Ryan Inskip put the home side ahead within two minutes of the re-start and he doubled the lead on 64 minutes. The hosts then hit a purple patch with four goals in sixteen minutes to put the tie well out of sight from their Hellenic League visitors, Lee Northfield 73 minutes, Alex Marsh 79 minutes, Northfield again on 83 minutes and Nick Henebery 86 minutes. A penalty in the 90th minute for the visitors was a token response before the final whistle blew to start the wild celebrations for the Bedfordshire side. Full result and goalscorers listed below.

6-1 Biggleswade FC v Windsor (R Inskip [2], Northfield [2], A Marsh, Henebery) / (Stockill [pen]) Attendance: 557

 

AND FINALLY

Spare a thought for Tracey James and her hard working volunteers as their hard efforts bore no fruition as the match referee decided the pitch was unplayable. Scant consolation saw the club stage an inter-club game instead.