Archive for Aylesbury United Football Club

SL; United midfielder admits squad is so good that no one Hoggs the limelight

Saturday 16th February 2019

Berkhamsted v Aylesbury United

Southern League Division One Central

Broadwater

K.O. 3.00pm

Aylesbury United face the very short trip to near neighbours Berkhamsted on Saturday looking to bounce back from last weekend’s home defeat to Colesville Town by the odd goal in seven, and to avenge the defeat they suffered back in December at The Meadow in the reverse fixture. In that game the Ducks went ahead early but were trailing at the break, an early second half leveller then saw the game evenly poised until two goals in the final fourteen minutes took the points back to Hertfordshire but United have lost just twice in their last eight league games whilst their hosts have just the single win in their last eight, of which the last four have been drawn and now just seven points separate sixth placed Berkhamsted and twelfth placed Aylesbury in the Southern Football League Division One Central Division table, the win could potentially lift Ben William’s squad up a further three places and into the heady heights of top half of that league table!

Ollie Hogg

This week Sports Shots caught up with United midfielder Ollie Hogg to find out when he joined the club and how his time has been there:

I came to Aylesbury about three years ago. I joined after a season with Tring Athletic and wanted to try & challenge myself a bit more. I have settled in well since I have been here and now feel like one of the more senior players even though I am only twenty-two

How does Ollie feel his season has been so far?

I don’t feel like I have had the best season so far, with the restructure of the leagues we now have less games so I feel like I’m not playing as much football as I have in previous seasons. I have been available most weeks as I love playing

How strong does Ollie feel the squad is this year & have any players stood out?

Our squad this season is probably one of the strongest I have played in since I have been here. Unfortunately the results haven’t always shown that but we do have a very strong squad even though it is very young, we have some excellent players all over the pitch so it is tough to single any one player

What is Ollie’s preferred position in the team, and in what formation does he feel is best for him?

I love playing in the middle, I feel that is where I am strongest but I am happy to play wherever the team needs me. I feel the four-three-three gets the best out of me as it gives a little bit more rotation in the middle to get further up the pitch but also pick the ball up deep

We asked Ollie just how difficult this new division has been this season:

It was a tough start to the season playing some very strong sides that we knew very little about, it’s a very competitive league & everyone can beat everyone. It probably is the toughest league I’ve played in so far purely due to the fact we didn’t know a lot about the teams we are facing

Prior to this midweeks cup game, the previous three United games have been settled by the odd goal in seven, five & three respectively, how were these fixtures?

They were all very tough games for different reasons. I think our biggest problem is our consistency from game to game, we know on our day we can beat anyone but the margins between winning and losing this season are so fine and the odd mistake really can cost you

Away at Berkhamsted on Saturday, played them already this season, what are Ollie’s memories and thoughts on the game ahead?

We have played them twice this season once in the cup and once in the league. Both were very tough games, especially the home game where the weather was awful and I felt we had a couple of big decisions go against us, especially for their third goal where I thought it was a clear handball. We just need to play our own game and move the ball as well as we can to get a result

Finally we asked Ollie to nominate any team mate he’d like to see on a television programme:

I would have to go on Takeshi’s castle with Ben Seaton just because I’d love to see him get whacked about

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

SL D1C; Sutton Coldfield Town 2-3 Aylesbury United

Sutton Coldfield Town – 2
Aylesbury United – 3

02.02.2019

Aylesbury United upset the odds by beating Sutton Coldfield Town on Saturday at the Central Ground, taking the lead early on they were quickly pinned back but scored twice more to find themselves three-one up with less than half an hour played and protected their lead until almost midway through the second period when Sutton pulled a goal back, this set up a nervous ending to the game where the hosts bombarded the away defence looking for an equaliser, but the visitor’s backline stood firm albeit with the help late on of the goal frame to record the second successive win to push themselves up to eleventh in the Southern League Division One Central table. After the game Ducks manager Ben Williams could not hide his delight with the win that ended the West Midlands side run of eight without defeat, and sees his side extend their run to one defeat in the last seven; despite the defeat the home ultra’s were in full flow with their rendition of ‘tequila’ but in freezing temperatures during the afternoon surely brandy would have been more suitable for those on the sidelines!

The game got off to a flying start when Aylesbury took the lead after just four minutes from a corner, Jake Bewley swung the set piece in towards the front post where Callum Mapley was unmarked to thump his header past Sutton keeper Lewis Gwilliams, but that lead lasted just five minutes when an excellent cross from the left wing was too high for Jack Wood to reach and waiting behind Ryan Nesbitt had time to pick his spot heading into the bottom corner. A clever throw in routine from Town saw the ball aimed towards Ryan Moore who allowed it though his legs and turning his defender he collected to advance to the byline and pull back to Mitchell Piggon, on the six-yard line he could only lift high over Archie Davis in the United goal.

Callum Mapley celebrates opener

The visitor’s stunned their hosts once again on twenty-three minutes by regaining the lead, midfielder Harry Jones drove down the right wing and lost his marker before powering a shot at goal that Gwilliams had to parry, the ball worked back to Greg Williams and as he shot Tre Mitford got the final touch to direct it inside the post. Coldfield came back and a fierce drive from Nesbitt looked dangerous until a deflection saw it spin away for a corner, and the home side had a number of corners in quick succession without threatening of which the last was easily cleared and saw United break to extend their lead on twenty-eight minutes, Jones sent away down the right wing from where he crossed, it looked comfortable for Gwilliams to come & collect however Alex Moore instinctively stuck out his head and could only watch as the ball rolled into the back of the net.

Aylesbury scored again before the break, Max Hercules angled a pinpoint cross into the back post where Jones flashed his effort across Gwilliams and into the far top corner, however a raised flag ruled offside, at the opposite end a great cross from James Hurst found his skipper James Mutton in the box but he could only head over, and the final action of the half saw Alex Moore fed on the edge of the eighteen yard area and his low shot escaped the despairing dive of Davis but flew inches wide of the far upright. H/T: 1-3

Ryan Nesbitt is congratulated after first goal

Sutton came out for the second half with two substitutions to try and get back in the game, and almost immediately one of those Jonathan Letford caused chaos in the United box skipping a couple of challenges as he drove towards goal, eventually running into a brick wall he tried to square to a colleague however Wood got the slightest of touches to allow the ball to then be cleared long downfield, ahead of Nesbitt being fed in the area with his back to goal he managed to turn and fire across goal but Davis got down well to smoother.

A throw to Aylesbury saw Hercules collect twenty yards from goal and turning his marker he explored space across the middle of the pitch before sending a dipping drive narrowly over Gwilliams crossbar, then just past the hour mark the home side got a goal back when Nesbitt saw a long range effort evade the grasp of Davis & roll over the line, and with it Aylesbury had twenty-seven minutes to hold on for the win. The pressure from there was relentless, although Mitford did have a chance when he was fed inside the penalty arc with his back to goal, he out fought his marker to turn and shoot but a huge deflection saw the ball spiral out for a corner.

United all smiles after final whistle

As Sutton tried to head the corner away they only found Mitford at the back of the box where he controlled on his chest before volleying over the top, at the other end a corner found Mutton who had time to steady himself before drilling his shot wide of the near post. As time wore on every time the home side gained possession they aimed everything into the box, one such long ball for Letford to chase after saw hesitancy from Davis who stayed on his line, but the substitute managed to put a boot out to flick across the box and covering was Mapley, who with an empty goal had to launch the ball into the darkening skies over his own crossbar to clear the danger.

Nesbitt fed full back Ben George on the edge of the United area where he controlled before swivelling to escape his marker but then could only scoop his shot over the top, with two minutes left the hosts were a lick of paint away from their equaliser when chaos again inside the area saw bodies throwing themselves at the ball to block but it fell to Piggon who toe poked past Davis but it came back off the post allowing the keeper to pounce.  In added time Letford did well down the flank and beating his defender got to the byline and with bodies in the box he fizzed the ball too high and too fast across the six yard box and it despairingly flew away for a United throw, and with it their last chance had gone. F/T: 2-3

Attendance: 170

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

After the game Sports Shots spoke to Aylesbury manager Ben Williams: 

 

Spend some tequila time with the STFC ultra’s:

 

For match day photography (106 images over two pages) please click here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmv4vfPo

SL D1C; Ducks defender hoping his side are back on the Ball this week at Welwyn

Saturday 19th January 2019

Welwyn Garden City v Aylesbury United

Southern League Division One Central

Herns Way

K.O. 3.00pm

Aylesbury United travel to Welwyn Garden City on Saturday unsure of what they’ll be facing after turmoil at the Hertfordshire club last week saw manager Adam Fisher resign just a couple of days before they were due to face Peterborough Sports, that resulted in the game being postponed when the squad walked away from the club; Dean Barker then took on the role and managed to assemble a side that drew on Tuesday night with Sutton Coldfield Town. Both sides are on twenty-six points for the season so far in the Southern Football League Division One Central table although Welwyn do have a game in hand, nine points off the relegation places and fourteen of the play-off places would suggest they are looking both up and down that table as the season nears its final third of games yet to play, a good run for either could see a dramatic end of season whilst a poor run could drag either into that dreaded fight at the bottom. Going into the game the visitors have won one in their previous seven games whilst their hosts haven’t tasted success in their previous eight games, both will be desperate for the three points to ensure they keep looking up!

Anthony Ball

This week Sports Shots caught up with United defender Anthony Ball to ask how he ended up at the club and how he’s enjoyed it so far:

I joined Aylesbury United on the twenty-eighth of December, myself & Ben had been in contact and he offered me the chance to come down. I’ve always seen United as a very strong and organised team that were always tough to play against, so to be involved in a side like this is great. Since I joined I have already experienced the highs of a derby win, the frustrations of draws at Barton & Kempston, and then also the lows with last weeks defeat at Didcot, however I am really enjoying the football I am playing at the moment, and the team morale is great

What has been Anthony’s career before signing on?

I started my senior career out at Aylesbury FC last season which provided me an in depth insight into the Southern League & the levels expected to be able to progress at this level. I then had a very short spell at Berkhamsted at the start of this season, I then played the rest of my football up until Christmas at Winslow United

So what position does Anthony play and does he have any favoured formation?

I prefer to play at right back, the reason for this is I really enjoy the defensive side of the position but also the way it allows you to have the creative side to your game as well when going forward. I enjoying playing in various systems as each has their own advantages

How does he feel his season has been so far?

I feel great fitness wise which subsequently has allowed me to be available for all of the games that I’ve been eligible for so far. I feel in myself that I have performed well in the games I’ve played, although I am slightly disappointed after last Saturday & not performing to the standards I’ve set in the three games prior to Didcot. I do feel I have contributed positively to the team since arriving

We asked Anthony if any players in the squad have stood out since he’s played with them?

Since joining Aylesbury United I have been impressed with everyone here, it’s hard to single players out like that when the whole team works so hard towards the same goals. Also the coaching is great, taking things we’ve been working on in training into games and also taking things from games we haven’t been good at into training

Onto Welwyn Garden City this weekend, with their recent upheaval what are the Ducks expecting?

Every game in this division is going to be a tough one regardless, and each of us have our own point to prove following last weeks disappointment. So we will all go out on Saturday and work our hardest to put right what went wrong last weekend

Since the turn of the year the club has seen a win, a draw and a loss, how were all those three games?

Nothing comes bigger for the players and supporters than a derby day win here at United so the buzz that gave everyone associated with the club was great. Barton was one of those games that could have gone either way and we are obviously frustrated it didn’t go our way on the day, missing out on those two extra points. Then last week’s disappointment was a hard one to take due to the standards we set in games previously

Finally, we asked if there was anyone in the world that Anthony could be for a day who would he pick and why?

Paul Scholes, just to know what it is really like to be a good footballer!

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

SL D1C; Aylesbury United 2-0 Aylesbury FC

Aylesbury United – 2

Aylesbury FC – 0

01.01.2019

The eagerly awaited ‘El Quackico’ on New Years Day saw the home side take the bragging rights with two quick fire goals early in the second half, after a lacklustre first period that created very little in terms of goal scoring opportunities, Aylesbury keeper Nick Bennion with a solitary save to make before the break. The breakthrough came on fifty-one minutes and the visitors then had a chance to level moments later which was spurned and that was to prove costly when Tre Mitford sealed the win driving low across goal into the far bottom corner. The win see’s the gap increase to eight points between the two clubs, United now look towards mid-table safety whilst their rivals still hover around the dreaded relegation spots, but after the game both managers were adamant the season still has a very long way to go.

Aylesbury had the first chance just three minutes into the contest when Ty Deacon got down the flank and pulled back to Ryan Young who lifted high over United keeper Archie Davis’ crossbar, the first shot of note for the home side saw a free kick from Jake Bewley just outside the eighteen yard box tipped over by Bennion. Mitford saw a run down the right wing create enough space for him to arrow a cross into Ben Seaton whose shot was brilliantly charged down by Carl Tappin sliding in, the corner swung in from Bewley saw Bennion claim in the air underneath his own bar despite under pressure from Ducks skipper Jack Wood.

Nick Bennion had to tip over early on

FC defender Craig Carby sent Deacon scurrying away down the left channel where he advanced into the area and as he shaped up to shoot Wood covered some distance to slide in and divert for a corner, at the opposite end a long ball down field found Mitford who managed to twist and turn but with the outside of his boot he spun the ball away from goal. Dan Carr and Harry Scott then combined well down the Aylesbury right resulting in a vicious drive over the bar, but as much as they tried neither side really tested either keeper; an FC free kick was flicked on by a green shirt & at the far post Luke Cray headed back into the mix but again a United head got to it and the danger cleared, whilst a half cleared Ducks corner found Mitford who lifted high over the top. H/T: 0-0

Any predictions the game was heading for stalemate on the first forty-five minutes showing were undone just six minutes after the restart when Horatio Hirst did well in midfield to set up Ollie Hogg who from just outside the penalty arc drilled low into the bottom corner. The scores should have been level just two minutes after the goal when a ball simply knocked into the home side’s half saw the green backline caught short & Young outpaced United full back Anthony Ball to face up to a one on one with Davis only to fire past the advancing keeper but wide of the post.

The next Moles attack broke down high up the pitch and very quickly the ball was moved to the opposite end where Seaton crossed over to Mitford who from the right of the box fired into the side netting. That was just a sight setter, as just less than sixty seconds later Mitford received the ball out on the right of midfield and escaping the attentions of Carby drove forward into the box to fire across Bennion into the far bottom corner to double his side’s advantage. The visitor’s as much as they tried to get a foot back in the game were then always subject to the counter attack, one such saw Hirst collect in midfield and drive into the heart of the Moles defensive area before firing wide.

United celebrate opener

A free kick awarded to the away side was taken quickly to release Scott down their right where he skipped a challenge and from the eighteen yard line he fired low across goal and the ball flew a yard wide of Davis’ post, hesitancy in the opposite defence then saw Hogg rob possession out on the touchline and head for goal, from the edge of the area and an acute angle he curled around Bennion but also around the back stick. With less than ten minutes left an FC corner into the six-yard box saw a host of bodies fling themselves trying to get anything on it, and whilst a shout of handball went up the loose ball fell to Deacon who fired into the ground but got his angle all wrong and pulled his effort wide.

The next Aylesbury corner was cleared out to the corner of the box where former Duck Bruno Brito who had come on as a substitute for Aylesbury fired over the shoulder but across the box and wide of the target, in the final minute a back pass from midfield towards Bennion saw Greg Williams chase it down and almost catch the keeper out, getting a touch the ball rolled loose but the keeper chased it out to the touchline before clearing, the retreating Williams given a huge round of applause by his supporters on his return down field. F/T: 2-0

Attendance: 232

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

After the game Sports Shots caught up with United boss Ben Williams: 
And also with FC boss Paul Bonham: 

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

SL; Holy Quack-a-Moley – It’s El Quackico

Tuesday 1st January 2019

Aylesbury United v Aylesbury FC

Southern League Division One Central

The Meadow

K.O. 3.00pm

The Meadow

New Year’s Day see’s the first of the seasons ‘El Quackico’ encounters at The Meadow as the Ducks welcome the Moles to Chesham, and a chance for either the hosts to pull further away from their guests in the Southern League Division One Central League table, or for the Haywood Way side to close the gap on their hosts to just two points. United drew on Saturday at Kempston Rovers to end a three game losing streak, whilst FC also drew at home to Coleshill Town which leaves them three games without a win, and with both sides having completed half of their league fixtures for the campaign they will both be looking to start 2019 with the win to at least have the bragging rights over their deadly rivals, until Easter at least when the return fixture awaits!

Last season both sides enjoyed a win apiece at the cost of their enemy’s hospitality, if Ben William’s team claim all three points it could push them into the top half of the table, whilst Paul Bonham’s squad would relish the victory as it could open a nice gap between themselves and the dreaded bottom two places. All to play for in more ways than one, can the Ducks blind the Moles, or will the Moles pluck the Ducks?

This week Sports Shots caught up with United keeper Archie Davis and Aylesbury FC defender Craig Carby, and we asked the shot stopper how he ended up joining the club:

I came in about a year ago when Ben (Williams) was looking for cover in goal when his then keeper got injured and I came in as back up to Jack (Hopwood), I then signed on again this year after a positive pre-season. The squad here are a great bunch of lads and they made settling in very easy

Craig has taken his move even more seriously:

I joined Aylesbury due to my long term friendship with the previous management team of Davis and Brian Haule who called me last summer, and after seeing the squad they’d assembled I decided to sign up. I’ve settled in really well, and the players & coaches have been great helping me to settle in. I feel really at home here, so much so that I’ve recently moved to the area!

Craig Carby

How does Craig think his own season has been so far as well as his teams?

My season has been a little stop start so far, it didn’t help getting injured in the very first game of the season after working so hard to get fit during pre-season, and then with the management and player situation it’s been difficult to get properly settled in due to the amount of changes that have taken place so far during the campaign. However, the squad is finally starting to settle down and we’ve been able to name some strong squads the last few weeks which hopefully result in improved performances from the team. I believe I’ve done ok this season so far but there is still definitely room for improvement

Archie has enjoyed stepping up some levels since joining:

It’s been a big challenge this season as it’s my first full season at this level, it’s been a big step up from playing step six and seven football from last year, but it’s been enjoyable and I feel I’ve contributed well in the games I’ve played in, but would like to make more of a contribution on a more regular basis

Archie Davis

How has Archie found the supporters at United this season?

They have been great this year, travelling in numbers to home & away matches, and making themselves heard. I tend not to listen to what’s being said on the side lines during a game because I like to concentrate on the game and nothing else, but I always read their thoughts of the game on Twitter after the game

Craig admits he does hear the crowd during play:

The supporters here have always been good to me even if results haven’t always been great, they’ve always supported the team and will continue to do so. You occasionally hear mumbles from the crowd but I try to block it out and anyway it’s never been too bad, just frustration really which is just what us players feel sometimes too

FC have two draws and a defeat in their last three outings, how has Craig found this run?

Much like our season so far to be honest, in our last five games we’ve struggled to build upon our encouraging performances. There have been a few reasons for this, but with the squad settling down now I am confident that our performances will start to get more consistent now, on a personal level again I feel I’ve done ok recently, but I’m more focused on the team performing well and if I can help contribute to that then I’ll be very happy

United haven’t won in four but did get that late draw on Saturday, how has Archie viewed that run?

The four game run has been challenging as three out of the four games were against sides that are competing at the top and around the play-offs, so it was always going to be difficult, but the games against Peterborough & Thame could have gone either way with the key moments going against us. The draw at the weekend showed a lot of character as we were two-one down going into the final ten minutes, and we were unlucky not to score with the last kick to win three-two. Personally the run for me has been positive coming back into the team and I feel like I’ve contributed to the games, just not getting the results we desire

So onto the first Derby of the season, how is Archie looking forward to it?

I’ve never played in or been involved in this derby but it is one I am very excited about as there is a lot of personal pride and local pride for the fans at stake, so it’s a must win game not just for the three points but for local pride also. It will be my first New Year’s Day game and I’m looking forward to it, it should be a good crowd and a game that both teams want to win

It is also Craig’s first ever derby:

Strangely enough this will be my first ever ‘El Quackico’ having been suspended for one and missing another through injury so I’m really looking forward to playing in this one. I’m expecting it to be fiercely contested and a close game, I’m not really nervous but am excited that I’ll get to experience this game and hopefully get the result that our club deserves. I’m used to playing on New Year’s Day now having done so throughout my non-league career so it’s not an issue for me, but can imagine it being so for some of our younger lads

Does Craig view victory as important as avoiding defeat?

The points are vitally important to us considering our current league position, and closing the gap on our local rivals is also important so defeat isn’t really something we’re thinking about, we’ll be doing our best to make sure that doesn’t happen. Every point now is important, none more so than against our rivals

We asked Archie how important the win or disappointing a defeat would be?

The three points is crucial for us coming off a good draw in the circumstances, which will mean nothing if we don’t win on Tuesday, so it’s a must win game for us to get back heading in the right direction and towards where we want to be

Are there any players in the FC Archie is wary of ahead of the fixture?

I don’t know many of their players but like all games this season it’s going to be a challenging game, knowing what is at stake and being the local derby that it is

How many of the United squad is Craig aware of?

I know a few of their squad as some of them were here last season, Kierran Lataille and the recently signed Anthony Ball & Ash Jenkins, brother of our skipper Jordan. I’ve also played with their striker Aaron Berry at Beaconsfield, but I’m not at all concerned about any of them as I believe that if we perform to our abilities then we’ll get the result

Rounding up, we asked Craig what the most important from the game will be for his side:

The derby is all about bragging rights, not only for our supporters but us as players too, so we’ll all be giving one hundred and ten percent to make sure it’s us that has them, and hopefully use it as a springboard for our season too. An Aylesbury FC win will be the perfect way to start the New Year

And does Archie have any friends at Aylesbury he’d like to beat?

I used to go to Sports College with Harry Scott so it’d be good to get the win against him, but the three points is the priority and that’s all we’ll be concentrating on

Sports Shots would like to thank both Craig & Archie for their time this week

ESS CD1: Late Aghadiuno Ducks leveller grabs a point at Kempston

An 88th minute equaliser by Benjamin Aghadiuno gave Aylesbury United a 2-2 draw at Kempston Rovers this afternoon.

Benjamin AghadiunoThe Ducks secured a share of the spoils after Tre Mitford’s effort landed at the feet of Aghadiuno, who made no mistake.

Ben Williams side took the lead on 10 minutes as Harry Jones grabbed the ball on the right hand side and feed Horacio Hirst, who’s shot on the turn found the bottom corner.

The Ducks lead at the break but it was the home side who fought back as former MK Dons striker Izale McLeod levelled on 67 minutes.

In the 82nd minute scorer turned provider as McLeod set up Shane Bush, who put the Walnuts in front.

Aghadiuno then grabbed the leveller and there was still time for Mitford to head Bewley’s corner inches over in the 95th minute.

 

SL; United manager is in no Sporting mood this Christmas

Saturday 22nd December 2018

Aylesbury United v Peterborough Sports

Southern League Division One Central

The Meadow

K.O. 3.00pm

Aylesbury United host Peterborough Sports on Saturday at The Meadow and whilst the prospect of playing the team that sit second in the Southern League Division One Central League table may be a daunting one, United can take some comfort that their guests have not won in their last two league matches. However, only one of those was a defeat, to the top side Bromsgrove Sporting, and that defeat was their first in the league since the 20th October, and with the meanest defence in the division to date who have only conceded thirteen league goals in their sixteen games played, The Ducks are in for a test this weekend.

Ben Williams

But United sit comfortably away from the dreaded relegation places after two wins in their last three games moved them eight points clear of the bottom two places, and just eight points off the play-off places. After Saturday they travel to Thame in another tough game, but then to Kempston Rovers who have slipped into the relegation places to face former manager Tony Joyce, before the New Year’s Day ‘El Quackico’, two games that The Ducks will surely see as ideal games to get more points on the board and separate themselves from those below them.

This week Sports Shots caught up with manager Ben Williams to ask if he is still enjoying the job, and what’s been the hardest thing so far this season:

Yes, I am still enjoying the season, the hardest part has been trying to get some sort of consistency & a run of results together but this has been what we’ve learnt about this division so far, every team is competitive, but if you can string just four wins together then you can shoot right up the league table

Are there any places in the squad that still need filling?

We are happy with our squad, we maybe need another defender and also a goalkeeper to add competition for places, unfortunately it looks like Jack Hopwood will be out for a long time again due to his recurring injury

Two wins and a defeat so far in December, how were those games for United?

Each of those games could have gone either way, we beat Kidlington but they have strengthened and will climb that table I’m sure. Cambridge are always a competitive side so we were delighted with both those wins, but Berko were sharper than us on the day and deserved the three points but even though we weren’t quite on it we did get it back to two-two and could have taken the lead almost immediately after, but a poor decision contributed to their third goal and from there we lost organisation and shape and were lucky only to concede once more

Another stern test this Saturday, what do United know about Peterborough?

I have been told they are a big, strong direct side, in terms of preparation we have to want to test ourselves against another top team, but we need nine or ten of our players to be fully on their games, not like the four or five we had against Berkhamsted!

With Kempston dropping into the relegation places, how many teams does Ben think are involved in that relegation scrap?

The league looks like it is developing a split right in the middle, I believe any team in the bottom half could find themselves in the bottom two with a string of poor results, that what makes this league so exciting this year, most are trying to strengthen and there doesn’t seem to be a team yet that are rooted to the bottom

We asked Ben how many points he feels his side need away from the relegation places to feel safe?

I am only looking up at this stage, we don’t tend to draw games so we approach this Kempston game looking for the win and nothing else, and with all the teams capable of beating each other I don’t think we will be free from the basement area of the league table

How does Ben view his Christmas fixture list?

We are looking forward to all three games, there are probably more local players playing for Thame so that could be more of a derby to us, but obviously everyone who follows the teams from Aylesbury will be looking for the Aylesbury result, so that is a must win game for us. I have watched them recently and Paul Bonham has got them well organised and fighting for each other so it could be a very frantic & exciting match

Finally, we asked Ben for his Christmas message to the club and its supporters:

Merry Christmas to everyone, the continued support we receive is amazing and those that keep the club running behind the scenes have my upmost respect especially at this time of year when we have so many games. I know we are involved in a lot of high scoring games which is entertaining at times, something I personally love, but I will take a one-nil win for us on New Year’s Day!

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

Latest BBC3CR non-league show features local news

This week’s BBC 3 Counties non-league show featured both the Moles & the Ducks in their final programme before Christmas, and an incredibly brave & moving interview with parent of the Bedgrove Dynamo’s fourteen year old who tragically lost his life playing football recently.

To listen to Luca Campanaro’s father tune in to 3m:45s on the timeline.

Aylesbury FC kitman Phil Duffy with his daughter Charlotte were live in the studio discussing their roles with both the Heywood Way club and the Luton Town Ladies, which can be heard sixteen and a half minutes into the audio.

And Aylesbury United stalwart Gregg Williams can be heard talking about playing football over the Christmas period from 48 minutes in.

To listen in follow this link: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p06rzt6s

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

SL; United striker hoping for fruitful visit to Dunstable this weekend

Saturday 10th November 2018

Dunstable Town v Aylesbury United

Southern League Division One Central

Creasey Park

K.O. 3.00pm

Aylesbury United travel to Dunstable Town on Saturday looking for more points to add to their recent run, which has seen three wins from their last five games in the Southern League Division One Central. However, with two cup exits thrown in, the statistics read a more worrying one win in five and a trip to a side relegated from the Premier Division last season is never the easiest of places to go when you need a ‘pick me up’ win. United & Town both sit in a bunch of four teams in the league table all on twelve points, and a win could potentially push the winners up to eight and another win outside the play-offs, showing this table is congested both top and bottom as it starts to level out.

Aaron Berry

This week Sports Shots caught up with Ducks striker Aaron Berry and asked how he feels the season has been so far for himself as well as his team mates:

I think the season has been a bit of a mix of good and bad, I think personally I need to bring more to the team by creating or scoring more goals, also we need to put games to bed & take our chances, on our day we can beat anyone as we showed last year

How frustrating has it been this season after the great end to last year?

The ending to last season was such a great run of form and we played some really good football, it’s been very frustrating with how this season has been so far but with the hard work behind the scenes from Ben and his team I am confident we will get back to how we finished last season

How difficult has this league been after the summer reshuffle?

It’s been difficult in respect of not knowing the teams & how they play, but at the end of the day football is about being the better team on the day no matter who your opponents are. Bromsgrove have been the stand out team but with the budget & following they have you have to expect that, I think the summer reshuffle was good for us personally as it’s a new challenge, and like I said we can’t expect to know what the other teams are like when we haven’t come up against them before

A few new faces in the United squad this year, has anyone impressed?

The new faces have been positive and all have made impacts in their own way. Max (Hercules) is the player who has impressed me the most so far, he’s a good, skilful & pacy winger to have in the team and he will really have an impact as the season continues, whether it be creating or scoring goals himself

We asked Aaron where he sees his side finishing & also who he thinks will finish as the top five clubs in the division come next April:

The league table is still very close so it’s hard to say where anyone will finish, we have said from the start that we want to really push this year and be in & around the play-offs if we can. There is no reason why we can’t aim for that, we just need to be more consistent and grind results out. Bromsgrove & Corby will be up there but other than that I really couldn’t put any team in the top five as I think it is still anyone’s

What are United expecting at Dunstable this week?

We know that no team in this league will be an easy opponent and we will have to be on it from the start, especially following our last two results. We need to get back to our old selves, we just need to focus on what we are going to do rather than what they can do, as like I have said before on our day we can beat anyone

We asked what he needs to achieve between now and the end of the season to make it a successful campaign:

I said from the start of the season that I want at least twenty goals for myself, having only scored seven so far I need to work harder in and around the box and on taking chances, if I can do whatever I need to do to help the team achieve a good position in the league then I’ll be happy

Finally, how does Aaron travel to away games, and does he have any superstitions?

I normally drive to away games alone as I don’t live near the rest of the boys but it gives me time to get my head on the game on the way there. To be honest I don’t have any pre match superstitions, and I can’t say I’ve noticed that any of the other boys do either

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