Archive for Brackley Town Saints Football Club

HL P; Ardley United v Brackley Town Saints preview + manager Chris Hurley’s thoughts on pre-season

Tuesday 6th August 2019
Ardley United v Brackley Town Saints
Hellenic League Premier Division
The Nolan Oils Ground
OX27 7PA
K.O. 7.30pm

 

(Last season’s) League standings:

Hellenic League Premier Division

Brackley Town Saints 3rd

Ardley United 17th

 

This game last season:

26th December 2018

Ardley United 3 (Troy Bryan, Dan West, og)

Brackley Town Saints 4 (George Ball, Ollie Goddard, Ryan Knight, Kyle Wynne)

 

Last four games:

Brackley Town Saints:

W 4-0 home v Lydney Town 22nd April HL

D 0-0 away v Wantage Town 16th April HL

W 2-1 home v Brimscombe & Thrupp 13th April HL

L 0-3 away v Windsor 2nd April HL

Ardley United:

W 2-1 home v Bishops Cleeve 3rd August HL

D 2-2 home v Bishops Cleeve 20th April HL

L 1-4 home v Lydney Town 13th April HL

D 0-0 home v Binfield 9th April PPFC

 

Chris Hurley

Ahead of the season opener Sports Shots caught up with Banbury manager Chris Hurley to ask how much time he managed away from the game over the summer:

Apart from five days away with the family, it has been non-stop football and even on my break away I was still trying to organise pre-season games and players. Since the season finished and I had confirmation I was taking the role, I’ve been talking to the existing players and new targets to make sure I put together a strong group for the coming season

When did pre-season training begin, & how were the first few sessions in terms of numbers and commitment?

We started pre-season on the twenty-sixth of June, the numbers were very high with lots of new players, trialists and youth players all turning out. We had thirty plus players for each session, the commitment has been excellent for the whole of pre-season as I have a really good group with the correct mindset, the hardest part is having to let players go to reduce the numbers and improve the quality

How has it been signing on players, and have any key players been lost?

Fortunately Brackley is a really good club with proper facilities so attracting players has not been a major problem, all of last seasons’ side have re-signed apart from three, one went to Banbury as he wanted a step up, another has gone traveling and the third has work commitments. I had six targets of my own I wanted to go after, three have joined and the other three followed the money to other clubs so all in all I am fairly happy with the squad, I am hopeful another target may still join this week, he is a southern league player so would be a great addition to the group

How have the pre-season games been in terms of results & performances?

The pre-season games have been a little frustrating, I personally did not set the games up so had to go with what I was given, the results have been mixed however the commitment & performances have been really good. I didn’t have the opportunity to play a settled team throughout due to players being away so the results were mixed but on a positive note we played three southern league sides in the last three games and narrowly lost, in two of the games, we were the better side so lots of positives to take into the season. Now that the players are all getting back, I see this group going from strength to strength

Do Saints still have players yet to sign on, or are they squad ready?

I have signed most of the players I wanted however I am always looking for young talent so even though I am fairly happy with the squad, I am always looking for someone that could make the difference, and a player that we at Brackley could develop into the next big prospect

First game of the season this week, how much info do they have on the opponents?

We have our first game this Tuesday away to Ardley, having watched them on Saturday I am confident we can get off to a good start before the FA Cup next Saturday, not having a game on Saturday worked well for me as I managed to watch Ardley and Wantage in one day

At this early stage, what are the targets for the first few games?

I try to plan my games in blocks of five and looking at the games we have my target is to try and get five wins, they are winnable games, so we need to aim high

Finally, we asked if there are any games this season Chris is looking forward to?

I always look forward to the FA Cup and FA Vase, they are good experience for the young players, good opportunity to play teams from different leagues and importantly good opportunity to win some money for the club

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

Emirates FA Cup: Two early Preliminary draws announced

The Emirates FA Cup’s 2019-20 campaign gets underway on Saturday 10 August when the extra preliminary round kicks-off across the country.

With a total number of 736 clubs entered into the FA Cup this season, 368 of them are preparing to start their Cup campaign at its earliest stage with 184 ties scheduled.

Those winners will progress into the preliminary round, where they will be joined by 136 clubs who enter the competition at this stage on Saturday 24 August, with a further 160 ties scheduled.

The prize fund for this term’s competition has also been released, with both winning and losing clubs at the earliest stage receiving payment as those who progress from the extra preliminary round pick up £2250 and the losing teams get £750.

And that theme of losing clubs receiving prize money continues until the competition reaches the first round proper in November.

There are 50 new entries to this season’s competition from the 2018-19 campaign, of which 23 of them will be FA Cup debutants.

Extra Preliminary Round – Saturday 10th August

AFC Hayes v Wembley
Biggleswade United v Swaffham Town
Bridon Ropes v Broadfields United
Burnham v Tring Athletic
Crawley Green v Takeley
Dunstable Town v Chipping Sodbury Town
Eynesbury Rovers v Wellingborough Town
Harefield United v Lydney Town
Haverhill Rovers v Colney Heath
Leighton Town v Thornbury Town
Leverstock Green v Ardley United
London Colney v Hadleigh United
London Tigers v Thame Rangers
Newmarket Town v Arlesey Town
Newport Pagnell Town v Cheltenham Saracens
Oxhey Jets v Flackwell Heath
Potton United v Ely City
Royal Wotton Bassett Town v Aylesbury Vale Dynamos
Saffron Walden Town v Baldock Town
Slimbridge v Edgware Town
Stotfold v Harpenden Town
Tuffley Rovers v North Greenford United
Winslow United v Roman Glass St George

 

Preliminary Round – Saturday 24th August

Abingdon United or Brimscombe & Thrupp v Aylesbury United
AFC Hayes or Wembley v Berkhamsted
Bridon Ropes or Broadfields United v Chichester City or Erith Town
Cirencester Town v Tuffley Rovers or North Greenford United
Crawley Green or Takeley v Woodford Town or White Ensign
Didcot Town v Winslow United or Roman Glass St George
Dunstable Town or Chipping Sodbury Town v Clanfield 85 or Shortwood United
Evesham United v Harefield United or Lydney Town
Highworth Town v Leverstock Green or Ardley United
London Colney or Hadleigh United v Sawbridgeworth Town or Halstead Town
March Town United or Norwich United v Eynesbury Rovers or Wellingborough Town
Newmarket Town or Arlesey Town v Walsham Le Willows or Peterborough Northern Star
Newport Pagnell Town or Cheltenham Saracens v Oxhey Jets or Flackwell Heath
Royal Wotton Bassett Town or Aylesbury Vale Dynamos v North Leigh
Saffron Walden Town or Baldock Town v Maldon & Tiptree
Slimbridge or Edgware Town v Burnham or Tring Athletic
Soham Town Rangers v Biggleswade United or Swaffham Town
Southend Manor or Long Melford v Haverhill Rovers or Colney Heath
Stotfold or Harpenden Town v Canvey Island
Thame United v Leighton Town or Thornbury Town
Wantage Town or Brackley Town Saints v London Tigers or Thame Rangers
Wisbech Town v Potton United or Ely City

THE EMIRATES FA CUP  SEASON 2019-2020 PRIZE FUND PAYMENTS 

Extra Preliminary Round winners (184)      £2,250 Extra Preliminary Round losers (184) £750

Preliminary Round winners (160)               £2,890 Preliminary Round losers (160) £960

First Round Qualifying winners (116)        £4,500 First Round Qualifying losers (116) £1,500

Second Round Qualifying winners (80)     £6,750 Second Round Qualifying losers (80) £2,250

Third Round Qualifying winners (40)         £11,250 Third Round Qualifying losers (40) £3,750

Fourth Round Qualifying winners (32)       £18,750 Fourth Round Qualifying losers (32) £6,250

First Round Proper winners (40)                £36,000

Second Round Proper winners (20)           £54,000

Third Round Proper winners (32)               £135,000

Fourth Round Proper winners (16)             £180,000

Fifth Round Proper winners (8) £360,000

Quarter Final winners (4) £720,000

Semi Final losers (2) £900,000

Semi Final winners (2) £1,800,000

Final runners-up (1) £1,800,000

Final winners (1) £3,600,000

THE EMIRATES FA CUP  ROUND DATES SEASON 2019-2020

Extra Preliminary Round Saturday 10 August 2019

Preliminary Round Saturday 24 August 2019

First Round Qualifying Saturday 7 September 2019

Second Round Qualifying Saturday 21 September 2019

Third Round Qualifying Saturday 5 October 2019

Fourth Round Qualifying Saturday 19 October 2019

First Round Proper Saturday 9 November 2019

Second Round Proper  Saturday 30 November 2019

Third Round Proper Saturday 4 January 2020

Fourth Round Proper Saturday 25 January 2020

Fifth Round Proper Wednesday 4 March 2020

Quarter Final Saturday 21 March 2020

Semi Final  Saturday 18 April 2020 & Sunday 19 April 2020

Final Saturday 23 May 2020

 

 

 

Brackley Town Saints appoint Chris Hurley as new manager, we have his first thoughts on the job

Brackley Town Saints have appointed vastly experienced Chris Hurley as their new manager to take over the reins from Gordon Kille who stepped down at the end of last season. Chris was part of Gordon’s coaching staff last season therefore needs no introduction to the squad or the club, having played & coached at numerous levels he brings a huge database of knowledge to the young team as they look to put the disappointment of missing out on promotion last term by just three points.

Chris Hurley

The club announced on twitter:

Brackley Town Saints are pleased to announce that Chris Hurley has been appointed manager of for the coming season. Chris will be assisted by Gary Courtney who was number two to Gordon Kille last season, we would like to wish both of them good luck for 2019/20

This week Sports Shots caught up with the new gaffer to ask his thoughts on getting the job:

It’s a great club going in the right direction so it’s a good opportunity to get back into management, create some success and develop players for the future of the club

Being part of the coaching team this season obviously helps; did Gordon mention the job to Chris when he decided to step down?

I have known Gords (Gordon) for a couple of years and we have kept in touch, when he heard I wasn’t happy at Didcot, he asked me to come and join him as my years of experience would help him and the young players. He mentioned that he could be stepping down and asked if I would be interested which I was, it helped joining the club when I did as it gave me an opportunity to get to know the club, how the club works and get to know the players, Gordon and Gary have been a great help

Gordon Kille stepped down as manager in April

So what is Chris’s football career to date?

Wow where do I start, I played professionally for three clubs as a youth up to twenty-five and played local football to now. I took my FA level one & two then UEFA B licence, & have managed and coached at Hellenic, Suburban, Isthmian, Ryman and Southern League levels. I have also been director of football at Witney Town and head of youth development at Oxford City looking after under eighteen’s, sixteen’s, and fifteen’s, as a manager I have won a number of cups and helped lead Oxford City to the Senior Cup final at the Kassam. I have been a manager/coach for near on eighteen years with some really good success in building & developing teams, and would really love to bring some success now to Brackley Town Saints

What is the immediate plan for the new gaffer for the summer?

My immediate plan is to secure as many of last season’s squad, as there are some really good players at Brackley, introduce some new faces to freshen up the group then liaise with our youth set up so see what younger players I can introduce as they are the future of the club, this is the busiest time for a manager, the actual football season is the fun part

What experience does Chris have of the Hellenic League, and what made him choose Brackley?

I have managed in the Hellenic League at Abingdon Town where we won the league Cup in the second season, Witney Town, Wantage Town, Bicester Town where I had to rebuild the club from basically no teams to five teams, and managed to get Bicester promoted in my first attempt, so going for the Brackley job was a no brainer, I had offers from three other clubs however Brackley was my first choice

What are the targets for next season?

Based on last season’s efforts where we came so close to promotion, the goal this year is to win the league and I will make sure the whole group knows the targets before we start the season

In terms of the squad, how many players can be retained from last season, and what new players can Chris bring in?

We have lost three, two were poached by Banbury and the third is going travelling, the rest of the group have already agreed to stay which gives me a good base to start with, in terms of bringing new players in I will bring in two or three to freshen up the group and give some competition for places, then push the youth management to give me the best from their set up to introduce them to men’s football

Are there plans to change things or just carry on from where Gordon left off?

It’s a little bit of both, my management style is different to Gordons so I will do things differently in terms of how we train, how we play and a few other things, however I will also take some of the things that Gordon did with the players that worked

Finally, does Chris have any messages for the supporters of Brackley?

My message to the people of Brackley Town Saints & its supporters is it’s an exciting time for the Saints, we will do things properly, appreciate your support, play good attacking football and push for honours. It will be a good time to support the Saints and the club

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

2019/20 season non league steps 1-6 revealed

The non-league divisional structures have been revealed for next season’s step one to six clubs, which affects a number of the clubs covered by Sports Shots.

Step 3:

Banbury United continue in the Southern League Premier Division Central and welcome five new clubs to the division for the new campaign, Bromsgrove Sporting, Hednesford Town, Kings Langley, Nuneaton Borough & Peterborough Sports.

 

Step 4:

Aylesbury United & Thame United continue in the Southern League Division One Central and welcome six new clubs to the division for the new campaign, Bedworth United, Biggleswade FC, Daventry Town, Halesowen Town, St Neots Town & Wantage Town.

 

Step 5 (Hellenic):

Brackley Town Saints continue in the Hellenic Premier Division after narrowly missing out on promotion, they welcome Burnham, Chipping Sodbury Town, Easington Sports & Westfields for the forthcoming campaign.

 

Step 5 (South Midlands):

Newport Pagnell Town have been transferred from the Future Lions United Counties League over to the Spartan South Midlands where they join former Aylesbury FC under their new set up of Aylesbury Vale Dynamo’s after relegation from the Southern League.

 

Step 6:

Ampthill Town, Buckingham Athletic & Winslow United all remain in Spartan South Midlands League Division One where they welcome five new clubs in London Tigers, New Salamis, Shefford Town & Campton, St Panteleimon & Stotfold.

All clubs have seven days to appeal, steps seven and below are to follow in due course.

HL; Brackley Town Saints 4-0 Lydney Town

Brackley Town Saints – 4
Lydney Town – 0

22.04.2019

Brackley Town Saints rounded off their season with a thumping home win over Lydney Town to end their campaign in third place in the Hellenic Football League Premier Division, however the day belonged to manager Gordon Kille as he oversaw his final game in charge on an emotional day for all involved. His squad did him proud with not only the performance on the day but their season as a whole which he afterwards expressed had left him feeling extremely proud, narrowly missing out on the title by just three points with the top three sides all finishing with twenty-two wins for the season, those places were in the end defined by the amount of games each side lost. Gordon steps aside to face bigger battles that lie ahead personally, those who took in the warm Easter weekend sunshine gave a generous round of applause to the departing gaffer on fifty minutes denoting his age, and again at the end as he left the pitch surrounded by family and both sets of players, all showing their appreciation to the man who has taken a group of young football players and turned them into a title challenging squad.

The home side took the lead on four minutes when Ryan Knight latched onto a ball just to the right of goal and at the second attempt managed to roll across into the far bottom corner, a clearance from the Lydney defence fell to Olly Goddard who over the shoulder drove wide before Knight found space in the channel touching inside to strike partner James Hammond who tried to fizz along the six-yard area only for visiting keeper Freddie Lapworth to get down well and intercept. The visitor’s had their first effort of note on twenty-one minutes when a great cross from Lewis Halford found Ross Gabriel on the penalty spot but he could only loop off target, George Ball then warmed the hands of Lapworth from twenty-five yards forcing the shot stopper to his left to push away & a speculative attempt from Lewis Baldwin bounced the wrong side of the upright.

Ryan Knight bags his second

Goddard climbed highest to nod down on the edge of the box to Joe Ward who couldn’t quite get the touch needed allowing the ball to roll out towards Knight however some last gasp defending saw Liam Shephard slide in to take off his foot and somehow clear over his own crossbar, then on thirty-three minutes Saints did get their second when Ball did well down the right hand side to square to Knight totally unmarked who couldn’t miss from three yards out. Before the break Town had an appeal for a penalty waved away when Lewis Thompson got in behind the red backline and despite getting his shot in he was challenged from behind, despite the protests the referee was having none of it and play continued. H/T: 2-0

An early free kick to Lydney saw Matt Board lift high into the box making it easy for Worby to collect ahead of the minutes applause halted the game for the manager, from the restart Thompson escaped down the right to cut inside and his attempted curler around the keeper only found waiting gloves, a Saints corner curled in by Brock had Goddard heading over before they almost undid themselves at the back when Worby rolled out to Hammond whose touch was too heavy allowing the away side to regain possession, the ball played along the eighteen yard line invited their skipper Jordi Sheen to shoot however Brock did well to get across and get the deflection for a corner, that set piece met at the front post by Sam Elliott who headed over much to his own disgust.

Again the home side conceded possession close to their own penalty area allowing a cross into the danger zone where Worby went down to initially stun then jump on taking a challenge from Thompson in the process who was duly booked for his troubles, then on sixty-nine minutes the game was well & truly put to bed when Knight completed his hattrick, played in over the top for him to run on and slot past Lapworth into the far bottom corner, at the opposite end Saints captain Worby encouraged all his team mates to join the manager on the sidelines for a celebration involving everyone, from the kick off another member of the family Charlie Kille almost got in on the act when presented with a chance on the corner of the six-yard box however he miskicked and the chance was gone.

Minutes applause for the manager

A corner to the hosts was played short out to substitute Jordan Godfrey who picked out Goddard at the back post, he headed back across goal causing panic in the black & white backline but between Shephard and Elliott they managed to keep it safe from Knight & Ward who were lurking, Kille collected a throw to drive into the box & drill wide before George Ball made it four with fifteen minutes remaining when played diagonally into the area and going away from goal he managed to turn & fire through the legs of Tom Baldwin and over the despairing dive of Lapworth into the far bottom corner.

Lydney never gave up to their credit & Frankie Johnson slipped a pass into the penalty arc where Thompson drilled low past the post, back came the hosts with Knight who blasted wide from close range ahead of Kille who fired a low level cross-cum-shot in that Sam Ball was inches away from sliding in at the back stick. At the other end Worby ensured his clean sheet with a brilliant instinctive save from a Thompson header pushing over single handed for a corner, James Watts drove into the box before flashing wide, the last chance fell to the same midfielder again who blasted high over the bar from eighteen yards out, the scenes at the end on the pitch befitting for the team performance and the departing managers reign. F/T: 4-0

Attendance: 97

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

After the game Sports Shots spoke with Saints manager Gordon Kille:

For 2 pages (142 images) of matchday photography click here: https://flic.kr/s/aHskU313YE

HL P; Brackley physio admits their squad are all Saints to work with

Saturday 16th March 2019
Brackley Town Saints v Ascot United
Hellenic League Premier Division
St James Park
K.O. 3.00pm

Back on Boxing Day Brackley Town Saints won at local rivals Ardley to cement their position at the top of the Hellenic Football League Premier Division, and with a run of home games scheduled in the New Year things looked good for Gordon Kille’s squad, but since then numerous cup games have interrupted their league run and from the turn of the year they have only played eight league fixtures, of which they have lost five taking just seven points from the twenty-four on offer, and with it have slipped down to third place in the league and face a real battle to finish in the top two positions in the race for promotion. They do yet have to play Wantage away and host Brimscombe at St James Park, both the two sides above them in the league, if they win those then Saints future could still be in their own hands, but they host Ascot United this Saturday and an away win would lift the visitor’s level with the Northamptonshire side, however United have drawn five & lost three of their last eight league fixtures, neither side in form so something has to give….

Anita Baldwin

This week Sports Shots caught up with Saints physio Anita Baldwin to ask what she does at the club, how long she’s been there & how it feels to be part of the club:

I am ‘physio’ for the Saints and the Academy, I got involved about twelve years ago when my eldest son was asked to join a new team that was being put together. I started to take an interest in sports injuries, went on various courses and am now in my fifth season with the Saints/Academy. The whole family plays a part at the club, we have made some great friends and lots of memorable moments

Does Anita have a day job similar to her role at Saints?

My day job is at a doctor’s surgery but no it doesn’t involve hands on treatment of sports injuries

What is a typical day in the role of a football club physio?

Training nights and match days see’s treatments prior to and during training or games. It’s all or nothing, there may be one person needing treatment one week but six people the following week

What have been the highlights for Anita since joining the club?

I have been very fortunate to be involved in so many. I would have to include going on tour to America, an amazing experience, Saints winning the Hillier Cup and also gaining promotion from Hellenic League Division One in their first season of men’s football. So many games since then for various reasons but far too many to list. The game against the first team a few weeks ago would also have to be high on the list, what a fantastic performance from the Saints

So what sort of season has it been from a physio point of view?

Probably about the same as previous years. It’s an intense game and training schedule so subsequently injuries tend to be from overuse or ‘questionable’ tackles during match play. All the players are keen to get back to playing as quickly as possible following injury so will do work away from training to ensure that happens

We asked Anita to describe the Saints season so far:

There have been so many outstanding performances. It’s great to get plenty of good results, some of which have been against teams we didn’t get the results from last season. To secure a good position in the league is testament to the work put in by the players and everyone involved, the players work extremely hard and give one hundred percent in every game, you can’t ask for more than that

Are there any players that see too much of the treatment table?

Yes but I can’t tell you who, it’s all about player confidentiality…….

Finally we asked Anita of all the first team squad and staff, is there anyone in particular she would never want to go on holiday with?

I can’t answer this one either 🙂

Sports Shots would like to thank Anita for her time this week

HL P; Saints midfielder lifts the Lyd on his time at new & former club

Saturday 23rd February 2019

Lydney Town v Brackley Town Saints

Hellenic League Premier Division

Lydney Recreation Ground

K.O. 3.00pm

Before Christmas Brackley Town Saints were top of the Hellenic Football League Premier Division by some distance and flying high in three cup competitions along the way, they won at Ardley on Boxing Day and after the New Year progressed further in two of those cup campaigns, things looked rosy for Gordon Kille’s squad. But just five weeks on and things have changed dramatically after six consecutive games without a win, five defeats in a row, down to fifth in the league being ten points off top spot and out of two of those three cup competitions, but there is still time to turn their fortunes around as three of the top five have three games in hand on current table toppers Brimscombe and only a point separates second to fifth place. Saints also have to host Ascot & Brimscombe in the run in and play Wantage home & away so their destiny is still very much in their own hands, if they can shake this bad spell off and return to winning ways, promotion is still on the cards starting this week as they travel the long distance to Lydney Town who themselves have only tasted victory in one of their last four games in all competitions.

Jack Carter

This week Sports Shots caught up with recent new signing Jack Carter to ask how long he’s been at the club and how it all came about:

I have been at the club for around four weeks and was contacted by Saints after playing in the Buckingham Athletic v Buckingham Town game just after Christmas. It wasn’t an easy decision as I had been at Athletic since I was sixteen, playing in the under eighteens and have played alongside a lot of the current team for years and enjoyed playing under Neil (Griffiths), Jamie (O’Hara) and Dave (Morgan) and I am very aware of all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes at the Athletic. I made the decision as it was a great opportunity to play at a higher level

How has it been settling in to Brackley since the move?

I felt I’d had a pretty good season at Ath, although it took me a while to get back into the team after injury but I secured my position. Now at Saints I have enjoyed playing with a new bunch of lads who have been very welcoming and it always takes a while to settle and get to know your team mates but Gordon (Kille) organises all sorts of sessions on and off the pitch. This week I had to sing for the first time an initiation song, I sang BONKERS by Dizzee Rascal

How has Jack progressed through football up to now?

I started playing at Moretonville at the age of six, Moretonville offers a great starting point for hundreds of kids in and around Buckingham, I then moved to Buckingham Athletic at sixteen and joined their under eighteen team and progressed to the reserves then the first team

How does Jack feel his fitness has been this season?

I would say I am probably at my fittest I have been for a long time but there is always space for improvement, playing in the position I am you are constantly moving and on the go

What is Jacks preferred position & formation on the pitch?

My favourite position is in central midfield and my favourite formation is four-four-two, but I also enjoy playing full back and felt that I had some really strong performances there playing for Buckingham

The recent poor run of form has seriously threatened to curtail Saints season, a long trip to Lydney Town this weekend, how does Jack look at this game?

The Saints squad is strong but we need to settle down and focus on each individual game rather than focusing on the league. This Saturday we make the long journey to Lydney and our focus is to come away with the three points, travelling doesn’t affect me & in fact it makes me more motivated to come away with a win, I’ve played in the South Midlands League now for three seasons so it’s nice to play at other grounds in the Hellenic League and test myself against teams that I’ve never played before

Rounding up we asked Jack to nominate some team mates he’d love to see on any television programme of his choice?

I haven’t been with the Saints long enough to know the real characters within the team so I would need to go on the squad I have played most the season with so:

Ash Farmer for Strictly Come Dancing as he feels he’s got some great moves on the dance floor.

Also Neil King for IF YOU DON’T PAY WE TAKE IT AWAY

I’d like to thank Sports Shots for all their local coverage of football in terms of photography & reports

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

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

HL P; Saints duo hoping to be at the races for visit of Ascot

This game has been postponed due to the weather

Saturday 2nd February 2019

Brackley Town Saints v Ascot United

Hellenic League Premier Division

St James Park

K.O. 3.00pm

Brackley Town Saints host Ascot United on Saturday at St James Park knowing nothing less than victory will do if their title challenge is to get back on track, they’ve dropped to third in the Hellenic Football League Premier Division table after just one point from six in their league games since the turn of the year and ahead of this game trail league leaders Brimscombe & Thrupp by four points. Brimscombe themselves did Saints a huge favour midweek by beating Wantage Town who were breathing down Gordon Kille’s sides neck, but now Saints have destiny back in their own hands as they have games in hand on most of the teams around them and if they win them all they will regain top spot, however Ascot this week are just a place and a point behind their hosts before Brackley then travel to Wantage next weekend in a period that see’s the two sides play each other twice in three weeks and those two games could well define the outcome of the league title. Saints drew at Ascot back in October and the visitor’s haven’t won in their last three league fixtures, with the home side looking for their first league success since Boxing Day, this is a vital game for both sides.

Joe Ward

This week Sports Shots caught up with midfielder James Watts and first of all defender Joe Ward to ask how long he’s been at the club & what made him join:

I’ve been with the club since the youth development days, I was a part of the original team during the transition into men’s football when the Saints started. The attraction for me was to try and play a fast paced possession style of football in a men’s league to see what we could achieve

James has also been here from his younger days:

I’ve been at the club for about three or four years, I got asked to trial for the under eighteens, went, enjoyed it, got asked to sign, then moved my way up to the Saints and have been there ever since! When I first joined I was very shy but then I got to know everyone and have a laugh with everyone so I’ve settled in well

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

I think so far this season I have been fine with my fitness, I did a lot of work in pre-season to prepare myself for the upcoming season, availability wise I think I have missed one game due to injury but haven’t missed a training session or any other games. I think I have been performing this season, & always give one hundred and ten percent in training and on match days, I feel I have had a similar start to last season which was a good season for me so I feel like I’m on the right track!

James Watts

Joe has suffered the aggravation of injury this term:

I feel that I started the season strongly, fitness was high and I had a good tempo to my game. When I’ve played consistently this has carried through, however I’ve had a couple of injuries this season which has been incredibly frustrating for me because as a player you want to be getting as much game time as possible. As an individual target I make sure I work as hard as I can every game and training session

How good a squad does Joe feel it is at Brackley this year, and which players have impressed?

As a whole the entire squad has been strong, both on and off the pitch. It’s hard to pick out a few players who have really impressed when the whole team has been playing well, however I’d have to say the consistently strong performances from Ali Worby (GK), Lewis Baldwin (CM) and Olly Goddard (CB) through the spine of the pitch has been class. Ali has made a few crucial saves for us over the season and his distribution is second to none in the league. Lewis solidifies the midfield when playing CM, he moves the ball well around the whole pitch and will rarely give away possession. Olly has been a great addition to the back four and is strong in the air

James can’t single anyone out for individual praise:

I think the Brackley squad this season is very strong, everyone has been doing their job, & everyone is working hard to get a good end result. Everyone has impressed me this season, the whole squad have been class!

What is James favoured position in the team & what formation does he prefer to play?

Favoured position would be centre-midfield as I love getting on the ball and beating my opponents! I think the best formation for me is four-two-three-one because I’m always involved with the play then, attaching and defending which is good for me because I like doing both

Joe also likes that formation:

My favoured position is centre-back, I’d say my most preferred formation is a four-two-three-one as it’s what I have mostly played. Although when we had a string of games at the beginning of the season playing 3-5-2 we had good success in games and it felt very comfortable to play in

We asked Joe how competitive this division is after being clear at the top to now being third, and which sides he feels will challenge for the title:

As we’re coming to the end of the season everything’s becoming tighter at the top, with three or four teams chasing the title, I think that goes to show how competitive the league has been this season. Although it’s tight at the top we’re focusing on each game as it comes, making sure that we prepare correctly. Biggest threats for us are Wantage and Bishop’s Cleeve due to matches played and points gained

James discusses the need to get a win to get back on track:

We have been playing very well this season but some results haven’t gone our way, I think we knew that it wasn’t going to be easy to keep a big lead but we are all battling to keep that top place. Our last two games haven’t been very good results for us so we need to get back to winning ways and cement that place at the top. I think our biggest threat is probably Bishops Cleave, they beat us in the cup and at home so haven’t won against them yet and they look like a danger side but I’m sure we can beat them away from home

The last couple of games haven’t gone to plan, how did James view those games?

I thought the Reading game was all about Brackley, we all stuck together from the first whistle, yes they did take the lead but we didn’t let our heads drop and we carried on working hard & came away with the victory. Going into the Flackwell game we all thought this is going to be a test, which it was! For the first twenty minutes they had most of the ball and pinned us in but when we got on the ball we looked good and sharp going forward and as always solid at the back. So I think getting a point was a good result in a tough game, the Windsor result was very poor in horrible weather conditions, we didn’t take our chances and it hurt us in the end!

Joe mirrored those thoughts:

The Reading cup game was a good opportunity for the lads to get game time, and it was a good result as well. The Flackwell game was a hard match with both teams putting everything into it, both teams had good opportunities to take the lead but never did and a point each was a fair reflection of the game. The Windsor game was frustrating but every team has a bad day at the office

Ascot at home this week whom the Saints drew with earlier this season, what does Joe remember from that game and what do they need to improve on to win?

I remember that it was a tough, physical game. Both teams played well and again both teams had good chances, the three points could have gone to either team. We need to prepare correctly for the game, start with good pace, energy and be clinical on the day. Their biggest threat on the day was the ball being fed to Nathan Minhas

James also appreciates the quality Ascot have in their ranks:

I think the Ascot game was a real test for us, we played very well and they have got some good players in their squad but we all battled and fought together from the first whistle, getting a point from that game was a good result in my eyes especially away from home!

Finally, we asked James to pick any television programme he could think of, and a team mate who he’d like to see on it, and the reason behind it?

I would have to choose Ali Worby and the programme would be Soccer AM because he is always on about it at football and he never stops watching it

Joe picked a different colleague:

I’d pick Olly Goddard to go on the Undateables; speaks for itself

Sports Shots would like to thank both Joe & James for their time this week

HLP; Defender confident his Saints will just go marching on to success

Saturday 12th January 2019

Brackley Town Saints v Tuffley Rovers

Bluefin Sports Supplementary Cup

St James Park

K.O. 3.00pm

Brackley Town Saints return to action for their first game since Boxing Day as they host Tuffley Rovers on Saturday in the Bluefin Sports Supplementary Cup, their first of two cup fixtures in four days and despite their long lay-off still remain top of the Hellenic Football League Premier Division table albeit having to share top spot with Ascot United level on points, but Saints do have five games in hand. Gordon Kille’s men still remain in pole position in the league, Wantage their nearest rivals having played the same amount of games are five points behind, there are teams closer but have all played more games than the men from St James’ Park. Brackley won their two games over Christmas including a ding-dong battle in their local derby at Ardley United, where a last gasp goal saw them emerge victorious by the odd goal in seven, and have done well against Tuffley in recent times having already completed the league double over the Gloucestershire side this season, so go into this fixture confident of progressing to the next round.

Ollie Goddard

This week Sports Shots caught up with Saints defender Olly Goddard to ask how long he’s been at the club and how it’s been so far:

I have been at the club since the beginning of this season, I was looking for a new challenge after getting back from America and playing locally for Middleton Cheney last year so it was refreshing to join such an exciting set up, the season has been going really well since I joined and I feel we have a great chance of going up this year

How good a season does Olly feel he’s had personally?

I think I’ve had a good season so far, obviously I have had a few injury set backs but we have good depth to the squad to cover when I’ve been injured or away, but in the games I’ve been involved in I generally feel I have brought a lot to the team’s performance

How good is this Saints squad this season, and which players have stood out?

The Brackley squad this season is very strong and we have lots of gifted players within it, Ali Worby and James Watts have stood out for me as they always put in great performances and have tremendous ability to go further in the game

With a break from action, does Olly feel this is of benefit to the squad or detrimental to what they want to achieve?

I think the time off has been needed as we had lots of football in the previous months, personally for me it’s been nice to take a step back and re-group ready for a second half of the season push! Overall I think it’s good to have some time off away from the game and then come back to it

Defeat to Bishops Cleeve followed by wins over Longlevens and Ardley in December, how were those games?

The Bishops game was a disappointment for us as a group however I was unavailable for that game, for me the Longlevens game was a formality as I felt we were the stronger side so I expected three points. The Ardley game was a massive statement I feel, to show we could grind out the result in a big local derby just after Christmas, it was pleasing to get the points

Nine out of the next ten Saints games are at home, seven are league games, how important could this be?

St James Park is a fantastic place and a real key to part of the way we want to play the game, so it’s a real positive we have so many games coming up at home, teams find it hard to come to us and match the style that we produce so it does give us a massive edge

We asked Olly how he feels the club would cope should they gain promotion?

I think if we went up as a group we could compete at the next level but to what extent I am unsure, I think we would need to add a goal scorer and a few other players just to give us a real chance

Tuffley this week, Saints have a good record against them this season, what is Olly expecting this time?

I am expecting to win if I’m honest, I know they have a few good results but I feel our squad being where it is right now will be too much for them

Finally, we asked Olly if he could be anyone in the world for twenty-four hours who would he choose?

Lionel Messi for me, he is the greatest player to play the game, I’d love to understand how he sees the game and have the ability he has, and to pull on that Barca shirt

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