Archive for Southern League

Local gem that has turned into a Diamond

This week Sports Shots have taken some time away from our local clubs to speak to a youngster who started locally but has made such progress in the past couple of years that has seen him graduate from junior level, to youth level, & into men’s football in the Spartan South Midlands League, followed very quickly by a move up to the Southern League.

Ben Acquaye

Ben Acquaye started in junior football across Milton Keynes and moved over to Buckingham Athletic when Steve Farmborough took over the reins of the Ath U18’s just three years ago. Ben starred in the team that season, which included an FA Youth cup tie against Northampton Town and from there has never looked back.

He was soon in the first team at Stratford Fields, and it wasn’t long before higher level clubs noticed a talented youngster on their door step, and it did not take long for Kempston Rovers to come knocking.

Since then Ben has moved on to AFC Rushden & Diamonds, and has started to flourish at step three of the non-league pyramid, scoring a sublime free kick recently against Hednesford which can be viewed using this link: (clip courtesy of @HednesfordTv)


Sports Shots caught up with Ben this week to ask where he started his football life:

Before I joined Buckingham I was playing locally for MK City

You came to Athletic with Steve Farmborough, what was that season like at the club, winning the league and playing Northampton Town in the FA Youth Cup?

It was a great season to win the league, and also to be the first youth team at the club to reach the first round of the FA Youth Cup, that was a big moment

What are your best memories of being an Athletic player?

My best memory I would say would be getting to the first round of the FA Youth Cup which was a massive achievement from everyone at the club

From Buckingham to Kempston Rovers, how was that for you?

It was a new experience for me, to move up two divisions was hard and it took me a while to get used to that level, the play was a lot quicker and much more intense

How did the move to Rushden come about, and how much thought did you have to give it?

First time I knew Rushden were interested in me was in pre-season when we played them in a friendly, and I did quite well which attracted them. I had a lot to think about before I joined in terms of would I be playing week in week out, would I be ready for the step up etc

Were you aware of their history, and what they’ve been through as a club?

Yes I knew about the history of the club and how they used to be a football league club, it’s sad what happened but the aim now is to keep on improving and hopefully get the club back to where they belong in a couple of years

How has it been settling in since you joined?

When I joined everyone was very welcoming and made me feel settled, which helped me integrate into the squad a lot quicker

One good goal a couple of weeks ago as we’ve all seen on social media, what did the gaffer say to you after the game?

’I never knew you had that in your locker!’ Normally in training before we start I’m always working on my free kicks and sometimes they fly over the fence but it was nice to score that one, it’s definitely up there as one of my favourite goals

What are the biggest differences you’ve noticed between the leagues you have played in so far?

I would say the biggest difference would be fitness and being clever on the ball, at this level if you give the ball away cheaply you’ll be in big trouble so it’s always important to be smart on the ball and try to retain possession. Fitness is also key as some games can be end to end and you need to make sure you can go up and down the pitch to support the attack and also help to defend

How have the Rushden supporters been towards you since joining?

The fans get behind the whole team and encourage us to keep on pushing, they really motivate me to give more for them every time we play

What piece of advice would you give to any youngsters across the Milton Keynes area who are currently playing junior football still, and hope to carry on playing into mens football?

To always work hard and believe in their ability, it’s important to be confident in football, without confidence you won’t get far so always try to have the mindset that you are good enough to achieve whatever you want in life

Who have been your biggest influences in the game to date, and what’s been the biggest learning curve so far?

Biggest influence would be Andres Iniesta, I just enjoyed the way he played football and the way he carried himself on the pitch and off pitch, he won virtually everything in football and is definitely one of the best to ever play the game. The biggest learning curve for me is you can’t afford to have one good game and then play bad in the next three, it’s important to be consistent every game you play which makes you stand out a lot more

How far do you think this current Rushden squad can go up the leagues?

Our aim this season is to be in around the playoffs and I believe if we play to our strengths and have the right mindset every game we can achieve this goal

Finally, have you had much interest from other clubs at higher levels yet?

Right now I’m just enjoying my football at Rushden, I feel very happy here and I’m still only nineteen so to be trusted to play in such a tough league by the manager shows the faith he has in me

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

SLCC 1R; Banbury United Leigh-ve it late to progress in cup

Banbury United left it late to squeeze past North Leigh on Tuesday night, scoring a late winner in added time of this Southern League Challenge Cup 1st round fixture.

Giorgio Rasulo scored 93rd minute winner

Banbury went two up inside twenty-four first half minutes through John Mills & Mohammed Ahmed but on the stroke of half-time North Leigh grabbed a glimmer of hope through George Seacole. The goal just before the interval kicked the home side into life, equalising through Ross Edwards before Tyriq Hunte put them ahead for the first time in the game with twenty-five to play.

John Mills levelled the tie once more ten minutes from time before the home side went down to ten men through injury, a last gasp Giorgio Rasulo strike three minutes into added on time then broke the home sides resistance to see the Puritans progress.

Aylesbury United prove they are not kid-ding about this season

Aylesbury United cruised to victory on Saturday over Kidlington at The Meadow, scoring three in the first half was enough to see the Ducks take all three points which lifts them up to fourth place in the Southern Football League Division One Central table. Ben William’s men have conceded just one goal this season in their eight league games, and that was back in August!

Anthony Ball

United were three up in twenty-four first half minutes, Sonny French opened in the second minute, Anthony Ball opened his account for the club on the quarter hour mark and once David Manu added a third the scoring for the afternoon was done & dusted. There was time in the second half for Ty Deacon to make his first start of the season for Aylesbury.

League table HERE:

SL P; Banbury United in the market for play-off place

Banbury United left it late on Saturday but an inspired substitution paid dividends to take all three points at Needham Market, the win pushing the Puritan’s up into the Southern League Premier Division Central play-off places, and just a point off top spot.

Jon Mills who came on as a substitute with eighteen minutes remaining struck with just five minutes of the game left, it still took a good save late on from United keeper Jack Harding to ensure the points came back to The Spencer Stadium.

Jack Harding

Mike Ford’s this week travel to North Leigh on Tuesday night in the Southern League Challenge Cup first round before heading to Stourbridge on Saturday back in league action.

League table available here:

SL; Needham Market v Banbury United match preview + United front man Amer Awadh reveals all

Saturday 5th October 2019
Needham Market v Banbury United
Southern League Premier Division
K.O. 3.00pm


(This season’s) League standings:

Southern League Premier Division Central (22 teams)

Banbury United 7th

Needham Market 11th


(Last season’s) League standings:

Southern League Premier Division Central (22 teams)

Banbury United 17th

Needham Market 11th


This game last season:

8th December 2018

Needham Market 3 (Adam Mills, Joseph Marsden, Reece Dobson)

Banbury United 3 (Greg Kaziboni 2, Harry Whitehead)


Last six games:

Banbury United:

D 1-1 home v Coalville Town 28th September SL

L 2-0 away v Hednesford Town 17th September SL

D 0-0 home v Hitchin Town 14th September SL

L 1-0 away v Gainsborough Trinity 10th September FA Cup

D 2-2 home v Gainsborough Trinity 7th September FA Cup

W 1-3 away v Peterborough Sports 3rd September SL


Needham Market:

W 1-2 away v St Ives Town 1st October SLCC

W 0-1 away v Bromsgrove Sporting 28th September SL

W 1-3 away v Leiston 24th September SLCC

L 4-0 away v Lowestoft Town 21st September FA Cup

W 3-0 home v Ipswich Town 17th September SPC

L 2-3 home v Barwell 14th September SL


Amer Awadh

Full Name: Amer Awadh

Age: 22

Nationality: British

Marital status: Single

Preferred shirt number: 10, although I’m not that fussy as my squad number at Banbury is 12

Most effective position on the pitch: In my opinion as a number 10 or left side of a front three

Daytime job: Student, I’m doing a degree in sports science & coaching

Former clubs: Oxford City, Fanja FC


We asked Amer:


How was your summer, do you miss football when it finishes or is it nice to just get away from it and relax?

My summer was very good and I wouldn’t say I missed football that much as I still played a lot with friends. I’d say I missed the buzz of match days the most though

Re-signed on for Banbury this season, what influenced your choice and were there any other clubs that wanted you?

There was interest from other clubs but I felt that Banbury was the right club for me to develop, and play week in week out. I obviously want to play higher but the most important thing is for me to play, I think we have a very good chance of getting promoted this season

How do you feel your early season games have gone for you personally so far?

I started the first four games of the season where I felt I wasn’t at my best personally, since then I’ve been injured until last Saturday where I played my first minutes for nearly six weeks. It truly has been frustrating for me, but I am hoping I can kick on now, starting on Saturday

What are the expectations and/or targets for the season for you yourself, and the squad as a whole?

Expectations for us this season are play-offs minimum, I think we have a very good squad this season so there’s no reason we shouldn’t make them this time round, or even win the league itself. Individually I’d like to score more goals for the team as I do not get on the score sheet often enough

Who has been your biggest influence in football?

My biggest influence in football I’d say is my Dad, he is one of the main reasons I play, he used to play and he’s made me love it also

How much belief is there in the squad that you can have a successful season, and which players will be key for you to achieve this?

We have a lot of good players & the belief in the squad is very positive that we can achieve something this season. As a collective every player in our squad will be important for us to do so

Away at Needham Market this week, do you know anything about them & what are you expecting from them?

If Needham have a similar team to last year it will be a very tough game again, from what I recall they were a very well organised side with some very good players

Who is the biggest moaner in the dressing room?

I’d have to say Roger (Ngaah Bosio), because he’s always moaning about my music in the dressing room!

What is your typical pre-match routine before you get to the ground?

I wouldn’t say I have a typical match day routine, but I always have my headphones in before a game to get me going & ready for the match ahead

In your current squad, who is the most under rated player in your opinion?

Most under rated I’d say is Eddie (Odhiambo), probably because he’s the oldest & not blessed with pace but is technically very good

Eddie Odhiambo

Who has the worst dress sense at the club?

Colin the kit man definitely has the worst dress sense, you should have seen what he was wearing after the game last Saturday!!

Who is the last person you would let choose the music in the dressing room (or car) on matchday, and why?

Again this would be Colin, I let him pick a song on my phone for the changing room recently and all the lads started moaning

What’s the one game this season you most want to win and why?

I wouldn’t say there is a game I especially want to win this season, I’d like to win every game. But then maybe Hednesford, I didn’t play there due to my injury but after the game they celebrated like they’d won the league, so it’d be nice to beat them next time

Finally, after you’ve scored a hattrick on Saturday, what can supporters buy you in the bar afterwards?

After I score a hatrick on Saturday, I want the supporters to buy all the players & staff a drink

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

SLCC; Aylesbury United 0-1 Chesham United

The away host side won this hosts v tennants Southern League Challenge Cup First Round tie on Tuesday evening, as a first half strike from Dernell Wynter saw Chesham United beat Aylesbury United by a single goal without reply.

Aylesbury fielded a strong side against their landlords in the wet & windy conditions at The Meadow, however a thirty-second minute goal was enough to see the higher level side progress.

SL D1C; Aylesbury United v Coleshill Town match preview + Ducks defender Jordan Jenkins reveals all

Saturday 14th September 2019
Aylesbury United v Coleshill Town
Southern League Division One Central
The Meadow
K.O. 3.00pm


(This season’s) League standings:

Southern League Division One Central (20 teams)

Aylesbury United 4th

Coleshill Town 15th


(Last season’s) League standings:

Southern League Division One Central (20 teams)

Aylesbury United 15th

Coleshill Town 9th


This game last season:

9th February 2019

Aylesbury United 3 (Harry Jones, Harry Tucker, Tre Mitford)

Coleshill Town 4 (Joe Halsall, Joe Smith, Jordan Nadat, Amavir Sandu)


Last five games:

Aylesbury United:

L 0-3 home v Walthamstow 8th September FA Cup

D 0-0 home v Berkhamsted 4th September SL

W 1-4 away v Daventry Town 31st August SL

D 0-0 home v Didcot Town 26th August SL

W 1-3 away v Brimscombe & Thrupp 24th August FA Cup

Coleshill Town:

L 2-0 away v Biggleswade 31st August SL

W 4-1 home v Daventry Town 26th August SL

L 0-3 home v Whitchurch Alport 24th August FA Cup

L 3-1 away v Corby Town 21st August SL

D 2-2 home v Barton Rovers 17th August SL


Jordan Jenkins

Ahead of the game Sports Shots caught up with Ducks defender Jordan Jenkins to ask how his summer was, and if he got much time to relax away from football:

I really enjoy having a couple of months off after a long season and it gave me a chance to recover from an injury I picked up towards the end of last season. Once July comes around though, you start missing it and look forward to getting back in the swing of things

Joined United this summer which must have been a tough decision to make, what influenced his choice and were there any other clubs that wanted him?

I had quite a bit of interest from various clubs but ultimately wanted to try and stay playing at step four. Knowing a fair few of the lads already always helps and it’s been a very easy dressing room to fit in to, I left Haywood Way on good terms so it’s also been pleasing to see Paul and his team start the season well

How does he feel pre-season & the early league games have gone personally so far?

Having missed the first few weeks of pre-season with work commitments, I steadily got fitter from the first PSF whilst getting to know players and how Ben wants the team to operate. As a centre half, four clean sheets out of five in the league is a great return so I’m very pleased with how things have started

What are the expectations and/or targets for the season for Jordan, and the squad as a whole?

Personally, I tend to judge myself on the goals against column and keeping it as low as possible although it would be nice to grab a few goals along the way. Having been lingering towards the lower end of this division for a few years now, it’s been refreshing to have a great start so we’ll be hoping to continue that way and stay in the top half

Who has been his biggest influence in football?

I’d probably have to say my mum. My dad managed my brother’s team growing up, so she was normally the one taking me to games and supporting from the sidelines. Mind you, she’s also my harshest critic!

How much belief is there in the squad that they can have a successful season, and which players will be key for you to achieve this?

With the start we’ve had, I think we have every right to be aiming for a top half finish to improve on last season’s standing, one thing that has stood out for me is that there are no real egos in the group and it’s a collective squad effort. It’s well known the club can’t compete with the budgets in this league so it’s nice to have a squad who aren’t primarily concerned with their ‘expenses’ envelope on a Saturday

Home to Coleshill this week, do United know anything about them this season?

They were in and around the playoffs for a lot of last season, something I’m sure they’ll want to achieve again this time around. Both games against them last year were tough encounters which you come to expect against the midlands teams

Who is the biggest moaner in the dressing room?

Probably Ducks legend and kitman Ron Schmidt, he certainly puts the world to rights

What is his typical pre-match routine before he gets to the ground?

I don’t tend to do much on Saturday mornings to be honest, a bit of pasta for lunch whilst catching the first half of the early kick-off

In the current squad, who is the most under rated player in Jordan’s opinion?

Lewis Osborne, having never played with or against him before this season, I haven’t seen many with better footwork than him

Who has the worst dress sense at the club?

I’ll have to say Luke Robertson the physio having worn some luminous pineapple print socks whilst taking us through the warm up against Berkhamsted last week. Absolutely horrendous!

When he leaves the football pitch on a Saturday, what is the first result he looks for elsewhere, and why?

I’m a long suffering Leeds fan so they’re first. Otherwise I’m looking out for mates at Aston Clinton and Winslow as well as the other results in our league

Ben Seaton

Who is the last person he would let choose the music in the dressing room (or car) on match day, and why?

Ben Seaton! Myself, Ollie Hogg and Seats have a bit of a car share going on this season and he got very emotional during a few songs on the way back from Wantage a couple of weeks back. All a bit embarrassing and not sure I could endure that again

What’s the one game this season he most wants to win and why?

After last Sunday’s disappointment, probably the FA trophy final when the Ducks march to Wembley!

And finally, after Jordan scores a hatrick today, what can supporters buy him in the bar afterwards?

I’m ‘out out’ tonight so a few beers whilst watching the pigs fly overhead

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

SL D1C; Thame United 1-2 Bedworth United

Thame United 1 (Andy Gledhill 80)
Bedworth United 2 (Khallem Bailey-Nicholls 15 and Alexander Troke 73)

Report & images: Carl Catling

Attendance – 77

Sadly a comeback was not meant to be, a spirited second half performance was too late in this one, Thame will rue the missed chances near the end.

Bedworth’s Bailey-Nicholls dominated the first half and scored the opening goal following a mistake by Murray, he was able to dribble towards goal and put the ball past Hill.

Thame’s Lynn was adjudged to have fouled in the box. The resulting penalty by Troke was put to the left of Hill. Thame scored a late goal whereby Crane parried the ball from an Essex shot into the path of Gledhill.

Thame will need to pick themselves up quickly as there is a FA Cup replay away to Leighton Town on Tuesday evening.

View league table here:

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

Pre match catch up with Jamie Essex:

SL D1C; Kidlington 3-0 Thame United

Kidlington 3 (Howards 5, 60 and Jordan 70)
Thame United 0


Report & images: Carl Catling

BetVictor Southern Division One Central

Monday 26/4/2019

It was a scorching bank holiday at Yarnton Road, Kidlington dominated this one from the get go with the first goal after five minutes when Leam Howards shot hit the post and went in. Kidlington did control the first thirty minutes before Thame were able to put some chances together of their own but with no goal coming.

Thame did have five players out due to injury and did struggle to match Kidlington who showed great hunger to record their first league win of the season.

Thame will be hoping to recover quickly from today’s game with the next fixture being at home on Saturday 31/8/2019 v Bedworth United.

Man of the Match – Leam Howards for dictating play and his two class goals.

Match highlights:

Next up:

SL D1C; Thame United 2-2 North Leigh

Thame United 2-2 North Leigh

Report & images: Carl Catling

BetVictor Southern Division One Central
Tuesday 20/8/2019
Attendance 156

Thame United 2-2 North Leigh
Thame United – (Peake-Pijnen 60 and West 74)
North Leigh – (Hunte 35 and Brown 72)

Following the weekend defeat away to Bedford on opening weekend Thame needed to produce a performance. The mascots for the day were from Thame Boys U8s who did a great job to create a buzz before the game. The game also saw the fifth highest league attendance for the day of 156. Both sides also have had changes to the squad with the new players signing.

Thame ended up earning a hard earned point at home. Many thanks to GK Craig Hill who saved a penalty in the second half and produced some wonderful saves throughout the game.
An injury in the first half to Thame’s Mepham forced a change which saw Lynton Goss return to the side following his injury in pre-season.

The first goal of the match arrived on 35 minutes when a first time right footed strike by Hunte flew past Hill. North Leigh dominated the first half in the air and they were able to find space in Thame’s half.
The comeback started thanks to Peake-Pijnen on 60 minutes left footed strike from 25 yards. North Leigh continued to push forward in numbers and gained the lead again in the 72nd minutes from a corner whereby Brown was in a great position to tap the ball into the net.
A late goal by West on 74 minutes ensured Thame stole a point.
Out of the two sides Thame will be happier having to come from behind twice to seal a draw.

Figaro’s Barber Man of the Match – Matt Peake-Pijnen for his Messi like goal and multiple important tackles.

Saturday 24/8/2019
Thame United v Leighton Town
Kick Off 15:00