Archive for Southern League

SLD1E; Aylesbury FC pre-season + opener (v Coleshill Town) review with manager Scott Reynolds

Saturday 18th August 2018

Coleshill Town v Aylesbury

Southern League Division One East

Pack Meadow

K.O. 3.00pm

Aylesbury FC start their 2018/19 campaign on Saturday with the seventy-six mile trip to Coleshill Town, one of the many new teams The Moles will face this season after the non-league restructuring this summer. A much publicised ‘club in crisis’ towards the end of last season has seen many changes in the past few weeks, on & off the pitch, but now under new stewardship and management the club are hoping they can finally find some consistency & regularity to see the club through to better times.

This week Sports Shots caught up with new manager Scott Reynolds to see how life has been since accepting the job:

Hectic to say the least!! I took the job two days before my two week holiday in Florida and since then I have not had a day off, or five minutes to myself. I was well aware of the task ahead when accepting the job, but nobody could have predicted how the last few weeks would have gone. It would have taken a manager with a huge budget and a whole team to come in to solve the issues overnight, which for me is just not the case. We have only three players remaining at the football club from the sixty odd used at Aylesbury FC last season. That said, despite some up and down results in preseason, we are very pleased with the squad going into Saturday and will continue to work hard to add the right types of quality and personnel to the squad as the season takes shape. The door is always revolving in non-league football that’s for sure, added to that I am brutally honest, but I don’t burn my bridges with players too early, so who knows what may happen in the next few weeks and months!

So how have the pre-season fixtures been for the new look squad:

Up and down to be fair, we’ve played ten, including an in house training game, and won 4 but lost 6. Way too many games and way too many weeks of training and preparation in my opinion. The attitude and commitment, to my methods and ideas, from the majority has been superb, and despite some of what I am looking for being clearly the opposite to what players have experienced here in the past, we have now managed to identify a squad that we are happy to start the season with. Our best performance in pre-season was the 3-0 win against Oxford United U23. We matched them tactically, beat them physically and took our chances that night. Since then the team has changed, trialists have come and go, we picked up loads of injuries, had to put up with holidays, players coming and players going and only in the last ten days do we feel settled and united again. If we can perform to the levels we reached against Oxford Utd week in week out we will do well, of that I am certain!

Scott Reynolds

So where does Scott feel he is at in terms of his squad:

We are happy, for me it’s all about attitude and for now I am prepared to allow ability to come secondary. I want players who are prepared to work their nuts off in training and in games, you can have a bad game with the ball, but you cannot have a bad game without it!! For those who know me, I deal in facts. I want players who have achieved previously or played at this level or higher on a regular basis. I don’t need players who think the game owes them something, when in fact they have achieved very little to date. I have learnt a lot as a manager of the past year or two. Get the basics right, be honest and approachable and work hard. I expect the players to give me the same and would never ask for anything I, or my staff, are not prepared to give them back in return

So what is a realistic ambition for Scott this season?

To be competitive and proud every time we wear the shirt. We are under no illusions, there are teams with better players than us, bigger budgets than us and the task ahead is no easy one. That said I want work rate, passion, hard work and commitment. We need to be known as a difficult team to play against, hard to beat and a group that works hard for every point we earn. If someone could offer me a mid-table finish now, I would take it. However, we will set small and realistic targets each week / month and see where the season takes us

Jordan Jenkins has stayed at the club

So two really tough games to start the season with, what do Aylesbury expect?

I do my homework, I have had Coleshill watched and know that this game will be tough. Added to the quality of the opposition they are also at home, with the advantage of a 3G plastic pitch – not my preference, give me grass and mud any day. We then host AFC Dunstable who finished 4th last season on Tuesday night, and they will want to improve that finish this time around. Tough start as you say, but there are no freebie points at this level and every game will be difficult. I just want teams to be able to think the same about us when they look at their fixture lists

And finally, what games is Scott looking forward to?

I’m looking forward to managing in the FA Cup again, and on the back of a great FA Vase run last year, I look forward to a crack at the FA Trophy, however easy to say I am excited for all of them. We’re looking forward to getting some home games under our belt and proving to the people of Aylesbury and the supporters, or doubters, of me and the club that we are going to be much improved on previous seasons. I will let our results do the talking, and all though it may take time for our team to gel and for us to find our feet at this level, this is a marathon not a sprint.

Obviously, all our fans want us to beat and finish above Aylesbury Utd. They are on the back of a very successful end to last year and have an incredibly settled side. I am good friends with Ben Williams and look forward to that game. However, there are now a number of more local games and we have a lot of football to play prior, so one game at a time and let’s give it our best each week.

On behalf of my management staff, I must also put on record our thanks to Tony Masella, Steve McDonald, Mike Farquharson, Christine Martone, Rosanna Martone and all the club’s volunteers behind the scenes. The support and atmosphere behind the scenes has been incredibly refreshing for me personally. These people deserve to enjoy football again, and that is something we intend to sort out immediately with a fresh start and a new season on the horizon.

Come on you Moles !!

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

SLD1E; Aylesbury United pre-season + opener (v Kempston) review with manager Ben Williams

Saturday 18th August 2018

Aylesbury United v Kempston Rovers

Southern League Division One East

The Meadow

K.O. 3.00pm

Aylesbury United begin their Southern League Division One campaign on Saturday when they host Kempston Rovers, a side that took six points from The Ducks last season, so an early chance for United to try and reap some revenge. Just two defeats in the Aylesbury United pre-season schedule will lift the squad as they look to continue the fine form they ended last season in, after Ben Williams took on the managers role during the 2017/18 campaign.

This week we asked Ben how he feels his sides results have been in those friendlies:

We are not too worried about results in pre-season although they have been great against higher level opposition like Banbury United, Chesham United & Colchester United, but we have struggled against teams from our level and below, something we need to rectify going into the new season

How is the United squad shaping up this term?

I’m very pleased that all of last seasons end of year squad have re-signed, and with some new players coming in I am happy with what we have signed on; although our eyes are always open and our ears always to the ground!

Ben Williams

So who are the new boys?

New signings for us are Max Hercules from Tring Athletic, Sean Coles from Winslow United, Ollie Jones from Beaconsfield, then Kieron Lattille & Chris Crook who were both unattached. These are all significant as the add competition for places all over the team

We asked Ben if Aylesbury United can continue that run they ended last season on?

It will be very hard to continue that especially as we are going into a new league as such, we had a great run from January this year but that has gone now and we start a fresh on Saturday. Although it’s a long season we must start the first two months well, as momentum & confidence are key as shown in that run last season

Sean Coles has arrived from Winslow United

Who does the manager see as the main contenders this season for the top few places in the division?

On paper it looks a very tough league with lots of teams we don’t know about, teams that immediately stand out as being there or thereabouts are Kempston, AFC Dunstable, Cambridge City, Peterborough Sports & Bedford Town but there may well be others we don’t know about yet

Finally, we asked Ben on his thoughts for the opener this week against Kempston:

It’s a very tough fixture to start with, but then all these fixtures are. Kempston are historically strong with a settled squad, they are big and strong as are most teams at this level, so its something we need to start dealing with as our model of player is different to that. It will be interesting to see where we are at against one of the teams I see as being around the play-offs at least

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

SLP; Rushall Olympic v Banbury United match preview with summer signing Steve Diggin

Saturday 11th August 2018

Rushall Olympic v Banbury United

Southern League Premier Division Central

Dales Lane

K.O. 3.00pm

Banbury open their season in their new division this Saturday with a fifty-nine mile trip to Rushall Olympic, just to the north-east of Walsall, at a club who find themselves in a similar position to their guests in that they were transferred divisions during the summer as a result of the FA restructuring of the non-league pyramid.

Whilst Banbury were side shifted divisions in the same league from the Southern League Premier Division South to Central, Olympic have moved leagues from the Northern League Premier Division to join the Southern League. At least a fair start for both sides as neither will know much about the other!

A good pre-season campaign for Banbury will see the squad in good spirits going into the game, just the one defeat listed in their seven fixtures but a much changed squad will don the gold n red kit this week-end, including summer signing Steve Diggin who joined from local rivals Banbury United.

Diggin finished his career at Brackley in May by scoring a penalty in the FA Trophy Final penalty shoot-out win over Bromley at Wembley, and this week Sports Shots caught up with the front man to ask how life has been since joining the Puritans:

It’s been good so far, I’ve really enjoyed it and we’ve obviously been working hard but that’s been enjoyable so I feel I’ve managed to settle in quite well

We asked if the Wembley experience back in May will help him with playing at Banbury:

Yes that was basically the perfect way to leave Brackley really, an unreal experience that I will never ever forget but it’s a new season now and I will be 100% concentrating on doing well for Banbury United

We asked how pre-season has been around the club:

Our pre-season has been really good, while we work hard we have a laugh at the same time, but there seems to be a good feeling around the place

Are the squad ready for the new campaign?

Yes the start of another long season but we are ready, like I said earlier we’ve all worked really hard and it all leads up to this Saturday, so we’re definitely up for it and hoping to get off to a winning start

Are there any season targets for the striker?

Hmm, as a striker our targets are obviously goals so I’ll hopefully be going for at least 20 goals this season, and as a team we are hoping for at least the play-offs

And finally, what do the squad know about Rushall?

To be honest at the minute not too much, but we still have a training session before the game to work on stuff and I’m sure we’ve had them watched. I’m sure we’ll be given some info ahead of the game.

Sports Shots would like to thank Steve for his time this week.

Southern League fixtures announced

The Southern Football League announced the 2018/19 fixtures on Thursday, and for our three local clubs the wait is finally over as they discover their fixture list in their reshuffled leagues.

Banbury United:

Banbury start their season in a new division with a trip to Walsall to face Rushall Olympic who themselves were playing Northern League football until the FA restructuring, before their first home match brings Halesowen Town to the Community Stadium, another side playing Northern Premier football last season.

Sat 11th Aug Rushall Olympic v Banbury 3pm

Tue 14th Aug: Banbury v Halesowen Town 7.45pm

Sat 18th Aug: Banbury v Leiston 3pm

To view Banbury United fixtures for 2018/19 month by month use this link:

Aylesbury FC:

Aylesbury face a tricky start with a trip into the unknown as they travel to Warwickshire to face Coleshill Town who finished runners-up in the Midland League last season to earn promotion to the Southern League, before a home game against last years beaten play-off semi-finalists AFC Dunstable.

Sat 18th Aug: Coleshill Town v Aylesbury 3pm

Tue 21st Aug: Aylesbury v AFC Dunstable 7.45pm

Mon 27th Aug: Berkhamsted v Aylesbury 3pm

To view Aylesbury FC fixtures for 2018/19 month by month use this link:

Aylesbury United:

United open at home to Bedfordshire side Kempston Rovers who did the double over the Ducks last season, before a trip to Didcot Town who have been transferred over from the Southern League Division One West Division, and finished sixth last season.

Sat 18th Aug: Aylesbury United v Kempston Rovers 3pm

Tue 21st Aug: Didcot Town v Aylesbury United 7.45pm

Mon 27th Aug: Aylesbury United v Thame United 3pm

To view Aylesbury United fixtures for 2018/19 month by month use this link:


Saturday 25th August is FA Cup week-end, to revisit the fixtures follow this link:

SL; Banbury Utd appeal rejected & Carnell moves on

Back in June when the FA released their allocations for the restructured non-league pyramid, Banbury United were placed in the Southern League South division, but then on 8th June it was announced due to Shaw Lane folding and the leagues having to restructure again, Banbury had been laterally moved to the South League central division.

The club immediately announced it’s plan to appeal the decision, and that appeal was heard on Monday where it was confirmed that United would indeed be playing in the Central division for the forthcoming season.

The club released the following statement:

The Board of Directors is disappointed by the outcome of yesterday’s (Monday 2nd July) FA appeal hearing relating to the lateral movement of the club’s league allocation for 2018-19 on 8th June.

Our appeal was not motivated by being placed in the Southern League Premier Central Division, but the timing of the decision.

The FA Appeal Panel judged that the original decision of the FA Leagues Management Committee (LMC) was reasonable.

We had argued, as did the other affected clubs, Hednesford and Fleet, that the decision was not reasonable given the late notification of the change. This has seriously impacted our planning for the 2018-19 season and meant that that we were not being treated equably compared to other unaffected teams. We gave detailed information relating to this.

We argued that the impact of the demise of Shaw Lane could have been managed in other ways, including within the Northern Premier Division and its feeder leagues. The confirmation of league line ups comes far later than the relevant league AGMs, something which the FA strive to achieve.

We also showed that there was a lack of clarity relating to the regulations which govern the lateral movement of clubs and that the FA LMC had not actually applied one of the regulations. In terms of governance it is difficult to understand how decisions can be made when the relevant regulations are not actually followed.

The matter is now closed. The club is fully focused on planning to compete in the Southern League Premier Division Central Division for the 2018-19 season

Within hours of the announcement the club then revealed that defender Luke Carnell is to leave the club due to the travelling involved with their placement in the central division.

As a result of yesterday’s FA ruling in respect of our league allocation for 2018-19, Luke Carnell has advised Mike Ford he is leaving the club.

Luke joined Banbury in October 2016 and made 87 appearances and scored 17 goals in his time at the club. He won the Supporters’ Players of the Season, the Players’ Player and the Puritans Radio Player awards last season.

However, living in Didcot, he has decided, for family and work reasons, the travel commitment for matches is too great in the Central Division.

Commenting on the news manager Mike Ford said “I am very disappointed to lose Luke who has been excellent for the club since joining us a couple of months into our first season back at Premier Division level. His commitment has been outstanding and wherever he plays next season, they will be getting a great addition to their team. I fully understand Luke’s reasons for leaving and can only wish him all the best in the future.”

Luke commenting on his decision said “Following yesterday’s failed appeal, having already agreed terms with Mike over the summer to remain a Banbury player, presuming we were in the Southern Premier South, I’ve had to make the hardest decision to leave a club I’ve loved playing for and had a fantastic time at. With the extra travelling from Didcot and the fact my wife and I are expecting our first child in October, I just felt I couldn’t commit to play at Banbury. I’d like to thank everyone at Banbury United from Mike and his staff, the players, all the board members and the fans for all the support they’ve given me and the team during my time at the club. It was everything I was promised when I agreed to sign and more. I’d like to wish you all the best for the season and hope the club goes on to get that desired and deserved promotion.”

We thank Luke for his contributions and commitment during his time with the club and wish him every success in the future.

Luke Carnell

To see the clubs Banbury now face this season follow this link:

Southern League Delay Div 1 KO

The Southern League have announced that the division one campaigns will be delayed for a week due to FA Cup fixture commitments.

Plans revealed this week explained the decision:

League Statement

Following information and discussions with the FA, it has been confirmed that at least 20 clubs at Step 4 will have to enter the FA Cup at the Extra Preliminary stage, which is being played on Saturday 11th August.

Therefore, the Southern League have taken the decision to delay the start of the Division One season until Saturday 18th August (Premier Divisions to commence on 11th August). By doing so this will have two advantages:

Those clubs drawn to play in the FA Cup will not have to postpone a Saturday fixture or potentially a midweek fixture if a replay occurs.

Provides an even playing field so that all clubs will be allocated the same number of Saturday and midweek fixtures at the start of the season and therefore no advantage can be implied

All fixtures are due to be released later this month.

SL; Banbury United lateral movement revealed

Banbury United revealed late on Friday evening that they have been laterally moved from the Southern League Southern to the Southern League Central Division; the knock on effect after clubs had to be shuffled around as Shaw Lane FC announced they were folding.

Taken from the Banbury United website:

United have been advised of a change of league allocation for 2018-19

The FA were notified today by Shaw Lane AFC that they are to withdraw from the Northern Premier League’s Premier Division.

As a result, the FA have written to the club this evening to advise that the following will apply:

* Wimborne Town are to fill the vacancy at Step 3 and will be placed in the Southern League South

* Banbury United will be laterally moved to the Southern League Central

* Hednesford Town will be laterally moved to the Northern Premier League

* FC Romania are promoted to Step 4

* Fleet Town are to be laterally moved to the Southern League West


Below are the original divisions listed back in May:

Step 3- Southern League Central 
AFC Rushden & Diamonds
Bedworth United
Biggleswade Town
Coalville Town
Halesowen Town
Hednesford Town
Hitchin Town
Kettering Town
King’s Lynn Town
Lowestoft Town
Needham Market
Redditch United
Royston Town
Rushall Olympic
St Ives Town
St Neots Town
Stratford Town

Step 3 – Southern League South
Banbury United (now moved to the Central division)
Basingstoke Town
Beaconsfield Town
Chesham United
Dorchester Town
Frome Town
Gosport Borough
Harrow Borough
Hartley Wintney
Kings Langley
Merthyr Town
Metropolitan Police
Poole Town
Staines Town
Swindon Supermarine
Taunton Town
Tiverton Town
Walton Casuals

Banbury have said their board will consider the matter.

For the Shaw Lane AFC statement click here:

Moles manager Scott Reynolds reveals staff & summer plans

Scott Reynolds has wasted no time since being unveiled as the new Aylesbury FC manager this week & announced his back room staff and summer training / pre-season fixture plans just a few days into his tenure.

Aylesbury FC manager Scott Reynolds

Four names have been revealed with more to follow in due course, Matt Moran, Phil Duffy, Paul Bonham and Lea Coulter have all been unveiled in various roles.

These can be viewed here in more detail:

The clubs summer training schedule has also been released, with the first day of training to be on Tuesday 26th June with a 7.15pm start. Sessions will then be held every Tuesday & Thursday 7.15 – 9.00pm and also on Saturdays 1.00 – 3.00pm. The first few sessions are open trials therefore any of the Aylesbury U18 set up along with any experienced non-league players are welcome to attend. All sessions will be held at Haywood Way.

A number of pre-season fixtures have also been scheduled, a visit from Arlesey Town, before trips to Leverstock Green & Daventry Town the club then host Tring Athletic and Newport Pagnell Town. Aylesbury then travel to FA Vase winners Thatcham Town and end with a home game against Egham.

More details on the training sessions, and dates for the pre-season fixtures can be viewed here:

Thatcham Town FA Vase Winners 2018

In the meantime Aylesbury FC are on the hunt for a secretary, after April Benson stood down after three years in the position.

The club also need a physio / sports therapist to work with their management team, covering training sessions and match days.

Finally, Aylesbury FC would like to hear from anyone who would be willing to help film home matches for highlights, match analysis and publicity purposes, ideally suited to a media student looking for experience or coursework.

For either of these positions the club can be emailed at: 

Aylesbury FC are offering supporters a discounted season ticket deal, if purchased before July, details of which can be found here:

Scott Reynolds appointed Aylesbury FC manager

Aylesbury FC are very pleased to announce the appointment of Scott Reynolds as their new first team manager.

Tony Masella welcomes Scott Reynolds

Reynolds takes over with immediate effect, and will announce his backroom staff in due course.

Reynolds began his managerial career at Grendon Rangers in the North Bucks & District League guiding them into the South Midlands League during his tenure. He left Rangers to join South Midlands Division One side Winslow United for eighteen months before joining Hellenic Premier League Ardley United but in the summer of 2016 became part of the management team at Leighton Town. Eventually taking over the reigns as manager, Reynolds had his most successful season to date this year, finishing fourth in the South Midlands Premier Division and reaching the last eight of the FA Vase.

Sports Shots caught up with Scott hours after his appointment: