Archive for Southern League

Southern League; M.Herc driving towards Herculean second half of Ducks season

Saturday 1st December 2018

Aylesbury United v Kidlington

Southern League Division One Central

The Meadow

K.O. 3.00pm

Aylesbury United host Kidlington on Saturday in Southern League action looking to bounce back after two successive defeats against North Leigh & Corby and find themselves in the unusual position of sitting exactly five points off the play-off places and also off the relegation places. Having lost to second bottom North Leigh two weeks ago, Ben Williams men will not want a repeat to bottom place Kidlington, especially in those heavily congested lower reaches of the table where just five points separate the bottom eight places of the league that only holds twenty teams. The following four games after Saturday see the Ducks then tackle top seven sides, so a win is essential if they are to start any momentum going into the Christmas period where they then face three sides below them in the league as it currently stands. However the Oxfordshire side arrive at The Meadow this week buoyed by two successive victories and are just a win away from escaping the relegation places themselves.

Max Hercules

This week Sports Shots caught up with summer signing Max Hercules, and asked how he’s settled in to the club and how the move came about:

I feel that I’ve settled in to the club perfectly and so far, everything seems to be going great, it helped already knowing a few players here. I was always interested in playing for Aylesbury United, and playing under Ben for Bucks Sports Academy helped everything go through smoothly in terms of settling in

Has Max seen a difference in the level that he’s come in to and how has he adapted?

I’ve seen a difference in the teams that we play, no game is an easy game in this league and you have to be on it for ninety minutes. I’d say that I’ve just tried to play the same way as I usually do and just be confident

Have any of the United squad impressed Max, and are there any he feels could play higher level?

I wouldn’t say there was a certain individual that has impressed me the most so far, a lot of these players have, and I believe many could play in the leagues above

How were those two previous defeats and what cost Aylesbury on the day?

The North Leigh game was one to forget for us as a team, but I believe we easily deserved more from the Corby game. I don’t think we can say we lost it in certain parts of the pitch though, we play as a team, therefore we win or lose as a team

We asked Max how he’s found the support at Aylesbury, and if Cliff Hercules had come into any conversation:

I’ve heard many stories about my Dad & the support has been great so far, many of our away journeys are quite far yet lots of people still turn up to watch us play

So far Max has scored five goals, where does this stand in terms of targets?

I’m happy with the amount of goals I’ve scored this season but it’d always be good to get more. My target is to get double figures and also to provide as many assists as I can, for me they are as good as scoring a goal

What are the squad expecting Saturday from Kidlington?

We have information that shows they have a good squad, we all know that no game in this division is easy so we will have to prepare correctly for it

Finally, we asked Max what he believes the Ducks can achieve in the league this season:

We know what we need to do to keep away from the relegation places, and we would love to finish in and around the play-off places

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

SL; Aylesbury FC 0-3 Thame United

Aylesbury FC – 0

Thame United – 3

24.11.2018

Aylesbury FC competed for the opening twenty minutes or so of this Southern League Division One Central fixture but once former Mole Harry Scott set up an opener for Lynton Goss the visiting side took control of the remainder and a quick fire double that saw two goals in as many minutes early in the second half saw the points heading back to Oxfordshire. Goss helped himself to a hatrick and if not for some vital blocks from home keeper Nick Bennion the scoreline could have looked a lot worse, at the end of the game two sides with contrasting fortunes left the field of play, Aylesbury have lost three on the bounce conceding eleven without reply whilst Thame have taken seven points from a possible nine inside the last seven days, which includes a win and a draw against the sides that currently sit second & third in the table, the result leaves United a place below the play-offs and Aylesbury a place above the relegation places.

The first effort of the afternoon fell to Dan West some twenty-five yards from goal, the Thame striker creating a yard of space but firing high over the top, at the other end some hesitation in the United defence allowed Ty Deacon to gain possession and burst into the box, his cross found Hakim Nyariki whose shot was blocked and rolled back out to Carl Tappin who blazed over Craig Hill’s crossbar, before Deacon again had some success breaking down the right channel and into the area with the opportunity to shoot himself he unselfishly tried to square to Bruno Brito but his shot was blocked away for a corner.

Bruno Brito in thick of the action

Thame stunned their hosts on twenty-three minutes with their opener, Scott fed out on the left hand side of the Moles box and seemingly going nowhere he managed to lose his marker and fizz the ball across the six yard box where running in Goss lifted high into the roof of the net. The hosts tried to respond with Brito down their left but his cross was headed straight at Hill by Nyariki, from the clearance a flick on saw Goss in behind the red backline, as Bennion advanced to narrow the angle the goal scorer aimed his drive past the keeper towards the back post but the ball rolled a couple of yards the wrong side, and a late free kick for the away side was unchallenged as it found Jamie Essex at the back post, his low drive blocked and eventually cleared from close range. H/T: 0-1

Within sixty seconds of the restart a cross from the Thame right found West whose close range effort saw Bennion have to turn out for a corner using his feet, the set piece swung in was headed back across goal to West who up against Tappin climbed highest but could only head over the top, Goss then attacked the left flank leaving his marker behind before pulling back to Scott who fired high over the bar. The visitors then won a penalty ten minutes into the half when Liam Tack was fed in to the right of goal, Tappin attempted to simply block his route but as the midfielder went over the referee pointed to the spot.

Lynton Goss scores his second from the spot

Goss fired into the top corner to double his sides lead, Tappin was booked on his way back into his own half for the restart for his views on the decision, and before anyone in a red shirt could regroup United, and in particular Goss, grabbed a third within two minutes of the second, fed in behind the defence and rounding the desperate dive of Bennion at his feet, he fired home from a tight angle to kill the game off. Thame from here controlled the game, West played a great one-two on the edge of the box to get away but he fired over, and a free kick floated in from the wing found substitute Tom Carter at the back post whose header bounced off the post and out for a goal kick.

Goss received a pass ten yards into the Aylesbury half and with some encouragement from his team mates he drove at the heart of the defence although Moles skipper Jordan Jenkins eventually forced him wide where he snatched at his shot to lift into the waiting gloves of Bennion, and the final action saw a ball lifted into the Thame box from Tappin some thirty yards out simply elude everyone and float into the hands of Hill, summing up a thoroughly miserable afternoon for the hosts. F/T: 0-3

Attendance: 119

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

After the match Sports Shots caught up with Aylesbury manager Paul Bonham: 
And also with Thame assistant manager Stuart Blaik: 

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

SLD1E; Moles looking to Tame recent success of local rivals

Saturday 24th November 2018

Aylesbury v Thame United

Southern League Division One East

Heywood Way

K.O. 3.00pm

Aylesbury FC host near neighbours Thame United on Saturday looking to bounce back from two consecutive defeats, but face yet another stern test against the side that in the last seven days have beaten third placed Corby and drawn with league leaders Bromsgrove Sporting who only equalised in added time to deny the Oxon side all three points. Paul Bonham took charge of The Moles and got off to a flyer over seeing two victories in his first three games, but defeats against Bromsgrove and Berkhamsted since have come at the cost of shipping eight goals without reply, but the wins over Cambridge City & Peterborough Sports who both occupy play off positions shows the squad are more than capable of gaining results against the higher ranked sides.

This week Sports Shots caught up with defender Jordan Jenkins and first of all we asked midfielder Jordan Frederick how he’s settled in since signing earlier this season:

I have settled in extremely well and the club has been very welcoming, I knew a lot of the lads in the team before joining & I knew the previous manager and he was keen to bring me onboard

And how has the season started for JJ?

The first couple of months were a bit stop start for me with work commitments limiting my midweek availability, but I’ve been pleased with my personal performances overall and will hopefully surpass one hundred appearances for the club very soon. Defensively we are looking to get back to being a more solid unit which we were showing at the start of the season

Jordan Jenkins

How does the club captain view the managerial change that took place only a few weeks ago?

Scott (Reynolds) deserves a huge amount of credit for his work during his relatively short time here. As one of a handful of players who remained at the club, the difference from the season before was substantial in terms of professionalism and organisation, unfortunately as a collective we were unable to match that with our results on the pitch. Paul has fine tuned certain aspects without making wholesale changes which will hopefully come to fruition with the upcoming run of games against sides around us in the table

Frederick felt a change was needed:

Personally I think the managerial change needed to happen, since Paul became manager the whole team dynamic has changed for the better which has improved our performances and our results

And how does the midfielder feel his season has started in general?

The season started slowly however I feel I have worked my way into this team, my performance and fitness levels are improving with every game, I am always looking to improve and it would be nice to pick up the points moving into the Christmas period

Jordan Frederick

What would JJ need to achieve by the end of the season for it to be a successful one, for both him and the club?

Survival is always a good start but I’d like to think we have the ability in the squad to push a little higher up that league table. The club has a great band of volunteers who have worked tirelessly to improve the club off the pitch over the last six months and they deserve to be rewarded with some improved results on it. For me personally, five goals would be the target and to concede as few as possible always helps

We asked JJ which members of the squad have impressed so far this season:

Retaining the services of Craig Carby was an important piece of business, he gives consistently good performances on a weekly basis and is an excellent role model to the younger lads in the squad. Keeping with the veterans, Nick Bennion has produced some inspired performances between the sticks, earning us some important points along the way. Off the pitch I must mention our kitman Phil Duffy, his work often goes under the radar but it’s a role that goes way beyond laying the kit out on a Saturday afternoon and certainly a level of dedication I’ve never come across before in non-league football

JF feels it’s a more collective input:

I feel since joining this club all the players have shown their talent & skills, I think Paul has a big part to play in motivating the players and focusing on individual talent

We asked JF how he felt the last three games were after a superb win at Cambridge:

I wasn’t expecting anything at Sporting, however I felt we could have played better against Berkhamsted, defensively as a team we didn’t play as well as we could have. We started extremely well against Cambridge, with the early goal and the sending off helping in our favour, we deserved the win

The skipper agrees:

Its certainly been a baptism of fire for Paul facing the top five sides in his first five games. We were good value for the win over Cambridge after an energetic performance so the result against Berko was a bit of a step back as they were quite simply more clinical in both boxes on the day. Bromsgrove away will be one of the more difficult fixtures for most sides this season! We were forced to travel with a depleted squad although I felt we were our own worst enemy at times and gifted them a couple of soft goal

How good is this league after the summer reshuffle in JJ’s eyes?

Its certainly the most competitive league I have experienced at step four. A fair few clubs have the resources to comfortably push on to the next level which are the sort of games you relish being involved in front of some big crowds. Any team  seems capable of taking points off another, something that we have proved ourselves against a few of the so called bigger teams already this season

JF has picked two teams he fancies to do well:

I’ve played in this division for a good few years now so know every week it’s going to be a battle and that nothing is going to be given to us, but Bromsgrove & Corby both look very good outfits and appear to be the ones to beat

With AFC a solitary victory off mid-table or a defeat off relegation, back to back wins would push them close to the play-offs, how does JF see the squad achieving this?

The key to success in this league is momentum, it’s a long season and after a few consecutive wins I think we have a good chance of moving up the table

JJ thinks the club needs to concentrate on their form at Heywood Way:

Our home form has been disappointing over the last twelve months which has contributed to the inconsistency in our results. The play-offs would be a big ask at this stage but we have shown we are capable of producing results which could easily equate to mid table comfort. The key for us will be trying to get a settled squad on a weekly basis, something I am sure Paul is actively working on

Finally, we asked JJ for his thoughts on facing Thame this weekend, after they’ve taken four points off two of the top three sides:

They settled in to life at this level with some ease last season and have continued to progress, albeit like ourselves they will be looking for more consistent results. Four points from their last six against Corby and Bromsgrove is sure to see them in a buoyant mood come Saturday afternoon, particularly with the return of Lynton (Goss) and (Dan) West bolstering their attack. Both our fixtures against them last season were tough competitive games, so as a squad we need a big response after our last two results, and will hopefully be able to welcome a few faces back into the mix to take the three points

JF also expects a difficult afternoon:

I always expect a tough game week in week out, however I go into every game with a positive attitude. Thame United have played well and the last two games which will fill them with confidence, however I believe we can beat anyone on our day

Sports Shots would like to thank both Jordan’s for their time this week

SLP; Striker is Pur-ely glad to be back in familiar surroundings

Saturday 24th November 2018

St Ives Town v Banbury United

Southern League Premier Division

Westwood Road

K.O. 3.00pm

Banbury United have had a terrific week after re-signing Ravi Shamsi on loan and then pulling off a stunning single goal victory on Tuesday evening against AFC Rushden & Diamonds, in which the front man was voted man of the match as they gained a much needed three points in what has been a difficult spell for the squad, the win was only their second in their last thirteen games in all competition. They travel on Saturday to fifth bottom St Ives Town who themselves were, until last weekend, on the back of nine defeats in a row in all comps. but put a stop to that with a good two-nil win over Halesowen Town; a United win would see them on the verge of the play-offs whereas defeat would pull their hosts within two points of them in the Southern League Premier Division Central table.

Ravi Shamsi

This week Sports Shots caught up with the returning striker to ask how easy a decision it was to come back to Banbury:

It was very easy for me to join, I had lost my way a bit by going to Halesowen and I needed to get my confidence back, so Banbury was the right choice because I know all the lads here & it’s just what I need to try and get myself back into the Maidenhead set up

What is his favoured position in the side, and is a permanent move back to the Community Hire Stadium ever likely?

I think in a team like Banbury it’s better if I do play in the middle because Kaz (Greg Kaziboni) & Georgio (Rasulo) are very creative players, my runs will help them make better forward passes. I think a move back permanently right now isn’t in my plans, I’m still very young and I’m trying to get myself back into full time football, but what the future holds who knows!

How is it playing in front of the Banbury supporters, and what is his favourite memory of them?

Every time I’ve played here the support has been incredible, the fans are always behind the boys. I think my favourite moment was when I came on and scored that over head kick to win a game, that was definitely one of the best goals I’ve ever scored

We asked Ravi what the manager has asked of him this time round as the club look to get back on track:

I think the last time we won was when I was last here, but the gaffer has told me to pick up where I left off last time, keep working hard for the team and when I get the ball to make it count. I think the team is more than good enough to turn this round so we have to stay positive and just keep working hard

What has been the biggest difference in levels at the various clubs he’s played for?

The biggest difference in this league is having the right team around you, if they don’t know how to use you properly then you cannot show your full potential. I think the difference with other leagues higher than this is that the tempo of the game is much faster, you have to be concentrating for ninety minutes and the players at higher levels are much quicker and stronger

Looking ahead to St Ives this week, is this a must win game, and what info does Ravi have on them after playing against them recently?

This is a big game for us, the type of game we should be winning. I played against them last weekend for Halesowen and they bullied us, I think this game will suit Banbury because of the horrible side of the game that we are very good at. They’re a team that work very hard but I think we have the quality to bring the three points home

First game back in the red n gold saw a win over Rushden & Diamonds on Tuesday, how did the game go and which of his team mates impressed?

It was good to be back and playing with these boys, I enjoyed it and I think I played well, I could have taken my chances but that will come naturally. The boys put in a shift and we deserved everything that we put into it. I think Kaz & the left back Matty (Matt Taylor) pleased me the most, everyone did well but I think if I had to pick then those two played very well. Diggs (Steve Diggin) also scored his first goal so hopefully he & I up front can feed each other

Finally, we asked for a vision of the future, and a prediction for the end of this season:

I’m hoping to finish the season on at least fifteen goals, and I want to be back playing full-time football so that’s the aim. I’m not sure where I’ll be yet but somewhere in the football league if I reach the goals I’ve set for myself

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

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

Saturday 10th November 2018

Dunstable Town v Aylesbury United

Southern League Division One Central

Creasey Park

K.O. 3.00pm

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

Aaron Berry

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

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

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

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

How difficult has this league been after the summer reshuffle?

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

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

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

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

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

What are United expecting at Dunstable this week?

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

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

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

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

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

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

FAT; Yate Town 1-1 Dorchester Town

Yate Town – 1

Dorchester Town – 1

Yate Town FC

27.10.2018

The drive back from Cornwall saw Sports Shots stop off in South Gloucestershire to witness a pulsating FA Trophy first qualifying round fixture where Southern League Division One South league leaders Yate Town entertained higher level Dorchester Town who are in the lower echelons of the Southern League Premier Division South League. The visitors dominated the opening stages of the game with some eye catching pass and move football that deserved more reward but the home defence kept them at bay and slowly grew into the game as the half wore on, and despite the wet conditions two goals in the final fifteen minutes of the match means the two sides have to do it all again on Tuesday for the replay in Dorset, where both sides will feel confident after this showing that they can progress further in the competition.

The away side attacked from the off with Ben Seymour who only joined on Friday on loan from League Two side Exeter City, his cross from their left was fizzed across the box where home custodian Lewis Thomas stuck out a boot to block but he could only divert up to the head of Cameron Murray but he could only nod wide, the first chance for the hosts came shortly after when Nick Peare angled a cross towards the back post where Olly Mehew was inches away from connecting. Dorchester wide man Luke Winsper then collected a ball some thirty yards from goal and with little other option went for goal with a dipping drive that eluded the reach of Thomas but bounced up off the crossbar and over.

Yate defence were busiest in first half

The visitor’s continued to threaten when Winsper played a great one-two to get in behind the home backline, his ball into the six yard box looked promising until a defender emerged to stick out a boot to divert for a corner, ahead of Antonio Diaz receiving the ball on the corner of the box, his low drive forcing Thomas away to his left to gather. A throw on the Dorchester left allowed Winsper to then cut in from the wing across field before driving low past the far post; Yate were still trying to get a foothold in the game at this stage with the occasional foray into enemy territory, Peare smashing a loose ball over the top from twenty yards high into the fir trees behind the goal.

At the opposite end a high ball saw Yate centre half Josh Ford attempt to challenge Seymour and flick the ball back to his keeper, however a lack of power saw the striker away on goal and from the angle he fired across goal and wide of the back post, and on the half hour mark another ball in from their left saw Diaz stretching to get to the cross but he could only help it behind for a goal kick. The hosts wanted a penalty when Mehew outwitted his marker on the left touchline to gather a long lump upfield before heading for goal, entering the box he went down under a challenge but the official waved play on, the ball cleared out to Peare some thirty yards out who again cleared the birds from the tops of the fir trees. H/T: 0-0

Soon after the restart Yate midfielder Sam Kamara fired wide from outside the box, and moments later a defensive slip at the other end allowed the ball to be played across to Diaz whose curling effort heading for the top corner had Thomas leaping up to push over single handedly, and he was busy again when Seymour beat the offside trap to race through one on one but the keeper advanced to block with his legs. Yate threatened again when Ross Langworthy to the right of goal turned his marker inside out before driving low forcing Dorchester keeper Kingsley Latham down to his near post to push away.

Ben Seymour scored on debut

A goal kick was then headed back into the visitor’s half where Peare fed recently introduced substitute Ben Brooks whose angled drive was inches from the top corner, but then on seventy-five minutes the deadlock was broken by the away side when Aaron Rodriguez pulled back across goal to Seymour who tapped home from close range. Thomas almost immediately after the goal kept his side in the game saving at point blank range from Seymour, and his team mates then did their bit by equalising just five minutes after the opener.

From the save Yate moved the ball quickly upfield down the right and Sam Boulton crossed from the flank and in the middle Brooks headed into the bottom corner. Both sides then went in search of a winner, Dorchester firstly saw a free kick on their right floated into the box flicked onto Callum Rose who lifted over the crossbar, their next attack broken down by the hosts and fed up to Brooks who stabbed over the top. In the final minute some good movement again saw the ball fed into Rodriguez who fired inches over which signalled the final action of a competitive game that needs another ninety minutes plus to resolve who progresses into the next round. F/T: 1-1

Attendance: 175

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To view our match photography please click on the following link: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmuY1wGq

Replay result: Dorchester Town 2-0 Yate Town

SLD1E; New manager begins ascent on Moles mountain to climb

Saturday 20th October 2018

Aylesbury v Peterborough Sports

Southern League Division One East

Heywood Way

K.O. 3.00pm

Aylesbury FC saw a managerial change this week as Scott Reynolds stepped down with Paul Bonham taking charge for the interim, and a baptism of fire awaits as his squad host third placed Peterborough Sports at Heywood Way on Saturday. Whilst the Moles look for the first win in eight, Sports are flying high with four wins and two draws in their opening six league games, although they have not won in their last four games in all competition & haven’t tasted league success since the first of September, however this will be a stern test for Aylesbury as they line up for the first time under the new manager.

Paul Bonham

This week Sports Shots caught up with Paul to ask how the last week has been:

It’s been a crazy week so far, getting over the disappointment of going out of the FA Trophy last weekend to then hear the sad news that Scott had stepped down. We’ve had a positive chat with the committee and a great training session on Tuesday night, we are now focusing on getting ready for a very tough fixture against Peterborough Sports

And is this a long term appointment for the new boss?

At this moment in time we have been appointed to settle the ship after the weekend, going forward any decisions will be made by the committee

For anyone who doesn’t know Paul Bonham, what is his footballing history?

So I’ve been involved with coaching & managing for the last four years now, three of those have been at Aylesbury FC. I started with the under eighteens development side & then assisted former managers Davis Haule & Danny Gordon in the first team set up, in between this I spent half a season with Tring Athletic which was a great experience. Last season I was coaching at the Oxford United academy for whom I am still doing a few sessions this year as well as being involved here. On the coaching side I am near completion of my UEFA B qualification

We asked Paul how good a job has Scott done in his time at the club:

Scott in my opinion did a very good job here, considering he started with three or four players from last year’s squad, it’s been a total rebuild which has been really challenging

So will there be any immediate changes to the squad?

Matt Moran & I have been working really hard to communicate with the players and we are really pleased that currently the squad has stuck together. With regard to bringing in new faces we have been speaking to some clubs regarding availability of certain players but nothing has been confirmed as yet. I’m really pleased that Phil Duffy, Lucy Hume & Phil Cave have also decided to stick around, all of these have been fantastic this season

So will there be any changes to training or playing methods?

Currently we will be keeping the same schedules from Scott’s reign, playing style and training methods will change but it has to be a slow process otherwise it might have a negative effect on the team and possibly results if we change things overnight

And what about Saturday’s opponents?

Very tough game for us this weekend but our best performances have come against the top sides this season. We have done our research on them & have a good idea on how they will approach the game so the management team & I have the job to make sure the team is fully prepared for the weekends match

Finally, we asked Paul how difficult he thinks it will be to get his side up the league table:

We are under no illusion that it will be a difficult task to climb up the league table as this has to be the most competitive league the club have been involved in for the last three years, but this squad is ready for the challenge ahead & I’m confident we can start picking up some points, it is very close and just one win could catapult us up the table by five or six places

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

SLP; Commercial director proud to have made his Mark on his boyhood club

Saturday 20th October 2018

Banbury United v Royston Town

Southern League Premier Division

Banbury Community Plant Hire Stadium

K.O. 3.00pm

Banbury United host Royston Town this Saturday at the Banbury Community Stadium and with no league win in their last four games will be looking to bounce back against the side they took four points off last season. However, Royston currently sit fifth in the Southern League Central Division table two places above their hosts, and have won five of their last six league games whilst the Puritans will be looking for their first league win in five. The eight league places from third down to tenth are separated by just four points, meaning wins at this stage are vital for those with play-off aspirations.

Mark Allitt

This week Sports Shots decided to catch up with a man whose work behind the scenes at Banbury United may go unnoticed to some but is a vital cog in the running of the club. We caught up with the nattiest of dressers on match day Mark Allitt, and welcoming him to Sports Shots first of all, we asked what exactly he is responsible for and how he got involved in the first place:

Well thank you for asking me for this interview! I’m the commercial director of the club and oversee all our sponsorship activity, commercial revenues and internal fund raising. I liaise with all our sponsors on a daily basis and I’m actively involved with the clubs ‘United in the Community’ project. I have also just started to look at the promotion of our ‘Spencer Clubhouse’ and how we can maximise income there.

I became a director back in August 2015 when the club became supporter owned, I’ve been a fan since I was a little boy coming down to see games with my uncle. I was secretary of the supporters club prior to the takeover and worked with Steve Barlow and James Mathie at Supporters Direct to get the process concluded

Is the role hard work, enjoyable or stressful?

I’m just proud to be part of the Banbury United revival, the club has been a sleeping giant since the heyday of the seventies & to see the club starting to develop is really satisfying for me as someone who has been a fan since a young age. We have a long way to go in terms of where we want to be but we’re on an upward trajectory and we are forming a really solid club. The enjoyment comes from seeing all that’s happening and most importantly seeing people happy & enthused about our club, the fans deserve some success as they’ve been through a lot prior to the supporter take over three years ago

How does today’s squad compare to those previously, and which players stand out?

We have some very talented & exciting players here, I’ve obviously seen so many players at Banbury over the years it’s difficult to compare, but the current team is pushing hard to get us close to the top five and to the next level; Banbury United haven’t done that for many years on a consistent basis and that’s the challenge the current squad has. Lee Henderson has shown his class since joining us from a level above, we have invested in the team & brought in Greg Kaziboni, Steve Diggin, Giorgio Rasulo and now John Mills in the attacking area’s so it is exciting times. Some of the current team have been with us since the takeover like Ricky (Johnson), George (Nash) & Jack (Harding), it’s important to form a nucleus of players and build around it

How does Mark feel the summer league reshuffle has worked out?

We just had to roll with the punch really, we had to deal with an awkward situation in the summer having been placed in the Southern section and then moved to the Central section late on. We had planned for the South, so to be moved so late in the day was frustrating, Mike (Ford) had to deal with the squad issues but primarily as a club we just had to get on with things and I wouldn’t say much has changed at all. The travel is less for us and I think it’s helped with our attendances

How far are the club away from promotion to the next level, and would the club be able to cope?

In my opinion the team has the talent to beat anyone on the day and we can certainly challenge the top five positions. This is our third season back at step three in the non-league pyramid, and personally I think Chippenham are a good bench mark for us, they built a solid club at this level and were always in the mix for the play-offs, they got stronger & stronger before making the step up and are currently doing very well in the regional National League level. This club has never played at step two and it would be a truly historic moment for the club and the town.

I think we would cope well because Banbury in the National League would be a big animal in my opinion, Banbury United v Stockport County for example would attract a crowd of well into four figures

Onto Royston this week, does Mark feel the club do better against familiar teams or those they nothing about?

I’m not sure it really matters to be honest, at non-league level team line ups can change so very quickly from match to match, let alone from season to season. Royston are a solid outfit and are carrying on from where they left off last season, I expect another tough game as they all are at this level. Our boys will need to be up for it, but are more than capable of getting the three points

We asked Mark to think back and pick his best eleven players to have played in his time:

Like I said I’ve been a fan since I was a young boy so this would be the team to span my time as a supporters and a director:

1 Keith Baker

2 Ady Fuller

3 Callum White

4 Pete Smith

5 Ian Bowyer

6 Terry Muckelberg

7 Donovan Gethfield

8 Zac McEachran

9 Andy Baird

10 Norman Sylla

11 Tommy Pearson

Finally, we asked if anyone has thought of getting involved at Banbury United FC, are there still opportunities for match day duties or sponsorship?

There are always avenues for people to get involved at this club. We have a fantastic loyal army of volunteers at BUFC, but we are always needing more help, especially as the club continues to grow. Steve Barlow is the best person to contact regarding volunteers but my number is 07503 162632 or email me at commercial@banburyunitedfc.co.uk

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

Scott Reynolds leaves Aylesbury FC

Aylesbury FC have this morning announced the departure of manager Scott Reynolds with the following statement:

It is with regret that the club is announcing that for personal reasons & with immediate effect Scott Reynolds has stepped down as First Team Manager.

Scott Reynolds

Scott joined the club in the summer with the objective of completely reorganising the playing structure and also to help rejuvinate things off the field, which with the help of his excellent back room staff, he has achieved and whilst on the pitch we have had a difficult start, Scott had the backing of everyone on the committee, as we endeavour to stabilise the club for the future.

Paul Bonham will step up to First Team Manager, Matt Moran remains as Assistant Manager as does both Phil Cave as Goalkeeping Coach and Phil Duffy who will continue as Kit Manager with Antonio Mendes and Lucy Hume also continuing in their positions. An announcement on a new Coach to strengthen the team will be announced in the next couple of days.

Once again we would like to place on record our sincere thanks to Scott for everything he has done this season in stabilising and helping to re build the foundations of Aylesbury Football Club.

Paul Bonham

SLD1; Aylesbury FC 0-1 Kidlington

Aylesbury – 0

Kidlington – 1

Aylesbury were beaten at home on Saturday in a turgid affair at Heywood Way that was settled by a ninth minute goal from Ben Willoughby to bring an end to their two game unbeaten run. Chances for either side were scarce during a ninety minutes played under warm autumn sunshine, Aylesbury rarely troubling the visiting defence in the first half but came out looking much better after the break, but a well organised Kidlington backline comfortably dealt with anything thrown at them to record their first points of the season. The bottom of the Southern League Division One Central table sits congested with just six points separating over half the table, proving how competitive this division is since the summer reshuffle.

An early attack for the away side saw Liam Talboys drive into the Aylesbury box but with Temi Oladejo shadowing he could only fire straight at Moles keeper Nick Bennion, but the break through did come on nine minutes when Willoughby latched onto a pass through the Moles defence to slot home. Two minutes after the goal Talboys found some space on the eighteen yard line but not realising the time he had, he lifted high over the crossbar.

The home side struggled to create any chances as they were well marshalled by the sea of green shirts every time they tried to push forward, their first effort of note coming on thirty-two minutes when Aaron King worked hard to create an opening on the edge of the area, evading a challenge his shot was blocked but the rebound fell to Lewis Strafford who lashed high over the top.

Lewis Strafford came closest in first half for Moles

As the half came towards an end, Kidlington should have had a second when Brad Singh got away down their left and slipped a ball inside the area to Willoughby but from twelve yards he fired wide, and with a minute left the hosts got their first shot on target when King got down the left wing, he pulled the ball back across midfield to Strafford whose shot from twenty-five yards had keeper Sam Warrell falling away to his left to push away. H/T: 0-1

The home side seemed a little more purposeful after the break, and ten minutes in Ryan Ware was fed in behind the away backline but took his shot on early and from quite a distance fired way wide of the target, whilst at the opposite end Jamie Calvin got away down the right and headed for goal, Carl Tappin faced him head on and forced him wide of goal where he desperately stuck out a boot to roll the ball across the goal face but with no team mates up with him it rolled away to safety.

A long Bennion goal kick was allowed to bounce in the Kidlington box which had a defender in all sorts of trouble, with King all over him a sliced clearance allowed the Moles striker a look at goal but the ball would not come down quick enough and he could only help the ball over the top. The visitor’s then missed the best chance of the half when a ball from their right found Willoughby inside the six-yard box in front of goal and somehow he flicked the ball over the top.

Joshua Williams had chance late on saved

A second goal was scored on seventy-two minutes after a free kick into the Moles box was headed back across goal where Calvin stabbed home but a raised flag halted the celebrations, Talboys then tried his luck again from twenty-five yards forcing Bennion to push away from inside his right hand post. Tappin then won control on the half-way line and splayed the ball into the corner for Oladejo to attack the full back, his cross found King who chested down and laid off to Tappin who had continued his run but again the ball bounced awkwardly and the shot lifted high over the bar.

As the game wore down Aylesbury desperately tried to feed some service to their front line, and pushed centre half Derek Feyi forward to add some muscle to the attack, with time running out he received the ball twenty yards out but his shot got the merest of deflections that saw it roll harmlessly back to Warrell, and the final attack saw Josh Williams cut in from the left and his low drive was pushed away by the away keeper for a corner. F/T: 0-1

Attendance: 82

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After the game Sports Shots spoke with Aylesbury manager Scott Reynolds: 

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