Archive for Southern League

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

SL PDC; Banbury United 2-0 Royston Town

Banbury United – 2
Royston Town – 0


Banbury United secured their first win of the new season with a goal in the first & final minute from John Mills & Ricky Johnson respectively, sandwiched between the other ninety-five minutes were two red cards for the visitor’s which saw them play seventy-five minutes with ten men, and the remaining eleven minutes of time with nine. A game lacking in clear cut chances almost had a second for the hosts just a minute after their first, from there neither side really tested either keeper & it took a last gasp second to seal the game much to the relief of the home faithful.

Barely sixty seconds on the clock saw Johnson in the centre circle lay into the path of Mills for him to advance into the box and slot past Town keeper Joe Welch into the bottom corner, moments later the same player fed Amer Awadh to race into the area but this time Welch got down well to block with his legs. Royston were reduced to ten men on the quarter hour mark when Harold Joseph lunged into a tackle on Johnson with the referee showing no hesitation in reaching for his red card, despite the advantage United never really threatened again before the break apart from a long range effort from Giorgio Rasulo.

Ricky Johnson secures the points late on

After the break Royston looked much livelier but again failed to break down a resolute red backline, the closest they came saw a break down their right fizzed across the eighteen yard line where incoming Scott Bridges thundered a shot off a Banbury defender Jack Westbrook which wrong footed Harding but rolled a yard or so wide of his left hand post. With eleven minutes remaining Royston were reduced further when defender Ed Asafu-Adjaye got caught in possession by Banbury substitute Jannai Gordon, the pair committed to a crunching tackle to win the loose ball and as the Puritan looked set to get away the former Luton Town Wembley winner kicked out and again the referee did not hesitate to flash a straight red.

As the board went up to signal an additional six minutes of play the tension rose as the home side tried to keep the ball in their opponents half as long as they could, the points finally sealed in that final minute when Charlie Hawtin won the ball out on the right & knocked through to Johnson just inside the box, with the white defence all out of position a desperate challenge from Gus Scott-Morriss was in vain as the front man kept his cool before slotting home. F/T: 2-0

Attendance: 405

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

After the game Sports Shots caught up with Banbury manager Mike Ford:

For 2 pages (131 images) of match day photography please click here:

SL D1C; Bedford Town 2-1 Thame United

Bedford Town 2 – 1 Thame United

Former Aylesbury United striker Tre Mitford scored late winner

Report & video: Carl Catling

BEDFORD 2 (Dan Walker 28, Tre Mitford 84)
THAME 1 (Duran Martin 38)

The season opener for Thame got off to a good start in terms of performance. Martin equalised for Thame with a diving header into the net on 38 mins. Martin had a further half chance later in the game when he fired a shot from distance which could only be parried towards Dan West who could not react in time to put the ball into the net.
It was a late goal for Bedford’s Tre Mitford which sealed the points for the home side.
Thame will follow this game at the ASM Stadium on Tuesday evening v North Leigh.

For league table: Click here

Match highlights available here:

SL; Banbury United v Royston Town match preview + Puritan keeper Jack Harding reveals all

Saturday 17th August 2019
Banbury United v Royston Town
Southern League Premier Division
Banbury Community Plant Hire Stadium
OX16 5AB
K.O. 3.00pm


(Last season’s) League standings:

Southern League Premier Division Central (22 teams)

Banbury United 17th

Royston Town 10th


(This season’s) League standings after 2 games:

Southern League Premier Division Central (22 teams)

Banbury United 12th

Royston Town 1st


This game last season:

20th October 2018

Banbury United 0

Royston Town 1 (James Potton)


Last four games:

Banbury United:

D 1-1 home v Nuneaton Borough 13th August SL

D 0-0 away v Redditch United 10th August SL

L 3-4 v Oxford City (Oxfordshire Senior Cup Final at Oxford City FC) 30th April

L 1-2 home v Hitchin Town 27th April SL


Royston Town:

W 0-5 away v Biggleswade Town 13th August SL

W 3-0 home v Alvechurch 10th August SL

W 1-0 home v Barwell 27th April SL

W 0-2 away v Hitchin Town 22nd April SL


Jack Harding

Full Name: Jack Matthew Harding

Age: 27

Nationality: British

Marital status: Engaged

Preferred shirt number: 1

Most effective position on the pitch: Goalkeeper

Daytime job: Electrician

Former clubs: Ardley United


We asked Jack:

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

I had a really good summer, including an amazing trip to Santorini for a relaxing break. The first couple of weeks it is nice to have a break, but yes definitely miss it and look forward to pre-season starting again

Re-signed on for Banbury this summer, what influenced your choice?

It was an easy decision for me, my home town, the team, the management, the board and the amazing supporters we have here. The manager wants us to play in a certain way which is very exciting for me to be a part of

How do you feel pre-season & the early league games have gone for you personally so far?

I missed the first part of pre-season as I was on holiday but since I’ve been back I feel like I’ve got straight back in to it and have loved being back with the team. Lots of hard work in training and I have really enjoyed it

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

I think I speak for myself and the whole squad, we believe we can make the playoffs

Who has been your biggest influence in football?

My older brother Michael. We walked to primary school together playing football, walked to secondary school together playing football, all we did was play football. We had a five aside pitch less than a minute walk from where we lived growing up, that’s where my love for the game started

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 belief in each other and what we are capable of achieving as a team. We’ve had a few new additions this season that have slotted straight in to the group, great characters and even better players

Home to Royston this week, do you know anything about them?

They’re usually quite physical and direct. They’ve had a great start to the season so will be coming to us full of confidence so it will be a tough game but one we know we can win

Who is the biggest moaner in the dressing room?

I would say I could be up there? Especially when there’s running involved or my team loses in training

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

I’m a bit superstitious about being superstitious. If we are on a good run I try and do the same things before games, things like drinks and the amount of times I touch the cross bar before kick-off. So I don’t have a set routine

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

Jack Westbrook (Westy) I rate very highly, just think there a lot of things he does on the pitch that people don’t notice

Who has the worst dress sense at the club?

Mark (Timbrell) the physio

When you leave the football pitch on a Saturday, what is the first result you look for elsewhere?

Leeds United followed by the other teams in our league

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

Liam Shea our goalkeeping coach. Simply because I don’t want to hear him rap alongside John Barnes ever again!

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

Would be nice to have a good run in the FA Cup this year

Finally, after you’ve saved three penalties on Saturday, what can supporters buy you in the bar afterwards?

A San Miguel and a pack of pork scratchings

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

SL D1C; Aylesbury United v Corby Town preview + manager Ben Williams’ thoughts on pre-season

Saturday 17th August 2019
Aylesbury United v Corby Town
Southern League Division One Central
The Meadow
K.O. 3.00pm

The Meadow

(Last season’s) League standings:

Southern League Division One Central (20 teams)

Aylesbury United 15th

Corby Town 3rd


This game last season:

6th April 2019

Aylesbury United 1 (Harry Jones)

Corby Town 2 (Elliot Sandy, Steve Diggin)


Last four games:

Aylesbury United:

D 2-2 home v Barton Rovers 27th April SL

L 3-1 away v Aylesbury FC 22nd April SL

L 0-3 home v Bromsgrove Sporting 20th April SL

L 3-1 away v Peterborough Sports 13th April SL

Corby Town:

L 4-3 away v Bromsgrove Sporting 6th May SL Play-Off Final

W 5-3 home v Bedford Town 1st May SL Play-Off Semi-Final

W 1-2 away v Kidlington 27th April SL

W 3-2 home v Yaxley 22nd April SL


Ben Williams

Ahead of the season opener Sports Shots caught up with the Ducks manager Ben Williams to ask if he managed much time away from the game over the summer:

We did a lot of recruitment early on, so I had a good break from it over the summer, plenty of golf and a very nice family holiday. You never fully switch off from it but I gave it a good go

When did United commence pre-season training and how were the first couple of sessions in terms of numbers & commitment?

We started back at the beginning of July and have had a steady sixteen to twenty-two at each session so commitment has been great, obviously in terms of matches it’s hard to ever put out your strongest team due to holidays etc but it’s nothing we don’t know and can’t deal with

How has it been signing on players, and have they lost many that have depleted plans?

We have lost four or five from the end of season team due to either stepping up a standard or being offered more “expenses” elsewhere, it’s something that always happens, and we wish them well at their new clubs. We planned a little freshen up of the squad and I’m really happy with our new signings, I feel they will bring real competition for places to the team

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

Our pre-season has been quite disappointing in terms of results, but we have played really well in patches but just conceded soft goals, something we are looking to improve on ASAP

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

We are always looking for new players & would ideally like to add another striker to the squad, but we’ll have to look at the resources to see what or if we can. Other than that, I think we are ready to go but things can change quite quickly depending on results

First game of the season this Saturday, has Ben got much info on the opponents?

We are looking forward to hosting Corby on Saturday, they are obviously a big club with aspirations to get promoted, after just missing out last season in the play-off final. We will give it our all, when we have eleven players all on top of their game then we are a match for anyone in our league, we just strive like all for more consistency

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

In the first month we are looking to get some points on the table as quick as possible and also get through the FA Cup game, we are under no illusions though and each game will be a battle, it’s a challenge I’m looking forward to and I hope the players are also

Finally, are there any games this season they are in particular looking forward to?

I’m looking forward to visiting some of the new grounds and then obviously the local derbies v Berko and Thame

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

SL; Bedford Town v Thame United match preview + 1st team coach Ben Johnson’s thoughts on pre-season

Saturday 17th August 2019
Bedford Town v Thame United
Southern League Division One Central
New Eyrie
MK44 3LW
K.O. 3.00pm


(Last season’s) League standings:

Southern League Division One Central

Thame United 8th

Bedford Town 4th


This game last season:

30th March 2019

Bedford Town 3 (Dan Walker x 2, Leon Lobjoit)

Thame United 1 (Matt Peake-Pijnen)


Last four games:

Thame United:

D 1-1 away v Cambridge City 27th April SL

D 0-0 home v Kidlington 22nd April SL

L 2-1 away v Yaxley 20th April SL

W 2-1 home v Berkhamsted 13th April SL


Bedford Town:

L 5-3 away v Corby Town 1st May SL P/O Semi-Final

W 2-3 away v Coleshill Town 27th April SL

W 4-1 home v AFC Dunstable 22nd April SL

W 0-3 away v Welwyn Garden City 20th April SL


Ahead of the season opener Sports Shots caught up with Thame United first team coach Ben Johnson to ask how much time he managed away from the game during the summer to relax and forget football:

You can never forget the game, ha-ha! I was very privileged to get away to Ibiza for two weeks with the family to try and chill out, but I find it very hard to switch off as the phone still never stops

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

We as a management team got together just after last season finished and managed to take some time to reflect. For us as a club last season was a massive achievement but we felt, like always, there were areas we needed to improve on and one of them was to get fitter as a squad. So we decided to start a week or so earlier than normal, on Tuesday twenty-fifth of June. In the early sessions we were very impressed with numbers, especially new faces, and the commitment during some very hard running sessions was excellent, and we have continued to keep high standards throughout

How has it been signing on players, and have they lost many that have depleted your plans?

We had a list of targets that we wanted to approach in the pre-season, and we have been very lucky to obtain most of our targets. But like every year unfortunately have missed out on some

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

We always try to have a good mix of fixtures & I thought we stood up very well to the higher league opposition, playing so well against Oxford United in front of eight hundred & fifty fans at the ASM was a highlight for me. But on the other hand when lads needed to be professional against lower league opposition they performed very well and scored some great, well worked goals

Thame United FC 2019/20

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

We are all signed on and the squad is ready to rock & roll. However the phone is always on so never say never

First game of the season this Saturday, have you got much info do they have on the opponents?

We travel to Bedford for our first fixture, we have seen them add plenty of new lads to their ranks and are always a very strong team. You will definitely see them up the top come the end of the season, but we are always well prepared on all of our opposition

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

We will be looking for maximum points, with strong, well organised, hard-working performances

Finally, we asked Ben if there are there any games this season they are in particular looking forward to:

It’s always nice to come up against new opposition, but we always enjoy playing against the local teams and getting a few numbers through the gate at the ASM

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

SL; Thame United add duo ahead of season kick-off next Saturday


Some great news this weekend over in Thame, Oxfordshire ….

With 6 days until the first league game of the season.
Thame United have clinched the double signing of –
Defender – Nathan Simms (pictured left)
Midfielder – Connor Harris (pictured right)

The boys have been warmly welcomed to Thame by the manager and coaching team. Nathan and Connor have spent the last few weeks training with Thame in pre-season which has made it even more pleasing that they want to make the ASM Stadium home.

SL P; Redditch United v Banbury United preview + manager Mike Ford’s thoughts on pre-season

Saturday 10th August 2019
Redditch United v Banbury United
Southern League Premier Division Central
Trico Stadium
B97 4RN
K.O. 3.00pm


(Last season’s) League standings:

Southern League Premier Division Central

Banbury United 17th

Redditch United 15th


This game last season:

Saturday 3rd November 2018

Redditch United 2 (Brendon Bunn, Shaquille Leachman-Whittingham)

Banbury United 0


Last four games:

Banbury United:

L 3-4 v Oxford City (Oxfordshire Senior Cup Final at Oxford City FC) 30th April

L 1-2 home v Hitchin Town 27th April SL

D 1-1 away v Alvechurch 22nd April SL

D 1-1 home v Bedworth United 20th April SL

Redditch United:

W 3-1 home v Leiston 27th April SL

L 0-1 away v Halesowen Town 22nd April SL

W 3-1 home v Hitchin Town 20th April SL

L 0-1 away v St Ives Town 13th April SL


Mike Ford

Ahead of the season opener Sports Shots caught up with Banbury manager Mike Ford to ask how much time he’s had away from football to relax, & forget the game during the summer:

The period between the end of last season and the beginning of pre-season flew by. Recruiting players, preparations for the upcoming campaign as well as conversations with all the current players ate into my perceived time away so time off, no none really! Relax and forget? If this has happened, I can’t remember it!

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

We started on July the fourth, the session was well attended and the players as you can imagine were keen to go having had the best part of ten weeks away from football

How has it been signing on players, and have United lost many that have upset their plans?

Signing players, whether it be in the season or summer-time, is the most difficult part of the job. We had a few loan players who went back to their clubs, one player left to take up a scholarship in America and two players departed, I have brought in the best part of half a dozen players which I felt needed to be done to freshen the whole group up. I did sign one player who was more than happy to be quoted on our website expressing his pleasure at agreeing to sign for Banbury United, but I haven’t seen him since and he is currently playing for someone else

How has pre-season been in terms of results & performances?

It’s been excellent, the players have really bought into the way of playing that has been introduced and they are enjoying themselves. Results are not key at this stage; the performances are the reason that during the season games will be won and lost. Overall our performances have been good; the highlight being the game at Brackley & then the most disappointing the home second half showing against Swindon Supermarine. There is still work to do and we are a long way from the finished article

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

The squad is by and large completed although we are still tracking players and one or two may still come in

With the first game of the season on Saturday how does Mike view the game?

Yes, the new season is almost upon us, we are away at Redditch where we were easily beaten last season. They have a new manager who I’m sure will be hugely looking forward to it. My team will be ready and if our focus is on the performance then results will always take care of themselves

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

Targets can get in the way at times and the day to day business can get lost, but it’s also important that we know and understand what we are looking to achieve over the course of forty-two games

Finally, are there any games this season he is particularly looking forward to?

All of them! The first one is important, the first home one equally so and the Christmas period

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

PSF; Thatcham Town 2-2 Thame United

Thatcham Town – 2
Thame United – 2

Report & images: Carl Catling

The unbeaten run continues….

A well-deserved result, a great run out for both teams, with some cracking goals in this one!

There was a good crowd in attendance at the Waterside Park for this pre-season friendly, Thame played the majority of the game with ten men when the referee gave a red card to Thame keeper Craig Hill for a handball. Thame were made to dig deep in the second half and the players worked extremely hard to come out of this game with a positive result.

Goals for Thame –

23 mins – Alabi with a classy touch to lift the ball over the goalkeeper onto the crossbar and in.

26 mins – West scores a worldy! Half volley and into the net following a great tackle by Ashworth to win the ball.

Starting Line Up –

Hill, Peake-Pijnen, Lynn, Essex, Mapley, Alabi, Sturgess, Ashworth, Hackett, West and Martin




Next Game –

Away to Uxbridge

Saturday 10/8/2019

KO 15:00

PSF; Thame United 2-1 Beaconsfield Town

Thame United 2
Beaconsfield Town 1

Thame new signing Greg Hackett with manager Mark West

Thame United completed their home pre-season campaign with victory over Southern League Premier side Beaconsfield Town on Saturday at the ASM Stadium.

Dan West & recent new signing Greg Hackett were on target for United as they beat the side from a level above.

Match highlights available here:

Thame face three more pre-season friendlies all on the road before their season commences on Saturday 17th August at Bedford Town:

Tuesday 30th July away v Risborough Rangers

Tuesday 6th August away v Thatcham Town

Saturday 10th August away v Uxbridge