Archive for Southern League

SL; United midfielder admits squad is so good that no one Hoggs the limelight

Saturday 16th February 2019

Berkhamsted v Aylesbury United

Southern League Division One Central


K.O. 3.00pm

Aylesbury United face the very short trip to near neighbours Berkhamsted on Saturday looking to bounce back from last weekend’s home defeat to Colesville Town by the odd goal in seven, and to avenge the defeat they suffered back in December at The Meadow in the reverse fixture. In that game the Ducks went ahead early but were trailing at the break, an early second half leveller then saw the game evenly poised until two goals in the final fourteen minutes took the points back to Hertfordshire but United have lost just twice in their last eight league games whilst their hosts have just the single win in their last eight, of which the last four have been drawn and now just seven points separate sixth placed Berkhamsted and twelfth placed Aylesbury in the Southern Football League Division One Central Division table, the win could potentially lift Ben William’s squad up a further three places and into the heady heights of top half of that league table!

Ollie Hogg

This week Sports Shots caught up with United midfielder Ollie Hogg to find out when he joined the club and how his time has been there:

I came to Aylesbury about three years ago. I joined after a season with Tring Athletic and wanted to try & challenge myself a bit more. I have settled in well since I have been here and now feel like one of the more senior players even though I am only twenty-two

How does Ollie feel his season has been so far?

I don’t feel like I have had the best season so far, with the restructure of the leagues we now have less games so I feel like I’m not playing as much football as I have in previous seasons. I have been available most weeks as I love playing

How strong does Ollie feel the squad is this year & have any players stood out?

Our squad this season is probably one of the strongest I have played in since I have been here. Unfortunately the results haven’t always shown that but we do have a very strong squad even though it is very young, we have some excellent players all over the pitch so it is tough to single any one player

What is Ollie’s preferred position in the team, and in what formation does he feel is best for him?

I love playing in the middle, I feel that is where I am strongest but I am happy to play wherever the team needs me. I feel the four-three-three gets the best out of me as it gives a little bit more rotation in the middle to get further up the pitch but also pick the ball up deep

We asked Ollie just how difficult this new division has been this season:

It was a tough start to the season playing some very strong sides that we knew very little about, it’s a very competitive league & everyone can beat everyone. It probably is the toughest league I’ve played in so far purely due to the fact we didn’t know a lot about the teams we are facing

Prior to this midweeks cup game, the previous three United games have been settled by the odd goal in seven, five & three respectively, how were these fixtures?

They were all very tough games for different reasons. I think our biggest problem is our consistency from game to game, we know on our day we can beat anyone but the margins between winning and losing this season are so fine and the odd mistake really can cost you

Away at Berkhamsted on Saturday, played them already this season, what are Ollie’s memories and thoughts on the game ahead?

We have played them twice this season once in the cup and once in the league. Both were very tough games, especially the home game where the weather was awful and I felt we had a couple of big decisions go against us, especially for their third goal where I thought it was a clear handball. We just need to play our own game and move the ball as well as we can to get a result

Finally we asked Ollie to nominate any team mate he’d like to see on a television programme:

I would have to go on Takeshi’s castle with Ben Seaton just because I’d love to see him get whacked about

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

SL P; Banbury defender happy to be a Puritan and no Kid-ding

Saturday 9th February 2019

Royston Town v Banbury United

Southern League Premier Division

Garden Walk

K.O. 3.00pm

Banbury United travel to Royston Town this weekend looking to avenge their last minute defeat they suffered at their hands back in October at the Community Hire Stadium, and with it claim back some points after being docked four last week after an administrative error earlier in the season. The points deduction seriously hampers the clubs attempts to make the Southern Football League Premier Division Central play-off places, especially after a good January saw them only lose once in five games as they now find themselves twelve points off fifth place with just fourteen league games left to play, but they can build on their last two impressive results where a four goal mauling of Coalville was only blighted by two late goals, followed by a good one all draw at AFC Rushden & Diamonds two weeks ago. A win this week could push them back up the two places they lost in the league table after the points adjustment, and they come up against a Town side that have won just one league game at home since mid-October, can Banbury continue their recent good form?

Harry Whitehead

This week Sports Shots caught up with United defender Harry Whitehead to ask how long he’s been at the club and how it all came about:

I joined the club back in the summer. Towards the end of last season I’d been speaking to Eddie Odhiambo who was with me at Kidlington last year, he spoke to the gaffer about me and from there I enjoyed a tough but enjoyable pre-season at Banbury. This had a massive influence on me joining the club, the training was of a high standard, the set up was very professional & the gaffer explained his intentions on helping me to improve as a player. I found settling in really easy, the lads are all great and knowing a couple of them prior to joining really helped. I knew Charlie Hawtin from when I was at Oxford & obviously Eddie, Lewis Gabbidon, Darius Browne and Mark Bell from Kidlington

How does Harry feel his season has been so far?

I felt like I had a really positive pre-season and I was feeling fit and playing well, but then towards the end I missed a couple of games and the team were doing really well and picking up points so it was difficult to get back in so I went on a short term loan to Kidlington to get some game time and get match fit, something I and the gaffer felt was best for me. Since coming back I’ve tried to take the chance when it has been given to me and I’ve tried to help the team as much as I can. Even when I’m on the bench I’m working hard in training and learning from the likes of Lee Henderson and Charlie Wise who have much more experience than me at this level which is really helpful

How good is this Banbury squad?

The squad is probably the best I’ve played in. I can’t single out individuals who have really impressed me as everyone has impressed me in their own positions

So what is Harry’s best position in the team?

This a funny one, up until December twenty-seventeen I had played as a striker for my whole career. However, I now find myself as a centre back, but if I’m honest I’d play anywhere as you may have seen this season. But so far in this team my favoured position is probably the left side centre back

How has Harry’s football pathway led him to Banbury?

Being from Kidlington I started out in their junior sides until the age of seven when I was picked up by Oxford United. I stayed there until the under fifteen season finished and then I left to focus on my education. When I left I joined Kidlington reserves for a couple of seasons before making the step up to the first team a few seasons back. I played in the first team at Kidlington for about a year and a half before joining Banbury

Defeat at Stourbridge, a win over Coalville and a creditable draw at Rushden, how were these games?

I think the defeat at Stourbridge was a hard one to take, obviously they are very good side and their league position reflects that but I felt on the day we were the better side. They had two chances and took them both and we had chances but weren’t clinical enough, whereas against Coalville we took the chances we made for ourselves, stuck to our principles and got a good result. The result at Rushden was probably fair, it was a very scrappy game on a difficult pitch. But the main thing from that game is that we came away with something

Royston this week, a disappointing last minute defeat earlier in the season against them, what does Harry remember of this game and what do they need to do to get something this time?

I remember this game being one soon after I came back from my loan at Kidlington, they were a quick, physical side who played very direct football. I remember them scoring a wonder goal in the dying seconds of the game to take the three points from us. It wasn’t a nice feeling after thinking we’d done enough to get something from the game. I think we will work on a few things in training this week, how to deal with their threats and nullify any danger but also work on how we are going to play away from home, take our chances and get a result

Finally, we asked Harry to pick a player to go on any television programme, and explain why:

I’d love to see Charlie Hawtin go on Love Island. I think he’d go on to win it and take all the money for himself!

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

SL; Aylesbury FC to merge with Bedgrove Dynamos

Aylesbury FC have made the following announcement:

FC and Bedgrove Dynamos to Merge

Following on from recent discussions between Aylesbury FC and Bedgrove Dynamos, we are delighted to make the following announcement.

From the beginning of the 2019/20 season the two clubs will merge and become the Aylesbury Vale Dynamos. This will offer a progression for the youth of Aylesbury to achieve their footballing ambitions. Bedgrove currently offer junior football from the under 3’s age group though to Aylesbury and District Senior Mens football. Aylesbury FC have an Under 18s side playing in the Allied Counties Floodlit league and a senior team which next season will compete in the Spartan Premier Division. The merger offers the twenty six junior sides the opportunity to represent one club at every level up to semi professional standard.

Every one involved in both clubs is delighted, Mike Borrett who will chair the new committee commented that “This is a perfect fit for both clubs”.

More Information will follow in due course

SL D1C; Sutton Coldfield Town 2-3 Aylesbury United

Sutton Coldfield Town – 2
Aylesbury United – 3


Aylesbury United upset the odds by beating Sutton Coldfield Town on Saturday at the Central Ground, taking the lead early on they were quickly pinned back but scored twice more to find themselves three-one up with less than half an hour played and protected their lead until almost midway through the second period when Sutton pulled a goal back, this set up a nervous ending to the game where the hosts bombarded the away defence looking for an equaliser, but the visitor’s backline stood firm albeit with the help late on of the goal frame to record the second successive win to push themselves up to eleventh in the Southern League Division One Central table. After the game Ducks manager Ben Williams could not hide his delight with the win that ended the West Midlands side run of eight without defeat, and sees his side extend their run to one defeat in the last seven; despite the defeat the home ultra’s were in full flow with their rendition of ‘tequila’ but in freezing temperatures during the afternoon surely brandy would have been more suitable for those on the sidelines!

The game got off to a flying start when Aylesbury took the lead after just four minutes from a corner, Jake Bewley swung the set piece in towards the front post where Callum Mapley was unmarked to thump his header past Sutton keeper Lewis Gwilliams, but that lead lasted just five minutes when an excellent cross from the left wing was too high for Jack Wood to reach and waiting behind Ryan Nesbitt had time to pick his spot heading into the bottom corner. A clever throw in routine from Town saw the ball aimed towards Ryan Moore who allowed it though his legs and turning his defender he collected to advance to the byline and pull back to Mitchell Piggon, on the six-yard line he could only lift high over Archie Davis in the United goal.

Callum Mapley celebrates opener

The visitor’s stunned their hosts once again on twenty-three minutes by regaining the lead, midfielder Harry Jones drove down the right wing and lost his marker before powering a shot at goal that Gwilliams had to parry, the ball worked back to Greg Williams and as he shot Tre Mitford got the final touch to direct it inside the post. Coldfield came back and a fierce drive from Nesbitt looked dangerous until a deflection saw it spin away for a corner, and the home side had a number of corners in quick succession without threatening of which the last was easily cleared and saw United break to extend their lead on twenty-eight minutes, Jones sent away down the right wing from where he crossed, it looked comfortable for Gwilliams to come & collect however Alex Moore instinctively stuck out his head and could only watch as the ball rolled into the back of the net.

Aylesbury scored again before the break, Max Hercules angled a pinpoint cross into the back post where Jones flashed his effort across Gwilliams and into the far top corner, however a raised flag ruled offside, at the opposite end a great cross from James Hurst found his skipper James Mutton in the box but he could only head over, and the final action of the half saw Alex Moore fed on the edge of the eighteen yard area and his low shot escaped the despairing dive of Davis but flew inches wide of the far upright. H/T: 1-3

Ryan Nesbitt is congratulated after first goal

Sutton came out for the second half with two substitutions to try and get back in the game, and almost immediately one of those Jonathan Letford caused chaos in the United box skipping a couple of challenges as he drove towards goal, eventually running into a brick wall he tried to square to a colleague however Wood got the slightest of touches to allow the ball to then be cleared long downfield, ahead of Nesbitt being fed in the area with his back to goal he managed to turn and fire across goal but Davis got down well to smoother.

A throw to Aylesbury saw Hercules collect twenty yards from goal and turning his marker he explored space across the middle of the pitch before sending a dipping drive narrowly over Gwilliams crossbar, then just past the hour mark the home side got a goal back when Nesbitt saw a long range effort evade the grasp of Davis & roll over the line, and with it Aylesbury had twenty-seven minutes to hold on for the win. The pressure from there was relentless, although Mitford did have a chance when he was fed inside the penalty arc with his back to goal, he out fought his marker to turn and shoot but a huge deflection saw the ball spiral out for a corner.

United all smiles after final whistle

As Sutton tried to head the corner away they only found Mitford at the back of the box where he controlled on his chest before volleying over the top, at the other end a corner found Mutton who had time to steady himself before drilling his shot wide of the near post. As time wore on every time the home side gained possession they aimed everything into the box, one such long ball for Letford to chase after saw hesitancy from Davis who stayed on his line, but the substitute managed to put a boot out to flick across the box and covering was Mapley, who with an empty goal had to launch the ball into the darkening skies over his own crossbar to clear the danger.

Nesbitt fed full back Ben George on the edge of the United area where he controlled before swivelling to escape his marker but then could only scoop his shot over the top, with two minutes left the hosts were a lick of paint away from their equaliser when chaos again inside the area saw bodies throwing themselves at the ball to block but it fell to Piggon who toe poked past Davis but it came back off the post allowing the keeper to pounce.  In added time Letford did well down the flank and beating his defender got to the byline and with bodies in the box he fizzed the ball too high and too fast across the six yard box and it despairingly flew away for a United throw, and with it their last chance had gone. F/T: 2-3

Attendance: 170

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

After the game Sports Shots spoke to Aylesbury manager Ben Williams: 


Spend some tequila time with the STFC ultra’s:


For match day photography (106 images over two pages) please click here:

SL D1C; Peter & Paul fly nest to help new club build for next year

Saturday 2nd February 2019

Aylesbury v Cambridge City

Southern League Division One East

Heywood Way

K.O. 3.00pm

Aylesbury FC host Cambridge City on Saturday at Heywood Way for their first home game since the news broke that the club are accepting relegation at the end of the current Southern League Division One Central campaign regardless of league position due to the ground grading issues. As it happens the club are in a three-way scrap at the bottom of the league anyway, as the rest of the division has opened up a small gap from Aylesbury, North Leigh & Kidlington although there are still plenty of games left for those above to be dragged into the dreaded basement battle, but one of those two spots has already been decided no matter what with the issue of dressing room size meaning the Moles will kick off next season at step five. The club lost the services of assistant manager Matt Moran this week but were quick to bring in former Ampthill Town manager & coach Paul Toms & Peter Forssling respectively to add to the back room staff fighting to keep the club’s season going.

Paul Bonham

Coming to face Paul Bonham’s are twelfth placed Cambridge City who FC beat in Bonham’s third game in charge back in November, but the hosts are on a poor run of late that has seen just three draws and seven defeats in their last ten games, City however are not pulling up any trees themselves and their record shows just two wins in their last fourteen matches in all competition, can Aylesbury get their first three points of 2019?

This week Sports Shots caught up with manager Paul Bonham to ask if the news of relegation had sunk in yet, and how hard a decision it was to stay on as manager:

I’m not going to lie it did take a few days to come to terms with the club’s decision to take automatic relegation, but I do understand the reasons why it has happened. It wasn’t a hard decision to stay at the club at all once I had digested it all, the club have showed faith in me and I want to repay them

Will Paul be staying on at the end of the season to take the club into the new phase of its history assuming it will be in the Spartan South Midlands League?

I hope so and I want to but It all depends on the committee. It will be an exciting challenge managing in the SSMFL as the league is extremely tough to win, it currently has some very good sides in it all of which would do well at step four

Has the news taken any pressure off the manager with the league position immaterial now?

Not at all, in fact I would say we are under more pressure to perform and win games, I’m determined not to finish this season in the bottom two as it would then be a case of us being relegated anyway. It is our job to motivate and prepare the squad in the right way to make sure we do ourselves justice in the remaining games

How has the news affected the squad in terms of players leaving and coming in?

From the initial decision it has settled down now. We lost four very good players in Jordan Frederick, Carl Tappin, Austin Schofield and Harry Scott and although it was disappointing that they, it was on good terms and I wish them all the best. We have brought in a few players last week to replace them and all are looking very good replacements

Are the management team looking at the squad now with an eye on next season?

As a playing squad we are concentrating on this season and nothing else for now, there are players in the team who I’d love to keep at the club but understand we will need to sell the SSMFL to them. The management staff is different scenario as I’m keen to build as strong backroom staff who are committed for this season but equally ready for next year

We asked Paul if he feels any other clubs can be dragged into the relegation scrap despite a slight gap opening up from the bottom three:

I’m really not sure on what teams will be dragged into the mix, if I’m looking at form and players within the teams, I would confidently say both Kidlington and North Leigh are on an equal with all the teams in the bottom half of this league. It’s such a strong division this year where everyone Is beating everyone

Aylesbury lost Matt Moran this week from the backroom staff, but brought in Paul Toms & Peter Forssling from Ampthill, what do they bring to the club?

It was disappointing to lose Matty last week but I respect his reason for leaving, we’ve worked well throughout our time in charge and it was a shame we couldn’t see the season out. I’ve known Paul for some time now and we’ve always talked throughout the season, bouncing ideas of each other, discussing players etc. I know it was a tough decision for both Paul and Pete to move but I’m really looking forward to them joining AFC and hoping to enjoy success next season

Cambridge City this week who Aylesbury beat earlier in the season, what does the manager remember of that day and what does he expect this time out?

It was a fantastic team performance and we fully deserved the win that day, but we are under no illusions how difficult this game will be on Saturday. Cambridge are still one of the big hitters in the league despite their league position, we will have to be at our very best to get anything from them

Finally with it being such a difficult time for the club, does Paul have any messages for the Aylesbury supporters?

It is a very difficult time for everyone involved at the club, we really do appreciate all the support we get, and I can assure the fans that we will be giving 100% every time we cross that white line. We are still working so hard in training and the focus is to finish out of that bottom two in the league table

Paul Toms

Joining the club from Ampthill Town this week, we asked Paul Toms how much he’s looking forward to his new role:

I’m really looking forward to my first game at Aylesbury, weather permitting!!! I’m an ambitious guy and I’m looking forward to the challenge of a different role as I have already coached at this level and higher, but more importantly look forward to teaming up with Paul and working towards something successful. Hopefully I’ve found a home where I can develop myself more in a different role other than a coach

Does Paul see this new role for the rest of this season for now, or does it go into next season with the relegation confirmed?

As you know there are no guarantees in football, but for me this was one hundred percent the main reason for me leaving a great club like Ampthill. I know it looks like doom and gloom and nothing to play for as relegation is over our heads, but straight away there’s a massive challenge of staying out of the relegation zone then over the summer while everyone goes on holiday, Paul and I will be planning for an assault on the SSMPL, a league I personally know very well

What is Paul’s position at his new club?

My title at Aylesbury Fc is assistant manager. My main priorities will be supporting Paul in every capacity I can from coaching to match days. I’ve not met any players yet as we are due to train tonight, where we will meet and greet

Does he feel he will be casting eyes over the squad with next season in mind, or just getting through until the end of this season?

All I can say is that I’ve not met the players yet and I’m only an assistant to Paul but when I do and see them train and play, I’m sure my opinions on building will hopefully be positive. But personally I only look one game ahead with one eye and plan for the future with the other

Along with Paul came Peter Forssling from Ampthill, whose choice was that?

Pete has been with me for past two years, after Paul approached me to come here I mentioned Pete and he was happy for him to follow with me. Pete is a very good young coach that brings lots of enthusiasm and energy with him with a fair amount of knowledge for a coach so young. And Aylesbury is a great progression for him on his coaching journey

What are the biggest differences Paul is expecting between South Midlands Division One and Southern League?

Obviously the step up in levels does bring lots of changes – attitudes and general professionalism, but that’s standard. Football wise, a more direct & quicker game with players that manage games better, with a tactical understanding and are better technically

What does he expect from Cambridge in his first game at the club?

I’ll be honest I don’t know much about Cambridge if anything, as all my focus up until this week has been on Ampthill and the teams around them

Finally we asked how Paul view’s the situation that Aylesbury find themselves in with regard to being relegated before he joined?

How I see it is on a personal front is I’m going to Aylesbury FC to give everything whether relegation looms or not. The mindset of ‘it doesn’t matter’ certainly doesn’t exist in me and I hope the players there have the same attitude, I’m sure they do. For me I can see massive positives as we know our destination and can already plan to build for next season

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

SL D1C; Bromsgrove Sporting 5-0 Thame United

( Gregory 3 and 77, Cowley 9, 22 and 90)

Report: Carl Catling

Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central
Saturday 26th January 2019 @ The Victoria Ground
Attendance – 916
Weather – 9 celsius, wind and rain

Following defeats in the last week for both sides this was one of the big games of the weekend in the division. In which Thame United (5th) would travel 70 miles up the motorway to play Bromsgrove Sporting (2nd). Bromsgrove were undefeated at home going into this game and have two of the best forwards in the division in Cowley and Gregory.

Bromsgrove Sporting FC – Brown, Spink, McGrath, Hayward, Taylor, Morris, Dowd, Quaynor, Cowley, Gregory and Westwood
Subs Used – Hall and Mayuba

Thame United FC – Hill (GK), Mepham, Lynn, Essex, Jewell, Tutton, Martin, Sturgess (C), Goss, West and Peake-Pijnen
Subs used – Tack, Murray and Ashworth

*** FIRST HALF ***
There was a real sense of atmosphere before kick off and there was surge of large numbers of fans coming through the turnstiles. Literally straight from kick off Bromsgrove were awarded the first corner, which found Taylor unmarked who narrowly headed the ball wide. It did not take long for the first goal whereby Jewell misjudged jumping for a header which lead to a shot on goal which was brilliantly by Hill saved but rebounded to Gregory for a tap in. There was a continuation of relentless pressure and attacking runs by Bromsgrove. This had Thame trying to contain play and drop players back in their own half. On 7 minutes Bromsgrove had another corner which somehow managed to drop to Cowley’s feet inside the six yard box for a simple pass into the net.

Bromsgrove were spreading the ball wide namely to both Dowd and Westwood who looked threatening every time they had the ball, often needing Mepham and Lynn to block crosses or to make a tackle. Thame’s Goss was working extremely hard trying to get his side into the match pressing all over the field and when possibly trying to attack the right wing with runs of his own. Then from a goal kick by Brown the ball found it’s way to Cowley who dummied Hill and shot the ball to his left to make it 3-0 on 22 minutes. One of Thame’s best moments was when Lynn stepped out of 2 tackles at left back and dribbled the ball forward and was able to make a pass behind the defence which lead to a Thame corner. At the end of the half possession became more even with the pace of play slowing down. Bromsgrove managed dominate in the air and 50-50s for most of the first half. Due to excellent defending by the two centre backs of Taylor and Morris it was a difficult task for Thame’s West to create many chances of his own.

Following the break Thame started the brighter with Thame’s captain Ben Sturgess leading by example and winning countless tackles in order to get the ball forward. The first chance in the half again fell to Bromsgrove’s Gregory, when a long ball in his direction was volleyed at Hill. There was more disappointing news for Thame when injury forced Mepham to be substituted by Tack.
Thame’s Goss produced multiple excellent set pieces in the second half. One of which was a corner which found Jewell’s feet at the back post and narrowly missed the post. The combination of Sturgess and Tutton was proving crucial to Thame’s battle in midfield. Due to the pressure of Thame playing at a higher tempo Bromsgrove were losing possession and misplacing passes all over the field. It was a surprise that Thame’s first shot on goal was actually from a goal kick by Hill which had to be tipped over the bar by Brown on 60 minutes. Thame followed this up by a cross from the left by Lynn which somehow bounced over the fullback’s head and Goss fired a half volley onto the top of the net which had Brown unmoved.

In Thame’s search of a goal this lead to a break down the left which was crossed along the ground towards the running Gregory who passed the pass the ball into the net to make it 4-0 to Bromsgrove. Thame still continued to attack with multiple runs by Goss which needed sometimes multiple players to tackle or block him off the ball. Thame produced a further attack on goal when West shielded a ball for Goss to shoot towards goal which had to be saved by a diving Brown. The final goal of the game came in the 90th minute when Cowley dribbled right of Hill and then came back towards the left and fired the shot onto the crossbar and in.

Following the result Bromsgrove end the week in 2nd position and Richard Gregory leads the chase for the golden boot on 21 league goals. Despite the biggest defeat of the season for Thame they remain in 5th position and 3 points clear of Berkhamstead due to other teams not securing victories this Saturday.

As awarded by Bromsgrove – #3 McGrath
He produced a solid display at full back both defensively and going forward.

*** KEY STATS ***
Shots on target –  Bromsgrove 12 – 2 Thame
Corners – Bromsgrove 2 –  6 Thame
Yellow Cards – Bromsgrove 0 – 0 Thame
Red Cards – Bromsgrove 0 – 0 Thame
Penalties – Bromsgrove 0 – 0 Thame

*** NEXT GAME ***
Saturday 2/2/2019
Kick Off 15:00 – Thame United V Peterborough Sports

Website –
Sports Shots – @sports_shots

*** Admission Prices @ The ASM Stadium ***
Adult £8
Concession £5
Child £1
There is ample free parking at the ASM Stadium. The Club also has a fully licensed bar on site.

The ASM Stadium
Meadow View Park

SL; Banbury United 4-2 Coalville Town

Banbury United – 4

Coalville Town – 2


Banbury United saw off Coalville Town on Saturday in a performance far more convincing than the score line suggests, three up by the break they had to endure fifteen minutes of early second half pressure before they added a fourth which most thought was enough to kill off the game, however credit to the visitors who never gave up and grabbed two late consolation goals in the final ten minutes to give the final score a slightly different reflection to the Puritans dominance. A fairly uneventful start to the game was turned round by two United goals inside four minutes and from there the home side never looked back, a killer third just before the interval from Ravi Shamsi wrapped up an excellent first half performance, after the game manager Mike Ford expressed he was a very happy man in terms of the result and his squad.

The hosts had the first chance when Greg Kaziboni played Ravi Shamsi through on goal in the fourth minute, he opted for power but Town keeper Richard Walton stood strong and blocked with both hands, at the other end an attempted lob by Steve Towers over Puritan custodian Jack Harding from twenty-five yards never really troubled the keeper, returning between the sticks as Manny Agboola had been called back to Oxford for under twenty-three duties. An early booking for Kaziboni for a foul on Joe Doyle-Charles didn’t seem to affect the flow of the attacks and on fourteen minutes he won his side a penalty when Shamsi picked him out on the right flank and his run into the box was ended by the outstretched boot Scott McManus, Giorgio Rasulo tucked home into the bottom corner to give Banbury the lead.

That lead was doubled just four minutes later when Ricky Johnson out on the left fed a pass inside to Kaziboni and turning his marker he strode across field before firing past the despairing dive of Walton into the far corner from inside the penalty arc. A Coalville free kick into the area was then headed clear by the home defence and meeting it on the volley from some twenty yards out Doyle-Charles lifted high over the top, followed very closely by a superb curling effort from Tom McGlinchey which flew a couple of yards wide of Harding’s back post, Luke Shaw then tried his luck from the eighteen yard line but fired straight along the ground into the waiting gloves of Harding.

Ravi Shamsi on his way to third United goal

Just past the half hour mark Tim Berridge had a stinging shot straight at the Puritan custodian saved with both hands, at the opposite end a free kick from Rasulo had Walton diving to the base of his near post to push away for a corner, then with just a couple of minutes of the half remaining Banbury bagged their third. Coalville conceded possession inside their hosts half and the ball was knocked down the wing for Shamsi to chase after, defender Kieran Fenton seemed to have it under control but the United man knocked him off it to drive into the box before curling around the keeper & inside the far upright. There was still time for another close miss for the home side, a misplaced pass amongst the visitors defence saw Shamsi given the ball some thirty yards out, spotting Walton out of position he went for the far corner but drove wide of the target. H/T: 3-0

Coalville certainly started the second half looking like a side that had had a half time talking to, but the Banbury defence stood firm and repelled anything thrown at them, whenever the ball did get in behind Harding was happy to collect or clear long, as the half wore on the hosts started looking to extend their lead again, Shamsi collecting a pass deep at the back of the penalty area turned inside before curling straight into the gloves of Walton. They then won a succession of corners that lead to the fourth goal on sixty-four minutes, Rasulo on the corner of the box fired low towards the near post where Johnson got a touch that Walton somehow saved at point blank range, however the ball bounced off him and across the six yard box where Lee Henderson was unmarked to run in and tap into the unguarded net.

Lee Henderson scores fourth

Still the visitors refused to back down and within a minute of the goal they almost snatched an unlikely lifeline when a cross from the wing was met in the middle by an unmarked Kairo Mitchell who did the right thing by heading back across Harding but it bounced a yard wide of the back post. Kaziboni then had another run at the away defence and they allowed him the room to travel into the box and shoot low that forced Walton to his right to gather, then with ten minutes left Coalville did get on the scoresheet when defender Alex Dean ran the length of the pitch evading a couple of challenges on route before tucking into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

As the game drifted to a close Coalville enjoyed long spells with the ball, which was rewarded in the final minute of the ninety when a mass scramble in the United box saw Curtis Burrows get enough of a touch to loop over Harding and in, the three minutes of added time saw the visitor’s throw everything at their hosts but it was all too little too late, the win makes it three out of four for the Oxfordshire outfit as they run into the final third of the season looking for a play-off place. F/T: 4-2

Attendance: 360

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 match day photography please click here:

SL D1C; Thame United 0-1 Didcot Town

Thame United 0
Didcot Town 1

Report: Carl Catling

Evo-Stik Southern League Division One
Saturday 19th January 2019@ The ASM
Attendance – 129
Weather – 4 Celsius and Dry

The big Oxfordshire clash
between Thame United FC (4th) against Didcot Town (5th)
kicked off in Thame on Saturday and had vital points for
both sides up for grabs in the race for making the playoffs.
Even in winter the pitch at The ASM Stadium continues to
impress and provides a feast of entertaining foootball.
Thame were aware before kick off that a draw or win would
keep them above Didcot in the league. Thame entered the
match with 3 wins in a row where as Didcot were coming off
an away defeat to Bromsgrove.

Thame United FC – Craig Hill (GK),
Harry Mepham, David Lynn, Jamie Essex, Andy Gledhill, Jack
Tutton, Liam Tack, Ben Sturgess (C), Lynton Goss, Dan West
and Matt Peake-Pijnen
Subs used – Duran Martin
Didcot Town FC – Leigh Bedwell (GK),
Sam Bardell (C), Morgan Williams, Lewis Hayden, Cameron
McNeil, Luke Carnell, John Dennis, Callum McNish, Lance
Williams, David Murphy and Greg Hackett
Subs used – Ollie Thomas

*** FIRST HALF ***
It was a tentative start for both sides
with very little chances created. Didcot had control of the
game in terms of possession and were awarded multiple throw
ins and freekicks in midfield. Thame played sensible at the
start trying to avoid any early mistakes. It became evident
early on that Didcot’s approach was to attack the flanks.
Didcot in attack were pushing numbers of players forward and
Thame were trying to close down early.
The deadlock was broken when a
controversial throw in was awarded to Didcot on the left
wing. From the throw in Hackett made a run into the box and
was able to pass the ball back across goal to an unmarked
Murphy who was able to pass it into the net. Murphy nearly
made it 2-0 when a cross directed towards him was headed
over the bar and at this point Thame were losing the
midfield battle. Thame had to rely on Gledhill at the back
numerous times to clear the ball with strong headers away
from the box. During the first 25 minutes neither goal
keeper had much to deal with and Thame’s West had to drop
deeper to try and influence the game in Thame’s favour.
Thame’s winger Peake-Pijnen did manage
to create half a chance when his chipped cross towards Goss
was unable to be guided into the net. The last 15 minutes
proved to be a positive period of play by Thame. There was a
change in tactics whereby the defence had pushed higher up
to try and maintain that play was in Didcot’s half. Thame
were awarded a free kick upon 31 minutes which was treated
as shoot on goal by Peake-Pijnen which found the middle of
the goal and comfortably saved by Bedwell. tham continued to
be knocking on the door and put multiple chances wide of
goal. Both teams continued to show a high work rate
throughout the first half until the 45 minutes were up. This
half had a strong flow to the game with very little
stoppages in play.

This half began at a slower pace due to
a few stoppages in play. Didcot were awarded a freekick from
a long distance which when taken took a nasty deflection and
only just went over the crossbar. Didcot created another
positive run in the game on the left side which was taken
inside before a 25 yard attempt found both hands of Thame’s
Hill. Not long after this Mepham made a surging run up the
right wing and was able to fire a dangerous cross but
players were too far away to capitalise. Thame had upped
their tempo of play and were attempting to get behind the
Didcot back line which was proving a difficult challenge. As
Thame were then attempting for the next few minutes shots
from distance whereby one example West attempted a 30 yard
strike highlighting his side’s frustration. Despite this
Didcot still were on the back foot and a further chance came
to Tutton on a difficult half volley which again could only
find the goalkeeper. Didcot were determined to have men
behind the ball and counter when possible and this led to a
threatening attack which was anticipated by Mepham before he
made a switching pass to Peake-Pijnen on the run which was
fired along the ground shaking the post. Thame manager could
be heard from the Dug Out saying to his players that the
goal will come. Thame brought on Martin with 15 minutes left
and he was able to find space on the right and fire a cross
which took a huge deflection that went out just pass the
Didcot post. A dramatic few minutes then followed whereby a
penalty was awarded to thame following West being held by
the Didcot goal keeper who was booked for the offence. There
was a delay in play before Goss was able to take the penalty
which did find the target but was saved by Bedwell to his
right side which was tipped wide for a corner.
Thame finished the game with some more
late chances such as Essex’s half volley which went straight
down the middle to Bedwell. A final chance to save a point
was when Goss was able to push forward and put in a cross
towards his team mate West who couldn’t get the right angle
to avoid it going wide. After 4 minutes of injury time the
whistle blew and Didcot were joyful in their celebrations.

Today’s game highlighted that literally
one chance can win a game. This was an entertaining game for
a neutral but a nervous affair for fans of either side.
Thame gave everything in the second half but no equaliser
found the net. Didcot dug in deep in the second half and
Carnell provided some great leadership in the back line.
Didcot will be pleased to leave the ASM Stadium getting back
to winning ways and climbing to 4th positon. Thame Utd have
dropped to 5th place but results elsewhere were favourable
and Thame remain 4 points clear of 6th placed team
Berkhamstead FC. Thame Utd should be proud of their
performance and on balance a draw would have been a fair

*** INTERVIEW –  Comments following
today’s game by Thame United’s # 9 Captain Ben Sturgess ***
We knew Didcot are a very good team and
they were on top the first 15 minutes before we got into
the game. In the second half we dominated in possession and
the chances created. It’s important not to get too downbeat
over the result as last week we came from behind to win.
Also, we don’t have the time to dwell on the result as we
have a big week ahead back in training Tuesday/Thursday and
the next game comes around quickly. Next week we are away to
Bromsgrove and it is a massive game for us as In this
division any one can beat any one.

*** MAN OF THE MATCH – sponsored by
Figaro’s Barber in Thame ***
The Thame United man of the match today
was Harry Mepham. Thame’s right back displayed a high work
rate throughout full of energy. Harry made numerous
attacking runs and dribbles, not to mention putting in some
dangerous crosses. In regards to his defensive duties Harry
had a touch opponent to deal with and Harry more often than
not won the battle.
Despite the defeat Harry’s performance
has earned him a wash and cut at the our sponsor’s new
Figaro’s Barber shop on Park Street in Thame.

*** KEY STATS ***
Shots on target –  Thame 4 – 3 Didcot
Corners – Thame 7 – 3 Didcot
Yellow Cards – Thame 2 – 2 Didcot
Red Cards – Thame 0 – 0 Didcot
Penalties – Thame 1 – 0 Didcot

*** NEXT GAME ***
AWAY @ The Victoria Ground,
Saturday 26/1/2019
Kick Off 15:00 – Bromsgrove Sporting V
Thame United

Website –
Sports Shots –

*** Admission Prices @ The ASM Stadium
Adult £8
Concession £5
Child £1
There is ample free parking at the
Stadium. The Club also has a fully licensed bar on site.

The ASM Stadium
Meadow View Park

SL P; Banbury duo admit burning desire for play-offs ahead of visit from Coalville

Saturday 19th January 2019

Banbury United v Coalville Town

Southern League Premier Division

Banbury Community Plant Hire Stadium

K.O. 3.00pm

Banbury United host Coalville Town on Saturday knowing victory will bring them level on points with their guests although they have played four games more, but more importantly three points could bring them within another win or two of the play-off positions as the division starts to show a slight split between the top and bottom halves, but a good run from anyone could still shake this league up despite the top two sides being streets ahead of the rest. Stourbridge & Kettering seem to be battling it out for automatic promotion at this stage, but then just six points separate third placed King’s Lynn and eleventh place Banbury, and United thought they were on a roll with two successive wins in January however defeat last weekend at Stourbridge means they need to regroup and start again, Coalville haven’t lost in their last six matches with four wins and two draws and victory could edge them into those top five positions so both teams have it all to play for.

Greg Kaziboni

This week Sports Shots caught up with midfielder George Nash & firstly winger Greg Kaziboni to ask when he joined the club and what brought him here:

I’ve been at Banbury since the start of this season, the thing that attracted me here was the gaffer as I liked his vision and his ideas so I jumped on board

George has been at the club a little longer:

I joined the club in October 2015 and by my maths – albeit very limited – that means I’ve been here for just over three years. I initially came on loan from Worcester City at a time when Banbury were just entering a new chapter in their history, but despite the change it was the club’s noticeable ambition, the loyal support, the commitment to a playing philosophy, and the warm palpable sense of community that drew me in and confirmed almost instantly, that this was where I wanted to play my football. I’ve enjoyed great success at Banbury that far exceeds the tangible rewards, promotion from the South and West division being the obvious example that inevitably come as a result of being part of a great club. I’ve shared some memorable moments with some great people, the players, staff & supporters that will undoubtedly stay with me for a long time. The pleasure has always been, and always will be mine

What does George believe is his best position in the side, and what formation most suits his style?

I’m not hugely particular when it comes to formations, but I’m most effective as a holding midfield player – my goal to game ratio can attest to that – where I can pick things up in front of the back four and distribute to our attacking personnel. It’s a fairly unglamorous responsibility, but a role I’m suited to and one that hopefully enables our forward players to go and do their business

Greg likes the position he’s been played so far:

I’m one of those players who will play anywhere that the gaffer tells me to,  but I do enjoy being out on the wing, I would say from our results this season our best formation is four-four-two

How has Greg’s season been personally and as a team on the whole?

Previous to this season I had a really bad injury that saw me miss a couple of years of football so as this is my first season back it’s been good, I’m currently the top goal scorer from a wide position so I can’t complain. I think the team has done well and we are still on course to achieve our goal of finishing in the play-off places, we are very good at home and just need to try and pick up some more points on the road and we should be fine

George Nash

George also started this season after some time away from the game:

Coming back from a period of extensive travelling without a proper pre-season meant I was always going to be playing catch-up, but even so I’ll be the first to admit that my performances weren’t up to the standards I expect of myself in those first couple of months. More recently though I’ve been getting back to the level I need to be at, so I want to ensure I retain those standards going forward

Coalville this week at home, what does George remember of the draw at there place back in November?

The game was a tough physical affair but was also an important turning point in our season, coming back from a goal down with ten men away from home was testament to our character and belief that day, so if we can once again replicate that determination for ninety minutes in front of the home crowd, we have every chance of picking up an important 3 points

Greg believes the home form can over turn their guests:

We drew at their place following a bad run of form so the objective that day was just to get something from the game which we did. I remember their midfielder with long hair scoring a screamer that probably deserved all three points but our captain Ricky (Johnson) made sure that wasn’t the case with a great header in the dying minutes. This Saturday we just need to do what we have done at home and start on the front foot, they will have threats but nothing we can’t handle, hopefully we can get all the cherries!

We asked Greg if he thinks Banbury are good enough to make those play-off places?

I do think we are good enough to make it, but we’re just a bit of an underdog in the race when you consider other sides budgets, we are one that will surprise a lot of people come the end of the season. The play-offs are something we do talk about frequently but we take each game as it comes and don’t get too far ahead of ourselves, its always about the next game and that’s what we focus on

George agrees on the one game at a time theory:

The play-offs at this stage, aren’t something we ever discuss but there’d be no point in turning up for training and games every week if we didn’t have belief in what we can collectively achieve this season. We certainly have the footballing ability, but this league has consistently shown that to be successful, you need to be prepared to do all aspects of the game and do them well. It might be a cliché, but we are very much taking every game as it comes

Two wins and a defeat since the turn of the year, how does George view those games?

Given our results against Stratford and Halesowen, it was important that we started picking up points again quickly and so the results against Alvechurch and Barwell were huge. It also meant we continued our strong recent home form which is vital for any team hoping to do well. Of course, the result at Stourbridge was disappointing, but there were plenty of positives to be taken from our performance. It’s certainly something to build on

Greg feels they did well in all three games:

These were three games which we played well although not winning the last one, so for me that’s a positive as we’ve lost to a team that for me, will probably go on and win the league so we can’t be too down about it, I feel we have done well

Who does Greg think will finish in the top five spaces?

Being honest I couldn’t say who will finish in the top five because its been a season where everyone has beat everyone, and the gap between the top ten teams is really tight. I do think Stourbridge & Kettering will be up there along with Banbury but I don’t know which other teams will be joining us

George concurs with the top two places:

Presently it’s likely that Kettering and Stourbridge will be up there come the end of the season, but other than that it really is anyone’s for the taking. Our own results have shown that in this league, nothing is guaranteed so every week is going to be a battle. Our hope is that in April we still have something to play for, but there’s still a long way to go and plenty of points up for grabs

Finally we asked George to pick anyone in the squad he could give a new job to just for twenty-four hours:

Good question. I’d probably pick Edmund Hottor to be my personal bodyguard for the day. No one would dare come near me…

Greg picks a defender:

I’d get Charlie Wise to be a referee because every game without fail he gives them abuse so it would be nice to see him on the receiving end!

Sports Shots would like to thank Greg & George for their time this week

SL D1C; Thame striker reveals squad will be United in search of play off place

Saturday 19th January 2019

Thame United v Didcot Town

Southern League Division One Central

ASM Stadium

K.O. 3.00pm

Thame United host Didcot Town on Saturday at the ASM Stadium and look to gain revenge for two defeats to their guests already this season, losing by five goals to three in September in the cup and then by the odd goal in three at the beginning of October in Southern League Division One Central action. Going into the fixture the home side sit in fourth place whilst Didcot are a place and a point below and a win for either side would then put the pressure on third place Corby who sit five points ahead of United albeit with a game in hand, the top eight or nine sides are starting to pull away from the rest as the season nears its final third and the race for promotion and play-off places hots up. The visitors were eight unbeaten before Tuesday night’s defeat at Bromsgrove, whilst Thame are unbeaten this year and have only lost three times in their last fourteen fixtures, this is quite possibly the game of the weekend in this division!

Lynton Goss

This week Sports Shots caught up with United striker Lynton Goss to ask how long he’s been at the club & how he joined:

I’ve been at Thame United for nearly three years now and loved every second of it. I was young and wanted to get game time, Westy (Mark West) rang me and we had a good chat, which was when he told me that was exactly what I would get at this club

What position and formation gets the best out of Lynton?

Well I player striker obviously, playing four-four-two with a strike partner has been the most successful for me so far since being here

How is the season going so far?

I feel like it’s going really well this season, I was injured for the whole of pre-season and some of the games at the beginning of the league campaign so my fitness levels are not one hundred percent yet. Personally, I think my performances so far have been good but I still need to score more goals, I’ll always work my hardest and give it my all no matter who we are playing

Didcot this week who’ve beaten Thame twice this season already, how will the squad adjust for this one?

I wasn’t available for either of those two games at their place so can’t really answer that, but I am looking forward to this one, if everyone works hard then I am positive we can come away with the three points

We asked Lynton if he thinks they can still win the league or are the play-offs all they are concentrating on now:

As a team we are happy to be playing for something and to be in this position makes all the boys work even harder and want to win even more, I don’t feel like we can win the league as the gap is too big. I’m happy to play anyone in the play-offs, it doesn’t bother me as on our day we know we can beat anyone in this division

Rounding up, we asked Lynton how Thame have fared in their last three games that have seen wins at Kidlington & North Leigh sandwiched by a home draw with Cambridge City:

We could have won all three of those games, it’s nice to win but we do need to start controlling games more and be more positive straight from kick off, it seems to take us too long to get going in most of our games

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