Archive for Southern League

SL D1C; Thame United 4-1 Aylesbury FC

THAME UNITED 4 (WEST 10, 48, 64 AND GOSS 44)

Saturday 6/4/19


ASM Stadium, Thame

Attendance- 213

Weather – 10 Celsius, Dry and Sunny

Report and Photos by Carl Catling



Thame United – Hill (gk), Peake-Pijnen, Lynn, Essex, Jewell, Ashworth, Tack, Sturgess (cpt), Goss, West, Martin

Subs used – Mepham and Evans

Aylesbury FC – Bennion (gk), Jenkins (cpt), Carby, Stevens, Merridan, Feyi, Young, Touleda, Haule, Deacon and Scott

Subs used – Odusoga Amadieu and Brito

Both sides went into this game with some hope of ending the season on a high. The whole season is now dependant in the final four games remaining. Today’s fixture did see a family atmosphere hit eh ASM Stadium with red Kite Radio broadcasting from the game, Thame Youth and Thame sponsors in attendance.

There was a slight delay to kick off due to a moments silence for the passing of old Thame United Chairman Jim Tite. As soon as the game started Thame were pressing all over the field allowing Aylesbury no time on the ball. Thame also showed their determination in their tackles early on notably by Lynn, Essex, Jewell, Sturgess and Ashworth. Thame were awarded a free kick which was taken by Tack which did go over the bar. Then the first goal came in the 10th minute when a mistake at the back meant a cross to West in the box was neatly controlled before going round Bennion for an easy tap in to make it 1-0. Aylesbury did claim for offside but the goal was awarded. The attacking play continued from Thame and a weighted pass by Ashworth found Goss in space on the left wing who came infield to attempt a curled shot which narrowly went high and wide. There was then a period of little chances and both teams turning possession over but Thame remained in control of the game. Aylesbury’s first chance came whereby a cross from the left found Haule in the box who managed to get in front of the defender but could not head the ball into the net, this was a real missed opportunity for Aylesbury. Aylesbury not long after produced a through ball towards goal but Hill anticipated it and closed the forward down making the chipped shot difficult and could not hit the target. Aylesbury continued to attack down their right flank putting Lynn under a spell of real pressure. Thame’s centre backs of Essex and Jewell were battling hard and were winning the battle against Haule and Deacon. In comparison West and Goss were working hard to find space up top and wide in order for play to be in Aylesbury’s half and allow the side to defend higher up the field. Thame’s Tack had a positive first half with multiple touches and multiple tackles to help his side maintain control. Also in the first half Sturgess and Ashworth were working well in tandem to aid the team both in attack and defence. A moment in lack of concentration meant Martin was able to find space 30 yards out and hit a half volley 30 yards out which rattled the bar but the ball was deemed not to have crossed the line much to Aylesbury’s relief. Thame ended the half with their second goal which was much deserved by Goss who as always is clinical inside the box from any distance albeit this one was a tap in from 2 yards out.

HT Score – Thame United 2 – 0 Aylesbury FC

The second half was very much of the same early on with Thame firmly in control of possession and territory. It did not take long for Thame to score again and this time Goss was the provider for West who was able to head the ball firmly pass the goalie to make it 3-0 and surely give the home side the win. This goal was another indication of great link up play between Goss and West throughout the match. There was a delay in the second half when Sturgess require medical treatment for a possible knock to the head which did then have an effect on the pace of play after. In the 64th minute Thame had a free kick given when there was a crunching late tackle on Goss. Goss was able to get up and take the free kick himself and hit the ball towards West who flicked the ball into the net giving him his hat trick on the day. Aylesbury made three changes in the second half in search of goals and did begin to play at a faster tempo late on. Thame were continuing to counteract this by their work rate and winning tackles all over the field. In the last 20 minutes despite the scoreline the game was very much end to end. Aylesbury did find a consolation goal in the 85th minute when a free kick was struck by left footed Brito which smashed the post and went in leaving Hill unable to move to make it 4-1.

FT Score – Thame United 4 – 1 Aylesbury FC

This was a physical game from both sides and a sublime team performance by the home team. This was a huge home win for Thame United who got back to winning ways and climb to 8th in the table. Thame now remain 3 points behind Didcot Town. Aylesbury remain in the relegation zone in 19th place.

*** MAN OF THE MATCH – Sponsored by Figaro’s Barber in Thame ***

This was decided by ASM Auto RecyclingDirector Paul McDonagh. Paul decided to pick hat trick hero Thame United’s #10 Dan West who was a constant threat in attack and proved to be dangerous inside the box.

*** NEXT GAME ***

Thame United v Berkhamstead FC

Saturday 13/4/19


ASM Stadium, Thame

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SL D1C; Kidlington 2-4 Aylesbury United

Kidlington – 2
Aylesbury United – 4


Aylesbury United staged a remarkable comeback at Kidlington on Saturday to put an end to their run of three games without a win, and the points sealed their place in the Southern League Division One Central for another year or at least their place at step four depending on any league restructuring in the summer, the home side blew a two goal lead to put themselves right back in the relegation dogfight after their recent fine form had lifted them away from the troubled area of the table. Two goals inside the opening half an hour looked to have the Oxfordshire side in the driving seat but their guests were level by the half-time interval with a brace which included a stunning effort from youngster Max Hercules, heads visibly dropped and after the break United always looked the more likely to score again, Hercules adding to his tally on the hour mark to put the visitor’s ahead before a late strike from Sonny French sealed the victory, which leave manager Ben Williams beaming after the final whistle feeling his side fully deserved their success after “dominating the second period and could have scored more”.

United had the first chance of the game when Tre Mitford climbed highest to get his head on a cross and his angled effort back across home keeper Sam Warrell bounced a yard wide of the post, but it was the hosts who broke the deadlock on eleven minutes when Anaclet Odhiambo got in behind the Ducks backline to square to Chris Jordan, his shot came back off the crossbar but fell nicely for Lewis Coyle who smashed left footed into the top corner. Kidlington midfielder Declan Benjamin did well down the right flank before feeding inside to Odhiambo but his first touch let him down when in a really promising position, the ball bouncing off his foot far enough for Ducks keeper Archie Davis to collect, a throw then found Ben Willoughby but from twenty yards he dragged wide.

The opening stages saw Aylesbury struggle to get into the game after the opener, winning two free kicks in promising positions both were lifted into the box but too close Warrell, then on twenty-three minutes the home side scored again when Benjamin released Odhiambo to drive into the area before smashing into the corner off the hands of Davis, but the flag on the nearside indicated offside to rule it out, but within five minutes they were awarded a penalty when a Jordan cross was perfectly flighted for Odhiambo to attack in front of goal, Davis advanced to try and collect and as the pair collided the striker went over the keepers leg & the referee pointed to the spot much to the visitor’s disgust, despite the protests Coyle drilled into the bottom corner for his second of the afternoon.

Lewis Coyle doubles Kidlington lead

As the half drifted into the last ten minutes a corner to the away side saw skipper Jack Wood hold off his marker and head down, the ball bouncing into the side netting which temporarily lifted the travelling supporters as it looked in, however they were given something to cheer just three minutes later when full back Anthony Ball crossed from out wide and in the box Hercules with his back to goal took it on his chest before swivelling to absolutely smash past Warrell into the back of the net. From the restart Benjamin got down the wing and fired low across the six-yard area looking for a colleague but Davis was alert enough to get down low to block, a defender on hand to clear from where the visitor’s attacked to win a corner, that eventually worked out to Greg Williams where the ball just would not come down quick enough and he hurriedly snatched his shot wide.

Benjamin again threatened when getting in behind the Aylesbury defence and even after losing his balance when he got the ball stuck under his foot he still managed to fire low across the box where sliding in Odhiambo was inches away from connecting, Aaron Berry on the centre spot then side footed over the Green backline for Mitford to give chase but Warrell was off his line in a flash to win the race and thump clear, then in added time United won a penalty of their own when Harry Jones tangled with Jack Bernasconi as they attacked a cross at the front post, Jones went down and again the official pointed to the spot, Berry drilling home to restore parity. H/T: 2-2

Early after the restart Wood sent Hercules scampering down the left channel and his pace got him to the ball first ahead of his marker, his cross looked guaranteed to find the head of Mitford who had committed himself but at the last second the outstretched fingertips of Warrell took it off the strikers head. As the hosts tried to get themselves back in front Aylesbury struggled to clear their lines allowing Coyle to try his luck from the corner of the box but far too high to threaten, their next attack saw a similar routine and the same player this time sliced his effort away from the intended target, then on fifty-eight minutes the Ducks took the lead for the first time in the encounter when a shot from Berry was blocked but rolled out to Hercules who fired home.

Sonny French watches as his goal seals the win

The goal scorer threatened again soon after when a loose ball on the left seemed lost but again his pace got him to it ahead of the keeper but he could only lift over the top, moments later Kidlington full back Josh Tooke was put under severe pressure by Berry as he tried to play out of defence forcing him to play his pass straight out to Hercules, he went for glory sensing his hatrick but he curled over the crossbar. A long punt downfield for French to chase after saw him get enough of a sight of goal to shoot diagonally straight at the keeper, however this was just a prelude of things to come later, the next United attack saw French played inside the area but with Mitford waiting in the middle his cross was brilliantly blocked by Warrell and diverted out for a corner.

With eight minutes left the victory was sealed when a throw out on their right saw French released into the penalty area, despite the attempts of defender Marvin Martin and his keeper to block his run he got enough on it to lift over both, albeit having to take a flailing hand to the jaw in the process, but that soon forgotten as the ball bounced off in to the empty net. From the kick off home substitute Ryan Brooks did well down the channel before firing wide of the far post, a corner soon after also found Brooks in space where he drilled low towards goal but Davis on his line got down well to save, the last chance for United again saw Mitford played into a one on one with Warrell but again the custodian was out of his box in a flash to clear. F/T: 2-4

Attendance: 83

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After the game Sports Shots caught up with Aylesbury manager Ben Williams:

For match photography (124 images) please click here:

Aylesbury United manager Ben Williams speaks after win at Kidlington

Sports Shots spoke with Aylesbury United manager Ben Williams after his side staged a remarkable come back on Saturday at Kidlington, two goals down and seemingly heading to defeat they managed to pull level by half time, and go on to score two more after the break. He also talks about next season and gives a mention to Aylesbury Flooring and their semi-final on Sunday in the FA Sunday Cup:

SL D1C; Aylesbury United youngster keen to follow the Leader

Saturday 30th March 2019
Kidlington v Aylesbury United
Southern League Division One Central
Yarnton Road
K.O. 3.00pm

Aylesbury United travel to Southern League Division One Central in form side Kidlington on Saturday who having spent months in the bottom two places have recently picked up thirteen out of a possible eighteen points which has propelled them up that league table, and in the process has transformed the look at the bottom of the division. Whilst North Leigh sit bottom and still eight points from safety, Aylesbury FC now occupy the other relegation position despite their recent run of good form, but from them up to four places above them is separated by just six points, Dunstable Town have now been dragged into that dreaded scrap to avoid relegation and it looks as though the season for those bottom five or six positions could go down to the wire. Whilst their hosts this weekend have only lost once in their last six outings, The Ducks are on a run of just one win and two draws in their last seven league fixtures, and barring an end of season collapse or one hundred percent record will be aiming to finish as high in their mid-table status as they can, but a win this week would be great for confidence as their next three games sees them face the top three sides in the division, meaning they have a huge shout in the end of season promotion & relegation battles.

Tre Mitford

This week Sports Shots caught up with United stalwart Greg Williams and first of all we asked striker Tre Mitford how long he’s been at the club & how it’s been since joining:

I first joined on loan from Staines Town in late 2016 for a short spell and then returned back there for the rest of the season. I joined here again in November this season and also for nine games last year before going to Beaconsfield Town. I joined initially because I needed some games and the connection was through Ryan Kinanne, we went to university together. I have enjoyed myself at Aylesbury, there are a good group of people around the club and they have always been welcoming, and a small set of fans that go to every game, home and away that love to sing, which is great

Greg is now an all-time legend at the club with over four hundred appearances for The Ducks:

I have been at the club now for twelve years over two spells. I was signed by ex-ducks manager at the time Cliff Hercules when he signed me from Thame United, I was a junior Ducks player and watched them at Buckingham Road and wanted to play for them & to play on the great pitch in front of the large fan base that they had at the time. My time at the club has at sometimes been a roller-coaster but in general it has been a really enjoyable and great place to play football. I have some great memories

How does Greg feel his season has been in terms of fitness and contribution?

I feel I have only had an average season this year, last year was good for me personally but although I have been available and a regular this year, I feel I have not achieved the standards I set myself to date. But you have seasons like that and although I have scored more goals this year I certainly hope I can remain giving one hundred percent to the team for the remainder of the season and win as many games as we can. My fitness is exactly where I need it, I feel strong and fit and am already planning for playing next season

Tre is also looking for more in the remaining games:

Overall I would say good, I feel I have contributed with goals and some good performances but I also feel I have not scored anywhere near as many as I should have and that I need to be more consistent in terms of my hold up play and looking after the ball. My fitness is good but I have been working full time and travelling a lot more for work this season, more than previous years. So I have struggled to work on areas of my fitness throughout the week sometimes, but I am match fit and available for every match

How good does the front man feel this Aylesbury squad is, and which players have impressed?

Yeah the team is strong this year, the majority of us are still quite young and have a lot to learn but there is some talent in the squad. Consistency as a team has been our biggest issue and I think a lot of that comes down to experience. Max (Hercules), (Anthony) Bally and Harry (Jones) have impressed me this season, if they keep progressing and learning they will all become very good players. (Jack) Woody and Sonny (French) have always stood out for me as players as well

Greg Williams

Greg also singles out one of the younger players:

This season’s squad I feel is better than last year’s but we have let ourselves down at times, the gaffer has added some good talented young players and apart from me it is a fairly young squad. One thing I feel we do miss is a bit of experience and a few more voices, something you tend to lose with younger more inexperienced players but their growth in the game will only enhance that side of their play. All our younger players has been impressive but I have to say Harry Jones has improved and impressed me the most, seeing him develop over the last couple of seasons and improve in his ability to hold the ball up and drive past players is good to see and with that quick development I would see him playing at a higher level. He has a great attitude so I would imagine he could have a long career in the game

Greg mentioned his roller-coaster tenure at the club, how vital does he think it is to keep the club afloat?

To keep Aylesbury United FC running is so, so vital. You’ve only got to see how much it means to the fans when you see how many of them travel away with us and although we don’t play locally we still are getting better crowds than some teams that are based at their own grounds. I know that the board/committee are always working hard behind the scenes keeping the club running, we all strive to be back in the town and I think if you have that ambition to do that these guys will eventually make this possible

What is Tre’s preferred position in the side?

Striker, I don’t mind playing on my own when the number ten is near me to help out, but I think I prefer playing with two up top with this team. I think me and Aaron (Berry) play well together when we are able occupy the defence together with support from the midfield

The last three games have seen defeats to Bedford & North Leigh with a draw at AFC Dunstable in between, how were these games from Tre’s point of view?

The North Leigh game was one of our worst games since I’ve been here, on a difficult pitch. The AFC Dunstable game was a good result in tough conditions, I think we were the better team on the day but can’t complain at the result. As for Bedford we played well at times and should have scored more but we were the second best team on the day

Greg see’s those games as testimony to their season as a whole:

The last three games have summed up our season, completely awful against North Leigh under difficult weather conditions, versus AFC Dunstable we played really well, possibly should of won and against Bedford played well in bits but conceded freaky or unlucky goals

Onto Kidlington this week, United beat them earlier in the season, what does Greg remember of that game, and what does he expect this time?

The Kidlington game was probably just at the right time for us in respect that their old manager, Ady Fuller who I know from playing at Banbury with, left and they brought in the gaffer that was with them the previous season. He had literally changed a huge majority of Ady’s squad and brought back some of the old guard, I know a few of these players and they are decent footballers at this level so we knew it was not going to be easy. However recently they are on a good run so it’s not going to be easy and especially being away, their pitch is very challenging

Tre is sure of a dog fight this Saturday:

I don’t remember the game too well but I know we will have the beating of them if we play our game and defend well as a team. They have everything to play for so it will be a battle I am sure

What has been the front man’s route in football to end up in Aylesbury?

I grew up in Kent and played for Dover Athletic and Margate. I started playing men’s football at seventeen with Deal Town before moving to London, since then I’ve played for Redhill, Burnham, Staines Town, Leatherhead, Hayes & Yeading, Beaconsfield and Aylesbury

This time last year Greg told Sports Shots he would be carrying on for another season, are we hearing the same again?

The story for Greg Williams is to have another season next year! This possibly will be my last due to now being blessed with a beautiful little boy, who knows but at present it is my plan to be available next season and hopefully for the Ducks

Of all the leagues and divisions that Greg has played in with Aylesbury, where does this year compare in terms of competitiveness & travel?

Playing in my first spell with the Ducks at step two against the likes of Aldershot, Canvey Island and Bromley etc, the level of football was very good – it had to be as the next step up was the Conference. I have been surprised this season as there has been no easy game, and some very well drilled and technically good teams, but I must admit the travelling is ridiculous for step four and hopefully the FA will look at this over the close season and restructure sensibly

How has Tre viewed this division?

This league interesting as there are a lot of teams I had never heard of and some long journeys. The top three teams seem to have a large fan base and are good teams and should expect to be where they are in the league. We can compete in every game though, with more consistency I think we are good enough to be in the top third of the league

What targets did Tre set himself for this season, and has he had to readjust them as it’s worn on?

Personally I set myself a target of twenty goals in twenty-five plus games, I have fourteen or fifteen goals now and six games left to hit that target, so hopefully I will. As for the team I wanted to push for play offs but we are a little short of where I wanted us to be, with some tough teams still to play

We asked Greg if he could pick one team mate to go on any TV programme, who and what would he choose:

I would pick our skipper Jack Wood to go on Mastermind and have his chosen specialised subject as Tottenham Hotspur FC. Why, cos he hates Spurs so it would be interested hearing his answers

Tre picks his keeper to go looking for love:

I have absolutely no idea, maybe I’d have to choose Archie (Davis) to go on Love Island

Finally we asked Greg to pick his all-time one to eleven of Aylesbury United team mates:

1GK, Chris Day

2 Jack Wood

3 Zak Reynolds

4 Matt Haywood

5 Leon Barnett

6 Dean Cracknell

7 Scott Bridges

8 Greg Williams

9 Craig Maskell

10 Dwight Marshall

11 Roni Joe

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

SL D1C; Thame defender hoping his squad’s only way is play-offs

Saturday 30th March 2019
Bedford Town v Thame United
Southern League Division One Central
New Eyrie
K.O. 3.00pm

Thame United travel to Bedford Town on Saturday firmly entrenched in a battle for the Southern Football League Division One Central play-off places, just a single point separates these two sides so with the winners possibly being propelled up into those end of season lottery positions come five o’clock on Saturday, the stakes could not be higher. Thame have stuttered of late with just a solitary win from their last five fixtures, including successive home defeats in the last seven days, which has seen them slip down to ninth position but only three points off the play-off positions, but after Saturday four of their five remaining games are against teams below them in the league, so their destiny is still in their own hands. Bedford were soundly beaten on Tuesday night at home by Berkhamsted but have still won four of their last six outings, both teams are keen to keep their individual seasons going for as long as possible……

Jamie Essex

This week Sports Shots caught up with United defender Jamie Essex to ask how long he’s been at the club, how it all came about and how well he’s settled in:

I’ve been at the club for two years now, Blaiky (Stuart Blaik) gave me a call one day whilst I was at Flackwell Heath and convinced me to come down to meet the boys & the gaffer, I’ve not really looked back since then. I was made to feel welcome and part of the team from the beginning so settling in was no issue, everyone involved with the football club makes you feel like you’re a part of something and feeling that is great

How good has his season been so far in terms of fitness, availability & contribution?

Fitness has never been a strong point in my game, but since being here it’s definitely improved, I think I’ve only missed three of four games this year as I was on holiday. I’d like to think my contribution to the squad has been strong, I’ve played every game I’ve been available and remained injury free touch wood, so for me personally it’s been a good year for me so far

How good is the Thame squad this season, and have any players stood out?

Our squad is fantastic, we’re a small tight nit group that on our day can do some great things on the pitch. In terms of players it’s hard to pick individuals because everyone has different attributes that make the team work, if I’m naming people, Craig Hill our keeper for me is the best in the league and the team are very lucky to have kept hold of him. Obviously as everyone knows the two boys up top Westy (Dan) & Lynton (Goss) on their day can be an absolute dream to have in any team

What is Jamie’s preferred position in the side is, and what formation does he feel best suits?

Before joining Thame, I was a number ten and enjoyed scoring goals, since I’ve come here that couldn’t have changed anymore as I now play centre half. Formations are pretty standard with us as we always play a back four, but the team I think play best when we are compact as a four-four-one-one

The last three games for Thame have seen a win at Barton followed by successive home defeats to Coleshill & Peterborough Sports, how were these games?

To be honest it’s the story of our season, complete inconsistency, the ability to produce a performance then dip like we did against Coleshill! We are a team that needs to work hard to get any reward and we just didn’t against them, it was a shame because it’s not like us, the game against Peterborough was to be honest disappointing, and all the boys walked off deflated and that’s because we should have got something out the game, we had our chances and went toe to toe with the team who for me will win the league. We deserved a point at least for me and that can be hard to take when you work so hard and come away with nothing

Away to Bedford this week, Thame beat them back in December, what are they expecting this time round?

This was one of the games this season I missed, so I’m looking forward to travelling over there and hopefully we replicate the effort and performance from Tuesday night and the result will come with it this time. From what I remember of Bedford last year, they are a strong direct side and it will be tough for us, like any game in this league, saying that we know we can go there and walk away with three points if we produce the performance levels of Tuesday night

With the play-offs still in sight, how much does the squad want that spot and how disappointing would it be if they missed out?

I don’t like to talk about play offs, we’ve got six games and we need to approach them one by one; the league is tight and a number of teams can take that last spot or two. As a team we just want to do ourselves justice and produce performances that we are happy with and not let ourselves down sat there at the end of April, but what will be will be. I think I read that Bromsgrove or Peterborough are guaranteed a home tie if they are in the play offs and not league champions, so they won’t be easy places for anyone to go especially Bromsgrove in front of over a thousand supporters. Of course not achieving what could have been would be disappointing, but it will also be a learning curve for our young team, that consistency is what gets you things such as the play offs. That being said at the beginning of season if someone told us we’d be in the play-off chase going into April, one hundred percent we’d have taken that so credit to us

Finally we asked Jamie is he could pick any team mate to go on any TV programme, who and what would he choose?

I wish Phoenix Nights was still on tv, I’d love for Arron Jewell to take over from Paddy as the bouncer of the Phoenix Club. Going from his outfit choice on our night out I reckon he’d be the perfect man for the job!

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

SL D1C; Thame United 0-1 Peterborough Sports


Brought to you by 3B Vehicle Hire & Servicing, Haddenham & Aylesbury – The Official Media Sponsor of Thame United FC

Tuesday 26/3/19


ASM Stadium, Thame

Attendance- 81

Weather – 9 Celsius, Dry

Report by Carl Catling

Photos by Marc Addison



Thame United – Hill (gk), Mepham, Lynn, Essex, Gledhill, Ashworth, Tack, Sturgess (cpt), Goss, West, Fasanmade

Subs used – Peake-Pijnen

Peterborough Sports – Moat (gk), Griffiths, Herd, Malone, Jones (cpt), Lawlok, Sembie-Ferris, McCammon, Jones, Hilliard, Macleod

Subs used – Vieira

Both sides went into this game with continued hope of promotion. Peterborough continue on a tremendous winning run, where as Thame are continue to fight for each point to battle the sides around them in the table.

*** MATCH STATS ***-

Shots on Target – Thame United 1 – 3 Peterborough Sports

Corners – Thame United 3 – 4 Peterborough Sports

Yellow – Thame United 1 – 1 Peterborough Sports

The importance of this fixture could be felt in the crowd and during the pre-game warm ups. Thame survived injury scares to Hill and West who both did start the match.

The first chance in the match came around quickly when Peterborough’s Jones had half a chance to score but a low drilled shot went past Hill’s left hand post. Peterborough continued to have the brighter start in possession in the first ten minutes. Thame resorted to closing the opposition down earlier and more often in an attempt to get back into the game. This lead to Thame dominating play and Peterborough did not have as much time on the ball and were being left frustrated. Thame’s Goss and Lynn were proving to be exceptional on the left wing both in defence and attack.

Tack made a chance out of nothing when in possession, whereby he manged to dribble towards goal and fire a shot which did go over the bar. Lynn prevented a goal scoring opportunity when a diagonal ball into the box towards Malone meant the challenge in the air was enough to put Malone off heading it into the net. Peterborough continued to create chances when a set piece led to an easy header for Malone from a corner which was headed over the bar. Peterborough made a change in tactics as they now started to play the ball wider where possible but Thame’s body language and communication on the pitch remained positive. Thame’s Goss was having to work extremely hard up the top on his own making sure that the Peterborough defence were put under pressure. Goss did excellent work in holding up the ball in order to get team mates further forward. An example of this was Thame’s Fasanmade started to exert his quality and was able to get onto the ball more and make runs at the defence of his own. Thame did nearly find the first goal when a free kick from Goss did reach the leaping Essex who could only head the ball over the ball. This was followed up by a great cross by Peterborough’s Griffiths which was anticipated by Mepham to flick the ball away for a corner and preventing the player behind getting onto it. Before the end of the half a through ball to West meant he was one on one with Moat, the goalie made a great move to prevent West dribbling round him for an easy finish. A foul just before half time lead to Peterborough pushing numbers into the box whereby Hilliard’s free kick was brilliantly weighted for Malone to jump up and head the ball in to give Peterborough the lead on 43 minutes.

HT SCORE – Thame United 0 – 1 Peterborough Sports

Peterborough started the second half with a different approach and begun to stretch play and were passing side to side in the early stages. The second half proved to be a very tactical game early on and both sides were finding it difficult to break the other side down to create clear chances. Peterborough were happy with the game being stop/start in order to slow play down. Peterborough nearly extended the lead when from the right wing a cross came into the box but it failed to reach any of the 3 supporting players. Thame’s hopes did rely on the play of Goss who was continuing to win the first and second ball but link up play was difficult for Thame. Neither goalie had to do much so far but Hill was forced into a save when McCammon passed to Sembie-Ferris on the left who put in a cross which led to a comfortable stop by Hill. Thame’s wingers had to work extremely hard off the ball and Fasanmade continued to impress with his workrate chasing down balls. Thame’s tactic of playing direct towards Goss In search of a goal was proving difficult due to two defenders being around him all the time. Thame were awarded a corner late on from the left which when put into the box was cleared but found Lynn 30 yards out who drilled a low shot which required concentration by Peterborough goalie Moat. Thame did make a change bringing on Peake-Pijnen to play on the left who did create a great run of his own which led to his cross proving to be dangerous resulting in a last ditch clearance to prevent a tap in near the back post. Peterborough tried to avoid dropping deeper and began to push the defensive line further afield. The game was very much end to end in the last 5 minutes but with no shots on target. Peterborough were able to see out the closing minutes and secure the win in at the ASM Stadium.

Peterborough Sports will be relieved to come away with 3 points as Thame proved to be a real challenge for them. The win means Peterborough climb back up to top spot with a game in hand. Thame now remain in 9th place and with 6 games to go will need to secure victories home and away if they are to clinch 5th position.

FT Score – Thame United 0 – 1 Peterborough Sports


*** Man of the Match Award Sponsored byFigaro’s Barber in Thame ***

This was awarded to Thame left back David Lynn who was a threat going forward, multiple dangerous crosses, great positional play and multiple important tackles and headers throughout the game.



*** NEXT GAME ***

Bedford Town v Thame United

Saturday 30/3/19


The Eyrie, Bedford

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SL; Banbury United 1-2 Biggleswade Town

Banbury United – 1
Biggleswade Town – 2


Banbury United were left broken hearted late on Saturday afternoon as a ninety-seventh minute strike took the points back to Bedfordshire, two goals in the opening ten minutes of this Southern League fixture had threatened an afternoon of entertainment at the Spencer Stadium on Saturday however from that point the game failed to deliver as it turned into a midfield battle with very few scoring opportunities created at either end. After the opening frenzy the fixture deteriorated into a series of niggly fouls, plenty of on pitch verbal’s, the ball being thumped either out of the ground or back towards the benches for being under inflated & injuries that needed lengthy treatment, so when the board indicated an additional five minutes were to be played as the clock rolled over the ninety no one was surprised, however that five turned into seven and in that added time just at the hosts thought they’d done enough to share the spoils, Town scored their winner courtesy of substitute Liam Brooks to leave the home supporters and players aggrieved to say the least but after the game United manager Mike Ford told Sports Shots that he felt his players couldn’t have given any more during the game & had not deserved that late sucker punch.

Biggleswade took the lead in the fourth minute when a corner curled in took a couple of deflections out to Matt Ball who from twelve yards out rifled into the top corner, the visitor’s then went almighty close to doubling their lead on ten minutes when Solomon Nwaboukei did well down the flank before feeding a clever pass through for Joe White to hit first time and at point blank range Puritan custodian Jack Harding got some part of his body behind it to block, from the clearance Amer Awadh was released down the left wing where cutting in towards the box he played a smart one-two with Ravi Shamsi before pulling the ball across the face of goal where sliding in at the back post captain Ricky Johnson slid in to equalise.

Ricky Johnson equalised for Banbury

The hosts saw a free kick lifted into the area where Shamsi sliced his first effort up in the air and as it came back down to him he fired over the Town crossbar, ahead of Matt Taylor who was enjoying some early freedom out on the flank getting a cross onto the head of Johnson who outjumped his marker but he could only flick wide, and a clearance played long for Shamsi to chase down saw Sam Donkin in the Town goal advance and almost get caught out by the lively front mans attempted lob however he was close enough to back pedal and gather with both hands; Johnson showed his value at both ends of the pitch on twenty-six minutes when a superb chip from the edge of the box eluded Harding and defenders on the front post but on the line the skipper headed away.

A United attack broke down in their guests half which saw Shaun Lucien sent on the counter attack and after travelling forty yards he slid through the red backline to White who despite the back four calling for offside was allowed to go through on goal, again Harding came out and got something on the shot to deflect it up and over the top. Matt Berry-Hargreaves on his Banbury debut got forward and went for glory from twenty-five yards but fired high over the crossbar, a late Shamsi free kick out wide curled in saw a Wader’s defender fling himself at the cross but miss and Donkin had to throw himself away to his right to save the ball from going straight in. H/T: 1-1

Biggleswade celebrate late late winner

It took twelve minutes in the second period for the first real chance when Nwaboukei stole possession in midfield and played in White who flashed his effort across the goal face and inches wide of the far upright, the consequence of his landing saw White having to have treatment before being stretchered off with an ankle problem. Lucien was next to try his luck from distance but he got is angles all wrong and could only slice away from the intended target, the flow of the game was constantly interrupted as the half wore on, substitutions and further injuries to Awadh saw Greg Kaziboni introduced to the action but his power & pace were well marshalled by the visitor’s backline, his best chance came when he was sent straight down the middle of the pitch with a marker on his shoulder, he did well to get into the penalty area and shoot, the ball sailed wide to which the referee awarded a corner much to David Longe-King’s bemusement.

A Town corner was headed clear but fell nicely for Ball to hit on the volley but he got under it and lifted high & wide away from goal, as time ticked over into extra added time a Biggleswade attack saw some pinball inside the Banbury area and a red shirt throwing himself in front of the ball to spin out for a corner, danger cleared it seemed. However the set piece was swung deep into the back post where Johnson headed out, on the edge of the box Ball cushioned into the path of Brooks who hit it first time through a sea of bodies into the opposite bottom corner. F/T: 1-2

Attendance: 400

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After the game Sports Shots caught up with Banbury manager Mike Ford to discuss the game & look ahead to next season:

For match photography (110 images) please click here:

SL P; Banbury player coach proving Bigg hit with Puritan youngsters

Saturday 23rd March 2019
Banbury United v Biggleswade Town
Southern League Premier Division
Banbury Community Plant Hire Stadium
K.O. 3.00pm

Banbury United host Biggleswade Town on Saturday looking to shake off their recent run of just one win and two draws in their last eight league outings, now sitting in fifteenth position in the Southern Football League Premier Division Central table with the four point deduction they received now showing as immaterial as they trail the side above them by five. Reaching the final of the Oxfordshire Senior Cup this week has given the squad a taste of victory, and of their seven league games left to play four are at home giving the Puritans every chance of getting back into the top half of the table, the play-offs now seemingly gone as they can only catch fifth place Rushden mathematically but another four points for the Northamptonshire side would end that possibility, which means Mike Fords men are playing for pride and to finish as well as they possibly can to start next season on the front foot. Biggleswade on the other hand are still fighting for a place in the play-offs, victory Saturday could elevate them above Rushden depending on other results and they come to the Community Hire stadium off the back of a very impressive victory over top of the table & champions elect Kettering Town last Saturday, can Banbury improve on the goalless draw at their guests back in October?

Eddie Odhiambo

This week Sports Shots caught up with Banbury utility player Eddie Odhiambo to ask how long he’s been at the club and how it all came about:

This is my second spell at Banbury, I re-joined in a player coach capacity having been in the same role elsewhere last season. I joined as a progression for my coaching as the main factor, the manager here bases a lot of expectancy on his staff and securing the right people around him so it was encouraging to be asked to get on board. I was really impressed by Mike’s (Ford) attitude in my first spell and he envisages his team to have an ethos similar to mine. Working hard has always been my approach to football, and is where his standards are set. It has been a season so far of mixed fortunes on the pitch. Our contrasting home and away form probably encapsulates that best

How does Eddie view his season so far in terms of contribution?

Personally, the discussion I had with the manager was that I would be supporting players especially in the positions I cover, I would be expected to be ready to play at the required level on request. I have played out wide, in central midfield and either full back so my fitness levels have needed to be good. I started this season with a lengthy suspension so it felt like a three month pre-season!

How good does Eddie think this squad is at United, and which players have impressed the most?

The squad has many players other teams would, and have coveted, this level usually finds squads made of young players & stalwarts. Young players like Amer Awadh & Harry Whitehead are a pleasure to work with, I bore them with stories of how they would never have kept up with me when I was their age! Giorgio Rasulo, has impressed me to no end because of his attitude to improve his performances, the regulars like Ricky Johnson are ever present because influence on the team and leadership qualities. Jack Harding & George Nash have maintained a level of consistency since my last stay here

Of the youngsters at the club, who does Eddie view as having a long career in the game?

I’ve already mentioned Amer, Harry and Gio. I could also mention both Charlie’s – Wise and Hawtin in the same breath as having attitudes to improve as players. Matty Taylor has the temperament to succeed and has looked the full time player he is. Ryan Macdonald continues to develop and is great to have a local lad in the first team

Since the win over Needham at the start of the month, two defeats since to Kettering & Tamworth, how were those matches?

The points tally would indicate very disappointing, the manner of goals conceded would also reflect disappointment also, as its well below the level we have displayed, especially at home

Biggleswade Town this week who Banbury shared a goalless draw with earlier in the campaign, what does Eddie recall of that fixture?

I recall this as the game I rolled back the years and gave Greg (Kaziboni) a tutorial in how to play out wide..!! It was a stalemate in the fact that two evenly matched sides couldn’t find a way to win. However, we were resilient and difficult to play against

What are the targets for the remainder of this season?

Targets need to be adaptable, so through my suspension I wanted to be fit to play and make an impact as a coach. From the bench coaching, I wanted to be able to deliver clear, relevant contributions, to affect the game. Today I want to make whoever’s position I have difficult for them to get back in the team

Finally we asked Eddie if he could choose any team mates to go on any TV programme who he would choose:

Jamie Heapy & I’m a celebrity. So he’s as far from my house as possible instead of creeping in my garden like he’s known to do..!!

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

SL D1C; Barton Rovers 2-4 Thame United

BARTON ROVERS 2 (Clayton 14,  Osobu 57)
THAME UNITED 4 (Goss 23, Gledhill 36, West 51, Tack 65)

Saturday 16/3/19
Sharpenhoe Road, Barton
Weather – 13 Celsius, Windy

Report & images by Carl Catling

Barton Rovers – Malone (gk), Goodman, Jones, Bailey, Andrews (cpt), Close, Osobu, Spence, Clayton, Phillips, Williams
Subs used – Hartley, Gibson
Thame United – Hill (gk), Peake-Pijnen, Lynn, Essex, Gledhill, Tutton, Tack, Sturgess (cpt), Goss, West, Fasanmade
Subs used – Martin, Carter


*** MATCH STATS ***-
Shots on Target – Barton Rovers 5 –  8 Thame United
Corners – Barton Rovers  2 –  4 Thame United
Yellow cards – Barton Rovers  0 –  1 Thame United

Today saw a return to the starting line up for Thame’s Dan West. Also due to injury Peake-Pijnen was handed a starting position at right back showing his versatility within the side. Both sides were surprised by the strong winds at Sharpenhoe Road and knew they would face a difficult day ahead.
In the first 6 minutes of the game both sides had equal amounts of possession. Ten minutes into the match West held the ball up before passing wide to Fasanmade who was able to put in a left footed cross with venom which was neither attacked or defended which went out of play. At this time Barton appeared nervous at the back and unsure how to cope with the runs and pace of Fasanmade.
It took a while but Barton did create a move when a long ball towards Osobu on the left allowed him to run at the defence before squaring a pass towards Clayton which did deflect up into the air. Thame’s Hill was grounded which resulted in an easy tap in for Barton’s number nine Clayton. Barton then shortly after had a goal disallowed for offside in a period of play when Thame were dropping deeper even with Goss having to support defensively in midfield. Thame continued to search for a way back into the game, and Peake-Pijnen nearly brought the away side back level when a left footed strike from distance went over the bar.
Thame were nearly awarded a penalty but the appeal was rejected when it appeared Andrews had handballed inside his own penalty box. Despite no penalty Thame got hold of possession from a clearance and passed towards Goss inside the box, who turned with the ball and fired a shot away quickly which went underneath Malone to make it 1-1. Barton followed this by Clayton being one on one with Essex. Clayton managed to go past Essex before Hill forced Clayton to dribble the ball wide of him before getting a shot away which hit the outside of the post and wide. Barton had began to try and play on the counter and break forward in numbers when possible to put pressure on the Thame defence. Towards the end of the half Tack put in a dangerous corner which was not dealt with resulting in the ball bouncing up into the air and a firm header by Gledhill hit a defender but crossed the line to give Thame the lead for the first time in the game. It should be noted that Thame’s Peake-Pijnen had a great first half at right back with his positional play and decisions made. Barton ended the half playing at a higher tempo and finding space off the ball. West nearly extended the lead when  his run off the ball meant he was one on one with the goalkeeper and attempted to lift the ball over Malone but failed to do so. The first half was a story of equal chances but Thame being more efficient with their end product inside the box.

HT Score – Barton Rovers 1 – 2 Thame United

It was a slow start for the first five minutes, before West had another opportunity to loft the ball over Malone but was unable to score. Although West missed chances with his feet, he was able to head the ball onto the bar and in by leaping above the defender from Fasanmade’s corner from the right to make it 1-3. It took a decision from the linesman to award the goal. The Thame side were jubilant on the pitch. Thame nearly extended their lead when a superbly weighted long ball by Lynn up the left flank reached West who dribbled infield before passing square to a running Tutton who hit the ball wide before it was eventually cleared. Barton then had a period of putting in multiple crosses but time and time again no one could get on the end of them much to the Dugouts frustration. An excellent run on the right by Williams led to him switching play left to Osobu who hit the ball firmly past Hill to give Barton hope in the game. Thame’s captain Sturgess could be heard passing on words to his players to ‘concentrate and relax’. Barton’s Clayton found space on the right and a diagonal ball to him was hit wide of the post with Thame’s Hill watching the ball go wide. The match was sealed for Thame when Tack’s sublime second half display led to his shot from 30 years being deflected and lobbing the goal keeper to make it 2-4 on the day to Thame. The goal gave the Thame side confidence and an increase in their work rate off the ball in order to see off Barton Rovers. There was a late scare for Thame when West went into a 50/50 challenge and came off worse. This led to a large stoppage in play but West appeared to run it off and continue. In the last 15 minutes Barton were attempting to play the ball behind the defenders but with not much joy following Clayton being substituted. Thame were able to slow play down in the final few minutes and manage the game until the final whistle.

FT Score – Barton Rovers 2 – 4 Thame United

The result ended a brilliant week for Thame United. As three points proved invaluable in the playoff picture. Thame move up to fifth in the table due to results elsewhere in the division going in Thame’s favour. It has to be said that Thame showed great determination and team work for this away win. Barton will be disappointed to not have taken early chances in the first half which made the defeat a tough one to take.

*** NEXT GAME ***
Thame United v Coleshill Town
Saturday 23/3/19
ASM Stadium, Thame

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SL D1C; Aylesbury stalwart adamant Moles squad is now ‘Stable

Saturday 16th March 2019
Aylesbury v Dunstable Town
Southern League Division One East
Heywood Way
K.O. 3.00pm

After a free week-end last week, Aylesbury FC host Dunstable Town this Saturday at Heywood Way looking to build on their recent turn around in form that has seen Paul Bonham’s men accumulate three successive wins before a notable draw at play-off chasing Didcot Town two weeks ago, and in Dunstable they face a side that are in a down turn of form which has seen them collect just a single point from their last fifteen available. In that five game run Town haven’t scored a single goal either, and find themselves just a place and five points ahead of their hosts going into this fixture, although an away win could propel the Bedfordshire side a couple of places up that table. With the bottom three places separated by just three points both sides will be keen to pick up valuable points, but with Aylesbury recently successful against both Didcot & Bedford who are in those play-off positions, and a cup final place already secured for the Buckingham Senior Charity Cup, confidence will be high in the home dressing room……

Ben Stevens

This week Sports Shots caught up with defender Ben Stevens who has recently re-joined the club after hanging up his boots last summer, and we asked how he has ended up back in football:

I have been back at the club now for about two months after nearly ten months out. I suppose it was a combination of the wife saying that I was always grumpy on Saturdays after I’d stopped playing and a few little cheeky chats with Paul Bonham who somehow managed to talk me round. As for settling back in it was like I had never been away, the club is full of very nice people so they make you feel welcome straight away

How does Ben feel his fitness has been since returning, and how have his performances shaped up?

In terms of fitness I would like to be a lot fitter but after nearly ten months of doing nothing I don’t feel too bad, bar a few aches and pains the next day after a game lol. Performance wise I have felt like I have done well in each game I have played in, I’m a battler and a leader and I feel that it’s having a good effect on the squad

How good is this Aylesbury squad and have any players stood out?

The squad seems much stronger now than when I signed two months ago and that’s mostly down to Paul Bonham and his assistant Paul Toms, they have got the team fighting for each other again. There have been a few players that have impressed me, the first being Ryan Young, his energy, pace and the way he runs with the ball at defences is scary. Also Ty Deacon, even though I’ve known Ty for a while he has really impressed me with the level of consistency he has brought to his game, and finally Jordan Jenkins aka JJ just for the sheer fact that for most of the early season he carried the team single handed

What is Ben’s preferred position in the team?

I’ve been a centre half for many years but my favoured position is in centre midfield, that’s where all the action is and where I feel I can contribute more. I’m still all for the standard four-four-two formation as I feel that everyone knows their position & jobs, and I’m not constantly having to tell them where they should be which allows me to focus one hundred percent on my game

A remarkable turn around of late in form for Aylesbury has seen wins over Bedford, Leighton & Cambridge along with a very creditable draw at Didcot, how has this run been?

Your right it has been a remarkable turn around and a well needed and deserved one! The wins against Bedford, Leighton and Cambridge were massive and have brought great confidence and belief to the squad and the club, in all fairness we should have beaten Didcot as well. Both Bedford and Didcot are fighting for playoffs so to take four points from those two games have shown how far we have come as a squad over the last month, let’s just hope we can keep it up

After a week off this week they face Dunstable Town who are in poor form of late, how dangerous would it be to assume an easy three points ahead?

No game is easy in this league as we have shown teams in the last month so this one will be no different. Dunstable Town is another massive game for us and we will treat them in the same way as the last four games, we know a win will bring us closer to them and drag them into a relegation battle which is a little dangerous as it gives them something to fight for but hopefully we can take advantage of our recent form and get the three points

With so few games of the season left, what are Ben’s and the clubs targets for the rest of this season, and into next year?

Both mine and the club’s targets are the same, to picks up as many points as we can to avoid finishing in the bottom two, as for my plans next year I’m not really sure yet as I’ve won both league and cup at the level below so I’m not sure I want to try and do that again. I’ve been coaching a Bedgrove Dynamos youth team this year so I might take that up full time next season, who knows anything can happen in that time. My main focus right now is to keep trying to win football games and keep the club out of the bottom two

Finally we asked Ben if he could choose any team mate to go on any TV programme, who and what would he choose?

I would probably choose Ty Deacon to go on Who Wants to be a Millionaire as I don’t think they have ever had anyone get the first question wrong, and as Ty is not the sharpest tool in the box it would be a great possibility so would make good viewing!

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