Archive for North Bucks & District Football League

NBDL; Mursley United Development 3-1 Buckingham United

Mursley United Development – 3

Buckingham United – 1


Mursley United development upset the odds on Saturday by beating second place Buckingham United, a win the home side thoroughly deserved on the balance of play although two of the three goals were gifts after some horrendous defensive errors. A first half devoid of clear cut chances had many believing the second would be settled by the odd goal if any, but a great corner routine twenty minutes into the second period saw Conor White head the opener before two moments that the visitors will want to forget gave the hosts two goals in five minutes to leave Dean O’Connor’s men stunned, a late consolation was scant reward for the side that were hoping to increase the pressure at the top of the North Bucks & District Football League Intermediate Division. Mursley hadn’t played a competitive fixture for four weeks but looked a lot sharper than their guests who had scored seven last week at Potterspury, but Mitch Toyer’s men became only the second team to win a league fixture over Buckingham this season, top of the league Marsh Gibbon have done the double already over them and now have two games in hand on the Lace Hill outfit with a three point lead.

The first ten minutes saw both sides embroiled in a midfield battle and anything the hosts tried was comfortably dealt with by the visitors defence or keeper Harry White, whilst Buckingham struggled to get anything going and anything played forward was too far from their intended targets and rolled to safety, it took until the eleventh minute for a shot in anger when a clearance from the away side fell to Sam Cartwright but his first time shot was high over the top. The guests slowly got there game together and a cross from Mitch Young found Ryan Guinnane on the eighteen yard line, a slight deflection off a Mursley defender saw the blues claiming handball but Guinnane didn’t wait for the decision from the official as he slipped a pass through for the incoming Tom O’Connell who flashed his shot across goal and narrowly wide of the far upright.

Harry White denies Ben Johnson

A free kick to the away team out on the right hand touchline saw Will Wright curl into the box and elude everyone and for a split second it had home keeper Nick Bevans scurrying across his six yard area but he only had to watch it sail over his crossbar, at the opposite end Dan Finnis tried his luck from twenty yards but a huge deflection off a defender allowed the away keeper plenty of time to gather. The visitors were lucky to escape when a clearance at the back was charged down with the loose ball falling nicely for Jay Chawla to strike first time, he got his timing all wrong and screwed wide & moments later Luke Williamson capitalised on some hesitancy again in the blue defence, blocking a clearance he fed in Ben Johnson to the left of goal, Harry White dived at his feet and just as it looked like he would have a free shot at the empty goal White managed to stick out a hand whilst still on the floor and push the ball to safety, in the final minute Williamson saw himself played in on goal but he fired into the side netting from the angle. H/T: 0-0

Buckingham started the second period a lot brighter than the first and an early chance saw Guinnane in behind but Bevans was out in a flash and blocked, the ricochet back off the striker was heavy though allowing a defender to clear, whilst at the other end Finnis cut in from the flank and lost his marker where from the acutest of angles his attempt to square saw White dive away to his right to gather with both hands. Guinnane threatened again down the left and after playing a great one-two bore down on goal but fired past the back post, on the hour mark the same striker saw a low drive from the eighteen yard line brilliantly saved by Bevans turning out for a corner, that set piece was cleared long downfield to set Johnson in on goal, turning inside two defenders to create some space he then pulled his shot wide by some distance.

Conor White (5) opens the scoring

On sixty-four minutes Mursley finally took the lead when a Finnis corner was swung in and at the back post Conor White headed down and one bounce took the ball up into the roof of the net, from there the game began to open up as the visitor’s tried to get back into the game space opened up for the hosts to explore. A loose pass some twenty yards from goal saw Ash Urquhart try his luck but easily clear the goal frame, then with twelve minutes remaining it all went horribly wrong for the away side when Harry White took too long on the ball and Williamson was on him in a flash, charging down the keepers attempted clearance both players then tussled for possession but the midfielder got his boot to it first to lift into the back of the net.

Heads visibly dropped from that point and just five minutes later it was three when again hesitancy to clear cost dearly, deep in their own half the blue backline dithered too long and a pass was blocked then knocked out right to substitute Oscar Friell who advanced into the box before deftly chipping over the advancing White into the empty net. Buckingham scored with four minutes left, good work out on the flank from O’Connell saw him pull back to Aaron Jones whose fierce drive was too hot for Bevans to handle as it lifted into the top corner, but it was all too little too late. F/T: 3-1

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After the game Sports Shots caught up with Mursley manager Mitch Toyer: 
And also with Buckingham midfielder Will Wright: 

For match photography please click here:

NBDL; Mursley defender full of praise for his new Club

Saturday 12th January 2019

Mursley United Development v Buckingham United

North Bucks League Intermediate Division

The Playing Field

K.O. 2.00pm

Mursley United development host Buckingham United on Saturday in their first ever league meeting and a stiff test lies ahead as they welcome the league’s second place side on the back of their seven goals to three victory at Potterspury reserves last weekend. Mursley haven’t played since mid-December, a month that saw two defeats against Bletchley Park & Marsh Gibbon, however those defeats were sandwiched by a cup win over Gibbon on penalties after a goalless draw, and in their first season together Mitch Toyer’s men sit smack in the middle of the North Bucks & District Football League intermediate Division table, and find themselves exactly five points away from the side above them and below them, a win would see them within touching distance of the top five places with games in hand on three of those top five. Their next two games are both at home and against teams above them fighting for top spot, tough tests but they have already proven this season that they can compete in this division.

Sam Clubley

This week Sports Shots caught up with Mursley defender Sam Clubley to ask when he joined on and how he’s found it at the club:

I’ve been here since the start of the season, it was the manager Mitch (Toyer) who got me here. He contacted me letting me know he was going to be in charge of the development squad and that I should come down for pre-season to see how I got on, I enjoyed myself so I thought why not and made the move. I’ve really enjoyed the season so far with a great group of lads

What position does Sam play, and what formation best suits the side?

I play left back myself, and in terms of formation both the first team and development at Mursley play four-three-three, I feel this is probably the best if everyone is doing their job and midfield work together well and stay as a unit. It’s also good if the winger you have on your side tracks back if you’re getting doubled up on. There are other formations I’d like to try but the middle of the season isn’t the right time to be doing that

How has the season been so far for Sam?

Overall I feel I’ve been solid, I feel that in some games I have been really good but then at the same time in others I’ve not been so good & not really up for it, and to be a good player you can’t do that as you need to be consistent, but I feel I’ve had more good than bad. I started the season really fit and maintained that right up until we had a blip in the fixtures where they were so sporadic that it was hard to maintain match fitness, I also had a holiday in November which may have affected my fitness aswell

How good is this development squad, and which players have impressed so far?

To me this team can be incredible and go far, the ability and potential these players have is really high. It’s our first season all playing together so I think that after this season or even towards the end of this one you will start to see what we can really do, we just need to gel properly as a team & understand each other and how we should be playing. As for impressing, I could name all the players in the team as they all have, but a couple in particular are Tom Lloyd-Roberts as he’s been called up to the first team permanently now I believe, Josh Hawkins also, and I wish I didn’t have to say this but Ben Johnson when he’s switched on & playing like he knows he can for someone his age is unreal, and finally a lad who has only recently joined called Sultan (Hussaini) as he’s put in outstanding performances every week and he’s really young as well with so much potential

Mursley United Development

United faced Gibbon twice and Bletchley in December with a draw and two defeats, how were those games?

For me those games were very frustrating, the first away to Marsh Gibbon we were a few players short and I had to fill in at centre back, it was a good game but on the day they were the better side but I knew we had another game against them, at our place and with some of the missing players coming back. In that second game I felt we dominated them which at the end of the ninety minutes was a draw, and we luckily won on penalties with our keeper Nick Bevans making some great saves. The loss to Bletchley was the most frustrating as we were two-one up, but in the second half the rain started coming down hard & fast, almost blinding at times and they really showed that they wanted it more than us & unfortunately we went on to lose three-two, but I think with a bit of maturity from the lads we would have done enough to see it out and win the game

Onto Buckingham United this week, does Sam know much about them?

Whilst I haven’t played against them with Mursley I was fortunate enough to face them when I was at Tattenhoe so can give the gaffer some information on what it was like & how I remember playing against them. I believe if we have a strong team & play how I know we can then it’ll be a good game and I can see us winning it, we just have to be disciplined at the back and clinical going forward. They are a very good side so it’ll take us being on top form to beat them

How high up the league can this squad finish, and what targets are there for the remainder?

Seeing as it is our first season as a team I think top three or four would be very good seeing as we have nothing to base this season upon, but in the position we are in now I think top four is a good finish. For me, I’d like to get my match fitness back up & finish the season playing the best I can, and to get a couple more call ups to the first team if possible

Finally, we asked Sam if he could swap places with anyone from the club and in the world, who would he choose?

That’s a tough one because we have some players younger than me and I’d like to be their age again, but I reckon I’d like to be the manager to see what it’s like on match day & see what it’s like to manage our young team, whether it is stressful or not. If I could be anyone in the world for a day it would probably have to be a footballer, either Christiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi as they seem happy with their lives and are at the top of their sport, which is a massive achievement. And of course the money!

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

NBDL; Buckingham defender confident there is plenty of football yet to explore

Saturday 12th January 2019

Mursley United Development v Buckingham United

North Bucks League Intermediate Division

The Playing Field

K.O. 2.00pm

Buckingham United travel to Mursley United development on Saturday looking to carry on where they left off last week at Potterspury reserves where they won by seven goals to three, and put more pressure on Marsh Gibbon who sit one place and three points above United at the top of the North Bucks & District Football League Intermediate Division. The win last week was the first time Buckingham had played since the first of December, and still they remain in second place in the league although Wing Village are the danger team presently as they sit just four points behind with three games in hand, but with still half the season to go there will be lots of twists and turns before the campaign concludes. They face a Mursley side who sit bang on middle in the league after half of their league matches in their first season together, they haven’t played since mid-December themselves, a month which saw the lose twice but also beat Marsh Gibbon on penalties in the inter divisional knockout after a goalless draw, so are more than capable of competing with the top sides in the division.

Tom O’Connell

This week Sports Shots caught up with United defender Tom O’Connell to ask how long he’s been at the club and how he’s found it since joining:

I joined the club midway through the 16/17 season when a few of my mates & I played Sunday league and seven-a-side with some of the lads that were at the club already. It’s always been well organised and had a very good atmosphere, especially in the pub after the games!

What position best suits Tom?

My position this season has been either right or left wing back, but in recent games I’ve filled in as centre-back. I’d say on performances the more defensive roles suit me best but I do enjoy the odd jaunt up the pitch

How does he feel his season has been so far?

I’ve expected a lot more from myself, where I’ve struggled to get back to fitness following an injury last January, keeping me out until April / May time. I keep Saturday’s free for football so my availability is always there, I was unfortunate to pick up a ban which meant I had to miss the big game against Marsh Gibbon

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

We’ve got a very strong squad and have just been unfortunate with some of our results, but we know we need to finish our season strong. It’s difficult to say which individuals have impressed as we have players all over the pitch who work hard for the team, we’ve got the most goals in the league and currently have the most clean sheets too

With only the win at Potterspury since the beginning of December, we asked Tom to reflect on that game and if the time off affects players?

The first half we created a lot of chances but were a bit slow to react, a change in formation after the break from a four man defence to a three-five-two changed the game completely. We came out and dominated by playing the football we know we can, scoring in quick succession. Of course time off can affect the squad, we just need to keep playing our football in the second half of the season

Away to Mursley development this weekend, what is Tom expecting?

I personally do not know what to expect, we will go in confident but we cannot write off the opposition, they haven’t conceded too many this season, but we need to continue with our winning momentum

How high can Buckingham finish in the league, and what targets have been set for the remainder?

Obviously we’d like to finish top but with Marsh Gibbon beating us in both encounters we’re reliant on a few other teams to see them drop some points. They’ve still got Bletchley to play twice and a game against Wing, who are also strong contenders for the league. For the rest of this season I just need to keep going, playing wherever the team needs me. It’s going to be a difficult January running off the Christmas belly!

Finally, we asked Tom if he could swap places for a day with someone from the club, and anyone in the world, who would it be?

From the club I’d say Harry White, purely based on playing in goal and to see if I could do any better for the three goals conceded at Wing! As for anyone in the world, I wouldn’t choose any individual in particular but an explorer of some descript, there is still a lot out there in the world which hasn’t been discovered

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

NBDL P; Horwood defender not ready to Park the boots up just yet

Saturday 5th January 2019

Great Horwood v Stoke Hammond BT

North Bucks League Premier Division

Castle Fields

K.O. 2.00

Great Horwood hope to resume their league campaign on Saturday when they host Stoke Hammond at Castle Fields and look to start using some of their games in hand on those above them to climb the North Bucks & District Football League Premier Division table, however their three league fixtures scheduled for January are against three of the top four sides. Horwood have played just three league games since the beginning of October which leaves them with a backlog to catch up on, they have games in hand on all seven teams above them in the league and still have cup competitions to navigate so any bad weather would hamper their season even further! Last time out they lost to Hanslope in the Premier Division cup, however two thumping wins previous to that saw them score ten with just a singular reply, time for some momentum to build…..

Stuart Parker

This week Sports Shots caught up with defender Stuart Parker to ask how long he has been at the club, and how he ended up there in the first place:

I joined the club at the start of the 2013/14 season. After playing at Thornborough for a number of years the club folded due to many players moving away, Sam (Archer) was messaging me non-stop asking me to join Horwood so eventually I gave in! I was already captain of the cricket team so knew a lot of the lads already, it’s a great club with a great bunch of lads, we all get on well and have managed to win a few trophies along the way

How good a season has Stuart had so far?

Fitness hasn’t been too bad this season surprisingly and I have only missed games due to cricket or holidays, all at the beginning of the season. Performance wise I would have liked a few more clean sheets, it has been a difficult season to get into though with so many Saturdays without fixtures

How good is the Horwood squad this year, and have any players impressed?

On paper we have a very good squad for this level, however you can only judge on results and they haven’t reflected that to date. Over the last couple of seasons I have struck up a good centre back partnership with Army (Adam Armitage), he makes my job easier by doing most of the marking and running!!!!

Two wins before cup defeat last time out, how have these three games been?

Wing was one of our best performances of the season, we created lots of chances and were clinical early on which is something we haven’t done in a number of games which has proven costly. Deanshanger was another convincing win, we missed chance after chance in the first half but managed to get the goals in the second half. Hanslope was disappointing, again we missed a lot of chances and should have had the game won early on, to their credit they hung in and made us pay after the break

We asked Stuart what he expects from Stoke Hammond this weekend:

After three weeks without a game it will be nice to just get back playing, I’m sure fitness and match sharpness won’t be at its highest after the festive period but it’ll be the same for them too. They are not a side we are too familiar with over the past few seasons but they are having a decent season so I’m sure it’ll be a tough game, as most are in this division. However, at home we just try to concentrate on ourselves and play our own game

How will the big backlog of games affect the squad going forward?

We just need to try and get a run going, we have only played nine league games to date! The league looks very unlikely for us now but if we can get some momentum by playing week after week hopefully we can finish in the top three and possibly pick up a couple more trophies along the way

So which of the two sports will Stuart give up first?

I said last season was going to be my last in football but here I am, so who knows; It certainly gets tougher as you hit your mid-thirties! Cricket on the other hand you can play a little later into your life

Finally we asked Stuart if he could play any other position for Horwood then where and who would he replace?

There’s been a few times this season when I’ve wished I was a twenty-five year old striker again! I would also happily take the gloves from Macca (Ian McStraw) when he stands rooted to his goal line!

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

North Bucks & District League seek new secretary

The North Bucks & District Football League is looking for a new secretary as Tony Skeggs will stand down at the end of the month.

The main duties are:

Dealing with correspondence,

Preparing agenda for the monthly meetings,

Attending monthly meetings and taking the minutes at those meetings,

Writing up the minutes and circulating to clubs and committee,

Updating the Full Time computer system,

Compiling rule changes and circulating to clubs and the county FA,

Preparing AGM pack,

Sending out annual season applications,

Preparation of the club directory,

Preparation of the Handbook.

Anyone interested in taking on this position should either e-mail or ring 07803 576 879 for more details

NBDL; United front man convinced he will be Guin-ing from ear to ear come the end of the season

Saturday 8th December 2018

Buckingham United v Brackley United

Inter Divisional Trophy Knockout Competition

Lace Hill Sports Centre

K.O. 1.30pm

Buckingham United are back in cup action this weekend as they attempt to bounce back after last week’s exit from the North Bucks & District League intermediate division cup, as they host Brackley United in the interdivisional trophy. Defeat at Lace Hill to Wing last Saturday by the odd goal in five means emphasis shifts to this competition, which will prove a sterner test overall for last year’s division one cup winners, a tough test this week as they welcome unknown Brackley from the second division of the NBDL; a team who are currently third in that division, following just three defeats in their fifteen league games to date. Two divisions may separate these sides, but cup games are great levellers especially on wet sodden pitches!

Ryan Guinnane

This week Sports Shots caught up with front man Ryan Guinnane to ask how he feels his season has been up until now:

I feel great so far, my fitness is good & I’m feeling fresh and ready to play! I’ve put in a few good performances and contributed to a few goals which is always a nice feeling

What is Ryan’s best position and system in his opinion?

I think my preferred formation is 4-3-3 as our team love to attack, and I like to play through the middle of that attack

How have United coped since gaining promotion last year?

We’ve coped really well to be fair, we haven’t come up against a team and been out played by a long shot, of course we haven’t won all of our games but have definitely been the better team in those we have lost, other than a charity game against Potterspury first team who have been the only team to beat us convincingly this season. No matter how well you play, there is always room for improvement

What does Ryan make of the current squad, and are they good enough to go up?

With the players that left, the players that have replaced them have made us stronger all round and recent new signing Jason Wilson will be a great asset to us and will help us to pick up some more points throughout the season. I don’t like to pick out individuals because I feel everybody has stepped up, it also helps with the lads having a lot of respect for one another and for our captain Paul Nevin and vice-captain Ricky McAdam. We would all love to give the premier division a go!

We asked Ryan which other teams have impressed so far this season in terms of title challengers:

I think it will be a tight one, with Bletchley Park, Wing and of course Marsh Gibbon all being very good sides, we need a few results to go our way so we can hopefully pip them to it

Defeat at home last week to Wing, how was the game?

Overall we can take a lot from the defeat to them last week, both teams played some good football and I’m pretty sure it would have been a good one to watch, we created more than enough chances to have won the game but the Wing stubborn defence stayed strong to hold on for the win

What is the aim for United this season?

Like I said earlier, as long as some results go our way and we keep picking up points I’m sure we can get promotion, it would be great if we could win the title but promotion is the main aim

Finally, we asked Ryan to look ahead to this week’s game:

We haven’t played this Brackley side this term as they are a second division side, but we never take any game for granted so as long as we’re up for it then we are always going to be hard to beat!

C’mon you bulldogs

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

NBDL ID; Mursley United Development update – Mitch-sion on schedule but not yet complete

Mursley United started the 2018/19 season with a development side for the first time, and after ten games sit in a very respectable sixth place out of twelve teams in the North Bucks & District League Intermediate Division, and whilst the games played for each side range anywhere between seven and thirteen, Mursley sit a healthy ten points off the team immediately below them and just a win off third place. United have won half of their league games to date and have only lost twice although they are yet to meet either of the current top two sides in Buckingham United & Marsh Gibbon.

Mitch Toyer

This week Sports Shots caught up with manager Mitch Toyer to see how things are going so far, and firstly we asked how life at Station Road has been for the new manager and his team:

Things here have been going well, the club is in good shape all over and Alex the chairman along with the first team managers Anthony & Jamie Lands have all been fantastic with everything. Also my assistants Ryan Mellon & Graham Anderson have certainly made my life easier

How is the squad shaping up and is there still room for improvement?

We are in good shape, but we’re always looking to improve obviously. The main aim was to give youngsters a pathway into men’s football, and in our last game against Stony Stratford our average age was twenty-one so we’re certainly doing that. We are also feeding the first team which is rewarding for myself and for the hard work that the lads have been putting in

Is the teams league position a fair reflection on how they have done so far?

I think our league position is fair, we’ve been unlucky at times but we were also beaten fair and square by Bletchley Park who were very good on the day

We asked Mitch how good he thinks this league is and which clubs he has been impressed by:

North Bucks is the same every year so you know what to expect, you get a couple of teams who get the ball down and want to play, then you get the old school approach from others who are more direct. We lost to Wing and Bletchley who were both good on the day, we are yet to play Marsh Gibbon or Buckingham United who will both be good outfits

How difficult is it running a team that doesn’t get to play every week?

The first few months have been tricky for a lot of teams and that can be said for us too, five games in the first two weeks and then we went five weeks without a game! Keeping players interested was tough as there wasn’t much availability for friendlies as most were still in league or cup action. Luckily a few were called up to the first team and that got minutes into them

Where are the team in terms of targets that were set at the start of the campaign?

We wanted to finish in the top three and to be competitive in the cup competitions, we need to put a good run of results together to achieve our league target, and then we face Marsh Gibbon in both cup campaigns so we will need to bring our ‘A’ game to have a chance of progressing

How has it been interacting with the first team?

We have a really good relationship with the first team, it helps having had previous relationships with both Anthony & Jamie in the past. I’ve known Anthony since I was around sixteen years old and I was Jamie’s assistant at Olney Town reserves for the first half of last season. We train together most weeks, which is good for the younger lads who get to play with and learn from the more experienced players that we have at the club

Finally, we asked which game has given Mitch the most pleasure so far this season, and equally the worst?

The victory over Stony stands out for me, the football we played was superb at times. We had spent the Thursday training session working on our defensive shape, and in the second half we executed it perfectly so that was very pleasing, especially with such a young squad as well. Our worse game has to have been Bletchley Park, not only because we were poor but I’ve got a couple of good mates over there and the grief afterwards was unbearable. Hopefully the tables will be turned when we meet again!!

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

NBDL; Harry adamant that United are White on target to finish top of the table

Saturday 17th November 2018

Buckingham United v Marsh Gibbon

North Bucks League Intermediate Division

Lace Hill Sports Centre

K.O. 2.00pm

Buckingham United who sit second in the North Bucks & District Intermediate Division have the chance on Saturday to get within three points of the league leaders Marsh Gibbon as they face off at Lace Hill, and with it get the chance to avenge their only league defeat of the season to date when they lost to their guests back in September. United have made a solid start to life in their new division and would otherwise be happy with seven wins, and a draw from their opening nine games but Gibbon have blown everything away in their path having won nine and drawing one of their first ten games, Wing are within touching distance if they win their games in hand but this week-end sees first v second in what will be a keenly contested top of the table clash.

Ahead of the game Sports Shots caught up with United keeper Harry White & asked how he joined the club initially, and how it had been since joining:

I joined Buckingham United as I knew the chairman here and he was hounding me to come over and sign on. Club life is good, Adam Bray & Matt Hawes run the club really well, our squad is good and I think we have a good chance this season of doing well

Harry White

Which of the squad members has stood out this season?

Conna Sirett had had a good season and scored some vital goals, even though he has the longest toes at the football club!

Has Harry always played in goal, and does he have any role models in the pro game?

I’ve always played in goal but on Sunday’s I play up top for the United Sunday side, and I have a recent second half hattrick in the bag. My goal keeping role model is Kasper Schmeichel

With the club sitting second in the table, who are United’s biggest title rivals this year?

I think we can win this league and our biggest rivals will be Bletchley Park

The only defeat of the season for his side came at Marsh Gibbon, how does Harry think his team need to adapt to reap some revenge?

Our defence need to make sure they win the ball in the air, when we played them last time they were very direct and our centre backs struggled against them

We asked what the keeper feels has been his best game this season so far:

My best game has to be last weeks draw with Bletchley Park, saving a penalty and keeping the game to a draw with ten men, a huge point in the end!

What have the squad done this week in preparation for the game, and any players to watch out for?

We trained this week on Tuesday, it was a great session and the lads were buzzing in training. Their strongest player is their striker, a good finisher in front of goal

Finally, where does Harry think his team can finish this season?

I think we will be league winners this season!

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

NBDL; Buckingham are United across the leagues and the globe!

Saturday 29th September 2018

Buckingham United v Stony Stratford Town

North Bucks League Intermediate Division

Lace Hill Sports Centre

K.O. 3.00

Buckingham United have had some publicity this week following stories of some old kit finally reaching its destination sixteen months late, where it found its way to another club named Buckingham United, this one being in Gambia! Still a relatively fledgling club, the Buckinghamshire version are growing rapidly, and progressing through the North Bucks League nicely, with a full five teams now playing each week-end for the club.

As one club rises, this week they host a former step 6 club in Stony Stratford who only a handful of years ago were competing in the Spartan South Midlands First Division, but after stony L times fell upon the club they now face each other for the second time in a week, after United visited Ostlers Lane last week and came away with all three points.

This week Sports Shots caught up with vice chairman Adam Bray to catch up on all things around the club, and first we asked how he feels the club is progressing seven years after forming:

Looking back on where & how we started, to what the club has become now proves the appetite for amateur football within the town. Personally I couldn’t be happier with how the club has progressed which has certainly exceeded my own expectations. Most importantly though are the people we are so fortunate to have involved across our club who all truly love their football! Without them we wouldn’t be where we are today although looking back I have no idea where the last seven and a half years have gone. The club itself was created as a single Sunday League team back in 2011 as a small group of friends simply just wanting to play football, soon after this more and more players were coming to us wanting to join and has been the case since. We played the clubs ‘home’ games at what was then Kingsbrook School in Deanshanger. Everyone has dreams but our only real aim at the time was to play in Buckingham and the following season we moved to Tingewick where we played for four years until May 2016 which was certainly close enough. The summer of 2016 we moved in to Lace Hill signing a long term agreement to secure our future while doubling the club size from two Sunday Teams to four by joining the North Bucks and District League. We had many doubters that thought it was ridiculous to double in size with a lot thinking we would struggle with player recruitment, however we proved all the doubters wrong, without trying to sound arrogant, I was not surprised because it proved the appetite for football in the town. The following season we were fortunate enough to join up with Moretonville JFC with our first under 18’s team, a link which I hope will be beneficial for many young players in the town for years to come. Regarding a schedule of growth there has never really been one in the past which may seem strange to some reading this, each time we have grown it has always been natural growth with a demand shown we have then put plans in place and then gone out and done it. However going forward with more and more people involved a 5 year plan is certainly something we will be putting in place soon

Adam Bray

And looking ahead, what plans do the committee have in place?

The growth of the club over the last 7 years has been incredible but of course with that everything off the pitch needs to grow and keep up. Over the summer we made a number of changes off the pitch with how we do things to ensure the club runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible for all our members. Which so far has gone really well based on the positive comments we have received. Moving forward we will require the committee to grow and I have had a number of really positive conversations over the last couple of weeks with people who are keen to get involved for all the right reasons. Our committee has an average age of 27 but I expect this to increase in the next few of months! There are a few ideas and plans on the table currently regarding long term plans which are very early days but I will hopefully have some good news on these in the next few months

So who are the Buckingham United sides?

First Team – Manager Dean O’Connor suits our club perfectly and he deserves the upmost credit for putting together the squad and management team he has over the last two seasons. The overwhelming success of the First Team has certainly made a lot of people interested in to who we are and what we are all about. The first team are a real pleasure to watch with attendances towards the end of last season pushing the 50 mark, for a club with no clubhouse bar at this level I think that is pretty good! Over the last two seasons they have usually always treated spectators to goals which we hope will continue! Last season we secured promotion and the Division One shield scoring over 100 goals along the way, at the time of writing we currently sit top of the North Bucks Intermediate having scored 37 goals in 7 games including the Buckingham Junior Charity Cup First Round.

1st team success last season

Reserves – Matt Marsden took over the reserves in the summer and quickly put together a management team with a great squad full of good players and characters with everyone really enjoying their football. The squad itself is mixed with some well-known more ‘senior’ players who should probably be playing vets along with younger players coming through into men’s football. Matt and First Team Manager Dean also have a great relationship which is incredibly important at any level. The team started off with a flying start in the league but after a couple of defeats sit in a very tight ‘top 4’ in the North Bucks and District League Division 2.

Under 18’s – Our under 18’s are in their second season and managed by Michael Turner who just like Dean and Matt is a real pleasure to work with. Michael has put together a talented squad of local players with a majority coming through from Moretonville JFC. The team is a real pleasure to watch and play some great attacking football which last season finalised with a league cup final at Stadium MK, finishing runners up to an extremely good Newport Pagnell Town Under 18’s which is nothing to be ashamed of! Just like the First Team and Reserves the under 18’s have had a great start to the season and are currently unbeaten. Without speaking to soon or tempting fate it certainly looks to be an entertaining season ahead.


Sunday A Team – The Sunday A Team is one of two Sunday sides which is run by John Westcott. John took over the side in a difficult spell last season following promotion to the Premier Division of the Milton Keynes Sunday League. His passion and commitment matches the other managers across the club and been relentless in building up a good and improved squad with a number of players coming from the University of Buckingham. The two Sunday sides are there for enjoyment of the game but John and his players want to compete and do well which they can do. After getting their first win of the season on Sunday they should now push on for the rest of the season.

Sunday B Team – The Sunday B Team is the second Sunday team in the club and plays in Division One of the Milton Keynes Sunday League. This team is entirely for fun and when they win a game the players usually do not know how to react. The team is managed by Matt Hawes and is full of characters and personalities which Sunday League football should be all about! Most of the players have come to us wanting to simply play for the enjoyment of the game, which again is what football should be all about!

We asked Adam how strange it feels to be playing Stony Stratford Town at this level:

I was looking through their history only last week and they were in the South Midlands League Division 1 as recently as the 2014/15 season and runners up in the league cup two seasons before. They are a club who have a tremendous amount of history dating back to the late 1800’s. It does feel strange and it was certainly the club I have been looking forward to us facing the most this season purely because of their history. While I have talked above about our growth and how quickly it has happened, playing Stony Stratford Town in the North Bucks Intermediate does spring as a reminder just how quickly things can also turn around. We played Stony Stratford last weekend winning 5-0 but the infamous wind of Lace Hill could very much make the return visit a very different game

Buckingham United (Gambia) finally got their kit

The story that emerged on social media this week of the kit going to Africa, how did this all begin?

The first contact we had was when a gentleman called Muhammed B Sarr from Gambia who was liking and commenting on our Facebook posts back in 2015, after a couple of weeks Jack Stuchbury opened up communication and Muhammed explained he had found us on Facebook while searching for his own club… Also called Buckingham United! The Gambian Buckingham United is named after a street called Buckingham in the town of Gunjar and is a good size with multiple teams. It’s fair to say they love their football!

Muhammed and also Famara Badjie who is part of the management there have kept in regular contact with us ever since and created a brilliant and unique relationship keeping each other up to date with fixtures and results. In May 2017 my partner Becci Pegg packed up and sent out one of our older kits allowing them to wear the club badge which we all thought had never arrived… It turned out the package had been lost in the lost baggage area of the airport and Famara finally received the shirts on Saturday (22/09)… 16 months after they were sent! As you can see from the pictures on our Facebook page the players over there are so happy with them and it is great to see our old kits go to good use! Hopefully the kit will bring them good luck on the pitch too and the relationship between the two clubs can develop further

With regards to the first team, what would the club perceive to be a successful season?

Dean has very much set his own target of winning the League and Divisional Cup but that is Dean, he wants to win everything and puts that into his players! As a club we would love to do well in the Buckingham Charity Cup, it’s a great competition raising money for good causes but a successful season for the club would certainly be promotion again

How difficult is it to get good players in at this level and keep hold of them?

We have attracted good players in for the last couple of seasons now which I think in part has come from the success of the First Team and the under 18’s who both had great 2017/18 seasons along with the great coverage from Sports Shots! While the club does some advertising for the managers the credit for the recruitment has to lie with all our team managers who have gone out there and worked tirelessly to put together good teams. Attracting good players is one thing but keeping them is another, enjoyment at this level is key which all of our manager try to implement into the players. Another aspect that the players love is the post-match food put on by Pete Edwards at The Mitre! It’s amazing how happy a good hotdog can make a player, Pete always puts on good quality food for our teams which is highly appreciated by all

And finally, we asked Adam to look into the future; it is August 2025 and the new football season is just days away, what is Buckingham United’s first league fixture and where?

Good Question! – Just for fun I’ll say…
Spartan South Midlands Division One
v Aylesbury United

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

NBLP; Armitage predicts league will be a marathon not a sprint starting with Linford

Saturday 22nd September 2018

Great Horwood v Great Linford

North Bucks League Premier Division

Castle Fields

K.O. 3.00

Great Horwood entertain Great Linford on Saturday looking to build upon their solid start to the season which see’s them currently sitting fifth in the North Bucks & District League Premier Division table. A win would take Horwood level on points with Linford & both sides will be pushing for the win to try and chase down league leaders Duston who currently sit top of the pile with a 100% start to their campaign.

Dale Armitage

This week Sports Shots caught up with Horwood winger Dale Armitage to ask how it’s been back at the club after he spent last season away:

Life at Great Horwood is good and I am happy to be back, having played for them since the age of sixteen I took the opportunity last year to branch out and play in a different league. Whilst I enjoyed playing over in Bedford for Wootton, and had a successful year personally, you can’t beat playing for your local boyhood club

And how has the season started for the squad?

We didn’t get off to the start we wanted, picking up only a point from our first three games. Its always difficult to juggle work and also cricket commitments in August and having three games before September put us on the back foot slightly. We have however recovered well with strong performances against Silverstone & Olney finally kick starting our season

What does Dale expect from the game on Saturday?

This Saturday will be yet another stern test in what is proving to be the most competitive North Bucks league in the past few years, against a strong opposition in Linford. They’ve got off to a good start with some impressive results, including a win against the Premier Division champions Potterspury, who they beat quite convincingly. In years gone by Linford have been very physical whilst playing a good passing game

Horwood have three successive wins under their belts, how were those games?

As with all our games this year the level in the Premier has improved massively, you have a number of teams who are pushing to dethrone the champions and we’ve had to make a number of key additions to keep up. The wins we’ve had were a result of our normal passing style of football which we’ve adapted over the years

Playing joint second this week then top next week, is the league getting stronger or are some teams still waiting to get going?

I think it’s a bit of both. The league is definitely improving, compared to previous years we’ve already seen that anyone on their day can produce a shock result. Linford won ten games last year in the league whilst Duston won just nine, this alone highlights the improvement in the league with them both picking up four and five wins respectively from their opening five games. On the other hand some of the teams have maybe come into the season under prepared or lacking availability. You still have the likes of Potterspury, Silverstone, Towcester & us that have been on the end of a couple of shock defeats already this year. You can’t discount the new boys in Olney & City Colts from challenging either

Which players have impressed Dale so far?

A stand out for me would be Adam ‘Paul Dickov’ Dixon who has led from the front and getting on the scoresheet as he is best known for. We’ve also had to adapt without our first choice keeper Ian McStraw but have found a superb replacement in Colin ‘Colesey’ Solomon. Other key mentions include new boy Nick Farrow who joined from Winslow, as well as Andy Brunning who has returned from injury having been out for a year

We asked Dale for any personal targets for the season:

Like any footballer I want to come away this season with some silverware. It’s always difficult to predict so I’ll leave it at that!

Finally, what is a realistic finish for the club this year?

I believe Adam Armitage answered this question in a similar fashion when we last spoke to Sports Shots but as with previous years where we’ve tipped ourselves for certain trophies and come away with nothing, we’re just taking each week as it comes with a view to winning each game we play in competitively.

As always Great Horwood FC would like to say a massive thank you to Sports Shots for their continued support and coverage throughout the season, and we look forward to seeing you down at Castle Fields soon

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