Archive for North Bucks & District Football League

NBDL; Buckingham United announce managerial appointment

Buckingham United have today confirmed their new first team manager ahead of next season with the arrival of former Barnet, Wycombe & Exeter City player Sean Devine, with the following statement:

We are delighted to confirm the appointment of Sean Devine as the club’s new First Team Manager joined by John Walton as Assistant Manager.

Sean and John both join us from Leighton Town where they recently enjoyed success winning the Sparten South Midlands League Development League Cup.

Sean’s footballing CV is impressive with spells at Barnet, Wycombe and Exeter before playing in New Zealand. This includes previously holding the record for highest number of goals in a season at Wycombe in the Football League. While at Exeter Sean famously Captained the side that drew 0-0 against Manchester United in the FA Cup 3rd Round back in 2005.

John has been involved in local football over a number of years coaching and managing at Leighton Town Reserves/Development teams, while also having a successful spell at Pitstone and Ivinghoe United in the South Midlands League Division Two.

Preseason will begin in June with dates to be confirmed.

NBDL RCT; Hanslope Reserves 1-0 Steeple Claydon Reserves

Hanslope Reserves – 1
Steeple Claydon Reserves – 0

29.04.2019

Hanslope reserves scored the only goal of the game on Monday night at Stratford Fields to lift the North Bucks & District Football League Reserve Team Challenge Trophy despite playing for seventy-five minutes with ten men after Reece Akano was sent off for a lunge on Richard Smith in midfield. Both sides created chances despite the numerical mismatch however both keepers proved difficult to beat, the game decided within seconds of the second half starting from a corner routine that saw Alex Kennard net at the back post, as much as their opponents tried to find a leveller that solitary strike was enough to lift the trophy.

Barely sixty seconds had elapsed before the first effort of the evening when a Steeple clearance fell to Ed Wheatley twenty yards out but he blazed high over the top, a free kick to their opposition saw Adam Piosek float into a congested penalty area but no one could get a touch and it simply bounced away for a goal kick. A Hanslope counterattack almost saw the opener as Deanio Bailey Browne stole possession in midfield before laying out to Mason Luya who cut into the box and drilling low forcing Jack Edwards down low to the foot of his near post to save, at the opposite end a long throw from Josh Bell found the head of David Phillips but he could only loop over the bar.

Early red card for Hanslope

The team in black & white were seemingly disadvantaged on the quarter hour mark when both players were heading towards the main stand when Akano dived in to tackle for the ball, the referee had no hesitation in blowing his whistle and after a very short chat flashing a red card to the furious front man, the dismissal didn’t deter his side from pushing forward as a cross from their left found Paul Hollingsworth on the edge of the eighteen yard box whose volley had Edwards diving to his right to push away, a long clearance from the Hanslope defence saw the Claydon keeper advance outside his area to clear but he drove straight to Luya but he couldn’t direct towards the empty net.

Hanslope keeper Tyler McGregor ensured parity was kept shortly after when he had to rush out from his goal and block a run from Phillips who was away down the middle of the pitch, the shot stopper then denied with his feet after an effort from Craig Thornton had looked dangerous from twelve yards, a Steeple corner was cleared as far as skipper Scott Porter who laid into the path of Smith but he drove over the top. H/T: 0-0

Alex Kennard scored early second half winner

Within two minutes of the restart Hanslope were ahead from a corner, lifted in towards the near post a flick on found Kennard at the furthest upright who pounced to open the scoring, shortly after a cross found Bailey Browne in the penalty arc who attempted the acrobatic bicycle kick however he never connected properly and it was comfortable for Edwards to gather. On the hour mark Steeple looked for a way back when Thornton was played diagonally across the box but going away from goal he could only drive wide of the far stick, at the other end Luya was fed inside a defender but just as he shaped up to shoot a challenge came in to take the ball off his foot and the chance was gone.

Claydon missed two great chances as the half wore on, the first for Phillips who was played in between the black & white back line into the box where his shot was saved by the feet of McGregor and moments later the same front man received the ball inside the penalty arc where he curled straight into the stopper’s gloves. Hanslope almost doubled their advantage when Hollingsworth collected a clever pass through the Claydon defence but after fighting off a marker he drove over the top, whilst a free kick on the eighteen yard line saw Bailey Browne absolutely smash at goal where Edwards had to just stick out his hands and take the impact, the bounce was kind allowing him to collect at the second attempt. F/T: 1-0

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NBDL D2C; Brackley United 0-1 MK Wanderers Reserves

Brackley United – 0
MK Wanderers Reserves – 1

25.04.2019

MK Wanderers lifted the North Bucks & District Football League Division Two cup on Thursday night at Stratford Fields with a solitary Chris King strike in a game that was only ever going to be decided by one strike, it came late in the second half after numerous substitutions had been made in order to try & break the deadlock and it was the Milton Keynes side that brought on the match winner as he drove at the Brackley goal down the left hand side before despatching past Will Goss. This final saw second versus third albeit with twelve league points separating the two sides and for the majority it looked like the tie would need extra-time and/or penalties to decide a winner, few scoring chances created but it was King who came off the bench to win the cup for Wanderers who now going into a final game trying to complete a league & cup double.

The first chance of the game fell to the Northamptonshire side when Philip Carroll tried his luck from distance but spun away from Callum Adamthwaite in the MK goal, it took a drive through midfield from defender Nathan Parker for Wanderers to have their opening attempt, taking on a lucky rebound through a sea of legs he simply warmed the hands of Goss from twenty yards out. A cross from the MK right saw Dominic Seymour force the United keeper to his left to save with both hands, Stephen Waymark almost capitalised on some hesitancy from the red backline but as he waited for the ball to come down in a busy penalty area the spin took it away from him, his half-hearted effort easily blocked and cleared. H/T: 0-0

Wanderers lift the trophy

Early in the second period a throw to MK was taken on the chest of Lewis Hook who managed to turn and get his shot away however the wrong side of the front upright, another deep cross found the same player at the back of the six-yard area but he could only loop over the top. Waymark was next to test the Brackley custodian when he explored the left hand side of midfield shrugging off the challenge of Ian Hazelwood who felt he was fouled in the build-up, as he tried to convince the man in black he had been wronged the full back fired straight at Goss, then just past the hour mark United skipper Alex Jennings collected on the corner of the eighteen yard box and his powerful drive across goal deflected off the far post and out of play.

Looking to inspire his side moments later the captain again tried from outside the area but dragged wide of the furthest upright, at the opposite end substitute Jake Austin got on the end of a cross but his overhead attempt cleared the bar, then with just eight minutes remaining before extra-time King escaped down the left channel to score the winner into the far bottom corner, the closest their opponents came to equalising was a free kick in the final minute which Jennings blazed over. F/T: 0-1

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NBDL; Potterspury Reserves 2-4 Mursley United Development

Potterspury Reserves – 2
Mursley United Development – 4

24.04.2019

Mursley United development won their penultimate league game of the season at Potterspury reserves on Wednesday evening despite being reduced to ten men in the first period, keeper Nick Bevans shown a straight red for handling outside his area although the incident did not pass without controversy, the home side equalised from the resulting free kick however after the break the away side went on to confirm their dominance with a further three strikes although one again caused outrage amongst the coaches on the sidelines for what looked a blatant handball in the build-up. Mursley dominated the proceedings but were guilty of numerous missed opportunities whilst their hosts defended well in the main but could do nothing to prevent the inevitable result, United have one remaining home game in their inaugural season but will finish in seventh place of the North Bucks & District Football League Intermediate division, whilst Pury end their season in ninth with this result.

A second minute corner to the visitors was cleared as far as Ash Urquhart whose first time effort had custodian Mark Burns gathering under his crossbar, Dan Finnis was next to try but from the right of goal he poked past the back stick before another United corner found Luke Williamson unmarked at the back of the six-yard box, he headed high over the top and suitably chastised himself for wasting a great opportunity. The home side struggled to clear their lines aiming up the slope and were almost made to pay when Urquhart broke forward to take possession & drive over the bar, the green & white attacks were finally rewarded as they took the lead on seventeen minutes.

Nick Bevans shown red card in first half

Another corner curled in saw Burns push out as far as Williamson who simply headed into the back of the net, moments later a simple pass down the middle of the pitch had Harry Stewart-Proctor away on goal and as he tried to bend around the keeper the slightest of touches took it off for a corner, from the set piece centre half Anthony Gerrard glanced wide and Williamson curled around the back post from the corner of the box. A rare Pury attack saw Ryan Rice break free but from twenty yards he fired straight at Bevans, the ball moved straight back to the opposite end where a Finnis cross into Stewart-Proctor saw the forward shoot over the top.

Williamson headed a deep corner back across goal where two defenders on the line somehow managed to clear to safety, with four minutes of the half remaining the away side were reduced to ten men when Andy Owens was released upfield, Bevans came to the edge of his box to challenge and as he went down the ball was adjudged to have hit his arm outside his area, the referee waved play on where the striker fired towards the empty net however full back Sultan Hussaini had come across to cover and cleared off the line, the whistle sounded as the official pulled back play for the free kick, and flashed the red card to the shot stopper. Player-manager Mitch Toyer donned the gloves sacrificing his centre forward in the process but his first job was to pick the ball out of the net as the subsequent free kick from Owens struck the wall to wrong foot the keeper & bounce into the opposite bottom corner. H/T: 1-1

Urquhart had an early tussle down the left flank with a defender but gaining an inch he fired over from twenty yards, a free kick played in front of a retreating Pury backline saw a deflection off Ben Johnson into the side netting and another chance for full back Urquhart saw him drag across goal and wide. A throw to the visitor’s released substitute Jay Chawla down the touchline  where he pulled back to Williams who volleyed straight at Burns, Johnson curled around the back stick before United finally retook the lead on sixty-five minutes when a Chawla drive low from eight yards eluded the grasp of Burns at his near post.

Jay Chawla restores Mursley lead

The hosts side tried to get back in the game through Jack Barkus who found some space to the left of goal but he could only fire straight at Toyer, this was brief respite as the team in green were soon back up the other end with Hussaini & Chawla combining well down the channel, as the ball was cleared it landed at the feet of Tom Lloyd-Roberts who fired over the bar but then with thirteen minutes left they did get a third when a corner curled in was far too deep but Williamson retrieved on the far side and swung back in and from twelve yards Lloyd-Roberts flicked his header into the far bottom corner, within a couple of moments it was four when a poor throw out to a defender saw Johnson nip in to steal with a suspicion of handball thrown in, he advanced before tucking home much to the protest of the yellow back line but the goal was given.

A Pury corner was headed over by Tom Hill but the visiting defence did not take the warning as the next move saw a free kick curled in by Adam Johnson met at the back post by Hill who headed past Toyer. Mursley had a late penalty shout turned down as Ben Johnson looked to be tripped from behind, the last chance fell to Urquhart who curled his effort away from the target in added time. F/T: 2-4

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NBDL; Potterspury 1-0 Great Horwood

Potterspury – 1
Great Horwood – 0

17.04.2019

Potterspury beat local rivals Great Horwood on Tuesday evening with an early strike from Jamie Hall to leapfrog their guests into second place in the North Bucks & District Premier Division table, a game played in some early evening sunshine that saw warm temperatures up until the end of the game that saw plenty of chances created during the ninety minutes from both sides, but some great keeping and defending saw the game decided by that solitary strike in the seventh minute. Horwood hit the woodwork twice, their hosts also found the goal frame in their way but both Neil Cardwell & Ian McStraw wearing the gloves made crucial saves throughout to keep the scoreline down, on another day any of the front men on display could have had a hatrick with the amount of chances that were spurned.

As early as the fifth minute Dale Armitage got down the flank and cut inside to Brandon Bowes who saw his shot bounce off the post and out for a goal kick, Sid Hawkins had a close range effort blocked and Adam Armitage fired straight at Cardwell all before the hosts opened the scoring, from the shot stoppers clearance Adam Kelly was away down the left channel to square inside to Hall who from twelve yards couldn’t miss. A Horwood free kick floated in was inches from Hawkins head, at the opposite end Lee White warmed McStraw’s hands from the edge of the box, a cross from their left saw the yellow midfielder Bowes head straight into waiting gloves and a good throw in routine for Pury saw Kelly released along the edge of the area where he curled over the top.

Sid Hawkins challenges Pury keeper Neil Cardwell

Kelly turned provider with a superb over the shoulder ball downfield for Hall to chase after, in behind the defence he was thwarted by McStraw advancing to block, another throw to Hawkins saw him loop over as he lost his balance and Hall again found space before driving over the crossbar. Despite the heat both sides continued to press and a goal kick headed back over the Horwood backline saw the scorer clear the bar, Dale Armitage fired wide of the back stick from midfield & Stevie Dean thumped straight at the keeper from distance, the final action saw a throw flicked onto Kelly in the penalty arc, he powered towards the target where Frankie Tarrant put his body in front to deflect over the top. H/T: 1-0

Dale Armitage got down the left early after the restart and found Hawkins in the box with his back to goal, he managed to turn and shoot forcing Cardwell into a great save, their next chance saw Ryan Tappin cut in from the wing and as the keeper came out he chipped past him but the wrong side of the frame. Just ahead of the hour mark the visitor’s did get the ball in the net when Dale Armitage beat his marker to a cross to head home however a raised flag denied, a Bowes drive from twenty yards had to be pushed over the top, the next Horwood attack was cleared long for Hall to collect and escaping his marker faced a one on one with McStraw who somehow denied with his feet when it looked odds on the lead would be doubled.

Ian McStraw Great Horwood

The away side conceded possession allowing their hosts to counter attack but as the ball was played into the box for recently introduced Jay Ditum he could only screw away from the target, Tappin found the head of Gary Ridgway in front of goal only to watch his effort crash back off the crossbar to safety, Pury skipper Danny Shepherd curled a twenty-five yard free kick straight at McStraw all before a cross saw a flick from Sam Pittam elude the reach of the custodian but bounce back off the bar, it hit the keeper and deflected back towards the empty net but somehow he gathered to stop it bouncing over the line, and a shot from the same player cutting in from the right saw another save with both hands.

As the game wore on Ridgway curled an effort a couple of feet past the back post, a Horwood corner saw a mass of heads all rise but Hawkins glanced wide, Pury countered from the restart and as the ball was fizzed across the six yard box sliding in Nathan Short just couldn’t quite connect to divert home. Andy Brunning made a break down the flank for Horwood and reaching the area he fired low towards the back post but Cardwell got down well to push away, there was still time for another Pury attack that saw Hall & Ditum drive at the yellow backline, the former taking the shot on which McStraw somehow stuck out a hand to and divert past his upright. F/T: 1-0

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Buckingham United FC manager to step down

Buckingham United have confirmed that manager Dean O’Connor is to step down from his role at the club, in a statement released today:

BREAKING… DEAN O’CONNOR TO STEP DOWN

It is with regret that we have to announce First Team Manager Dean O’Connor has decided to step down from his role at the end of the season due to family commitments.

Anyone who has met Dean will know he is extremely family orientated and following the birth of his 5th child earlier in the season it will be time to call a close on his First Team role.

Dean O’Connor

Dean joined the club as manager back in 2016 building an extremely talented squad for our level, bringing the club our first ever silverware and creating some truly unforgettable memories along the way. Dean’s commitment, dedication and success to the club has been at the forefront of the recent growth over the last couple of years, for that everyone at the club will always be incredibly thankful.

This does of course mean that we are now in search for a new manager to continue the growth over the last few years, for the right person, we believe this is an incredibly exciting position.

With a number of facility improvements in the pipeline over the summer to come in place with our application for the Spartan South Midlands League, the ideal candidate will be tasked with putting together a side capable of competing in Division Two of the SSML, under realistic targets amongst some of the best facilities in that division. A good core of the squad are committed for the forthcoming season and the successful applicant will receive continuous support from the club’s committee. We strongly believe this is a fantastic opportunity for a new manager to continue the great work achieved, taking the club to the next level and building for the future.

Anyone interested in the application is encouraged to contact the club via the club email address – Buckinghamunited@hotmail.co.uk or Club Chairman Matt Hawes on 07734 395513.

SSMFL; New Bradwell St Peter 0-4 Mursley United

Mursley United travelled away for the final time this season to New Bradwell St Peter and won 4-0

Nathan Skelton hit his 30th goal of the season

The game was evenly matched for the first half-hour; Tom Brazier had a chance for the visitors, but blazed over and Crossley was left one-on-one with Dan Willett who made a reflex save to keep the scores level. Just after the half-hour, Ryan Lee burst into the box and was brought down and Nathan Skelton tucked away the spot-kick for his thirtieth goal of the season.

Early in the second period, the hosts dominated, but couldn’t turn chances into goals and Mursley weren’t further ahead, when Jamie Green arrived late into the six-yard area and powerfully headed home Brazier’s corner.

Tom Brazier

Ten minutes later, Mursley extended their lead when Luke Williamson was on the end of smart play by Linus Kusi, Brazier and Skelton to slide the ball past Wood in the home goal. Williamson completed his brace with a low drive from the edge of the box, which crossed the line before the defender could clear.

The hosts came close on two further occasions; Davey’s rising drive from distance was tipped over by Willett and the former’s header came back off a post with the keeper able to gratefully collect the rebound.

Meanwhile Mursley United Development were defeated 3-1 at home to Marsh Gibbon in North Bucks Intermediate Division.

Reports supplied by Justin Daley

NBDL; Mursley frontman feels young squad are developing nicely

Saturday 30th March 2019
Mursley United Development v Marsh Gibbon
North Bucks & District League Intermediate Division
The Playing Field
K.O. 3.00pm

Mursley United development host top of the league Marsh Gibbon on Saturday looking to bounce back from last week’s disappointment of exiting the North Bucks & District League Interdivisional Trophy quarter-final stages at Duston Dynamo’s, but in the Intermediate Division leaders face the side that beat them convincingly by four goals to one just two weeks previously. Three wins from four before this sequence had seen Mitch Toyer’s squad cement their mid-table status however having played just five league games since mid-December leaves them with games in hand on most teams in the division, a good run in the last few games could see them put the pressure on the top four which in their inaugural season would be a fine achievement, as well as build some momentum going into next season. But first they must overcome Gibbon who have only lost two league games all season, they put twelve past Clean Slate reserves two weeks ago (the second time they have reached double figures in a game this campaign!), but both of those defeats have been in March to Bletchley Park, so can Mursley inflict more pain or is it beware the wounded animal?

Ben Johnson

This week Sports Shots caught up with Mursley front man Ben Johnson to ask when he joined the club and how it all came about:

I joined in August 2018, I was playing for Lonely Town previously and as they folded I had nowhere to go so Mitch (Toyer) who was assistant manager down there brought me along to Mursley, yeah it was tough settling in at the start with some terrible results but since my PIC Sam Cartwright joined after his time off travelling it’s been a dream having a player of his quality playing alongside me

How has the season been in terms of performances & availability?

I think the seasons been great however it could always be better. We’re a brand spanking new team and you’d think the availability wouldn’t be the best but it’s the complete opposite, we have a few problems with people being the big age of nineteen and still not able to drive but we’re a team so we do what we can do to get everyone to games. We’re the youngest team around and all performances have been strong

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

The development squad is very strong on and off the field, I’ve never known a bunch of lads in a football team to be so strongly knitted together, and the thing is we’re only going to get better as ninety nine percent of our team are below twenty-three, providing we stay together. As for what players have impressed, all of them! I think some weeks some players perform better than others but that’s how the story goes. Even if Nick Bevans sends the ball out for a throw in from a goal kick six times in a game, he still impresses me with some of his cat like saves

What is Ben’s preferred position in the side and what formation best suits?

I don’t have a favoured position, I listen to my manager and give one hundred and ten percent wherever I am put on the field, if I don’t listen to managers orders then Graham will eat me. However, I play most of my time in the number ten role just off the striker and I try to create as much as possible. We formally played a four-three-three wide with wingers and three midfielders but as you know one of our wingers, I won’t name names, is very old and going on twenty-seven! He can’t track back as much so we changed to a four-five-one with two wide midfielders to compact the midfield more and help defend

The last three games saw cup progression which was then halted last week by defeat at Duston, sandwiched by a big loss at Marsh Gibbon, how were these games?

What a beautiful cup run for us lads in our first season, hands up to Duston though who are a very good side but we didn’t give it away easily, two very scrappy goals. If I’m honest I don’t remember the Stoke Hammond game

Home to Marsh Gibbon this weekend, they beat United four-one recently, what do they need to do differently this time round to get something from the game?

We took a weakened side to Marsh Gibbon a few weeks ago, with players turning up including myself five minutes before kick-off. We were running the game and then conceded, I think a few heads fell & a few players went off injured and they took control. This time round we have a strengthened squad and we’re actually playing on a full size pitch this game so we can play our wide game

Does Ben have any personal targets for the rest of the season, and what have the squad been asked to achieve in their remaining games?

If I’m being honest I have no personal targets, I enjoy going out on a Friday night and coming to football & enjoying myself. I don’t give myself targets or expectations because if there’s no expectations there’s no disappointment right? The squad has been asked to try keep whiteboards and bins in the changing room in one piece as we have a few stroppy boys from time to time who like to break things. You can’t expect much from a new team, I think the real expectations are that we have enough players week in week out for the first season and we can build on what we have next season

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

I would choose Graham Anderson and choose him to go on Take Me Out as his love life is extremely DRY and it’s about time he lost his virginity and the island of Fernando’s would be lovely place for it

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

NBDL; United midfielder looking to put end to bad run and start with a Clean Slate

Saturday 23rd March 2019
Clean Slate Reserves v Buckingham United
North Bucks League Intermediate Division
Downs Barn Pavillion
K.O. 3.00

Buckingham United travel across to Clean Slate reserves on Saturday looking for the three points to put pressure on the top three places in the North Bucks & District Football League Intermediate Division but having played more games than all three of those sides they must win their remaining four league games and hope those above slip up. The Lace Hill outfits chances of finishing in those upper echelons of the division have been shattered in the last two weeks, after two successive home defeats to Wing Village & AFC Santander shipping nine goals in the process, but they now face the opportunity to get off that horrible run as they travel to the leagues bottom side who have lost fifteen of their sixteen league games this season, at home they haven’t mustered a single point scoring just eight goals in seven games in return for conceding forty-nine! In their sixteen league games they have leaked one hundred and one goals, including the ten that Buckingham put past them back in October, surely United will be looking to increase that on Saturday?

Craig Rumble

This week Sports Shots caught up with Buckingham midfielder Craig Rumble to ask when he joined the club, how it all came about and how he’s enjoyed it since:

I joined the club a few games into last season after stepping down as Padbury manager the season before, I wanted to push myself again with a competitive team. A few old team mates were at the club and I just got chatting with Deano (O’Connor) and it seemed the right fit, it has been like a breath of fresh air fitting in as they are certainly moving in the right direction and with a great bunch of lads throughout

How good a season does he feel he has had so far?

My season couldn’t have started off better, I was fit, playing really well and most of all we were winning games. Since then it has been a bit hit and miss personally with injuries and selection but I feel whenever and whichever team I have played for I have never failed to give less than one hundred percent and backed it up with some solid performances

How good does Craig feel the squad is at Buckingham?

The squad has always been strong; it is just a shame we have struggled every week to have a consistent squad and it just doesn’t keep the fluidity and progression required to challenge like we certainly should be. I am not one for sounding out individuals, all I will say is when we work hard as a team the results should and will be there. Lewis Parkin is always a massive miss when unavailable, I couldn’t not mention him

What is Craig favoured position & formation in the side?

My favoured position would be holding midfield but I honestly am a team player and happy with the Gaffa’s choice either way. Our best formation with the right personnel for me is three-five-two with me in holding midfield, this proved to work well at the start of the season. The inconsistent squad has hampered us on numerous occasions

Three successive defeats for the side recently, how were the games against Potterspury, Santander & Wing?

It’s just been disappointing and I will sound out to the lads that we are better than this and we put it right as a team, starting this weekend. The Potterspury game wasn’t a bad performance we just lost to the better & more clinical team, Santander for me was one of the worse team performances I have seen, a lack of grit and determination which is always disappointing, I was injured last week but watched and it was anyone’s game. I believe our squad was made up of more reserves through late omissions which shows a lack of commitment to the cause, the guys who stepped up though more than held their own, so thanks for that

Is this week’s game at Clean Slate reserves the ideal opportunity to get back to winning ways?

We won’t take the opposition lightly as I am sure we have learned from a few this season that we should have won. It is about putting it right as a team and building for next season with hopefully a strong finish by all

What are the targets for now to the end of the season?

As afore mentioned it is all about finishing on a high and building for next year, with our squad and depth throughout the club we should & will push to win both leagues next year

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

Tough one to think of, maybe Jason (Wilson) and TOWIE, as his all year round tan and pearly whites wouldn’t put him out of place!!

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

NBDL; Potterspury 2-1 Great Horwood

Potterspury – 2

Great Horwood – 1

16.03.2019

Great Horwood were knocked out of the North Bucks & District League Interdivisional Trophy Knockout at the quarter-final stage on Saturday at Potterspury, on a day where the weather ruined any chance of any football being played as swirling winds reaped havoc especially for both goalkeepers. The hosts went ahead early on through a free kick routine that their guests later revealed was something they had discussed avoiding before the game, a second after the break seemed to put Pury in the driving seat until a late red card for full back Joe Richardson which the visitor’s took advantage of immediately pulling a goal back from the resulting free kick through Andy Brunning, in the remaining ten minutes Horwood hit the woodwork twice but it was their Northamptonshire rivals that progress through to the semi-finals where they will face Stewkley.

The home side took the lead on three minutes with a free kick curled in by James Golding that was met by the head of Stevie Dean who got his side off to the perfect start, at the other end a throw to Horwood saw the ball launched long into the box aimed at Sid Hawkins but the wind intervened taking it over him, in front of goal Adam Dixon was about to turn and shoot when defender Spike Crook stuck out a boot to divert over the bar for a corner. A corner to the hosts then swung in almost caught Ian McStraw out as it curled around him and towards the empty net, his skipper Sam Archer inside the six-yard box to head away, before a deep cross saw a glancing header from Danny Sheppard inches wide of McStraw’s right hand post.

Stevie Dean heads opening goal

The visitors were using the long throw routine at every chance, Dale Armitage saw one headed back towards him as he cut in from the touchline to join the action, meeting it on the volley he fired over the top and moments later a clearance from Pury keeper Sam Kelly screwed out to Brunning who tried his luck from distance with the home custodian stranded but Crook was covering and cleared, Dale Armitage and Frankey Tarrant tried to keep the attack alive but a half clearance to Brunning saw his shot cannon off a black & white shirt to safety. On thirty-two minutes Horwood went close when a Sam Archer free kick found the head of Gary Ridgway which had Kelly at full stretch to his right to brilliantly push away one handed as it seemed destined for inside the near post.

A minute later and the game threatened to boil over when a lob over the home backline saw Dixon in on goal, as he rose and flicked the ball towards the target the onrushing Kelly took the full force of his boot across his thigh which sparked a ten man brawl, handshakes all round soon saw the game restarted after bookings for Kelly, Dixon and Richardson. Ridgway curled a free kick from twenty-five yards over the wall but also the crossbar, a good move down the left touchline saw Ridgway play a one-two with Brandon Bowes which released the former inside his marker but his low shot was comfortable for the Pury keeper to smoother, Tarrant saw another effort from distance catch the wind and sail high over the bar, the final action of the half saw a Ridgway cross headed over by Brunning. H/T: 1-0

An early Jay Ditum corner for the hosts after the break again saw the weather intervene forcing McStraw into a last ditch fingertip save pushing onto his upright, the ball bouncing back to Sheppard but he could only fire over the top, a free kick then saw Golding find his skipper Dean Lyden but he could only head wide, Potterspury did then double their lead on sixty-three minutes as their guests struggled to clear their lines Adam Kelly charged down an attempted clearance and retrieved out on the wing, he crossed and inbetween two defenders Ditum headed down and into the far bottom corner.

Andy Brunning scores late on for Horwood

Horwood tried to get themselves back in the game with a free kick that Ridgway got to first but he could only head straight at Kelly, a corner shortly after saw Ridgway float his cross in and at the back post Hawkins headed back across goal but no yellow shirts were anywhere near to threaten, the clearance out to Tarrant who pushed up from defence bobbled just as he hit it which lifted the ball high over the top. Back came the home side when Ditum did well down the wing to square inside to Kelly, he bent his effort around McStraw and about a yard wide of the post, then with twelve minutes remaining Pury were reduced to ten men, a foul on Dixon out on the right saw the referee flash a second yellow to Richardson and he was off.

The Pury lead was halved straight from the free kick, played into the box where Brunning got his head to it to divert past Kelly and it was game on, a minute later a run from Ben Thickbroom from defence saw him travel forty yards upfield with the ball, a moment of indecision almost lost him possession however he continued on his run before hitting a dipping drive that bounced up off the crossbar and over the top, Ridgway then slipped a pass through the home backline for Brunning to bear down on goal, his first time effort crashing back off the woodwork and down to Dixon but the bounce too high for the striker to connect cleanly and he could only help it wide.

In added time a long ball downfield saw hesitation plus the weather hinder the yellow backline in their attempts to clear allowing Kelly to get a shot in that McStraw had to save at point blank range, straight back at the opposite end a throw to Horwood was launched high into the box where Kelly advanced through the sea of bodies to climb highest and claim with both hands, his clearance was met by the final whistle to signal that Pury progress in this cup, whilst the sides yet still have to meet home & away in their last few remaining league fixtures. F/T: 2-1

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After the game Sports Shots caught up with Horwood midfielder Brandon Bowes:

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