Archive for United Counties Football League

UCLD1; Nurseryman Mitten hands it to team mates

Saturday 17th March 2018

Olney Town v Bugbrooke St Michaels

United Counties League Division One

East Street

K.O. 3.00pm

Olney Town host third bottom Bugbrooke St Michaels on Saturday at East Street looking to claim maximum points as they battle it out with five other clubs all locked in their own challenge for fourth place in the UCL Division One table. Just four points separate the teams in fifth to tenth place, but Olney have played more games than any of them, so three points this week-end are vital against the side who are struggling for form.

Ahead of the game, Sports Shots caught up with leading scorer Drew Mitten, and asked how he expects the game to go:

Knowing us and how we’ve been this season it will be a tough game. We have performed well against the top sides but unfortunately have been too inconsistent against the so called lower teams

Drew Mitten

Drew scored a hatrick at their place earlier in the season, a game he reflects on:

It ended up a comfortable game over there I recall. They started brightly, they have a young athletic side, but I think I got three early on in the second half and it ended up being a fairly routine run out for us

Which team mates have helped Drew’s game this season?

Smaily (Christian Smail) has been fantastic this year, he could play a much higher level as could little Kevin (Owusu), we have really clicked and he is a cracking player. It’s also a massive shame that we haven’t had Sammy O’Neill all season as he has been class since he signed on

Christian Smail

We asked Drew where he sees Olney finishing the season?

We are likely to finish somewhere between sixth and eleventh unfortunately, and it has just been down to consistency. We can beat anyone on our day which we have proven, but we just haven’t been consistent enough over the course of the season which is a shame because with the standard of this league, it was really there for us at the start of the campaign

Sports Shots would like to thank Drew for his time this week.

UCLD1; Robins going hunting for points

Saturday 24th February 2018

Huntingdon Town v Buckingham Town

United Counties League Division One

Jubilee Park

K.O. 3.00pm

Buckingham Town take the trip up to Huntingdon on Saturday looking to get their season back on track after the recent weather has restricted them to just three games since the turn of the new year. With numerous games in hand on the teams above them, Town have slipped down to ninth in the division one table, and with Huntingdon just two places behind them, a win is much needed on Saturday.

Ahead of the game Sports Shots spoke with Town assistant manager David Barron:

Unfortunately I wasn’t at the game last week-end where we lost 2-1 at home to Burton Park Wanderers which simply wasn’t good enough. We went down to ten men early on which didn’t help, and it is most important that we get back to winning ways this week. This will be just our fourth game of this year, so we haven’t had any chance to get any sort of rhythm going, and as a result we’ve dropped down the league table.

We have a fair few games in hand, but only positive results will put us back in the mix at the top of the division. Saturday’s game is the re-arranged fixture from earlier in the season, where we were 2-0 up before the game got abandoned. Hopefully the boys can take confidence from that and look to take all three points.

Our squad has been stretched a bit thin of late, even with the lack of games we are still suffering with injuries. But we have no excuses when we get there as we know our squad can compete with anyone if we have the right attitude on the day

David Barron with manager Gary Ollard

Sports Shots would like David for his time this week.

UCLP; Swans boss looking to avenge cup defeat

Saturday 24th February 2018

Newport Pagnell v Rothwell Corinthians

UCL Premier Division

Willen Road

K.O. 3.00pm

Newport Pagnell host Rothwell Corinthians on Saturday looking for three points as the promotion battle at the top of the UCL Premier Division hots up. Just six points separate the top five sides, and Town are just a point off second going into the game.

Newport dropped two points last week-end when they conceded an equaliser with just five minutes left, the point gained by Wisbech in that game keeping them above Town in the table.

Town boss Darren Lynch spoke to Sports Shots ahead of the game on Saturday:

Darren Lynch

I thought we were very unlucky not to take all three points from last week’s game, we were 2-1 up with five minutes left. We really need to see games out like that! We move onto this week and another tough game as they have already visited us at Willen Road this season in the league cup, and beaten us, so we will have to be at our very best once again. But we have no injury concerns and no suspensions, although Harry Stratton has departed us for Kempston Rovers

Sports Shots would like to thank Darren for this weeks update

UCLD1; Nurserymen are shopping for points on Saturday

Saturday 10th February 2018

Olney Town v Raunds Town

United Counties League Division One

East Street

K.O. 3.00pm

Olney Town Football Club

Eighth placed Olney host second placed Raunds Town on Saturday knowing a win could possibly propel them up into the top five in the league table. Olney have only lost once since Christmas and that was against top placed Pinchbeck, but know another stern test is ahead with The Shopmates (Raunds nickname) who are trying to chase down Pinchbeck themselves as the run in to promotion steps up a gear or two.

Sports Shots this week caught up with Olney boss Neil Griffiths to see how preparations have gone:

Our last game was two weeks ago, a game that Sports Shots kindly covered, where we hosted lowly Oakham United. We dominated the game, but it wasn’t until very late on that we found ourselves securing the points. We were then due to play them last week-end, however a very late call to say the game was off meant we had already left and were on our way there on the minibus. To make the best of a bad situation we decided upon an impromptu team building day out around some rather fine local breweries!

Olney manager Neil Griffiths

And on to this week:

Our game this week will be a million miles away from our last, I have a lot of time for Jim (Le Masurier) and for what he has done at Raunds, he is one of the managers I get on really well with, and he really has had a fantastic season. We drew 1-1 at their place back in September and could have won, so as with any game in this league if we play well then we can expect something from the game. In previous seasons there has been a Diamonds (AFC Rushden), a Daventry or a Sileby and that has made it extremely difficult for everyone else. Raunds have consistently picked up points and deserve to be where they are

And finally, any squad news:

We aren’t as strong as we’d like to be, one or two have picked up knocks but that’s no different to any other team, so if needs be we will make use of the fantastic squad that we have in the reserves that Darren has been getting some great results with

Sports Shots would like to thank Neil for his time this week.

UCLD1; Olney Town 2-0 Oakham United

Olney Town – 2

Oakham United – 0

Olney Town had to play the waiting game on Saturday at a wet and muddy East Street, against a stubborn Oakham United side who defended for their lives for eighty odd minutes and were looking good for a point going into the latter stages of the game, but once leading scorer Drew Mitten gave the home side the lead with six-minutes left all of the United hard work was undone, and whilst pushing up for a late equaliser they were caught on a classic counter-attack and the game sealed with a second from substitute Jordan Appleton.

Oakham made the brighter start taking the game to their hosts, and Jamie Black almost made a dream start when he was fed in behind the Olney back line and took his shot on first time firing into the side netting. A long ball down their left then saw Scott Waumsley on the corner of the box with a chance at goal, with the surface so slippery all he could do was hit it first time as any attempt to adjust positioning would have probably seen him lose his footing, but Olney keeper Jack Taylor was behind the shot all the way.

Drew Mitten shoots during first half

Olney had their first chance when Kelvin Igweani received the ball with his back to goal outside the box, he muscled away from his marker and went for goal with the outside of his boot but his shot screwed wide of Mark King in the Oakham goal. A great cross from Gary Thurston then looked as if it was heading top corner but King shuffled across to gather with both hands, before a cross from Will Wright saw King caught ball watching and Igweani got in first but could only loop a header over the crossbar.

Olney were inches away from taking the lead when Mitten got to the byline and pulled the ball back across the area, with the keeper beaten Igweani was in the middle unmarked but the ball fizzed inches behind him and the chance was gone. Just past the half hour mark Wright tried his luck from twenty-five yards, brushing the net as it whistled past Kings right hand post.

Mitten saw a fierce shot from the eighteen yard line saved by King but he couldn’t hold on to the ball pushing it back into the six yard box, Igweani was with a United defender and the pair fought with each other as well as with the mud to get a grip, the defender won to smash the ball to safety. Moments later the same scenario emerged, a Mitten shot saved but this time his striker partner lifted the loose ball into the roof of the net, but this time a raised flag denied the opening goal.

Just before the half-time whistle Olney again spurned a great chance, a free kick into the United box was headed clear but running in Kevin Owusu smashed at goal from twenty yards out, King again made a good save and the loose ball fell to Igweani, he rounded the stricken keeper but lost his balance but still managed to send the ball towards the unguarded goal, but covering defender Martin Bennet slid in to clear. H/T: 0-0

Kelvin Igweani unlucky not to get on scoresheet

Six minutes after the restart Mitten fed in Igweani again with his back to goal and heavily under pressure, despite manoeuvring some space to shoot it was little more than a regulatory save for King. Oakham then almost had a golden opportunity all but for some great defending from Olney, a ball knocked over the shoulders of the Town back line by Craig Welbourn was taken under control in mid-air by Black, he stunned the ball brilliantly but on his toes Thurston hooked the ball away before the United frontman could shoot.

Black had another chance on sixty-four minutes when he got inside the area down the left, Taylor came out to block with his feet and cleared the danger, before both sides had a goal ruled out to keep the deadlock unbroken. First an Olney cross was converted however a foul on the keeper in the build-up denied, and moments later Black was denied when he fired home but a raised flag cut any celebrations short.

Olney kept pressing and continually found masses of bodies in front of them, although a clever ball released winger Sam O’Neill down the middle, he squared to Appleton who was denied by King who bravely dived at the substitute’s feet to block. Rob MacDonald then crossed from the left and in the middle Lewis Smith climbed highest but could only head over.

As the game seemed destined to drift out goalless, with six minutes remaining on the clock Drew Mitten finally gave his side the lead, a cross from the left saw him ghost ahead of a defender and he simply helped the ball into the back of the net giving King no chance.

Then in added time Oakham won a corner, King joined his team mates in the Olney box hoping to help in grabbing an equaliser, however the ball was cleared long and Appleton gave chase. Two defenders seemed to have the ball covered however as it landed it sat in the mud, leaving Appleton to stroke home from just outside the area. F/T: 2-0

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After the game Sports Shots spoke to Olney manager Neil Griffiths: 

For match photography click here:


CS&TFL: Proposed 2017-18 league structure

CS&TFL,D1: Final league table

No automatic alt text available.

Today’s results by @FootballMK

Latest CS&TFL,D1 table – via @FootballMK

Local fixtures tomorrow: CS&TFL (UCL) & SSMFL

The Buildbase FA Vase Quarter Final

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Buckingham town v Thrapston town


Picture by Dale James


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