Archive for United Counties Football League

UCLP; Swans front man convinced his team can be Dom-inant force this season

Saturday 20th October 2018

Newport Pagnell Town v Deeping Rangers

United Counties League Premier Division

Willen Road

K.O. 3.00pm

Newport Pagnell Town face Deeping Rangers in league action on Saturday at Willen Road looking to build on last week’s success in the FA Vase, and get some points on the board again and more importantly some confidence going as their next five league games see them play sides in the top nine of the current UCL Premier Division table. A couple of cup games break up that sequence, but the squad will be sternly tested over the next run of games which include hosting top of the league high flyers Daventry, but this week’s opponents Deeping have only played six league fixtures so far due to their involvement in various cup competitions, and if they won their games in hand would go level with Daventry at the top of the league!

Dom Lawless

This week Sports Shots caught up with front man Dominic Lawless to ask what he feels the Swans mixed start to the season has been down to:

In all honesty I have no idea, we pretty much have the same squad as last year which did so well. We have had key players out with injuries and holidays but that’s not an excuse because the squad we have are more than capable of beating any side in this division, when we have players missing those who come in are just as good replacements

With the club currently sitting fifteenth in the league and fourteen points off Daventry, does Dom feel they can still be caught?

We believe we can put a really good run together & winning becomes a habit, with the fixtures we have coming up against teams at the top end of the table; if we can take points off them just as you can already see everyone is beating anyone it could all change in a month or so. We seem to play better against the better teams in the division apart from Rugby which was a game to forget!

We asked how the team spirit is in the dressing room at this stage:

The team spirit is the best, ask most of the lads that have played for Newport and they will all tell you the same, we have a good mix of Milton Keynes & Northampton lads who have made us a better team for sure over the last couple of seasons. Yes the lads talk about the stop-start to the season, and the gaffer has called a few team meetings because it simply isn’t good enough, we know we are underachieving & letting ourselves down as well as the club and the manager, but it is a long old season

How was the Vase game last week?

A great result, we played some great football with five players missing who most would of started but others stepped up to the task. The team we played were lively and they had a few decent players that caused us problems getting in behind, it was their biggest game in the clubs history so they were bang up for it, but luckily enough we got what we deserved in the final minute of the  game

Does Dom think the FA Vase is a priority now for the team?

Of course, after having that run to the quarter-finals two seasons ago which was unbelievable and a great feeling, yes we would like to go that far again, but the league is your bread & butter so hopefully with the Vase win last Saturday that can kick us on now in both league and cup

Which players have impressed so far this term:

I would have to say Michael Lyons for me, the lads energy levels are ridiculous, he’s everywhere on the pitch giving one hundred percent week in week out. He can play in most positions and has scored a few goals this season too

How has the season been for Dom Lawless so far?

It’s been a really frustrating start for me this season, I picked up a nasty injury before pre-season where I aggravated the ligaments in my ankle which meant I missed the whole of pre-season going into the start of the campaign. When I was fit to play I was back for one game then went on holiday for ten days so then had to wait for my chance again, but I’m having my best run in the team this season now and game by game I’m feeling fitter & I’ll be back to my old self in no time. My targets always thirty plus goals and to play as many games as possible to help the team as much as I can

Finally, we asked with the league campaign warming up this month, how difficult will it be starting with Deeping this week?

Very difficult, they are all good sides up at the top so it will be very tough, but if we turn up and put a shift in from one to eleven, play for one another, then I’m confident we will be fine, there is too much quality in this squad. We just need our confidence back, hopefully the winning run starts against Deeping on Saturday! COYS

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

UCLP; Swans striker working hard to become vital Cog in the team

Saturday 22nd September 2018

Cogenhoe United v Newport Pagnell Town

United Counties League Premier Division

Compton Park

K.O. 3.00pm

Newport Pagnell Town travel over to Cogenhoe United on Saturday looking to kick start their season after a disappointing start to their Future Lions United Counties League Premier Division campaign, that see’s them sitting in fourteenth place with just a single win and two draws from their opening five games. Their hosts sit in ninth places with a brace of wins and draws from six but haven’t tasted league success after winning their opening two matches, so both teams will be looking to get points on the board.

Tom Liversedge

Sports Shots caught up with striker Tom Liversedge this week to ask how his own personal season had started:

Personally I feel fit and sharp, I feel I’ve started the season well performance wise. I haven’t scored as many as I would like but I am confident the goals will come sooner rather than later

How is the start affecting the squad?

We haven’t started well with results we know, but it’s still very early days. You win nothing at this time of the year but we do need to improve quickly so that we’re not giving ourselves an impossible task

Taking four points from six before last week’s defeat had seen the club look like they were back on track, what do the team need to do from here?

We haven’t got going yet but all we can do is work hard on the pitch and play for each other & for our manager, then the results will come

The brief revival ended at Desborough last week, what happened?

Saturday was frustrating as the pitch and the conditions made it difficult for any team to play. We missed a few chances in the first half but eventually got our goal in the second period. Then a poor ten minutes saw the scoreline turn on its head and we were defeated

Town won at Cogenhoe towards the end of last season, can they repeat the feat?

This week is likely to be similar to last with storm Ali around, so I’m guessing minimal football will be played. We’ll have to adjust and work hard & hopefully we can get the result we all want

Have the squad got much info on their hosts ahead of the game?

Not really no, judging on last year they’ll be a tight knit bunch that play for each other

Finally we asked Tom just how hard the squad is working on getting back up that league table:

We are working hard, it’s all we can do at the minute. Hopefully that will be rewarded and we get on a good run and climb that league!

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

UCLP; Pryke is Adam-ant his side will improve and challenge at the top

Saturday 1st September 2018

Newport Pagnell Town v Leicester Nirvana

United Counties League Premier Division

Willen Road

K.O. 3.00pm

Newport Pagnell Town host Leicester Nirvana on Saturday looking to build upon their first point of the season they gained two weeks previously and get their season kick started after the disappointing one point from six in their opening two games. An early exit from this season’s FA Cup has also added to the woe at Willen Road, so a win on Saturday would be most welcome although their guests have tasted success already this term, with a win, a draw & a defeat in their opening three matches.

Adam Pryke

Sports Shots this week caught up with defender Adam Pryke to reflect on the Newport opening games:

No definitely not the start we wanted, it’s been far from it! I don’t think anyone can give a single reason why we haven’t started this season as well as we should have, its been a number of things. Coming into this season off the back of a frustrating end to last year, we should have kicked on and we just haven’t. We haven’t been good enough at both ends of the pitch & that’s shown in our results but as a squad we know that. But we are only two league games in and we have plenty of time to turn it round

Did the point against Wellingborough feel like the start of the season for Town?

Our season started in the first game! The game against Wellingborough was an improvement on the first game definitely, but still not the standard we expect from ourselves. To be fair Wellingborough weren’t a bad side but we won’t be happy until we have three points under our belts, that’s when we can start to kick on and in football its funny what a win can do for things to then start clicking into place

What do Newport expect from their opponents this weekend?

In all honesty we haven’t even spoken about their form, it’s too early to worry about other teams results with people on holiday & new players etc. Leicester have always been a decent side since they’ve been in our league and its never an easy game against them, we’ve had some good battles against them over the last few years so we expect the same again this week

So how has the start of this season been for Adam?

My pre-season was good, I felt fit and played every minute, but the start of my season then has been awful, a couple of mistakes and not the level I expect of myself. I’ve just got to improve and keep working hard & put right what went wrong, for the rest of the season

We asked Adam who he see’s as being challengers for the top of the table at the end of the season:

It’s so hard to say, Rugby were apparently one of the favourites at the start, but even they’ve dropped points. Daventry have banged in a lot of goals & Deeping are always hard to beat. Saying that Yaxley won it last year & I think they were like tenth at Christmas so in this league no one knows who is going to win it until its done, but I do expect & want to see us up there too!

Finally, how far away does Adam feel his team are from challenging?

Not far, we showed last season in how close we came, just three points off promotion was really hard to take. We have to move past that now and focus on this season, sort out our form and get a run together then we’ll have every chance of challenging up at the top of the table

UCL1; Newport Pagnell Town v Sleaford preview

With the football World Cup long forgotten from this summer, the new football season begins this week-end.

Newport Pagnell Town begin their Future Lions United Counties League Division One campaign on Saturday when they host Sleaford on Saturday at Willen Road.

Darren Lynch

After missing out on promotion last year by the narrowest of margins, Town will again be amongst the favourites in the battle for promotion, and this week Sports Shots caught up with manager Darren Lynch and asked how the summer has been at the club:

Pre-season has gone quite well off the field as I’ve been able too retain the whole squad from last season apart from Luke Emery & Taylor Orosz who have both left for Daventry.

The squad are ready for the beginning of the season and have worked hard over the last couple of weeks and I’m hoping that we get off to a perfect start on Saturday against an improved Sleaford side who will be a much better opponent than last season.

We have a few missing on sat due to injuries & holidays but I’m happy with my squad and there will be no excuses!

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

UCL; Newport Pagnell Town in new sponsorship deal

IT support service provider Dragon Information Systems Ltd and Newport Pagnell Town Football Club are proud to announce their brand new partnership. The new club sponsors are delighted to announce support for all future IT requirements of the football club.

From left to right: Lionel Naidoo, Managing Director: Dragon IS Ian Ford, Senior Director of Football: NPTFC Darren Lynch, 1st Team Manager: NPTFC Julie Ford, Head of Youth: NPTFC Darren Clarke, Reserves Manager: NPTFC Simon Wright, Head of Finance and Administration: Dragon IS

Following the fantastic success for the NPTFC first team over the last 2 seasons, the Swans narrowly missed out on promotion in the last campaign by just 3 points. The club are confident that with the backing of major local businesses like Dragon IS they can go one better next season by winning promotion and bringing Southern League football to the town for the first time in its history.

NPTFC was founded in 1963 and is now the second biggest club in the Milton Keynes area. It’s now a thriving club with 365 young players registered to 30 Youth teams across 13 different age groups with children from 4-18yrs able to enjoy football development opportunities with trained & qualified volunteer coaching staff.

The club also boasts 3 adult teams with its first team playing at semi-professional level in the UCL Premier League. The Swans have a strategy in place and aim to be playing 2 levels up over the next 5 years whilst keeping the focus on bringing the youth through and providing senior football opportunities at a high enough level to retain local talent.

The club recognises that the use of technology could certainly support their ambition particularly in the development of young players through recorded match playback and “inform and improve” coaching sessions.

This is where Dragon IS steps in. The company will provide the club with the necessary IT hardware, software and support. The equipment will enable coaching teams to capture live action and transfer raw video to usable footage for training purposes. And as a special treat for its fans NPTFC also plan to use the IT support to post edited match highlights, creating an opportunity to watch again and again some wonderful sporting moments across their official social media networks.

Ian Ford, head of football at NPTFC, said: “It’s always great when local businesses and sports can combine to add value for the local community and its facilities. For this latest project, Dragon IS has agreed to provide the club high spec computer equipment which will be able to cope with the elements & capacity required to produce video recordings and match analysis. We simply wouldn’t be able to afford this type of equipment on a typical non-league football club budget, so this really has made an aspiration become a reality for us.”

Lionel Naidoo, Managing Director of Dragon IS, said: “We are a local company, with a desire to work positively within our community. We were contacted by NPTFC as they needed specialist IT equipment and we offered our services so they can succeed with their plans. As the values of NPTFC underlie the business ethics of Dragon IS it was an easy decision to support them as a part of our corporate social responsibility programme.”

NPTFC encourage, develop and promote local youth to participate in sport. To enjoy and compete at various levels, to respect and value team members.

“At NPTFC we certainly appreciate the commitment Dragon IS has shown to the Club; we look forward to growing the relationship with our new partner and to capturing some amazing footage for supporters, players and officials to share,” added the Club, after Dragon IS presented the equipment to the club on the 29th May 2018.

About Dragon Information Systems

Dragon IS is an IT MSP. We’re a team of specialist engineers that love working with people and are crazy about technology.

Dragon IS has been built around our passion for technology and business systems. We use our years of experience in technology support, combined with extensive business knowledge, to proactively manage businesses’ technology landscapes. And we can assist with driving your technology projects forward successfully and on time.

Dragon IS ensures you experience true passionate IT support from a dedicated technology partner. If it has a screen and buttons, we’re interested in helping!


Photograph credit: Ray Smith, Photographer: NPTFC

New step 5 & 6 non-league football allocations revealed

The new divisional provisional allocations for our local step 5 & 6 clubs have finally been revealed today by the FA and their relevant football leagues.

South Midlands League:

Click on image to enlarge

Premier Division

  • Arlesey Town,  Baldock, North Greenford United and Potton United in
  • No club relegated – both Cockfosters and Stotfold reprieved.

Division One

  • Amersham Town, Park View – promotions confirmed
  • Buckingham Town and Hashtag United new clubs in
  • FC Broxbourne Borough, St Neots Town Reserves both relegated to Step 7


United Counties League:

Click on image to enlarge

Premier Division

  • Pinchbeck (promoted) & Rugby Town (moved across) in
  • Northampton Sileby Rangers & St Andrews relegated
  • League reduced from 22 teams to 20

Division One

  • Anstey Nomads, Aylestone Park, Birstall United Social & Holwell Sports in
  • Northampton Sileby Rangers & St Andrews in relegated from Premier Division


Hellenic League:

Click on image to enlarge

Premier Division

  • Ardley United, Bishop’s Cleeve, Holmer Green, Shrivenham & Virginia Water in
  • Burnham & Woodley United relegated

Division One East

  • Abingdon Town, Burnham & Chalvey Sports in

Division One West

  • Almondsbury, Carterton, Malmesbury Victoria & Woodley United in
  • Division increased to 14 from 13


All clubs have seven days to appeal, step 7 allocations to be discussed w/c 28th May.


The entire allocation for steps 5 & 6 nationwide can be viewed by clicking here: NLS 5.6 Club Allocations 2018-19 v25.5.18 FINAL


UCLP; Peterborough Northern Star 1-1 Newport Pagnell Town

Peterborough Northern Star – 1

Newport Pagnell Town – 1

Newport Pagnell Town ended their season with a draw at Peterborough Northern Star but had the chances to have put this game to bed by half-time, and were left to rue those missed opportunities when their hosts equalised with a wonder goal before the half-hour mark. Town continued to dominate after the interval but the Northern Star defence withstood everything thrown at them, and had chances of their own on the counter attack, but the baking hot sunshine could not help muster up a winning goal, and Town end their campaign in third place in the United Counties Premier Division just missing out on promotion.

Town had their first chance on four minutes when Greg Ling laid off to Dom Lawless who fired over the bar, whilst at the other end Ben Moore put a ball over the Newport backline for James Hill-Seekings to chase down but Town keeper Mark Osborn was off his line to gather in a flash.

The visitors deservedly took the lead on thirteen minutes when Lawless squared to Ling inside the penalty arc and he curled around Star keeper Simon Dalton into the top corner. Newport continued to press, Dalton made a great save on his six-yard line from a Lawless drive, and the rebound fell outside the box to Liam Smyth who absolutely belted the ball over the crossbar.

Greg Ling in action

As the game wore on, the pace up front of Fazel Koriya had the Peterborough defence stretched time after time but Town just could not find that final ball and the chances went begging. They were made to pay on twenty-six minutes when the hosts levelled, Jake Sansby collected the ball some thirty yards or so from goal, noting Osborn off his line he launched an up & under that saw the keeper back pedal but all to no avail, one to remember for the striker!

Back came the away side, Luke Emery saw a shot from the edge of the box take the slightest of deflections that saw Dalton fall away to his right to save, before Ling tried again from distance forcing Dalton to use both hands to push away. Koriya then curled an effort over the top from the corner of the box, and Lawless made a diagonal run across midfield before driving over Dalton’s goal frame. H/T: 1-1

Five minutes after the break the home side saw Charlie Matthews receive the ball on the edge of the area, his first time effort sliced away from goal with the outside of the boot, the ball was retrieved and fired back in but the Town defence cleared, and from there it was all about Newport for the opening stages of the half, but again the final ball cost them of any real decent chances at goal.

Simon Dalton kept Town at bay

The visitors introduced Tom Liversedge twenty minutes in, and he made an immediate impact, he saw two shots almost immediately blocked, the second falling nicely to Josh Winters to knock into the net however a raised flag denied the goal. Moments later commanding centre-half Yaw Ofosu pushed forward in possession, he fed Ling out on the left who crossed to the back post where Liversedge who forced a brilliant save from Dalton, using both hands to push away.

Taylor Orosz was introduced to the action for the away side, he got away down the left wing beating Star centre-half Matt Cox and crossed into Liversedge who was again thwarted by a great instinctive save from Dalton. Adam Pryke burst forward to cross into Liversedge, his shot blocked by a defender fell to Winters, his shot was saved by Dalton and looped up high, Orosz went up with full back Jack Wilson but as Dalton struggled to get across to cover the Newport substitute could only nod over.

Orosz then got away down the left, as he drove into the box he flashed the ball across the goal face and wide of the far post, and in the final minute the home side saw Harry Catanach fed in to the right of goal, he tried a delicate little chip over Osborn that beat the keeper but also cleared the bar. F/T: 1-1

Attendance: 58

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

After the match Sports Shots caught up with Swans boss Darren Lynch: 

For match photography click here:

UCLD1; Buckingham Town 2-1 AFC Long Buckby (played at Long Buckby – Town’s last ever game)

Buckingham Town – 2

AFC Long Buckby – 1

(played at Long Buckby)

Buckingham Town rounded off their season with a narrow victory at AFC Long Buckby on Monday evening, but left it late to secure all three points with substitute Dan Silver coming off the bench to grab a brace after his side trailed at the break to an early Tom Mellor strike. Long Buckby defied their lowly league status by causing Town problems for most of the match and will feel they should have gained something from the game for their efforts, but once Silver equalised the odds were always on The Robins going on to win the game with their confidence visibly lifted by the goal.

The opening fifteen minutes saw Buckby dominate the play, a cross was headed over by Fahmi Mohammed, and a corner cleared out to Calum Yeates saw the defender curl away from goal from twenty yards out. Buckingham relieved some pressure when George Shrieves drove into the Buckby area though shielded by three defenders he twisted & turned but could not find a way through.

The home side took the lead on fourteen minutes, a throw out on their right saw the ball played in to Mellor, as Town full back Sam Tamakloe went to challenge he slipped allowing Mellor to advance a yard before smashing home past Buckingham custodian Ryan Thrussell.

Another cross was then met acrobatically by Mohammed, but his overhead effort bounced wide, whilst at the other end a cross from Town winger Connor Collins saw Buckby keeper Jason Lee call for the ball, however Sam Bearman crept in unnoticed and got the slightest of touches taking the ball past the keeper and it bounced just a few inches the wrong side of the back post.

Buckingham Town FC 

Buckby almost increased their lead on twenty-four minutes when a throw on their left saw the Buckingham back line so busy contesting the position of the throw that their hosts took it quickly and fed in Simon Barby to race away on goal, his cross cum shot flashed across the box and wide, despite the best efforts of Mohammed who was inches away from connecting in front of goal.

Pat O’Brien was next to try, receiving a pass on the edge of the box he twisted away from his marker before blazing over Thrussell’s crossbar, & home keeper Lee then came to the rescue for his side when a long clearance from a corner threatened to see the Town strike force break the offside trap, meeting the ball way out of his area he headed away to safety.

Mellor saw a long-range shot saved one handed by Thrussell diving away to his right turning away for a corner, and when ever Buckingham had the ball in their half the Buckby front line were hounding them ferociously at such a high tempo, earning them much applause from their bench. Mellor got down the Buckby left late in the half, his ball across the goal face was ahead of any colleagues & cleared, & on the stroke of half-time a long ball upfield saw Barby cushion down to Mohammed who lifted over the top. H/T: 1-0

Just three minutes after the break, George Shrieves made a driving run from the half-way line into the Long Buckby box, again heavily shadowed by two defenders he did manage to get a shot away, but the ball cannoned off a yellow sock and away for a corner. The corner swung right into the goal mouth and attacked by Chris Wreh, but Lee managed to punch up & away, Dan Bevis then fired over the bar from twelve yards.

At the other end the Town defence cleared a cross out as far as O’Brien whose looping shot cleared the crossbar, then just past the hour mark a header from Town centre forward Danny Simpson was heading top corner until Lee leaped to push away brilliantly one handed. Within a minute another looping cross from the Town right saw Simpson again head for goal but this time Lee stuck out a boot at his near post to divert away.

Town piled on the pressure at the end

The hosts were then in again when a ball into the Town half saw Tamakloe slip and lose possession to Barby who headed into the area, as Tamakloe tried to recover he challenged which saw the striker go down giving Charlie Dolden the chance to get back & clear, and despite furious claims for a penalty, the referee waved them all away.

Mellor saw another low drive from the eighteen-yard line turned away by Thrussell, and the game began to open up. A huge goal kick from Lee then set the home side away in behind, despite the claims off offside from the Robins back line the flag stayed down, Barby got his shot away which took the slightest of deflections to flash across goal and away for a corner.

Buckby won a free kick some twenty-five yards from goal which Yeates drove over the crossbar, before a throw saw Mohammed released in behind the Town defence but from six-yards he lifted over the top.

Town equalised with just fifteen minutes left, with a goal the home side were furious was allowed to stand. A challenge in the middle of the pitch saw a Buckby player go down, and whilst all his team mates called for the free kick Collins took the ball on and sent in long for Silver to gallop after, his shot saved by Lee, but the power took the ball into the bottom corner.

Dan Silver scores last ever Robins goal

The goal certainly lifted the visitors and they began sensing a winner, although did have Bevis to thank for two crucial blocks inside his own penalty area when Buckby threatened on two counter attacks, before Collins took on a long searching run at goal but fired straight into the waiting gloves of Lee.

Then in the ninetieth minute Buckby hearts were broken when a long ball into the bottom corner was chased down by Simpson, he turned and fizzed a cross into the area where running in Silver met the ball first to lift past Lee and into the roof of the net. F/T: 2-1

Just three days after the game, Buckingham Town FC announced it was folding with immediate effect.

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After the game Sports Shots caught up with Robins manager David Barron: 

For match photography click here:

UCLD1; Olney Town fulfill fitting farewell finale

Olney Town – 2

Blackstones – 1

Olney Town brought the curtain down on their home campaign for the season with a hard earnt win over Blackstones to go above their guests into fifth place in the United Counties League Division One table, and at the same time bid a fond farewell to the Olney committee who all stand down at the end of the season. Chairman Paul Tough was on the pitch at the final whistle to congratulate every single member of Neil Griffith’s squad, and now the future for the club remains unclear as it waits to see if any new committee members materialise to take the club on. In a turbulent season for the club, the win extended their unbeaten spell to five games, and with two games left a top five finish is possible although most clubs around them have many games in hand, but still a very good finish considering they were mid table just a few weeks ago.

What now for Olney Town FC?

The home side got off to the best possible start and scored after just five minutes, a Chris Pendry cross from the right found Jay Saunders at the back of the six-yard box who had time to compose before smashing past Blackstones keeper Aaron Bellairs. They almost doubled their lead two minutes later when Kevin Owusu fed in Drew Mitten inside the eighteen-yard box, he had time to control before firing narrowly over the crossbar.

Blackstone were probing with balls over the Olney defence and saw Joseph Papworth away with an ideal pass, however he was closely tracked by Town defender Robert Tapp who managed to get round and knock the ball back to his keeper Jack Taylor just as Papworth seemed destined to shoot. Tapp then headed away another Blackstones cross and twelve yards out their striker Lee Clarke tried the acrobatic overhead kick but only lifted the ball high over the bar.

Just past the half hour mark Blackstones released Filip Czerwonka down the left channel, away from his marker he advanced in on Taylor but hesitated too long before shooting, the keeper getting down well to his left to stun the shot and a defender on hand to clear. A free kick then to the visitors saw Ben Porter drive inches wide of Taylor’s left hand post, and moments before the interval they won another free kick inside the Olney half, Porter seized the initiative and took the kick before Olney regained any shape, sending Clarke away down the left who fizzed the ball across the area but none of his team mates were forward enough to get the touch to test Taylor, and the ball rolled harmlessly away.

There was still time for Olney to win a corner, Mitten laid the ball back to Owusu who drove the ball diagonally across the Blackstones box, running in late centre half Oscar Friell was a whisker away from connecting some eight yards out. H/T: 1-0

Four minutes after the break Jack Taylor was forced to dive away to his left to save from a header from a free kick, before another cross from their right was met in front of goal by Clarke who headed over, who then chastised himself after realising what a golden opportunity it had been.

Olney then doubled their lead on fifty-four minutes, and Blackstones were the architects of their own downfall, keeper Bellairs tried to play the ball out to his centre half Harry Peasgood, the ball rather short invited Christian Smail to press and his crunching tackle on the edge of the eighteen yard line saw him win the ball, despite the calls for a foul the Olney skipper headed for goal and spotting Bellairs advancing he executed an exquisite chip over his head and in.

Christian Smail scores

A corner to Olney then saw some head tennis in the box resulting in Friell heading backwards towards goal, Bellairs having to leap and tip over his own crossbar for a corner. At the opposite end a cross from the Blackstones right was met at the near post by the visitors skipper Jake Pell who headed over. Pell then kept his side in the game at the other end, as Saunders was played in to the right of goal, just as he shaped up to shoot Pell managed to recover and get a block to divert for a corner.

As time ticked away, a tackle out on the Olney left wing left most on the pitch waiting for the whistle for a free kick, but it never came and instead substitute Frank Baidoo raced away with the ball towards goal, however Bellairs came out to meet the front man and bravely dived at his feet, the ball bouncing off the keepers legs back on to the Town man and out for a goal kick.

As the clock ticked into the ninetieth minute Blackstones pulled a goal back, Clarke got away down the left and into the area, he smashed at goal and despite Taylor getting his hand to the ball he couldn’t prevent it from nestling in the bottom corner. As the away side tried to hassle for an unlikely equaliser, they were almost caught on the counter when Baidoo broke from a stray pass in midfield, despite being called to travel into the corner to waste time, the striker headed for goal and from twelve yards forced Bellairs into a good save down to his left.

The remaining seconds saw Olney retain possession in the corner, and the final whistle brought not only three points to the home side, but an emotional farewell to the 2017/18 season, and a long summer that holds a most uncertain future for the club. F/T: 2-1

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

After the game Sports Shots caught up with Olney manager Neil Griffiths: 

For match photography click here:

UCLD1; Olney boss pays tribute to club ahead of final home game

Saturday 14th April 2018

Olney Town v Blackstones

United Counties League Division One

East Street

K.O. 3.00pm

Olney Town host top four side Blackstones on Saturday, in what is guaranteed to be an emotional day for the committee of Olney Town FC, who have declared their intention to stand down at the end of the current season, and the game marks the end of The Nurserymen’s home campaign for 2017/18. It’s been a difficult season at times for Neil Griffith’s men, and a final home win would be fitting for all concerned. Olney have lost just once in their last nine games, but face in form Blackstones who haven’t tasted defeat in eight games in all competition.

Ahead of the game Sports Shots caught up with the manager, and asked how it feels going into the last home fixture of the season:

They’ll be mixed emotions given the recent news and uncertain future. On a purely footballing side we are determined to carry on our good form and finish the campaign as strong as we can. However, it will no doubt be a highly emotional day with it being our committee’s final game at East Street. We have to make sure it ends positively for them more than anything else

Olney manager Neil Griffiths

We asked if there were any stand out moments from this season at East Street:

It’s been a real rollercoaster of a season for us. There is no hiding from the fact we haven’t finished where we wanted to, however to some extent I’m prouder of these players this year more than most. We’ve had some real tough times and there is a core that have stuck at it, and never thrown the towel in. This has meant we can still finish the season well, with only one defeat in our last nine games, which considering the season we’ve had is exceptional. I think stand out moment would have to be when I was on a stag do in Amsterdam, we were in a club and I was shouting as loud as I could as Drew Mitten scored a last minute winner away at Pinchbeck. I was swiftly told to be quiet and put my phone away

What does Neil expect from their guests?

They like us have finished the season strongly and certainly are not letting their season just drift away. They will be hungry to beat us, I think a strong indication of how serious they are was to see their management team at our game at Oakham last weekend. As always we will need to be at our best, as mentioned before it will be an emotional day, and it’s not just about three points but making sure we do our part in what is our committee’s last game at East Street

Olney held their player awards night last week, who won what?

We decided to hold the event early this year to give the players as long a summer as possible. Kevin Owusu picked up the clubs award of young player of the season. First team top goal scorer was Drew Mitten, managers player of the season went to Christian Smail, with Jack Taylor winning player’s player of the season. Our reserves saw Micky O’Farrell take top goal scorer with Michael Owens taking both managers player & player’s player of the season

Christian Smail

Finally, we asked Neil for his final thoughts on the committee at the club:

The work Toughy, Malcolm, Andrew & Mick have done is nothing short of exceptional. There may have been some recent struggles to take the ground to the next level but I don’t think it should be forgotten how far this committee has taken the ground from where it was, to where it is today. There is so much that goes into the running of a football club, to allow twenty-two players just to have a game. It is a thankless task at times and is far too often taken for granted. I whole heartedly wish them all the best and hope they fully enjoy their spare time, as it has all be very well earned

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