Archive for Spartan South Midlands Football League

SSMFL D1; Ampthill winger determined to help team climb the Hill of Division One table

Saturday 23rd March 2019
Hillingdon Borough v Ampthill Town
Spartan South Midlands League Division One
Middlesex Stadium
K.O. 3.00pm

Ampthill Town travel down to Hillingdon on Saturday hoping to emulate the victory they enjoyed over the hosts in the return fixture back in November, whilst looking to avoid a repeat of the five goal hammering they took at the Middlesex Stadium in September in the Spartan South Midlands Football League Division One cup. Since Paul Blackman took over the managers position at the Bedfordshire club they have had a real mixed bag of results, but have managed to reach the final of the North Beds Charity Cup & with eight league games left to play will be looking to follow up last weekends win at Ampthill Park over Brimsdown as they try and break into the top half the table, in Borough they face a side in a sticky patch which has seen one draw and six defeats in their last seven, they have conceded a whopping thirty-five goals in that run and the draw was goalless! Victory for Town wouldn’t lift them any higher in the league table but would put them in a great position to finish the season strong and try and get in those top ten places.

Lawrence Burton

This week Sports Shots caught up with Ampthill winger Lawrence Burton to ask when he joined the club, how it came about & how it’s been settling in:

I joined the club during the Christmas period as I wasn’t getting any first team football at my previous club, I think this is what attracted me to Ampthill, the fact that I would be getting that experience that I needed at this stage. Everyone has made me feel welcome here, I believe that I’ve settled in well and I’m really enjoying it here

How does Lawrence rate his fitness & contribution so far?

I feel that this season I have performed okay, but I still think that I have more to contribute and offer to the team in terms of goals and assists as well as performances, this season I have been in good fitness so I have to keep this up

How good a squad is there at Ampthill, and have any players impressed?

I believe our squad is strong enough to compete at the top end of the table as well as to win trophies, but luck has not been on our side in games where I think we deserved more, we’ve started to play really good football here and I’m enjoying it. I’ve been impressed with all the guys here, especially Brad Clarke as he can create chances and the ability to create something out of nothing

What is Lawrence’s preferred position & formation in the side?

My preferred position is right wing or even left wing, with the majority of this season playing on the right in a three-five-two. But if I’m on the pitch I’ll play anywhere and give one hundred percent to help the team win

March has seen defeat at home to Codicote and at London Lions, followed by victory last week at home over Brimsdown, how were these games?

In the Codicote game we should have done better as it wasn’t our best performance, but in the London Lions game we definitely deserved more out of the game as we played really well with many chances to win the game, especially with a goal line clearance and a penalty save. Then in the Brimsdown win, we played some of the best football since I have been here so we hope to take this momentum forward and have a strong end to the season

Onto this week against Hillingdon, with their recent form is this another three points for Ampthill?

I think that if I’ve learnt anything in this league, it’s that anyone can beat anyone. In this division there is no such thing as an “easy game”, so the best thing we can do is prepare for the game with the right attitude and give our absolute best to win

What does Lawrence see as a target for himself and the team for the rest of this campaign?

I think the teams goal for the rest of the season is to finish as high up in the table as possible and I believe that we can definitely achieve this as well as to win the final that we are in. For me personally I would like to get on the scoresheet more often as well as providing more assists

Finally we asked if he could choose any team mate to go on any TV programme who & what he would choose:

I would probably say Will Coote on any comedian show because he’s probably one of the funniest guys I’ve ever met

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

SSMFL; INANE RAMBLINGS FROM UP NORFF 21.03.2019 – South Midlands League update #60

THE INANE RAMBLINGS FROM UP NORFF
 ‘NOWT SO QUEER AS YORKSHIRE FOLK’
BY KAREN BROWNE
 

The Views Expressed Are Solely My Own, Are Written Tongue In Cheek

And Should Be Taken With A Pinch Of Salt

 

 

TUESDAY 19th MARCH / WEDNESDAY 20th MARCH

19/20 March Stats: 6 games played of which 2 were home wins and 4 were away wins.

 

Highest Midweek Attendances: 198 Biggleswade United v Biggleswade FC, 186 London Lions v Belstone and 76 London Colney v Berkhamsted.

 

PREMIER DIVISION

Leverstock Green have now gone 10 matches without a home win (D2 L8), the latest a 0-5 defeat at the hands of Colney Heath. Full result and goalscorers listed below.

0-5 Leverstock Green v Colney Heath (Blunden [3] [1 pen], Woods, Sears-Black) Attendance: 73

 

HERTS CHARITY SHIELD Quarter Final

London Colney went out of the Herts Charity Shield when they were beaten at home by a solitary goal by former SSML members Berkhamsted. Full result and goalscorer listed below.

0-1 London Colney v Berkhamsted (Farrelly) Attendance: 76

 

NORTH BEDS CHARITY CUP Semi Final

Biggleswade FC reached their first ever cup final when they overcame neighbours Biggleswade United 3-0 at Second Meadow in the North Beds Charity Cup. Full result and goalscorers listed below.

0-3 Biggleswade United v Biggleswade FC (Eze, Cookman, Northfield) Attendance: 198

 

DIVISION ONE

Harefield United moved another step closer to winning the Division One title with a solid 5-1 success at relegation threatened Brimsdown. Buckingham Athletic moved into the top four with a 2-1 home success over Langford. Full results and goalscorers (where known) listed below.

Stratford Fields

2-1 Buckingham Athletic v Langford (McDonald, Carter) / (Unknown) Attendance: 53

1-5 Brimsdown v Harefield United (Unknown) / (Shaw, Mangan, Farhall, Jordan, Willis) Attendance: 45

 

HERTS SENIOR CENTENARY TROPHY FINAL

London Lions contested their third successive Herts Senior Centenary Final on Tuesday and for one player it was certainly a memorable night, Adam Bolle found the net four times in 26 minutes as he put his side well in control by the hour mark against Herts County League opponents Belstone. Lions eventually roaring to a 5-1 victory and lifting the trophy for the second time in three years. Full result and goalscorers listed below.

5-1 London Lions v Belstone (Bolle [4] [1 pen], Levenfische) / (Turner [pen]) Attendance: 186

(@ Hemel Hempstead Town FC)

 

AND FINALLY

Don’t forget Deadline Day. SSML clubs have until 5.00pm on Sunday 31st March to complete signings and transfers for the current season.

SSMFL D2; Mursley United 1-3 Bovingdon

Mursley United – 1
Bovingdon – 3

League leaders Bovingdon visited Mursley United on Saturday and secured a 3-1 victory over the hosts.

Nathan Skelton

With regular keeper Dan Willett injured, Jordan Fernandez donned the goalkeeping gloves as Jamie Lands’ side looked to prove a tough test for the leaders.

However, despite the high wind, the visitors went ahead early when Deadman’s strike from distance took a deflection, wrong-footing Fernandez and ended up in the net.

The home side’s best effort was through Tom Brazier who couldn’t keep his effort down from ten yards and blazed over the bar.

The visitors’ second goal came late in the first half when Thorogood was on the end of a cross to tuck the ball home.

With the wind at their backs, Mursley had more possession in the second half and gave themselves a chance when Nathan Skelton’s effort from twenty yards rocketed into the net to record his twenty ninth goal of the season.

The visitors secured the points late on when James Wardell brought down Dodds in the area and, although Fernandez saved Standen’s spot kick, the latter followed up to net the rebound.

Report supplied by Justin Daley

SSMFL; INANE RAMBLINGS FROM UP NORFF 18.03.2019 – South Midlands League update #59

THE INANE RAMBLINGS FROM UP NORFF
 ‘NOWT SO QUEER AS YORKSHIRE FOLK’
BY KAREN BROWNE

 

The Views Expressed Are Solely My Own, Are Written Tongue In Cheek

And Should Be Taken With A Pinch Of Salt

 

For the second Saturday in succession the gentle breeze caused a few problems for the 20 SSML fixtures.

SATURDAY’S HEADLINES

Harefield United are storming their way to a return to the Premier Division and now stand within twelve points of achieving their goal. In Division Two only a gale can blow Bovingdon off course to claiming the title. Stotfold’s brief spell off the bottom ended as they lost out to Cockfosters. Saturday’s 20 games seeing 74 goals (an average of 3.70 per game). Brandon McKenna (Enfield Borough) the day’s top marksman with three.

 

16 March Stats: 20 games played of which 11 were home wins, 6 were away wins and 3 draws.

 

(Most League Wins – all Divisions): 28 Harefield United 24 Broadfields United 22 Tring Athletic.

(Most League Draws – all Divisions): 11 Edgware Town 10 Oxhey Jets, Leighton Town 9 Colney Heath, Wembley.

(Most League Defeats – all Divisions): 25 Hatfield Town 21 Cockfosters 20 Brimsdown, Clean Slate.

 

Average Saturday Goals: 3.94 (3626 goals from 920 games).

 

Unbeaten:

(Division One League): Harefield United.

 

Most Goals Scored:

(Premier Division League): 85 Biggleswade FC.

(Division One League): 97 Harefield United.

(Division Two League): 75 Bovingdon.

(U25 Development Division League): 40 Kempston Rovers Development.

Most Goals Conceded:

(Premier Division League): 78 Cockfosters.

(Division One League): 94 Hatfield Town.

(Division Two League): 83 Clean Slate.

(U25 Development Division League): 42 Ampthill Town Development.

Fewest Goals Conceded:

(Premier Division League): 28 Hadley.

(Division One League): 27 Harefield United.

(Division Two League): 15 Old Bradwell United.

(U25 Development Division League): 9 Buckingham Athletic Development.

Fewest Goals Scored:

(Premier Division League): 29 Stotfold.

(Division One League): 32 Hatfield Town.

(Division Two League): 14 Clean Slate.

(U25 Development Division League): 13 Ampthill Town Development.

 

Saturday’s Highest Attendances: 218 Leighton Town v Tring Athletic, 77 Colney Heath v Edgware Town and 70 Risborough Rangers v Hillingdon Borough.

 

Season’s Highest Attendances to date (Premier Division Clubs): 557 Biggleswade FC v Windsor (FA Vase), 527 Biggleswade FC v Stowmarket Town (FA Vase) and 323 Biggeswade United v Biggleswade FC.

 

Season’s Highest Attendances to date (Division One Clubs): 351 Winslow United v Easington Sports (FA Cup), 318 Harefield United v Broadfields United and 257 Harefield United v Winslow United.

 

Season’s Highest Attendances to date (Division Two Clubs): 121 Bovingdon v Biggleswade United (League Challenge Trophy), 101 Aston Clinton v Pitstone & Ivinghoe, 92 Bovingdon v Old Bradwell United.

 

Season’s Leading Goalscorers to date (Premier Division Clubs): 26 Alex Marsh (Biggleswade FC), Ashton Campbell (Tring Athletic) 21 Aaron McLeish (North Greenford United FC) 20 David Parkinson (Biggleswade United), Danny Webb (Potton United).

 

Season’s Leading Goalscorers to date (Division One Clubs): 30 Leonard Farhall (Harefield United) 28 Tage Kennedy (Enfield Borough) 27 Sean Peter (Hillingdon Borough).

 

Season’s Leading Goalscorers to date (Division Two Clubs): 31 Joshua Smith (MK Gallacticos) 29 Nathan Skelton (Mursley United) 21 Albie Hall (Pitstone & Ivinghoe), Matthew Standen (Bovingdon).

 

Saturday 16th March

 

PREMIER DIVISION

The pick of the day’s Premier Division fixtures saw leaders Tring Athletic travelling to Leighton Town and spurned on by a crowd of 218 they edged the game by the odd goal in five and thus opened up a three point lead in the title race, the winner from George Ironton coming from a wind assisted deflection. With the weather putting paid to the chasing pack behind Tring it gave Baldock Town the opportunity to close the gap and they gleefully accepted the chance with a 2-0 success at Leverstock Green. Oxhey Jets were stunned by two late goals at Arlesey Town to finally go down 2-4. Wembley were held 2-2 at home by Crawley Green who had just the bare eleven players after injuries hot their squad. At the bottom it was 19th v 20th as Stotfold welcomed Cockfosters in a big ‘six-pointer’, and it was the visitors who edged it by the odd goal in three and thus sent the hosts back to the wooden spoon position. The day’s remaining game saw Colney Heath winning 2-0 at home against Edgware Town. Full results and goalscorers are listed below.

4-2 Arlesey Town v Oxhey Jets (Mead, Lamond, Browne, Hatch) / (Johnson, Giordmaina) Attendance: 56

2-0 Colney Heath v Edgware Town (Blunden, Clarke-Mardel [pen]) Attendance: 77

2-3 Leighton Town v Tring Athletic (Adams, Fredericks [pen]) / (Campbell [2], Ironton) Attendance: 218

0-2 Leverstock Green v Baldock Town (Ngwala, Payne) Attendance: 43

1-2 Stotfold v Cockfosters (Francis) / (Mosanya, Beattie) Attendance: 58

2-2 Wembley v Crawley Green (Ebonine, Lendore-Martin) / (Oyeniran [2]) Attendance: 29

 

DIVISION ONE

Leaders Harefield United had to come from behind twice at Buckingham Athletic before securing maximum points with a 4-2 win and thus ensuring a top two finish. Second placed Broadfields United kept up their faint championship hopes with a 3-0 win at home against Bedford. Winslow United came from a goal down to defeat relegation bound Hatfield Town 3-1. Rayners Lane and visiting FC Broxbourne Borough served up a nine goal thriller with the hosts winning 6-3. Amersham Town gave themselves further hope in beating the drop with a 2-0 home success against Park View. Hillingdon Borough have now gone seven games without a win following Saturday’s 1-3 reverse at Risborough Rangers. Langford’s long trek to Enfield Borough proved fruitless as the hosts ran out comfortable 5-1 winners. In the days other action Ampthill Town saw off the challenge of visiting Brimsdown by three goals to one. Full results and goalscorers (where known) are listed below.

2-0 Amersham Town v Park View (Evans [2]) Attendance: 14

3-1 Ampthill Town v Brimsdown (Cerminara, Cooksley, Dillon) / (Sosanya) Attendance: 41

3-0 Broadfields United v Bedford (Gardner [2], Mboto) Attendance: 37

2-4 Buckingham Athletic v Harefield United (Farmer, Carter) / (Pacquette, Mangan, Jordan, Shaw) Attendance: 45

5-1 Enfield Borough v Langford (McKenna [3], Kennedy, Opoku) / (Unknown) Attendance: 20

6-3 Rayners Lane v FC Broxbourne Borough (Harris [2], Maher, Bevan, D Hastings, De La Salle) / (Unknown) Attendance: 30

3-1 Risborough Rangers v Hillingdon Borough (Urquhart, Pekun, Wylie) / (Jula) Attendance: 70

3-1 Winslow United v Hatfield Town (Freshwater [2] [1 pen],Karwacinski) / (Draper) Attendance: 58

 

DIVISION TWO

Bovingdon continue to blow away their opponents as they march on towards the title, this time it was Mursley United in the firing line, Bovingdon securing a 3-1 win. Second placed Berkhamsted Raiders travelled to third placed Aston Clinton and a very tight game was settled by a solitary goal for the hosts. It was honours even at Old Bradwell United where they were held to a 1-1 draw with local rivals MK Gallacticos. At the bottom Clean Slate will face re-election for the third time in four years following a 0-2 defeat at New Bradwell St Peter FC. The day’s other action saw Grendon Rangers winning 1-0 at Sarratt. Full results and goalscorers listed below.

1-0 Aston Clinton v Berkhamsted Raiders (Brown) Attendance: 20

1-3 Mursley United v Bovingdon (Skelton) / (Thurgood, Deadman, Matthew Standen) Attendance: Unknown

2-0 New Bradwell St Peter FC v Clean Slate (Whitcombe, Davey) Attendance: 25

1-1 Old Bradwell United v MK Gallacticos (Valentine) / (Lobjoit) Attendance: 43

0-1 Sarratt v Grendon Rangers (Adam) Attendance: 36

 

U25 DEVELOPMENT DIVISION

The day’s only Development fixture saw Biggleswade United U23 make the long trip to Holmer Green Development U25 and return home with a share of the points following a 2-2 draw. Full result and goalscorers (where known) listed below.

2-2 Holmer Green Development U25 v Biggleswade United U23 (Unknown) / (Unknown) Attendance: Unknown

 

AND FINALLY

Whilst clubs moan at referees spare a thought for Bradford in League One. Saturday saw them victims of a bizarre situation.

There’s drama and then there’s this – five minutes of total confusion over whether a stoppage-time Oxford goal would stand, or be ruled out to award Bradford a penalty.

Here’s our best understanding of the situation:

90+3 mins – Bradford unsuccessfully appeal for a penalty as Liam O’Brien goes down under a challenge six yards out as he shoots wide.

90+4 mins – Oxford take a quick goal kick and go down the other end to score through Jamie Mackie.

90+5 mins – After consulting his assistant, referee Andy Davies rules the goal out and goes back to award Bradford a penalty.

90+8 mins – Minutes later, Davies changes his mind and finally awards Oxford the goal.

The outcome means Bradford stay bottom of League One, seven points behind Oxford, who move out of the drop zone as a result of the decision.

Needless to say, Bantams boss Gary Bowyer wasn’t best pleased.

“I’ve never seen anything like it – not just as a football manager, but in my life. I’m not being funny, but I still can’t understand what’s gone on.”

His opposite number Karl Robinson sympathised: “If I was Gary, I’d be devastated – I don’t know what’s gone on.

“We have to speak to you [the media] within 30 minutes, but we can’t speak to the referee for 30 minutes. How stupid is that?”

 

Remember to tune into Three Counties Radio (Herts, Beds & Bucks) and a show all about local non-league football- The show is live every Monday evening from 7.00pm – 8.00pm and is the perfect opportunity to catch up with our local non-league scene at all levels. Both presenters of the show are on twitter, and to follow what’s coming up in the next show make sure you give them a follow, Ollie Bayliss is @Ollie_Bayliss and Luke Ashmead is @Ashmead72.

 

A reminder from Potton United Secretary Bev Strong, Bev has posted the following – In 7 days I am stepping well out my comfort zone by running a half marathon so if you can spare a pound or two please sponsor me. I am running the Landmarks Half Marathon for Tommy’s, the baby charity because they have been tremendous support to a good friend. Having only taken up running 2 years ago and vowing to never run more than 10k (6 miles) I was asked to join this team and could not possibly say no.  I am the oldest of the team and the least fit as the majority are all football referees but it will be the knowledge that I am collecting a lot of sponsors and doing this for a good friend that I hope will get me round.

 

UP OR DOWN

Who can go up or down

 

PREMIER DIVISION

Champions: Current leaders 70

Biggleswade FC (94), Tring Athletic (91), Hadley (88), Biggleswade United (83), Baldock Town (75), Potton United (70), Arlesey Town (70)

Runners Up: Current 2nd place 67

Biggleswade FC (94), Tring Athletic (91), Hadley (88), Biggleswade United (83), Baldock Town (75), Potton United (70), Arlesey Town (70), Colney Heath (69)

Relegation: Current safety 44

Cockfosters (39), Stotfold (43), Leverstock Green (50), Wembley (51), London Tigers (52), Edgware Town (56), North Greenford United FC (57), Harpenden Town (58), London Colney (59), Crawley Green (61), Leighton Town (61)

 

DIVISION ONE

Champions: Current leaders 86

Harefield United (104) or Broadfields United (96)

Runners Up: Current 2nd place 75

Harefield United (104), Broadfields United (96), Winslow United (85), Bedford (76)

Relegation: Current safety 51

Hatfield Town (31), Codicote (50), Amersham Town (51), Brimsdown (52), Milton Keynes Robins FC (56), Park View (58), Wodson Park (61), Ampthill Town (61), Hillingdon Borough (62), Rayners Lane (65), Enfield Borough (66), Risborough Rangers (68), London Lions (69), Langford (69), Buckingham Athletic (76)

 

 DIVISION TWO

Champions: Current leaders 56

Bovingdon (71), Old Bradwell United (64) or Berkhamsted Raiders (56)

Runners Up: Current 2nd place 47

Bovingdon (71), Old Bradwell United (64), Berkhamsted Raiders (56), Aston Clinton (54), Pitstone & Ivinghoe (50)

Re-election: Current safety 25

Clean Slate plus one of following – The 61FC (Luton) (24), Sarratt (29) or New Bradwell St Peter (36)

Note:

Figures in brackets denote maximum points that can be won.

Division One runners-up promotion places will be the nine best runners-up from the Step 6 divisions on a points per game basis.

SSMFL D1; Athletic defender confident his side can show their steel against league leaders

Saturday 16th March 2019
Buckingham Athletic v Harefield United
Spartan South Midlands Division One
Stratford Fields
K.O. 3.00pm

Buckingham Athletic have had a tough run of games of late and it doesn’t get any easier this Saturday as they host champions elect Harefield United at Stratford Fields, United have drawn just two of their twenty-nine league games this season whilst winning the rest, a remarkable run of form in any league! Athletic have seen a mixed bag of results in their last four games, a goalless draw at bottom side Hatfield before an odd goal in three victory over local rivals Winslow in the first leg of the Buckingham Senior Charity Cup semi-final set them up nicely for a thumping and now infamous rout of Hillingdon Borough who turned up to the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong personal, as Neil Griffiths men dished out a fourteen goals to two hammering, this was then followed by a trip down to the side sitting in second place in the Spartan South Midlands Football League Division One table Broadfields United, where a three goal without reply brought the Swans back to earth with a bump. Harefield have won every league game they have played since the end of last August, the only points they have dropped this campaign were in the first month of the season, but not many teams like the famous Stratford bobble……

Stuart Ironmonger

This week Sports Shots caught up with Athletic defender Stuart Ironmonger to ask when he joined the club, how it all came about and how it’s been settling in?

I initially joined the club at under eighteen level a long time ago now, I then managed to play some first team football before I went to uni. Four years later Jake asked me if I wanted to start playing again for the development side at the end of last year and already knowing a lot of the lads from growing up in Buckingham it was an easy choice to start playing again and enjoying football

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

I think my fitness is the best it has been, this season was the first pre-season I have had since the under eighteen’s days, so that helped massively. I think I had an eye opener early on against Potton in the cup where I struggled, but since then have been taking information on from Griff (Neil Griffiths) and Jamie (O’Grady) with my performances improving a lot, now I feel that I am performing at a good level consistently which I need to carry on

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

I think you can see this season with the number of injuries we’ve had that the squad depth is immense, everyone stepping in is capable, players that have had a few weeks on the fringe of the first team squad or players stepping up from the Development. It’s hard to pick out any one player as I think we have a lot of youth with great potential in both sides. Robbie Carter goals when he is fit show his clinical edge, if I had to pick one out

What is Stuart’s preferred position in the team?

I think playing centre back at the start of the season was where I felt most comfortable, however now I think I have adapted to playing left back after having a good run of games there. Versatility is important and I think can play at the same level in whichever position is asked of me

The last three games has seen a narrow win over Winslow, a huge scoring win over Hillingdon followed by a resounding defeat last week at Broadfields, how has this run of games been?

Winslow was a good result with not the best of performances, but it is only half a job done, whilst Hillingdon was a test of our ability to be ruthless against not necessarily the best team we have faced but I think the score line showed that, in a result that I doubt will be seen in the league for a long time again. Broadfields was a different prospect and at crucial moments in the game we switched off and that in the end was what cost us in a reasonably close game, not that the score line suggests that

Harefield come to town this week, they haven’t lost in the league all season, how big a test is this?

To come this far in the league and be unbeaten is an unbelievable achievement, so we know it will be a difficult job. Our home form is very encouraging and they will be in a tough game, if we turn up with a good intensity I think we can push to get a good result and end their run

With that semi-final still to conclude, with just nine league games left what is the target for the squad for the rest of the campaign?

The aim is to try and create history and achieve FA cup football for the first time but I think we have to take it game by game and not look too far ahead. Then try and add a bit of silverware to close off a great season

Finally we asked Stuart if he could nominate a team mate to go on any TV programme who & what would he choose?

I think I Ash Farmer in Britain’s got Talent as a DJ, he has some fantastic skills, or maybe Jack Menday on Takeshi’s Castle, for a few big wipe-outs. Lastly a big thank you to everyone at Sport Shots as always, great work, keep it up!

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

SSMFL Interview: ‘Think first, Before you curse’ pilot aims explained

Sports Shots has spoken with Spartan South Midlands League, vice chairman Bill Scholes and Respect and Referees chairman Mike Taylor.

We discussed the Spartan South Midlands League pilot ‘Think first, Before you curse’, which is an attempt for clubs to create a family-friendly environment by kicking Unacceptable Language and Behaviour, both on and off the field, into touch.

The Spartan South Midlands League ‘Think First’ campaign.

Scholes explained:

Every club should always be aiming to be the hub of the community, and not just in football terms. With this comes a responsibility to attract a family-friendly, fun environment. These people are the club’s lifeline.

It was clear from strong viewpoints expressed at both recent Divisional club meetings and recent Match officials’ meetings, that improvements to the campaign could be made, by both the clubs themselves and by the match officials. There are always two sides of a story, but the League feel that the future for a better and much more enjoyable afternoon’s football, helping to eradicate the use of foul language and abuse, would be best served if both match officials and clubs could work together to stamp out this particularly virulent cancer on the game that we all love.

Therefore a letter from the SSMFL Board went out to all club chairmen and match officials explaining the new initiative, objectives and the reasons behind it. The pilot will run from 16th February until 27th April in Division One only, monitoring unacceptable language and behaviour, both on and off the field of play.

Taylor went on to say:

The responsibility for administering the Laws of the Game on the field remains on the shoulders of the match officials, but there is a strong feeling amongst the officials that more could be done “at home” by the clubs to remind their management and players of their responsibility. Remember, the match officials are there to police the match, not to teach players how to behave.

We have produced a new, ‘softer, less wordy’ set of posters, which the officials asked for and these should now be visible at all the grounds. If this is not the case, referees are asked to report accordingly.

We have also reminded referees that they have a golden opportunity on receipt of the team sheets before kick off to remind clubs what is expected and that the bench side Assistant should monitor the technical areas diligently.

I hope that together we can all achieve the goals that we all know would make our match-days far more enjoyable, for everyone hoping to enjoy the game, without having to put up with unacceptable comments, hopefully they will all

‘’Think First, Before They Curse’’……

Scholes added:

Board members have asked to report any incidents of unacceptable language and/or behaviour to the General Secretary. These will then be forwarded on to the Respect, Discipline and Referees committee who decide what action, if any, will be taken.

This could be,

  1. A written warning as to future behaviour, with the proviso that further action may result should the behaviour be repeated.
  2. The chief officers/ management team of the club will be asked to attend a Board panel to explain their club’s behaviour and produce a committed action plan to eradicate any further occurrences.
  3. If no discernible improvement and should further instances occur, a report will be made to the main Board, with the   recommendation that the club be removed from the Constitution at the AGM.

We are asking clubs to highlight this trial, and its potential ramifications, in every home programme that they issue, as well as constantly reminding spectators, players and officials. We also recommend that they pin up the new poster at the entry point /pay box so that all spectators entering the ground are aware of the campaign. Additional laminated posters will be available on request.

The league reserves the right to Name and Shame clubs that are reported for unacceptable language and/or behaviour. This could be through the use of social media and local press, and as we have seen recently, these reports can be picked up by the national press. I’m sure that club officials do not want their club to be portrayed in a detrimental light.

The trial, started on Saturday 16th February, and will encompass all Division One league fixtures and all cup matches that come under the auspices of the League.

The emphasis does and should fall on everyone and Sports Shots hope that management staff, players and supporters all look at the bigger picture and grasp why this trial is being introduced.

 

Spartan South Midlands League … Interview coming Wednesday

Sports Shots always attempts to give our followers the very latest news and we are delighted the Spartan South Midlands League have accepted our invite to give an interview.

While there are many issues that the league’s Board face on a daily basis, the biggest news item is currently a pilot initative, centering around Unacceptable Language and Behaviour.

Coming tomorrow we will publish our interview after we spoke to the league’s vice-chairman Bill Scholes and Respect and Referees chairman Mike Taylor.

SSMFL; INANE RAMBLINGS FROM UP NORFF 11.03.2019 – South Midlands League update #58

THE INANE RAMBLINGS FROM UP NORFF
 ‘NOWT SO QUEER AS YORKSHIRE FOLK’
BY KAREN BROWNE
 

The Views Expressed Are Solely My Own, Are Written Tongue In Cheek

And Should Be Taken With A Pinch Of Salt

 

On a day where a slight breeze caused a few problems the SSML managed to see 25 of its scheduled 26 games played, the only casualty being the London Colney v North Greenford United FC fixture which was deemed unplayable by the referee.

 

SATURDAY’S HEADLINES

Stotfold finally climb off the bottom of the table having been there since August. Old Bradwell United reach the Division Two Cup Final. Harefield United take another step closer to winning the Division One title. Bovingdon edge closer to securing the Division Two title. Saturday’s 25 games seeing 72 goals (an average of 2.88 per game). Connor Spinks (Broadfields United) the day’s top marksman with three.

 

9 March Stats: 25 games played of which 9 were home wins, 10 were away wins and 6 draws.

 

(Most League Wins – all Divisions): 27 Harefield United 23 Broadfields United 21 Hadley, Tring Athletic.

(Most League Draws – all Divisions): 11 Edgware Town 10 Oxhey Jets, Leighton Town 9 Colney Heath.

(Most League Defeats – all Divisions): 24 Hatfield Town 21 Cockfosters 19 London Tigers, Amersham Town, Brimsdown, Clean Slate.

 

Average Saturday Goals: 3.95 (3552 goals from 900 games).

 

Unbeaten:

(Division One League): Harefield United.

Most Goals Scored:

(Premier Division League): 85 Biggleswade FC.

(Division One League): 93 Harefield United.

(Division Two League): 72 Bovingdon.

(U25 Development Division League): 40 Kempston Rovers Development.

Most Goals Conceded:

(Premier Division League): 77 Cockfosters.

(Division One League): 91 Hatfield Town.

(Division Two League): 81 Clean Slate.

(U25 Development Division League): 42 Ampthill Town Development.

Fewest Goals Conceded:

(Premier Division League): 28 Hadley.

(Division One League): 25 Harefield United.

(Division Two League): 14 Old Bradwell United.

(U25 Development Division League): 9 Buckingham Athletic Development.

Fewest Goals Scored:

(Premier Division League): 28 Stotfold.

(Division One League): 31 Hatfield Town.

(Division Two League): 14 Clean Slate.

(U25 Development Division League): 12 Holmer Green Development U25.

 

Saturday’s Highest Attendances: 113 Baldock Town v Tring Athletic, 102 Biggleswade FC v Leverstock Green and 78 v Potton United v Colney Heath.

 

Season’s Highest Attendances to date (Premier Division Clubs): 557 Biggleswade FC v Windsor (FA Vase), 527 Biggleswade FC v Stowmarket Town (FA Vase) and 323 Biggeswade United v Biggleswade FC.

 

Season’s Highest Attendances to date (Division One Clubs): 351 Winslow United v Easington Sports (FA Cup), 318 Harefield United v Broadfields United and 257 Harefield United v Winslow United.

 

Season’s Highest Attendances to date (Division Two Clubs): 121 Bovingdon v Biggleswade United (League Challenge Trophy), 101 Aston Clinton v Pitstone & Ivinghoe, 92 Bovingdon v Old Bradwell United.

 

Season’s Leading Goalscorers to date (Premier Division Clubs): 26 Alex Marsh (Biggleswade FC) 24 Ashton Campbell (Tring Athletic) 21 Aaron McLeish (North Greenford United FC).

 

Season’s Leading Goalscorers to date (Division One Clubs): 30 Leonard Farhall (Harefield United) 27 Tage Kennedy (Enfield Borough), Sean Peter (Hillingdon Borough) 22 Harry Dalton (Winslow United).

 

Season’s Leading Goalscorers to date (Division Two Clubs): 31 Joshua Smith (MK Gallacticos) 28 Nathan Skelton (Mursley United) 21 Albie Hall (Pitstone & Ivinghoe).

 

Saturday 9th March

 

PREMIER DIVISION

It was a winning Saturday for the top four clubs, Tring Athletic defeating the morning’s fifth placed club Baldock Town by a solitary goal at the New Lamb Meadow in a game that saw Tring lose goalkeeper following a red card fifteen minutes from time, the drama didn’t end there defender Carl Mensah donned the gloves and saved the resulting penalty kick. Second placed Hadley won 2-1 at Oxhey Jets, Biggleswade FC defeated visiting Leverstock Green 2-0 while a solitary goal was enough to see Biggleswade United overcome Wembley at Second Meadow. Stotfold climbed off the bottom of the table after their solitary goal home success against Crawley Green, Cockfosters dropping to bottom as they went down 1-3 at home to Harpenden Town. Leighton Town overcame the loss of their goalkeeper through injury early on to win 4-1 at Edgware Town. The day’s other action saw Potton United come from behind to defeat visiting Colney Heath by the odd goal in three. Full results and goalscorers are listed below.

0-1 Baldock Town v Tring Athletic (Campbell) Attendance: 113

2-0 Biggleswade FC v Leverstock Green (Eze, George [pen]) Attendance: 102

1-0 Biggleswade United v Wembley (Hankins) Attendance: 71

1-3 Cockfosters v Harpenden Town (Wade) / (A McClelland [2], McLeish) Attendance: 32

1-4 Edgware Town v Leighton Town (Ofori) / (Silford [2], Butawo [2]) Attendance: 51

1-2 Oxhey Jets v Hadley (Giordmaina) / (Opponent Own Goal, Clarke) Attendance: 62

2-1 Potton United v Colney Heath (Burnside, Ansell-Carter) / (Doolan) Attendance: 78

1-0 Stotfold v Crawley Green (Francis) Attendance: 48

 

DIVISION ONE

Following last week’s heavy defeat Hillingdon Borough bounced back with a goalless draw at home to Wodson Park. Relegation fighting Amersham Town picked up a vital point from their trip to high flying FC Broxbourne Borough. Broadfields United maintained their faint championship hopes with a 3-0 win against visiting Buckingham Athletic to remain eleven points behind the leaders Harefield United who returned home from their trip to Langford with a 2-1 win. London Lions edged out visiting Ampthill Town by the odd goal in five. Winslow United remain third but had to settle for a point after being held at home by Rayners Lane. At the bottom Codicote went down 0-2 at home against Enfield Borough while Hatfield Town picked up a rare point with a 2-2 draw at Park View. Full results and goalscorers (where known) are listed below.

3-0 Broadfields United v Buckingham Athletic (Spinks [3]) Attendance: 21

0-2 Codicote v Enfield Borough (Kennedy, Stevens) Attendance: 42

1-1 FC Broxbourne Borough v Amersham Town (Wells) / (J Squire-Adams [pen]) Attendance: 45

0-0 Hillingdon Borough v Wodson Park Attendance: Unknown

1-2 Langford v Harefield United (Rome) / (Clifton, Pacquette) Attendance: 50

3-2 London Lions v Ampthill Town (Bolle, Craig, Kyte) / (Carter, Kissiedu) Attendance: 25

2-2 Park View v Hatfield Town (Orelaja, Williams) / (Beck, Unknown) Attendance: 61

1-1 Winslow United v Rayners Lane (Ingram) / (Blagden) Attendance: 72

 

DIVISION TWO CUP Semi Final

A solitary first half goal from Darryl Smith proved to be enough to send Old Bradwell United through to the Final of the Division Two Cup at the expense of hosts and local rivals MK Gallacticos. Full result and goalscorer listed below.

0-1 MK Gallacticos v Old Bradwell United (Darryl Smith) Attendance: Unknown

 

DIVISION TWO

Bovingdon recorded their tenth successive league win as they defeated New Bradwell St Peter FC 3-1 and in doing so increased their lead to six points at the top of the table. Aston Clinton remain third after securing a point from their trip to Grendon Rangers. Totternhoe and visiting Mursley United shared six goals at the Recreation Ground while Clean Slate remain rooted to the bottom as they went down to a solitary goal defeat following their derby-day clash at Unite MK. Full results and goalscorers (where known) listed below.

3-1 Bovingdon v New Bradwell St Peter FC (Thurgood [2], Deadman) / (Unknown) Attendance: 67

1-1 Grendon Rangers v Aston Clinton (Janecki) / (A Smith) Attendance: 33

3-3 Totternhoe v Mursley United (Fry, Richardson, Paquette) / (Skelton [2], Lloyd-Roberts) Attendance: 53

1-0 Unite MK v Clean Slate (Ainsley) Attendance: 18

 

DEVELOPMENT DIVISION CHALLENGE TROPHY Quarter Final Second Leg

Buckingham Athletic Development’s 2-0 win at Kempston Rovers Development secured a 3-0 aggregate win and a place in the Development Division semi-finals where they will meet Leighton Town Development over two legs. Full result and goalscorer listed below.

0-2 [0-3 on agg] Kempston Rovers Development v Buckingham Athletic Development (Wright [2]) Attendance: Unknown

 

U25 DEVELOPMENT DIVISION

Berkhamsted Development continued to keep themselves in the title race with a hard fought 3-2 win at Harpenden Town Development. Holmer Green Development U25 also came out on top by the odd goal in five as they defeated bottom of the table Ampthill Town Development while Stotfold U25 hit hosts Leighton Town Development for five in the day’s other game. Full results and goalscorers (where known) listed below.

2-3 Harpenden Town Development v Berkhamsted Development (Churchill, David) / (Unknown) Attendance: Unknown

3-2 Holmer Green Development U25 v Ampthill Town Development (Scott [2], Stephen) / (Unknown) Attendance: Unknown

0-5 Leighton Town Development v Stotfold U25 (Unknown) Attendance: Unknown

 

AND FINALLY

Remember to tune into Three Counties Radio (Herts, Beds & Bucks) and a show all about local non-league football- The show is live every Monday evening from 7.00pm – 8.00pm and is the perfect opportunity to catch up with our local non-league scene at all levels. Both presenters of the show are on twitter, and to follow what’s coming up in the next show make sure you give them a follow, Ollie Bayliss is @Ollie_Bayliss and Luke Ashmead is @Ashmead72.

 

A reminder from Potton United Secretary Bev Strong, Bev has posted the following – I am stepping well out my comfort zone by running a half marathon so if you can spare a pound or two please sponsor me. I am running the Landmarks Half Marathon for Tommy’s, the baby charity because they have been tremendous support to a good friend. Having only taken up running 2 years ago and vowing to never run more than 10k (6 miles) I was asked to join this team and could not possibly say no.  I am the oldest of the team and the least fit as the majority are all football referees but it will be the knowledge that I am collecting a lot of sponsors and doing this for a good friend that I hope will get me round.

 

 

 

UP OR DOWN

Who can go up or down

PREMIER DIVISION

Champions: Current leaders 67

Biggleswade FC (94), Tring Athletic (91), Hadley (88), Biggleswade United (83), Baldock Town (75), Potton United (70), Arlesey Town (70), Colney Heath (69), Oxhey Jets (67)

Runners Up: Current 2nd place 67

Biggleswade FC (94), Tring Athletic (91), Hadley (88), Biggleswade United (83), Baldock Town (75), Potton United (70), Arlesey Town (70), Colney Heath (69), Oxhey Jets (67)

Relegation: Current safety 47

Cockfosters (39), Stotfold (46), London Tigers (52), Leverstock Green (53), Wembley (53), North Greenford United FC (57), Harpenden Town (58), London Colney (59), Edgware Town (59), Crawley Green (63), Leighton Town (64), Oxhey Jets (67), Colney Heath (69)

 

DIVISION ONE

Champions: Current leaders 83

Harefield United (104), Broadfields United (96), Winslow United (85)

Runners Up: Current 2nd place 72

Harefield United (104), Broadfields United (96), Winslow United (85), Bedford (79), Buckingham Athletic (76), FC Broxbourne Borough (75), Langford (72)

Relegation: Current safety 51

Hatfield Town (34), Codicote (50), Amersham Town (51), Brimsdown (55), Milton Keynes Robins FC (56), Wodson Park (61), Park View (61), Ampthill Town (61), Rayners Lane (65), Hillingdon Borough (65), Enfield Borough (66), Risborough Rangers (68), London Lions (69), Langford (72), Buckingham Athletic (76)

 

DIVISION TWO

Champions: Current leaders 53

Bovingdon (71), Old Bradwell United (66), Berkhamsted Raiders (59), Aston Clinton (54)

Runners Up: Current 2nd place 47

Bovingdon (71), Old Bradwell United (66), Berkhamsted Raiders (59), Aston Clinton (54), Pitstone & Ivinghoe (50), MK Gallacticos (48)

Re-election: Current safety 25

Clean Slate (21), The 61FC (Luton) (24), Sarratt (32), New Bradwell St Peter (36)

Note

Figures in brackets denote maximum points that can be won.

Division One runners-up promotion places will be the nine best runners-up from the Step 6 divisions on a points per game basis.

SSMFL D2; Grendon Rangers 1-1 Aston Clinton

Grendon Rangers – 1
Aston Clinton – 1

The contrasting faces that came off the playing fields at Grendon on Saturday told two separate stories, the home side Rangers delighted to have held third placed & double cup finalists Aston Clinton to a draw whilst the visitors were left fuming after a second half that saw them denied what they saw as a perfectly good goal and two penalty decisions go against them that had assistant manager Jack Seaton in no doubt they should have won the game. A strong cross field wind made conditions difficult for both sides but Grendon took the lead through Sol Janecki and they were looking good to get to half time with that advantage, however a late first half free kick from Alex Smith caught the wind and eluded the reach of James Cox in the home nets to nestle inside the far post to level matters, after the break Clinton did everything but score despite being reduced to ten men, rattling the woodwork twinned with those decisions they felt the officials got wrong ultimately costing them two points.

The weather almost undid the home side just forty seconds into the game when a free kick to Clinton just inside their own half saw keeper Liam Smith loft into the box but it got caught in the swirling wind eluding everyone in the area, one bounce took it over Cox and also the crossbar to safety, Chris Stapleton cutting in from the left hand touchline across midfield then went for goal but could only fire wide of the post. Lamar Mason-Williams & Taylor Collins then almost undid the Rangers defence with a one-two which saw them lose control however the ball bounced dangerously towards the bottom corner forcing Cox to stick out a boot to turn away for a corner, the set piece curled in invitingly towards the edge of the six-yard box but then the weather took over carrying it out of play over the bar as if to show the spectators just how difficult it was to play.

Sol Janecki gets the ball over the line to open scoring

Joe Kittle found some space on the wing to cross but a glancing header from Mason-Williams was too close to the home custodian, Stapleton then drove into the area avoiding a couple of challenges but from close range he lifted over the top, then on twenty-nine minutes Rangers took the lead when a corner swung in from their left saw Janecki challenge with Sam Austin on his back just two yards in front of the goal, the ball bouncing down through both Ash Clark & Smith on the line and into the net. There was almost an immediate equaliser when Kittle found Elias Williams some ten yards out where his shot came back off the crossbar and was eventually cleared away, a free kick then saw a flick on to Smith on the corner of the eighteen yard box where he fired back across goal and wide of the far upright.

At the other end Mohammed Adam did well holding off the challenge of Luke Russel and also Kittle who came across to try & help out his colleague, the Grendon striker firing low towards the bottom corner but Smith stuck out a leg to divert away and as the loose ball rolled across goal no other amber shirts were close enough to take advantage, then just a minute before the interval Aston did draw themselves level. They won a free kick out on their left which Kittle stood over ready to take until the referee noticed he had an ear ring in and ordered him from the pitch to remove it, the midfielder was booked for his protests as he left the field of play towards his sides dug out, as he stood on the sidelines watching Smith took charge of the free kick which flew in over the outstretched gloves of Cox and into the far corner. H/T: 1-1

Alex Smith all smiles after scoring from free kick

The first chance of the second period saw Mason-Williams sprint down the flank to find Smith twelve yards out but his touch let him down and the bounce took it away allowing Grendon to clear, on five minutes a speculative shot from Stapleton from twenty yards had Cox peck peddling to catch with both hands under his crossbar, with his momentum taking him into the back of the net he dropped the ball which had the blues frontline screaming goal as they thought it had crossed the line, however play was waved on by the official. A left wing cross from Smith sailed over Cox and in behind Collins fought with Dan Ciuica but the defender did just enough to force the Clinton man to deflect wide with the empty goal gaping, and on sixty-four minutes the away side were up in arms again when a throw on their right saw them initially lose possession inside the Grendon box and as it bounced out to Stuart Leonard he appeared to handle before clearing, but again the man in the middle was having none of it.

A deep cross into the home area found Smith who had time to take a touch to compose himself but as he tried to curl around the keeper, Cox flung himself out to gather with both hands and they went even closer on the next move when Mason-Williams got ahead of his marker to head for goal but the ball bounced off the post and landed nicely for a Ranger to launch to safety. Aston piled on the pressure as the half wore on but they were almost undone when a pass down the middle of the pitch saw Leonard advance from defence and play Adam in behind the blue backline, away on goal he had more time than he realised and opted to hit it first time in an attempted lob over Smith but he could only steer wide of the target, then with sixteen minutes remaining a tackle from Kittle left Ciuica floored and the referee flashed a second yellow at the midfielder forcing him off for an early shower.

A Grendon free kick eluded everyone in the area including Smith who climbed to gather but missed, Stapleton to his relief was behind on the line to head away, at the opposite end a corner routine found Stapleton at the near post but he flicked his header over the top. A late free kick to the hosts saw Charlie West launch into the box but again the conditions took it straight into the waiting gloves of Smith, in added time a determined run from Stapleton saw him slip the ball through the home backline to Clark who drove towards goal until a challenge from substitute Louis Descrette saw him go down and the Clinton bench again were in uproar as the official originally looked as though he was going to blow his whistle, as the players asked what decision had been given a moment of confusion elapsed until he eventually indicated a throw in was the outcome. From the throw the hosts struggled to clear allowing Austin to shoot from the penalty arc narrowly wide, with hands on their heads indicating just how close it had been, the final whistle sounded. F/T: 1-1

Attendance: 33

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

After the game Sports Shots caught up with Grendon manager Steven Jackman:
And also with Clinton assistant manager Jack Seaton:

For match photography (112 images) please click here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmBvnXvP

SSMFL D2; Grendon duo enjoying being part of youth & Evergreen squad

Saturday 9th March 2019
Grendon Rangers v Aston Clinton
Spartan South Midlands League Division Two
Grendon Playing Fields
K.O. 3.00pm

Grendon Rangers host Aston Clinton this Saturday knowing victory could lift them into the dizzy heights of top half of the Spartan South Midlands Football League Division Two table depending on other results obviously, but after a fine recent run that has seen Steve Jackman’s squad win three of their last four games they are comfortably away from the bottom end of that table as they go into their remaining five games of their season. With games in hand on Totternhoe, Rangers could go into eighth place which a few weeks ago seemed a distant dream, although their remaining league games are all tough as they face four sides who are currently above them and also travel to Sarratt who have won their last three games on the bounce. This week’s visitor’s Aston Clinton are in two cup finals already this season, and currently sit in third place in the league having lost just once in their last seven games in all competition, and have won their last two scoring seven without conceding a goal, a tough afternoon ahead for the Grendon squad….

Mark O’Dell

This week Sports Shots caught up with Grendon duo Will Young and firstly we asked Mark O’Dell when he joined the club and how it all came about?

I have been signed on since December and played my first games in January. Andrew Hind (Haggis) dropped me a message originally to see if I fancied going training, and after the first session I got the buzz again and signed on the same night. Blocky’s (Steven Jackman) training sessions are well structured with a plan of how he wants the team to play, and most importantly enjoyable so I was keen to get involved. The lads have been awesome to be fair, and made me feel like I have been part of the club for years so it made it easy to fit in

Will Young has been involved with the club on and off for a while:

I have been with Grendon in and out since I was a kid and returned to the men’s squad this season. Grendon & I are like magnets, we are pulled together by force. Settling in has been no problem, it’s a great set up here

How does Will feel his season has been in terms of fitness & contribution?

Fitness was a bit of a struggle at the beginning being a smoky joe, however as the season progressed so did my fitness. Availability has been no problem as I only live fifteen & a half seconds away from the home ground. My performances have picked up and I’m happy with the way I am playing at the moment

Mark is slowly getting back to fitness after having time away from football for family:

I have played very few games the last three years since having my children, so my fitness has been a long way off however I am getting fitter the more games I get under my belt, and my aim is to take that into next season and hit the ground running for a good full season. Availability has been dependant on getting someone to have the kids as of late, but I am expecting to be available for the remaining six fixtures now. I have been pretty happy with my performances, and I am getting back to full sharpness. I am an older head in the changing room, so hopefully my experience along with Haggis, Andy Prescott and Stu Leonard will contribute to improving the squad

How good does Mark rate this current Grendon group, and have any players stood out?

The current squad is arguably one of the strongest since I have watched or played against Grendon in recent times, we have a good blend of youth and experience now and that should take us to a strong finish at the end of the season. I have probably been most impressed with Will Young and Andy Prescott so far . If you met Youngy before or after the ninety minutes you’d think he’s not quite the full ticket, but when that whistle goes he has been absolutely solid in all the games I have played in. I have known Andy for years, and although he has lost a little bit of his explosive pace, he has still caused the defenders he has faced a lot of issues by making his presence felt

Will Young

Will is equally impressed by the squad:

I feel Grendon has improved a great deal since last year, and we keep on getting better. To be honest everyone has impressed me, they are a decent set of lads on the pitch and off

We asked Will what his favoured position & formation to play in is?

My favourite position would be centre back, I also don’t mind the bench with a pint in my hand! As for formation I think our best is three-five-two as its more attacking and direct

Mark has returned to a position he knows well:

I did enjoy a stint in defensive midfield on Saturday, but my favoured position is centre back. We have played three-four-one-two in most of the games I have been involved in, and it has been easy to form an understanding with the lads at the back. We have a good mix of pacey and physical defenders, so we seem to complement each other well

Three wins and a narrow defeat to high Berkhamsted in their last four, how has Mark seen these games from a Rangers viewpoint?

Clean Slate was very straight forward, we expected to win that one and we did the job well and killed the game off very early on, limiting them to very few chances and we could probably have had another couple. I missed the 61FC game, but I understand it was much of the same, I know the lads were disappointed to concede, but I hear it was a screamer so couldn’t be helped. Gallacticos was a very good win and we defended well as a unit, they are a good footballing side and we did well to limit them to long range efforts, and the lads up top were very clinical when we created chances. Strangely, Berko was probably the best we played overall, but we weren’t as clinical as other weeks and that’s why we somehow came away with nothing. The fact that their keeper got their man of the match speaks volumes, but this game showed us how much we are improving as a side and that we shouldn’t fear anyone in this league

Will believes the squad have more confidence of late:

In our last four games we have started to believe in ourselves, shown a lot more confidence and belief that we can get results

Onto Aston Clinton this week, what does Will remember from their encounter earlier in the season, and what do Grendon need to change this time round?

To be honest with you I can’t recall much from that game, I can’t remember three weeks ago let alone a couple of months. However Saturday we all are going to put in a shift and a half, and fight like warriors

As Mark wasn’t at the club then, we asked if he knows anyone at Aston, and what he expects from them on Saturday:

I recognise their manager from playing against him a few years back now, but none of their players. I expect them to be a good side going forward as their recent results have seen plenty of goals, but they are still conceding in games so hopefully we can create more than them and turn them over on the day. The league doesn’t lie, so we have to treat them with the same respect as Berko and Gallacticos and approach the game as we did against them

What targets do the club and Mark have for the run in?

The clubs targets are to win all of our remaining fixtures. We feel we have competed well enough against the top few sides over the last few weeks, and are confident enough to beat any of the sides that we have left to play. From a personal point of view, the aim is to keep as many clean sheets as possible and to pop up with a goal or two if I can as well. I have a bet with Haggis that I will score before he does, so it would be nice to rub it in

Will is keeping his cards close to this chest:

Can’t be telling you that kind of information, you don’t know who will be reading this comments this close to the end of the season. However I can tell you my targets which are to get some sort of result for the up and coming games

Rounding up, we asked Will if he could nominate any team mate to go on any TV programme, who & what would he chose?

That’s no problem, it would be Sol (Janecki) and he would go on the Undateables. I know he has already tried out for it and didn’t get to go on, so this would really mean a lot to him if he could go on that show!

Mark chose a team mate popular in choice of late:

I would have to say Youngy on Emmerdale, he works on the farm, and I think his crazy character would be a great addition to the Dingles!

Sports Shots would like to thank Will & Mark for their time this week