Archive for Mursley United Football Club

SSMFL D2; Pitstone & Ivinghoe 1-0 Mursley United

Pitstone & Ivinghoe – 1
Mursley United – 0

Mursley United made the journey to Pitstone & Ivinghoe on Saturday (19th January 2019) and were defeated 1-0.

The visitors welcomed back Luke Williamson from injury and he slotted in at right back, replacing the absent Anthony Lands.

Luke Williamson

The hosts started brightly and were ahead within three minutes when a swift counter-attack saw Ryan Mellor finish neatly past Dan Willett. Following this slow start, Mursley started to get a foothold in the game and Nathan Skelton’s effort from eighteen yards came back off the bar. Tom Brazier also had an effort turned away by Steve Birchenall in the home goal. In one of Pitstone’s intermittent attacks, Willett made a fine double save from Kieran Doughty to keep the visitors in the game.

Mursley dominated the second period, although the home side still looked dangerous on the break and with five minutes remaining, Austin Dickson bore down on Birchenall as he came out of his area to clear; the latter drove the ball against the striker and the ball rebounded agonisingly past the post. This was the last chance for Mursley who left without a point which many felt they deserved.

Dan Willett

Attendance: 30

Report: Justin Daley

SSMFL D2; 61 FC (Luton) 0-3 Mursley United

61 FC (Luton) – 0

Mursley United – 3

Mursley United travelled to 61 FC in Luton on Saturday (12th January 2019) and won 3-0 for their first victory in four games.

Adam Bone and Ellis Spence were unavailable so Tom Lloyd-Roberts and Austin Dickson came into the starting line-up.

Tom Lloyd-Roberts

The visitors had early chances and efforts from Dickson and Tom Brazier were scrambled off the line before the latter bore down on goal, but was denied by the outstretched leg of Tom Kavanagh in the home goal. However, Mursley persisted and it was Lloyd-Roberts speculative effort from twenty yards that caught the wind and drifted into the top corner of the net. The hosts came back into the game more as the half continued, but Mursley held firm at the back.

It was after an hour that Nathan Skelton doubled the lead as he and Brazier exchanged passes and the striker slotted home from inside the penalty area. Dan Willett was on hand to make a couple of good stops to keep the visitors in the game before Dickson added a third with five minutes remaining. In the dying moments, Nathan Hawkins on as a substitute, hit a crisp shot with his first touch which was beaten away by Kavanagh.

Austin Dickson

Attendance: 16

Report: Justin Daley

NBDL; Mursley United Development 3-1 Buckingham United

Mursley United Development – 3

Buckingham United – 1

12.01.2019

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

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

Harry White denies Ben Johnson

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

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

Conor White (5) opens the scoring

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

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

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 Mursley manager Mitch Toyer: 
And also with Buckingham midfielder Will Wright: 

For match photography please click here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmu5cnMu

SSMFL D2; Aston Clinton 3-1 Mursley United

Mursley United travelled to Aston Clinton on Saturday (5th January 2019) and were beaten 3-1.

The hosts went ahead after three minutes, when keeper Dan Willett was unable to hold a free-kick from twenty five yards and Joe Kittle was on hand to finish.

 

Joe Kittle

Mursley struggled to retain possession on a heavy pitch and a long ball out of defence eluded both Anthony Lands and skipper Nathan Hawkins and this left Lamar Mason-Williams through on goal and he drove the ball past Willett. Just before the break, Kevin Mealor managed to turn in the penalty area and found the far corner of the Mursley net.

 

Nathan Skelton

After half-time, Mursley improved and limited Aston Clinton to few efforts. They struggled to create their own chances, but were awarded a penalty with twenty minutes remaining, when player-manager Neil Roberts was adjudged to have handled. Nathan Skelton netted from the spot, but this failed to kick-start a Mursley comeback and the home side held on for the points.

Report supplied by Justin Daley

NBDL; Mursley defender full of praise for his new Club

Saturday 12th January 2019

Mursley United Development v Buckingham United

North Bucks League Intermediate Division

The Playing Field

K.O. 2.00pm

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

Sam Clubley

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

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

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

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

How has the season been so far for Sam?

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

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

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

Mursley United Development

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SSMFL D2; Mursley defender watching club progress like a Hawk

Saturday 5th January 2019

Aston Clinton v Mursley United

Spartan South Midlands Division Two

Aston Clinton Park

K.O. 2.00pm

Mursley United travel to Aston Clinton on Saturday looking for a win to distance themselves from their hosts, as both clubs find themselves in a four club cluster all sitting on twenty-three points apiece and occupy joint fourth in the Spartan South Midlands Football League Division Two table. United share the exactly same league form as Clinton but sit higher courtesy of a better goal difference, a win for either side could push them into the top three depending on other results on the day, but Mursley travel on the back of a six-two mauling at league leaders Berkhamsted Raiders just before Christmas, although a creditable draw at in form Old Bradwell the week previous added to the two-week break they’ve now had since those games may be enough to travel to Aston Park to get a result.

Nathan Hawkins

This week Sports Shots caught up with defender Nathan Hawkins to ask how long he’s been at the club:

This is my second spell at the club, I was here a few years ago but I left to join Buckingham Athletic then re-joined here at the start of the season. The move came about as I missed nearly of all last season through injury and with the management changes at the Ath whilst I was unfit, I wasn’t in a place to fight for a place however I knew the gaffer & most of the lads down here so after working hard in pre-season to get fit again, it was an easy decision to re-join Mursley. The club have been great, it has a great community feel to it and they are trying to do everything the right way. The youth teams are all very well run & implementing the development side this season will be key to the success of the club, and where we all want to go as it brings the younger lads up into men’s football

How has Nathan’s season been so far?

I feel my form has been good, and I have only missed one game due to being on holiday so I am pleased that I haven’t picked up too many knocks this season as it is horrible when you can only watch the team rather than play. Being the captain for most of this season has been the responsibility I needed as it has kept my form up however if I was to summarise the season it would be ‘frustrating’ as we have dropped points where we shouldn’t have. Some performances have been fantastic whilst others have been very poor, a big problem has been playing one week then having a week off before playing another game, that has really hindered us in getting any sort of consistency. As with any team at this level, team consistency is a big problem, we can rarely get the same eleven together due to work commitments and other things, we have lost a few players along the way this season already which is never easy but we have added a few too

How good a squad is there at Mursley this time around?

Compared to my first stint with the club we have a much better team this time round, on our day we can beat anyone in this league comfortably, in the cups we have played a couple of higher level sides and ran them both very close, we have a lot of quality just not quite the consistency. Stand out players in my opinion have been Nathan Skelton who I have played with in a few different teams over the past ten years or so, his goals have been massive for us this season and I’m sure he will bag a lot more yet, whilst he is one of the older lads here, Jamie Green has the experience essential for what we want to achieve here. Tom Brazier also, he’s young but has a lot of potential, Big Mike (Joseph) is one of the calmest men on the ball you will see, sometimes too calm but a very good player

What position or team formation gets the best out of Nathan?

I’ve been used in a few different positions this season but I’m happy to play anywhere to help the team, whether that be at the back or holding in the middle. We haven’t changed our formation too much this season, as a club we are all trying to play in the same way including the development side, so when the young lads step up they know their role already which has already helped when we’ve used them

We asked Nathan how he feels the club are progressing on and off the pitch:

The club are making massive strides in getting us to where we want & need to be, we have a great team of people regularly discussing how to take the club forward and we are already seeing planning go into place to take Mursley on to the next level. I think the team on the field have moved forward from last season, as I said we have quality in the team but are still improving, we all want to achieve promotion so now we are striving for consistency in our performances

A win, a draw and a defeat in Mursley’s last three, how were those games?

The last three results have been a mixed bag due to having a week off before and after the 61 FC game, we played well against them and it could have been a bigger margin of goals, after that game we were confident going into the next game however a week off didn’t help us too much but against Old Bradwell we were really up for it on a day where the conditions were simply horrendous, but we knew we had to pick up points. We started well but couldn’t quite hold on for the three points, then we faced Berkhamsted but that’s a game we all want to forget! We were awful in the first half but managed to keep level by the break, we took the lead but then everything just fell apart, credit to them they’re a good side but we helped them along the way

On to Aston this week, lost to them in a cup game earlier in the season so where do United need to improve?

That cup game was very close & could’ve gone either way on the day, we were missing a few players which would have helped us however we know that they are a very good side and their run of results since we played them have been overall pretty good, so they have probably improved since then. We will just need to be organised and ready to battle against a good side, the points are crucial with us being so close in the table so it’s a game we will be up for, we’ll focus on ourselves and what we can do to make sure we have enough on the day to win the game. I look forward to battling it out with Chris Stapleton who I know from our time at Buckingham Athletic together

Finally, we asked Nathan what the targets are for the rest of the season:

2019 is a huge year for us, the club are making changes to get us ready to step up so we need to get ourselves in a position to earn the rewards of their hard work. The goal all season has been the same, we need to be finishing in the top three which is still achievable, the league is very competitive so we know we need to raise our performance levels and dig deep to reach our targets. I would like to finish by wishing everyone a very Happy New Year and thank Sports Shots for the excellent work you’ve done in raising the profile for football in our area

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

SSMFLD2; Mursley skipper hoping to make other clubs Green with envy

Saturday 15th December 2018

Old Bradwell United v Mursley United

Spartan South Midlands Division Two

Abbey Road

K.O. 2.00pm

Mursley United face an extremely difficult trip to Old Bradwell United this weekend, to face the side that beat them by four goals without reply just four weeks ago in the reverse fixture but go with some confidence restored after beating 61 FC (Luton) by six goals to one a fortnight ago. Mursley can still go second in the Spartan South Midlands Division Two league table if they win their games in hand on two of the three sides above them, but Bovingdon can still set the division pace as their games in hand would see them clear, and Old Bradwell could overtake the lot as they have only played eight league games to date; they have seven games in hand on current league leaders Berkhamsted Raiders! Mursley’s biggest handicap is being unable to fulfil consecutive Saturday’s with fixtures, this being just their second fixture since the seventeenth of November!

Jamie Green

This week Sports Shots caught up with Mursley defensive midfielder Jamie Green to ask how his season has been so far, and to find out what targets he has set himself:

This year I started my pre-season early knowing that we were trying to up the level at the club, and its paid dividends so far, I’ve only missed one game to date and that was only down to suspension. My targets this year are not necessarily individual but are linked to enabling some of our more talented youngsters to thrive. If I can go unnoticed providing seven or eight out of ten performances every week then I’ll be happy

How does Jamie feel the league & cup games have gone so far this season?

So far, it’s been a real mixed bag which may seem strange as we sit fourth in the league table, the main positive is that we have scored in all but two of our matches. Nathan Skelton has made a massive impact on his return to the club, which for me was never in doubt! The various cup draws are never kind to us, but against Winslow and Park View our performances were immense, and on another day, we could easily have won both games. It was also good to be involved in the Anagram Records trophy, although the result wasn’t positive, I think it’s something the club will look to enter each year. After being involved in the side winning the divisional cup previously, an exit from it always disappoints me personally, but typically that was the one game I missed

How good a squad do Mursley have this season, and which players have impressed?

When I look across the squad, I see so much potential, having played in these leagues for what feels like a lifetime, I would strongly suggest that division one is a step that all could take. Instantly most would look to some of the glamour players in any team, but I feel the addition of Dan Willett, Nathan Hawkins and Michael Joseph has had a massive impact, as someone that generally plays just in front of them, I feel confident in what is behind me. I’m looking forward to seeing how we all develop over the season and seeing if they can bring a level of consistency which you don’t always get with younger players

A good win over 61 FC last time out, but how frustrating is it to only play now and again?

Since our cup win, within a period we played them three times in ten days, I look forward to seeing some familiar faces, but this year it was very different. Had we got out of second gear I honestly believe that could have been our biggest win of the season, which is not something I would have even suggested previously. It was an important game for a couple of our players who managed to get on the scoresheet and lift their confidence. Having a spare Saturday following any result is never something I’ve managed to get my head around in this league, especially when you see so many games midweek towards the back end of the season. We have a great facility at the club, so we can train every week with no problem to keep that sharpness when the result is positive, and hard work when it’s less so

We asked Jamie to detail the best & worst performances of the season so far:

Without a shadow of doubt our home win over Totternhoe has been our best, it was one of those days where absolutely everything clicked for us, it’s a fantastic feeling when all of the hard work culminates in such a positive result. In all honesty on that day we had no option but to deliver as that game followed one of our worst performances of the season at Grendon Rangers. Personally, I enjoyed our game against Clean Slate, it’s been a long time since I bagged a brace of goals, and that feeling never changes no matter how old you get!

After the heavy defeat Old Bradwell inflicted on Mursley recently, how do they approach the game this time?

Thanks for reminding me! I could make a string of excuses here, but ultimately, we were not good enough and the result at the end was a fair reflection. You have to give them credit for the string of results that have put together, and we know from previous years that they are always there or thereabouts; however we’ll approach this like any other game, looking to win and impose ourselves. Last season we ran away five-one winners, so there are always goals in this game

How high does Jamie think the club can finish the season?

As a club, we need to be looking at a top four finish, I think that is a realistic target that everyone believes we can achieve. I don’t feel as though there is a team that we cannot beat in this league

Finally, we asked Jamie how many changes he has seen at the club during his tenure, and how high up the pyramid he feels the club can climb:

I am in the third year of my second spell at this club and we have come a very long way. As you get older you look at other ways to start involving yourself at the club. I am currently club captain and I also manage the under eight’s with James Wardell, you really start to appreciate the size and the amount of effort that goes into running a club with volunteers, especially one that caters for children from age four right the way up. It’s with this foundation that I know the senior side can push on and give our future stars inspiration. We’re working on a plan to grow the club, and I would love to see facilities that bring both floodlit football in Division One for the seniors, as well as a senior women’s team in the next couple of years. We have a strong team that are working away at this and it’s something that is achievable, longer term I would love to see regular FA Cup football here.

Please also note my thanks for the great job you are all doing at Sports Shots to raise the awareness of local sport, it’s absolutely fantastic!

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

Mursley Development edge past Marsh Gibbon on penalties

Mursley United Development Team won a tight cup-tie with Marsh Gibbon winning 5-4 on penalties after the score finished 0-0 after extra time.

The game was end to end and chances were plentiful and the hosts thought they had won it when Austin Dickson netted at the far post with twenty minutes remaining, but was adjudged offside.

With minutes remaining in normal time, the visitors hit the crossbar and with no score, the two sides embarked on penalties. Tied at 4-4 after the initial penalties, keeper Nick Beavens saved the first Marsh penalty in sudden death, allowing Dan Finnis to bury his effort low in the corner of the net to win the tie for Mursley.

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

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

Mitch Toyer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How has it been interacting with the first team?

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

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

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

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

SSMFL D2; Mursley United 0-4 Old Bradwell United

Mursley United – 0

Old Bradwell United – 4

17.11.2018

Mursley United were convincingly beaten by Old Bradwell United on Saturday, a fortuitous opener saw the visitors lead at the break but then three goals in twelve minutes early after the restart saw the points head back to Milton Keynes. Bradwell stretched their winning run to twelve games, and surely must be contenders come the end of the season on this showing, which Mursley assistant manager Jamie Lands admitted afterwards had been a tough afternoon for his players up against a very good side with quality & experience all over the pitch, and had the away side taken their chances in the first half the scoreline could have been a whole lot worse, but the hosts now have a week off to regroup and welcome some faces back into the squad as they await news of their next round of matches in the Spartan South Midlands League.

Old Bradwell won a free kick in the first minute twenty yards out which Scott Valentine smashed over the crossbar, and from there they dominated the early stages with Ben Green in particular enjoying attacking the left wing, his first foray into the danger area saw him run his marker ragged before fizzing a cross right along the six yard box but no one was anywhere near getting on the end of it. The hosts saw an early corner flicked on at the near post with a back heel but keeper Liam Jahn was alert enough to gather at the second attempt, their next attack almost cost dearly when it broke down and the visitors moved the ball very quickly up to Darryl Smith but from thirty yards he fired straight at home custodian Dan Willett.

Old Bradwell opener

Valentine crossed from the left which saw Smith head wide although a flag may have intervened had it gone in, a pass across midfield then saw Peter Maxey release a dipping drive that flew just a couple of feet over the bar. On fourteen minutes the Milton Keynes side took the lead, a free kick some twenty five yards out saw Valentine curl the ball into the box where it eluded everyone including the outstretched arm of Willett and tucked inside the far top corner. Green then curled a low effort straight at the Mursley keeper after cutting in from the flank, and moments later the same player saw a determined run across the eighteen yard line result with a shot that Willett had to save with his feet with a defender on hand to clear.

Old Bradwell then missed a glorious chance to double their lead when a cross from the right found Green in the middle of the box but somehow he managed to just help the ball out for a goal kick without threatening the net at all, Smith was next to set his sights when played in over the top, shoulder to shoulder with a defender he won the battle but fired wide of the post with the whole target to aim at. On the half hour mark the hosts wasted a great chance when Jamie Sylvester burst forward from midfield into the Bradwell half with Nathan Skelton in space to his right he opted to shoot but dragged his effort across goal and wide, centre half Jacob Hack at the other end fired straight at Willett from twelve yards. H/T: 0-1

The home side won an early corner after the restart that caused panic in front of goal ending with Austin Dickson getting a shot away that was blocked inside the six yard box and somehow cleared to safety, play switched straight up the other end where a clearance from the Mursley defence fell to Valentine who blazed over the crossbar. With just six minutes of the half played a penalty gave Old Bradwell the chance to double their lead, Toby Cribb was clean through when a tackle from behind saw him felled and the referee point to the spot despite the protests of the Green backline. Smith despatched the spot kick which signalled a dominant ten minute spell for the visitors.

Darryl Smith scores from spot

Zach Ferris crossed from the right to find the head of Cribb but a lack of power took the ball into the waiting gloves of Willett, but on fifty-six minutes it was three when Green received a pass on the left of the box and despite a nudge he managed to scoop the ball around the keeper and into the far corner. Eight minutes later Smith grabbed his second when gaining possession just left of goal he turned his marker one way then the other before rifling home. With the game done & dusted Mursley made a triple substitution to liven things up, but Old Bradwell managed to see the game out without too much trouble.

Valentine almost got on the scoresheet late on, Willett did well to block with his feet from close range as the midfielder had space to explore, the loose ball was played back in to Smith for a glorious chance to cap his afternoon with a hatrick but he pulled his shot wide of the post. There was still time for Green to have one last break down the left and into the box before unselfishly squaring into both Smith and substitute Ross Butler in the middle but it had just too much on it as it rolled away for a goal kick. F/T: 0-4

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After the game Sports Shots caught up with Mursley manager for the day Jamie Lands: 

For match photography please click here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmrcV3qm