Archive for Mursley United Football Club

SSMFL Division Two fixtures released for August & September

SPARTAN SOUTH MIDLANDS LEAGUE DIV 2

The Spartan South Midlands Football League have released the first two months of fixtures for Division Two teams, although at this stage these games are subject to change.

AUGUST FIXTURES

 

Saturday 3rd August – Kick Off 3.00pm

DIVISION TWO

Aston Clinton v MK Gallacticos

 

Saturday 10th August – Kick Off 3.00pm

DIVISION TWO

Aston Clinton v Old Bradwell United

Sarratt v New Bradwell St Peter

Totternhoe v Codicote

Tring Corinthians v MK Gallacticos

 

Saturday 17th August – Kick Off 3.00pm

DIVISION TWO

Sarratt v Berkhamsted Raiders

Tring Corinthians v Aston Clinton

Unite MK v Old Bradwell United

 

Tuesday 20th August – Kick Off 7.45pm unless stated

LEAGUE CHALLENGE TROPHY First Round

Aylesbury Vale Dynamos v Codicote

Colney Heath v Sarratt

Edgware Town v Pitstone & Ivinghoe

Leverstock Green v New Bradwell St Peter

 

Wednesday 21st August – Kick Off 7.45pm unless stated

LEAGUE CHALLENGE TROPHY First Round

New Salamis v Berkhamsted Raiders

Unite MK v Ampthill Town

 

Saturday 24th August – Kick Off 3.00pm

LEAGUE CHALLENGE TROPHY First Round

Mursley United v Park View

Tring Corinthians v Old Bradwell United

 

DIVISION TWO

Aston Clinton v New Bradwell St Peter

Bovingdon v Berkhamsted Raiders

Pitstone & Ivinghoe v Sarratt

The 61FC (Luton) v Codicote

Totternhoe v MK Gallacticos

 

Saturday 31st August – Kick Off 3.00pm

THE BUILDABASE FA VASE First Round Qualifying

Holyport v Unite MK

New Salamis v Codicote

 

DIVISION TWO

Mursley United v Totternhoe

Pitstone & Ivinghoe v New Bradwell St Peter

Sarratt v The 61FC (Luton)

Tring Corinthians v Berkhamsted Raiders

 

SEPTEMBER FIXTURES

(Note: Subject to change once County Cup draws are known)

 

Saturday 7th September – Kick Off 3.00pm

LEAGUE CHALLENGE TROPHY First Round

MK Gallacticos v Langford

 

DIVISION TWO

Bovingdon v Pitstone & Ivinghoe

Codicote v Aston Clinton

Old Bradwell United v The 61FC (Luton)

Sarratt v Buckingham United

Tring Corinthians v Grendon Rangers

Unite MK v New Bradwell St Peter

 

Tuesday 10th September – Kick Off 7.45pm unless stated

LEAGUE CHALLENGE TROPHY First Round

Amersham Town v Grendon Rangers (Kick Off 7.30pm)

Harefield United v Buckingham United

 

Saturday 14th September – Kick Off 3.00pm

THE BUILDABASE FA VASE Second Round Qualifying

New Salamis or Codicote v Tower Hamlets

Wellingborough Town or Wellingborough Whitworth v Holyport or Unite MK

 

PREMIER DIVISION

Biggleswade United v Tring Athletic

 

DIVISION TWO

Buckingham United v Codicote (Subject to FA Vase)

Grendon Rangers v Sarratt

MK Gallacticos v Old Bradwell United

Mursley United v Berkhamsted Raiders

New Bradwell St Peter v Tring Corinthians

Pitstone & Ivinghoe v Unite MK (Subject to FA Vase)

The 61FC (Luton) v Aston Clinton

Totternhoe v Bovingdon

 

Saturday 21st September – Kick Off 3.00pm

LEAGUE CHALLENGE TROPHY First Round

Aston Clinton v Bovingdon

 

DIVISION TWO

Berkhamsted Raiders v Grendon Rangers

Codicote v Unite MK

Sarratt v Totternhoe

Tring Corinthians v Buckingham United

NBDL; Potterspury Reserves 2-4 Mursley United Development

Potterspury Reserves – 2
Mursley United Development – 4

24.04.2019

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

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

Nick Bevans shown red card in first half

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

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

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

Jay Chawla restores Mursley lead

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

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

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SSMFL D2; Mursley United 4-2 Grendon Rangers

Mursley United – 4
Grendon Rangers – 2

06.04.2019

Mursley United took the three points off local rivals Grendon Rangers on Saturday despite being reduced to ten men before half time when Jamie Green was booked twice for fouls on the same player, with the scores at the time level United took the game to their guests despite the imbalance & gained the lead ahead of the break, Tom Brazier then grabbed his second and his sides third late on, Rangers pulled a late goal back to give them hope however once their goalkeeper James Cox was dismissed for his second yellow of the afternoon for an alleged handball outside his area, a late clincher settled the game once and for all. For Grendon it brought an end to their recent fine run of form, this defeat their first in seven as their season came to an end, they now await both Mursley & MK Gallacticos to complete their final fixtures to learn their final Spartan South Midlands Football League Division Two position.

The hosts took the lead in the fourth minute when a clearance came just perfect to Luke Williamson for him to hit first time on the volley and his left footed drive dipped over the reach of Cox into the far corner, in the tenth minute a promising attack for the visitor’s saw Mohammed Adam fly down the touchline until a challenge from Green brought him down earning him a yellow card in the process, the free kick headed back out to Adam whose thumping effort was charged down before being cleared to safety. Nathan Skelton was next to try his luck after collecting a pass in midfield and driving at goal, a great tussle with his marker ended with the striker lifting over the crossbar, at the opposite end a corner curled in got the faintest of glances off the head of Adam to sail wide.

Tom Marshall fires Grendon level in first half

Brazier got his boot warmed up with a drive from the edge of the penalty arc which Cox had to use both hands to push away, Grendon went close when Dan Ciuica curled inches wide from the angle, and a diagonal pass into the box from Brazier saw Austin Dickson threaten until some great defending from skipper Jason Riddell saw a last gasp flick out for a corner. With ten minutes of the half remaining the visitor’s equalised when a free kick deep in their own half was sent downfield by Cox, little danger appeared as home shot stopper Dan Willett came out to collect however the ball escaped his grip allowing Tom Marshall to nip in and tuck into the empty net, then just six minutes later it all looked rosy for the away side when a second foul on Adam by Green saw him receive his second caution of the contest and sent for an early shower.

Despite the numerical advantage it was the home side who looked the more dangerous when Skelton again got in behind the amber backline until Rangers stalwart Stuart Leonard came sliding in to take the ball off his feet, Brazier had a run into the box from out wide until he ran straight into Leonard who simply stood strong to gain possession & clear, then against the odds the hosts regained their lead when a free kick lifted into the area was flicked away by Ricky Brown but only as far as Brazier, as Cox had committed himself to the cross the midfielder simply fired into the unguarded net. H/T: 2-1

Brazier almost started the second period as he ended the first as he drove at the heart of the Grendon defence before firing high over the top, Skelton explored some space down the right but could only shoot straight at Cox and his next effort saw him with back to goal & Leonard for company but he managed to shirk off the defenders attention ahead of turning & thumping wide. Mursley extended their lead even further on seventy-four minutes when a ball between the away backline had that defence calling for offside which wasn’t given and Brazier skipped through to evade the oncoming Cox to slot home, the protests to the referee earning Leonard a booking on his final game for his club before hanging up his boots.

Tom Brazier scores to increase Mursley lead to 3-1

The away side huffed & puffed looking for a way back into the game, Joe Walls floated in a free kick that Andrew Hind managed to beat everyone to but he could only head over the top, a cross from the left for the home side then saw substitute Jack Bradford blaze high over the bar, then with six minutes to go Grendon did pull another goal back when a free kick into the area was deflected to Marshall on the edge of the six-yard box, he turned to fire inside the far post and again many protests for offside were waved away by the officials to set up a possible grand stand finish.

That optimism was somewhat squashed less than two minutes later when a long lump downfield by the home side saw Cox advance and the ball flicked up, the assistant on that far side called the referee over and after a quick consultation the Grendon custodian was shown a second yellow and subsequent red, Leonard donned the gloves as his replacement. Nathan Hawkins took the free kick that spiralled off the wall for a corner, but in the final minute the game was put to bed finally when a cross found Ryan Lee who from fifteen yards fired past the reach of Leonard albeit with a slight deflection off a defender. F/T: 4-2

Attendance: 44

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After the game Sports Shots caught up with Mursley manager Jamie Lands:
And also Grendon boss Steven Jackman:

For 2 pages of matchday photography (142 images) please click here: https://flic.kr/s/aHskQketR8

SSMFL D2; Grendon duo hoping Hind sight can prove to be a Thorn in Mursley side

Saturday 6th April 2019
Mursley United v Grendon Rangers
Spartan South Midlands Division Two
The Playing Field
K.O. 3.00pm

Grendon Rangers complete their season on Saturday at Mursley United, although some in their camp would hope it continue as they arrive at their local rivals on a sequence of just one defeat in their last eight games, undefeated in six with just a single draw has propelled Steve Jackman’s men up the Spartan South Midlands Football League Division Two table into sixth place, which just a few weeks ago seemed a long way away after weeks of flirting with the lower echelons of that division. Victory over Mursley would see Rangers finish in sixth place no matter what, a final day defeat could leave them prone to attack from both Mursley & MK Gallacticos, United haven’t won at home since the first day of December although they have only played twice since then, and Jamie Lands’ men will be looking for revenge for the odd goal in seven defeat they suffered at Grendon back in August.

Andrew Hind

This week Sports Shots caught up with Grendon defender Paul Thornton but first of all we asked Andrew Hind how long he’s been at the club and how it all came about:

I signed in the second half of last season and only played three or four matches. I was far from match fit though, I came over after a brief spell down the Ath (Buckingham Athletic) and Larry Woodward had given my details to PJ (Paul Jackman). I was ready to hang up the boots at the time and had work commitments so settling in to the football side of things was a bit rough. The lads are top notch though, so that side of things was pretty seamless

Paul has been at the club a while:

I have been at Grendon since the under fourteens on and off I think, it’s been a long time that’s for sure. So with regards to settling in and signing on that hasn’t really been relevant, it’s always felt like home

How does Paul feel he has contributed this season in terms of fitness and performances?

I’ve been lucky not to miss any games due to injury this season but my availability hasn’t been what I’d have liked, work and children have had to take priority unfortunately. Performances and contributions? You’ll have to ask Blocky

Andrew is confident he has benefited the side this season:

I’d like to think I’ve been pretty consistent this season, I worked hard in pre-season to get a good base fitness and from there I’ve let my performances do the talking. I changed jobs in June last year and my new role allowed me to be more committed so availability has been pretty good. Being one of the older heads in the team, I’d like to think I contribute a bit of experience to the team

How strong does Andrew feel the squad is now, and which players have impressed?

With a lot of new players added to the squad we started a bit shaky; we always knew we had quality so it was just a matter of time before the performances started to come. In particular I would say Tom Marshall has impressed, he’s always dangerous on the ball and is a game changer. Will Young has also been a revelation, both players could do the job at a higher level

Paul Thornton

Paul is very impressed with the current squad:

Since joining the South Mids I think it’s the strongest it’s ever been. It shows that with key players like Matt Ginger out long term the results have still been pretty good, especially of late. This is also down to management getting the best out of the players

Where does Paul see is best position in the side, and what formation best suits?

Steven did try me up front for a bit at the start of the season but I think he quickly realised playing me at the back is where I’m at my best. Formation wise I think we have shuffled numerous times this season, I don’t have a favourite one, if you’d have asked at the start of the season I was a four-four-two man but recently playing in a back three and getting results has changed my mind

Andrew has also been moving down the pitch as the season wore on:

If you’d asked me at the start of the season I would have said up top or out on the wing, but the years haven’t been kind to my pace. I’ve taken the role in CDM (central defensive midfield) and have really enjoyed it, Blocky gave me his expectations and I’d like to think I live up to them. I’m probably most effective when we play a diamond in midfield, I like tidying up for some of the more offensive minded players

We asked Andrew to try and explain how Rangers have turned their fortunes around in the past few weeks:

As I mentioned earlier, we always had the quality in the squad but as a lot of us hadn’t played together before we weren’t going to gel straight away. As the season has gone on, we’ve learned how each other play and really started working for each other, everyone is clear about what is expected from them and that always makes it easier to execute the system. Obviously having Blocky in charge and to have him keep drumming it in to our heads every week has helped, he was a major part of me continuing to play

Paul has only recently seen the new found confidence:

Our recent form has been pretty impressive lately but I have only been involved in the last two wins and from what I’ve seen there’s a new level of confidence and a bit more of a buzz. However, Steven, Scott and Alan are continually reiterating the fact there is still a vast amount of improvement required and for anyone to rest on their laurels would be a huge mistake. I think this sort of approach helps lads stay focused and not get carried away

How has Paul found playing this season under Steven Jackman and the coaching staff?

As I’ve said I’ve been in and out due to availability, the season as a whole has been fantastic though with this run at the end topping it off, there’s still one game left though so we need to finish it off with a win. From my perspective being with Grendon through those dark days of wining two games a year and being second from bottom all season, this has been the best season in a long while

Andrew puts the recent successes down to the manager:

I think the first half of the season was a bit frustrating as I knew we had the quality and some of the results didn’t reflect on us as a team. Blocky told us in January that we’d dropped fifteen points to teams below us which was a massive eye opener. The second half has been massively enjoyable and playing for someone with the experience Blocky has is what the team needed, I’ve known Blocky since my younger days, so I knew what to expect from him and it’s been really enjoyable. I looked at the recent form table the other day and it had us second behind Bovingdon, which goes to show what we can do as a team now that we’ve all bought in to Blocky’s system

Last game of the season this week at Mursley, what does Andrew remember of that seven goal thriller back in August, and what is he expecting this time round?

Against Mursley, from what I remember, we showcased what we can do going forward but defensively we lacked concentration and commitment. It was a fun match though and I think that was my first game at CDM. There are no easy games in football, so we go in to this weekend with the same mentality of work rate and discipline, if we work hard and execute the game plan then there’s no reason we can’t finish the season on an absolute high

Paul will be preparing the same as any other game:

I don’t know any of their players I don’t think. Preparations for the game will be just like any other game. The boss may come up with a light bulb moment on the day and switch something up but as of now I’m sure all preparations will be as normal

Finally, we asked Paul if he could pick any team mate to go on any TV programme, who & what would he choose?

I would choose Will Young; the bloke is a fruit loop and never ceases to make me laugh. He’s a genius too, he actually has his own massive online following, Lambing Live I think it’s called. Take a look!

Andrew would take his luck with Dan Ciuica:

I’d love to go on Hunted with Dani, a sneaky Romanian and a sneaky Asian escaping as fugitives from the UK makes for brilliant TV. There’s no way we’re getting caught!

Sports Shots would like to thank both Paul & Andrew for their time this week

SSMFL D2; Mursley defender rediscovering his mo-Jo after long footballing absence

Saturday 6th April 2019

Mursley United v Grendon Rangers

Spartan South Midlands Division Two

Station Road

K.O. 3.00pm

Mursley United host Grendon Rangers on Saturday in an intriguing fixture that see’s the hosts having to win if they are to finish the season higher in the Spartan South Midlands Football League Division Two table than their Buckinghamshire rivals, Rangers complete their campaign on Saturday on the back of a superb recent run of form which has seen them draw five and draw once in their last six games. If Mursley do not collect the three points on Saturday then they cannot catch their guests even with a further two games yet to play but will be buoyed after a good win last week at New Bradwell St Peter by four goals to nil where front man Nathan Skelton reached thirty goals for the season. Jamie Lands’ men haven’t won at home since the first day of December, albeit having only played twice since then, and will also be keen to revenge the defeat they suffered at Grendon back in August where they lost by the odd goal in seven, their remaining two games are also at home but against two of the top four sides in the league.

Michael Joseph

This week Sports Shots caught up with Mursley centre half Michael Joseph to ask how long he’s been at the club and how he’s found it since joining:

I joined the club at the start of the season through Nathan Skelton, we currently work together so after a kick about at work he asked me to come down to get me out of retirement. I came down to a pre-season friendly and liked the set-up of the club, the organisation from the chairman through to the physio was evident and easy to get involved in. I also liked the importance coaches were putting on the playing style of the club, encouraging free flowing pass & move football

How good a season does he feel he has had?

This season has been a bit of a tricky one only because it is my first season back in proper football for a good nine years. I am a very harsh critic of myself so comparing myself to all those years ago I always feel I can do and offer much more

How good is this current squad, and which players have impressed?

This season I think we have a decent squad; I always go into games believing we can harm the opposition and pose a real threat. Ryan (Lee) and top man (Nathan) Skelton have impressed me this season; Ryan’s ability to keep the ball in tight situations and Nathans eye for goal have helped the team in many games this season

What does Michael see as his best position in the side, and what formation best suits?

I’m a ball playing centre back so I like to play in a three at the back, however football has changed a lot since I used to play and a lot more teams are using the three-four-three formation. When that is the case I prefer to play four-four-two so I can shadow the number nine

Looking back over the season, how enjoyable has it been playing under Anthony and Jamie Lands?

Lot of ups and downs which is pretty much what a season is about. Both Ant and Jamie have always encouraged us to play football regardless of the situation, not changing the philosophy of the club and as a player that’s pretty much all you can ask for

We asked Michael how the last three games have been for Mursley:

We are upset with the results lately to be honest, the loss to Bovingdon hurt the most for me because I felt the first goal was preventable on my behalf. Totternhoe, we had a very dubious decision go against us just before half time which I believe would have changed the game. And New Bradwell was a bit of a bitter sweet moment because we only managed a draw at home, so beating them away for me was only balancing the negative from the away draw

Onto Grendon this week, what is the defender expecting?

This game will be an interesting one for me as I have never played against them. I know they are a physical and well organised side so we will also need to be organised and ready to adapt our game if necessary

Finally, we asked Michael if he could pick any team mate to go on any TV programme who & what would he choose?

It would have to be SAS Who Dares Wins on Channel Four with James Wardell. I would love to see how long he would last in the selection process lol

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

SSMFL; New Bradwell St Peter 0-4 Mursley United

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

Nathan Skelton hit his 30th goal of the season

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

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

Tom Brazier

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

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

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

Reports supplied by Justin Daley

NBDL; Mursley frontman feels young squad are developing nicely

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

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

Ben Johnson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 D2; Former Mursley boss details why he has Land-ed a better role at the club

Saturday 2nd March 2019
Mursley United v New Bradwell St Peter
Spartan South Midlands Division Two
The Playing Field
K.O. 3.00pm

Mursley United host New Bradwell St Peter on Saturday in their first game for four weeks as they enter their final seven league fixtures of the season, currently sitting in eighth position in the Spartan South Midlands Football League Division Two table United will be looking to get some momentum going and have the ideal opportunity to finish the season strong as five of their remaining seven games are at home, they’ve not hosted a league fixtures since the first of December and come off the back of seven consecutive away fixtures. Mursley have won two and lost two of their last four & welcome Bradwell who beat Clean Slate last weekend for their first success since mid-October and currently sit three places but nine points adrift of their hosts, a recent change in management along with a two week break from football will see them hoping to catch Mursley a little rusty but as this is the first meeting of the two sides this season, they meet again in four weeks’ time in the reverse fixture, both sides will be looking for victory to boost morale for their run in.

Anthony Lands

This week Sports Shots caught up with former Mursley manager Anthony Lands and asked how he would describe the season so far for Mursley United:

This season has been a transitional one, not the one that we expected at the start of the season. We had a huge turnout of players at the beginning & with the development team starting I was full of hope but as the season started players came and went and the inconsistency of players was very frustrating, resulting in an unsettled team and changing expectations. This has finally settled down and Jamie has done a brilliant job in sorting this out, adding some recent additions and the club is in capable hands with him. I have had to take a step back due to other commitments and this has also had an impact on the team with Jamie starting to add his own ideas and players are getting used to that. Hats off to Jamie he had done brilliantly and is continuing to show he is a perfect fit for this club!

How has the squad shaped up during the months since July?

We have had a great core throughout the season and if you look at appearances you will see the same eight or nine players every week grafting and committing to it which is what the club are looking for. These players include (Dan) Willett, (James) Wardell, Nathan (Hawkins), Mike (Joseph), Jammers (Jamie Green), Ryan (Lee), Tom (Brazier) and our top scorer Skelly (Nathan Skelton). The rest have been in and out and one or two have never really recovered from injuries including Luke (Williamson) who is a big player for us and our left back Jordan McDougall has had to concentrate on work which has seen him out! So massive hats off to the committed players and they are the future of Mursley and with that core I can see a lot of positives. Player availability is always a challenge and the development team has been used more frequently than we would have anticipated

Looking back over the season so far, is there anything Anthony could have done differently?

Yes definitely. Looking back I would have gone out and tried to get hold of another two committed players that would have made a huge difference. I’m not one for chasing players but looking back maybe I should have! Being reflective I should have managed my workload more realistically and stepped back at the start of the season and had a less hands on role, as in December I had to take a back seat and hand over to Jamie. Overall I’m pleased though and can say it’s the start of a bright future!

Just how difficult is it to manage a step seven club, work full time and have a family life?

Very difficult!!!! Having a family and other work commitments is the main reason that stops managers from wanting to do it. It’s not just a training session once a week from seven till nine pm and matches three to five pm. It’s dealing with availability, unavailability, players not happy, being the first on and last out, dealing with let downs, balancing time for players and many more issues. Trying to balance all this with a full time job and family is challenging. I myself have two jobs plus a family and football was getting in the way at times, the phone would never stop. That’s why I had to step back. Step seven is a level in that has many challenges, I would like one day to move up the football pyramid to see if the same challenges are faced in the higher steps of the pyramid. Everyone needs to remember as much as we love it we also are just volunteers and can’t commit our whole week to football, as much as we would like to. It’s different for those clubs that are lucky enough to have a budget and financially reward the manager for their time

We asked Anthony how difficult it has been not playing every week and keeping players motivated:

This is ridiculous. How we can go two weeks without a game and try and keep all motivated is very difficult. Fitness, momentum and just keeping interest is hard. Saturday is what we do all the graft for and without it motivation suffers for us all. This has not helped us at all and is definitely a factor in our consistency, the league needs a revamp to stop this from happening in the future

With just seven games left what are Anthony’s targets for the remainder?

Well as I now play when needed and assist Jamie when I can, my first thought is to keep helping out in any way Jamie wants. In terms of points we all need to pick up as many points as we can to try and get a respectable points total. As a minimum I would expect thirteen points from the remaining games and see where we end up

This weekend Mursley host New Bradwell St Peter, what are United expecting from their guests?

New Bradwell is a game we are looking forward to coming off the back of a good scoring performance. We hopefully welcome back Luke from injury but are without a couple of influential players but this gives others an opportunity to impress! I expect a tough game and they have some dangerous players including Jim (Davey) who I really like as a player. As for any info we don’t get involved with that and we just concentrate on ourselves to ensure we get the three points. We welcome the new management team and hope for an enjoyable game and three points in a home game which has been long overdue

What have been the highlights of the season?

The highlight!!! I can think of a few individual moments including my stunning volley against Clean Slate but don’t want to mention that too much. The ones that stick out are our performance against Unite MK at home scoring goals and cruising to three points with a commanding performance. Also Austin scoring against Old Bradwell in our one-one draw, a great battle in awful conditions

Finally, we asked what the plans are for next season:

I am planning to help out Jamie as much as I can but more as a senior player rather than management as I just can’t commit to it! I know Jamie is happy with what he has and is looking for a few new additions next season along with the recent players added as is our development team. The back end of this season is preparation for next season itself. With the new additions and new formation, we have started playing some good football so fingers crossed that will give us good momentum to start the season well

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

SSMFL D2: Mursley win eight-goal local derby thriller over Unite MK

Daniel Silver and Jack Bradford both struck a brace and Thomas Brazier was also on target as Mursley United ran out 5-3 winners over Unite MK on Saturday afternoon.

Daniel Silver

Tom Brazier

Cole Rawson and a Luke Little double on target for the home side.

Luke Little