Saturday 8th September 2018
Mursley United v Winslow United
Berks & Bucks Senior Trophy 1st Round
The Playing Field
Mursley United host near neighbours Winslow United on Saturday in the first round of the Berks & Bucks Senior Trophy, looking to record a cup upset over their higher placed guests and improve on their first round exit from last year. Whilst Mursley have started their season with a WLWLWL sequence in their opening six games, they bowed out of the league challenge trophy midweek after the long trip down to Park View, and currently sit fourth in what is already proving to be a fiercely competitive division two table this season.
This week Sports Shots caught up with Mursley’s James Wardell to ask how much his side are looking forward to reacquainting themselves with Winslow again:
I think it’s a fixture the club will always look forward to as it’s a local derby. With Winslow doing well in the league above in recent seasons, it’s a fixture that unfortunately does not happen as often as it has in previous years. However, when it does it’s always an entertaining and competitive fixture for a lot of people in the local area
How important is the B&B cup for Mursley this year?
The management team have made it very clear that our focus this season is to build on our success from last season in the league, and a decent run in the cups would be an added bonus. With that being said, a positive result against a team who people would consider to have what it takes to go far in this competition could open up a pathway for us to do well and it may increase in priority for us
How will Mursley prepare for the game against higher level opponents?
The same way we would prepare for most games. We learned from last week against Grendon that we need to stick to our game plan and try not to get drawn in to playing a direct game. We played against several higher level opposition in our pre-season campaign, the likes of Buckingham Athletic, Ampthill Town & Aylesbury FC, and got more success when we had the ball and were patient with it
Does James have any friends or ex-colleagues in the Winslow squad?
Not too many to be honest, only Freshy who I’ve seen on their team sheet in recent fixtures, it’s been about four or five seasons since I’ve played over at Winslow. They have had a few changes of manager, combined with the way players tend to move around in local football has meant that the majority of the squad I played with there are now playing elsewhere. I’m sure there will be one or two faces that I’ll have played against over the years and look forward to going up against them again
So how has the season been for Mursley so far?
Although very early still, I feel we’ve started strongly, we have had some really good performances in all but one of our fixtures and we’ve got points on the board. We’ve kept the majority of our squad from last season and that has enabled us to kick on this year. We’ve already shown that this squad has some good character after coming from behind to beat Gallacticos, and the way we responded to the Bank Holiday Monday defeat at Grendon by beating Totternhoe the way we did was very pleasing
How does James feel his own personal season has started?
A challenging start, I had a good enough pre-season and worked on some individual fitness sessions to get ready for the season ahead. I then missed the first two weeks of the season as I was away, but that’s one of those things. August is the kind of month where players & management, especially those with families and kids have commitments during the holidays. Thankfully, we’ve had a good run of games over the past two weeks so what has helped not just me but all of us to sharpen up
Mursley went out of the LCT midweek, how was the match?
The usual cliché – a game of two halves. First half we controlled the ball but were not effective, and poor with our decision making, as to when to play through or which pass to put in. Second half we dominated possession, were more patient with the ball and naturally this opened them up. We were unlucky not to grab the equaliser we thoroughly deserved. They had two shots on goal and both went in but we dust ourselves down and go again as there were loads of positives to take from it
Finally, we asked James what teams he expects to be challenging at the top end of the table this season:
I didn’t play in the fixture but from what I have heard Bovingdon seem to be the team to beat looking at the table. You have Pitstone who are always a competitive team that seem to have strengthened and are also unbeaten so I would expect them to be tough. Then you have Aston Clinton, Totternhoe & Old Bradwell. Apart from the top two, everyone has shown that they are beatable, meaning that this season should have a good cluster of teams fighting it out for league honours
Sports Shots would like to thank James for his time this week