BBST; Mursley United 2-3 Winslow United

Mursley United – 2

Winslow United – 3

A hatrick from Harry Dalton saw Winslow United progress in the Berks & Bucks Senior Trophy at Mursley United on Saturday, in a game that had two penalties, some fantastic goalkeeping saves, rattled woodwork and numerous missed chances from both sides. A late goal for the home side saw them pile on the pressure in the latter stages but Winslow held firm to progress in the competition of which they reached the semi-final last season.

Mursley had their first chance in the fifth minute when from a goal kick the ball was flicked on for Tom Brazier to get in behind his marker and flash the ball across the goal mouth and narrowly wide of the back post, and at the other end Dalton was getting his eye in when he seized upon a loose ball inside the box but could only lift over the top.

A challenge in midfield that appeared illegal was waved play on allowing Dalton to advance on goal, spotting Mursley keeper Dan Willett off his line the Ploughman attempted the lob from twenty yards but steered the wrong side of the post. The visitors went closer just past the quarter hour mark when a corner cleared to the edge of the area saw Simon King thump at goal only for Willet to get fingers to the ball to push onto the crossbar and eventually clear.

Winslow won a free kick some twenty-five yards out which King drove at goal forcing the keeper to use both hands to stun, before a high cross from their left found Dalton in front of goal but he could only head straight into the waiting gloves of Willett. On twenty-five minutes Mursley won a penalty when Brazier get in behind and as he advanced into the area Jason Costello challenged from behind and only succeeded in bringing him down.

Nathan Skelton scores from the spot

Nathan Skelton tucked the penalty away to give the hosts the lead, which appeared to be very short lived as just two minutes later Winslow won a penalty themselves when Matt Cruse was challenged by Conor White and as both players went down the whistle sounded again. Cruse picked himself up and assumed responsibility, but Willett made the save and as the ball bounced back to the Winslow striker, he was surrounded by green shirts who denied any follow up.

The game was levelled on thirty-one minutes when Dalton was allowed too much space to run across field, from the edge of the penalty arc he fired at goal and a deflection off the boot of White saw the ball loop up and over the goalkeeper and bounce into the empty net. The away side lifted by the goal went looking for more, a cross from the right was half cleared but running in Kieron Schmidt went for goal but the home keeper was always behind the rising drive.

Shiblu Miah then got down the left and as the keeper advanced he went to lob over the top but only lifted into the hands of Willett, then three minutes before the break they took the lead for the first time when Dalton dispossessed a defender who was trying to shield the ball back to his keeper, he went around Willett and rolled into the bottom corner. There was still time for Miah to warm the hands of the home custodian with a fierce drive from close range. H/T: 1-2

Early in the second half Peter Macanaspie found himself free with the ball to the right of the Winslow goal, attempting the deft chip over Sam Ashmead in the Winslow gloves he only managed to clear the crossbar. Moments later the away side won a free kick in midfield, taking it quickly Schmidt was sent scampering down the right channel and his fierce shot was well saved by Willett using both hands.


Harry Dalton goes close

Winslow scored a third goal on sixty-six minutes, & it was a goal that come from nothing; a harmless looking ball over the home backline seemed to be drifting out to the left of the Mursley goal but Miah chased it down and retrieved, Willett committed to give chase but Miah simply hooked the ball across the goal mouth and running in Dalton headed into the empty net.

The game should have been finished moments later, Miah getting down the wing fizzed the ball across and substitute Dan Parsons with the whole goal to aim at blazed over the top. Mursley attacked when they could get hold of the ball, Jordan McDougall crossed from the left & in the middle Skelton rose highest, just as it seemed it had to go in Ashmead stretched every sinew in his arm and hand to tip the ball onto the crossbar and away to safety, earning some deserved applause.

A corner to the hosts then saw McDougall flash the ball across the six-yard box and despite numerous bodies within range, the ball rolled off to safety. However, with three minutes left they did find a second when Brazier seized on a loose ball and drove at the Winslow defence, evading a couple of tackles he laid off to McDougall who from the angle smashed home despite bodies on the line.

Winslow had two late counter attacks with their hosts pushing on for an equaliser, and Willett made some good saves and as much as the hosts pushed they couldn’t find a leveller, and it was Winslow who progress to the next round. F/T: 2-3

Attendance: 87

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

After the match Sports Shots caught up with Mursley manager Anthony Lands: 
And also Winslow boss Paul Alleyne: 

For match photography click here:

SSMFL; INANE RAMBLINGS FROM UP NORFF 09.09.2018 – South Midlands League update #11





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

And Should Be Taken With A Pinch Of Salt


On a day when English football celebrated the 130th anniversary of the first league matches the SSML turned its attention to League, FA Cup and County Cup fixtures. In Division One a total of 23 goals were scored equalling the number scored 130 years ago.



Wembley finally registered their first league point since the final day of last season. Park View recorded their first win in Division One while Totternhoe suffered successive defeats since May. Saturday brought about 92 goals from the 31 games (an average of 2.97 per game). Buckingham Athletic Development topping the charts with 7 (their first seven goal haul since defeating Colney Heath Development in December 2016). Harry Lewis (Colney Heath) scored the day’s opening goal from a stunning 55 yards. Harry Dalton (Winslow United) and Christopher Stapleton (Buckingham Athletic Development) both recorded hat-tricks.


8 September Stats: 31 games played of which 10 were home wins, 14 were away wins and 7 draws.


100% league record to date: Wodson Park, Buckingham Athletic Development and Leighton Town Development.


0% league records to date: Clean Slate, Stotfold, Ampthill Town Development, Harpenden Town Development and Stotfold U25.


Saturday’s Highest Attendances: 120 Potton United v Biggleswade FC, 101 Arlesey Town v Leighton Town and 94 Leverstock Green v Hadley.


Season’s Highest Attendances to date (Premier Division Clubs): 211 Baldock Town v Arlesey Town, 203 Biggleswade FC v Biggleswade United and 202 Tring Athletic v Berkhamsted (FA Cup).


Season’s Highest Attendances to date (Division One Clubs): 351 Winslow United v Easington Sports (FA Cup), 257 Harefield United v Winslow United and 177 Buckingham Athletic v Winslow United.


Season’s Highest Attendances to date (Division Two Clubs): 101 Aston Clinton v Pitstone & Ivinghoe, 92 Bovingdon v Old Bradwell United and 90 Bovingdon v Sarratt.


Season’s Leading Goalscorers to date (Premier Division Clubs): 10 Jonathan Lacey (Leverstock Green), 8 Jeff Idemudia (Hadley) and 6 Oluwanimilo Ajigbolamu (Crawley Green), Ashton Campbell (Tring Athletic) and Spencer Clarke-Mardel (Colney Heath).


Season’s Leading Goalscorers to date (Division One Clubs): 9 Tage Kennedy (Enfield Borough) 8 Marcus Greenidge (Hillingdon Borough), Greg Moore (Enfield Borough) and Leonard Farhall (Harefield United).


Season’s Leading Goalscorers to date (Division Two Clubs): 6 Albie Hall (Pitstone & Ivinghoe), Daniel Simpson, Nathan Skelton (both Mursley United) and Matthew Standen (Bovingdon).





THE EMIRATES FA CUP First Round Qualifying

The names of both Leverstock Green and Hadley will be in the velvet bag for the Second Round Qualifying draw on Monday following their goalless draw. The teams will battle it out again on Wednesday night at Potters Bar Town FC. Full result listed below.


0-0 Leverstock Green v Hadley Attendance: 94



Biggleswade FC maintained the top spot after coming from a goal down at the interval to record a 3-1 win at neighbouring Potton United. Tring Athletic and Arlesey Town maintained their second and third places with wins against Oxhey Jets and Leighton Town respectively. At the bottom Wembley recorded their first point of the season but stay in the relegation places while Stotfold remain rooted at the bottom having been without a game on Saturday. Elsewhere Colney Heath and Harpenden Town eased their way to three points, Crawley Green left it late to secure a 1-0 win over London Colney and the points were shared at Second Meadow between Biggleswade United and Baldock Town. Full results and goalscorers are listed below.


2-1 Arlesey Town v Leighton Town (Browne, Smith) / (Osei-Addo) Attendance: 101

1-1 Biggleswade United v Baldock Town (Parkinson) / (Forsythe) Attendance: 89

1-0 Crawley Green v London Colney (Ajigbolamu) Attendance: 43

3-0 Harpenden Town v London Tigers (Yates, Duncan, McLeish) Attendance: 73

1-4 North Greenford United FC v Colney Heath (Louth) / (Lewis [2], Newton, Sears-Black) Attendance: 48

0-2 Oxhey Jets v Tring Athletic (Turner, Vardy) Attendance: 64

1-3 Potton United v Biggleswade FC (Lewis) / (A Marsh, Coles, Northfield) Attendance: 120

0-0 Wembley v Edgware Town Attendance: 66



FC Broxbourne Borough leapfrogged morning league leaders Enfield Borough with a 2-1 win at Langford while Enfield Borough were losing by the same scoreline at Broadfields United. Park View moved out of the bottom two with their first win of the season, defeating Ampthill Town at Ampthill Park. Codicote continue to prop-up the rest despite a spirited performance at Hillingdon Borough, the hosts finally winning by the odd goal in five. Hatfield Town drop into the bottom two after a 0-3 home defeat by undefeated Wodson Park (now under the management of former Hertford Town Development boss Neil Draper). Rayners Lane are still looking for their first points on their new playing surface while Harefield United inflicted the third successive defeat on Bedford 0-3 following on from the hosts’ cup losses to Hanworth Villa and Old Bradwell United. Full results and goalscorers (where known) are listed below.


0-2 Ampthill Town v Park View (Williams [2]) Attendance: 52

0-3 Bedford v Harefield United (Farhall, Jordon, Riley-Snow) Attendance: 25

2-1 Broadfields United v Enfield Borough (Kimona, Gardner) / (McKenna) Attendance: 21

0-3 Hatfield Town v Wodson Park (Fusco, Plati, Todd) Attendance: 25

3-2 Hillingdon Borough v Codicote (Murphy, Bellaid, Gibbs) / (Patton, Unknown) Attendance: Unknown

1-2 Langford v FC Broxbourne Borough (Osborne) / (Unknown) Attendance: Unknown

1-3 Rayners Lane v Brimsdown (Unknown) / (Unknown) Attendance: Unknown


Berks & Bucks FA Senior Trophy


Just the one casualty for SSML clubs v non SSML clubs, New Bradwell St Peter suffering a surprise 2-4 defeat at North Bucks & District League side Hanslope FC. One other shock of note came in the all Division Two affair at Pitstone & Ivinghoe who were held 2-2 by lowly Grendon Rangers who then went on to complete the giant-killing with a win on penalties. Penalties were also required in the all Division One clash between Risborough Rangers and Amersham Town, Rangers winning the shoot-out 4-3 following a goalless draw. Elsewhere Division One side Winslow United were made to work for their 3-2 success at Division Two side Mursley United. Full results and goalscorers (where known) are listed below.


1-3 Clean Slate v Buckingham Athletic (Unknown) / (Appleton, Menday, Owusu) Attendance: Unknown

4-2 Hanslope v New Bradwell St Peter FC (Unknown) / (Ali [2]) Attendance: Unknown

2-3 Mursley United v Winslow United (Skelton, McDougall) / (Dalton [3]) Attendance: Unknown

2-2 [2-4 pens] Pitstone & Ivinghoe v Grendon Rangers (Unknown) / (Unknown) Attendance: 40

0-0 [4-3 pens] Risborough Rangers v Amersham Town Attendance: 57

0-3 Stewkley v Old Bradwell United (Cox [2], Rooney) Attendance: Unknown

0-3 Unite MK v Buckingham Town (Silver [2], Clarkson) Attendance: 54



Bovingdon maintained the top spot after defeating Aston Clinton 2-0, the visitors still reeling following the shock decision by manager Jordan King to step down from his role on Thursday night. Totternhoe suffered a successive league defeat when being beaten at home by Berkhamsted Raiders. Elsewhere it was honours even in front of a packed crowd between The 61FC (Luton) and Sarratt. Full results and goalscorers (where known) listed below.


2-0 Bovingdon v Aston Clinton (Standen, Welsh) Attendance: 64

1-1 The 61FC (Luton) v Sarratt (Unknown) / (Unknown) Attendance: 7

0-1 Totternhoe v Berkhamsted Raiders (Plowright) Attendance: 44



Buckingham Athletic Development went top of the table with a 7-1 mauling of Harpenden Town Development, a result that leaves the Hertfordshire club at the bottom of the table. Leighton Town Development are second after they maintained a 100% record when defeating League newcomers Kempston Rovers Development. Last season’s champions AFC Dunstable U21 earned their first points of the new campaign with a 3-0 win over Ampthill Town Development. Biggleswade United U23 were another to open their points account when winning the ‘derby’ at Stotfold U25 by the odd goal in three while Berkhamsted Development and Holmer Green Development U25 shared the spoils at Broadwater. Full results and goalscorers (where known) listed below.


3-0 AFC Dunstable U21 v Ampthill Town Development (Fullerton [2], Nottage) Attendance: 25

1-1 Berkhamsted Development v Holmer Green Development U25 (Stevens) / (Unknown) Attendance: Unknown

7-1 Buckingham Athletic Development v Harpenden Town Development (Stapleton [3], Hooper [2], Hassell, Blood) / (Unknown) Attendance: Unknown

2-1 Leighton Town Development v Kempston Rovers Development (Unknown) / (Ronayne) Attendance: Unknown

1-2 Stotfold U25 v Biggleswade United U23 (Unknown) / (Unknown) Attendance: Unknown



Nothing bugs those avid fans who upon arriving at their chosen game to find there are no programmes, excuses have ranged from sold out, printers failed to deliver them or our photocopier is broken. Well those at the Biggleswade United v Baldock Town game were greeted by a new excuse, having gone digital this season the hosts had to inform those that their on-line programme was unavailable due to issues with the clubs holding website. (Note to League Treasurer – is this a case of a fine for not producing LOL). The club has since announced normal service has been restored.

B&B ST 1R: Appleton, Menday & Owusu help Ath progress in county cup

Jordan Appleton, Jack Menday and Kevin Owusu netted the goals to send Buckingham Athletic into the second round of the Berks & Bucks Senior Trophy.

Jack Menday

Neil Griffiths’ side went in ahead at the break after Appleton’s 42nd minute opener.

Clean Slate equalised before Menday put the visitors back in front at Downs Barn.

Owusu ensured the Athletic’s place in the next round with an 95th minute strike.

Thanks to Colin Howkins for the updates.

*** BREAKING NEWS *** Aston Clinton FC boss Jordan King steps down

Jordan King

Aston Clinton manager Jordan King has stepped down from his role with immediate effect, and spoke exclusively to Sports Shots:

I felt as if I needed a break from football, from next month I would have seven years without a break. I was burnt out from it and I couldn’t get myself motivated for the long season ahead, and if I can’t motivate myself then I certainly am not ready to inspire a group of players.

I informed the club of my decision on Thursday evening, and I have so many people to thank that I could be here forever. Firstly the players; the commitment to myself and the club has been brilliant. Everything that was asked of them they did & did absolutely 100%. The messages I have received from them have been really nice as well and it makes the work put in over the last couple of years worthwhile.

The people who have helped me on the managerial side of things, Smithy in my first season, Ken Hazell for the last two years up to Bryan McGowan, Neil Roberts & Mike Dedman this season. And finally all the helpers behind the scenes that do all the work that people don’t get to see, Vanessa, Cod, Sam Howard, Dave Mac, John Roberts, Ian Mid & Peter Wyatt. Plus people like Matt Day & Alec Bells mum in previous years, I do apologise if I’ve left anyone out!!!

King leads team out for Div. 2 cup final

When asked what highlights he had since joining the club, Jordan was very proud to boast of so many successes:

Taking over a side that had finished second bottom, struggling to be able to get a side together, to now getting two very good young sides out every Saturday both playing step seven football is a huge achievement.

We have tasted success with back to back promotion positions in the league in both 2016/17 and 2017/18, SSMFL Division Two Cup finalists in 17/18, High Wycombe Senior Cup winners 17/18, we had the best defensive record in the SSMFL in 17/18, and we beat five higher level sides in Harpenden Town, Flackwell Heath, Penn & Tylers Green, FC Thame Rangers & Holmer Green last season

Wycombe Senior cup winners 2018

So what now?

Short term I am going to rest and enjoy the break, but I will be back at some point. Football is the game I love and I’m not ready to walk away just yet. Who knows what might happen!

I would also like to thank everyone at Sports Shots for their coverage over the past few seasons

Sports Shots would like to thank Jordan not only for today, but for all his time since being at the club with all interviews & previews supplied during his tenure at the club

Unicorns Championship, ED: Croft spins Bucks to win with impressive debut display

A sensational bowling performance by Stephen Croft on his debut set up a convincing victory over Hertfordshire at Tring Park over the last three days.

Stephen Croft

The 21-year-old Harefield leg-spinner, playing his first Unicorns Counties Championship match for Bucks, returned the truly amazing figures 8-33 from 22 overs, as we finished our Eastern Division campaign on a high note.

Tom Hampton

Skipper Tom Hampton’s decision to bowl first appeared to pay dividends when Hertfordshire slumped to 82-7 on the first morning. But Andrew Neal’s unbeaten 78, with excellent support from batsmen 9, 10 and 11, helped them to recover to 244, with Hampton capturing 5-60.

The Bucks reply followed a similar pattern, as we slipped to 160-8 before Cameron Parsons (50) and Hampton, with 69 off just 49 balls, lifted us to 272 all out – a first-innings lead of 28.

Hertfordshire’s second innings was progressing serenely at 162-3, when Croft, having already picked up two of the first three wickets, changed ends and turned the game around with a devastating spell.  He induced a collapse that saw the visitors’ last seven wickets fall for 23 runs, to be all out for 185.  Although the pitch was showing the normal signs of wear, which would be expected late on the second day, it was by no means impossible to bat upon; Croft’s figures were the result of good bowling.

This left Bucks 158 for victory and the openers survived a nervous 20 minutes at the end of the second day. There were no dramas the following morning, as AJ Woodland (34) and Masoor Khan took the score to 94, before the departure of Woodland.  By the time that Khan was out for 68 with the score at 128 the match was effectively over, and Ed Casterton (40) and Mike Payne (10) saw Bucks home just before lunchtime on the final day.


CLICK on the image below to link to our images from day one. If you wish to use our images please take the time to give us an accreditation. Thank you.

Bucks CCC v Herts CCC




BBST; Billy in a Harri to keep winning run going for Winslow United

Saturday 8th September 2018

Mursley United v Winslow United

Berks & Bucks Senior Trophy 1st Round

The Playing Field

K.O. 3.00pm

Winslow United recommence their Berks & Bucks Senior Trophy hunt this week-end with the very short trip to Mursley United, as they look to better their semi-final place of last season. Winslow were beaten that afternoon on penalties to eventual winners Saxton Rovers and will be looking for another good run in the competition, which is open primarily to clubs from steps six and seven.

Billy Harrison

This week Sports Shots caught up with defender Billy Harrison to ask how much he’s looking forward to the game:

Yes we are really looking forward to it, can’t get enough games in at the minute after winning our last three games in a row

Considering how far Winslow got in the Senior Trophy last season, is it just as important this time around?

Of course, you want to do well in all the competitions you play in, but this is one we are looking to go a long way in again

What does Billy expect from Mursley on Saturday?

We expect them to be very much up for the game and they will definitely not make it easy for us. Typical Mursley sides I’ve faced in the past have always been very hard working, and having started the season relatively well I’d imagine they would fancy their chances this weekend just like anyone else, anything can happen in cup football

We asked how Winslow will mentally prepare to play a team from a lower division?

The same way you should prepare for every game! You can’t take any game lightly or turn up with the wrong attitude at this level

Just how good a game was it at Rushden & Higham last week in the FA Vase?

That was probably one of the strangest games I’ve ever played in. To have been 4-1 up and completely in control to then ten minutes later be level at 4-4 was crazy. But very pleasing that we managed to get back hold of the game and take the win

How have the changes to the squad this season have affected the balance?

Naturally there is always going to be a bit of a transition period when there are some big changes to the squad, coming in and going out. But we’ve settled in now after a few wins and we have started to get back to playing properly again but there is still much more to come

How has the season been for Billy Harrison?

I’d like to think I’ve started relatively well but I know there is a lot to improve on in my game and that will be sure to happen under the guidance of the management & players around me

Finally, how has it been playing for Winslow United?

It’s been great so far, lots of support locally which is good to see and the lads all get on well. It can be demanding, in terms of playing & getting results but that’s only natural for players & supporters who want success

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

BBST; Ex ploughman looking forward to War with United

Saturday 8th September 2018

Mursley United v Winslow United

Berks & Bucks Senior Trophy 1st Round

The Playing Field

K.O. 3.00pm

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.

James Wardell

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

BBST; Grendon assistant manager hoping to detect improvement against PI

Saturday 8th September 2018

Pitstone & Ivinghoe v Grendon Rangers

Berks & Bucks Senior Trophy

Pitstone Pavilion

K.O. 3.00pm

Grendon Rangers return to cup action on Saturday as they travel to second placed & previously unbeaten Pitstone & Ivinghoe. After recording their first win on bank holiday Monday over Mursley, Rangers have suffered two heavy defeats against league leaders Bovingdon followed at Amersham on Tuesday in the league challenge trophy, and to make matters even harder they face Pitstone three times in their next four matches. There have been a minimum of four goals in every game they’ve featured in, have conceded three in every game they’ve played, whilst Pitstone have scored twenty goals in five games to date, so a nil-nil is not looking favourable!

Alan Ostler

This week Sports Shots caught up with assistant manager Alan Ostler to ask just how Grendon can get something out of this game:

They need to believe in themselves and in each other, trust the system and trust each other, and more importantly communicate with each other. This is something we have been trying to get into the lads since pre-season

What do Grendon know about their hosts going into the game?

Not a lot really apart from what we can see from their results. Some of the lads know them from last season so we’ll have some information that will help

With Pitstone having score freely whilst Rangers have conceded nineteen goals in four games, how can the visitors stop the flow of goals?

Concentration and communication again is key, not just amongst our defensive players but with the midfield aswell. If they can stick to this then everything else falls into place

We asked Alan how it’s been in general since the manager has been away:

It’s been tough to say the least but this is a part of football, and a part I want to be involved in so I have to take the rough with the smooth. The hardest part is player availability, I know it’s hard for everyone to be free for training and matches but everyone has to work and sometimes work & family life comes first. I’m still learning and Steven is a great teacher and is someone I am enjoying working with here at Grendon

Having faced top of the table Bovingdon recently, what impressions did they make?

Let’s just say they are top of the league for a reason! As newcomers to the league we didn’t know much about them other than looking at their results and seeing they can score goals. By half time we were only two-one down and felt confident in our first half performance that we knew what we needed to do in the second period. Unfortunately after they scored their third then fourth our heads dropped and the rest is history. They will be top or thereabouts come the end of the season, a good team and very well organised

How did Grendon shape up against higher level opponents Amersham this week?

Again first half we kept them down to a single goal lead which was a very soft goal to concede, we knew where we had to improve & started the second half well, and in good spirits. But again it was a mad few minutes where we conceded and heads started to drop, they were a decent side, well organised and we wish them well in the rest of their season, but it is worth noting that we were hampered with key players missing with work and other commitments which left us with only twelve players, including myself although I was the unused sub ha ha!! The lads we took showed many times some great spirit and determination but the better team won

We asked Alan how he sees the season panning out:

It’s only been three league games, two of them defeats, plus the cup game that we also lost so we are not panicking, it’s a long season ahead. We have a fantastic set of players and once this early part is out of the way and we get a regular set turning up who are understanding each other more then I’m positive we will start getting more points on the board. There is a long way to go and we are improving

Finally, we asked what the target is in the three games against Pitstone in the next few weeks:

It’s definitely unusual to play each other this many times in such a short space of time but that can’t be helped and at least it gives us a chance to get to know them ready for the next time we meet! As far as targets are concerned we obviously want to win the games not just for the points and cup progress, but for our own confidence. They’re going to be tough games but we have the players to cope

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

FAC; Ducks hoping former FA Cup semi-finalists will not leave them feeling the blues

Sunday 9th September 2018

Aylesbury United v Marlow

FA Cup First Qualifying Round

The Meadow

K.O. 3.00pm

Aylesbury United host Marlow on Sunday at The Meadow in the first qualifying round of the FA Cup, and the chance for either side to bag the six thousand pounds prize money is not one to be taken lightly. The Ducks came away from Crawley Green with a 2-3 win in the previous round thanks to goals from Jack Wood, Greg Williams and Jake Bewley but have lost both their games since, whilst Marlow progressed by a single goal victory at Kidlington.

According to their website, Marlow are the only English team to apply for entry into the FA Cup every year since it’s inception, and even reached the semi-finals in 1882 and their committee would surely love to repeat that this year, although the level of entrants nowadays is slightly different to back then!

Jake Bewley

This week Sports Shots caught up with defender Jake Bewley to find out how big an opportunity this is for the squad to go further in the one of the world’s oldest cup competitions:

It’s a good opportunity for us to progress and we know full well it will be a tough game. They’re never an easy team to play against but having beaten them twice in the league last year this will give us confidence going into the game

How will the squad prepare for the game?

I think we’ll have to get back to what made us successful in the second half of last season as we’ve had a bit of an indifferent start to the season so I imagine Ben will want us to be hard to beat then build from there

We asked what Jake’s favourite memory has been playing in the competition:

Last year’s run was the furthest I’ve ever been so that’s probably the fondest memory I’ve had, and also scoring in the previous round this year was a nice moment for me personally too

So how has this season been so far in general for the team & himself?

We got off to a good winning start winning 3-1 against Kempston but haven’t managed to get any more points on the board since which is frustrating, so hopefully we can kick start our season again with a win on Sunday.

On a personal note I know I haven’t reached the levels I want to be at yet but I’m confident I can reach those levels again soon

United were heavily beaten at league top scorers Bromsgrove Sporting last week, how good were they?

They were very good, they have a massive following for this level which will obviously be an advantage for them budget wise, and I think they might be the team to beat this season

Are there any targets for Jake this season?

I don’t tend to score many so I always try to beat the number of assists I got from the previous season, and if I can chip in with a few goals on top then that would be a bonus

Finally, how good is this current squad compared to previous years?

We’re a good side as we proved last season beating a number of teams at the top of the table, I think it’s probably the best squad I’ve been in in terms of ‘playing style’ so hopefully we can find that form from last year and get the season rolling

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

Some other interesting facts on the history of Marlow taken from their site:

It was on November 22nd 1870 at the Compleat Angler Hotel on the banks of the Thames that Great Marlow Football Club was formed and so began the history of one of the oldest clubs in the country. In the last century the Club was a major force in the game and as one of the original entrants in the first F.A Cup competition in 1871/72 contributed a share of the £25 that bought the first trophy. In the very first year of the competition a certain Cuthbert Ottaway turned out for Marlow and just a year later he was to captain the national side against Scotland in the first ever officially recognised international match

SSMFLD1; Ampthill Town boss hoping some more magic is on View this Saturday

Saturday 8th September 2018

Ampthill Town v Park View

Spartan South Midlands League Division One

Ampthill Park

K.O. 3.00pm

Ampthill Town host divisional newcomers Park View on Saturday at Ampthill Park and will be looking to build upon a good start to the season with another three points. Currently sitting in sixth place in the Spartan South Midlands League Division One table, Town will be looking to keep the Park View winless streak going, although their visitors recorded a midweek cup win whilst Ampthill were heavily beaten at Hillingdon in the first division cup.

Paul Toms

This week Sports Shots caught up with Town manager Paul Toms to ask how he feels his squad have started the season:

It’s been an inconsistent start all round, player availability has been the worst I’ve ever known in nine years of coaching & managing, and the lack of continuity has shown in our results. I’ve used twenty-six players already and only had six available for all our matches! We have a strong squad, a talented squad, but I am hoping the holiday season and stag do season will all die off now and that we can concentrate on putting a positive run together

We asked if Town have much info on their opponents for the weekend?

I’ll be honest and say we know very little about Park View, but we have to give them a lot of respect as they were champions of division two last year, and I imagine it will be a close game on Saturday

How good a game was it last time in the league at the Park against Amersham?

I always knew playing Amersham would be a tough test, as I know they are coached to play the right way. Going three up on the hour I was thinking we could go on to get five or six here. But sloppy defending and poor decision making brought Amersham back to three each, however credit where credit is due, we never stopped believing and scored in the final minute through a piece of brilliance from Brad Clarke to win four-three

Since then Ampthill have been beaten in two cup competitions by Edgware & Hillingdon, how were those games?

I watched Edgware twice and felt confident we could get a result against them, as I felt our style would counter their very direct way of playing. We took the lead, but missing players in key areas especially the goalkeeper cost us dearly. But no excuses as at two-one we went for it but got caught on the counter attack to concede again. As for Hillingdon, again no excuses but we had eleven players unavailable due to work, injuries & holidays and it went against us. That will be a tough place to go for anyone, but I look forward to going back with a full squad to choose from. I do wish both teams all the very best and hope they both go on long cup runs

We asked Paul how he feels his squad is shaping up this far in:

We have a very strong talented squad, unfortunately its very stretched at the moment, but week by week players are returning and we’ve also added some players this week too. For me the main focus is the league and to push as high as we can

Brad Clarke & Ash Higgins have scored seven goals between them so far, how good are they?

Where do I start with Brad, AKA ‘the little magician’! I’ve had some players in squads over the years but Brad simply oozes class. A talented skilful smart player & a match winner, someone I trust. As for Ash, he adds a lot to Ampthill having played at decent clubs before like Leighton Town and Chesham United, he adds that experience that is needed on and off the field. This is his second spell under me, he’s player we can look to, a player that creates, can hold up play but most important he is a finisher. I’m expecting a good tally come what may

Who has been the best side the manager has seen so far this term?

That’s a tough one, Enfield & Harefield are both great sides with different styles. For me Enfield just edge it because I love their style, they have a system of playing in a very positive way

Finally, we asked with two home games and a trip to bottom side Codicote in the next three, has Paul set any targets from these three games?

Although I do set goals for the team and individuals, every game is winnable in this division, but I’m looking no further forward than Park View on Saturday. A good performance & hopefully a good result!

This Saturday morning our coaches, players & I will be in town starting at Waitrose meeting the locals trying to promote what is a fantastic club and talk about the work we are doing from the youth all the way through to the veteran’s side. The local community is very important to us at Ampthill Town and as we grow we hope our fan base does too

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