AFTER a bright start to the new campaign, Stony Stratford Town’s early season form has now taken a turn for the worse after back-to-back heavy defeats.
Chris Miller’s men lost 3-1 at unbeaten Harpenden Town on Tuesday night, three days after falling 4-1 at home to London Colney who have also enjoyed a fine start to the South Midlands League Division One season.
Unfortunately that means the table has a familiar theme to it with Stony struggling towards the bottom end with one win, one draw and four defeats to show for their first six league games. And most worrying of all is the goals for column with Town only able to find the back of the net four times so far.
Boss Miller offered no excuses for their defeat to London Colney on Saturday, but did think his side were worth a point away at Harpenden.
“Saturday was our worst performance of the season by a country mile,” he said. “The players were a bit naive and were punished for it. When you line up against a side much bigger than you are you can’t try and match them physically.
“But we were unlucky at Harpenden. We created plenty of chances but couldn’t do the most important thing and find the back of the net. After going one down Dan Charlesworth equalised for us before half time and in the second half we started the better side for the first 20 minutes.
“But they got a lucky break when our keeper Jack Dorrell couldn’t keep out a ball which bounced up on their awful pitch and they hit us on the break with a third late on.
“The lack of goals is a worry but we are creating chances so hopefully they’ll come soon. I told the players after the game that Harpenden are now in the top four but they have nothing on us really.”
Harpenden are the only side to remain unbeaten in six games, but it’s Tokyngton Manor who top the Division One table after winning five and losing one. Their latest win came at the expense of New Bradwell St Peter who have themselves enjoyed a good to the season and lost their own unbeaten record as a result.
That 4-2 Tokyngton win on Tuesday night came after Peters’ 2-1 victory at Sun Postal Sports on Saturday – their third win of the season.
Boss Gary Flinn admitted his side were second best against a Manor outfit top of the table and boosted by prolific striker Ed Protain who now has 14 goals to his name already this season. He bagged a first half hat-trick as the hosts led 4-1 at the break, with Greg Tite on target for Peters.
But the visitors were at least able to win the second half as Ross Stone’s fantastic overhead kick was the only other goal.
“It was better than the overhead kick that Wayne Rooney scored,” said Flinn. “I’ll admit that they were better than us on the night and we couldn’t handle their striker who was the difference between the sides.
“But we can’t complain with our start to the season considering we haven’t played a home game yet. Hopefully by the time we play Tokyngton again we’ll be a better side and the target now is to make sure we’re a top five side for as long as we can be.”
Now the cricket season is over, Peters return to home with the visit of Harpenden on Saturday while Stony visit London Lions.
After an opening day Division Two win, MK Wanderers bowed out of the Challenge Trophy with a 4-2 home defeat to Bedford, while on the league front Bletchley Town lost 3-2 at home to Caddington and Old Bradwell crashed 4-0 at Aston Clinton.
>> There’s FA Cup action for Newport Pagnell Town on Saturday as they entertain Thame United in their preliminary round tie after winning at Witney United in the extra preliminary round.
But the Swans go into the Willen Road clash on the back of a 2-0 United Counties League defeat to Holbeach United which leaves Darren Lynch’s men 10th in the Premier Division table after four games.
It’s two wins in three and no defeats for Olney Town who have enjoyed a good start to their Division One season. They won 2-1 away at Eynesbury Rovers on Saturday but have to make do with second place in the table at this early stage.
Ian Lindop’s 21st minute goal direct from a free-kick gave the Nurserymen the lead before Stewart Allan’s second half penalty proved the difference.
NEW CITY HEATING SUNDAY LEAGUE
THE MK Sunday League kicks-off for the new season this weekend and sees a change to its format with three divisions replaced by two of 12 teams each.
Most of the teams are in action in the first round of the KnockOut Cup with the current holders and last season’s Premier Division champions Stony Stratford Town starting their defence of the trophy against New City Saints.
Newcomers to the league, MK United, Stacey Bushes and Stantonbury The Manor take on Loughton Athletic, Trade 2U – last season’s Division One winners – and Punjab United respectively.
Other first round fixtures see last season’s Division Two winners Wolverton Town take on last year’s Alf Carters Memorial Cup winners Stantonbury Social. MK Legends – formerly Three Trees – take on Kings Arms, Padbury AFC take on FC Lifesearch and Willen face AFC Santander.
The two fixtures in the Premier Division on Sunday see Great Mile Ash entertain league veterans Open University and Stantonbury Social A playing CS Athletic.
There are two fixtures in Division One with last season’s Supplementary Cup winners FC MMIX taking on Olney Town and newcomers Stantonbury Social B playing Buckingham.
NORTH BUCKS & DISTRICT LEAGUE
IT’S been a terrific start to the new season for MK Wanderers Reserves who top the Premier Division table after winning three of their first four games.
Wanderers have picked up 10 points so far and most recently thrashed Yardley Gobion 5-1 to give them a goal difference of plus nine already. Also off to a good start with two wins in three are Deanshanger Athletic while Great Linford and Wolverton Town remain the other two unbeaten teams – albeit after two games.
Wolves picked up an impressive 3-3 draw at second placed Southcott Village last time out while Great Linford hammered Stewkley 6-2 on their own patch. MK Titans are still looking for a win after their 1-1 draw against Thornborough and Loughton Manor were on the end of a 7-2 thrashing by Buckingham Town Reserves.
The stand-out result from the last round of midweek action saw MK Wanderers Res beat Southcott Village 3-0 and Wolves’ first win of the season came 3-2 at Loughton.
Great Horwood top the Intermediate table after three wins in four – held to a 2-2 draw by Celtic MK in their last outing – while City Colts are second after picking up six points from their two games, including a 3-0 win at Brackley Sports Res. Olney Town went down 5-1 at Steeple Claydon and Wicken Sports sit bottom of the pile after losing their first three, the latest 4-2 to Stoke Hammond Res. Bow Brickhill got their first win 3-1 over J.M United.
Grendon Rangers are the pace-setters in Division One with 12 points from their four games – their latest win coming 3-1 at the expense of Bletchley Bridge. Woughton fell 3-2 at Charlton & District and Bow Brickhill Res made it two wins in three thanks to an 8-5 demolition of bottom side Westbury.
MK Wanderers ‘A’ made it two wins in three when they beat Silverstone Res 2-0 and there was a first win of the season for Hanslope, 3-2 at Wing Village.