THREE consecutive league draws have realistically ended Newport Pagnell Town’s UCL Premier title hopes for another season as they once again missed the chance to take pole position.
Lowly Desborough Town struck an equaliser with 15 minutes left on the Willen Road clock to leave the Swans kicking themselves for a third time in eight days, having previously been held by Irchester and Boston Town.
And what made Saturday even more frustrating for Newport was that with third place Kings Lynn winning at leaders St Neots, they missed their opportunity to move to the top of the table. And with both sides having three games in hand over Terry Shrieves’ men, the Swans are likely to pay for their unexpected blip in form.
Darren Lynch gave Newport a first half lead against Desborough with his 100th goal for the club - a penalty awarded after a foul on Jordan Spruce in the last minute of the opening period.
A run of improved results has boosted Desborough’s confidence though and Lewis Harman’s well taken 75th minute reply from a free-kick gave them a point.
St Neots lead the way from the Swans only on goal difference as Kings Lynn moved to within just a point of both after their win in Cambridgeshire - a game watched by more than 1,400 fans.
The Swans are not out of it yet, but in an incredibly tough league - in which their title rivals have only lost twice between them all season - it is going to take something really special for Newport to make up the difference. They start that challenge with a tough trip to Holbeach on Saturday.
Eynesbury Rovers snatched a late equaliser to take a point off UCL Division One leaders Olney Town - a result made all the more frustrating because nearest rivals Thrapston beat Huntingdon 1-0 to bridge the gap to two points.
Olney have sat pretty at the top of the pile for virtually the whole season, but their superiority may be challenged in the weeks ahead with a tough run of fixtures.
They begin what looks likely to be a defining spell in their season with a home game against third placed AFC Kempston Rovers on Saturday - themselves still well in the hunt for promotion.
Rovers are five points adrift of Olney but have three matches in hand, and anything less than a home win at East Street will open the door to Thrapston who would go above Neil Griffiths’ men with a win over Rothwell.
A last minute goal denied the Nurserymen a crucial victory at Hall Road as Eynesbury hit back twice to deny the pace setters a third straight win.
Sam Parrish put Olney ahead six minutes in, converting from a rolled free-kick, before only the crossbar prevented the visitors from extending their lead via Stewart Allan before the break.
Olney led the contest for over an hour until substitute Adam Boothby squared the game with 20 minutes remaining. But three points looked Olney bound when Dean Chapman scored to make it 2-1 after 83.
Boothby levelled the game for a second time as the clock hit 90 minutes though, leaving Griffiths and company hoping they aren’t punished for their late lapse in concentration.
After a poor start to the season it’s now seven wins from as many games for a much improved New Bradwell St Peter side, the latest success another convincing one, 4-0 over London Lions.
A Kemoagna hat-trick and one from Clinch saw Peters build on their comfortable SML Division One mid-table position - a week after they fired eight past Stony Stratford. Stony continue to leak goals and crashed to a 5-1 defeat in their last game at Harpenden.
Division Two’s MK Wanderers picked up just their third point of this season when second placed Risborough Rangers failed to find a breakthrough, while Bletchley Town drew 1-1 at The 61 (Luton).
North Bucks League
CELTIC MK made it through to the third round of this season’s Interdivisional Trophy after an impressive 6-1 victory against Division Two table toppers City Colts.
Celtic sit fourth in Division One and won the second round tie thanks to goals from John Mundy (2), Demarlo Smith (2), and a goal apiece from Karl Ainsley and Graham Sands.
Also through to round three are Premier Division bottom side Wolverton who won 2-1 at Intermediate Division’s Great Linford, and Denbigh Hall who upset the odds with a 1-0 win at Thornborough.
Loughton Manor maintained their position at the summit of the Premier Division thanks to a 4-2 win at MK Titans, while Potterspury saw off mid-table rivals Yardley Gobion 3-0.
Intermediate Division table toppers MK Wanderers have done their goal difference the world of good thanks to a 11-0 thrashing of basement boys Twyford, but Stoke Hammond remain hot on their heels after their 2-1 win at Brackley Res.
In Division One Deanshanger Res and Hanslope shared the points and six goals, while Old Stratford lost 3-2 to Charlton, and leaders Stoke Hammond Res strengthened their place with a 3-1 win over Grendon.
Olney were the big winners in Division Two as they fired seven past Syresham Res.
MK Sunday League
FC LIFESEARCH and Loughton Athletic have joined leaders Trade 2U on 19 points at the top of an incredibly tight Division One table after both picked up wins and the table toppers had a week off.
Lifesearch beat struggling AFC Santander 3-0 while Loughton were 3-1 winners over FC MMIX, and both join Trade 2U at the top of the pile, although it’s the team who had a weekend off who lead the way on goal difference.
The other Division One match saw a surprise 2-0 win for Open University B against Kings Arms, leaving both sat in mid-table.
The only match in the Premier Division on Sunday saw mid-table rivals Willen A and Great Mile Ash share the points and six goals.
MK Dynamos won the battle of the top two, 1-0 against Wolverton Town B in Diviison Two, stretching their lead at the top of the pile to three points in the process.
At the other end of the table there was a ninth defeat from 12 for MK Community who lost to Kiln Farm B by the odd goal in five, while the biggest win of the day came from Punjab Utd who fired 13 past Three Trees for the loss of one. There was also a 3-0 victory for Great Linford at Stantonbury.