Football round-up: Swans desperate to find form ahead of Vase showdown

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THE success of Newport Pagnell Town’s season seems to be hinging on their FA Vase fourth round tie against Ashington next Saturday, but the Swans are in danger of going into their biggest ever match in poor form.

Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Deeping Rangers made it one win in four matches for Darren Lynch’s charges – a run of form that has realistically ended their United Counties League Premier title hopes as Kings Lynn continue to pull away at the top.

However, the Swans produced a brave performance when they visited the league leaders last Monday – only going down by the odd goal in three after actually taking an 85th minute lead in front of 700 fans.

Now the club’s main focus has to be on next Saturday’s FA Vase fourth round home tie against Northumberland outfit Ashington – generally considered to be their biggest ever game. But before then the Swans welcome Irchester United to Willen Road this Saturday and then visit Windsor in a Berks & Bucks Trophy quarter final clash on Monday night.

The 1-1 draw at Deeping was Newport’s first stalemate of the season, coming at the 24th attempt after Richard Armstrong had given the visitors a first half lead.

Olney Town enjoyed a 4-0 away win at Hungerford Town in the Berks & Bucks Intermediate Cup on Saturday thanks to a Stewart Allan brace and strikes from Tim Mason and Sam Parrish. The UCL Division One side visit Rothwell Town this weekend hoping to get their title push back on track.

South Midlands League Division Two side Bletchley Town’s run in this season’s Challenge Trophy came to an end at the quarter final stage on Tuesday night when they crashed 4-0 at Tring Athletic.

And that defeat came just three days after they bowed out of the Berks & Bucks Intermediate Cup, going down 3-2 away at South Reading. Bletchley now host bottom side MK Wanderers in a local derby this Saturday hoping to end that losing run.

Four places above Wanderers in the Division Two table are Old Bradwell who produced one of their best performances of the season to thrash Caddington 5-2, while league leaders Mursley United lost their top of the table clash to title rivals Aston Clinton. Their lead at the top has been cut to two points after the 3-0 loss, and Clinton have three games in hand.

There was a 5-2 defeat for Division One strugglers Stony Stratford Town away at Cockfosters, while New Bradwell St Peter edged out St Albans City Reserves by a single goal and Wodson Park lost 3-2 to Wodson Park.

NEW CITY HEATING SUNDAY LEAGUE

Willen took full advantage of Stony Stratford Town having the weekend off by extending their lead at the top of the Premier League by defeating Loughton Athletic 3-0. Their lead is now eight points, although unbeaten Stony do now have five games in hand.

In the other matches, Great Mile Ash missed their opportunity to go second as they were edged out in a seven goal thriller by Kings Arms. FC Lifesearch beat the Open University 4-0 and Stantonbury Social A beat Padbury AFC 3-0.

Olney Town took advantage of their title rivals having County Cup distractions as they moved back ahead of AFC Santander in Division One with a convincing 10-0 win against Stacey Bushes.

Olney’s goals came from a Greg Hardie hat-trick, Gary Janes (2), Tony White (2), Liam Bennett, Tommy Collins and Christian Smails as they go top on goal difference, but Santander do now have a game in hand. And wouldn’t you know it, the two sides meet this Sunday.

Stoke Hammond MK moved up to third with a hard fought 4-2 victory against MK Legends. FC MMIX stay in contention with a 4-2 win against Stantonbury Social B, while New City Saints and Stantonbury The Manor shared the spoils in a 2-2 draw.

Those Berks & Bucks Sunday Junior Cup ties brought defeats for Santander and CS Athletic who bowed at the fourth round stage with 5-0 and 3-2 defeats respectively. MK United bowed out of the Sunday Junior Trophy with a 3-1 fourth round defeat to Britwell Sunday.

NORTH BUCKS & DISTRICT LEAGUE

Potterspury remain top of the Premier Division despite being held to a 2-2 draw by Wolverton Town. However, they now lead the way only on goal difference as Southcott Village went level on points by beating Deanshanger Athletic 2-1.

Other games saw a 2-0 win for Great Linford over Grendon Rangers and 1-0 defeat for MK Titans to Silverstone.

In the Intermediate Division there was a 4-3 win for AFC Santdander against J.M. United, 6-1 win for Stoke Hammond over Denbigh Hall Sports, 4-1 defeat for Olney Town to Brackley Sports and 4-3 victory for Wicken over Bow Brickhill.

Stoke Hammond Reserves continue to lead Division One after their 5-1 beating of Deanshanger Reserves, while Potterspury Res beat Grendon Rangers 4-3, Woughton won 4-1 at Bow Brickhill Res and Bletchley Bridge enjoyed a 4-1 victory over Stewkley.

City Colts Reserves saw their lead at the top of Division Two cut to three points when they were held to a 0-0 draw by Real Padbury and rivals Great Linford Res had a 4-3 win at Marsh Gibbon. MK Wanderers A beat Yardley Gobion 2-1, Hanslope Res saw off University of Buckingham 3-1 and Great Horwood Res fell 3-2 to Wing Village.

Wolverton Town Reserves earned a place in the semi finals of the Division Two Trophy by scoring in the last minute of extra time to defeat Wicken Sports Reserves 4-3.

After taking a 2-0 lead, Wolves fell 3-2 behind after conceding three times in three second half minutes. However, they equalised to force extra time before Dean Reed bagged the dramatic late winner by lobbing the Wicken keeper from the edge of the penalty area with practically the last kick of the game.

In the Berks & Bucks Junior Cup fourth round, MK Wanderers Res beat Celtic MK 2-1 after extra time, Great Horwood edged past Bletchley Town Res 3-2 and City Colts beat Hanslope 4-2.