NEWPORT Pagnell’s FA Cup adventure is over for another season after they were dumped out of the competition in the cruelest of fashions on Tuesday Night.
The Swans lost 4-2 on penalties to Thame United after being held to a 1-1 draw on the night – three days after the Oxfordshire side escaped Willen Road with the same scoreline.
Newport found Thame a harder nut to crack than their previous Hellenic League opponents Witney United who they cruised past in their extra preliminary round tie last month.
In fact Thame took an 11th minute lead on Saturday through Dan West, and they enjoyed the better of the opening half as their United Counties League hosts were slow out of the blocks.
But Newport piled on the pressure after the break only to be thwarted by a series of fine saves from Nick Bennion in the Thame goal.
The Swans had to wait until six minutes from full time for Dominic Lawless to earn them a replay with an equalising goal that saw him burst between two defenders to slot home. It was then all one-way traffic as Darren Lynch’s men pushed for a winner, but it wouldn’t come and they had to do it all again on Tuesday night.
As in the Willen Road encounter, Thame again took a first half lead, Aaron Rogers scoring just before the break. Dean Buss levelled for the Swans 10 minutes from time, but despite having plenty of chances to win the tie during extra time, Newport couldn’t take any of them and it was down to penalties.
Thame now go on to play Brackley Town in the first qualifying round, while it’s back to league action for the Swans who host surprise early season pace-setters Long Buckby on Saturday.
Olney Town go into their UCL Division One home match against Bourne Town on Saturday sitting top of the table after an excellent start to the season which has seen them win three of their opening four games.
The most recent of those came with a very impressive 3-0 win over Harborough Town – currently their closest challengers to top spot. Stewart Allan made the breakthrough in the 40th minute and the hosts extended their advantage five minutes after the restart with Allan on target again with his fourth goal of the season.
The scoring was completed two minutes from time by Jared Cunniff, giving Olney a dream start to the new season.
>> Stony Stratford Town picked up their second South Midlands League Division One win of the season on Tuesday night when they came out on top in a five-goal thriller at home to Kings Langley.
That came after the Ostlers Lane outfit lost 3-1 at London Lions on Saturday, but boss Chris Miller says his side’s display against Kings Langley shows his side are now on the up, despite admitting that he considered both to be ‘must win games’.
He said: “We battered them for much of the game on Saturday but after taking the lead we let them back into it and they went on to win.
“But the difference on Tuesday was that we went ahead again and went for the kill, taking our chances really well and looking like we could have scored more.”
Denzel Moses put Stony ahead away at London Lions, but in his absence against Kings Langley it was down to new recruit Michael Humphries to give Miller’s men a first half lead which was doubled by Alfie Buckley before the break. Stuart Young got Stony’s third after the restart before having to survive a late fightback as the visitors netted twice to set up a nervous finish.
“It was hugely important that we won the game,” added Miller. “We’ve got a good run of fixtures coming up now, starting with an away game against Sun Postal Sports on Saturday, and I expect us to start picking up a few more wins.”
New Bradwell St Peter have suffered a frustrating week after being held to a 1-1 home draw by Harpenden – still unbeaten in eight games – before seeing their next home fixture called off because opponents Bedford have dropped out of the league.
Nevertheless it’s been a fine start to the season for Peters who are now hoping a run of home games will see them climb further up the table, starting at home to Chesham United Reserves.
MK Wanderers were on the end of a 3-0 home defeat to Totternhoe in Division Two, while Bletchley Town went down 3-0 away at Aston Clinton and Old Bradwell lost 1-0 at Kent Athletic.
Wanderers visit The 61 FC (Luton) this Saturday, Bletchley go to Risborough and Old Bradwell host Totternhoe.
NORTH BUCKS & DISTRICT LEAGUE
MK WANDERERS Reserves stretched their unbeaten start to the new Premier Division to five games when they beat Thornborough Athletic 2-1.
Their fourth win sees them sitting pretty at the top of the table, with Wolverton Town the only other unbeaten team – albeit from three games after they edged a seven-goal thriller against Yardley Gobion in the first match at their New Park home in Greenleys. Goals by Hutchinson (2), Collins and Jones made it a day to remember for Wolves.
Great Linford fell to their first defeat of the campaign, losing out 1-0 at Grendon Rangers, and Loughton Manor secured 2-1 victory over Deanshanger. Potterspury are second in the table following a 3-1 success at Stewkley, but the biggest winners were MK Titans who got their first three points in emphatic style after thrashing Buckingham Town Res 6-0. There was a hat-trick for Connolly and goals from Buckley, Stubbs and Hayle.
Great Horwood beat Denbigh Hall 4-3 to remain Intermediate Division pace-setters with four wins in five, while both City Colts and Celtic MK are also defending unbeaten starts. Celtic edged past Wicken Sports 1-0 last time out, but Colts ran riot in thrashing winless MK Titans Res 8-0. MK Churches fell 5-2 to Syresham, Bow Brickhill hammered Hanslope 5-0 and Olney Town lost out 2-1 to Stoke Hammond.
In Division One Bletchley Bridge enjoyed a win at the third attempt, seeing off Charlton & District 2-1, while Woughton kept up their good start with a 3-1 victory against Stoke Hammond Res. Bow Brickhill Res made it nine points from 12 available as they beat Deanshanger Athletic Res 2-0.
Three sides share top spot in Division Two after winning their opening couple of games, with Wolverton Town Res running out easy 4-1 winners at Great Horwood Res last time out and Great Linford Res beating Silverstone 2-1. Real Padbury crashed 6-0 to Hanslope Res, while there was a 4-1 win for City Colts Res over Steeple Claydon Res and MK Wanderers ‘A’ went down 3-2 to Yardley Gobion Res.
NEW CITY HEATING SUNDAY LEAGUE
DEFENDING Knock Out Cup champions Stony Stratford eased into the second round of this season’s competition thanks to a 12-0 thrashing of New City Saints on the opening weekend of the new Sunday League season.
An enthralling game between Willen and AFC Santander ended in a thrilling 4-4 draw before the latter triumphed 5-4 in penalties, with Carl Ware (2), Stacey O’Neill and Andy Janes on the scoresheet for AFC Santander before the shootout.
Other games in the cup saw Kings Arms beat MK Legends 5-1, Loughton Athletic beat MK United 6-1, Trade 2U beat Stacey Bushes 2-0, Padbury AFC beat FC Lifesearch 9-1 and newcomers to the league Stantonbury the Manor edging out Punjab Utd 1-0.
The opening weekend also saw a couple of Premier Division fixtures with Great Mile Ash and Open University sharing the points after a 1-1 draw, with Shaun Carr on the scoresheet for the Open University. The other fixture saw CS Athletic beat Stantonbury Social A 4-2.
The two fixtures in Division One saw Olney Town defeat last year’s Supplementary Cup winners FC MMIX 5-1 and league newcomers Stantonbury Social B saw off Buckingham United 3-1.
Most sides get their first taste of league action this Sunday with five fixtures in the Premier Division and six in Division One.
Email reports to email@example.com