Local football: Stony on course for much improved season

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MANAGER James Cain has spearheaded a fantastic turnaround in fortunes for South Midlands League Division One side Stony Stratford Town this season.

Going into a tasty local derby at Cranfield United on Saturday, Stony could climb into the top six with three points – a far cry from their troubles of the previous two campaigns when winning was a rarity.

The Ostlers Lane side finished second from bottom last season with just eight wins from their 42 league outings, having come rock bottom a year earlier with only six victories.

In fact you have to go back to the 2007/08 season for the last time Stony achieved a top half finish, when they came fourth after challenging for the title. They finished third in the previous two years, albeit in a much smaller division.

This season’s form doesn’t quite hint of a return to those days just yet, but it has been a marked improvement on the club’s recent history having won four of their eight league games to date.

And last Saturday they took a break from South Midlands action to thrash Newport Pagnell Town Reserves 6-2 in the Berks & Bucks Intermediate Cup first round.

The highlight of the season so far was their 5-2 win at Winslow United, and they also saw off near neighbours New Bradwell St Peter 2-1.

However, Cain’s men will need to be at their best to take anything from their trip to play a Cranfield side who became the latest to beat struggling New Bradwell on Tuesday night.

A 4-2 home win lifted United up to mid-table while Peters remain bottom with just one point to show for their opening eight games.

They host Cockfosters looking for their first league win on Saturday – a week after their morale-boosting 2-0 Intermediate Cup success against Bedgrove Dynamos.

Wolverton Town go into their SML Division Two home game with The 61 FC in decent form having edged past Old Bradwell United 1-0 in the same county cup. Old Bradwell welcome Broxbourne Borough sat bottom of the table and looking for their first three points.

Newport Pagnell Town are still unbeaten in the United Counties League Premier Division and could go second if they beat Sleaford Town at Willen Road.

But it’s been a disappointing start to the Division One season for Olney Town who, after three defeats from four, will look to get back to their best at home to Rushden & Higham United.