NEWPORT Pagnell Town manager Terry Shrieves says he’s determined to win next week’s Berks & Bucks Senior Trophy to avoid a ‘dead season’.
Tuesday’s final against Flackwell Heath at Aylesbury FC is the Swans’ last chance of winning some silverware this season after their United Counties League title hopes disappeared a few weeks ago.
And it’s for that reason that Shrieves is desperate to retain the trophy as his side finish the season strongly and look set for a highly respectable third place finish.
“We can’t not win anything this season,” said the Swans boss. “Even though we’ve gone close in the league it would be a dead season to have nothing to show for it.
“This club has progressed year on year since I’ve been here, and any other season we probably would have won the league, but it doesn’t matter now and all we can do is end on a high.”
Since losing pace with Premier Division big spenders St Neots and Kings Lynn in the last few weeks, the Swans have done well to recover and will go into Saturday’s trip to Sleaford on a four-game unbeaten run.
Their 23rd league success of the season came at Rothwell Corinthians on Tuesday night - a side Shrieves says epitomises his frustration with the UCL.
The league’s bottom side have won just two games all season, and a double from Swans front man Daren Dykes helped his team to a routine win. The division’s top scorer bagged one in each half to take his total for the season to 32 in 31 games.
“I really don’t see what Rothwell get out of it,” said Shrieves. “They’re down at the bottom yet again and it makes a mockery of the league. I think it’s good that Kings Lynn and St Neots are here because it’s a big challenge for us. It’s just a shame they had so much money to spend and pushed away like they have.”
The Swans returned to winning ways at Rothwell after being held to a 1-1 draw by Blackstones at Willen Road on Saturday.
Steve Burns gave the visitors the lead after 74 minutes, but Luigi Rocco salvaged a point with an 83rd minute reply, scoring at the second attempt after Mick Duggan thwarted him first time round. The home side were then indebted to veteran keeper Paul Warnecki for his superb save to stop Elton Holmes right at the death.
In UCL Division One, Olney Town have been left kicking themselves after they missed the chance to move to within five points of leaders AFC Kempston Rovers on Tuesday night.
They were shocked by Huntingdon who sealed a 2-1 win, but the Nurserymen fell to an equally surprising defeat at home to Northampton ON Chenecks. Matthew Old got Olney off to a great start on just 11 minutes, but Jack Bowen’s Chenecks equaliser on the hour sparked a flurry of goalmouth action.
Old restored his side’s advantage, only for Rhys Coleman and Bowen to net and give the visitors the points, leaving Olney with a mountain to climb ahead of a trip to Bourne Town on Saturday.
In the South Midlands League Division One, New Bradwell St Peter comfortably beat Cranfield United 5-1 three days after drawing 0-0 with Berkhamsted. Stony lost 3-0 at home to Welwyn Garden City.
In Division Two Bletchley Town lost 1-0 to Mursley, MK Wanderers were beaten 5-1 by Winslow and Old Bradwell United were thrashed 8-0 by The 61 FC (Luton).
MK SUNDAY LEAGUE ROUND-UP
THEY were playing for second place in Premier Division in the last round of fixtures on Sunday and it was Steven Eagell Toyota who took it.
With Stony Stratford Town home and dry at the top for several weeks it was left to SET and Boca Shenley to do battle for the right to end the season as runners-up, and in the end that went to the former who won the game 6-0.
Great Mile Ash could still finish in fourth, but only if Open University A fail to win any of their two remaining games to conclude the season, with OU beating GMA 6-0 when the sides met.
There’s still plenty to be resolved in Division One where there wasn’t any action on Sunday, but second placed Trade 2U look on course to topple leaders FC Lifesearch. 2U sit two points behind but have three games left to play while Lifesearch have just one.
There are also still plenty of matches to be played in Division Two where Wolverton Town B will win the title if they win all their remaining fixtures. They demolished Kiln Farm B 8-1 last time out while leaders Padbury AFC edged out CS Athletic 1-0.
Padbury are seven points clear at the top, but with just one game to play they’ll need Wolves to slip up as they could still notch up 12 points from their games to play. Elsewhere New City Saints surprised MK Dynamos with a 2-1 win, while Three Trees were cut down in size with a 9-1 defeat by Great Linford.
Division One rivals Santander and Loughton Athletic met in the Bill Johnson Cup semi final and it was the former who banked a place in the final with a 2-1 win. They’ll face either FC MMIX or New City Saints who meet this week.
NORTH BUCKS LEAGUE ROUND-UP
IT’S that time of the season where the games are coming thick and fast, and Celtic MK have had a busy week - with contrasting fortunes.
Last Wednesday saw them hammer lowly Deanshanger Athletic Reserves 4-0 to keep their hopes of winning Division One alive. But should they catch leaders Stoke Hammond Reserves then they won’t make it a double as Premier Division Grendon Rangers dumped them out of the Interdivisional Trophy with a 4-3 victory three days later.
Celtic have several games in hand on the three sides above them in Division One, but while they were on Trophy duty table toppers Stoke Hammond strengthened their position with a 2-0 win against Bletchley Bridge. At the other end of the table Old Stratford look like finishing the season strongly and recorded a pretty impressive 3-1 victory against Grendon Rangers Reserves.
MK Titans’ Premier Division woes worsened when the league’s bottom side went down 2-1 to Thornborough, while Loughton picked up a very creditable 1-1 draw at second in the table Hale Leys United, two points adrift of leaders Southcott Village.
MK Wanderers managed to strengthen their position at the top of the Intermediate table without even playing as nearest rivals Stoke Hammond lost 2-1 to Denbigh Sports. Great Linford thrashed MK Titans Reserves 5-1 and Great Horwood were 3-1 winners over Wicken.
It looks like only a disaster is going to stop Olney Town winning Division Two, their 1-0 win at Wicken Res leaving them just a point behind Heath Panthers with four games in hand.