WITH just a handful of fixtures remaining this season, Stony Stratford are in need of a miracle to avoid finishing bottom of the South Midlands League Division One.
Saturday saw them draw 1-1 at home to mid-table Cockfosters - a result which by normal standards was a quite respectable one - but now they are fast running out of games to save themselves.
That was just their 17th point out of 35 games this season and they remain stuck to the foot of the table, four points behind nearest rivals Amersham and eight adrift of Welwyn Garden City who they take on at Ostlers Lane this weekend.
Stony still have a mathematical chance of avoiding the shame of finishing bottom but will need to start with a win over City on Saturday - by no means a guarantee for a side that has tasted defeat 28 times while conceding 124 goals.
Stony’s woes are in no small part down to their terrible start to the campaign and although near neighbours New Bradwell St Peter suffered a similar fate, they have at least been able to turn things around in the last couple of months. They continued their improvement with a hard-fought win over a useful Harpenden side on Saturday and have now won more games than they have lost - few would have predicted that before Christmas. Peters’ 2-1 success sees them respectably half-way up the table.
Division Two’s basement dwellers MK Wanderers came close to causing an upset when they took on Tring Corinthians, but eventually lost 2-1. Meanwhile, Bletchley Town continue to move themselves away from the bottom and claimed an excellent point in drawing 1-1 at Kent Athletic.
In the United Counties League Premier Division, Newport Pagnell Town avenged their League Cup defeat to Peterborough Northern Star when they beat them 2-1 at Willen Road on Tuesday night.
Star were 3-2 victors when the two sides met in the quarter final of the cup back in early March, and after booking their place in the final of the competition with a win over Boston Town on Saturday, they took the lead against the Swans.
Josh Moreman’s 32nd minute goal had the visitors in front at the interval, but a Daren Dykes penalty three minutes into the second half got the home side level. It looked like the game would end all square, but a minute from the end Darren Lynch was in the right place at the right time to snatch the Swans’ winner.
That keeps Newport on course for a top three finish this term, but it’s the Berks & Bucks Senior Trophy final with Flackwell Heath on Tuesday April 12 that’s foremost in the club’s mind.
Two wins in three days have kept Olney Town’s hopes of winning the Division One title alive, but they remain in fourth place in the table and seven points behind AFC Kempston Rovers at the top.
Harborough Town were the latest to fall on Tuesday night as the Nurserymen ran out 3-1 winners. Matthew Old’s goal after half an hour got the visitors ahead before Martin Callan equalised.
But a double from John Mills on 48 and 88 minutes won the three points for Olney and sets them up perfectly for their trip to second placed Bugbrooke St Michaels this Saturday.
That success came three days after mid-table Northampton Sileby Rangers tasted defeat at East Street, with Olney securing a routine 2-0 win. Sileby started well with Jack Bartley’s header forcing a good stop by home keeper Joe Pursell, but Olney got the opening goal on 14 minutes when Matt Brady sent Harold Prempeh free to score.
Stewart Allan saw several efforts saved and it took until added time for the hosts to complete their win with top marksman Allan eventually finding a way past away keeper Dan Ainsworth.
MK Sunday League round-up
STONY Stratford Town may have run away with the Premier Division title, but there is still all to play for in divisions One and Two where the race for honours looks set to go down to the wire.
FC Lifesearch are now two points clear at the top of Division One after they had the weekend off and nearest rivals Trade 2U thrashed Open University B to cut the gap, and they still have two games still in hand. They also now have a much better goal difference than Lifesearch as they put nine past lowly OU B who will just be happy with a mid-table finish. Trade 2U and FC Lifesearch meet this weekend in a match that will go a long way to deciding what’s what.
Loughton Athletic and Kings Arms follow the top two, but both look unlikely to challenge for the title. Kings Arms went into the weekend as outsiders, but after losing 4-2 to Loughton the best they can realistically hope for now is third place, although after their success it’s Athletic who now occupy that spot.
Stoke Hammond now look set to finish at the foot of the table after losing in their battle of the bottom two to AFC Santander who are now four points better off thanks to their 5-2 win.
Division Two is just as intriguing but probably even more confusing as three teams could still win the title. Padbury AFC lead the table from MK Dynamos and Wolverton Town B by seven points, although both have games in hand.
If Wolves win their games in hand they will go top, but Sunday saw Padbury strengthen their position with a 5-1 beating of Three Trees, while Dynamos lost ground with a 3-2 defeat against CS Athletic. Other games saw Punjab United hit nine past lowly Great Linford without reply and Kiln Farm B hammer New City Saints 8-0.
North Bucks League round-up
WOLVERTON Town progressed through to the Interdivisional Trophy semi-finals thanks to an extra time victory against Intermediate Division side Denbigh Hall Sports.
It was a welcome distraction for Wolves who are still battling for their Premier Division lives, and won 3-2 in a dramatic extra time after they finished the 90 minutes level at 1-1. Also in the last four are Potterspury who saw off Loughton Manor 4-0.
MK Wanderers remain hot favourites to seal the Intermediate Division title after they edged past Brackley Sports 1-0, while nearest rivals Stoke Hammond had the weekend off. Celtic MK were the big winners in Division One as they beat lowly Marsh Gibbon 4-0. There was also a 5-2 defeat for Old Stratford up against Stewkley Reserves as Bletchley Bridge were downed 4-0 by Steeple Claydon.