Round-up - Risborough Rangers welcome Leighton Town to BEP Stadium on Saturday

Mark Eaton's side bounce back with win at Harpenden after weekend's draw with Crawley Green

By Zoe Ashton
Thursday, 17th March 2022, 8:06 am
Updated Thursday, 17th March 2022, 8:08 am
Alex Mitchell clearing the ball for Aylesbury Vale Dynamos against Flackwell Heath (Pictures by Iain Willcocks)
Alex Mitchell clearing the ball for Aylesbury Vale Dynamos against Flackwell Heath (Pictures by Iain Willcocks)

The quest for the Spartan South Midlands Premier Division title took another twist on Saturday, when Risborough Rangers were held to a 0-0 draw by bottom club Crawley Green.

Mark Eaton’s side slip to second in the table, just a point behind New Salamis, who beat Tring Athletic 2-0, but still have two games in hand.

In a club interview Eaton said it was one of those games where, having been used to grinding teams down, they expected something would happen, but no one really made it happen.

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Captain Dave Brown wins a challenge for Aylesbury Vale Dynamos against Flackwell Heath

“We have to give credit to Crawley they were much better than their league position suggests,” he said. “They worked hard and battled for everything, but it was a poor performance from us.

“But the team have been excellent all season, there’s no panic, we are still in a great position. We can’t affect what everyone else does, only what we do and we can put that right on Tuesday." Rangers did just that with a 2-0 win at seventh-placed Harpenden Town, thanks to a brace from man of the match Sean Coles.

Then on Saturday Rangers host Leighton Town in a big local derby at the BEP Stadium.

Although Leighton, fourth in the table and trailing Rangers by 12 points, appear to be out of the promotion race now, a large crowd is anticipated.

Aylesbury Vale Dynamos forward Chris Stapleton in action against Flackwell Heath

It would have marked a return to his old club for manager Paul Bonham, but he and Leighton parted company this week ahead of back surgery which would have kept him out of his role for a few weeks.

Next Tuesday (22nd) Rangers entertain Long Crendon in the quarter-final of the Gladwish Trophy, 7.45pm.

Despite two red cards and ten changes to their starting line-up Aylebury Vale Dynamos beat MK Irish 1-0 last Tuesday in the Dudley Latham Premier Division Cup.

Ivan Otono collected a pass from Jamie Fulton and raced through on goal, only to be upended. Ollie Lawford’s penalty was his first Dynamos goal.

Fifth-placed Flackwell Heath were 4-0 victors on Saturday, as Steve Bateman’s side searched for their first league win since January.

Playing the last half an hour with ten men, Dynamos stay 12th in the division and have a break from league action now until next Saturday (26th) when they host Risborough Rangers.

After a blank week, last night Ben Williams’ Aylesbury United were due to visit St Neots Town, who are four places above them in the Southern League Division One Central.

Ducks, sitting 16th, then host Hertford Town - one place below them - on Saturday.