Banbury United Spencer
Under 9 2012 - 2013 Season
Banbury United Spencer Under 9 2012 - 2013 Season
MEET THE TEAM
POSITION: Manager NICKNAME: Brandy
POSITION: Coach NICKNAME: Gaz
POSITION: keeper NICKNAME: Charlie
POSITION: Defender NICKNAME: COLESy
POSITION: Defender NICKNAME: Knighty
POSITION: Defender NICKNAME: Shirl
POSITION: midfield NICKNAME: Jake
POSITION: WIDE LEFT NICKNAME: T BAG
POSITION: FORWARD NICKNAME: DIB DAB
POSITION: FORWARD NICKNAME: TRIS
POSITION: MIDFIELD NICKNAME: NIJINSKY
POSITION: WIDE RIGHT NICKNAME: JINKEY
Banbury United Spencer U9: 2012-2013 Season
Banbury United Spencer Under 9 2012 - 2013 Season
Fixtures / Results Date
08 SEPT 2012
BICESTER TOWN COLTS
15 SEPT 2012
22 SEPT 2012
29 SEPT 2012
06 OCT 2012
12 OCT 2012
KNOCK-OUT CUP [2R]
20 OCT 2012
10 NOV 2012
TOWER HILL STARS
17 NOV 2012
01 DEC 2012
BANBURY UNITED PURITANS
KNOCK-OUT CUP [3R]
08 DEC 2012
BICESTER TOWN COLTS
15 DEC 2012
05 JAN 2013
12 JAN 2013
19 JAN 2013
KNOCK-OUT CUP [QF]
09 FEB 2013
23 FEB 2013
02 MAR 2013
TOWER HILL STARS
09 MAR 2013
WITNEY AND district youth football â€“ blue league P
Banbury United Spencer
Tower Hill Stars
Bicester Town Colts
Banbury Utd Spencer and tower hill stars finished joint runners up
Banbury United Spencer U9: 2012-2013 Season
Saturday 10 November 2012
TOWER HILL STARS 4 - 1 BANBURY UTD SPENCER
Boys Defeated but Well Worthy of a Point Bacon rolls the worst we've ever tasted complain the fans...
An unﬂattering scoreline does no justice to what was a great performance by the boys on a boggy Burford Road pitch. Travelling to top of the league Tower Hill Stars was always going to be a tough ﬁxture, but it was one they can come away from with a lot to be pleased about. Despite the score, the only real negative to be taken from the day was that after traveling far enough to qualify for Duty Frees, the bacon rolls on oﬀer were nothing short of scandalous. Dry rolls and burnt bacon. And they didn't come cheap. Utd made a couple of changes from their midweek Champions League win at Borrusia Monchengladbach, reverting to their favoured pencil formation. Banbury started the brighter of the two sides and created a couple of excellent opportunities early on that Thomas Ream and then Charlie Macdonald couldn’t quite capitalise on. Following injury to Jacob Brand, Tower Hill gradually worked their way back into the game and as the half wore on began to dictate the play without putting any real pressure on Charlie Blee’s goal. This however was to change 5 minutes before the break. A Tower Hill corner routine failed to work and as the ball bobbled around the box, some great vision by the
opposition’s Daniel Lovick played in a late run at the far post and the ball was dispatched into the back of Utd’s net. Within a couple of minutes the lead was doubled. Good work from Matthew Knight on the right ﬂank kept Utd possession, but excellent closing from the opposition’s front pair made life diﬃcult for Charlie Blee. On working the ball out to James Coles, what appeared to be a foul went unpunished and with the ball breaking loose into the midﬁeld void, Lovick again showed great vision, ﬂoating the ball into the net via the underside of the bar from 25 yards. The Second half started brightly again for Utd and after a beautiful passing move involving Matt Knight, Mitchell Shirley, James Coles and Thomas Ream that split the Tower Hill defence in two, Charlie Maconald was unlucky not to convert a move that really did deserve more. After another long spell of pressure however, Utd were
ﬁnally rewarded. A corner from the right was ﬂoated towards the far post and met by an incoming Jacob Brand, cannoning into the roof of the net through a touch oﬀ a defenders knee.
Tower Hill went in front when a long hoof from the keeper found the Utd defence AWOL and the onrushing forward prodded the ball past the isolated Macdonald in goal.
However, brief hope of a comeback was dismissed in a two minute spell midway through the half. The excellent Lovick made the most of not being closed down 20 yards out and riﬂed a right footed shot into the top right hand corner.
Mitchell Shirley levelled for Utd with a neat ﬁnish mid way through the second half and despite a handful of good stops by replacement keeper Jacob Brand, Utd will feel that they eventually carved out enough chances to of won the game.
His hat trick was completed two minutes later with another rocket, again into the top right hand corner. It was nothing more than well deserved for a player showing touch, technique and vision well beyond his years.
Manager Kevin Brand commented after the game “Things are starting to shape up nicely. Callum has suddenly started doing Cruyﬀ turns, West Ham are sitting pretty and I’m being allowed to use the newest lorry at work on Monday” Head coach Gary Blee was unavailable for comment as he was busy polishing his new boots.
Utd continued to play nice, neat football throughout the rest of the game but struggled to carve out any clear chances against a resolute defence. The second game was once again a tight aﬀair with both sides struggling to get on top.
Banbury United Spencer U9: 2012-2013 Season
Saturday 17 November 2012
BANBURY UTD SPENCER 5 - 2 YARNTON BLUES
5 Star Spencer give Yarnton the Blues Hat-trick hero Shirley stakes claim for two packs of Match Attax
All the talk before the game surrounded court action being taken against club press secretary Paul Knight regarding defamatory comments on the state of catering amenities aﬀorded to travelling supporters at last weeks away trip to Tower Hill. As was widely reported in the press, Food Giant and WDYFL’s main catering partner Bertie’s Bestest Bacon Bits & Bites had taken oﬀence to comments made by Knight and was looking to sue for the princely sum of £42.67p.
leapt like a salmon, beating the ball away to his right. In the ensuing tangle, Utd failed to clear their lines and the ball was eventually bundled across the line for a goal that came against the run of play.
With the club giving Knight their full backing, today’s match gave the lads a chance to forget the oﬀ-ﬁeld distractions and focus was swiftly shifted to more important matters as the game got underway.
Almost immediately from kick-oﬀ, Utd were level. Matthew Knight produced a superb piece of improvisation with a throw in routine that he’d obviously been practising in the garden. This led to some neat build up play that eventually found Thomas Ream in space, his through ball was expertly shifted out of his feet by pocket dynamo Charlie Macdonald and duly dispatched past the Yarnton keeper.
Utd, unchanged from last week’s encouraging performance at Tower Hill were once again out of the blocks like a gazelle on speed. Taking every opportunity to pass the ball around their opponents, Utd were looking threatening and created several chances that once again they failed to take. Matthew Knight and James Coles were looking assured at the back, handling Yarnton’s sporadic counter attacks with ease. But, just as the home fans started to wonder whether the missed chances might come back to haunt them, disaster struck. A clumsy challenge from Jacob Brand just outside the box initially went unpunished, only for the referee to commit the cardinal sin. Upon listening to appeals from the bench, he changed his mind and awarded a free kick. Unfortunately for the lads, the appeals were from the Utd bench and it just goes to prove John Motson wrong when he says, “don’t argue with the ref, he won’t change his mind”. As the incoming free kick sailed over the wall, Charlie Blee
Shortly before the interval, Utd were again rewarded for their free-ﬂowing picture perfect passing. The ball eventually making its way to Thomas Ream on the half way line and he angled a beautiful ball to Mitchell Shirley on the opposite wing. After a couple of deﬂections and even more bobbles, Shirley collected the ball, drove towards the penalty area and smashed the ball into the back of the net. The second half followed the same pattern as the ﬁrst, with Utd knocking the ball around nicely, happy to play the ball from the back, but mixed their game well when required. More Utd pressure forced a succession of corners and when Thomas Ream and Mitchell Shirley worked a short one, the Yarnton defence were caught knapping, allowing Shirley to riﬂe a right footed shot through the Yarnton Keeper’s hands into the top right hand corner. Just minutes later, Shirley found himself in a similar position and again beat the keeper with aplomb for his hat-trick. It was well deserved by Shirley, who’d had a torrid
end to his week after discovering his father was ﬂashed at on Wednesday. The joy was clear to see as he celebrated wildly with his team mates – whilst the share-price at Match Attax rocketed as traders anticipated a busy weekend for retailers – these boys sure know how to celebrate... As the home fans began to celebrate with chants of “we want more” the result was thrown into doubt as Matthew Knight, who’d ironically been watching Uptown With Scooby-Doo and The Harlem Globetrotters the night before, decided to try a bit of basketball freestyling in the Utd box. The resulting penalty was smashed into the back of Charlie Blee’s goal. As the away fans suddenly sniﬀed blood, the withdrawal of Charlie Macdonald for James Oxley did nothing to help their cause. The tricky little winger, aﬀectionately nicknamed “Jinky Joxley” by the home-side faithful was straight into the thick of the action and it was a piece of his wing-wizardry that carved open the opening for Thomas Ream to wrap up the game. After a mazy run by “Jinky”, the ball fell to Ream’s feet a full 18 inches outside the box, and with the home fans shouting for him to unleash one of his trademark fencebusters, he duly obliged with an angled eﬀort that left the Yarnton keeper “stranded” The ﬁnal whistle couldn’t come soon enough for a weary looking Yarnton side, who knew they’d been well and truly beaten.
Again, the second game was a close fought aﬀair. The introduction of Callum Brand and Tristan Clifton added a diﬀerent dimension to Utd’s style, and again Yarnton found it hard to deal with. Brand was pulling the strings in midﬁeld, Yarnton struggling to cope with his mazy runs and ball trickery. The shouts of OLE that accompanied his every touch must’ve been music to the ears of a player looking full of conﬁdence. I can only wonder as to when the management team make the obvious move and paint a number 1 in front of the number 4 that currently adorns his shirt. Great work by Oxley on the right led to a couple of goals, ﬁnished neatly by both centre backs and a neat header by Yarnton’s right back made it a hat-trick of own goals. Jinkey has referred the two opening goals to the dubious goals panel. They’re due to sit on Wednesday and we’ll keep you informed through the website of their decision. Matthew Knight produced a couple of world class saves that kept Yarnton at bay and Clifton got on the score sheet with a tidy ﬁnish and nearly doubled his tally with a volley – the last kick of the game – after some great work by Jinky Joxley on the right. Head coach, Gary Blee couldn’t hide his disappointment with the referees performance on the ﬁnal Whistle. “It was a great performance from the lads today, brilliant football, I’m over the moon. But what the hell the ref was doing for their ﬁrst, I’ve no Idea... All I did was shout and he listened... Kev never listens to me... ever – very disappointed. He’s oﬀ my Christmas card list – that’s for sure”
Banbury United Spencer U9: 2012-2013 Season
Saturday 01 December 2012
BANBURY UTD SPENCER 1 - 1 BANBURY UTD PURITANS [2-2 AET Spencer won 5-2 on Penalties]
Spencer Scrape Through in Cup Thriller Brand and Blee “over the moon”
The management's controversial decision to take the lads away to Portugal for 3 days in the build up to this morning’s long awaited and much anticipated Under 9 local derby against Banbury Puritans was the topic on everybody’s lips. While the lads went through their pre-match routines looking tanned and relaxed, the out of pocket parents found it hard to hide their dissatisfaction at having to shell out for the trip in the middle of a busy Christmas schedule. One parent could clearly be heard airing his views on the fact that he couldn’t even aﬀord a cup of coﬀee to thaw out his ﬁngers as all of his money had been frittered away on sun cream, ice cream and duty frees. However, Portugal’s wonderfully ambient temperatures must of seemed a million miles away for the players as the game got underway. On a semi-frozen and bobbly pitch, most looked like they were still on the beach as, direct from kick oﬀ The Puritans mounted a raid on goal and it so very nearly came to fruition.
over the park, it seemed only a matter of time before Puritan’s would break the deadlock. Spencer’s usual ﬂuid passing seemed to be having little aﬀect as they struggled with the pitch and a resolute defence and it was well against the run of play that they suddenly found themselves a goal to the good. Neat movement between Jacob Brand and Mitchell Shirley put Charlie Macdonald through on goal. As a couple of challenges came in, Macdonald somehow eluded them, only to miss-hit his shot, however the bounce of the ball was kind and it somehow found its way into the Puritans net.
It took great awareness from Charlie Blee in the Spencer goal to spot the danger and he just managed to reach the ball before the on-rushing forward.
The Puritans pilled on the pressure in the second half and they eventually got their reward. Despite appeals from the away fans, Puritans were rightly awarded a corner and as the ball was swung in, Matthew Dollochin was there to thump in an unstoppable header. Game on.
Puritan’s sharp, direct style would go on to trouble Spencer for the rest of the tie, and with great movement pulling Matthew Knight and James Coles all
The remainder of the second half followed a similar pattern, with Spencer restricted to pot-shots from well outside the area, and Puritans looking to hit them on
the counter with a quick, directed ball in ‘round the corner.
carry Spencer past the post, eventually winning the shoot-out 5-2.
Puritans were looking dangerous and it was taking some desperate defending to keep them at bay. But, in the end, neither side could manage to gain the advantage and it was into extra-time for both teams.
The second game took a while to get going due to the replacement players all looking a little frozen and any remaining players from the original game looking a little tired.
As Spencer continued to do nothing more than shoot from distance in frustration, it was more good fortune that led to their second goal.
Again, Tristan, Callum and Jinky Joxley showed some neat touches, but the game eventually petered out into a 0-0 draw.
A long range Mitchell Shirley shot was blocked and fell kindly for Jacob Brand, who managed to get a toe on the ball and poke it into the back of the net.
Manager Kevin Brand commented "We're absolutely over the moon - couldn't be happier. Me and Gaz are gonna go out for a right royal knees up. Hope they've got a Joanna in the rub-a-dub..."
With minutes remaining it seemed as though Spencer would hold on for victory, but once again Puritans showed their dogged determination and spirit and worked a goal from yet another corner. A crisp ﬁnish that Charlie Blee had no hope of stopping.
As I look out across the back of the press box, I can see the lads warming down in the distance. Sod that – I’m oﬀ home to warm up – I can’t feel my feet and my tongue has well and truly frozen to the inside of my cheek...
Oﬀ to penalties we went and with neither side deserving to lose, it was a couple of lightning fast, instinctive saves from Charlie Blee that managed to
Banbury United Spencer U9: 2012-2013 Season
Saturday 08 December 2012
BANBURY UTD SPENCER 8 - 0 Bicester Town Colts
Macdonald Fries Bicester in 8 Goal Rout 4 Goal Hero Big Mac – “I’m lovin it”
There was an air of anticipation ringing around the ground before the last home game prior to the Christmas break as the lads took on a Bicester side who found themselves bottom of the table. The only bad news leading into the game was the loss of inﬂuential play-maker Thomas Ream, who managed to gash his head open at the players’ party late on Thursday night. Although initial reports were a little sketchy, an oﬃcial club statement apportioned the blame to an overzealous pull on a Christmas cracker. In a seasoned frenzy to acquire himself a curly fortune telling ﬁsh, Ream apparently slipped backwards and smashed his head on the corner of the bar. This appeared to be backed up when he was spotted at the Primary School Christmas Fair just 24 hours later wearing a cycling helmet. He was seen casually pulling crackers before clearing out the tombola, taking three bottles of ﬁzzy pop and half a bottle of Gordons’ for his 20p stake. New signing Jinkey Joxley was drafted in to cover Ream, with Mitchell Shirley moving out left to accommodate. Oxley himself had been a doubt all week after going down with a suspected case of BoyFlu but had managed
to shake it oﬀ in time to attend the school fair. The early kick oﬀ once again led to a slightly crispy surface, but with their conﬁdence growing week on week, this was never going to be enough to contain the lad’s even crisper passing. Once again Utd knocked the ball around admirably, and within 5 minutes, good work from Matthew Knight found James Coles and his exquisite pass split open the Bicester defence to release Charlie Macdonald. Big Mac, who has been in superb form over the last month, drew the keeper and expertly drilled the ball beyond him and into the waiting net. This was to set the pattern of play for the rest of the match. Charlie Blee found himself with little to do as Utd forced the issue and Matthew Knight and James Coles were looking comfortable at the back and dealt with anything that Bicester could muster. The majority of play was coming down the left ﬂank, with good interplay between Jacob Brand and Mitchell Shirley constantly opening up the Bicester defence, and
it was this combination, coupled with Macdonald’s sublime movement that led to an easy hat-trick for Macdonald before half time.
coming from Mitchell Shirley, Matthew Knight (2), Tristan Clifton and a long range eﬀort from Charlie Blee. Blee put in an inspired performance from Midﬁeld
The second half continued in the same pattern, and with Charlie Blee resigned to keeping himself warm by reciting his Christmas list and singing a selection of his favourite Christmas songs, it wasn’t long before the whole South Bank were joining in his Christmas cheer.
throughout and was at the centre of everything Utd did, while Knight was unlucky not to get his hat-trick, smashing a header against the bar from just inside the box. On manager Kevin Brand’s absence, head Coach Gary
As Blee’s dulcet tones belted out yet another rendition of Slade’s Merry Christmas Everybody, Macdonald bagged his fourth and further goals by James Oxley, Jacob Brand and Mitchell Shirley rounded oﬀ what was a magniﬁcent performance and a ﬁtting start to this year’s festivities. In fact there was even time for cameo appearances from Callum Brand and Tristan Clifton and the only thing stopping this being right up there with an Eastenders Christmas Day Special was a family feud and a sprinkling of snow.
Blee said “It’s nothing to worry about. Kev put in a really long shift on the Victorian Market in Old Banbury Town last night. He’s taken a couple of days oﬀ the lorries to work the Market over the Xmas period as the money that he takes far outstrips what he earns on the road. And he doesn’t have to buy diesel” Banbury Police’s statement that a band of Dickensian Cockney characters sporting Banbury Utd branded ﬁngerless gloves had been spotted pick-pocketing
Again, all the lads had a good run out in the second game, resulting in another resounding win. Goals
throughout the week has since been labelled “farcical” by the club...
Banbury United Spencer U9: 2012-2013 Season
Saturday 15 December 2012
Brackley Athletic 1 - 0 BANBURY UTD SPENCER
Virgin on the Ridiculous in The Naivety Play Christmas Comes Early for Brackley as Spencer Slip
Another hectic seven days, has seen more oﬀ ﬁeld troubles overshadow recent good work on the pitch. The club acted swiftly midweek to down-play news that team manager Kevin Brand had had his back doors smashed-in in a lay-by just south of Kettering. In a hastily assembled press statement, the club moved quickly to re-assure fans that Brand (46) had in fact been involved in a motor vehicle collision. Brand, having taken evasive action in narrowly missing a late signalling transit van, was not so lucky and his lorry was then shunted from the rear by a car, which in turn was hit by a postal van. Shawn Macdonald, editor of Spencer’s fanzine “Let’s Be Frank” commented “Phew – he had us worried for a moment. He hadn’t been himself after having his (lorry) route switched from Portsmouth docks, so we weren’t sure at ﬁrst whether it may of been a cry for help. As it happens, it was only a crash – so good news all round... ” Oﬀ ﬁeld matters though, were clearly playing on the lads minds. Within minutes of the start it seemed apparent that the lads weren’t at the races and as a big, athletic Brackley side stiﬂed the lads usual crisp passing, Spencer started to struggle. For the ﬁrst time this year, they lacked shape and penetration. Jacob Brand battled well in central midﬁeld, but was being over-run by Brackley’s midﬁeld trio, whilst Mitchell Shirley and Thomas Ream were
struggling to provide any support up front and were constantly taking rear guard action. Charlie Macdonald was ploughing a lone furrow up front and with little support from his team mates looked more and more isolated as the half wore on. For the ﬁrst time this season, James Coles and Matthew Knight were looking under pressure at the back and if it hadn’t been for a couple of smart pieces of keeping from Charlie Blee in the Spencer goal - including a superb piece of anticipation and a smart block when confronted with a one on one – The lads could well of gone in a couple of goals down at the break. However – something happened at the half time interval – something that could of been miraculous, but wasn’t. In the second half the lads suddenly started playing out the Nativity. Charlie Macdonald took centre stage as the Christmas star, isolated up front, alone but shining brightly. Midﬁeld trio Mitchell Shirley, Jacob Brand and Thomas Ream played shepherds – with some style –wandering around aimlessly looking for their sheep.
And at the back it was the three Kings. James Coles, Matthew Knight and Charlie Blee. Together they brought gifts and together they gifted Brackley a goal. Weak defending led to a hopeful pot shot from outside the box which Blee uncharacteristically let squirm through his grasp. In all fairness the ball did take a horrible bounce right in front of the unfortunate keeper. A true Christmas gift all the same. Unconﬁrmed reports claim that manager Brand at this point exclaimed “Jesus”... something we don’t condone, but hey, it ﬁts in well with the story. As the ﬁnal whistle blew and the curtain dropped on the lads ﬁnal performance before an extended break, one couldn’t help but think that maybe next week’s visit from the Big Guy had had a detrimental eﬀect on the lads today. They all looked a little tired, a little under-whelmed and ready for a well deserved winter break that the Pro’s can only dream of. The second game saw a much better performance against a much weakened Brackley side. The lads found it easier to play their passing game and were soon
deservedly in front through a smart ﬁnish from James Oxley, riﬂing the ball into the top right hand corner from just inside the box. A resounding ﬁnish from Tristan Clifton when he found himself one on one after a superb through ball from Charlie Blee made it 2-0 at half time. Brackley tried to get themselves back into the game and managed to get a goal back, before a Third from Jacob Brand sealed the game for Utd. Again it followed a superb run and very clever pass from Charlie Blee. Manager Kevin Brand said “It’s been a tough week and the lads looked a little jaded today. However, on reﬂection it’s been a great year, the boys have improved and on their day, play as good a football as we’ve seen from any team we’ve seen – if not better. Hopefully they’ll all have a nice break and have a great Christmas. I’m sure the Big Guy will bring them everything they wished for and we’ll see them all in the New Year, raring to go” Have a great Christmas everyone – see you in the New Year.
Banbury United Spencer U9: 2012-2013 Season
Saturday 05 January 2013
BANBURY UTD SPENCER 4 - 0 Chadlington
Champagne Charlie destroys Chadlington Macdonald Hat-Trick Silences Critics.
Spencer’s enigmatic striker Charlie Macdonald scored a stunning hat-trick this morning to silence his doubters and ﬁercest critics. Macdonald, along with defender Matthew Knight, had earlier been ﬁned two week’s pocket money and a Curly Wurley after being spotted out partying ‘till well past midnight only days before this morning’s crunch clash with Chadlington. The pair were snapped getting sweaty at an exclusive club on January 1st and blatantly risked serious injury as they ignored club oﬃcials by doing it “Gangnam Style” well in to the early hours. Both players refused to comment on the allegations, but Macdonald appeared to take an underhand swipe at manager Kevin Brand’s handling of the saga when he moon-walked out of yesterday morning’s press conference. However, the pocket rocket let his magic boots do the real talking on the pitch this morning in front of another huge crowd at Bog Park. In keeping with the famous old ground’s name, conditions underfoot were... well, boggy and the lads struggled at times to move the ball around. Occasionally though, Spencer broke into something that resembled their trademark passing game. Although the lads were having the better of the ﬁrst half, Chadlington were proving to be a tough cookie to
crack and the home fans were again showing signs of anxiety when suddenly Macdonald provided a carrot at the end of the tunnel. A perfectly executed through-ball from Thomas Ream split the Chadlington defence in two and Macdonald raced onto the end of pass before expertly slotting home with help from the left upright. The second half saw more continued pressure from Utd with Matthew Knight and James Coles at the back having a very quiet morning. Charlie Blee in goal only had one real piece of action to deal with, bravely saving at the feet of the useful Chadlington No. 10 on a rare excursion forward. In midﬁeld, Jacob Brand seemed to be everywhere on the pitch and the stats at the end of the game revealed that he tackled every Chadlington player forty-seven times. Eight minutes into the second half, Brand layed a
beautifully weighted 30 yard pass for Macdonald to again latch onto and dispatch into the net. Great ball, great goal.
Macdonald who’d departed to rapturous applause from the home faithful, was denied at the death by good work from the Chadlington defence.
Mitchel Shirley and Thomas Ream were providing all sorts of problems for Chadligton down both ﬂanks and it was good work between the pair that allowed Ream to unleash another of his famous fence-busters. It’s incredible how much power is generated from such little back-lift and as the ball riﬂed towards the top right corner ﬂag, it took a massive deﬂection past the unfortunate Chadlington ‘keeper to make it 3-0.
The second game saw more great play throughout from the lads. Fan favourite, ﬂamboyant Callum Brand treated the fans to a selection of skills from his little box of tricks and Charlie Blee again looked commanding – this time playing from a slightly deeper role.
James Oxley, on for the ever reliable Mitchel Shirley, provided more trademark wing-wizardry late on. With a mazy run that had 3 defenders on the back foot, Jinkey hit the byline before sending in a searing cross that the excellent Chadlington keeper found too hot to handle. Macdonald wasted no time in tucking the ball into the bottom corner from the ensuing scramble, to cap what has been quite a crazy week for the young maestro.
A comfortable victory, only marred by conceding a goal at the death, despite good work from Matthew Knight and Macdonald in goal. In his post-match press conference Kevin Brand said “What a great start to the New Year. The end of 2012 was a bit tough, what with losing my daily trip to Portsmouth docks and getting shunted in the rear in my lorry. But now I’ve got some new golf clubs to polish, the lads have won by 4 and Joe Cole has returned to the Boleyn. Handsome”.
There was nearly time for a ﬁfth, as Tristan Clifton, on for
Banbury United Spencer U9: 2012-2013 Season
Saturday 12 January 2013
Hook Norton 2 - 3 BANBURY UTD SPENCER
Utd Triumph to Leave Hooky Bitter Spencer Hold Out for Hard Earned Win
A superb away turnout of 237 on a freezing cold morning, was made even more remarkable due to the fact that the game was being shown live on Sky TV. Punctuated with ﬂurries of snow, the weather did nothing to stop talk on the terraces of Kevin Brands midweek outburst. A superb away turnout of 237 on a freezing cold morning, was made even more remarkable due to the fact that the game was being shown live on Sky TV. Punctuated with ﬂurries of snow, the weather did nothing to stop talk on the terraces of Kevin Brands midweek outburst. Despite last week’s victory over Chadlington, Brand was reported to be upset over his squads general ﬁtness levels and instructed Head Coach Gary Blee to put the boys through a strict ﬁtness regime. Each player has been issued his own ﬁtness program and in a further attempt to focus the players, girlfriends have been banned from both the training ground and attending match days. According to Shaun Macdonald, editor of the Spencer Fanzine “Let’s be Frank” it is the move by Brand banning ALL players from visiting the tuck-shop on Thursday and Friday mornings that has really upset the lads. Brands own son, Callum is said to be devastated at the withdrawal of his daily dose of Orangeade Spangles, whilst James Coles and Matthew Knight both miss out on a pack of pickled onion Monster Munch each. The question on everyone’s lips however is, “will goal scoring sensation Charlie Macdonald be able to maintain his goal scoring record without his daily sherbet dib dab?” As play got underway, it wouldn’t take long for this question to be answered. United, once again reverting to their favoured “pencil” formation came out of the blocks on ﬁre. Playing down the slope and with the wind, United were knocking the ball around with great conﬁdence. Mitchell Shirley and Thomas Ream were stretching Hooky down the ﬂanks, whilst Jacob Brand was breaking any Hooky possession up in the middle of the park. Macdonald was
getting plenty of service up front but not quite managing to take advantage. That was all to change midway through the half. In a carbon copy of last week’s superb goal against Chadlington, Brand layed a superb 30 yard ball through the middle that Macdonald was onto in a ﬂash. Before the Hooky defence could react, Macdonald had expertly placed the ball into the bottom corner of the net. United were looking like scoring at every opportunity, but it wasn’t all one way traﬃc. Hooky were showing enough in their approach play that meant Utd would require a cushion before half time. Hooky’s direct approach looked as though it may cause problems downhill and down-wind in the second half. That cushion came after 10 minutes. Just as Hooky thought they were in with a chance at drawing level, a superb late tackle from Matthew Knight was followed by a lovely pass to Jacob Brand. Brand quickly shifted the ball wide to Mitchell Shirley and his driving run had the Hooky defence ﬂapping. As he powered into the box he unleashed a venomous right footed shot that the keeper could only parry into the path of a grateful Macdonald, who wasn’t going to miss from just three yards out. Just before the half time whistle, more continued pressure by Utd led to a free kick some 20 yards out from goal. Mitchell Shirley was entrusted with the kick, and once again struck a powerful shot over the wall. The ball dipped viciously in front of the keeper and bounced wickedly through his defences to make it 3-0 and shed some much needed daylight between the two sides. As late in the half as the third goal came, there was still time for another assault on the Hooky goal that saw great interplay between James Coles, Jacob Brand and the all action Thomas
Ream. Ream, was having a blinder and sat the right back on his bottom before cutting back onto his right foot and swinging in a superb cross to Macdonald at the far post. Big Mac managed to make good contact with an audacious volley, but saw his eﬀort ﬂy agonisingly wide of the right hand post. As the two sides headed for the changing rooms on the half time whistle, the big question was whether three goals would be enough against an excellent Hooky side who now had the elements in their favour. Hooky, as expected, started the second half well and put Utd under immediate pressure. Matthew Knight and James Coles were coping well however, holding a nice deep line to combat the slope, wind and Hooky’s pace and Charlie Blee was relatively quiet in goal despite Hooky’s possession. Midway through the half, Hooky worked a short corner to the edge of the box. A well hit, but inaccurate shot looked to be sailing wide of Blee’s goal, but Mitchell Shirley’s outstretched arm was caught by the ball and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. The penalty was smashed past Charlie Blee by Hooky’s lively No.8. Utd themselves were still managing to mount some excellent counter attacks, but couldn’t quite put a ﬁnishing touch to the ﬁnal pass. But it was at the other end of the pitch however where the majority of the action was taking place. Another Hooky corner was ﬁred into the box and with Utd failing to clear the ball despite a couple of opportunities, the ball was eventually bundled into the back of the net and put the away faithful’s nerves on edge. Could the lads hold on? Yes. It took, some pretty desperate defending along the way, with brilliant last ditch tackles from Matthew Knight, James Coles and Jacob Brand all contributing, Brand being forced oﬀ after injuring himself applying one such tackle, but hold on they did. The relief displayed by the travelling support on the ﬁnal whistle was quite evident. Many rushed to the warmth of the clubhouse
to buy a coﬀee, while others headed for their cars to defrost their ﬁnger. Supporters Club secretary Paul Shirley claims that his wife didn’t breathe for the ﬁnal 5 minutes, so tense was the ﬁnale. His wife Sian, disputed this claim however, saying that the actual reason she’d turned blue wasn’t excitement but was due to the severe cold and the fact her snuggly boots were two sizes too small. The second game was another thriller. Wholesale changes were made to the lineup due to injuries to Mitchell Shirley (stomach), Charlie Macdonald (chest), Jacob Brand (ankle) and James Coles (wrist). In came Tristan Clifton, James Oxley, Callum Brand and Charlie Blee with Matthew Knight reverting to keeper. Utd had the best of the ﬁrst half, with a couple of great chances falling to Tristan Clifton. However he couldn’t quite manage to take them and an excellent display by Hooky’s stand-in vertically challenged keeper was keeping Hooky in the game. Totally against the run of play, Hooky took the lead the centre forward squeezing the ball through Matthew Knight’s legs as he narrowed the angle. Hooky were two up 5 minutes into the second half and, now 2 down and playing uphill, against the wind it was looking like curtains for the boys. The lads showed great determination though. First James Oxley surged into the box before smashing an angled drive into the far corner, then Tristan Clifton wriggled to the byline and clipped it past the keeper at his near post. Victory was secured by Charlie Blee, with a composed ﬁnish after a mazy run past the entire Hooky team, beating the left back three times in the process. When questioned after the game, Kevin Brand was over the moon and cited head coach Gary Blee as the catalyst for today’s outstanding performance – especially in defence. “to be fair to Gaz – he’s worked really hard on tacking with the boys in training. I know he puts in a lot of defensive theory development while he sits with his plates up on his console at work eating DOHnuts – he’s a right diamond.”
Banbury United Spencer U9: 2012-2013 Season
Saturday 19 January 2013
BANBURY UTD SPENCER 0 - 0 Moreton Rangers [0-0 AET Spencer LOST 2-1 on Penalties]
Rangers Break United Hearts in Cup Exit Shock Giant Killing Leaves Spencer Stunned in Shoot Out Shambles
In the week leading up to this much anticipated Cup Quarter Final, manager Kevin Brand, was once again the centre of attention. Brand was reputedly looking to sign wiry French playmaker Phillipe Filop. The young protige, whos reputation is growing due to his lightning fast feet and outrageous footwear, failed to agree personal terms at the eleventh hour. Filop’s agent Innit Fardemurney refuted claims that his client turned down the move after being told that English burgers only contained 30% of his much beloved cheval. And so, for the third January Transfer Window in a row, Brand failed to open his cheque book with the aim of strengthening his squad. Brand, renowned throughout the game for his youth policies was adamant however that new signings were not the way forward. Supporters Club chairman Paul Shirley disagreed. “The lads may be young but watching them try to get the ball out from their feet is like watching a pantomime horse count” Some good news did came out of the club to cheer up the fans however. After being targeted by both Stoke City and Southampton, Spencer’s charismatic Keeper Charlie Blee has signed a new 4 year deal – tying him to the club until 2017. While the rest of his team mates enjoyed a short 3-day break skiing in the Alps, Blee was busy thrashing out a new deal with the club’s bosses over a frantic 48 hour period at the back of the Wheatsheaf. The deal is reported to be worth a Curly Wurly and a bag of Lemon Fizz Bombs a week, plus a new pair of ‘keeper gloves every month and makes Blee the highest paid keeper in the team. On a beautiful, but cold winter’s morning, Cup fever had gripped the club and a buzz of excitement could be felt
about the camp. The club shop had sold a record 12 Spencer rosettes and 4 programmes resulting in record takings (overtaking last year’s 1st round triumph over Arsenal in the Spencer Invitational Shield). The management team had given the lads a cautionary warning in their pre-match preparations, aware of an overconﬁdent air that was bubbling below the surface. After all, 4 divisions separated the two sides, nothing could go wrong, right? As the game got underway, it became apparent early on that Moreton would be no push-overs. The lads never really got going at all and struggled to put any cohesive football together. They struggled to get the ball out from their feet and string any passes together on a boggy surface and Rangers’ pace down the ﬂanks was looking threatening on the counter attack. Although, Utd would prove to be slightly the better team over the tie, Charlie Blee was forced into several tidy saves, with one in particular showing just why the board had been keen for him to sign his contract extension. Matthew Knight and James Coles deﬁnitely knew they’d been in a game this week, constantly tracking the mazy oﬀthe-ball runs of the teeny tiny Moreton striker and
overlapping runs of the pacey Moreton midﬁeld. Jacob Brand again showed fantastic ﬁghting ability, but struggled - along with everyone else - to distribute the ball economically on a diﬃcult, sticky pitch. Even so, he was winning enough possession to feed Mitchell Shirley and Thomas Ream with enough ball to create several excellent opportunities. Striker Charlie Macdonald was getting no breaks up front slightly wayward supply and the added pressure of the Bristol City scouting team, here to watch their summer target, took their toll and meant it was going to be one of those days for the little pocket dynamo. As the generally even game drew to its ﬁnale, it became apparent that we were heading for extra time. This followed much the same pattern with Utd having more possession yet failing to make clear cut chances and Moreton looking dangerous on the counter. As we entered the ﬁnal ﬁve minutes, Utd suddenly started to play. The Moreton goal was under siege, corner after corner raining in on the goal. Surely, one chance would drop.
the goal and he made a couple of smart saves from Mitchell Shirley and Thomas Ream. Moreton scored their ﬁrst and Charlie Blee made a routine save from the second. Matthew Knight stepped up for the third and for some reason elected to take a run up that Bob Willis would’ve been proud of. As he thundered in, he dragged the ball horribly wide. It was eventually taken at third slip in a passage of play that was more reminiscent of Steve Harmisson’s howler of a ﬁrst ball in the 2007 Ashes than anything I’ve ever seen on a football pitch before... Jacob Brand, bizarrely came in from a similar run up and placed it neatly in the corner. James Coles now had to score to take it to sudden-death. Again, he elected to use Knight’s marker for his run up and unfortunately dragged the ball wide of the post too. Bu99er... Angry scenes were witnessed after the contest, as boos echoed around the empty seats – fans demanding a refund for the open top bus tour that had been pencilled in for May Day.
It did. T Bag. It’s got to be a goallllllll? Nooooo - Air Shot. Penalties. Moreton changed keeper for the shoot-out, electing to put their biggest, tallest player in goal in place of their injured keeper that had played throughout. His huge frame ﬁlled
When questioned on his failure to add to his squad during the transfer window, Brand commented: “I’m absolutely gutted, more than anybody, as this now means I’m not going to get to drive the bus during the celebration parade... We have a perfectly good squad that can beat anybody on their day. You geezers must remember we have a young squad and it’s been a young squad for a very long time and continues to get younger every season, which is good for the future. ”
Banbury United Spencer U9: 2012-2013 Season
Saturday 09 February 2013
Yarnton Blues 1 - 2 BANBURY UTD SPENCER
2 Goal Ream takes Centre Stage Recording Contract for Spencer Star in Showbiz Scoop of the Year
Mid week media speculation that manager Kevin Brand had reformed his victorianesque band of street urchins was quickly put to bed by Club press oﬃcer Paul Knight. Brand, who has only just ﬁnished 40 hours community service for masterminding a pickpocketing troupe that terrorised the Christmas market in Old Banbury Town, was said to be distraught with the new allegations and vowed to clear his name. The speculation had come about after centre back Matthew Knight and inﬂuential left midﬁelder Thomas Ream had been spotted roaming the streets of Middleton Cheney late on Thursday evening. Both were reported to be wearing unkempt, ragged clothing, sported rather unﬂattering beards and were armed with what appeared to be daggers. Reports that both were dipping bins have yet to be denied. Fears that Brand had formed an even more violent and dastardly gang were later laughed oﬀ when it transpired that both players were actually taking part in a music video. In what was supposed to be a closely guarded secret, the video expose was made by Shawn Macdonald, editor of the Spencer fanzine “Let’s be Frank”. “I was sitting in the back of the Dolphin having a quiet pint” commented Macdonald “when all of a sudden there was an almighty commotion. A rather camp guy and his best boy came into the Chinese and ordered 23 Chicken chop sueys and a bag of prawn crackers to go... As I investigated further, I happened across the video set and Callum Brand – dressed as a tree - trying desperately to eat his meal with some rather dodgy looking crows sitting on his branches” Ream, who along with Knight had initially sparked the media speculation, has recently signed a record contract with Sony Music and his new band T:Ream release their ﬁrst single
“Things Can Only Get Better” later this month. The track will be available on 7” vinyl from all good record shops and will also be available for digital download. As T:Ream’s “Things Can Only Get Better” blasted from the PA at a cold and snowy Yarnton Park, the lads emerged to a rapturous reception from another huge away following. It was clear that as head coach Gary Blee put Utd through an extremely focused warm-up routine that last week’s penalty shootout heartbreak was well and truly out of the system. This focus carried into the game as the lads put on a sensational performance in diﬃcult conditions. Charlie Blee’s handling could only be described as exceptional. Any kind of keeping errors in such diﬃcult circumstances would of been forgivable, but Blees gloves, secured only last week as part of his contract negotiations, were safe throughout. Matthew Knight and James Coles, both put in another tidy performance at the back. Knight looked commanding in the air and Coles’ covering gets better by the week. Coles, who’d taken a ﬂying visit to New York Fashion Week along with James Oxley on Tuesday morning had obviously had his head turned by the experience. Amidst the heavy snow that nearly forced the cancellation of the world famous event, Coles had
managed to get his hands on a pair of “gants de cuisine” by legendary French Designer Henri Uwjands. Not only fashionable, but practical too...
managed to return home with a prototype of their new oﬀering. The new socks are constructed from Graphene and are extremely light and oﬀer excellent protection from kicks.
As Knight and Coles commanded the back, the midﬁeld were allowed to dictate play in the middle of the park. Jacob Brand again put in an energetic performance, winning ball after ball and the superb Mitchell Shirley was tearing the Yarnton rearguard to pieces. Shirley’s ability in either getting the ball down and taking on his man, or switching play with a 40 yard diagonal pass was there for all to see as time and again he released Ream and Charlie Macdonald.
The new material is so lightweight that it renders itself virtually invisible to the naked eye and the ﬁrm are now in the process of integrating the pad into the sock. “Oxley commented” Yeah, the only drawback with the product in its current form is that you tend to look half human, half RoboCop. Once the pad is integrated into the sock it should resolve the problem, although I can deal with the unusual appearance at the moment as they’re so soft on the skin”
Coming in at half time, the 0-0 score line did nothing to reﬂect the total domination that Utd had shown. The second half followed in much the same pattern. Charlie Macdonald’s intelligent runs and assured ﬁrst touch was pulling the Yarnton defence in all directions, allowing Shirley to pick out Ream with two magniﬁcent balls for both of the midﬁelder’s goals.
As Oxley took up a central position, Yarnton forced a couple of corners and eventually forced the ball into the Utd net, the Yarnton striker for once eluding Knight and Coles before sliding the ball under Charlie Blee. However, any fears of a Yarnton comeback were laid to rest as Utd once more took control and ran down the clock until the ﬁnal whistle.
Two neat ﬁnishes capped oﬀ the tricky little midﬁelder’s week. If he can keep a level head and avoid the distractions of girls, drugs and Chinese betting syndicates that will no doubt tempt him, it appears Ream has the world at his feet.
A superb performance of which the team can be proud.
With 5 minutes to go, crowd favourite James Oxley replaced Charlie Macdonald and the ﬂamboyant star didn’t disappoint. Oxley had been quoted in the press as being disillusioned with opposition defenders heavy handed tactics in dealing with his Jinky runs and his ﬂying visit to NYFW along with James Coles obviously paid dividends. Rumours that Oxley wasn’t wearing any socks were quickly dispelled when reports surfaced stating Oxley had been collaborating with Japanese design ﬁrm ShinSoc and had
The second game was also a fantastic performance, Callum Brand joined the fray and demonstrated his growing conﬁdence on the ball. Twisting this way then that, Brand had the Yarnton midﬁeld in knots. Charlie Blee kept the performance ticking and set up Thomas Ream, who’s speculative drive from 20 yards beat the keeper with a lovely bit of oﬀ-spin. After the game manager Brand commented “Great performance today, which was a great end to yet another diﬃcult week. I suppose that when you’re in such a high proﬁle job as I am, rumours will follow you around. It doesn’t make it any easier when most of ‘em are true...”
Banbury United Spencer U9: 2012-2013 Season
Saturday 23 February 2013
BANBURY UTD SPENCER 1 - 1 Kingston Colts
Brand dropped for long haired dandy Manager Brand Distraught at Superstore Re-Opening Snub.
Media coverage during the week has once again focussed on oﬀ-ﬁeld happenings. Manager Kevin Brand had mysteriously cancelled Friday morning’s press conference to the dismay of the local media. Initially it wasn’t known why, but when the conference was re-scheduled at the last minute, details behind the episode became clear. Apparently, Brand had been pencilled in to cut the ribbon at the newly re-furbished B&Q store opening on Southam Road at 10am Friday morning. This clashed with his weekly media Q&A, which was promptly cancelled. It appears however, that Brand was dropped by B&Q – the world’s ﬁrst do-it-yourself store – when representatives of Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen made an approach late on Thursday evening.
Head coach Gary Blee, fresh oﬀ the back of the Brighton Half Marathon in aid of Click Sargent (Taylor Mitchell’s chosen charity – donate here) looked visibly shocked and immediately took over refereeing duties. He commented “It’s a big game against a tough side. I’m not having him giving any more ludicrous decisions and costing us goals. We can do it if we B&Q it... no oﬀence Kev”
Brand was said to be furious when the store contacted him by mobile phone on Thursday evening as he left the Utd training ground. One witness was quoted as saying that it was clear Brand was unhappy about the call and although exact details couldn’t be heard, the words dandy, long-haired and d’Artagnon could be heard disappearing long into the night.
As the game got underway on a bobbly pitch caused by an overnight frost, the crowd wondered whether this much anticipated tie would deliver.
Whilst Brand refused to comment further on the matter, his longtime agent, brother Keith was left to face the press. “Kev’s obviously a little disappointed at being snubbed. He felt that once Dave Earl had dropped out of the running he was the natural choice for such a prestigious occasion.” He continued “As most people know Kev is very good at do-it-yourself and has been told so many times.” When questioned on the re-scheduled press conference Brand replied “Kev’s not really happy that nobody turned up this morning that’s for sure. But Lawrence is a big draw you know – he’s been on telly and everything.” Manager Brand was still clearly recovering from the ordeal as he went into Saturday’s game. He once again elected to go with his pencil formation, but could quite clearly be heard telling the players that he didn’t care about the result.
It did. Spencer looked slightly the stronger of the two sides throughout the ﬁrst half, with Charlie Blee’s handling again exceptional in diﬃcult conditions. Kinston’s lively front pairing were marshalled magniﬁcently by Matthew Knight, looking stronger by the week and fresh oﬀ the back of a new sponsorship with Red Bull and James Coles, again showing excellent anticipation and once again wearing his “Gants to Cuisine” that he picked up a couple of weeks ago in New York. Jacob Brand was winning everything in the middle of the park and getting good service out to Mitchell Shirley and Thomas Ream on the ﬂanks. Both were having excellent halves, but as much as Utd dominated, they couldn’t quite manage to break down a resilient Kingston defence. Pocket Dynamo Charlie Macdonald was making run after run but a combination of good defending and bad luck meant the ﬁnal ball never really saw him through with a clear sight on goal. Going into the break at 0-0 I’m sure Kingston wouldn’t of
complained if they’d been at least a couple down after never really getting into the game.
and it all went downhill from there.” He continued “shame, they really were lovely to the touch...”
The second half continued in much the same pattern.
Although Oxley looked a little less easy to pick out without his robo-legs he still managed to create a half chance against the run of play for Thomas Ream, but he just couldn’t quite manage to convert.
Kingston, for all their endeavour were not putting any real pressure on the Utd rear guard and Jacob Brand was at the centre of everything positive that Utd achieved. After yet another tackle in the middle of the park, Brand opened himself up and played a lovely ball out wide right to Mitchell Shirley in acres of space. Shirley latched onto the ball and powered towards the Kingston area, sending a great ball in the direction of Thomas Ream. A miss-read in the Kingston defence had the keeper scrambling. As the ball bounced free Ream was ideally placed to stroke the ball home for a much deserved lead. Kingston were clearly shocked into action by the goal. Their midﬁeld for the ﬁrst time in the game started to get support to the front two and Utd were forced to soak up pressure for a couple of minutes. With 7 minutes remaining and just when it looked as though Utd had done enough to weather the storm, disaster struck. The lad’s constant failure to eﬀectively clear their lines was apparent again, as a feeble clearance fell to the feet of a Kingston midﬁelder 20 yards out. His neat through ball found their pacey winger who steered the ball home with a classy ﬁnish on the angle.
With the clock running down and Kingston looking stronger as the game progressed, Utd settled for a point and the ﬁnal whistle was met with loud cheers from the home faithful. A point against the champions-elect is a very good result, but one that on another day could easily of been more fruitful. Excellent performance that the boys and management should be proud of. The second game was another excellent game from both sides. Kingston took the lead within the ﬁrst 20 seconds, their forward guiding the ball past the totally exposed Matthew Knight in goal. Despite looking as though he’d done enough to thwart the striker, a cheeky ﬂick through the keepers legs put the visitors a goal up. What followed was an extremely good, end to end battle that, like the ﬁrst game, was a pleasure to watch. Utd eventually got the equaliser they’d been searching for when Jacob Brand executed a controlled volley from 3 yards out following an excellent Mitchell Shirley corner.
The goal gave Kingston fresh impetus. Charlie Macdonald was replaced by James Oxley in the hope his fresh legs may be able to push the ever tiring Kingston Defence into an error.
At 1-1 Charlie Blee tried his hardest to open up the Kingston defence in search of the winner, but somehow managed to run into a brick wall. It what was arguably the biggest “air” ever seen at Horton View, Blee took a full three minutes to return to earth after initiating take-oﬀ. Remarkable.
Oxley had reverted back to conventional socks after a major fallout with his one-time business partners ShinSoc. Oxley stated in a press release last Tuesday, “everything was looking Hunky Dory and then they said they wanted me to go on Dragon’s Den. I refused cause I’d look ridiculous standing next to Peter Jones
After the game manager Brand commented “Great performance today, which was a great end to yet another diﬃcult week. I still can’t believe they got the long haired, Welsh dandy in to open B&Q – gutted. I know he’s been on TV, but it was only presenting Bullseye... I’d even bought some new scissors.”
Banbury United Spencer U9: 2012-2013 Season
Saturday 02 March 2013
BANBURY UTD SPENCER 2 - 0 Tower Hill Stars
Spencer Claim MaSsive Win To keep on track Last Home Game of the Season Goes Oﬀ In Style
Goals from Charlie Macdonald and Thomas Ream were the diﬀerence between Spencer and Tower Hill in a pulsating ﬁxture at Bog Park this morning. Tower Hill have shown all season what a diﬃcult team they are to beat, so it was going to take a massive eﬀort from the lads to secure a result that would leave Utd with an outside chance of securing the runners-up position. A battling, gritty display on yet another awful, bobbly pitch saw Utd claim the win, a ﬁne way to ﬁnish oﬀ yet another troublesome week for manager Kevin Brand. The week had started well for Brand, who celebrates his 67th birthday next week, when he put pen to paper on a new deal, tying him at the club until 2018. However things took a turn for the worse when it transpired that Brand had broken his own 10pm curfew on Tuesday night to stay up and watch his back catalogue of The Jeremy Kyle Show USA, followed by Kyle’s stunning cameo performance as part of Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway. Brand has been a long time admirer of the gritty TV and Radio host. The Utd manager often delivers his pre-match prep talks in the style of the star and often asks players to call him “Jezza” as a tribute to the great man. When photos of Brand appeared on Twitter watching the episodes wearing nothing more than a onesie and a smile, rumours spread across social platforms quicker than the recent Harlem Shake video meme. Brand defended his corner at his pre-match press conference on Friday morning, stating that he was doing nothing more than having a rehearsal for the upcoming fancy dress celebration, and at the time of the social explosion, he was in-fact tucked up in bed with a mug of hot chocolate. The club declined to comment. As Brand had stated in his press conference, it has become customary for Utds massive home following to don fancy dress to celebrate the last home game of the season and this year was no exception. Around 80 people turned up dressed as clowns and although it added great colour to the celebrations, it is thought to be purely circumstantial that, to a man, they all sported the name BRAND on the back of their costumes and they weren’t staging any kind of protest about the Utd Manager’s
new contract extension or the Jeremy Kyle onesie episode. Shawn Macdonald, editor of Spencer fanzine “Let’s be Frank” commented on the fans’ eﬀorts “It’s great to see such a great turnout again this year. We’ve got clowns, pantomime horses a couple of Ali Gs and a Dave Earl. Supporters Club secretary Paul Shirley has even come dressed as an electrician, but doesn’t look anything like one... on a personal note, I’d like to thank Gary Blee for lending me his speedos so I could come as Mark Spitz... bit chilly though” Dave Earl, attending the match as guest of honour, was said to be upset at the fanzine editor’s remark and was later seen showing him a few of his legendary moves, one of which was trying to illuminate a part of Macdonald’s inner anatomy with his Olympic torch. Paul Shirley, also unhappy at the editor’s ill advised outburst was also seen attempting to electrocute Macdonald’s budgie. The game eventually got underway amongst a party atmosphere and to a stunning ticker tape reception reminiscent of the 1978 FIFA World Cup Final in Buenos Aires. It soon became apparent that the game would hinge on the central midﬁeld battle between Jacob Brand and Tower Hill’s midﬁeld maestro Daniel Lovick. Lovick, arguably the league’s best ball player can tear teams apart with his excellent movement, beautiful passing and raking shot and Brand had gone out under instructions not to give the young “Jan Molby” any time or space. As both sides struggled to put together any ﬂuid moves due to the awkward pitch, it was Brand having the better of things in the middle of the park. Occasionally Lovick would manage to get a ball away, but under such intense pressure he rarely made it tell. On the odd occasion that the Utd defence was put under pressure, the danger was
quickly averted by Charlie Blee, Matthew Knight and James Coles. Blee commanded his box excellently once more, whilst Knight and Coles look stronger as a pairing with each passing week. Brand had managed to stop Lovick’s attacking impetus and was now dragging him deeper and deeper into his own half. Mitchell Shirley and Thomas Ream were seeing a lot of ball and with Charlie Macdonald pulling the Tower Hill defence all over the park, it seemed only a matter of time before the deadlock would be broken. Broken it was. Five minutes before the interval, Brand played the ball out wide to Thomas Ream. Quick footwork took him away from his man and he ﬁred in a shot low to the keeper’s right. What should’ve been a fairly routine save was made very diﬃcult by a horrible bounce and as the ball squirmed through the keeper’s ﬁngers, the ever alert Charlie Macdonald pounced, spinning 180 degrees before ﬁring low into the net. It was nothing more than the lads deserved and the half time rallying cry from manager Brand was for more of the same. The second half was equally as exciting as the ﬁrst, with Utd pushing for a second and easily dealing with Tower Hill’s sporadic counter attacks. Lovick had dropped so deep he no longer posed any threat as an attacking force and indeed had reverted to taking goal kicks – a long searing ball appearing to be the oppositions only hope of creating a chance. One such ball was expertly snubbed out by Matthew Knight and his precise pass found Brand in the middle of the park. Brands ﬁrst time ball found Mitchell Shirley out wide right and his positive run left his marker for dead. He released a searching ball into the heart of the Tower Hill penalty area. A miss judge from the defender left an unsighted Jamie Oxley in the path of the ball which cannoned oﬀ his right knee. The ball travelled upwards at tremendous speed reaching heights only previously experienced by Felix Baumgartner and Charlie Blee and took three and a half hours to return from orbit. Being an opportunist, the Tower Hill keeper saw his chance and seized it with both hands – in the absence of the ball he made a mad dash for Richmond Stores in the high street to buy a bag of warm sausage rolls for himself and his team-mates. Unfortunately for the hapless soul, he hadn’t allowed for the Saturday lunchtime rush and got stuck in a queue behind at
least half a dozen blue rinses. After borrowing a mobility scooter to aid his return, the young keeper’s sausage aroma could be smelt from a distance just as the ball came back into view. In a desperate attempt to deny Thomas Ream, who was now standing below the balls projected landing point, the keeper reverted to throwing his sausage at the wide midﬁelder. Undeterred by the sausage stench and greasy stain that now adourned his shirt, Ream calmly volleyed the ball into the bottom right corner of the net and set oﬀ on a lap of honour, utilising the mobility scooter abandoned by the Tower Hill keeper who’d collapsed in the goalmouth amidst a pile of puﬀ pastry. At 2-0 the home fans sensed victory and wild celebrations ensued. The clowns in the upper tier were going crazy and as they belted out their own crazy version of the Beach Boys “I Get Around” the referee brought the game to an end. It’s been a long time since such scenes have been witnessed and many didn’t think they’d ever get a chance to witness such scenes again. Many actually can’t believe they happened, but such is the unpredictable, volatile nature of kids football these things seem to happen week in week out. The second game, although not quite living up to the highs of the ﬁrst game still had a couple of unforgettable moments. Charlie Blee, had somehow managed to pilfer the only sausage roll left in the bottom of the paper bag left by the Tower Hill keeper. However in putting in one of his world famous backtracking runs he somehow managed to chew too hard and lost a tooth. At the other end Tristan Clifton managed to claim a goal with a smart ﬁnish and then good work from Callum Brand and James Oxley resulted in the tooth fairy setting up Clifton for his second. Try as he might Clifton couldn’t quite manage to ﬁnd his third despite an excellent performance. Another well deserved win for the lads. After the game manager Brand commented “Great performance today, which was a great end to yet another diﬃcult week. It was a great win but I’ve gone right oﬀ Jeremy Kyle and now thanks to their keeper I’ve got a sausage stain down the front of my onesie.”
Banbury United Spencer U9: 2012-2013 Season
Saturday 09 March 2013
Launton Boys 2 - 5 BANBURY UTD SPENCER
Knight delights In Shandy Bass Heaven Spencer Sink Launton to Stake Claim on Second Spot.
After last week’s West Ham onesie episode, there was more bad news for Banbury Spencer manager Kevin Brand this week. Brand had been upset at losing his regular driving route to Portsmouth docks with Hero Haulage at the back end of last year following an automobile accident. He’d subsequently been transferred to Hero Haulage’s Intercontinental sister company Suckitan Sea. Enraged at the gruelling hours and working abroad for long periods, Brand had campaigned to be transferred back to his original position, citing disruption to his football commitments as basis of his claim along with the fact he had picked up a strange accent after getting lost in France. Earlier this week, a ruling panel at German led European transportation body, Transportation via Arbitration Talks (TvAT) had ruled that Brand should be re-appointed to his old position.
shout of ﬁnishing the season second?”
“Initially I was over the moon” commented Brand at this week’s pre-match press conference, “but ﬁve minutes after opening that little buﬀ envelope and realising I’d secured by old Portsmouth route back, news came through that I’d missed out on driving Bonnie Tyler’s rig when she appears at the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest in Malmo, Sweden on 18 May.”
It was a sign of things to come... the bobble was to play a fairly major part throughout the game.
“Not only am I a Eurovision fan – I have been since Sandie Shaw captivated the UK in 1967 and I still take my shoes and socks oﬀ when I go to a disco – but I’m a massive Bonnie Tyler fan. I’ve got all her records and used to follow her around when she toured, until the (banning) order...” he continued, “I even bought one of her leather jackets oﬀ eBay last year, but it didn’t ﬁt me – her shoulders are a little broader than mine...” Brand went on, “ironic really – that I get my old route back after getting lost in France” Brand managed to pull himself together in time for today’s crucial away ﬁxture against Launton, and proudly took his place driving the team coach this morning, the ﬁrst of 24 long wheel based DAF Powered VAN HOOL luxury touring coaches that made the short trip south. As Brand arrived at his destination, he honked his horn twice and asked his team the question “Can you get yourselves in with a
Immediately from kick oﬀ the lads looked up to the task. Within the ﬁrst minute Utd could’ve been a goal up, neat football between Matthew Knight, Thomas Ream and Jacob Brand found Mitchell Shirley in acres of space out wide on the right. His pin point cross found Charlie Macdonald in the centre and just as it appeared that the pocket dynamo was about to score, a horrible bobble took the ball away from him.
More Utd pressure followed. Great football, making the most of the width that was available saw the lads tearing the opposition apart, but a mixture of good defending and poor luck due to the uneven pitch kept the scores level. Within the ﬁrst 5 minutes, Utd could easily of been three goals to the good, but Launton started to get a foot hold in the game and began to look a little more dangerous on the break. Launton compacted the middle of the park and made it diﬃcult for Jacob Brand to get the ball out wide. Lack of supply pulled both Mitchell Shirley and Thomas Ream in tighter and the narrower shape suited Launton better. James Coles and Matthew Knight were getting a little more action as the half progressed, yet the pairs’ excellent anticipation meant that Charlie Blee had hardly had a touch let alone had to make a save. Then, completely against the run of play, a long ball was held up by the excellent Launton centre forward. His turn was a little lucky to beat Knight, but he made the most of his good fortune by ﬁring in a rasping shot that squeezed inside Charlie Blee’s near post, beating the keeper on the bounce. It looked like it was going to be one of those days...
However, just a minute before half time, Mitchell Shirley forced a corner. As he ﬁred the ball into the area, the ball was cleared to midway in the Launton half. Matthew Knight had positioned himself perfectly and despite being under pressure managed to get his shot away from 35 yards out. The ball riﬂed into the top right hand corner with the keeper well beaten, for his ﬁrst and Utd’s 40th goal of the campaign. With that strike, Knight secured himself a celebratory drink of Shandy Bass and slap up meal thanks to his father's ﬁrst goal bet on his way to the game. You have to ask yourself what kind of a father does that to his son... As the half time whistle sounded, Brand’s half time team talk had just become a little easier. Utd began the second half as they had the ﬁrst and put the Launton defence under severe pressure. Two minutes in, a wonderful teasing cross from Mitchell Shirley had the defender in all sorts of trouble and all he could do was ﬁre past the stranded keeper. It was no more than the ball in deserved. More pressure saw Charlie Macdonald, Thomas Ream and Brand all go close, before yet another excellent Mitchell Shirley corner had the Launton rear guard panicking. However, midway through the half, the tide was to turn again. What looked like a foul on Brand went unpunished midway in the Launton half. As the referee waved play on, Launton found themselves three against two and made the most of their numerical advantage to slide the ball past the despairing Charlie Blee. The lads were now up against it, as both the score-line and the referee’s watch were both working against them. With 5 minutes to go, Utd forced a corner and as Shirley swung the ball in, a half hearted clearance fell to Jacob Brand on the edge of the box. His ﬁrst time eﬀort wasn’t the sweetest connection, but still had enough on it to beat the keeper. Matthew Knight was replaced by fan favourite James Oxley after the goal. Apparently Knight had smelt the bacon rolls being cooked in the clubhouse and was aﬀorded the chance to top up his calorie count in an eﬀort to feed yet another growth spurt. At 7’ 2”, Knight is the tallest player in the league and with his size 11 feet also breaking records, it was left to manager Brand to
explain to the Merton yokels that having such big feet doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a hobbit. A couple of minutes later and it was a carbon copy goal for Brand. This time he was a good 25 yards out and connected beautifully, the ball arrowing past the keeper, leaving him with no chance. As the game entered its ﬁnal minute, Oxley jinked past 3 moles forming new hills wide on the left before playing a neat ball through to Charlie Macdonald. His clever turn was too quick for his defender and as he span away, struck an unstoppable shot past the keeper to produce a score-line that reﬂected the lad’s overall performance. The second game was another entertaining match. Matthew Knight moved into the middle of the park, Jinkey played up top with Charlie Blee slotting in at the back. Wing wizard Callum Brand again treated the crowd to a selection of his favourite tricks and had the entire away end eating out of the palm of his hand. Brand’s much publicised 6 hour daily sessions in an oxygen tank over the past month have clearly paid oﬀ. Not only was his silky footwork extra quick, but his desire and ability to cover the turf was there for all to see. It’s not hard to understand why the fans have taken such a shine to the charismatic star and aﬀectionately nicknamed him “Nijinsky”. Jinkey Joxley again showed why his price tag has doubled over the last three months, two goals, one a delicious ﬁnish after an exquisite through ball from Matthew Knight was no more than he deserved. Last word on this fantastic season though, went to that man – Callum Brand. A superb piece of anticipation allowed him to nip in front of his full back following a short goal kick from the Launton keeper, before delightfully chipping in from the edge of the box. Simply superb from the little man. After the game manager Brand commented “Great performance today, which was a great end to yet another diﬃcult week. It’s been a truly brilliant ﬁnish to the season to be fair, but I can’t believe I’m gonna miss out on driving for leather clad Eighties belter Bonnie Tyler after getting lost in France – It’s a Heartache... nothing but a heartache”
Banbury United Spencer U9: 2012-2013 Season