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Top Six Target - 4 April

Justin Miller reckons a top-six finish would represent a solid return for Purton as their Uhlsport Hellenic League Division One West campaign winds down to a close.

The Red House men shared the spoils with Easington Sports on Saturday, one place above them in fifth, and two more wins from their final two matches should be enough to wrap up a top-half finish for Miller's troops.

Purton's final two matches are against third-placed Carterton next weekend and Hook Norton, in fourth, on Tuesday week and while those meetings will have bigger ramifications for their promotion-chasing opponents, Miller is determined to conclude his side's campaign in winning fashion.

"We'll need at least one more win to finish in the top six, and we want to finish as high as we can.'' said Miller. "Top six would be no mean achievement. We've had a lot of problems with goalkeepers this season, we must have used about six, and we haven't had that consistent second striker to play alongside Ben Carter, but we've done quite well.''


Same As Any Other Game - 18 March

Justin Miller says his Purton players will be treating tomorrow’s game against Division One West league leaders Fairford Town the same as any other. Miller’s men suffered a heavy 4-1 defeat to the table toppers back in November but will go into this game high in confidence after thrashing bottom side Tytherington Rocks last week.

Miller knows his team are in for a much sterner test on Saturday against a team who have lost just four of their 22 games so far this season. Miller said: “We are not frightened of the prospect. We need to make sure we do our jobs and we are focused. We have played two of the top four in the last few weeks and we have been in those games. We played bottom last week, it’s top this week, we need to make sure we are on our game. It’s just another game. It’s a local derby but I don’t expect it to be any different to any other game, they are all pretty lively encounters in this league.”

Despite a very disrupted season, Purton will have just five games left to play after this weekend and Miller is hoping to see his side improve their form in front of goal. “We have not scored in enough games. That’s the frustrating thing and that’s why we are where we are in the league,” he said. “We have lost seven of 20 league games but every one we have lost, we have been in those games, we have not been out played. The season has been up and down, we have lost quite a few players who have gone to other clubs. We went six weeks without playing so it’s been a difficult season, it’s been like two seasons in one.”


Play Or Run - 12 February

Purton manager Justin Miller jovially warned his players that they may be forced to dust off their running shoes if tomorrow’s derby clash with Shrivenham is rained off.

No team have been hit harder by the winter weather than Purton in Uhlsport Hellenic League Division One West – Miller’s men haven’t played since December 28 - and should this weekend’s trip to Barrington Park to take on Michael McNally’s Shrivvy fall foul of the elements, their next outing could potentially not take place until February 27.

Over the last six weeks, Purton have been restricted to the training pitch and Miller joked that he may have to kick-off another pre-season programme to blow off the cobwebs.

“All we’ve done is train on a Tuesday and have the odd session on a Saturday, and it has been tough because the lads are frustrated,” said the Purton boss. “If this weekend’s game is off, then we don’t have a match the week after and the gap becomes eight weeks – I said to the lads that I might have to do another pre-season. I spoke to Michael McNally, on Thursday and he said Shrivenham’s pitch was in good condition, so fingers crossed. I think we’re just desperate to get a game on. They’re all champing at the bit for that but they all play plenty of five-a-side and six-a-side, so I wouldn’t expect them to be too rusty. I feel that it’s a good game to come back into. When we played each other earlier in the season (a 1-0 win to Purton on November 21), it wasn’t the best of games and neither side played that well. But Shrivenham have made a couple of signings recently and they’ve only been losing by the odd goal, so I think it will definitely be a competitive game.”

Purton are set to be without striker Ben Carter and central midfielder Steve May, who are both injured.

ben carter football hellenic leagueGoal Scorer Returns - 18 December

Club top scorer Ben Carter is set to return for Purton as they host Cheltenham Saracens in Uhlsport Hellenic League Division One West.

Purton assistant manager Paul Hunt said: “That’ll be big for us. He’s basically a goal-a-game man, so he’s a big player for us. “We went down there and drew 1-1 earlier in the season. We could have won it in the last minute as we had a really good chance but couldn’t quite finish it off. “They are a good team and they are probably in the strongest position of the teams at the top but we don’t fear anyone.”


Drawn Games Need To Be Wins - 27 November

Purton, who have only lost three of their opening 13 games, sit third in the league but having played four more games than second-placed Cheltenham Saracens Miller knows his side need to turn draws into wins.

“We go away to Hook Norton and that is going to be another tough one,” said Justin Miller. “We are going to go there with confidence after last Saturday’s result and hopefully we can go there and put a good showing on. We have only lost the three games and we have drawn too many. We have drawn a lot of games we should have won and we’ve conceded late goals. What we want to try and do is put a run of wins together and see where that takes us.”


One Goal Makes All The Difference - 23 November

Justin Miller was pleased to put two defeats behind him as they scratched out a 1-0 win at home to local One West rivals Shrivenham.

A Ben Carter strike just a minute before the break was all that separated the two sides on a bitterly cold afternoon at Red House. The win helps Purton keep the pressure on the two sides above them at the top of the table and, despite the performance not quite being right, Miller was happy to take the points and a clean sheet.

“I’m delighted,” said the Purton manager. “On the back of two defeats I am just pleased with the three points. We’ve played five games and only won one. We probably should have won four of those five games and we haven’t had the slice of luck. The performance first half wasn’t great, they were the better team and had a couple of opportunities and were unlucky. We were fortunate with the goal – a goalie error – but in the second half we were much better and probably deserved the victory in the end. It was difficult because it was very cold and very windy and the wind certainly played a factor in the first half. This week the performance wasn’t great but we showed great character.”


Homeward Bound - 30 October

Purton will hope their players haven’t forgotten the way to the Red House as they prepare to make a homecoming tomorrow.

After tackling five games away from home in succession, Purton will be back in familiar surroundings when they host Tytherington Rocks on Saturday – their first match at the Red House since their 1-1 draw with Clanfield on September 19. Justin Miller’s men are unbeaten in six outings in Hellenic League Division One West but after some fine performances in recent weeks, including last weekend’s 2-0 win at North Leigh United, Purton will be aiming to reproduce their best in their own back yard for a change.

“We’ve been away for five weeks and we don’t train at the club now either because we don’t have floodlights, so hopefully the lads don’t need directions on Saturday,” said Miller. “We’ve been playing well and performances have been good. We’ve not changed the team too much and hopefully, we can show a little bit of that good form at home this weekend. Tytherington are struggling a little bit but they beat Letcombe last weekend and Letcombe weren’t a bad side when we played them. I’ve heard that they may have changed managers so it could be against a new group of players or if it’s not, they could be buzzing because they’ve had a good result.”

Recent signing Sam Collier, the former Shrivenham player-manager, will be joined in Miller’s squad by fellow strikers Dave Coleman and Josh Fowler for this weekend’s clash with Tytherington.

Scalp Hunters? - 16 October

Justin Miller is in no doubt that his team can claim the scalp of table-toppers Cheltenham Saracens if they maintain their recent form.

The Red House outfit put seven goals past Shortwood United Reserves on October 3 and, despite losing 1-0 to Western League side Corsham Town in the opening round of the Wiltshire Senior Cup last weekend, Miller was nonetheless enthused by his team’s lively display.

Purton, who are currently sitting third in Hellenic League Division One West, are five points behind the unbeaten Saracens but Miller reckons his troops have every chance of taking home the spoils when the visit Petersfield Park on Saturday.

“They came down last year, they’ve played six and won six, so we expect a good game,” said the Purton manager in the Wiltshire press. “If we perform like we’ve been performing, I’m not frightened of anyone. It’s a great opportunity, we probably need the points more than they do because we’ve obviously dropped a few more. Our focus is to go there and take the game to them, put the ball in the back of the net and take the three points. “We’re going there full of confidence and the lads are buzzing for it. We spoke about getting the same performance that we’ve had for the last two weeks and the players know they’re good enough to go and get a result there, so they’ve just got to go out there and do it.”


justin miller hellenic league footballCould Have Been More - 5 October

Purton manager Justin Miller predicted that his side would soon hit the goal trail but despite snaffling seven on Saturday, he thinks his team could easily scored even more.

The Red House men made the trip to Shortwood United Reserves and shared 11 goals with their Gloucestershire hosts, running out 7-4 winners and enjoying by far their most action-packed afternoon of the season. “I said before that we were creating chances and were going to start taking them eventually,” said Purton chief Miller.
“I said to the lads before the game that we’d only lost one game in eight league games, so we were playing well and it was just about taking our chances. We were 1-0 up early on and we should have been two or three-up inside the first 10 minutes. We scored seven but it really could have been more."

"It’s good to see us do that but the important thing is that we go and play the same way and do the same thing again next week. If we’d had our normal keeper, he probably would have saved their goals, so we’re not worried about conceding four.”

Purton’s third victory of the season takes them up to second in the Division One West table, level on points with Carterton and North Leigh United, and two points behind Cheltenham Saracens. However, the table-toppers have played three less league matches. Next up for Purton is a trip to high-flying Western League outfit Corsham Town in the Wiltshire Senior Cup next weekend.


Should Have More Points - 2 October

Justin Miller feels Purton should have been sitting pretty at the top of the Uhlsport Hellenic Division One West table as they head to Shortwood United Reserves tomorrow.

The Red House outfit currently sit in fifth place on 10 points, three behind leaders Carterton. But Miller believes that at his side should have four more points than they currently do.

“We are on a pretty good run at the moment in the league where we have only lost once in seven games,” Miller said. “But we should have won two of the four games that we have drawn and be top of the table. We have played more games than most and had we had those points on the board then we’d be in a very good position.”

The Purton boss know that his face a tricky test at Meadowbank with their hosts first team plying their trade in the Evo-Stik Southern League. “They have improved the pitch massively over the last few years there,” said Miller, who is looking for his side to bounce back from last weekend’s Challenge Cup defeat at New College. “But because they are a reserve team you are never quite sure what sort of side they will put out. I generally find that they get weakened rather than stronger because if the first team is short then they dip into the reserves.”

Miller could also be dipping into his second string side this weekend as there is an injury doubt over keeper Dan Gough. However, Purton do welcome back Steve Davies, Steve May and Dave Coleman.


Death Of Purton Sponsor - 23 September

Purton Chairman Alan Eastwood is sad to have to report the death of Mr Les Smith a local business man who's Company (Les Smith Haulage Limited) based in Swindon had supported the Club since 1987 with programme advertising and match day sponsorships.

Les passed away peacefully at home a much loved husband, father and grandad and will be sadly missed.

To all his family and relations Purton FC offer them their deepest sympathy on their sad loss.

His funeral will take place at the Kingsdown Crematorium on Friday 2 October at 12 noon. (family flowers only).


Waiting Game - 21 September

Justin Miller is prepared to play the waiting game as his Purton side look to discover their killer instinct.

Purton were held to a 1-1 draw by Clanfield on Saturday – their third home two-goal stalemate in succession – and manager Miller says that his team were by far the most threatening outfit on display and should have taken all three points.

However, Miller is taking a philosophical approach to the frustration of failing to beat Clanfield. “Any draw at home is a bad point,” said Miller in the Swindon Advertiser. “We should have been three or four-up inside the opening 30 minutes but if you don’t put teams to bed, it gives them an opportunity to get an equaliser and get back into the game, which is what happened. “We scored an early goal but we didn’t build on it and all it takes is one goal or one cross and you’re back level. “We are struggling to finish off teams at the moment but we are creating chances, so it’s only a matter of time before they start going in – it will come. It’s one of those things that you just have to wait for. You have to be patient.”


Summit Awaiting? - 18 September

Purton are another side who could hit the Uhlsport Hellenic League Division One West summit tomorrow if results go their way and they beat Clanfield 85 at Red House.

Justin Miller’s side sit in fourth place on nine points and will be looking to improve on last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Cirencester Town Development.

Purton will be asking the match officials to observe a minute silence at both this and the Reserves away game at Letcombe. As a show of respect for the father of Purton's Reserve team manager Lee Ashby, who passed away this week following a terminal illness. To Lee and all his family and relations the club offer their deepest sympathy on their sad loss.


More Verve Hoped For - 11 September

The Purton 'faithful' and the management team will be hoping their team can put the disappointment of last Saturday's lack lustre display.

The 1-1 home draw with Letcombe, saw Letcome outplay Purton in the first half. Although Purton shaded the second period they did not convert the chances they created and on their performance did not deserve a win against a very spirited Letcombe outfit.

This Saturday's visitors Cirencester Town Development completed a double over the Reds last season, so the team will be wary of that fact and hopefully put in an improved performance from their previous two matches.


Nothing Good - 7 September

paul hunt hellenic league footballPurton assistant manager Paul Hunt surmised that there was ‘nothing good’ about his team’s display on Saturday as they were held to a draw by Letcombe.

“It was a game we thoroughly didn’t deserve to win,” said Hunt. “We’re back at home now after three games away and we’ve got three in a row at home. I said to the lads that I wanted nine points from the next three games and when we went a goal up in about 30 seconds, I thought ‘this is a good start’. But it was just a bad day at the office and there was nothing good about the game – I can’t really think of anything positive that came from it.”

“We just didn’t look at it and there were some choice words from myself and Justin Miller at half-time. In fairness, things did pick up in the second half and we had a few chances to score. But they had six or seven throughout the game too. We should have had a penalty ourselves right at the end of the game – it was a blatant penalty – but the referee didn’t give it and if he had done and we’d scored, it wouldn’t have been deserved at all.”

Purton are currently fifth in the Hellenic League Division One West table, having won two, drawn two and lost one of their opening five outings.

Next weekend, they travel to Cirencester Town Development, who are second-from-bottom and are yet to register a win this term. Hunt added: “There’s plenty for us to work on in training after that and the only positive is that we didn’t lose the game. We’ve got to be better for Cirencester and we’ll try and make that happen.”

Purton Visit Kilkenny Lane - 28 August

Purton travel to Carterton tomorrow, a ground where the home side in the past have had the better of 14 league encounters, winning 9 and losing 5.

Both sides have made good starts to their seasons and both will be hopeful of winning the game that always seems to produce a lot of goals.

Justin Miller and assistant manager Paul Hunt will no doubt be stressing the importance of a good showing by 'The Reds leading up to three games at home in the trot in September.

One Up To Dad - 24 August

The bragging rights in Hunt household Saturday night belonged to dad Paul as his Purton side overcame a New College Swindon outfit which featured his son Ollie.

Having normally been on the sidelines supporting the young striker, the former Swindon Town forward, who is now the assistant manager at the Red House, was delighted that he was the one dishing out the stick on the way home. “I took him to the game and before we went into our changing rooms we were having a fair bit of banter,” Hunt senior said to The Swindon Advertiser “It was a bit surreal as this was the first time that I have gone up against my lad – I’m usually on the sidelines supporting him when I can. He got the man of the match award for them and was unlucky to be on the losing side, but I said to him that happens. He bought me a drink after the match and I gave him a fair bit of stick on the way home. I said to him: 'things like that happen in football, you play well and lose'. Last weekend, we were 3-1 against Easington Sports with 10 minutes to go and we drew. Things like Saturday will hold him in good stead.”

The 1-0 success at the Webb’s Wood Stadium came courtesy of a well-worked goal from Marcus Hall while Hunt said that Purton’s best player was goalkeeper Daniel Gough.

And the success at New College has maintained Purton’s unbeaten start to the campaign and leaves them two points early leaders Cheltenham Saracens. “It wasn’t a great performance from us,” Purton assistant said. “We just couldn’t get to grips with the New College system. You have to give them credit, they made us change the way that we play – we had to go to a 3-5-2. But I will take that. When you play badly and come away with a result is a sign of a good team.”


Oggy’s In The Know - 21 August

paul hunt hellenic league footballJustin Miller will turn to his assistant manager Paul Hunt (pictured) as he looks to wise up on tomorrow’s hosts New College. The Red House boss is hoping that the former Swindon Town striker will have a bit of an insight into the student’s squad with his son, Ollie, in their ranks.

Purton, who drew 3-3 with Easington Sports last weekend, are also wary of the other attacking threats New College, who come into this match on the back of 1-0 defeat at the hands of Tytherington Rocks, possess. “We are a very attacking team,” said Miller, whose side have four points from their opening two games. We have got some quality up front and out wide we have got some pace. We are dangerous all over in out forward areas.“

On tomorrow’s opposition Miller asses. “Oggy’s (Hunt) lad plays for them. His boy plays up front for them so that will be an interesting one. I don’t know too much about them. They change quite a lot and you don’t know who’s going to be playing. Oggy will know a few of them, so we’ll have a chat with him and see where we are going to go from there. Oggy will be desperate to win that one because he wants the bragging rights.”


Three Away - 14 August

Purton are hoping to build on their One West five-star start to the campaign when they begin a run of three away games, starting against Easington Sports.

justin miller hellenic league footballDespite putting five past North Leigh United without reply last weekend, Purton boss Justin Miller (pictured) is looking for his side to be even more clinical during what will be a telling run of games.

“We have got three away games now,” he said. “Our away form was atrocious last year, so we will know after these three games where we are going to be. They finished third last season in the Division One East, so they are going to be a big, strong team. We are not going to get carried away by our opening day win. We just have to make sure we are working hard and chasing people down."

“We are going to be a goal threat, so we just need to make sure we are a bit more clinical. Although we got five last weekend, we could have got a few more and you are going to need those to go in when it is tight.”


Side Strengthened - 7 August

Justin Miller will be hoping to strike it lucky this season after pinpointing the reason why his Purton side came up short last season.

Former Shrivenham forwards Josh Fowler and Dave Coleman have been brought in to lead the line for the Red House outfit this campaign. Purton, who finished sixth last season, have a new assistant in the form of Paul ‘Oggy’ Hunt and Miller is looking for a better start than the new campaign. “We’ve tried to strengthen,” said Miller. “Last year we didn’t score enough goals, which cost us dearly in the end. “Josh played at Shrivenham and he is quick and scores goals. Coleman plays more in the number 10 role and is good with his back to goal and the ball at his feet, and no doubt he will weigh in with a few as well. I imagine the league will be pretty open, where everyone can beat anyone. It is difficult to say, because you don’t know who other people have brought in or what they have done. We want to try and get a better start than we did last season. “After the first 10 games last season, I think we had lost five, so we want to keep defeats to a minimum and get as many points as we can to stay in the mix.”


Red's Up Against Alfredians - 31 July

Justin Miller and his new assistant Paul 'Oggy' Hunt play hosts at the Red House to Wantage Town tomorrow (3pm kick off)

Lee Ashby takes his Reserve side to play at Longlevens AFC (kick off 1pm).

This is the last competitive game for Miller's side before they play hosts to North Leigh United in next weeks opening game in Uhlsport Hellenic League Division 1 West. The Reserves who's fixtures do not start until September in Division 2 West will be arranging further pre season games.


Purton New Assistant - 25 July

Justin Miller, is delighted to announce the appointment of Paul 'Oggy' Hunt as his new assistant manager for the new season ahead.

Oggy as everyone knows him is a former Swindon Town FC striker, and has been involved in many great clubs, including Cardiff, SK Brann, Bristol Rovers, Forest Green, Swindon Supermarine, Gloucester City, Cirencester Town, Hungerford Town etc

Oggy has joined from Highworth Town where he was a coach of last seasons FA Vase semi finalists. Justin would also like to thank Mark Jordan for his help as his no 2 last season, and the club wishes him all the best, and look forward to seeing his presence in games this season.


Match Day 'Physio' Required At Purton - 6 July

Wiltshire based Purton FC are looking for a person to be the match day "physio" for the coming season.

As a minimum the ideal person would hold is a Level 2 Certificate in the Treatment and Management of Injury in Sport certificate, or be in the process of obtaining this. However, further physiotherapy experience and qualifications would be highly advantageous.

Please contact Alan Eastwood on 01793 729844 or alan.eastwood83@ntlworld.com

In other Purton news they have another pre season game this Thursday away against Malmesbury Victoria winners of the Wiltshire League last season - kick off at 7.30pm


Purton AGM - 17 June

Last Saturday the club held its AGM at which Alan Eastwood was re-elected Chaiman and Hon Sec and Wendy Phillips as Hon Treasurer.

Justin Miller will again be at the helm of the first team with Lee Ashby in charge of a newly formed Reserve team. Lee had offered to take on the Hon Sec's work allowing Alan Eastwood to reduce his workload but sadly had to withdraw his interest due to family committments although this will not effect his management duties. In the meantime Alan is looking for someone else to come forward who can be eased into that role.

The above managers along with Phil Storey, Terry Crumbie, Ryan Phillips, Ashley Stevens, Andy Cowan,Nick Webb, Colin Richards and Gary Norman are all committee members.

Gary Norman was voted by members present to become a (Life Member) for services rendered to Purton Youth for many years. Gary is the club's Youth and Developement Officer and Chairman of Purton Youths.

Pre-season games for the First/Reserve Teams arranged are:

Saturday 11th July Purton Firsts Home Wootton Bassett Town 3pm
Purton Res Home Wootton Bassett Town 12 Noon

Saturday 18th July Purton Firsts Home Highworth Town 3pm
Purton Res Home Melksham Town 'A' 12 Noon

Saturday 25th July Purton Res Away Faringdon Town 3pm

Tuesday 28th July Purton Firsts Home Wroughton 6.30pm

Saturday 1 August Purton Firsts Home Wantage Town 3pm

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