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Ground Development Delays - 3 May

Two football clubs will have to wait on the sidelines for a further year due to delays in the construction of their new ground at the Barton Park development in Oxford.

An Oxford Mail article reports. Headington Amateurs, Oxford's third biggest club (according to the OM) , and Barton United, have been losing money ever since they had to leave Barton Recreation Ground in April last year - home to their adult and junior teams for 25 years. The Phoenix Sports Association - the partnership of the two clubs - had been planning to be based at new ground for the start of the 2017/2018 season before club officials were told they would have to wait another year to make their home debut.

Headington Amateurs chairman Donald Light said the delays to the project were 'disappointing'. Amateurs, who play in the Hellenic League, currently play at a temporary ground in Horspath, with Barton United and its juniors playing their fixtures at Bayards Hill Primary School in Waynflete Road. Mr Light said although Oxford City Council had helped with the move, the loss of the Barton Pavilion, which included a bar and function room, had meant the association had lost out financially, with a drop in funding of £7,000 due to the lack of kitchen facilities.

He added: "It's very disappointing - it's going to be a huge struggle and we hope to be compensated."

Mr Light said leaving Barton meant the clubs did not benefit from as much local support as they usually get and income through football cards, Christmas parties and other events. "They [the city council] have helped us and supported us, they have done all they can. It's getting back to Barton, it's getting back home that's the key to it."

The controversial plans were passed last year for the new facilities which will feature a new turf sports pitch, multi-use games area and all-weather and floodlit pitch in the 885-home development west of Barton. One of the requirements to play at the Hellenic League standard, for which Headington Amateurs currently has special dispensation at its current ground, is a stand with seating for 100 people. A document by the Barton LLP in 2013 said there would have enough space to be able to 'upgrade to Hellenic League standards' yet this was not included in the most recent designs for the ground, which will become home to more than 10 senior and junior teams.

Speaking on behalf of Barton Oxford LLP, executive director Jackie Yates said the delays were unfortunate and down to 'very difficult ground conditions', as well as delays from utility companies and the weather. She said the council and developers Grosvenor recognised a second season off site caused 'significant issues', adding they wanted to 'mitigate' the impact and some financial support could be available.

Ms Yates said: "We expect marketing of homes to commence in July with first occupations around December this year."

Barton United chairman Mick Beesley said discussions were ongoing between the clubs and the council.

City councillor Mike Rowley said: "The LLP has provided some funding for the clubs over the past year, and in addition I contributed £3,000 of my ward member budget - I suspect more will now be needed."


Final Week . . Or Not? -14 April

Headington begin what may or may not be the final week of their season with home games against Wokingham & Emmbrook tomorrow followed by Uhlsport One East Champions elect Penn & Tylers Green on Easter Monday.

On Thursday they travel to Larges Lane for a Bluefin Sport Hellenic Challenge Cup semi-final tie with Bracknell Town (7:45pm).

Manager Stuart Bishop will juggle his squad with some players recovering from minor injuries & others away for at least one of the weekend games.


Home Run To Season End - 31 March

After completing their away programme in Uhlsport One East on Tuesday night at Wantage, scoring seven goals for the second successive match, moving back into third spot in the process, Headington now finish with a run of five home games.

The first in this sequence sees Rayners Lane, to whom Headington lost by the odd goal in seven in the reverse fixture, visit Horspath Road tomorrow.

Headington are gradually returning to full strength with Yannick Nkwanyuo, who has been out of action with bruised ribs, the latest to return. Five points from their remaining games will assure third place in the final table whilst there is still an outside chance of overhauling Woodley United in the runners-up spot.


Top Three Now Target - 24 March

Defeat at Penn & Tylers Green two weeks ago spelt the end of Headington’s lingering Uhlsport One East title hopes. In a match that was a credit to the division they had to give second best to a Penn side that are now almost over the line as back to back champions.

With seven league games left the A’s must set about securing a top three finish starting with a trip to Holyport on Saturday followed by Wantage Town away Tuesday nigh, then finishing with a run of five home games.

For Saturdays match Headington are without defender Callum Bloomfield, mid-fielders Josh West and Ben Strong, but Liam Morbey returns.


A's Travel To Penn - 10 March

Headington visit league leaders Penn & Tylers Green tomorrow, now twelve points adrift after their recent spate of away draws in Uhlsport One East.

Penn are the reigning champions, although recognising that it will be a tough ask to close the gap, even with a positive result in this match, Headington will travel with a confidence boost on the back of their fine performance, a win at Premier Division Brackley Town Saints in last week’s Bluefin Sports Challenge Cup quarter final tie.

Utility player Liam Morbey is on holiday but centre back Paul Alder, cup tied last week, returns to the squad.


Bluefin Sport Hellenic Challenge Cup Quarter Final - 3 March

Headington visit Brackley Town Saints tomorrow for a Bluefin Sport Hellenic Challenge Cup Quarter final tie.

These sides met in the same competition last season in the first round with Saints prevailing by five goals to two. Whilst the A's are on an unbeaten league run stretching to five games, three of those have been drawn, but manager Stuart Bishop feels their form is solid enough to give them a real chance of reaching the semi finals.

Defender Paul Alder is cup tied, otherwise Manager Stuart Bishop selects from a near full strength squad.

A's In Monday Night Action - 13 February

Headington will travel to Scours Lane tonight where they take on Woodley United in a second versus third clash in Uhlsport One East.

The sides are level on thirty points, nine adrift of leaders Penn & Tylers Green. The A’s last outing was a 1-4 win at Sandhurst Town on January 14th & they will be hoping that the improved weather forecast holds good. In the reverse fixture at Horspath in October last year Woodley went home with the points courtesy of a single goal win.

Manager Stuart Bishop should have a full strength squad to select from with the enforced rest allowing players to recover from injury.


First Meeting With Sandhurst - 13 January

After dropping three points at home for the third time this season when they went down 0-1 to Holyport last week , manager Stuart Bishop knows his side must get back on track as they pay a first ever visit to Sandhurst Town on Saturday. Missing the chance to close the gap on the Uhlsport One East leaders Penn & Tylers Green, Headington find themselves twelve points adrift albeit with three games in hand.

Centre back Jonny Roberts is unavailable this week and utility defender Kyle Harris-Steele remains on the injured list. However Paul Alder returns following his transfer back to the club after half a season at Highworth Town.


Back After Postponement - 30 December

After their Boxing Day game was postponed at late notice Headington return to action on Saturday when they host Finchampstead in an Uhlsport One East clash with a 1:30 pm kick off.

Finchampstead have been in good form, winning five of their last six league outings, climbing to sixth spot in One East, one place below Headington. Games between the clubs have been historically close fought affairs & in two previous encounters this season although Headington won both it was by the odd goal in three on each occasion.

Striker Sean Hurcombe, missing for half a dozen games with an ankle injury returns to the squad, whilst manager Stuart Bishop may also have Jonny Roberts available following a transfer from Abingdon United.


the oxfordshire faOFA Senior Cup Third Round - 17 December

For the fifth time this season Headington will meet a side for the first time at any level as they as they host Oxon Senior League side Freeland in a third round County Senior Cup tie.

After scraping home against Horspath in the last round after a penalty shoot out the A's will be well aware of the threat posed by Freeland. Currently occupying second spot in the Oxon Senior League Premier Division they also convincingly dispatched Woodstock Town, of Uhlsport One West, in the first round of this competition.

Headington recovered from their home league defeat to Sandhurst Town with a good win at AFC Aldermaston last week, twice coming from behind in the process.

Defender Luke Day has joined Sean Hurcombe on the injured list but manager Stuart Bishop will still have a strong squad to select from.


Back To League Business - 2 December

After three weeks of cup action Headington get back to league business when they host Sandhurst Town in Uhlsport One East on Saturday.

All of those cup ties proved tight affairs, needing extra time to see off Uhlsport Two East Lynch Pin & penalties to get past Oxon Senior League Horspath in a County Cup game, before last weeks win at Chinnor by the odd goal in seven assured the A's of a Bluefin Sports Challenge Cup quarter final spot.

The visit of Sandhurst will be the third occasion this season that Headington will meet a side for the first time at any level of competition.

Having slipped to fourth place in the league during their cup sequence, manager Stuart Bishop will pick from a near full strength squad as he attempts to make up lost ground, the only absentee Sean Hurcombe, recovering from a fractured ankle.


Couldn't Be Nearer - 18 November

Headington Amateurs stage the most local of all derby's when they 'host' Oxon Senior League side Horspath with whom they share facilities at Horspath Sports Ground.

Headington manager Stuart Bishop was a founding member of Horspath FC managing them before taking on the Headington job last season.

With last week's scheduled Uhlsport One East game at Holyport falling victim to the weather Headington have not played for a fortnight, their 5-2 win against Division Two East Lynch Pin in the Bluefin Sport Challenge Cup their last outing. Their progress to the third round of that competition was only secured after extra time with 'Bish' expecting a similar challenge in Saturday's County Cup tie from a team he knows all too well.

Striker Sean Hurcombe is sidelined with a fractured ankle but Headington will hope that Jay Hill has recovered from a thigh strain sustained in the last round a month ago.


Can The A's Overcome 100%'s? - 28 October

Headington Amateurs and Woodley meet at Horspath on Saturday in an Uhlsport One East clash that might well be labelled a ‘six pointer’.

Occupying second and third spots in a One East table that sees four points covering the top four, Headington have lost just once whilst Woodley boast the only 100% record in the Uhlsport Hellenic’s five divisions.

Jay Hill and Kyle Harris-Steele remain sidelined with injury but prolific marksman Sean Hurcombe returns to the squad.


A's Assured - 21 October

With progress to the second round of the Oxfordshire FA Senior Cup assured with a competent win at Launton Sports last week, Headington return to Uhlsport One East action with a trip to Wokingham & Emmbrook. The last time these sides met was in the ’14-15 season, honours even with a win apiece.

The A's lost top spot to Penn & Tylers Green last week and sit just a point adrift.

Jay Hill and Kyle Harris-Steele who picked up injuries at Launton miss out this Saturday, but Drew Fowler, Yannick Nkwanyuo & Tom Parker all return.


County Senior Cup Tie - 15 October

After a two week break Headington return to action with a visit to Oxon Senior League side Launton Sports for a 1st round County Senior Cup tie.

Midfield players Drew Fowler, Yannick Nkwanyuo and Tom Baker are all unavailable, but Aftab Hafiz returns to the squad for the first time since August.

After agreement between the teams and County Competition secretary this match now kicks off at 2:00pm rather than 1:30pm as originally scheduled.


London Bound - 16 September

A trip along the M40 for Headington tomorrow when they travel to Rayners Lane for their Uhlsport One East game.

Buoyed by their fifth win in five at Chinnor last week and will be hoping to take that total to six on the trot. However, despite Rayners current lowly position, Headington will also have a healthy respect for opponents with whom they have had close and exciting contests in recent years.

Manager Stuart Bishop also notes that the Lane "took a great point at reigning champions Penn & Tylers Green and knocked One West side New College Academy out of the Bluefin Sports Challenge Cup".

Centre back Kyle Harris-Steele is unavailable, as is Harry Jenkins, Kane Slaymaker makes his debut in goal.


Impressive Season Start - 9 September

With four wins out of four in league and cup Headington Amateurs have made their best start to a season for some time.

Manager Stuart Bishop is ambitious to improve on last terms fourth place finish in Uhlsport One East and their run to the semi-final of the Bluefin Sports Supplementary Cup. With midfielder Tom Payne departing to teach in Madrid for at least a year, ‘Bish’ has freshened up his squad with the addition of several younger players, all of whom have impressed whether starting or contributing from the bench.

Saturday brings a short trip up the M40 to Chinnor. Last season both won the ‘away’ game, the odd goal the difference on each occasion. Drew Fowler is a doubt after picking up an injury in last week’s Challenge Cup win against Finchamstead but Jay Hill returns.


Headington Amateurs Presentation Evening - 4 July

Headington Amateurs held their Presentation Evening at the Chequers, in Headington Quarry on Saturday 25 June.

The managers player of the year for 2015-16 was Yannick Nkwanyuo, whilst Kyle Harris-Steele picked up the players player of the year.

Manager Stuart Bishop was also able to announce that pre-season training would start on Tuesday 5th of July at Quarry Recreation Ground and that pre-season friendlies had been arranged against:

Oxford City Nomads - July 9th
Woodstock Town - July 14th
Launton Sports - July 23rd
Marston Saints - July 27th
Kidlington - July 30th

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