Ex-Blue Ni­cholls joins Hayes’ league quest

For­mer Chelsea man to help club bounce back again

Harefield Gazette - - SPORT - By Tim Street tim.street@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

FOR­MER Chelsea striker Mark Ni­cholls has joined AFC Hayes’ quest to win back their place in the South­ern League.

Ni­cholls played more than 50 first team games for the Blues in the 1990s, but like for­mer Brook House man Neil Ship­per­ley, had to move away from Stam­ford Bridge to fur­ther his ca­reer.

But whereas Ship­per­ley went on to carve out a suc­cess­ful ca­reer in the Premier League and Football League, Hlling­don-born Ni­cholls drifted into non-league football.

The 38-year-old has played lo­cally for Hayes, North­wood and Uxbridge, and also linked up with Ship­per­ley when he man­aged at both Wal­ton Ca­su­als and North Green­ford United.

Ni­cholls has now added AFC Hayes, rel­e­gated to the Com­bined Coun­ties League fol­low­ing a bot­tom-place fin­ish in South­ern One Cen­tral, to his ros­ter of clubs.

Hayes have had a dif­fi­cult start to life in the Com­bined Coun­ties, los­ing 1-0 to both Ash­ford Town (Middx) and Han­worth Villa in the open­ing week, but got back on track with a 3-2 FA Cup win over Flack­well Heath on Satur­day.

De­spite be­ing re­duced to 10 men fol­low­ing Jerome Ec­cle­ston’s red card, goals from Cal­lum McCar­roll, Cyrus Van­ter­pool and Jor­dan Berry saw Hayes through the ex­tra pre­lim­i­nary round tie.

Man­ager Paul Palmer said: “When you go down to 10 men you ei­ther sit back or go for it, and we went for it. The lads worked very hard, and it was like we had the full 11, or even 12, on the pitch.

“It was a good win, we just need to do it in the league now. But it’s early days yet, and we have played some very good teams.

“We’ve had a lot of changes, but the best re­sponse we have had is from play­ers com­ing through the door. Mark is the latest to join us, and with his ex­pe­ri­ence he can help the young boys through.”

Mean­while, Hare­field United and Hilling­don Bor­ough were due to play in FA Cup re­plays last night (Tues­day) af­ter draw­ing 2-2 with Long Buckby and 1-1 with Wem­b­ley re­spec­tively on Satur­day. OLD Mer­chant Tay­lors’ won a cru­cial rel­e­ga­tion en­counter at drop zone ri­vals Bri­tish Air­ways in style on Satur­day, in a match that could go a long way to de­cid­ing the fate of the two teams.

Field­ing first, OMT made early in­roads into the BA top or­der, as the new-ball pace of Rus­sell Hen­ley (3-33) in par­tic­u­lar was too much for the bats­men and the hosts soon found them­selves strug­gling at 62-5.

A fight­back led by Matt Sawant (102) pushed BA to 215 all out, a to­tal that had seemed rel­a­tively straight­for­ward un­til the early dis­missal of Nikhil Rawal made it seem a lot more daunt­ing tar­get.

Another cou­ple of wick­ets fell to leave OMT strug­gling at 46-3, but Kavir Vedd (58) played a vi­tal role in sta­bil­is­ing the in­nings be­fore skip­per Paul Mar­shall (51no) and Ed Jones (71no) saw OMT home with a full seven overs left.

Else­where, Hayes are bot­tom of Di­vi­sion 2b af­ter los­ing by 58 runs to Hurst, but Ruis­lip went top of 4a with a six-wicket win over Chal­font St Peter, and Hilling­don Manor beat Bea­cons­field sec­onds by four wick­ets. FASS­NIDGE Bowls Club have reached the quar­ter-fi­nals of the Chiltern & Thames Mixed Triples League af­ter win­ning their di­vi­sion by 14 points.

Af­ter a slow start, dur­ing which they earned only 14 points out of 30 from three away games, Fass­nidge then won all three of their home games to earn max­i­mum.

This put them on 44 points, way ahead of Cow­ley on 30, Court Park on 26 and Har­ling­ton on 20, and they now look for­ward to the next stage on Au­gust 30.

Mean­while, de­spite ty­ing 3-3 on rinks, Har­ling­ton went down 121-106 to Hove & Kingsway in their friendly on Satur­day.

Har­ling­ton’s best rinks came from N Kli­men­t­jeva, B Reed and P Rance (21-10), and J Ful­brook, B Lam­ming and D Cut­more (25-7). BATH Road Cy­cling Club’s Graham Griggs took first place at the mid­week 9.2 mile time trial on the roads of Black Park and Pinewood in 22.43 mins.

He was fol­lowed in by Bath Road team-mates Richard Will­cox (24.11), Ken Pritchard (26.43), Nick Mann (28.32), Colin Mann (28.42) and Dave Giggs (28.51).

Will­cox also took part once more in the Hilling­don Triath­letes ‘10’ at Great Mis­senden, knock­ing 14 sec­onds off his pre­vi­ous time to clock 24.35. HILLING­DON Leisure Cen­tre will host the south-east re­gional fi­nal of the Na­tional Walk­ing Football Cup at 2pm on Sun­day.

The over-50s six-a-side com­pe­ti­tion of 15minute matches will be played in a round robin league for­mat to de­cides who rep­re­sents the re­gion in the south­ern fi­nal in Oc­to­ber.

Mid­dle­sex rep­re­sen­ta­tives Uxbridge Am­blers FC will be up against Chelms­ford City, Ayles­bury United, Lam­bourne and Steve­nage.

n RE­IN­FORCE­MENT: Flack­well Heath’s Joe Gritt sur­rounded nded by AFC Hayes play­ers; (right) new face Mark Ni­cholls

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.