Stotfold aim to make history
COULD this be the year when Stotfold finally lift the UCL Premier Division title? The management team of the two Ians, Allinson and Donnelly, has taken the Rokermen to the top of the table with 15 matches to go. This is a remarkable transformation as the
COULD this be the year when Stotfold finally lift the UCL Premier Division title?
The management team of the two Ians, Allinson and Donnelly, has taken the Rokermen to the top of the table with 15 matches to go.
This is a remarkable transformation as the club was facing the drop when the pair took over in December 2006.
Allinson's first spell at Roker Park saw Stotfold twice finish as runners-up, in 1994 and 1996, and they are now hoping it will be third time lucky after joining the league in the 1984-5 season.
Former Arsenal and Luton man Allinson said: "We've turned it around in 12 months after we took over last December.
"We were hoping for top six at the start of the season but it could be even better than that.
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"We've got some hard games to come so we know we'll do well to stay at the top.
"All the lads have gelled as a team and we're playing some excellent football. Apart from Brad Gillham in goal, we've a very young side."
It is also very much a family affair as Allinson's son, Lee, plays in the team, along with two of Donnelly's sons, Luke and Callum, as well as nephew Paul.
Their title credentials were underlined by Saturday's 7-1 hammering of Wootton on a wet afternoon at Roker Park.
New signing Dan Douglas (from Dunstable Town) got the scoring going early, volleying Ricky Case's cross from the right into the roof of the net after five minutes.
Luke Donnelly added a second four minutes later with a low scuffed shot from just inside the box on the right.
Douglas' flicked header then set up Case who stabbed the ball in after his first shot was blocked by keeper Dan Rogers on 14 minutes.
Case returned the assist three minutes later by supplying the cross from the right for Douglas to comfortably head in his second.
Luke Donnelly headed in his second from a corner to make it 5-0 after just 25 minutes.
Wootton searched to pull one back and Paul Garrett got back for a timely tackle to deny Ben Bains a shot a few minutes later with Mo Banda forcing a good push over the bar from Brad Gillham after he was put through on the left.
Banda did get himself on the scoresheet, however, putting the resulting corner away from close range after it was flicked on to him through the crowded box.
The second half started as the first with a couple of early goals to complete the scoring.
Joel Mason put Lee Allinson through on the right to chip the keeper for what should have been the sixth.
Jack Sibbons got back to clear off the line but only as far as Case, running into the box, who sidefooted in his second on 47 minutes.
The last goal of the rain-soaked afternoon came six minutes later.
Luke Donnelly headed down Garrett's corner to the feet of Allinson who flicked over the line.
Rokermen: Gillham, Bryant, P Donnelly, Shambrook, Juneja, Douglas (C Donnelly), Case (Gittings), L Donnelly (Hull), Mason, Allinson, Garrett.
This Saturday's fixture has been changed - the first team are now away to AFC Kempston (not at home to Yaxley) and the second team are at home to Blackstones.
They are also hosting Langford in the quarter-finals of the Beds Senior Cup on Tuesday night.