Another week of fixtures are in the bag and with two different game days, 15 games and nearly 90 goals across the week, it was an entertaining one to say the least! Here we review all of the action from #MatchweekEight.
Monday 19th April
The action in the Northern Division kicked off with Mossley facing Ossett for the second time in a week. This time Mossley were the home side but couldn’t make their home advantage count as Ossett took the points again with a 1-2 victory with Carl Clarkson scoring both of Ossett’s goals. Radcliffe were free scoring once again after putting five past Skelmersdale United to hand them their first loss of the season. Despite a goalless first-half, six goals were scored in the second period in a game that finished 5-1 to Radcliffe. Runcorn also had their shooting boots on as they found the back of the net seven-times against Brighouse. The 7-1 victory did wonders for their already superior goal difference and helped them maintain their lead at the top of the division.
The two games from the Midlands Division on Monday were some of the highest scoring games we have seen in the ESPFA. Stafford Rangers continued their impressive run and remained unbeaten after their 10-2 victory over Belper Town. Jayden Hunter scored four goals, including and outrageous solo effort and Ollie Jarvis added another two. In the other game, Mickleover (Red) faced Mickleover (Black) and bounced back in style after losing their first game of the season last week against Stafford Rangers. The Red cohort of Mickleover won 0-9 in a game that saw both Brodie Carter and Finn Barker score hat tricks.
In the Southern Division, Chesham United kept up their perfect start with what seemed to be a routine 5-0 win over Swindon Supermarine. Chesham United academy coach Gary Forde was able to use the full depth of his squad and rest a few key players ahead of their important clash v Yate Town on Thursday. Before Monday’s fixture, Yate Town were just three points off the top spot and made no slip ups in staying withing touching distance of Chesham after they won 5-0 against Rushall Olympic (Black). Sam Archer, who has been in excellent form since the return of football found the back of the net twice again.
Thursday 22nd April
Brighouse Town picked up their second win of the season after beating Skelmersdale United 3-2. Skem at one point were looking to be in contention for the division title but two defeats in their last two games could have dented their hopes. Runcorn Linnets carried on their impressive from and still haven’t lost since the 22nd October. They faced Radcliffe, who happened to be the team that did hand them their only defeat, but the Linnets managed to grind out a hard fought 0-1 win. Witton Albion hosted Ossett United in what could be a contender for game of the season. The nine-goal thriller finished with Ossett United taking home the points after a 4-5 victory. Carl Clarkson was in the goals again as he found the back of the net four times and also earned himself the title of ‘Player of the Week!’ for #MatchweekEifght.
In the Midlands Division, the top two sides asserted their dominance once again with both Stafford Rangers and Mickleover (Red) winning. Mickleover (Red) travelled to third place Rushall Olympic (Amber) and claimed all three points with a 2-5 victory. Finn Barker was on hand to score another hat trick and take his goal tally to six for #MatchweekEight. Stafford Rangers won once again and preserved their six-point lead at the top of the division with a 4-1 win over Carlton Town. They have now won seven games out of eight and drawn one.
The key matchup of the week for Thursday’s games came from the Southern Division where first place Chesham United travelled to second place Yate Town for a potential title deciding clash. In what was a brilliant spectacle of football, Chesham United came from 2-1 down to win 4-2 and Keep up their perfect run, having won seven games out of seven. Yate Town now slip to six points behind Chesham with just three fixtures remaining.
Speaking after the game, Chesham United student Alfie Osbourne explained his side isn’t celebrating yet despite being six points clear. When asked if the 2-4 win all but confirms them as Division winners he said: “It’s hard to say, I don’t want to say anything too early but we’ve still got games to win and we are taking it every game at a time and will be trying to get our goal difference up.
Swindon Supermarine will be pleased to have won their second game of the season against third place Kidlington. They have now put a bit of breathing space between themselves and Frome Town below them in sixth place. Rushall Olympic (Black) will be now eyeing up Kidlington in third place after they beat Frome Town 1-3. Both sides are tied on nine points but Killington’s superior goal difference keeps them in third.
#MatchweekEight Team of the Week
Congratulations to all students who have been nominated by their coaches for the #TeamOfTheWeek and a special mention to Ossett United student Carl Clarkson, who has been awarded 'Player of the Week!' for #MatchweekEight.