After an impromptu, four-week long break, the ESPFA 2020/21 season was back underway! There were 16 teams in action this week that saw an action-packed fixture list this week for #MatchweekFour.
There was no game this week for the league leaders Ossett United and the game between Mossley and Radcliffe was postponed, which presented Runcorn Linnets with a brilliant opportunity to go top of the table. With a 9-0 win over Witton Albion, it’s fair to say they definitely took advantage of that opportunity! The game was poised and very competitive in the opening moments of the first half, but a red card for a Witton Albion player changed that. Runcorn Linnets made the extra man count and went in at half-time 0-3 up. A late surge of goals in the final moments inflated the result and capped off an impressive win for Runcorn who shot up the table from fourth to first. Aaron Gerrard came on as a substitute for Runcorn Linnets and scored two goals. Speaking after the game He said: “I think it was end to end up until we got the goal and that then forced them to come out and then I think we just picked them off after that”.
The other game in the Northern Division between Skelmersdale United and Brighouse was an excellent watch for the neutral, with both sides creating multiple chances that could have seen the result go either way. Skem were the ones who saw the result out though and claimed the points with a 1-0 win thanks to a goal from Gerrard Traynor in the second half. Skelmersdale United’s centre back pairing of Danny Feeley and Nathan Carnell were excellent throughout the game and Carnell’s performance earned him the title of #PlayerOfTheWeek for #MatchweekFour.
Stafford Rangers remain at the top of the Midlands Division after winning their third game in a row and maintaining a 100% record at the start of the season. They travelled to Belper Town who were looking to get their first points of the season, but Stafford’s powerful attacking threats were too much for Belper and the visitors scored three goals in each half to finish the game 1-6 winners. Stafford have been in great form early on this season and have been a force going forward, scoring 12 goals in their first three games. Mickleover (Red) were also in action this week and after not having a game on #MatchweekOne they are making up for lost time with another big win. This week it was Carlton town who fell at the hands of a very strong Mickleover (Red) side who won 6-0, which keeps them in second place behind Stafford Rangers. The other game in the Midlands Division saw Mickleover (Black) travel to Rushall Olympic (Amber). Before Thursdays game, both of these teams were sandwiched in the middle of the table on three points each from two games. After a 2-0 win though, Rushall Olympic (Amber) moved level on six points with Mickleover (Black). The sides were drawing 0-0 at half time but Tyreece Hall broke the deadlock just seconds into the first half.
In the Southern Division, Chesham United extended their winning run to three games and still sit at the top of the Division after a 3-0 home win against Frome Town. A professional and measured performance by the Generals meant they are still three points clear at the top of the table and goals from Madison Wilkin (fifth of the season), Ryan Scrivens and George Blanks sealed the win. Having not played in #MatchweekOne, Yate Town are trying to put early pressure on the league leaders and won their second match from as many games with a 0-3 win over Swindon Supermarine. The top two teams will face each other in #MatchweekFive and #MatchweekSix which could decide who is in the top spot at Christmas. Rushall Olympic (Black) got their first points of the season on Thursday when they travelled down to Kidlington and won 1-2. Jantay Wellington and Trafford Woolery were on the score sheet for Rushall Olympic and Kidlington scored through a Steven Soares penalty. The Greens were also looking for their first points of the season too and will go to Frome Town in #MatchweekFive hoping to get some points on the board.
Team of the Week
With 16 teams in action during #MatchweekFour, there was massive competition for places in #TeamOfTheWeek. Congratulations to all the students that were nominated by their coaches and selected for the Team of the Week and also a special mention to Nathan Carnell of Skelmersdale United who’s heroics at the back meant his side kept a clean sheet and earned himself the title of ‘Player of the Week!’ for #MatchweekFour.
Watch all the goals and match action from this weeks fixtures in the #MatchweekFour edition of The Highlights Show!