What a feeling it was to finally have football return and see the teams back out on the pitch. In the first round of fixtures of 2021, we had a brilliant match week with 12 teams in action.
In the Northern Division, Mossley had their unbeaten run ended and were knocked off top spot in the table after losing 3-0 to Ossett United. ‘The Sheepicorns’ had the game wrapped up by half-time as all their goals came before the break. A win for Ossett jumps them into first place, just one point ahead of Mossley. In the other game in the Northern Division, Witton Albion won their first game of the season in dramatic fashion over Radcliffe. Witton lead the game at the break but an equaliser from Aidan Tustin all but decided the fate of the game. That was until Jay Ellis scored in the 90th minute of the game to secure the three point’s for Witton who won 2-1. They may still remain at the bottom of the Northern Division, but things are heating up down there with Radcliffe and Brighouse only sitting one point ahead of them.
In the ‘Key Matchup’ of the week, Carlton Town travelled to Belper Town in search of their second win of the season, whereas Belper were still looking to get their first points of the season on the board. It was the visitors who started the game on top, controlling the tempo of the game with some slick passing by their midfield trio. They took the lead in the first half thanks to a cute finish from Kyle Fawsitt and then doubled their lead after the break, through a brilliantly placed free kick by Eathan Stanley. Belper town grabbed one back after George Shaw poked the ball home after a goal-line scramble but the Carlton skipper, Dan Flint iced the game with 20 minutes to go after catching the keeper off his line and fired the ball home from near the half-way line to wrap up a professional 1-3 victory.
In his post match interview, Carlton Town student Eathan Stanley was glad to be back on the pitch and pleased to start off 2021 with a win. He said: "It was a tough game and we played quite well. It was good to get back on the pitch, we've trained hard so It was a good performance. We had control of the game and they didn't make any chances or have any real threats in the first-half so we had to keep going and stay strong at the back."
The other game in the Midlands Division saw second place Rushall Olympic (Amber) host fourth place Mickleover (Red). The visitors managed to secure their first win since the opening day of the season, back in October, with a 2-3 victory thanks to a brace from Emilio De Abreu. This win means Mickleover (Red) hold off Carlton Town for fourth spot after their win against Belper Town while Rushall Olympic (Amber) remain three points off the league leaders Stafford Rangers, who now have a game in hand over ‘The Pics’.
The Southern Division got back into the swing of things in an exciting fashion. Kidlington made it three wins from their last three games after beating Swindon Supermarine 4-2 at home. Four different goal scorers found the net for Kidlington and a solid gritty performance keeps them level on points with Yate Town ahead of them in second place and just three points behind the league leaders Chesham United while Swindon Supermarine remain in fifth place. The other game in the Southern Division saw Yate Town put in a ruthless performance as they beat Frome Town 7-0. Sam Archer netted a hat trick and Ali Albouti scored a brace as they got back to winning ways. Three points for Yate Town means they keep Kidlington off the second spot and close the gap at the top of the table with Chesham United to just three points.