Another week filled with showers meant that five out of the eight scheduled fixtures for #MatchweekFive went ahead last week. With that being said there was all the usual drama in the NPLFA with new leaders in the JOMA Division and a shakeup in the Sports Traider division.
In the Joma division, Mickelover Sports move to the top of the table after an emphatic 8-0 away win against last week’s leaders, Leek Town, thanks to braces from Jack Thatcher, Taylor Smith and Charlie Harrison. Belper Town went level on points with Mickleover Sports after a hat-trick from Cody Evans helped them to a 5-0 win against Mossley. Evans’s perfomrances in #MatchweekFive earnt him the title of ‘Player of the Week!’. After a run of games being postponed, Stafford Rangers were in action on Wednesday and continued to impress with a 3-0 win over Carlton Town.
In the Sports Traider division, just two games survived the downpours. League leaders Widnes were in action in an early kick off at home to Brighouse Town that ended 0-0. Widnes dropped their first points of the season but still sit at the top of the league and Brighouse pick up their first points of the season, having played just two games. In the other game that went ahead in the Sports Traider division, Skelmersdale United move into second place after beating Belper Town 4-2, with Jordan Dainty scoring twice.
#MatchweekFive saw a cluster of high scoring games and multiple clean sheets. Also, with one hat-trick being scored and four different players scoring two goals, picking this week’s #TeamOfTheWeek was no easy task. Congratulations to Cody Evans who was named ‘Player of the Week!’ after scoring a hat-trick in Belper Town’s 5-0 win over Mossley and well done to everyone that was nominated by their coaches and selected in the #TeamOfTheWeek.
As more fixtures are played and the table starts to take shape, there is added drama to each fixture. With that being said, this week’s addition of the Highlights Show makes for some top quality viewing. Keep an eye out for Jordan Dainty’s brilliant goal that was named Goal of the Week for #MatchweekFive.
The Game Review of the Week for #MatchweekFive comes from the Joma Division matchup between Carlton Town v Stafford Rangers. Due to the typical British weather leading to games being postponed, both of the teams involved were playing just their second fixture of the 2019/20 campaign. With Carlton Town and Stafford Rangers winning their first game, both teams looked to kick on and build some momentum.
STAFFORD RANGERS MAKE IT TWO WINS FROM TWO
With both teams suffering from postponed games in recent weeks, they were keen to make this game count and claim all three points to continue their good start to the season.
Carlton Town had the first chance of the game after they were awarded an early penalty, after a low cross from the left-hand side seemed to strike the Stafford Rangers defender on the arm. Peter Grice stepped up to take the penalty but blasted it against the cross bar and Stafford survived an early scare.
Carlton weren’t disheartened by the penalty miss and continued to push forward on the front foot. A good ball over the top from the Carlton defence found Daniel Flint. He managed to turn his defender and lay the ball off for Tanzeel Arif who was able to cut inside and get off a shot, but it was straight at the keeper.
Stafford had a chance to open the scoring on 14 minutes after Jayden Hunter was proving to be handful for the Carlton defence. A long punt down the field from Stafford’s keeper wasn’t dealt with and the bouncing ball allowed Hunter to show off his pace. Hunter got the ball under control, went past his defender and managed to get to the by-line before pulling the ball back across goal. Leon McDonald got on the end of the pull-back and got off a shot but was deflected behind for a corner.
Carlton continued getting joy out of the long ball and seemed to have a clear cut chance to take the lead after 23 minutes. Another ball over the top found Daniel Flint in full stride with no-one around him. After getting inside the penalty area he attempted to take it around the keeper but his touch was too heavy and rolled out for a goal kick.
The game started extremely open with both sides playing well and creating chances and Carlton could have been in front after half an hour. A cross from the left-hand side was headed away by the Stafford defence but only as far as Ethan Stanley who slipped in Daniel Flint on the right hand side of the box but dragged his shot wide.
Stafford nearly went up the other end and made Carlton pay for their missed chances. Another long ball up field wasn’t cleared on first attempt and McDonald was bearing down on the Carlton goal with defenders chasing back. After committing the goal keeper, he managed to square the ball to Jayden Hunter who looked to have an open net to aim for but couldn’t get the ball under control and ended up blasting his effort over the bar.
The deadlock was finally broken on 41 minutes after Jayden Hunter was played through and used his blistering pace to get away from the recovering defender. The Carlton keeper came out to close down the angle but Hunter was able to knock it past him and finish the ball from a tight angle. Carlton Town 0-1 Stafford Rangers
Stafford had a chance to double their lead just before half time. A cross from the right wing wasn’t cleared and Ollie Jarvis nicked the ball off Carltons defence. He found himself in a yard of space inside the Carlton area but his effort was smothered by the home sides keeper.
HALF TIME: Carlton Town 0-1 Stafford Rangers
The first half was an extremely entertaining and open game with both teams having chances to take the lead. Carlton started the second half the brightest and had a good chance early on in the second half after a brilliant move. Kyle Fawsitt started the move off with a superb ball to switch the play over to the right wing to find the over-lapping Jack Cockram. He got inside the Stafford box and let off a swerving shot that went just wide of the post.
Carlton had another big chance to go level after Daniel Flint’s toe poked effort was parried away from but only as far as Peter Grice who played the ball off for the late-arriving Kyle Fawsitt. His snapshot went high and wide and Stafford survive another scare.
Jayden Hunter continued to look dangerous and could have given the visitors a two goal cushion just before the 60-minute mark. A long ball over the top was seized upon by Hunter who showed off his pace once again and got into the Carlton penalty area. With two Carlton defenders chasing him down and the keeper closing him down, Hunter got his shot off but his effort was saved by the keeper.
After 75 minutes, Stafford got the all-important second goal after a wonderful free kick from Olly Jarvis. His effort from around 23-yards out was wonderfully placed, going over the wall and finishing in the bottom left hand corner. Carlton Town 0-2 Stafford Rangers
The visitors didn’t settle for the two goal lead and continued to get at Carlton on the counter attack. After a well worked move from Carlton broke down, Ethan Harris was able to pinch the ball in midfield and start the attacking move for Stafford. He carried the ball over 40 yards and even looked to have a chance to finish the move off himself after going around the keeper. He over hit his touch a little bit and got too close to the by line for a shot but was able to pull the ball back to Jayden Hunter. He made no mistake and slotted the ball home for his second goal of the game. Carlton Town 0-3 Stafford Rangers
Kyle Fawsitt nearly gave the home side a late consolation goal after some fancy footwork on the left wing. He left two defenders on the floor after taking them on and worked the ball back inside on to his right foot. He let off a powerful shot but was always rising and didn’t trouble the Stafford goal.
FULL TIME: CARLTON TOWN 0-3 STAFFORD RANGERS