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MATCHWEEK NINE – THURSDAY PREVIEW

With another eight games still to play on Thursday, the ESPFA season is starting to draw to a close. In the Northern Division, with Ossett United not playing until next week, Runcorn Linnets can extend their lead at the top of the table to four points. In the Midlands Division, with Stafford Rangers not playing until the 13th of May, Mickleover (Red) can close the gap on them and in the Southern Division, Chesham United look to win their eighth game in a row.



Key Matchup

Carlton Town v Mickleover (Red)


The Midlands Division hosts this week’s key matchup where Carlton Town face Mickleover (Red).


Carlton Town have played two tough games in a row against division leaders Stafford Rangers since beating Belper Town in their first game back on 12th April and will be hoping to get back to winning ways on Thursday. A win would be vitally important for their standings in the division as they could catch Mickleover (Black) on nine points despite having played three less games than the Derbyshire side.


Mickleover (Red) on the other hand have been in fine form since they lost to Stafford Rangers on the 15th of April, winning all three of their games since then and scoring 16 goals in the process. Mickleover (Red) will know if they can win their next two games, they will only be one point behind Stafford Rangers. What makes that even more significant is the top two teams play each other in the last game of the Midlands Division season, which could be a winner-take-all showdown.


Northern Division

Brighouse Town v Radcliffe


Brighouse town have enjoyed a change in form recently and have won their last two games against Witton Albion and Skelmersdale United respectively. The two recent wins have moved the west Yorkshire side up to fifth place, level on points with Skelmersdale United and Thursday’s opponents Radcliffe. The visitors travel to West Yorkshire on the back of two defeats at the hands of Ossett United and Runcorn Linnets and will be hoping to get back to their free-scoring, winning ways.


Skelmersdale United v Runcorn Linnets


These two North-West teams met on Monday in the return fixture and Skelmersdale United will b hoping they can improve on the last result as they were beaten 7-1. Runcorn Have been on an impressive run recently and have won every game since the return of football on the 12th of April. With Ossett United not playing until next week, a win here for Runcorn could open up their lead at the top of the Northern Division to four points.

Witton Albion v Mossley


Mossley will be eager to get back out on to the pitch and hope to get back to winning ways, having played just two games since football returned and only six games in total. Their form since the return hasn’t been great after Ossett United beat them twice in their two games. Witton Albion will also be hoping for win having lost three on the trot.


Midlands Division

Rushall Olympic (Amber) v Belper Town


Derbyshire side Belper Town travel to Rushall Olympic (Amber) on Thursday in search of their first win of the season. Rushall Olympic (Amber) are one of the few sides in the ESPFA to have only played two games since football returned and haven’t got off to the start they would have liked, having lost to both Mickleover (Red) and Mickleover (Black). When the sides last met in December, it was a close, cagey affair with Rushall Olympic (Amber) narrowly winning 0-1.


Southern Division

Frome Town v Chesham United

Division leaders Chesham United travel to Frome town in search of their eighth win in a row. They are the only team in all three divisions to still remain perfect and not dropped a point and three points here would almost guarantee them the title. Frome Town will know it won’t be an easy task facing this impressive Chesham team but will be motivated by their recent victory over Swindon Supermarine.


Rushall Olympic (Black) v Kidlington


In what could be a pivotal game in determining the final standings, only goal difference currently separates these two teams in third and fourth place. Kidlington go into the game ahead in third but Rushall Olympic (Black) do have the head-to-head edge after beating them 1-2 back in December.


Yate Town v Swindon Supermarine


After last weeks disappointing defeat to Chesham United, Yate Town will be eager to get back out on to the pitch and get back to winning ways. Swindon Supermarine will have a spring in their step though after they beat Kidlington in their last game out. When the sides last met in December, Yate Town won comfortably with the game finishing 0-3.

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