As the league winds down for Christmas, we have one more week of fixtures left before the holiday break and the first term of the academic year is in the books. We preview all the games from #MatchweekSix, including this week’s ‘Key Matchup’ between Mossley and Brighouse Town, a rematch of the two top teams in the Southern division, Yate Town and Chesham United and also Carlton Towns search for back-to-back wins in the Midlands Division.
As mentioned, this weeks ‘Key Matchup’ comes from the Northern Division, where Brighouse Town make the short trip down the M62 to Mossley. Brighouse will be excited to get back out on to the pitch and try and earn some more points before Christmas after tasting victory for the first time this season, in last week’s game against Ossett United. Mossley will be no push overs though, as they are one of only two teams in the division yet to lose a game.
Despite getting their first win of the season last week, Brighouse Town academy manager, Simon Ward believes that first victory has been long overdue. He said: “To be honest it’s been coming. The performances have been good. The first game with Ossett was never a 0-2 game with the second coming late on against the run of play after we spurned big chances, we were 2-0 up against Mossley at half time and threw it away for a point, and we were excellent against Skem away where we felt aggrieved not to get a point having one cleared off the line late on. So, it wasn’t a surprise we won as it has been coming.”
Simon also thinks his sides performances have lifted over the past few weeks and hopes to maintain that improvement this week. He said: “We’ve gone from 64% pass completion to 78% in the last two games, with our shot accuracy reaching a high of 70%, and we have also seen a large reduction in shots and crosses faced so we think we are improving every week defensively, and offensively, and this week we hope will be no different”.
The two teams have already faced each other this season in #MatchweekTwo, with neither team able to gain an edge and the game ended in a 2-2 draw. Brighouse went two goals up in the first half but conceded two late goals and missed out on three points. Brighouse Town student James Tetley thinks his side can get the victory this time around. He said: 100% I think we have what it takes to beat Mossley, the last time we played them we should have put more chances away and we were punished for that, but this week in training we have identified their weaknesses and I feel we can beat them.”
Radcliffe v Ossett United
After having their game in #MatchweekFour postponed and having no game scheduled for #MatchweekFive, Radcliffe will be stepping on the pitch for the first time since October. With a win, a draw and a loss under their belt it has been a mixed start to the season for the Greater Manchester side, but they will be hoping to add another mark in the win column when Ossett United visit tomorrow. Ossett United started the season brilliantly, with two wins from two games but they lost their unbeaten run last week after a 0-2 defeat to Brighouse Town.
Belper Town v Rushall Olympic (Amber)
Still in search of their first points of the season, The Nailers welcome Rushall Olympic (Amber) to Christchurch Meadow. Currently in third place in the division having drawn 1-1 last week with division leaders Stafford Rangers, Rushall will need three points if they are to keep on the heels of the Staffordshire side.
Carlton Town v Mickleover (Red)
Carlton Town will be high in confidence having got their first win of the season last week against Mickleover (Red) thanks to a last-minute goal by Kyle Fawsitt. Carlton will have one eye on the Stafford Rangers v Mickleover (Black) game, knowing a win on Thursday could take them above Mickleover (Black) in the table. Mickleover (Red) face Carlton this week who will be looking to keep up their phenomenal start to the season and keep their 100% record intact. The Derbyshire side have been free scoring so far, finding the back of the net 19 times and are yet to concede.
Stafford Rangers v Mickleover (Black)
The Midlands Division leaders, Stafford Rangers dropped points for the first time this season last week, as they were held to 1-1 draw with Rushall Olympic (Amber). They host Mickleover (Black) who haven’t been able to hit the heights that their fellow cohort, Mickleover (Red) have and sit in fifth place in the division, on three points.
Yate Town v Chesham United
The two top teams in the Southern Division go head-to-head for the second week in a row as Chesham United travel to Yate Town. The two sides met in the reverse fixture last week, with Chesham United taking the points with a 3-1 win. Chesham scored right before half time last week, which tipped the game in their favour and Yate Town will be hoping to make a better start and grab a victory that will keep up the pressure on the league leaders. A win for Chesham tomorrow will see them go to five wins from five games.
Swindon Supermarine v Rushall Olympic (Black)
With neither side in action on #MatchweekFive, the teams should be well rested ahead of this Southern Division Clash. Both Swindon and Rushall are two out of three teams’ level on three points so a win for either side would be healthy for the league position at Christmas. Swindon have faced a mixed bag of results this year having beaten Frome Town 1-5 in #MatchweekOne but also losing 0-3 to Yate Town. Rushall Olympic (Black) got their first points of the season in #MatchweekFour with a win against Kidlington and will now look to kick on before Christmas.
Kidlington v Frome Town
Another repeated fixture from last week as Frome Town travel to Kidlington after they were beaten 0-2 last week by the greens. A first win of the season for Kidlington will have lifted the spirits in the Greens camp. In what should be a competitive game, Frome will also be looking to land their first win of the season.