With most teams in the ESPFA having now started their 2021/22 season, we preview some mouth-watering fixtures in #MatchweekThree
Runcorn Linnets v Skelmersdale United
The ‘Key Matchup’ for #MatchweekThree comes from the Northwest as Runcorn Linnets look to get their third win in as many games as they host a talented Skelmersdale United side.
Skelmersdale United played their first game of the season last week and got off to a flying start against Witton Albion with a 0-4 victory away from home. Their coach, Graham Hastings enjoyed getting back out on to the pitch with his team and was delighted about the result. He said: “It was great to be back out there playing in a competitive game with the new lads, it feels like a long time since the last one. They have all fitted in well, so it was good to see them in a game. Martyn Irvine has a good bunch of lads at Witton and is a great coach, so obviously I was very pleased with the result.”
Despite their promising start last week, Hastings understands that the fixture on Thursday against Runcorn will be a tough test for his side. He said: “Runcorn are flying and are probably one of the best sides I’ve come up against in the programme They have some excellent players who could push on to 1st team football. We will just prepare as we always do and concentrate on ourselves and give it our best.”
Runcorn Linnets have had the benefit of already playing twice so far this season and are yet to drop a point, winning both of their games by convincing margins. The Runcorn Linnets coach, Steve Chaney is really happy with the quality of players he has got to work with so far this year. He said: “I’m impressed but certainly not surprised [about our strong start]. We have been fortunate in that not only have our first years from last year returned stronger and with that continued focus to succeed but the recruitment from Sam over the summer has been exceptional”
After an impressive win for Skelmersdale United last week, Chaney knows they will provide a strong challenge to his side and knows they will have to work hard to get a result from the game. “Our philosophy remains as it always has, train with real honesty to develop our weaknesses and harness our strengths. We will treat Skelmersdale United with the respect they deserve; they are a good team with a good coach, and we look forward to the challenge they will bring to the Apec Taxis Stadium Thursday.” Said Chaney.
Witton Albion v Mickleover
Witton Albion will enjoy playing their third home game in a row on Thursday but have yet to find their first win of the season following a defeat to Skelmersdale United last week and a draw in their first run out of the season against Ossett United. Mickleover will be well rested due to having no game last week and will be looking for their first win of the campaign.
Belper Town v Brighouse Town
These two sides will be familiar with each other having met in the return fixture last week in a game that finished 6-2 in favour of Brighouse Town. Despite a closely contested first half, Brighouse were able to pull away in the second and score four goals in quick succession to beat the Derbyshire side.
Chesham United v Yate Town
Chesham United will be looking to get revenge in this fixture for last week when the sides met, and Yate Town took all the points. It was a second half winner from Natalio Stella that sealed the points for Yate Town with a 2-1 victory and this week’s clash should be just as entertaining. Also, with Rushall Olympic (Amber) not playing this week, it gives both teams a chance to join them at the top of the division on six points.
Frome Town v Rushall Olympic (Black)
Frome will be desperate to get out on to the pitch this week having not played a game yet. They will face a Rushall Olympic (Black) side that narrowly lost to Chesham United in their first and only game of the season in #MatchweekOne. Expect an entertaining game with both sides raring to get their season off the ground.
Kidlington v Carlton Town
Kidlington got their season off to a flying start with a 6-1 victory against Yate Town but were humbled by a very impressive Rushall Olympic (Amber) side last week in a 3-0 defeat. Carlton Town have also felt the might of that Rushall side who beat them back in #MatchweekOne and they will make the trip to Oxfordshire in search of their first points of the season.