Another set of fixtures is upon us and even though the temperature is getting colder, the regional divisions are only hotting up! We preview all six of the fixtures in #MatchweekEight
Kidlington v Chesham United
The South Division brings up the ‘Key Matchup’ for this week as Chesham United travel to Kidlington. Kidlington have been knocking on the door all season and remain in second place behind Rushall Olympic (Black). They are level on points with the #ESPFAWestMidlands side, but Rushall still have a game in hand on Kidlington as well as a superior goal difference. A win for Kidlington is imperative if they want to still be in contention for the top spot around Christmas time. Chesham United on the other hand have had a lot of good performances so far this campaign but have struggled to turn them into results like they did last year. The #ESPFABuckinghamshire team sit in fifth place in the division with Frome Town breathing down their necks behind them.
Chesham have struggled of late with putting teams to bed when they have found themselves up in games and have drawn three out of their last four fixtures. #ESPFABuckinghamshire student and Chesham Town player, Dan Hosier believes his side have played well in the last few weeks, but individual errors have let them down. He said: “In those 3 games which we’ve drawn I felt that we have let ourselves down due to mistakes leading to goals sloppiness. In spells we played well throughout those games however we know we must do it for the full 90 minutes to get the results we need to push us up the table.” He also stressed that the quality in the squad is good enough to come away with the win on Thursday and his side are raring to get back on the pitch. “Thursday’s game is massive if we want to climb the table so we will all be up for it and hopefully come away from the game with 3 points. As a collective we feel that we have the quality to win games just mistakes and lack of fitness have let us down so we’ve worked on our fitness so hopefully we can close out games as well as we start them.”
In the Kidlington camp, the feeling is that Thursday’s fixture is a big game due to the implications it may have on the divisional standings, but they will be preparing for the game in their usual manner. #ESPFAOxfordshire student Archie Pepper said: “we all know this match is essential for the league with Rushall Olympic (Amber)’s current form however, we’re approaching this match with high confidence and intensity as normal.” In the last meeting between these two sides, Kidlington won a close, competitive game 0-1. Despite the result, Pepper believes the score line didn’t reflect Kidlington’s performance on the day, and it could have been more. He said: “Whilst the game was only 1-0, we believe it should’ve been much more if we’d have taken our chances and we’ll look to keep our run of form up on Thursday and put a few past them.”
Despite Kidlington having not played since they last faced Chesham United on the 4th of November, the side have been putting in the hard yards before their fixture tomorrow. The #ESPFAOxfordshire coach, Redd Pratley said: “We have not worked on too many specific things during the two weeks off and instead just kept the boys ticking over. This has seemed to have a positive effect on the boys as they have come back this week with a great attitude to work really hard ahead of this week’s game.”
Ossett United v Belper Town
Ossett United have enjoyed some good form of recent weeks, winning their last two fixtures. The #ESPFAWestYorkshire side will be relishing the opportunity to make increase that to three wins but their opponents, Belper Town, will have some confidence of their own after drawing with Mickleover last week.
Runcorn Linnets v Mickleover
The current North Division leaders are back in action this week as they welcome Mickleover. In the last meeting between these two sides, Runcorn flexed their might and won the fixture 2-5 in #MatchweekSix. The Mickleover side were disappointed with dropping points last week against their #ESPFADerbyshire rivals Belper Town so will be motivated to get back to winning ways and make a statement against the division leaders.
Witton Albion v Brighouse Town
When these two teams last met in October, Brighouse Town romped out to a 4-0 lead at half-time and looked to be more than in control of the game. After the break, Witton Albion looked like a completely different team and managed to win the second half 0-2. After the visitors slipped up last week against Ossett United, Witton Albion will be hoping to repeat their second half performance and snatch their first victory of the season. Brighouse Town on the other hand will know three points are necessity if they are to keep up with Runcorn at the top of the league.
Yate Town v Rushall Olympic (Black)
Yate Town welcome Rushall Olympic (Black) to Lodge Road where they will be hoping to extend their unbeaten run to five games. The #ESPFASouthGloucestershire side haven’t lost since their opening day 6-1 defeat to Kidlington and can move ahead of ‘The Greens’ if they lose to Chesham United. Rushall Olympic (Black) head into this fixture off the back of two wins and will move above Yate Town in the table if they avoid defeat tomorrow.
Rushall Olympic (Amber) v Carlton Town
Rushall Olympic (Amber) have topped the South Division all season and will be hoping to continue their unbeaten run tomorrow against Carlton Town. The hosts will have one eye on Kidlington’s result knowing anything less than a win could mean The Greens can catch them but having already beaten Carlton in #MatchweekOne, Rushall Olympic (Amber) will be confident tomorrow. The visitors will have a lease of life heading into the game tomorrow after picking up their first point of the campaign and will hope to build on their efforts last week.