Updated: Oct 15
The ESPFA season is well underway and with some teams playing three games, the early front runners have emerged. We preview the up-and-coming fixtures for #MatchweekFour.
Brighouse Town v Witton Albion
#MatchweekFour’s ‘Key Matchup’ comes from the North Division where Witton Albion make the trip up the M62 to face Brighouse Town.
The home side have been in fine form this season, winning all three of their matches so far and sit in second place in the division. If they avoid defeat tomorrow, Brighouse Town will leapfrog Runcorn Linnets and sit solely on top of the division, with Runcorn not having a game scheduled in #MatchweekFour.
The West Yorkshire side have had success on and off the pitch so far this season. Not only are they unbeaten in the league and won three games out of three, but they are seeing progress in the classroom as well. Simon Ward, the Brighouse Town academy coach said: "Our success off the pitch so far is bigger bonus to us with regards to attendance records and assignment completion. We’ve worked extremely hard on creating an environment and atmosphere, which of course is helped by winning games, but the team has such a fantastic togetherness this year and it’s amazing to see the group grow as people and friends."
Brighouse Town's academy captain, Sam Brearley has been impressed with his teams start but isn't getting carried away with their fine record. He said: "I believe our strong work rate & good team play have contributed to our good results so far. We will continue to train in the same way we do each week & treat every game with the same respect."
Witton Albion on the other hand have had a tough start to the season and go to Brighouse in search of their first win of the season. Their coach, Martyn Irvine insists the results will come and he isn’t worrying about performances just yet. “Results will come - it’s all part of the process. We had a good year in terms of recruitment and have a squad of 22 players who are all learning and developing daily… Our performances are a million miles apart from last season which is a positive. We’re not too worried about results as I say the performances, individually and collectively, are all part of the process for the player,” said Irvine.
Lewis Gibson, the Albion captain echoes what his coach says, and believes they don’t need to worry about their opponents record tomorrow. He said: “we go into the game looking at it as a time to develop personal aspects of the team and try to get the result we want. We don’t need to look at anything other than ourselves and just try to get the win… We know we have a good team when we play how we know we can, so of course we are aware of their results, but we also know that we are capable beating them.”
Mickleover v Ossett United
Mickleover picked up their first points of the season last week when they beat Witton Albion 1-3. Liam Roberts sealed the game with a 25-yard screamer worthy of winning any game. Ossett United however drew their opening game of the season to Witton Albion 1-1 and haven’t picked up any points since.
Belper Town v Skelmersdale United
Another two sides who could do with a victory here after Skelmersdale United lost to their rivals Runcorn Linnets last week and will be desperate to get back to winning ways after beating Ossett United in #MatchweekTwo. Belper Town on the other hand will be hoping they can get their first points of the season after some tough opening fixtures against Brighouse Town and Runcorn Linnets.
Kidlington v Rushall Olympic (Amber)
These two sides will be a familiar opponent after facing each other in #MatchweekTwo. Rushall Olympic (Amber) came out on top on that occasion with a 3-0 win which put them to the top of the South Division. Kidlington came back from that defeat with an impressive 4-0 over Carlton Town last week and they will now a victory against Rushall Olympic (Amber) could put them in poll position.
Yate Town v Frome Town
Yate Town have had a mixed bag of results so far this year with one win, one defeat and one draw. They face Frome Town this week who kicked off their season with a win in #MatchweekThree against Rushall Olympic (Black). Yate have the extra games under their belts and will hope to use this to their advantage but if Frome Town win they can climb the table and could move into third spot depending on other results.
Rushall Olympic (Black) v Chesham United
Rushall Olympic (Black) will be hoping to use their home advantage this week to pick up their first points of the season. These two sides previously met in #MatchweekOne where Chesham United narrowly beat Rushall, with just a penalty separating the sides. Since then, Chesham haven’t won a game so they will be hoping to do an early double over the West Midlands side.