After a packed fixture list last week that saw games from the North and South Divisions as well as the North and South cup, this week our attention turns solely to the divisional matchups with some exciting fixture in store.
Frome Town v Yate Town
Another South Division matchup is in the spotlight here as #ESPFASouthGloucestershire side Yate Town travel to the #ESPFASomerset hub to take on Frome Town. Currently in the league standings Frome Town sit in 6th place but have two games in hand on Chesham United, just one point above them in 5th. Yate Town however are sitting pretty in 4th place with eight points but have a whopping 3 games in hand on Rushall Olympic (Black) above them on 13 points. These sides are well matched and will have an idea on how one another will set up after meeting in the South Cup on the 16th of December.
Despite Frome Towns position in the division, they have played the fewest games and are desperate to get back out on to the pitch playing competitive games. The #ESPFASomerset coach, Leah Poole said: “Training is great, but you can’t beat competition and matches. It gives players the opportunity to show what they have learnt in training. It brings the squad together and really motivates them. There is nothing better than taking 3 points after a hard-fought battle on the grass.” The Frome Town side are also hoping to kickstart a consistent run of games starting tomorrow and string some results together to move up the table. “It’s hard to stay motivated when we have played so few games compared with other teams. We lose momentum and match sharpness. But as a squad we don’t feel our position in the table reflects where we should be. We need to make the games in hand pay and start showing the other teams what we are capable of by putting a run together which hopefully we can start to do now,” said Poole.
Yate Town are also playing their first Divisional game of the new year but have had a cup game to get back into the swing of things in #MatchweekTwelve. They have been solid in defence of late and kept two clean sheets in their last two matches. This is something the #ESPFASouthGloucestershire coach Lewis Burden has been very pleased with. He said: “In recent games we have taken a lot of pride in defending well, which has resulted in a couple of clean sheets on the bounce. This being our foundation mirrored with some talented attacking outlets, we are confident to get a result from the game.” Despite this, Burden is aware of the threat that Frome Town pose and is hoping to take this strong recent defensive form in to the match tomorrow. He said: “We know that they have some very capable players, however we have done extremely well to nullify their threats in the previous 2 fixtures and we’re confident that we’re going to do this again.”
Runcorn Linnets v Brighouse Town
Runcorn Linnets have been mightily impressive this year, winning all eight of their North Division fixtures so far. A win tomorrow will put one hand on the trophy for the #ESPFACheshire side, but Brighouse Town will be no push overs. The #ESPFAWestYorkshire team have only lost one game in the North Division this year, which was at the hands of Runcorn Linnets. Brighouse will be desperate to hand Runcorn Linnets their first loss and keep the title race alive.
Witton Albion v Belper Town
Both teams go into this game looking for their first win in the division and gain a bit of distance from one another at the bottom of the North Division. Belper Town will be revitalised after an impressive 3-1 victory over Mickleover in the cup last week which is the first time they have tasted victory. Witton on the other hand have had some good performances this season but are yet to convert one into a win, having drawn the most games out of any team in the division.
Carlton Town v Kidlington
After Rushall Olympic (Amber) lost last week, Kidlington find themselves right in the mix of title charge in the second half of the season and have an identical record to the league leaders (P7, W5, D1, L1). A win here would keep up the pressure on Rushall Olympic (Amber) at the top. Carlton Town are still searching for their first win of the campaign but do have the ‘Player of the Month’ for November/December at their disposal in Khai Smith who will look to cause the Kidlington defence problems.
Rushall Olympic (Amber) v Chesham United
Hoping to put last week’s defeat behind them and put on a solid performance, Rushall Olympic (Amber) host Chesham this week. Despite the loss in #MatchweekTwelve, Rushall Olympic (Amber) remain at the top of the division due to a mightily impressive goal difference. Chesham United haven’t played a divisional game since November, so they will be raring to get off to a good start in 2021 with a win. They played out a stalemate 0-0 in the South Cup last week against Yate Town so have a solid base to build from.