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THE REVIEW - Matchweek Five

#MatchweekFive saw a couple of inter-club derbies in another exciting week of football in the ESPFA.



Two teams in the North division with 100% records continued their fine starts to the season with two convincing home wins.


ESPFA Lancashire (Skelmersdale United) took the lead through Calvin Haddock who looked to beat the offside trap with both teams stopping, however Haddock played until the whistle and slotted the ball in the bottom corner and after deliberation between the referee and his assistant, the goal was given.


The second goal was a carbon copy, ESPFA West Yorkshire's (Brighouse Town) defence played a high line and Haddock beat the offside trap once again to race ahead and double his sides lead.


There were similarities for the third goal with that man Haddock again being played through for a one on one with the goalkeeper and the striker won the dual rounding the stopper to slot away for his hat-trick.


The confidence was brimming in Haddock who scored a delightful fourth, skipping past three defenders on the wing before finishing smartly.


Dominic Evans extended his sides lead not long after and the lead was extended further when neat footwork from Owen Wynne added goal six to the tally. The win was sealed in fortunate circumstances when Evans secured his brace when his shot rebounded off the post and the goalkeeper.


That win kept ESPFA Lancashire's (Skelmersdale United) 100% record going and put pressure on ESPFA Cheshire (Witton Albion) to do the same.


The visitors ESPFA West Yorkshire (Ossett United) had other ideas and Bobby Isbell in particular who's sweet strike gave the Sheepicorn's an early lead.


Captain Isaac Shaw brought his side level with a sweetly struck penalty before the visitors took the lead again when Sam Hellawell was left alone in the box for a free header to restore the lead.


Top goalscorer Zach Billinge equalised soon after and the home had chances to take the lead for the first time with several chances before the break.


They did take the lead not long after half time when skipper Shaw's first time shot trickled into the far corner and then a further two goals in six minutes put the game beyond doubt. Firstly a Zach Williams header from a corner before Billinge's penalty secured the Red and White's perfect start to the season.


In the final game of the North division, ESPFA Greater Manchester (Mossley AFC) picked up an impressive three points against ESPFA Cheshire (Runcorn Linnets).


It was the away side who struck first when William Faulkner played a headed one-two with the post to nod home the opener.


Shukuru Abemba raced through and showed great control to equalise for the hosts and in the second half it was deja vu this time gaining a fortunate deflection to fire the ball past the visiting goalkeeper.


The Linnets pushed hard for the equaliser but the Lillywhites held on for an important three points.


In the Midlands division, there were two sets of inter-club derbies with hat-tricks being the difference in both games. In the West Midlands, Amber beat Black at Rushall Olympic.


Mattaeus Morgan's hat-trick raced his Amber side into a three goal lead. Firstly with two neat finishes inside the box before a rocket of a free kick from 30 yards.


Josh Langley struck a sweet penalty to extend the lead shortly before the break. Ellias Nianzou reacted quickly for the second consecutive game to grab his side's fifth and Giovanni Lwando wrapped the game up with a close range finish.


Credit to the younger Black team who got themselves back into the game, with two superb strikes. First from Harrison Walker from 25 yards and then from hotshot Lee Mayne from 30.


In Derbyshire, Mickleover Red hosted Black and just like in the West Midlands, it was the hat-trick once again of Chris Bitshuangu that was the difference.


Nehemie Israel gave the 'visitors' the lead with an unstoppable strike in the first half before ESPFA top goalscorer Bitshuangu showed speed, strength and skill to double his sides lead soon after the break.


His second of his three goal haul showed another attribute of his abilities with a 25 yard power driver but the goal of the game came from the hosts when Charlie Price replicated a 'Zola' with a brilliant first time flick.


Any hope of a comeback was soon put to bed by Bitshuangu who secured his second hat-trick of the season with a strike from the edge of the box.



Divisional leaders ESPFA Derbyshire (Belper Town) extended their lead at the top with a five star victory over ESPFA Nottinghamshire (Carlton Town). Jack Heath chipped his side in the lead early on from 25 yards.


Dylan Tomlinson took advantage of a refereeing advantage when the ball fell to him to sweetly strike off the underside of the bar.


In the second half, Samie Naqvi scored the goal of the week, his quick thinking allowed him to control the ball with his chest and volley the ball over the visiting goalkeeper. Two penalties took the game beyond doubt, firstly Charlie Waterfall reacted quickest to a Cagen Goddard save but he could not get near Leighton Thomas's effort soon after.


League Tables after Matchweek Five



Post Match Interviews



Team of the Week - #MatchweekFive


Congratulations to all students who've made it into the ESPFA #TeamOfTheWeek.

Special mention to #ESPFALancashire student Calvin Haddock who was named as the #PlayerOfTheWeek after his four goal haul helped his team (Skelmersdale United) to three points and maintain their 100% record.



The Highlights Show


You can catch all the North and Midlands Division goals and match highlights in #MatchweekFive edition of The Highlights Show.



Team lineups (scroll left)



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