Another brilliant week in the ESPFA saw new leaders in the North Division and Rushall Olympic (Black) pick up their first win of the season to climb up the South Division.
In the North Division, Runcorn Linnets got back to the top of the table with a convincing 7-1 victory over Ossett United. It was the visitors that took the lead through Jack Hepworth, who turned home a corner that Runcorn failed to clear. Going behind seemed to be the shock that the home side needed and from then on, they dominated most of the game. Kai Philpott scored twice, as did Alex Kenamuinjo from right-back. This win meant that Runcorn match Brighouse Town’s impressive start and move to four wins from four games but have a much healthier goal difference. In the other game from the North Division, Witton Albion travelled to Skelmersdale United still searching for their first win of the season. Unfortunately for Witton, they could only muster a point, with the game finishing 2-2. Skelmersdale United took the lead in the game after 10 minutes but then found themselves going into the break 1-2 down after a first half double from Dan Williams. In a closely competitive fixture, both sides had chances to score in the second half but it was Skelmersdale United who found the equaliser after Adam Donohue converted a penalty on 60 minutes. A point was enough to move Skelmersdale United into third place above Mickelover whereas Witton Albion remain in fifth place.
In the ‘Key Matchup’ and the only game in the South Division this week, Carlton Town travelled to Rushall Olympic (Black) in a fixture where both sides were hoping to get their first win of the campaign. Rushall Olympic (Black) took the points on this occasion to propel them up the table into fifth with a 2-1 victory. Carlton Town opened the scoring after two minutes through Tiago Mata, but Ash Bucknell scored around the 25-minute mark to erase the deficit. In the second half, Rushall Olympic (Black) had most of the possession and most of the chances, but Carlton Town stood firm and were defending well until a mix up at the back lead to Elias Myers slotting the ball home into an empty net. Late on in the second half, Carlton Town were knocking on the door and pushing for an equaliser. They had two real chances in the closing moments to level things up and even hit the bar in the 90th minute. After the game, Rushall Olympic (Black) student, Jack McDermott was pleased with his team’s performance. He said: “We were good today. We were aggressive, played well continuously and deserved the win.” Hammad Arif, the Carlton Town academy captain wasn’t too impressed with the way his side played but has seen an improvement over recent weeks. He said: “We weren’t good enough. We’ve improved over the last few games but we’re still not there yet. At the end the pressure was all on them, we were so close, but it wasn’t meant to be.”
Listen to the full post-match interviews below.
Team of the Week - #MatchweekFive
Congratulations to all the students who made it into this week’s #TeamOfTheWeek and also a special mention to #ESPFAWestMidlands student Joe Millward, who’s great performance in the sticks for Rushall Olympic (Black)’s victory against Carlton and was also named as the #PlayerOfTheWeek.
The Highlights Show
You can catch all of #MatchweekFive’s goals and match highlights in this week’s edition of The Highlights Show.