We were treated to a full fixture list with 12 teams in action during #MatchweekFourteen. The action continued with two teams in the North Division picking up their first win of the season and the title race in the South Division has been blown wide open.
The North Division hosted the ‘Key Matchup’ of the week with 2nd place Skelmersdale United travelling to 3rd place Brighouse Town. Both these sides have been playing catchup to Runcorn Linnets at the top of the division all season and were looking for three points to try and seal second place. A draw would result in Runcorn being crowned as the North Division Champions despite not being involved in #MatchweekFourteen.
The game started as quite a cagey affair, with both teams seeing an even amount of the ball but not creating many clear-cut chances. Skelmersdale were getting some joy on the counter attack early on with Dave Meadows winning the ball back in midfield to drive forward his team. He managed to pick out Will Green in the middle of the box but his header was put over the bar. This served as a warning for Brighouse Town but after 13 minutes, Brighouse Town were caught out again and this time Dominic Evans made no mistake and converted his chance, sliding it into the bottom corner. Brighouse Town managed to equalise before half-time through a clever finish from Ben Bentley. A free-kick was excellently held up in the Skem box by Paul Ikoe who teed up Bentley to side foot the ball home.
The second half followed the same script as the first, with both teams enjoying time on the ball without fashioning many efforts on goal. The breakthrough and eventual winner came after a slippery ball ended up at the feet of Will Green after a mix up at the back, and was gifted a chance to slot the ball home to an empty net. He obliged and Skelmersdale United won all three points right at the death.
After the game, #ESPFAWestYorkshire student and Brighouse Town academy captain, Sam Brearley said his team were unlucky to miss out on a point. “It’s obviously disappointing, it’s come from a mistake and we could have done more but overall, I think we played well over the 90 minutes and we deserved a draw at least… We moved the ball really well, quick transitions and we just couldn’t get that final goal to push us on.”
#ESPFALancashire student and Skelmersdale United player Harry Robertson admitted his side got a bit lucky with the result and his sides performance wasn’t up to their standards. He said: “In the first-half we weren’t happy, we were too sloppy on the ball and we gave it away too much and gave them too many chances. We went in at half-time and had a good talking and we came out, we knew we had to fight which we did, but we got lucky in the end to get the result.”
Also in the North Division, Belper Town picked up their first win in the division after a 3-2 victory over Ossett United. Tyrell Evans continued his good run of form and earned himself a spot in #TeamOfTheWeek for the second time in a row after scoring a brace before Fynn Marshall sealed the game with a goal in the 80th minute.
Witton Albion also recorded their first win of the season when they travelled to Mickleover and beat the hosts 2-6. Despite drawing 1-1 at half-time, an inspired substitute appearance from Dan Williams in the second half saw him score four goals and to win the game for Witton and also earn himself the title of ‘Player of the Week’ for #MatchweekFourteen.
In the South Division, Yate Town earned what could be an important point in the title race after drawing 1-1 with Rushall Olympic (Amber), who remain at the top of the division on 20 points. Kidlington, behind them in second, have 19 points but have played one less game than Rushall, meaning they have an opportunity to claim top spot in #MatchweekFifteen. In a very close game, Natalio Stella put yate ahead just after half-time but Tyrese Hall cancelled out the opener after 60 minutes with a goal of his own, taking his season tally to 20 goals.
Elsewhere, Frome Town travelled to Rushall Olympic (Black) in search of win and looking to get their campaign on a good run after having a stop-start season so far. It was a valiant effort from the visitors, who were carrying a few injuries in the squad but managed to grind out a 0-1 win thanks to a Joe Evemy-Bradley penalty kick.
Chesham United also picked up a win after a Madison Wilkin hattrick propelled them to a 1-5 victory on the road to Carlton Town. That is a much-needed win for The Generals, who recorded their first win since the opening game of the season. The three points keep them in fifth spot, just three points behind Yate Town.
Team of the week
Well done to all the students who were nominated by their coaches for this week’s edition of #TeamOfTheWeek and also a special mention to #ESPFACheshire student Dan Williams who was chosen as the #PlayerOfTheWeek for #MatchweekFourteen after he scored four goals in the second half to help his Witton Albion side to their first win of the season.
The Highlights Show
You can catch all of #MatchweekFourteen’s goals and match highlights in this week’s edition of The Highlights Show.