In another exciting week in the ESPFA, five games took place across the North Division and both sides of the cup draw. We review all the action from #MatchweekNineteen.
In the ‘Key Matchup’ this week we saw third place Brighouse Town make the journey from West Yorkshire to Derbyshire where they faced Mickleover. With the season coming to a close and the mid-table teams in the North Division still heavily congested, three points would be handy for both sides who look to seal their position in the table.
The game started at an excellent pace with both sides zipping the ball around the artificial surface well and looking to out-manoeuvre the opposition. Despite this it was a long ball that created the first chance of the game for Mickleover after a punt up the field forced the Brighouse Town keeper off his line. Dylan Sanghera had a chance to poke the ball home but some instinctive defending from Sam Brearley allowed him to clear the ball.
It was Mickleover that landed the first significant blow after Conley Bowman found the top corner from outside the area. Some nice link up play from the Mickleover midfield allowed Bowman to cut inside on his right foot and get off his perfect shot that left the Brighouse Town keeper with no chance.
Brighouse wasted no time to get back into the game and levelled things up just two minutes after going behind. After Brook Schofield won the ball back in midfield, Ethan Donkersley found himself one v one against the Mickleover full-back. He twisted and turned and managed to get his shot off outside the box which beat the Mickleover keeper at his near post. Before the end of the second-half, Charlie Price went close for Mickleover after his free-kick rattled the cross bar but at half-time it was honours even.
In the second-half, Brighouse thought they got the go-ahead goal when Eliel Zouogbo turned the ball goalward from a corner and both Sam Brearley and Elliot Haigh had close range efforts that were somehow kept out by the Mickleover keeper. The Brighouse Town players were convinced the ball had crossed the line, but the referee indicated no goal.
The visitors were made to rue the missed chance when Connor Power put Mickleover ahead on 60 minutes. The Mickleover midfielder picked the ball up inside Brighouse Town’s half and drove at the heart of the defence before unleashing a curling shot from outside the area which caught out the Brighouse keeper.
Brighouse Town thought they had an equaliser after Elliot Haigh had the ball in the back of the net after an excellent cross from the right wing, but the linesman’s flag was up, and it was ruled out for offside. That wasn’t the last of the late drama though, and Brighouse did manage to find an equaliser in the last minute of the game. A free kick lofted into the Mickleover penalty area wasn’t dealt with and Bobby Hamer lashed home a volley at the back stick to earn his side a point. FT: 2-2.
After the game, #ESPFAWestYorkshire student and Brighouse Town Elliot Haigh said that despite the late drama, his team could’ve performed better. He said: “We think we could’ve been better. We could’ve been more creative, but we don’t give in. We battled till the end and obviously Bobby got not just the equalising goal but his first goal which he definitely deserved as he was outstanding today.”
Depsite only picking up a point, #ESPFADerbyshire student and Mickleover academy captain Chipego Hemonga thought his team did do lots of things well: “We moved the ball around well, we supported our players in certain areas and managed to get out of tight situations. We used the ball well and scoring twice early on was good for us but obviously we were unfortunate to concede as well.”
In the other game in the North Division, Runcorn Linnets made the short journey to Witton Albion and extended their winning run ten games after a 3-6 victory. A Lucas Wilson hattrick and goals from Layton Lee, Adam Moseley and Jake Parker was enough to seal the victory for Runcorn Linnets despite a brace from Isaac Shaw and Josh Butler chipping in with his first goal of the season.
In the only game from the North Cup, Ossett United kicked off their campaign with a 3-0 win over Belper Town. Sam Hellawell, Josh Clasper and Alex Taylor all found the back of the net in a result that will anger Belper Town. They started their cup campaign well with a win over Mickleover but have dropped out of the top four since then.
Rushall Olympic (Amber) also started their cup run off with an impressive 3-0 win over Yate Town. Whilst Rushall Olympic (Amber) remain at the top of the South Division, this cup result will give them a lot of confidence going into their must win game against Yate Town in #MatchweekTwenty
Chesham United visited Rushall Olympic (Black) and remain unbeaten in the cup competition after a 2-4 win. After an exhilarating first-half where five goals were scored, Chesham United settled the game down and put it to bed in the second half. This puts the #ESPFABuckinghamshire side in a positive position atop of the South Cup table.
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 #ESPFABuckinghamshire student Joe Voss who was chosen as the #PlayerOfTheWeek for #MatchweekNineteen for his excellent performance in the South Cup for Chesham united.
The Highlights Show
You can catch all of #MatchweekNineteen’s goals and match highlights in this week’s edition of The Highlights Show.