The first week of fixtures has concluded and the ESPFA season is back with a bang, as 36 goals were scored in the six games played.
In the North Division, a promising Witton Albion side who are determined to improve on their league finish from last year faced a solid Ossett United side who came second in the North Division last season. Witton started the game like a house on fire and found themselves two goals up within 10 minutes, thanks to a lovely strike on the half-volley by Isaac Shaw and a back post tap in from Zach Billinge that was put on a plate for him by Zach Williams. Ossett managed to claw one back before half-time, through a peach of a free kick from Regan Dixon that nestled into the top corner. After the break the game was wide open, with both teams pushing for another goal but it was Ossett United that scored the all-important fourth goal of the game to tie things up at 2-2 with 20 minutes to play. Witton thought they had won the game in the 90th minute after the substitute Keegan Porter found the back of the net after a spilled cross fell at his feet. The Witton Albion sideline was in ecstasy until realising the linesman had flagged for offside and the game ended in a draw.
Brighouse Town got their 2021/22 campaign off to a great start after beating the current ESPFA National Champions, Mickleover 3-1. The visitors found themselves ahead after 30 minutes courtesy of a Brighouse own goal, but that lead was soon lost after Brook Schofield converted a free kick from 25 yards. Late on in the second half, Schofield added to his tally with another 20-yard screamer and gave Brighouse the lead before Ethan Donkersley sealed the victory for the home side. The final game of the North Division came from Belper Town who faced the reigning North Division champions, Runcorn Linnets. Despite taking the lead early in the game, Runcorn scored three goals in quick succession to go into the break 3-1 up. Belper pegged one back to start the second half but after a rallying team talk from the Runcorn coach, they began to flex their might and scored six goals to seal the deal and claim all three points.
In the South Division, the current champions Chesham United continued their impressive league form from last season and started the new campaign with a 1-0 over Rushall Olympic (Black). The game was a tight contest for the full 90-minutes and neither side could get a real grip of the game. It was a second half penalty that separated the teams and gave Chesham a 1-0 victory and their first points of the season. Rushall Olympic (Amber) proved too strong for Carlton Town who were playing their first game in the South Division. Tyrese Hall found the back of the net four times to help his side to a 0-9 victory and get Rushall Olympic (Amber) off to a flyer whilst also earning himself the title of #PlayerOfTheWeek for #MatchweekOne. Kidlington also started their campaign with a high scoring victory over Yate Town. The Greens started the game the much brighter team and went into the break 3-0 up. They continued their solid display in defence and proved clinical in attack to finish the game as 6-1 victors.
Team of the Week
The #TeamOfTheWeek returns this season and with so many excellent performances from both divisions, choosing this week’s team was not an easy task. Congratulations to the students that made it into this week’s #TeamOfTheWeek and a special mention goes to #ESPFAWestMidlands (Rushall Olympic (Amber)) student Tyrese Hall, who’s brilliant display centre forward play, including four goals earned him the title of #PlayerOfTheWeek.
The Highlights Show
Watch all the goals and match highlights from #MatchweekOne on The Highlights Show. With the teams back in action for the first fixtures of the season, this week’s edition is one not to be missed!