What a week of fixtures in the NPLFA! #MatchweekSix was filled with excitement as over 40 goals were scored in the six games that went ahead. With more games being played the tables are really starting to take shape.
In the Joma Division, Mickleover Sports beat Witton Albion 6-2 thanks to Rashaan Taylor-Anderson scoring a double and Jack Thatcher also scoring a brace. That’s also Thatcher’s fifth goal in three games and his performances in #MatchweekSix earnt him the title of ‘Player of the Week!’. Mickleover remain unbeaten in the 2019/20 season and sit at the top of the table. Stafford Rangers however keep up the pressure on Mickleover and continue their perfect start, beating Mossley 4-1 and claiming their third win out of three games.
Carlton Town came from one goal down to beat Belper Town 3-2 after Peter Grice netted twice in the second half to earn Carlton their second win of the season, moving them up to fourth place in the table.
Meanwhile, in the Sports Traider Division, Mickleover put six past Widnes to hand the top spot team their first loss of the season, beating them 6-3 away from home. Skelmersdale United took advantage of Widnes dropping points and gained some ground them, beating local rivals Runcorn Linnets 4-3 and moving just one point behind Widnes. Also, Ossett United beat Belper Town 5-3 in a thrilling game that saw 5 goals being scored in the space of 15 minutes in the first half. This eight goal thriller saw eight different goal scorers and cements Ossett United in fifth place, level on points with Mickleover Sports and Runcorn Linnets.
With an average of over six goals per game, #MatchweekSix had some incredible individual performances. Five different students scored two goals and there were over 30 different goal scorers across all fixtures! Well done to everyone that was nominated by their coaches and selected in the #TeamOfTheWeek. Also, congratulations to Jack Thatcher of Mickleover Sports whose performance in #MatchweekSix earnt him the title of ‘Player of the week!’.
A relatively dry week meant we had six fixtures go ahead in #MatchweekSix of the NPLFA season. This week’s highlights show is jam packed with goals, late drama and brilliant team performances and is a must watch!
This week’s edition of the Game Review of the Week comes from a mid-table match-up in the Sports Traider Division between Ossett United and Belper Town as both teams search for their second win of the campaign.
FIRST HALF GOAL FEST GIVES OSSETT UNITED THE EDGE
As more fixtures are played in the Sports Traider Division, the table has started to really take shape, with Widnes and Skelmersdale United hitting form early on and leading the pack out in front. Both Ossett United and Belper Town will look to keep pace with the league leaders and three points would be very useful for both sides.
On a sunny Wednesday afternoon in West Yorkshire, a very rare sight over the past few weeks, it was Belper Town who started the brightest out of the two teams. With the first real chance of the game, Jack Birkhead peeled away on to the right wing for Belper and was able to lift in an inviting cross for Jaheim Steadman who made solid contact with the header, but it sailed over the bar harmlessly.
Belper were able to cash in on their bright start thanks to a terrific solo effort from Morgan Snow on 7 minutes. He picked the ball up around 30 yards out from the Ossett United goal and stepped forward unchallenged. He let off a high-lofted effort that caught out the Ossett Keeper and nestled in the top left corner. Ossett United 0-1 Belper Town.
The visitors had the chance to extend their lead just two minutes later after another dangerous looking cross from the right hand side. The high cross caught the Ossett keeper out and Steadman nearly got his head to it directly underneath the cross bar.
Ossett United found an equaliser just after 16 minutes thanks to a towering header from Pavel Topa. Aiden Croft, the Ossett captain whipped in a brilliant ball from a free kick on the left wing towards the far post. Topa leaped like a salmon to nod the ball back across goal and into the corner past the Belper stopper. Ossett United 1-1 Belper Town.
The home side found themselves ahead just two minutes later after the Belper defence failed to clear their lines from another set piece. The ball was crossed into the danger zone from a corner and after pin-balling around, was cleared off the line by the a Belper defender. The ball wasn’t fully cleared and it bounced kindly to carl Clarkson, who was on target with his effort. Ossett United 2-1 Belper Town.
Ossett were ahead for no more than 60 seconds as Belper came back with an equaliser straight from the kick off. The ball was laid back from the kick off to Belper defender, Liam Newbold who tried to stride out from defence with the ball. He was brought down for a free kick which would be costly to Ossett. From the resulting free kick, the ball was punted into the Ossett United box and seized upon by Jack Birkhead after the ball made its way to the back post without a touch from the defence. Birkhead was able to head the bouncing ball past Jack Toronczak in the Ossett United net and level things up. Ossett United 2-2 Belper Town.
The goals continued to flow in this fixture and a crazy 10-minute period of the game was capped off with a long range effort from Harry Thornton, who put Ossett ahead on 22 minutes. After some tidy play on the right wing, James Morton played the ball inside to Harry Thornton who stepped out from the Ossett defence. He travelled forward 20 yards with the ball until he got to the edge of the opposition box with no one closing him down, almost inviting the shot. Thornton obliged and let off a low, driven effort with his left foot which found the bottom right corner. Ossett United 3-2 Belper Town.
After taking back the lead, Ossett tried to get a foot on the ball and dominate the game before the end of the first half, but Belper kept asking the question and putting the home-side under pressure. On 27 minutes, a Belper free kick on the right wing was clipped in by the trusty left foot of Belpers captain, Liam Newbold. The ball was driven to the back post where Brandon Sandercock had peeled off from his man and headed the ball back across goal, forcing a save from Toronzcak. He could only parry it to the feet of George Shaw who looked to be nailed on to score, but was denied by a last ditch tackle from the Ossett defender.
The away side had another chance to go level five minutes later through Jaheim Steadman. After a Belper counter attack broke down, the ball rolled out to the right wing where Morgan Snow was unmarked. He crossed towards the back post and the ball made it all the way through to Steadman who was denied by the diving Toronzcak.
Half time: Ossett United 3-2 Belper Town.
After a manic first half where four goals were banged in between the 17th and 22nd minute, both teams would look to steady the game and bring on substitutions to try and impact the game. This worked for all of five minutes for Belper until a perfectly placed through ball unlocked their defence. Pavel Topa was played in down the right wing and managed to outpace the recovering defender and got to the by-line. He cut the ball back across the face of goal inviting the half-time substitute, Fre Tewolde to tap home Ossett’s fourth. Ossett United 4-2 Belper Town.
Resilient as ever, and despite being two goals behind for the first time in the game, Belper skipper Liam Newbold was keen to drag his team back into the game and nearly did It single-handedly on the 62-minute mark. After Ossett conceded a free kick on the right-hand side of their box, it looked in a dangerous position for the left foot of Newbold. His side-footed free-kick was curling towards the top right corner but a full stretch save from Toronzcak kept him out.
Belper dragged themselves back into the game after 75 minutes when Lamelle Sworder-Campbell blasted home the away-sides third goal of the game with a sublime left foot volley. A deep free-kick from Belper was partially cleared by the Ossett defence but only as far as Thomas Baker. He clipped in a cross from the left side of the box which was headed away by Bailey Gooda. Sworder-Campbell seized upon the loose ball and made no mistake in thrashing home his first of the season. Ossett United 4-3 Belper Town.
Hopes of a come-back for the away side were shattered Ossett bagged their all-important fifth goal to shut down any chance of a Belper comeback. A deep Belper free kick was intercepted in midfield and with Belper pushing men forward, the counter attack was on. Bailey Gooda played in Muhammed Daji who cut inside from the left onto his right foot and wrapped a curling shot past two defenders. His shot had pinpoint accuracy, finding the bottom left hand corner and putting the home side two goals in front with five minutes left on the clock. Ossett United 5-3 Belper Town.
Belper Town never gave up, pushing men forward right till the very last minute but couldn’t find any late consolation goals.
FULL TIME: Ossett United 5-3 Belper Town.