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Weekend Review No. 1 (19th September 20)

  • 21/09/20
  • By Rory Petre
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Finally, after six months (or more) of waiting, the County Senior League returned to action for the start of the 2020/21 season.

There has been a huge amount of work put in by the clubs, players, managers, and volunteers to get to this point, so we are extremely grateful to welcome back competitive football. The focus now turns to the action and it was a cracking opening weekend with plenty of entertainment.

Premier Division

Where else to start but at Mexborough Athletic Ground where last season’s run-away leaders Swinton Athletic kicked off another title chasing campaign against new boys Sheffield Town. The home side did the business by claiming a 4-1 win thanks to goals from Owen Fieldsend, Curtis Wilkinson, Samuel Green and Justin Greenwood. Former champions North Gawber Colliery also started off at home against Houghton Main in what was a five-goal thriller. Two late North Gawber goals saw the home team take all three points with the game finishing 3-2.

Over at St. Georges Park, Thorncliffe, there was a big performance by Matthew Jacobs who netted a brace to help his side High Green Villa claim a 3-1 derby win over Ecclesfield Red Rose. Kenan Mckenzie Grey scored Ecclesfield’s only goal. There was another close game down at Wombwell Main CC as travelling side Penistone Church Reserves started the season in fine fashion winning 3-2. Wombwell Main’s two goalscorers were Kieran Hirst and Ryan Wingrove.

Dodworth Miners Welfare were one of the teams wanting to challenge for league honours this season and made a winning start to 2020/21 after hosting Oughtibridge WMSC. The game finished 2-1 to the home side in a toughly fought contest. There was lots of anticipation ahead of Wakefield AFC’s first home game of the season after recently finding a new home at The Millennium Stadium. The away side, Jubilee Sports, however, came to spoil the party claiming an impressive 2-0 win with Joel Magill and Jordan Turner getting the goals. The last of the weekends games was at Hepworth United FC who hosted Frecheville Davys. The game was a close one and finished 1-0 to the hosts, giving Hepworth a perfect start to their campaign.

Division One

There was excitement around Barnsley as Wombwell Town and Wombwell Main Development faced off in a local derby. Town were wanting to start strongly to push for that elusive promotion and did so with a solid 2-0 win. The goals came from Connor Peace and captain Luke Exley who was also voted Man of the Match. The current league leaders, however, are Athersley Recreation Reserves after they started life in Division 1 with a superb 3-0 home win against Sheffield Medics. Athersley’s goalscorers were Thomas Street, Kyle Wordsworth and substitute Connor Rushforth.

There was a good face off at Gosforth Playing Fields as AFC Dronfield and Handsworth FC Reserves clashed. The travelling Handsworth, who were in the promotion mix last season came out 3-1 winners thanks to goals from Parirs Dixon, Sam Morley and James Woodhouse. Both teams will no doubt be nearer the top end of the table by season end. Sheffield Union, who had a resurrection of form just before Covid-19 struck, opened their new campaign with a close 2-1 win over Kiveton Park. Union’s goals coming from Will Mann and Adam McCombe. There was always going to be one game that ended 0-0 and that was the case at South Kirkby Miners Welfare as the home side battled it out with Denaby Main JFC.

Division Two

There was no shortage of goals on Saturday, and there was 10 shared between Thurcroft FC and Stocksbridge Park Steels Development. It was the away side that won a high scoring game 7-3 and despite the large scoreline it was a close game at halftime, until Stocksbridge ran out ahead. Ethan Wilkinson netted a quality hat-trick and team-mate Luca Defalco also scored twice. Down at the Wales High School, Kiveton Park Reserves were involved in a nine-goal thriller, one which away side Swinton Ath Reserves edged to win 5-4, a brilliant game. James Lawton got two goals for the home side, but his side fell just short of any points this weekend.

Two teams returning to the league faced off at Ecclesfield Park as Sheffield Lane Top hosted Caribbean Sports. The away side came away with the points securing a 5-1 win with Gavin Davis hitting a brace. The win takes Caribbean up alongside Stocksbridge as early pace setters in the table. Onto the game between Silkstone United and another new side Parkgate Reserves, which was won by the home team 3-1. This will be a great boost to the side who struggled last season so a fantastic way for the club to start as well as Louie Taylor who scored twice.

Another clash between two new sides this season was at Grange Park Football Ground where Millmoor Juniors hosted Wakefield EFP. The game finished 2-2 and both sides can take positives from their opening game. Mason Smith managed to convert both of Wakefield’s goals. The final game of the weekend saw Houghton Main Development host Bank End AFC in another stalemate which finished 0-0.

Well done to all teams on the opening weekend of the 2020/21 season.