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A summary of how the sides from the top half of the division got on during the 2019/20 season
Part Two of the Division Two season summary brings us to the top half of the league, after the decision by the FA to end the non-league season. All results for now have been expunged and there will be no promotion or relegation. Despite this, it is only fair to review what has gone before and review how the variety of teams got on this season. The piece will cover the teams placed 1st to 6th in the league table in what was lining up to be the most exciting title races the division had seen for many years.
South Elmsall United Services (1st Position, P15 W12 D1 L2 PT37) – The County Senior newcomers took like ducks to water in this new level of competition as they impressively won their first five league games scoring 24 goals along the way. This included 11 in the thrashing of Burngreave Reserves. A minor new year’s blip came for the side as they lost two on the bounce, albeit narrowly to other title and promotion hopefuls. After January the West Yorkshire side returned to emphatic form winning six league games straight to lead the division by goal difference. The sides goals have in the main come from goalscoring pair Lucas Stubbs (23 goals in 18 apps) and Mark Lynch (21 goals in 21 apps) who have together bagged an almighty 44 goals between them. They held four games in hand on second place Swinton Athletic Reserves and looked set to make it into Division One at the first time of asking.
Swinton Athletic Reserves (2nd Position, P19 W12 D1 L6 PT37) – Swinton were one of just two regulars starting in the division this year and sought to make their experience count. They won seven of their first nine games including a run of five wins in a row. Another solid run of three wins on the bounce followed to give the side control of the league table, however, their form would soon make a turn for the worse. After game-week 13 the South Yorkshire side only won a further two games in six, which included back to back loses in their last two outings for the season. As a result, Swinton dropped below South Elmsall via goal difference but have still had a very successful season regardless and will have to now wait for the next steps taken by the Sheffield FA regarding next season.
Sheffield FC Reserves (3rd Position, P16 W11 D1 L4 PT34) – It was a long-anticipated return to the County Senior league for Sheffield FC Reserves as they hadn’t been a part of the CS structure since 2014. They got off to the best possible start by beating Swinton Athletic Reserves 7-4 at Grange Park Football Ground. Their start to the season was an impressive one winning four of their first five games with their only loss coming against Frechevile CA. A dip in form did follow this as they went winless for three games from mid-September. However, they bounced back in a strong manner to string together their best run of form all season, winning five games on the bounce. In fact, they finished the season as we know it having won seven of their last eight games and were within striking distance of second place with three games in hand. Would Sheffield FC have been the team to push South Elmsall all the way given their form and similar amount of games played?
Kinsley Boys (4th Position, P15 W11 D0 L4 PT33) – The side hailing from Pontefract, West Yorkshire made a very impressive start to life in Division Two. They bagged five wins in their first six, scoring 24 goals along the way. For the main, Kinsley have managed to remain consistent throughout the season having never lost more than one game in a row. Goals have been in regular supply all season long. They have managed to score three or more goals in 11 of their 15 league games that they have played, which is a credit to their frontline. The recognition for those goals will go to the trio of players who have double figures in the scoring charts this season. Again, Kinsley will feel they had room to catch those above them with games to play in hand, however, unfortunately now we will never know the outcome.
Frecheville CA (5th Position, P14 W8 D3 L3 PT27) – Another new team to the County Senior that have hit their straps well are the side from South Yorkshire. Their first league win came at the second time of asking away to Sheffield FC Reserves. After this Frecheville’s form was patchy but still solid, notching up some spectacular wins including a 10-1 win over Silkstone in early January. Their best run of form in fact came later in the season as they won five games on the bounce which propelled them up to fifth place. Another side that had games in hand because of their involvement in the various cup competitions meant they also will feel short-changed by the early season end. One player that has had an outstanding season is Luke Broadbent who has notched up 21 goals in 16 appearances a mighty impressive effort.
Athersley Recreation Reserves (6th Position, P13 W8 D3 L2 PT27) – It is hard to imagine how a side that has only lost two games all league season find themselves in sixth position. However, given the plethora of games in hand that Athersley hold the surprise is less so. All the same the Barnsley based club are in good company, as only table topping South Elmsall have the same impressive low total of two loses. Their best run of form came midseason as they went on a six-game unbeaten streak that included five wins. They also managed to hit eight goals twice in 8-1 and 9-0 victories. The league ended with a very curious symmetry to it that each side in the top six had games in hand on one another. This could have produced an exciting finale to the season which has now been taken out of all club’s hands. Athersley will look to hit the ground running by the start of the next campaign.
Authored by Rory Petre. You can find this and and other articles by Rory at https://thevillagefootballer.wordpress.com/
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