Overall a great weekend for West Bromwich Albion Dudley, who continue to cement their status as one of the league’s most promising teams. The players did not allow a disappointing defeat in their opening tie to Bolton Bullets, set the tone for the weekend. The side played fantastically in their following games, securing back to back 2-0 wins over Middlesbrough Reserves and Nottingham Forest to cap a good day’s work. Although the side will feel they could have secured more from a frustrating 1-1 draw with Electric Eels, the highlight of their weekend was arguably the single Lewis Harris goal that helped WBA Dudley register a brilliant 1-0 win over promotion chasers Muscle Warriors. Ten points from a possible fifteen marks one of Dudley’s best ever weekends in the national league.
A slow start to the weekend for AFC Bournemouth Warriors, who suffered an unfortunate opening defeat to closely matched rivals, Muscle Warriors. The battle between the respective sides has been a great watch all season, and with just two point separating them, the second automatic promotion spot is still very much up for grabs. That stumbling block in their pursuit of league leaders Manchester United was soon forgotten after the side secured fantastic wins over Norwich City, Middlesbrough and Cheltenham SW All Stars. Ryan Skinner has impressed all season and is proving to be a real jewel in Bournemouth’s crown. The star-striker registered a further six goals this weekend to cement his position as the league’s top scorer. Matthew Adams shared his thoughts and funny story from the weekend:
We were disappointed with the way the weekend started with defeat to Muscle Warriors dropping us to third. It wasn’t a great performance and know we can play a lot better than what we had produced. However, we turned things around by winning our other matches including two fantastic performances and results against Norwich and SW All Stars. The funniest thing to happen over the weekend, although it wasn’t at the time, was getting chased around the court by a wasp which the linesman had to swat away, I guess he was attracted to my bright yellow goalie shirt. With other results going our way on Sunday we were pleased to finish the weekend back in second, two points ahead of third which was where we had started the weekend.
A great start to week three of the MDUK Championship saw South-West side, Cheltenham SW All Stars, record back-to-back 3-1 wins over both Middlesbrough Reserves and Telford PFC. Following this, the side were quickly penned back against promotion-challengers AFC Bournemouth Warriors on Sunday, conceding three goals in both halves in an unfortunate 6-0 loss. Cheltenham would have hoped for a more positive end to 2018, but struggled to break down a stubborn Norwich City defence, losing 4-1.
Considering their high standards set so far this season, little else was expected from league favourites Manchester United PFC’s in week three of the MDUK Championship. Four games played, four comprehensive victories, sees United seven points clear at the summit approaching the long winter break. The only thing more impressive than the sides 10-0 win over Telford on Saturday morning was the fact that all players contributed to that one-sided score-line. The side finished Saturday strongly, with a 5-0 win over Electric Eels. Sunday, all but mirrored Saturday, two convincing wins over Evergreen and Nottingham Forest, keeping clean sheets in both.
Another solid weekend for Bolton Bullets, who were unbeaten across week three of the MDUK Championship. Bolton are another side who have come on leaps and bounds since last season, surpassing their 17/18 points total in nine fewer games. The hard work that the whole team dedicate to the sport, away from the main stage, doesn’t go unnoticed and their results at the nationals are surely representative of this. Owen Swift proved clinical in-front of goal, scoring in wins over WBA Dudley, Muscle Warriors and Nottingham Forest this weekend. The side could have secured more from the 0-0 draw with Evergreen, but as a whole, a brilliant weekend for Bolton, who didn’t concede once in their four fixtures. The in-form man Owen Swift shared his comments:
We knew as a team that this round of fixtures was always going to be tough, but everyone gave it 110% and we played some of the best football I’ve seen us play. We tried to express ourselves and play in a creative style and it worked. I was impressed with our defensive discipline, conceding no goals across the weekend. Now it’s time to work hard over the Christmas break and make sure we cement our place in the top half of the table.
A great start to the weekend saw Muscle Warriors PFC secure a league double over closely matched rival AFC Bournemouth Warriors in their opening match. In their two following fixtures on Saturday, Jack Morrell put on a show, registering a brace in wins over both Nottingham Forest and Electric Eels. The side were unable to take the same form into Sunday’s fixtures where an opening 2-0 defeat to Bolton Bullets was quickly followed by a 1-0 defeat to WBA Dudley. The side briefly held the second automatic promotion spot over the weekend, which should fuel their ambition to secure it once again. The Christmas break provides the side with the perfect opportunity to work hard, prepare and give it all they’ve got for in the leagues remaining fixtures.
A commendable effort from Middlesbrough Reserves in the third round of fixtures in the Championship. Looking past the sides four defeats, there has been massive improvements in their play and they have an admirable can-do attitude. The side fought incredibly well in their fixture with Telford, where goals from James Found and Umar Hanif were extremely unfortunate to be little more than a consolation. Middlesbrough took the game to Cheltenham in their respective matchup and were unlucky to leave the tie without any points in a 3-1 defeat.
After an extremely tough run of fixtures in week three, Nottingham Forest PFC were unfortunate to drop into the relegation zone. Unlucky in a tight opening game with Telford PFC, losing 1-0. Two 2-0 defeats to Muscle Warriors and WBA Dudley marked a difficult Saturday. Games on Sunday against league leaders Manchester United and in-form side Bolton Bullets also ended in defeat.
Starting the weekend well, a single James Harrison goal helped Telford PFC secure a crucial opening win over Nottingham Forest PFC. Over confident, or maybe complacent approaching their matchup with Manchester United saw Telford concede seven first-half goals and three second half goals in one of the most one-sided games in the league so far. This was followed by consecutive defeats to Cheltenham and Norwich City. In crucial six-point clash, Telford faced Middlesbrough Reserves in their last fixture of the weekend. The back and forward fixture was one of the games of the weekend. Despite a worthy effort from Boro, a James Wright hat-trick sealed the win for Telford, 4-2 it finished. The side have clawed their way out of the danger zone.
An overall excellent weekend for Norwich City who did well to keep pace with the in-form teams around them. Michael Coleman and Ben Everett forged an impressive partnership in an opening win over Evergreen to get off the mark. The side will be disappointed with their fairly one-sided loss to AFC Bournemouth Warriors on Saturday afternoon but impressed on Sunday, securing wins over Telford and Cheltenham SW All Stars. Nine points from twelve ensures Norwich City maintain fourth space in what is proving to be an excellent debut season in the Championship.
Two difficult opening games for Electric Eels, who faced, and lost, to league giants Muscle Warriors and Manchester United. Following this, a single Luke Brennan goal helped the Eels secure all three points against Evergreen followed by a commendable point earned in a cagey encounter with West Bromwich Albion Dudley. The four points accrued from the weekend’s actions puts a small cushion between themselves and the danger zone. Team-captain Kai Gill shared his thoughts:
As a team we were really pleased with our performances this weekend. We spoke briefly, prior to the weekend, about really putting in the team performance that we know we had in us, so it was pleasing for everyone to see especially against tough opponents. We will now continue to train hard in the New Year to improve our performances.
The battle for league safety is proving to be an exciting one. Nottingham Forest, Evergreen and Telford all currently sit on equal points, with Electric Eels just one point above them. Overall, a tough weekend for Evergreen who were unable to secure any wins in their pursuit of league safety. The side did however, register a fantastic point from their game against the in-form Bolton Bullets. With the league being so closely contested down the bottom it will be interesting to see who can break from the pack in the next round of fixtures. Evergreen will be desperate to capitalise on their two games in hand over the immediate teams below them in the final weekends of competition left to play.
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