Finally January is over! The long post Christmas blues are finally finished and we can move into the business end of the football season. Let’s start with the team of the month for January.
This month we saw just the 5 games. Mainly due to work commitments and illness, but both Ryan and Kelsey are looking ahead to watching more games in February. But despite the limited number of games, we still saw some high quality performances.
Out of the action we did see, we witnessed 24 goals at an average of 4.8 goals a game. So even despite the lack of games, we still saw plenty of goals.
As always, the difference between the Severn Sport Team Of The Month and other similar awards is that we pick players who excelled and performed in Severn Sport live matches. So let’s take a quick look at the games we covered and the games we had to choose players from.
Saturday 5th January – Tuffley Rovers 3-3 Holmer Green
Thursday 10th January – Bishops Cleeve U18s 3-1 Tuffley Rovers U18s
Saturday 12th January – Bishops Cleeve 1-0 Abingdon United
Saturday 19th January – Longlevens 4-5 Langley (AET)
Saturday 26th January – Slimbridge 2-2 Barnstaple Town
So let’s take a look at those selected in this month’s team.
Goalkeeper – Lewis Clayton (Bishops Cleeve)
Clayton makes the team of the month for the second time this season, after his debut appearance in October. He is becoming one of the highest rated keepers in the county due to consistent and eye catching performances. Against Abingdon though it was his kicking and distribution that caught the eye. Playing as a sweeper keeper he showed composure and quality to get his side going forward and keeping up the momentum in attack. Very impressive.
Right Back – Tyler Goodey (Bishops Cleeve U18s)
On a chilly Thursday night at Kayte Lane we saw Bishops Cleeve U18s in a local derby with Tuffley Rovers U18s and there were a few players that really had the intensity you expect in a local derby. One of them was Goodey. The right back flew into full bloodied challenges throughout and help support his side on the counter. The only blemish on his evening was that the Tuffley goal came down his side, however he couldn’t have done anymore to prevent a lovely bit of play. Stephen Cleal will be keeping an eye on Goodey that is for sure.
Centre Back – Joe Noakes (Slimbridge)
Noakes got our man of the match last Saturday for his defensive display. Not just his positioning but between him and Christian Turner, Noakes had to do a lot of defending in the second half. Both defenders stood firm and played their part as Slimbridge held on for a draw, but Noakes shades it. He was vocal, he was good on the ball and defenders that know when to just get rid will always get a big thumbs up from us!
Centre Back – Macaulay Herbert (Tuffley Rovers)
Like with Noakes, Herbert’s positioning was terrific this month. Despite the fact Tuffley let in 3 goals (I still don’t know how!) the defence as a whole made the shortlist after the game. Herbert was dropping off that extra yard time and time again due to the difficult conditions, I lost count how many times Herbert was the one clearing the ball or picking up to long ball forward. He is a very important figure in that Rovers backline, especially earlier in the month when Joel White was missing with a back injury.
Left Back – Adam Mace (Bishops Cleeve)
Adam Mace will love this, but my god the guy’s passing against Abingdon was out of this world. Genuinely, he was chipping balls up to the forwards, spreading diagonals, whipping crosses in and his overall passing accuracy would have been as near to 100% as possible. Defensively he didn’t have to do an awful lot but a clean sheet is satisfying.
Right Midfield – Will Hawes (Slimbridge)
Now, just to point out that I am fully aware that Hawes plays as a striker but due to so many top performances from our county’s forwards Hawes would compliment this team cutting in from the right on that wand of a left foot. Two goals against Barnstaple Town, including a near 25 yarder to break the deadlock. His hold up play was great and if he can keep that performance level up over the rest of the season then he will score goals!
Centre Midfield – Freddy Ward (Bishops Cleeve)
Ward is like a fine wine. Getting better with age. Bishops Cleeve’s Benjamin Button continues to be a crucial cog in the Cleeve machine as they kept up with the rest of the title chasers in the Hellenic Premier. He just mopped everything up against Abingdon, recycling the ball quickly and winning it back with extreme efficiency. He was a big miss when he suffered a hamstring injury at the back end of 2018 but he is fully fit and has to be one of the first names on the team sheet.
Centre Midfield – Jonty Welch (Longlevens)
Longlevens haven’t had an awful lot to shout about this season but in recent weeks Jonty Welch has produced some out of this world performances. Even reading reports from Ascot United told a story of how well he played in their cup tie earlier in the month and he continued that goalscoring touch with one of the best free kicks I have ever seen against Langley. 4-3 down in extra time and Welch whipped a free kick into the top corner from 25 yards to make it 4-4 and kept Longlevens in the game. He is brimming with confidence and long may it continue.
Left Midfield – Shaun O’Connor (Longlevens)
Similar to Welch, O’Connor has been sensational in the last couple of months. Against Brimscombe in December he was outstanding in a central role. He played up front against Langley and showed his quality and ability to charge in on goal and score Levens’ second goal on the day. His performance levels have been great and you can tell he is putting his heart and soul into every minute for the club and for manager Craig Martin.
Striker – Shayne Bradley (Tuffley Rovers)
It took only 45 seconds for Shayne Bradley to score against Holmer Green, in what was a great individual performance from the big man. Sliding in at the back box to put Rovers in front set the tone for a great attacking display in a bit of a drab contest. Bradley added a second from the penalty spot before assisting Tuffley’s third as his cross lead to an own goal. He is rolling back the years and proving how important he can still be for Rovers.
Striker – Jay Malshanskyj (Longlevens)
When Sam Hendy and Jay Malshanskyj joined Longlevens on loan from Forest Green Rovers, there was a sense of optimism that they will push Longlevens on. Speaking to Craig Martin after their first game and he was already singing their praises ahead of the cup game with Langley. On the day Malshanskyj was a constant thorn in the opposition’s side and broke the deadlock. His through ball lead to O’Connor making it 2-0 and from there he got better as the game wore on. A great start for an exciting prospect.
So there is the starting XI. This season we have 5 substitutes instead of 3 as that makes up the standard matchday squad. Here are the subs for the January team.
Luke Payne (Tuffley Rovers)
Sam Moss (Bishops Cleeve U18s)
Brad Martin (Bishops Cleeve)
Danny King (Slimbridge)
Tom Connor (Tuffley Rovers U18s)
The manager of the month goes to Sam Prior at Brimscombe & Thrupp. Despite the fact we didn’t get to see Brimscombe in January, it was exciting to see them hit the top spot in the table and hopefully they can be there come the end of the season. Signing James Campbell from Longlevens will only add to their goals in the run in and this could the start of a pivotal couple of months for the Lilywhites.
So here is the full XI for the month:
Check out the full list of fixtures for Saturday in and around the county right here.