This season has been the biggest season for us yet here at Severn Sport, from the pre-season tour to FA Cup ties all the way to league matches we have spread our wings and covered as many of our local clubs as possible. From Fairford to Slimbridge we have been nearly everywhere so we decided to celebrate the games we have seen as well as the players who have performed during our live games.
With that being said we decided to take a look at the games we covered during the month of August and to name our first ever Severn Sport Team of the Month. The only catch is the players are chosen based on how they have performed during Severn Sport Live Matches. Over the months the more sides we cover will allow us to include as many different players as possible in these squads. So, without further adieu let’s begin. Firstly, in case you missed Severn Sport on August (if so, where were you?) here are the results that we saw:
Tuesday 1st August – Tuffley Rovers 1-1 Fairford
Wednesday 2nd August – Longlevens 1-1 Brimscombe & Thrupp
Saturday 5th August – Fairford 1-1 Longlevens (Cup)
Tuesday 8th August – Longlevens 5-1 Fairford (Cup Replay)
Saturday 12th August – Longlevens 4-3 Brackley Town Saints
Tuesday 15th August – Weston Super Mare 2-1 Gloucester City
Wednesday 16th August – Slimbridge 1-3 Cirencester Town
Saturday 19th August – Hanwell Town 1-0 Longlevens (Cup)
Saturday 26th August – Longlevens 1-1 Tuffley Rovers
Monday 28th August – Tuffley Rovers 3-1 Brimscombe & Thrupp
Ten games, one month. And only one clean sheet amazingly. There were goals aplenty and a lot of outstanding performances throughout. So let’s pick this team. Just a disclaimer before we do though, I am a traditional manager and team of the month picker so it is a 4-4-2 formation. No nonsense to the max! Anyway, here is the team.
Goalkeeper – Ash Wintle (Longlevens)
The goalkeeper position was really only ever between two men, Ash Wintle and Dave Evans at Tuffley Rovers. I went with Wintle because even though they don’t keep a lot of clean sheets Longlevens are undefeated in the league this season. Wintle at various points has produced save upon save to keep Levens in the lead or in matches and has been a catalyst for not losing in the league thus far. He made a double save against Tuffley that if we had saw on a Sky Sports Super Sunday would have been watched over and over again.
Right Back – Sam Hill (Tuffley Rovers)
The right back position was either between Sam’s Hill or Turl at Slimbridge and I went for the former. He would have been picked prior to his two goals on Bank Holiday Monday due to the influence he had in the game against Fairford on the opening night. He is as good going forward as he is going back which is a valuable entity in modern football. Tuffley adopt a three at the back with two wing backs and Sam Hill has adapted well and is producing results.
Centre Back – Macaulay Herbert (Tuffley Rovers)
Herbert is the most athletic player I have ever played football with. To see him play in an 11 a side arena just showed me how good he is. Against Brimscombe he put his body on the line on multiple occasions. He was hit square in the face and needed medical attention but he stayed on. Later on he took an arm to the face that again saw him down on the turf. He is strong, quick, agile and his positioning is superb. A very, very good defender and it isn’t a surprise that teams in the leagues above were sniffing around in the summer.
Centre Back – Matt Coupe (Cirencester Town)
On the other end of the scale for the defenders is Matt Coupe. A proven and experienced defender now plying his trade at the Corinium and is as good as ever. He is as angry and fierce on the field as ever and his defending is still as good as it has ever been. Against Slimbridge he bossed the game, especially in the second half, and organized his fellow defenders to professionally see the game out and claim the three points for the Centurions.
Left Back – Craig Beaton (Longlevens)
Left back was one of the easier picks for me. Beaton has been rolling back the years throughout August, with tough tackling and prowess both in defence and attack. Beaton has told me that this may be his last season and what a miss he will be for Levens if true. Beaton has surged forward and bagged a couple of assists in the first few games this season as he possess a high level of passing ability and can see the game ahead of him. I am sure there is still more life in this old dog yet.
Right Midfield- Edward Williams (Gloucester City)
When we have seen Gloucester City this season it has been whilst they were stuck in their early season slump. They didn’t start well at all but there was one spark that stood out in the game at Weston (as he had in pre-season) and that was Ed Williams. His insane ability to run with the ball, pick the right pass and unlock defences had been the only positive before City won three games in a row. Williams was astounding against Weston and I am sure we haven’t seen the best of him this season yet.
Centre Midfield – Adam Connolly (Cirencester Town)
Like his teammate Matt Coupe, Connolly is an experienced player who showcased his quality throughout the 90 minutes between Slimbridge and Cirencester. He scored the all important second goal just before half time and dominated the midfield. He kept a quality player like Jack Twyman quiet throughout (which is no mean feat) and after the departure of Matt Liddiard he will be very important for the Centurions going forward this season.
Centre Midfield – Dave Merrick (Longlevens)
This is a big statement but Dave Merrick has been the most impressive player I have seen this season so far. He was ran the show for Levens on many an occasion. Most notably the FA Cup replay against Fairford and the league game against Brackley Town Saints. In the former he scored two important goals to first equalize for Levens and then to put them 3-1 up just after half time. He didn’t score against Brackley but he got an assist and ran every second he was on the pitch. He carries the ball forward, chases the ball and breaks the play up. You can tell the difference between a Longlevens side with and without Dave Merrick present in the middle.
Left Midfield – Jason Milhench (Fairford Town)
This position was narrowed down to two players. Milhench & Longlevens’ Shaun O’Connor. I decided to go for Milhench as he was the best Fairford player in every game we saw. Everything good in the league game against Tuffley and the FA Cup games against Longlevens came from their left hand side and the boot of Milhench. He scored goals and created them for Lee Smith in the middle. It has been a tricky opening to the 2017/18 season for Fairford which includes Milhench being sidelined with injury. He is a big miss for Fairford.
Striker – Shayne Bradley (Tuffley Rovers)
Shayne Bradley is one hell of a player. Quick on his feet for a big man and a commanding presence for Tuffley. Against Longlevens and Brimscombe over the Bank Holiday weekend he played out of his skin with little reward in terms of personal goals but he is a team player and he will be proud of Rovers and the way they have kept momentum up from their incredible FA Cup run. He like some of the others in this XI are vital to their club and are a major influence on their playing style.
Striker – Brad Martin (Longlevens)
I clearly have a thing for big men…as Brad Martin takes his place in the XI. 7 goals in league and cup so far with no signs of slowing. Martin has started the season on fire. His hold up play has been superb to bring the likes of Merrick, Brad Vanstone and Shaun O’Connor into play. His positioning in and around the box has been good and what has impressed me the most is the fact he has scored different types of goals, headers, tap-ins and also solo efforts that have had spectators on their feet. If he can continue his scoring form over the coming months we may see Longlevens at the right end of the table.
There are three honourable mentions to add to the squad as substitutes. They are:
Shaun O’Connor (Longlevens)
Spencer Hamilton (Gloucester City)
Brett James (Tuffley Rovers)
These three just missed out on a place in the team but their performances had to be highlighted. So, here is the team in full:
Who will make the side for September? We will find out over the coming weeks as the Severn Sport Live games will be covered. They come thick and fast with the next live match on Saturday 2nd September when we will be bringing you full match commentary of Tuffley Rovers vs Swindon Supermarine in the FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round. Join Ryan Butler & Matt Yates with all the coverage live on SevernSport.co.uk and on the TuneIn Radio app.