I hate snow. I mean, I really hate it. You make lovely plans to go and watch some high quality non-league football in and around the county but then it all gets spoilt by the weather. January was wet. February has ended very cold….I can’t wait for this to just blow over. Anyway, lets look at the team of the month.
To be honest, despite the midweek games we were looking to cover being postponed we still managed to cover ten games between the three of us. Thanks to our work experience member Bill being on hand to cover games we were able to cover two games at once on four different occasions throughout the month.
In the ten games we covered we saw 40 goals, at an average of 4 goals per game. There was just the one clean sheet in a month full 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 3rd February – Gloucester City 2-2 Poole Town
Saturday 3rd February – Cirencester Town 2-1 Paulton Rovers
Tuesday 6th February – Bristol Manor Farm 0-4 Gloucester City
Saturday 10th February – Abingdon United 3-1 Longlevens
Saturday 17th February – Longlevens 1-1 Royal Wootton Bassett Town
Saturday 17th February – Quedgeley Wanderers 2-3 Cam Bulldogs
Tuesday 20th February – Brimscombe & Thrupp 4-1 Longlevens
Tuesday 20th February – Bishops Cleeve 4-2 Winchester City
Saturday 24th February – Tuffley Rovers 2-1 Ascot United
Saturday 24th February – Bishops Cleeve 1-3 Salisbury
Goalkeeper – Lewis Skyers (Brimscombe & Thrupp)
Skyers is head and shoulders as first choice keeper this month after a simply superb display at The Meadow against Longlevens. At key points in both halves Skyers was the thorn in the visitors’ side and made two world class stops. The save from Shaun O’Connor’s volley from 25 yards was destined for the top corner. I know you hear it a lot but seriously, he has hit this shot and it was in, there wasn’t a doubt in my mind. But Skyers’ glove was thrust high into the air and somehow he saved it.
Skyers is an impressive keeper and everytime I have seen him play I can’t help but be impressed with what I see. Tall, with a wide wing span and agile enough to cover all corners of his net.
Right Back – Shayne Anson (Tuffley Rovers)
Anson was unbelievable at the weekend. He has played the last two fixtures for Rovers at right back and hasn’t put a foot wrong. He is an experienced head in a defence with three younger players and his influence is evident. Not only can you see the effect he has on that defence, you can hear it. Ascot tested him last weekend and there were a couple of times where Anson looked stretched but his positioning was flawless throughout.
Anson also popped up the other end with an assist for Ash Bird’s winner on the day. That plus his goal at Oxford City Nomads the week before show you how dangerous he is as an attacking presence.
Centre Back – Alexandru Albert (Cirencester Town)
Cirencester’s answer to David Luiz joined them from Worcester at the back end of 2017 and he is a phenomenal defender. With the most respect to Southern League teams and below but you don’t expect a defender at that level to be just so composed on the ball. Under pressure he takes the ball down on his chest, playing passes without even looking and all round incredible defensive displays.
He hit the post from a corner against Paulton Rovers, which would have capped an already top class performance. You just need to look at Cirencester’s form since his arrival to see the impact he has had at the back for the Centurions.
Centre Back – Macaulay Herbert (Tuffley Rovers)
Macaulay Herbert returned to Tuffley’s side away at Oxford City Nomads a couple of weeks ago and the Ascot United game was the first time I had seen him back in action. It was well documented that Rovers were forced to play the majority of the game with ten men and as a unit they defended so well. As an individual Herbert was touch tight the the Ascot forward, James Goodey and he made life difficult for the front line.
Tuffley needed to be hard to break down and collectively the centre back pairing of Herbert and Joel White were great. If it wasn’t for Albert’s great performance there was a serious chance White would have made the side too.
Left Back – Lewis Hall (Gloucester City)
Hall makes it in based on his performances against both Poole Town & Bristol Manor Farm this month. He was given an 8.0 match rating by Kelsey at Bristol Manor Farm after coming off the bench and scoring in City’s 4-0 win. Against Poole he was asked to do a different job. He may have scored an own goal on the day but his influence in City’s side is evident.
Hall was a big miss earlier in the season for City when he was out injured but when he is match fit he is one of the first names on the team sheet.
Right Midfield – Karnell Chambers (Gloucester City)
This is very topical right now. Earlier today we posted that Karnell Chambers had left Gloucester City by mutual consent. He had made the team of the month earlier in the month after his display against Poole Town. He was given man of the match by Kelsey and a direct quote after the game was “Chambers was unreal. He has to be in the team of the month.” From there he made the list.
Chambers is a player who has caught our eye throughout his time at City and he will be a big loss for City between now and the end of the season. It will be interesting to see where is next for Chambers.
Central Midfield – Kieran Alder (Tuffley Rovers)
After Tuffley’s 2-1 win against Ascot, manager Mark Pritchett praised Kieran Alder and Cam Williams for their displays in the middle after Courtney Hamilton was dismissed. Alder makes the team of the month over his partner in the middle because I saw a whole other side to this young man’s game.
Alder was more aggressive than I had seen him before, he wasn’t afraid to fight for absolutely anything whilst looking to connect Tuffley’s play with the likes of Warren Mann and Shayne Bradley. He played with maturity above his years and was one of the stand outs in claret and blue. If he keeps up that level of performance consistently then he has the brightest of futures.
Central Midfield – Noah Smerdon (Gloucester City)
What else is there to say about Noah Smerdon? Nothing. The guy is a talent, a serious one at that. Not only did he have a great month after it was announced he had made the England schoolboys side for the summer but he also played and starred in Gloucester’s 4-0 win at Bristol Manor Farm. In doing so he drew all the plaudits and Gloucester City fans have now realised that this youngster is the future but threatens the talent that he could potentially be the right now!
Smerdon makes the team of the month squad for the third time and it is just because of how impressive this young man is.
Left Midfield – Myron Turner (Longlevens)
Marathon man Myron Turner is different class. The engine and energy levels this guy has is frightening. He scored an 89th minute equaliser at home at Royal Wootton Bassett and in every Longlevens game I saw he was a constant threat.
What impresses me the most about Myron is the improvement. The desire to improve is something you cannot teach someone. Turner is now louder on the pitch, more confident on the pitch and braver on the pitch and it really does show with the level of performance he turns out for Longlevens. A major player.
Striker – Ben Whitehead (Cirencester Town)
When we watched Cirencester Town vs Paulton Rovers we were excited at the prospect of one of the most in form strikers in the Southern League as well as the county as a whole. He didn’t disappoint. Two incredibly well taken goals and a match winning performance.
Whitehead is a real gem. He has been scouted for a while now and his reputation and stock is growing by the game. He has fired Cirencester from lower mid table and murmurs of relegation to upper mid table and the ever so slight hope of a last minute play off push. It is simply staggering how good this guy is!
Striker – Sam Blackie (Brimscombe & Thrupp)
Whitehead and this man are the two best strikers in the county. For me personally, Blackie is the best. His hattrick against Longlevens had a bit of everything. From deadly finishing in the box for the third to agility to shake off defenders before a composed finish for the first, all the way to a 30 yard thunderbolt for the second. This guy can do it all.
Blackie impresses me when I see him play for his awareness. He drops deep to collect the ball when the time is right and has the ability to create chances, not just finish them. A kingpin in the Brimscombe side that are currently the highest ranked Gloucestershire side in the Hellenic Premier. Amazingly, Blackie appears to actually be getting better which is scary!
As always there are three substitutes and a manager to lead this strong and powerful team into battle. The subs are as follows:
Shayne Bradley (Tuffley Rovers)
Harrison Iddles (Bishops Cleeve)
Jimmy Thomas (Quedgeley Wanderers)
The manager of this month’s side can only be one man. It has to be Cirencester Town manager Charlie Griffin. Griffin has a side building at the Corinium that is hard to beat, strong in the tackle and ruthless in front of goal and those qualities are setting Cirencester up for a big couple of years because if they can build on these foundations it is only a matter of time before they are back in the Southern League Premier Division.
So that is everyone set. The starting XI. The subs and the manager. Here is the XI in full:
We are hopeful to be covering a game or two this weekend but due to the weather we are leaving it til the last minute before deciding which games. Please visit our Facebook & Twitter pages for more updates.