This weekend sees a week off for most of the sides in the Gloucestershire Northern Senior League, so we thought we would take a look at how the two divisions are shaping up at the halfway stage of the season.
Yesterday, we looked at how Division One is shaping up. You can take a look at the mid-season review right here.
The table is topped by the impressive Woolaston, who have more wins than any other Gloucestershire Northern Senior League side with 11, which is just three less than they managed in the league in the 2017/18 season.
We spoke to Woolaston manager Andrew Wenzel who isn’t getting carried away by his side’s start and encourages them to work hard to keep up the great start.
“It’s been a great start to the season for us, you always want to start strong and the boys have done a great job for getting us to the strong position we are currently in. With the squad we assembled during pre-season we have always had high expectations but we are taking it one game at a time and we will see where that takes us come the end of the season.
It’s very important for us to keep building momentum, each game is like a cup final but we cannot afford to be side tracked on what the other teams are doing. Yes, we know teams are waiting for us to slip up but all we can do is concentrate on ourselves and keep winning our games.”
Wenzel knows that his side will have bullseye on their backs after Christmas, with Whitecroft & Cheltenham Civil Service waiting to pounce as they find themselves just 5 and 8 points behind the leaders respectively. Whitecroft find themselves as the top scorers in the league with 38 goals whilst a 9 game unbeaten run lasting 3 months saw Civil Service climb to a healthy 3rd position.
Bredon are three points further back in 4th thanks to an unbeaten home record thus far, whilst FC Lakeside have suffered from letting in 28 goals leaving them with just a plus 2 goal difference.
Last season’s Stroud League title rivals Frampton United Reserves & Barnwood United find themselves in 6th and 7th, with Barnwood having drawn more games than any other side in either division (7 draws). Like Bredon and Woolaston above them, Barnwood also have an unbeaten home record.
Reg Davis Cup finalists English Bicknor are a mid table 8th despite only conceding 18 goals after a poor start on the road with only 1 win from 5 games.
Bicknor and Falcons have 18 points as the table remains very close. In fact, from 5th placed FC Lakeside down to the bottom of the league the sides are only separated by 9 points – just one more point than 3rd placed are behind top of the league. It is frighteningly close for a league table.
Lydney Town Reserves sit in 10th place but have as many as 3 games in hand over the teams above them. If they were to take all 9 points, they would find themselves as high as 4th.
Abbeymead Rovers have had an all or nothing start to the season, particularly at home. They have lost 7-2 away at Barnwood United yet have beaten Smiths Athletic 7-2. They have played 4 of the top 5 at home, so they may have a big say on where the title is going this season.
Speaking of Smiths Athletic, they sit just a point behind and have been let down by a poor away record this term. Losing 6 of their 9 away games so far whilst conceding double the amount of goals that they have scored on the road has seen them struggle for consistency.
The bottom three of Lydbrook Athletic, Winchcombe Town & Bibury are separated by a point which bottom placed Bibury the only side in the league to have not chalked up 20 goals in the league at this stage.
Bibury, who finished bottom of Division One last season have had to rebuild but will need to improve on the road in particular if they are to avoid back to back relegations. Winchcombe find themselves in a similar position to which they ended last season but have already let in 46 goals after conceding 57 last term.
Lydbrook have conceded just one goal less but remain very leaky in the league. Neither of the 3 bottom sides have kept a clean sheet at this stage.
In our Severn Sport Gloucestershire Football Season Preview in the summer we saw teams to watch from our “experts” as Barnwood United & Frampton United Reserves as potential title challengers, whilst Ryan tipped his hat towards Cheltenham Civil Service. The 2011/12 Division Two winners will certainly be up for the fight but Woolaston continue to be the side to beat.
Check back on Severn Sport over the course of the New Year to keep up to date with the latest fixtures and results in the Gloucestershire Northern Senior League as both Divisions enter the business end of the season.