Weather permitting, it’s set to be another electrifying weekend of football in the Toolstation NCEL Premier Division, where nine matches are planned, and in Division One, where there’s a full programme of fixtures. Of course, The Bootiful Game will be all over the news and views before and after the games, but here’s TBG’s Colin Muncieto take a headline look at what’s ahead.
New Premier Division leaders Penistone Church will be hoping for another big crowd at the DSM Memorial Stadium when nineteenth-placed Hall Road Rangers make for South Yorkshire. Church have enjoyed two consecutive late wins in their last two games but they’ll want to avoid any slips-up against Bill Gill’s Rangers, who they beat 5-0 in the reverse fixture back in November. Second-placed Yorkshire Amateur will be keen to resume their pursuit of Penistone, but to do so, they’ll have to see off seventh placed Knaresborough Town at the Southerns Stadium.
There’s a thriller in store at the Distant Futures Stadium, where third-placed Hemsworth Miners Welfare will want to build on their win over Ammers last week when they host Craig Denton’s Worksop Town (4th). Look out for our preview articles ahead of the clash, which is sure to attract a big crowd. Maltby Main are up to fifth, and they head East to the dangerous Barton Town in twelfth, with the Swans looking for their first win of 2019.
Bridlington Town fell temporarily to sixth after last week’s late home defeat to Staveley Miners Welfare, so they’ll be keen to resume their upward trajectory at 14thplaced Liversedge, and eighth-placed Handsworth host ninth-placed Bottesford Town at Sandy Lane.
At the bottom of the Division, twentieth-placed Goole AFC have a weekend off. Eighteenth placed Harrogate Railway Athletic will look to build on last weekend’s first win of the Craig Ogilvie era when they head to Garforth Town (15th), Albion Sports (17th) make for Sheerien Park and a clash with Athersley Recreation (13th), and form side Staveley (8th, and with games in hand on the top six) entertain Thackley at Inkersall Road.
In Division One, and with their advantage at the summit of the table cut to three points, deserved leaders Campion face a tricky visit to 12thplaced Shirebrook Town. Grimsby Borough are up to second, but they too face a thorough examination when they visit tenth-placed Swallownest, and TBG will be there for what looks like a cracking game. Nostell Miners Welfare are third, after that decent point away from home last week, and they host 15th-placed Skegness Town, with Nathan Collins in sole charge of the Lilywhites after Martyn Bunce stepped down yesterday.
It’ll be an absolute humdinger at Sandygate when Hallam (sixth) host fourth-placed Winterton Rangers in a re-run of one of the Division’s classic matches from last season, and an equally attractive match-up beckons at the HE Barnes Stadium, when Worsbrough Bridge Athletic (5th) who lost respected Chairman Peter Schofield on Tuesday travel to Chris Millington’s eighth-placed Dronfield Town, who’ll be hoping for another big crowd in North East Derbyshire.
Selby Town are seventh, and the Robins will be looking for their first win in five when they make for Rossington Main, who are thirteenth; and Andy Dawson will be keen to shrug off that Manager of the Month curse when his Parkgate side host sixteenth-placed Ollerton Town – and the Division’s 22 goal leading scorer Gav King – at Roundwood.
At the wrong end of the standings, in-form bottom side FC Bolsover make for Glasshoughton Welfare, eleventh, after Glassy’s win over Selby last weekend. Harworth Colliery are 19th, ahead of the reverse fixture at Armthorpe Welfare (17th), and East Yorkshire Carnegie (18th) head to the Fantastic Media Welfare Ground and a clash with fourteenth-placed AFC Emley, resurgent under their new management duo.
There we are; another fantastic afternoon in prospect. Remember though; the best way to follow the ups and downs in the NCEL is at the Bootiful Game Twitter feed @thebootifulgame and website www.thebootifulgame.co.uk.