M4 Karting Cirencester & District Football League preview
8:14am Tuesday 3rd September 2013 in Sport
THE M4 Karting Cirencester & District League kicks off on Saturday and there are some interesting opening-day fixtures.
In Division One, the most intriguing match is last season’s runners-up South Cerney at home to champions CHQ Utd.
CHQ finished the campaign five points ahead of South Cerney and the final standings owed much to the respective starts of the two teams. CHQ won their opening eight games and collected 24 points, while South Cerney only picked up 14 points over the same period, and suffered two defeats, the most defining being a 9-2 thrashing at Hatherop Park.
CHQ are likely to set the pace again and be the team to beat particularly with the league’s top scorer Chris Saunders in their side, although he will be missing due to suspension for the first few games. South Cerney will be keen to get off to a better start, and will immediately want to pick up from last season when they won their last six league matches.
Siddington Sports (previously Corinium Sports), who were promoted as Division Two champions, start with a home game against last season’s double cup winners The Beeches. Siddington will want to make an early impression and The Beeches will surely want to make a challenge for the title rather than just be known as a good cup side.
Real Fairford entertain Poulton in an opening-day clash between two of last season’s under-achievers. The Fairford outfit struggled last year with the availability of players, but when they can get a full strength squad, they are a match for any team. Poulton have the best playing surface in the league and try to play expansive and attractive football, but they lack consistency. Manager John Paget will be keen to get his side making a challenge in all competitions.
Oaksey, who have struggled at the lower end of the table over the last few seasons, travel to play Bibury Reserves. The visitors will be hoping for a much-improved season, but again their success will depend on the availability of players. Bibury Reserves may be a stronger outfit this season as their first team are now in a higher level of football, but they too will need greater consistency to make an impression.
In Division Two, newly-formed CHQ Utd Res start with a home game against one of last season’s title challengers Kingshill Sports, who only lost out on third spot and possible promotion, on goal difference. Both teams could possibly be challenging near the top of the table and Kingshill will hope to make an early impact, particularly with last season’s Division Two top scorer Scott Reynolds in their ranks.
Lechlade Reserves entertain relegated Down Ampney, with the latter surely looking to bounce back to the top division as soon as possible. The home side finished mid-table last term, so they will hope to be nearer the top of the table this campaign.
Tetbury Town’s third team are new to the league, and will start with a home fixture against South Cerney Res. How the Tetbury side will fair will largely depend on the strength of their first and second teams that play in the Stroud League, but you would expect them to consist of a mixture of old heads and youngsters, so they could be a competitive side.
South Cerney Res had a poor campaign last term, but should never be underestimated, and they will be looking for a much-improved season.
Beeches Res, who like their senior team, won both the league’s cup competitions open to them last season, will also surely want to achieve a higher finish in the league. They start with a home game against recently-reformed Minety, who a few seasons ago were a successful side in the Wiltshire League Division One, and won the Wiltshire County Junior Cup. They could well be the surprise package of Division Two.
The remaining three Division One clubs – Lechlade FC 87, Sherston and Stratton United – and in Division Two – Ashton Keynes, Oaksey Res and Siddington Sports Veterans – do not start their campaigns until the following week. All league matches kick-off at 2.30pm.
Unfortunately, the league had to cancel the proposed Champions Trophy season opening charity match scheduled for last Saturday, as The Beeches were unable to raise a side to play CHQ Utd. The Management Committee apologise to clubs, players and spectators that may have been inconvenienced by this late decision.