The divisional cup finals are certainly starting to take shape in the Euro Soccer Nottinghamshire Senior League, more after this past weekends’ round of matches – three of the four finals are now, officially, locked in.
As the semi-finals of the NSL Senior Cup are still to be played out, the remaining three competitions will see that of Bestwood Colliery face Shirebrook Soldiers (Intermediate Cup), Southwell City Development meet Stapleford Town Development (Junior Cup) and Basford Development clash with Dunkirk Development (Development Cup).
Of those, Shirebrook earned the right to oppose Bestwood in the Intermediate final when they won 3-1 away to Fenwood Foxes at the weekend, Ben Charlesworth’s brace putting them on their way, Kieran Darby also netting for the Division One North side.
The semi-finals were also played out in the Junior Cup competition, both of which would witness away wins as Stapleford Devs, of the Foundation Division, won 3-2 away to Bull Farm, Bradley Scard helping them on their way with a brace; whilst in the other semi-final, Development Division outfit, Southwell City Devs, won 2-1 away to Dunkirk, Henry Eastgate grabbing a brace.
Meanwhile, in the NSL itself, Keyworth United head up the Premier Division, however, they need a large slice of fortune to take the title.
A 4-0 victory away to Ravenshead on Saturday was to be their penultimate game of the season, Ian Morley netting twice for the leaders, however, the sides directly beneath them in the table, that of Woodthorpe Park Rangers, Southwell City, and Stapleford Town, all have between two, and four, games still to play.
Highlights of Ravenshead against Keyworth can be seen on Grassroot T.V
Woodthorpe also netted four, winning 4-1 at home to Cotgrave, and are nestled nicely on 54 points, two behind Keyworth, and with four games to play; Southwell snatched a lone goal success at home to Sandiacre thanks to Liam Moran’s goal, moving them onto 52 points and with seven games to play; as for Stapleford, their 4-0 home win over Dunkirk sees them level with Southwell, and with six to play themselves, Jordan Alls with a brace there.
There’s plenty still to play for in Division One, and West Bridgford lead the way there, by two points, from second place Radcliffe Olympic, the latter of whom have two in hand, and, barring any drastic slip-ups, it’s between those two, with third Top Valley some fifteen back, albeit with four games in hand.
Top Valley’s chances were dealt a huge blow on Saturday when they crashed to a 4-2 defeat at home to the leaders, Christopher Richards with a brace for the table-toppers, Radcliffe meanwhile saw themselves coast to a 5-0 win on the road at Stapleford Reserves, Bassey Okon with a treble.
Division Two North, and South, are close to wrapping up, but there’s some mileage left; in the former, Bestwood still hold a five point advantage on second place Nottingham Community after the leaders saw off visitors Netherfield Seniors, 2-0, goals coming from Jake Fisher and Ryan Tinsley, whilst Nottingham were held to a 1-1 draw away to Rushcliffe.
And in the latter, East Leake Robins will wrap up the title next week, with victory against third place Bingham Town Reserves, who they beat 9-3 back in October; the Robins lead the division by eight points from AC United, and nine from Bingham, who kept up the pressure with a comfortable 6-0 win away to mid-table Burton Joyce Senior Blue.
Jacob Boyes and Tom Giles both grabbed braces for the title-hopefuls, further goals coming from Matthew Snelgrove, and substitute Sid Cox, both they, and the leaders, having three games left apiece.
And in the Foundation Division, barring a huge goal-swing in the last game, South Notts have taken the title ahead of facing fourth place Stapleford Devs (who need to hit at least thirteen without reply to prevent the title going to the leaders); on Saturday, the leaders claimed a 5-2 win away to Wollaton Reserves.
Applications for the NSL 2022-23 season are now being taken, clubs are being invited to fill in the form on the NSL website here and return to secretary, Zoe Murr, via details on form ASAP.
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @Grassroot_TV action between Ravenshead and Keyworth United.