NSL title race going to the wire

Apologies for the delay in the production of blogs over the last week, being a full-time journalist is all go, go, go and had no time to get anything published, but here we are this time around and looking at the results this week, one by one, teams are beginning to fade in their title charge.

On Friday night, Clifton All Whites saw their hopes of clinching the title this season come to a crashing end as they slumped to a heavy 5-1 defeat to Bilborough Town – a result nobody before the start of the game would have predicted.

Following the disappointment of getting knocked out of the cup earlier in the week, the All Whites dismal run of form continued, despite going into the game against Bilborough on the back of wins against West Bridgford and Bingham Town.

With the All Whites sitting 12 points off the top and four points behind Ruddington Village – who have several games in hand – you can’t help but think their title charge is over.

Another side whose title hopes are slowly coming to end are West Bridgford’s as they were held to a 2-2 draw by fellow title hopefuls Real United, a result which proved costly as reigning champions Wollaton.

Despite their blistering start to the campaign, West Bridgford have slowly faded away since mid-February, a run of form which has seen them pick up only two wins in their last seven league outings – not the kind of statistics you want to see when you’re chasing for the title.

Other early pace setters included Awsworth Villa and Unity but their results this weekend have probably ended their hopes of clinching the title – albeit there is a long way to go yet and everybody always says, it is not over until the last ball is kicked on the last day of the season.

Villa were held to a 2-2 draw by a young AFC Dunkirk side, a result which sees them sit on 55 points in sixth position with eight games to go, while sitting 13 points off the league leaders.

With games against Ruddington Village and Real United in the pipeline for Villa, to keep any hopes of walking away with the NSL title alive, they will look at these games as must wins.

Likewise, Unity have a difficult run-in as their next three games sees them battle it out against Clifton All Whites, Wollaton and Real United, and after being held to a 1-1 draw by Newark Flowserve at the weekend, Unity’s motives will be simple. Win all three of their next three games.

The fact Unity sit on 47 points, eight points off the top six, you can’t help but feel that their title charge is over, considering the size of the task that is now at hand if they have any hopes of climbing up the table but regardless of this, in their first season in the NSL, they have definitely been a breath of fresh air.

Meanwhile, the draw for Newark Flowserve is an impressive one and their bid to remain in the top flight is certainly alive and 12 games to go for them, the great escape is certainly one as they sit just eight points from safety -assuming that this year the bottom two go down (only those who understand how inconsistent the NSL is with relegation will get my point).

The fact Flowserve have only lost one of their last six league outings makes for good readings and with fellow relegation-threatened sides yet to be played, it would be naive to say they’re good as gone because they aren’t – a dramatic turnaround from the start of the season.

FC Cavaliers boosted their chances of survival at the weekend with a comprehensive victory over an in-form Beeston who, despite their current good run of form, still aren’t safe going into the remaining games of the season.

Cavaliers now sit on 26 points for the campaign, 11 clear of second-from-bottom-side Sandhurst and will look at their big win over Beeston as one that has secured their safety.

Another side which took a huge step towards safety is Underwood Villa as they claimed a narrow victory over Sandhurst, a result which sees the Villa move six points clear of the dreaded drop zone and with plenty of games in hand on those below them, it looks as if Villa will consolidate their position in the top flight after securing promotion last year.

Reigning champions Wollaton boosted their chances of retaining their title as they claimed a comfortable victory over a Cotgrave side who will be looking closely over their shoulder as they hover just above the relegation zone.

The win for Wollaton sees them climb up to third, 11 points off the league leaders with seven games in hand while sitting three points behind Ruddington Village having played the same amount of games.

With teams around them faltering, Wollaton will consider Ruddington Village as their closest rivals for the title and with both teams having to play each other again later in the year, it’s going to be a straight shoot-out for the title over the remaining weeks of the campaign.

Meanwhile, down in mid-table obsecurity, Attenborough edged past Burton Joyce to move to within one point of the top half.

Neither side has anything to play for this campaign, not challenging at the top, but not facing relegation, so both teams will be aiming to finish as high as possible this season but with the top seven running away with things, it will be a tussle for eighth.

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All Whites teach West Bridgford a lesson

The title race took another turn this weekend as West Bridgford suffered their third defeat in four league outings as Clifton All Whites claimed an emphatic 5-1 win at the Norman Archer Memorial Ground.

All Whites, who had been on a bad run themselves as of late, returned to winning ways in style as they ran out comfortable winners at the wannabe champions, whilst moving up to third in the process and allowing other teams vying for the title to close the gap.

It’s been a tough few weeks for Bridgford having lost to two of their biggest rivals and getting turned over by mid-table Bingham Town but it’s all part of football and they will have learned their lessons from such a dismal defeat.

As for the All Whites, they’ll be delighted with the victory after slumping to three consecutive defeats, a run of form which severely dented their title hopes, but a resounding win such as this one, that surely will give them the confidence boost going into the remainder of the season.

Ruddington Village closed the gap on West Bridgford to just seven points – and still have six games in hand – after they claimed a 3-1 victory at a struggling Underwood Villa outfit, but, regardless of the opponent, it’s important to not have any slip ups.

Up to this game, Villa had lost their last seven league outings but Village did not let that get to them as they kept their focus to walk away with another important three points in their bid for the title and with next week seeing them entertain relegation-threatened Sandhurst, complacency is something they’ll not want to creep in.

Wollaton continued with their charge up the league table but made hard work of it as they came up against a well-drilled Attenborough side who were narrowly defeated 2-1, but it’s all about grinding out those odd-goal victories.

And Wollaton certainly know how to grind those results out, they’re the reigning champions for a reason and with seven games in hand on West Bridgford, their odds on walking away with the top prize for the fourth time in the NSL’s history are shortening.

Awsworth Villa’s hopes of walking away with the title took a dent as they succumbed to a 1-0 defeat down at a resurgent Newark Flowserve outfit who now find themselves just six points from safety – assuming the NSL this year will actually be consistent with relegation ruling.

Under the wing of player-manager Stephen Kirkham, Flowserve’s fortunes have really turned around, having lost one of their last five league outings, a run of form which has seen them look destined for relegation to being on the brink of pulling off the great escape – you can forget West Bromwich Albion, Sunderland and Leicester, if Flowserve pull this off, it will be a massive achievement.

As for Villa, the result saw them slip to sixth in the table but they’ll pick themselves up and bounce back to winning ways –  everybody has an off day regardless of league positioning.

Beeston are another side who have had a huge turnaround in form as they claimed back-to-back wins – and extending their unbeaten league run to four games – after edging past FC Cavaliers 1-0.

After hovering around the drop zone ever since the season started, Beeston have slowly but surely pulled themselves away from danger and another 1-0 victory will be a huge confidence booster going into next weekend’s home game against Real United.

Beeston have already beaten Clifton All Whites and with confidence surging through their veins, Real United will find it tough going trying to force a result.

Burton Joyce are now unbeaten in their last four league outings and looked to have boosted their hopes of a top-half finish with a dominant display at Sandhurst as they ran out 7-3 winners.

After finishing last season as the NSL’s top scorers, Joyce are finding this season tough and it does not get any easier as they face five of the top seven teams over the course of the seven weeks, while Sandhurst are inching ever closer to facing life in Division One, but there’s a long way to go.

Cotgrave are another side finding themselves in a real struggle for survival as they slumped to a 3-1 defeat to title hopefuls Unity and the two teams face off against each other next weekend in the reverse fixture.

You have to remember, Cotgrave finished third last season and now sit third-from-bottom, a total contrast and as the league’s second lowest scorers, things are looking bleak, especially with Newark Flowserve on the rise.As for Unity, who have been docked a point from their tally, their constantly changing squad still have the chance of a

As for Unity, who have been docked a point from their tally, their constantly changing squad still have the chance of securing the title and with their next two league games against teams below them, they will look at these as must-win games before the crunch month of April.

Elsewhere, Dunkirk AFC drew 3-3 for the second consecutive weekend as Bilborough Town ensured the spoils were shared in an entertaining clash at the Ron Steel Sports Ground.

After being held by Beeston in the previous game week, another draw sees them on the fringe of dropping into the bottom half of the table but Bilborough will look at the result as a point gained as they now sit eight points clear of the bottom two.

Although after three consecutive draws in all competitions, Bilborough will be wanting to return to winning ways so that they’re not involved in a dogfight for survival come the end of the campaign.

A look at this weekend’s key NSL games

Looking at the NSL fixtures this weekend, the one game that stands out the most by a country mile is Clifton All Whites entertaining West Bridgford in what should be an exciting game of football, not just for the players, management team and fans, but the neutrals too.

After a three-game winless league run, West Bridgford returned to winning ways with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Sandhurst to get back on track with their title charge, but this weekend gets no easier as they face off against fellow title rivals All Whites – who themselves are on a bit of a slump.

The All Whites have not claimed a single point from their last three league games, and even more worryingly, they’ve failed to score and with a huge game this Saturday, it’ll be a case of turn up or get rolled over, especially as the last meeting between the two sides saw Bridgford claim a 2-1 victory.

There’s still a long way to go but a defeat for the All Whites probably brings an end to their title chances, as for West Bridgford, a defeat probably makes life more difficult in terms of clinching the title, but as everybody says – and it is true – it isn’t over until the last ball is kicked on the last day of the season.

PREDICTION:  2-2

At wrong at the end of the table there’s a crucial game between two sides that are striving to maintain their NSL top flight status and that fixture sees Beeston welcome FC Cavaliers to the Hetley Pearson Recreation Ground.

Beeston had a fantastic result in the week, picking up a 1-0 win over title hopefuls Clifton All Whites, a victory that extended their unbeaten run to three games and four points clear of the bottom two, and another win on Saturday would go along way towards avoiding the drop.

Cavaliers meanwhile, they have not played a league game since the end of February where they beat Underwood Villa 3-1 and with a two week break away from competitive football, getting back into rhythm quickly will be key.

PREDICTION: 2-1 Beeston

Down in Division One there’s a big clash at The Stag Ground as title hopefuls Magdala Amateurs travel to fifth place Kimberley Miners Welfare Reserves who will have aspirations of claiming promotion.

What you have to remember is this Kimberley side spent a good majority of the early stages of the season unbeaten but despite sitting 13 points off the top, they are only six points behind Ruddington Village Reserves, a six-pointer for sure.

The last time the two sides met came in mid-December where Amateurs claimed a narrow 2-1 victory but over the last two games, they have lost 2-0 and have slowly slipped away from leaders South Normanton Town but a victory today would go along way, while a win for Kimberley would massively boost their chances of promotion.

PREDICTION: 1-0 Kimberley Miners Welfare Reserves

Kirton Brickworks are finding themselves in another season blighted by difficulties and are on the verge of two relegations in the space of two seasons but there’s plenty of football between now and the end of the season, and with plenty of games in hand on sides around them, its not all doom and gloom for the Brickies.

However, this weekend sees them make the trip to seventh place Wollaton Reserves and know victory is paramount as they sit nine points behind third-from-bottom side Southwell City Reserves, especially with Wollaton on a five-game unbeaten run.

This will be the first encounter between the two sides in the league, with the return fixture coming in the second-to-last game of the campaign, you can’t help but wonder how big of a fixture that could be in the Brickies’ plight to retain their Division One status.

PREDICTION: 3-1 Wollaton Reserves

In Division Two, it’s a case of Grand Slam Saturday as all the top four face off against each other and in a close race for the title, nothing will be decided this weekend but it will be a precursor as to the potential finishing positions on the final day of the season.

League leaders AFC Clifton are on their travel as they face off against fourth placed Watnall Athletic who are only two points off the top and know a victory – depending on results elsewhere – would send them top, while a win for Clifton would bring an end to their three-game winless run in the league.

The other huge game sees second versus third as Bilsthorpe Reserves entertain Keyworth United and in such a crucial game, you can’t help but believe a draw would probably be the best result for both sides – although that will not be in the mindset of both sets of players.

A four-way title race will keep everyone interested but Cotgrave Reserves – who sit in fifth – could be the team to undercut them all and secure the Division Two title as they have games in hand on those above them.

PREDICTIONS: 2-1 AFC Clifton, 3-2 Bilsthorpe Reserves

 

Wollaton keep marching on

Reigning champions Wollaton continued to show their title credentials this weekend as they claimed a 2-0 victory at fellow title rivals Clifton All Whites, a result which moved them up to fifth, and to within 13 points of league leaders West Bridgford whilst also having six games in hand.

Since making the move across from the Central Midlands League, the All Whites have enjoyed life in the Notts Senior League and shown that they are certainly vying for the title, but with so many teams around them sharing the same aspirations, defeat sees them remain in third.

It’s been a big two weekends for Wollaton and they made the most of them, after beating the leaders West Bridgford last Saturday, another win over a fellow title rival will go a long way in determining who will walk away with the Premier Division title.

Ruddington Village continued their charge for the NSL title with a 5-2 victory over an in-form Newark Flowserve side, a result which saw Village close the gap on Bridgford to just seven points, with five games in hand.

Flowserve was in a rich vein of form going into this clash having won their last two league games, results that inched them closer to those battling relegation above them, and it was always going to be difficult against a Village side who have been one of many surprises of the season.

There seems to be a lot of confidence going through the Village squad, a togetherness, a belief that they have the ability to challenge those at the top, and challenge they certainly are, however, there is a long way to go yet but they will definitely be up there come the end of the season.

As for Flowserve, they will take heart from the fact they put up a good performance against a side vying for the title and scoring two goals in the process and if they continue their good form, retaining their top flight status is far from farfetched.

Beeston picked up a crucial point in their plight for survival, as they came from two goals down to salvage a draw at Bilborough Town side that have now drawn three of their last four league outings.

Beeston have also drawn their last two league outings, results that have allowed them to move one point clear of the dreaded drop zone but with so many teams fighting to avoid the drop, it’s hard to say at this point what two teams out of a possible six or seven will be relegated.

Cotgrave, who found themselves claiming a third place finish last season, are in a real dogfight to maintain their Premier Division status after losing to title challengers Real United 5-0.

In a season with many surprises, Cotgrave have found life difficult this year and are perilously close to the danger zone, but things get no easier for them as they face a mid-week home game to a Real United side who will be hoping for the league double.

United currently sit in fourth and 13 points off the top, with four games in hand, and with their next three games against teams in the bottom half, they will look at that run of fixtures as a possible nine points out of nine – although nothing is a given in this league.

And what should also be mentioned is that following those three fixtures, Untied’s next three league games are against West Bridgford, Awsworth Villa and Unity – all of whom are fighting for the title – along with a cup tie against Clifton All Whites wedged in-between their next seven games.

Elsewhere in the Premier Division, Attenborough have probably secured their NSL status for another season after they enjoyed a 6-2 victory over relegation-threatened Sandhurst at Walesby Sports and Social Club.

Despite finding themselves 2-0 down after the first 45 minutes, ‘Boro’s young squad battled hard and walked away comfortable winners in the end with the three points moving them to within two points of the top half of the table.

As for Sandhurst, with Beeston picking up a vital point, they dropped back down into the bottom two and having played more games than sides around them, things are looking bleak but there is still a long way to go until the season ends so expect plenty of twists and turns along the way.

Nothing is certain until the last ball is kicked on the last day of the season.

A look at this weekend’s key NSL games

Well, what a weekend of football last Saturday was! The reigning champions Wollaton proved to everybody they are still in with a shot of retaining their championship and boy oh boy do they face another tough game this weekend.

Following on from a huge 2-0 victory against West Bridgford, Wollaton make the trip to fellow title rivals Clifton All Whites in a titanic clash at the Norman Archer Memorial Ground.

This is the first meeting between the two sides in the NSL this season and it’s going to be another one of those games neither side will want to lose, especially with leaders West Bridgford out of action due to cup duties.

Should Wollaton walk away with all three points, they’ll move to within five points of the league leaders with still five games in hand, while a victory for the All Whites would see them move to within eight points with one game in hand.

PREDICTION: 2-2

Title hopefuls Ruddington Village have an interesting game this Saturday as they welcome in-form Newark Flowserve to Elms Park and this is not as certain as it looks – even though my prediction says otherwise!

Ever since the appointment of their new player-manager, Flowserve have gone from strength to strength and seem to be playing the style of football which got them promoted into the Premier Division last season.

Yet they face a tough task going to a Village outfit that have won by the odd goal in their last two league outings.

Village will be hoping for no slip ups as they know victory would see them move seven points off the league leaders and boasting five games in hand, while a win for Flowserve would further improve their chances of survival and maintaining their top flight status.

PREDICTION: 3-1 Ruddington Village

In Division One, following on from last weekend’s surprise 2-0 defeat to Bilborough United, Magdala Amateurs will be hoping to return to winning ways and keep up with the leading pair as they travel to mid-table Aspley Park.

The defeat last Saturday brought an end to Amateurs’ 13-game unbeaten run, a stretch of form that rocketed them up to second before Ruddington Villa Reserves leapfrogged them with a 4-1 win away at Southwell City Reserves.

With Village’s reserve team in cup duties, Amateurs have the perfect opportunity to move up to second and move to within six points leaders of South Normanton Town, having played two games more.

The last meeting between the two sides came in the middle of August when Amateurs claimed a narrow 4-3 victory on a cold, Wednesday night, and they will be hoping for a similar kind of performance to get back on the promotion track.

PREDICTION: 2-0 Magdala Amateurs

There’s an interesting fixture in the Nottinghamshire FA Intermediate Cup this Saturday as Bingham Town are on the brink of reaching a county cup final as they face off against Notts Amateur Alliance outfit Strelley Rose.

The prize on offer will be either West Bridgford or Ruddington Village Reserves in the final but this game is far from a formality.

Bingham have had some fantastic results along the way, but currently unbeaten in the NAA Premier Division, Rose have took some big scalps along the way, including Central Midlands League outfit Collingham and NSL members Newark Flowserve and Ashland Rovers.

Bearing that in mind, this encounter should be a cracker as both teams are just one step away from silverware.

PREDICTION: Bingham Town 2-1 (AET)

The other game of this blog’s focus comes down in the Notts FA Junior Cup as the sole remaining NSL member, Bilsthorpe Reserves, take on Basford United’s under-21s.

Currently sitting in second in Division Two of the NSL, Bilsthorpe are certainly in with a chance of gaining promotion and this weekend sees them have the perfect opportunity of gaining some silverware but face a tough test against the academy side of Northern Premier League Division One (South) outfit Basford United.

Bilsthorpe have enjoyed victories over AFC Clifton, Kimberley Miners Welfare AFC and Sutton Travellers along the way and will meet either Arnold Saints or Trinity Renatus in the final should they go through.

PREDICTION: 3-1 Basford United under-21s

Don’t rule out reigning champions just yet

There’s one thing everybody in the NSL Premier Division has learned this weekend and that is you cannot rule out reigning champions Wollaton clinching their fourth top flight title.

In a huge clash down at the Wollaton Sports Association, title hopefuls – and current league leaders – West Bridgford came unstuck as they succumbed to a 2-0 defeat to their rivals, a defeat which sees Wollaton move to within 16 points of Bridgford while having seven games in hand.

Bridgford are now winless in their last three games, a run of form which has allowed the chasing pack to close the gap and for Wollaton, claiming a league double over their title rivals could be a crucial moment in arguably the most competitive NSL season to date since its inception in 2004.

Ruddington Village capitalised on Bridgford’s defeat with a 2-1 victory over a resilient Bilborough Town side at Elms Park.

The victory sees Village close the gap on the league leaders to six points but have six games in hand, and at the moment, having only lost twice all season, Village are probably favourites to clinch the title.

Grinding out results is certainly something true champions can do, and over the past two weekends, Village have certainly shown they can do that – last weekend they edged past Attenborough 1-0 before this weekend’s narrow 2-1 victory.

And with a run of games against teams in the bottom half, Village have the perfect opportunity to leapfrog Bridgford into top spot, but the pressing question is, can they keep up their good results?

Clifton All Whites missed the perfect opportunity to move closer to the title chasing pack as they slumped to a 2-0 home defeat to a young and talented Dunkirk AFC side.

This is only the third time Clifton have lost this season but at a time when teams around them claimed points, this weekend is one they’ll be hoping to put behind them rather quickly.

Clifton dropped to third in the process, but as for Dunkirk, the win ended a run of five consecutive league defeats, moving them back into the top half of the Premier Division table.

Following on from last weekend’s titanic cup clash at Nottingham Trent University’s Clifton Campus, the reverse fixture in the league certainly lived up to its expectation once again as Awsworth Villa and Unity shared the spoils in a 2-2 draw.

Villa claimed a dramatic cup win last Saturday with a 120th minute winner as the two sides were locked at 4-4 with penalties looming and this time around, the two sides claimed what could be a valuable point in their hunt for the title.

Ultimately, both sides will probably be pleased with a point as it was one of those games which neither side wanted to lose, but probably wanted to win, however, what will be agreed upon is that both sides will have a huge influence on the title should they not go on to clinch it themselves.

Real United got back on track in the league on Saturday as they claimed a 4-1 victory over a youthful Attenborough outfit.

United are on a mixed run of form at the moment, something that has seen them drop out of the top four, however, as the highest scorers in the league to date (88), they are another side who cannot be ruled out, especially as they have five games in hand on the league leaders.

For Attenborough, the result sees them succumb to a third consecutive defeat but with a break from league action coming next weekend, it will give their youthful side a chance to regroup and push on – not that their safety in the NSL should be questioned.

Things at the bottom of the table are also beginning to hot up as basement club Newark Flowserve made it two wins on the spin with a 3-0 victory over Cotgrave.

Flowserve are now six points off safety – assuming the NSL is consistent with its two go down rules – and have had a real turn-around in form since they appointed a new player-manager.

And with their relegation battlers around them not picking up a win, they’ll look at this weekend as a confidence booster in their bid to remain in the top flight.

As for Cotgrave, following last season’s impressive third place finish, this year has been a total juxtaposition and are now involved in a serious relegation battle, but will they survive?

Sandhurst will look at their 1-1 draw with Bingham Town as a point gained in their bid for survival rather than two points lost.

What you have to remember is that this Bingham outfit travelled to West Bridgford and turned them over with a 4-2 win, so a draw for Sandhurst is a result they’ll definitely be pleased with.

Bingham will probably be wondering what has gone wrong since that weekend as they had to come from behind to salvage a draw, but following a shaky start to the season, they are beginning to settle in nicely going into the second half of the campaign.

Beeston dropped into the bottom two after they were narrowly defeated 2-1 by a stubborn Burton Joyce side, although they’ll take heart from this defeat as the teams around them did not gain any ground.

The fact Beeston have only played 19 games all campaign and have a couple of games in hand on teams above them, their fight for survival is far from over, as for Burton Joyce, they are now unbeaten in their last three league outings and are looking like they’re going to secure another top half finish.

And with games over the next two weekends against teams at the wrong end of the table, they will be looking to close the gap on the top seven – all of whom are aiming at winning the NSL Premier.

FC Cavaliers clawed themselves away from the danger zone after they ran out 3-1 winners over an Underwood Villa side that now find themselves in a dog fight to maintain their NSL Premier status.

After last month’s 4-3 defeat to Cavaliers, Villa succumbed to a league double by Cavaliers who are now nine points clear of the drop, while Villa are just four from safety – but there’s a long way to go yet.

 

Title race beginning to hot up

Another dramatic afternoon of football in the Precision NSL Premier Division this weekend has opened up the title race once again.

League leaders West Bridgford welcomed a Bingham Town outfit who had not won in their last six league outings and hoping to avenge the 3-1 defeat to the leaders back on January 16.

And avenge that defeat they did, as Bingham walked away with all three points with a 4-2 victory, a result which succumbed Bridgford to their first defeat of the New Year.

With Bridgford losing, title hopefuls Ruddington Village capitalised as they claimed a 1-0 victory away at Attenborough.

With the two sides playing last weekend, with Village running out 5-2 winners, the reverse fixture proved to be a more tightly contested match as Village snatched a narrow win.

Village move up to third in the table and sit 13 points off the league leaders West Bridgford, but have six games in hand.

Reigning champions Wollaton saw their charge up the table faltered this weekend as they let a two-goal lead slip to draw with a resilient Burton Joyce side who had been reduced to 10 men.

Wollaton sit 21 points off the top but have seven games in hand, a figure that the current champions will hope to utilise on over the coming weeks as the fixtures begin to clog up.

There was joy at last for Newark Flowserve as they finally got their first win in the Premier Division at the 20th attempt since their promotion from Division One.

New player-manager Stephen Kirkham got his first win under his tenure after they claimed a 1-0 victory over Dunkirk AFC, a result which will give the Flowserve lads a much-needed confidence boost in their fight for survival.

Meanwhile, Clifton All Whites moved up to second as they edged past relegation threatened Beeston 2-1 at the Hetley Pearson Recreation Ground.

The All Whites are now one of seven sides in the NSL Premier Division that could win the title, and with surprise results expected to happen along the way, this year’s campaign has definitely been the best yet and it isn’t even over.

Elsewhere, a thrilling game at Nottingham Trent University’s Clifton Campus saw a titanic battle between two of the NSL’s title chasers, Unity and Awsworth Villa, in the quarter-finals of the NSL Senior Cup.

And it was Villa who prevailed to book their place in the semis after claiming a 5-4 victory after extra-time in a thrilling game of football.

After equalising one minute from time the Villa on went on to grab the headlines as they netted a 120th minute winner.

After a disappointing 2014/15 season, Villa have really shown the qualities their side possess and should not be taken lightly and will be real contenders for silverware this season, whether that be in the league or cup competitions.