By – Sour
So..... we’ve supposedly had the first half of the league season. At this point we should have played everyone in Premier 3, and as such should have a fairly clear idea where things are going.
I did say should there didn't I....
Liverpool have been the top dogs so far with wins over all six other teams in the league. One goal wins over us and Oldham show that they’re not invincible, but their +50 goal difference from the remaining 4 games tells a story on its own. They probably didn’t have their best game against Newcastle, and anyone there would probably admit that the pipes were our best friends. That said though the relief that poured out at the final whistle showed just how much the win meant to them. They’ll no doubt be looking to run the board for the rest of the season and make up for losing out on promotion last year.
Oldham, the only other team to have played all six matches, have had a Jekyll and Hyde season. Their home form (minus one 4-14 aberration - Hoo Rah!) has been pretty good whilst their away for has been pretty average. With wins over Leeds, Chester and York, and one goal losses to Liverpool, and Hull, and a more convincing loss to a certain team in silver and black leave them at 3-3 ahead of Newcastle by a goal difference margin of 10, stemming from their 19—5 opening day win at Chester. They’re a good side that’s fallen on tough times and are now suffering the same ills as most of the other teams in this league – lack of players and specifically goalies. But that shouldn’t write them off as when they’re at full strength they’ll be a force to be reckoned with.
Newcastle are in third and the less said about them the better in this article. So, level on points with Oldham only played 4 games, and took a 1-0 win over Chester.
Leeds’ record is a barometer for how competitive the league is this year, losses to Oldham, Liverpool and York and wins against us, and Hull leave them at 2-3. This after they like Liverpool narrowly missed out on promotion to the old D3 last year. They have made it well known that they don’t expect to be promoted this season, but I predict they’ll be right in the mix at the end of the season, and expect them to put a good run together following the (probably enforced) winter break.
Hull have shown further improvement this term, continuing to build on their solid foundations laid over the past few years. Picking up wins against Oldham and Chester show that they’re not just here to make up the numbers, despite their other three games ending in tough losses. If anyone begins to take Hull lightly they’re able to take the points.
York have been hampered by only playing 4 games, managing wins against Leeds and Chester and losing out to Oldham and Liverpool. Their win over Leeds shows they’re capable of taking a result from anyone, but they do traditionally tail off towards the end of the season as workloads and exams take their toll. Their key aim should be to play all of their games, and if they manage that they have every chance of being in the mix.
Chester seem to have been let down by some potential players. All the noises coming out of the Cheshire County Sports Ground last summer pointed to a strong side ready to take the fight to everyone in the league. The restructure seems to have put paid to some of the expected moves, and they are as yet to win a game from six, having to concede a game to Newcastle and postpone another against Leeds due to not having a squad to travel. They’ll be looking to get some points on the board in the second half of the season, and tighten up on the defensive end as the least number of goals they’ve shipped all year is 10.
What do we know about the 2010/11 NEMLA Premier 3 season? Other than on any given Saturday any team can beat any other...not a huge amount. But the fact that the league is so competitive is an advert for the restructure above and beyond any other outcome so far.
Previews, match reports and general musings from the Toon and beyond.