Testing times as Mond prepare to face the title favourites

Haughmond’s testing Midland Premier fixture list does not get any easier as they get ready to travel to high-flying Long Eaton United tomorrow, writes Stuart Dunn.

The Derbyshire club, currently in second place, have won seven and drawn the other of their eight league matches this season, scoring 31 goals and conceding just four.

They are three points behind leaders Sporting Khalsa, a side they beat last weekend, and also have two games in hand over.

Haughmond, meanwhile, were beaten 4-1 at Tividale on Tuesday night and remain second-bottom, with just a point on the board from their opening nine matches, eight of which have been played away from home.

Haughmond boss Dan Williams said: “You only have to look at Long Eaton. Any team that’s beating Sporting Khalsa 2-0 has got to be favourites for the league, I suppose.

“I’ve always said whoever finishes above Khalsa will win the league. There’s probably one of four teams that can win the league, probably Long Eaton, Khalsa, Coventry United and Newark.

“Everything everyone tells me when we’ve been to opposition teams is that Long Eaton are just very direct, play areas, long throws from all angles into the box, with a lot of quality.”

“We’ve just got to turn up and just put a shift in basically and see where we end up.”

Three Tividale goals in the final 15 minutes saw Haughmond emerge empty-handed from their midweek trip.

Jack Griffiths had equalised for the Shrewsbury side early in the second half.

“I think we’ve probably conceded 80 per cent of our goals in the last 20 minutes,” said Williams.

As for Haughmond’s performance level at Tividale, Williams added: “We were very good for three quarters of it.”

Market Drayton Town travel to Frickley Athletic in Northern One South East, with new manager Richard Brown having to deal with some availability issues.

He is without former Ellesmere right-back George Carpenter through an ankle problem, but is hopeful of having him back in the next fortnight.

Captain Connor Russo (metatarsal) has been missing since the opening game, with centre-half Zak Hill (hamstring) also out.

Striker Andre James is Drayton’s main source of goals, but has been struggling with a groin strain.

Shifnal Town and Shawbury United lead the way in the West Midlands League Premier Division.

Town have started the season a perfect record of five wins from five matches and will look to extend that to six when they travel to Littleton tomorrow.

United have won five and lost two of their seven games. They visit Wolverhampton Casuals.

It is a different story for AFC Bridgnorth and Wem Town, who both sit in the bottom three.

Managerless Bridgnorth travel to Bewdley Town looking to build on the solitary point they have picked up this season, while rock-bottom Wem have a tough ask if they are going to end their run of six consecutive defeats to start the season.

They are away to Bilston Town Community, who have won four of their five league games to date.

After conceding three atoppage-time goals in a week, Whitchurch Alport go in search of their first win of the season in the North West Counties Premier at home to Northwich Victoria.

Northwich, who were still a Conference side 11 years ago, have won two and lost two of their matches so far.

In Division One South, Ellesmere Rangers are at home to Vauxhall Motors, while St Martins travel to Stockport Town.

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