AFC Wulfrunians V Highgate United
The Wulfs start their league campaign at Castlecroft on Saturday afternoon against Highgate United. AFC Wulfrunians are going into the match following a loss to step four Gresley Rovers in the FA cup last Saturday. Highgate played well against NPL (Midlands Division) side Walsall Wood in the FA Cup and narrowly lost in the replay at Oak Park on Tuesday night.
It’s the first league match of the season for manager Craig Gregg and he will be looking to build on last season’s 12th place finish. The signing of Josh McKenzie will be interesting, and it will be matches like this where he will be looking to make an impact.
Highgate United are in store for an exciting campaign, and the visitors will be looking to get results away from home to challenge near the top of the table. Ryan Harkin committing for this season is huge and most of the key players from last season have been kept on which is a positive.
Both teams look well placed to challenge for the play-offs and this should be an evenly contested match between two good teams.
Bewdley Town V Romulus
Bewdley Town start their new league campaign with an exciting home match against Romulus at Ribbesford Meadow. The club have appointed Andy Shaw as their new manager and started the season brilliantly with a 7-3 win against Daventry Town in the FA cup, with Ben Worthington scoring a hat-trick for the hosts. They will look to build on this against Romulus on Saturday and open their league campaign with three points.
Romulus played well in a narrow loss to Newcastle Town in an FA Cup replay on Tuesday night. Finn Douglas stood out for the Roms last Saturday and scored two goals to send the tie to a replay. Neil Tooth is the new manager for Romulus, and it should be an exciting season with the club aiming for the play offs.
The club have made a number of signings to both the playing and coaching staff throughout the summer. Joe Gwilliams and Stephen Palmer have come in from Boldmere St Michaels and Joe Ballinger has come in from AFC Solihull as part of a new-look coaching staff.
This should be an interesting match with both clubs having new managers to start the league campaign and looking to get off to a good start.
Dudley Town V Whitchurch Alport
The Robins are looking to start the league campaign on a positive having lost to Worcester City last weekend in the FA cup at Claines Lane. Matty Lovatt will want to build on the title winning season in MFL Division One and have a promising season competing in the premier division. Key players from last season’s title triumph such as Daniel Danks and Harry Crook have been retained which is a positive and the club will want to get a win early to settle into the season.
Whitchurch Alport are coming off an under the radar season competing in the premier division last term where they finished 9th. The Shropshire club have also retained key players from last season such as prolific striker Alex Hughes for the upcoming season. They started the season well with an encouraging result against Cheadle Town at home in the FA Cup and will be looking to build on that and get a result in this match.
This should be an exciting match with Dudley Town testing themselves against good opposition in Whitchurch Alport and seeing how they adapt to step five football.
Lichfield City V Congleton Town
Lichfield are coming off the back of a narrow 3-2 loss away to Boldmere St Michaels in the FA cup last Saturday and are entering the league season with a bit of momentum having won the JW Hunt cup last season and signing a lot of promising players throughout the summer to boost the squad.
Congleton Town started the season positively last Saturday and managed to beat Wythenshawe Town 1-0 in the FA cup to progress to the preliminary round. The club are entering new territory this season and playing in the MFL following a realignment during the off-season. The Bears come from the North West Counties League (premier) where they finished 8th last season. The club will be aiming for the play-offs and having a good away form will be key to finishing near the top of the table.
Both clubs look set for exciting seasons competing in the premier division and both are capable of pushing for the play offs this season.
Northwich Victoria V Studley
Northwich are another club that have recently been transferred from the North West Counties League (premier) having finished 5th last season. The club have appointed Steve Pickup as their new manager, and it will be interesting to see how they do in the MFL throughout the season. The club started the season with a loss to Skelmersdale United in the FA Cup last Friday and will be looking to push for the play-offs this season in a competitive MFL premier division.
Studley had an intriguing off-season and appointed Solihull Moors academy manager Mike Fowler for the upcoming campaign. The club have made a number of ambitious signings with Jack Whelan joining from Romulus and John Mills joining from Sutton Coldfield Town. They started the season brilliantly with a 3-2 away win against Coventry United at Butts Park Arena and will be looking to build on that in this match.
Both clubs have appointed new managers and have had interesting off-seasons to make this an intriguing match for the neutral and one to watch this weekend.
Stone Old Alleynians V Shifnal Town
This match should be an interesting one and pits two clubs that had completely different off-seasons. Stone Old Alleynians have opted for continuity and retained manager Luke Askey and key players such as Jack Bowater for the upcoming season following a 13th place finish. They started the season with a loss to Atherstone Town in the FA cup last Saturday and will be looking to start the league campaign well.
Shifnal Town had a busy off season and brought in a new management team and fresh-looking squad for the new campaign. Connor Patterson is the new manager for the Shropshire club with experienced coach Graham Deakin being the assistant manager to help the club push for the play-offs. The club have also signed striker Josh Hesson who was brilliant in Lye Town’s promotion season last term. They started the season well with a 3-1 home win against Hereford Lads Club in the FA cup last weekend and will look to build on that result.
Both clubs will want to start the season positively and get a result to build on tomorrow afternoon.
Tividale V Atherstone Town
Tividale are another club who had a busy off-season with Stuart How being appointed as their new manager. The club started the campaign with a surprising 4-1 loss to Rugby Borough in the FA cup last Saturday at The Beeches and will look to get a result here so they can settle into the season.
Atherstone Town have appointed last season’s skipper Jamie Hood as their new manager and could be a dark horse for the play offs this season. They started the season well last Saturday with a 3-0 win at home to Stone Old Alleynians in the FA cup. The Adders have signed a number of players that impressed in MFL Division one last season such as Harry Jackson (Paget) and Corey Alcock (Nuneaton Griff).
This is another match which should be an interesting battle between two new managers in the dugout and both want to start the season on a positive.
Uttoxeter Town V Darlaston Town
Uttoxeter Town were reprieved from relegation last season following Winsford United’s voluntary relegation to the NWCL South. The club also appointed Phil Adams as their new manager for the upcoming season in a competitive premier division. Uttoxeter started the season with a 4-1 loss to Bury at Gigg Lane in front of a crowd of 2,903 supporters in the FA cup and will want to start the league campaign positively.
Darlaston will be looking at challenging near the top of the table this season and have retained manager Dean Gill for the new campaign. There has been a mixture of key retentions from last season and new signings to boost the squad with full back Khalil Harrison joining from Romulus. Darlaston started the season with an encouraging home win against Racing Club Warwick in the FA cup last Saturday and will look to build on that and get a result in this match.
This match will be a tough test for Uttoxeter to open the league season and should be interesting to see if the hosts can contain Darlaston and get something from it.
Wolverhampton Casuals V Stourport Swifts
The Cassies will be looking to start the season well at Brinsford Stadium on Saturday against Stourport Swifts. Throughout the off season the club have brought in a number of Stourbridge and Redditch United players on dual registration to help boost the squad. They started the season with a loss away at Sutton Coldfield Town in the FA Cup last Saturday which was a tough draw for the Cassies.
Stourport Swifts had an excellent season competing in the MFL Premier and finished 7th with a record points total. They had an excellent result against step four side Coventry Sphinx at home last Saturday in the FA cup to progress to the preliminary round.
The club have retained the same management team and key players from last season such as striker Lee Chilton and are quietly building momentum competing in the MFL Premier. The Swifts could be a dark horse for the play offs this season and want to start the season with a positive result away to Wolverhampton Casuals.
This should be an intriguing match in the MFL Premier and it will be interesting to see how both clubs do throughout the season.
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