Unbeaten Rovers poised to pounce at summit after Butlers slip up
FOLLOWING a break for the Charities Cup last weekend, clubs return to league action this week in the Cheltenham Football League, sponsored by Bristol Street Motors Cheltenham Ford, writes Rob Morrison.
A number of teams have now played a quarter of their matches and the divisions are beginning to take shape.
Charlton Rovers sit in second place in Division One, and remain unbeaten after five games; their only dropped points followed a 1-1 draw with third placed Whaddon United. Table toppers Butlers have won six of their seven games but defeat at the hands of Whaddon means Rovers can overtake them if they win their games in hand.
FC Lakeside have started life in Division Two in the same commanding form that saw them take the Division Three title last season.
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They have won six of their seven matches, dropping points in a 1-1 draw with Southside FC.
Three teams in the Division Two remain unbeaten and two of those clubs meet this Saturday when Churchdown Panthers host Cheltenham Civil Service Reserves. Panthers sit in second place, having won five and drawn one of their six matches.
Their manager Kev Taylor, a former Service manager and player, will be hoping to come out of the game with three points and keep the pressure on Lakeside.
Service currently sit in sixth place having won two and drawn two of their four matches.
They were more disappointed than most teams with the recent withdrawal from the league of Bredon Reserves who they beat twice in their first three games meaning they lose the six points they gained from the matches.
Division Three leaders Cheltenham Patriots face Falcons Reserves this week. Patriots have won five and lost one of their opening games and boast a goal difference of plus 22, helped in no small part by their 13-1 defeat of Winchcombe Town Reserves.
In Division Four leaders Shurdington Rovers Reserves boast the only undefeated record in the division having won three and drawn two of their matches.
They face a mid-table Kings AFC Reserves team who's 6-1 victory last time out at Sherborne will no doubt give them confidence going into this fixture.
Northway sit at the top of Division Five with a 100 per cent record, winning all five of their league games.
This week they face a Smiths Athletic Reserves team who have won three of their four matches, including an 8-0 opening day victory over newly promoted Cheltenham United.
Prestbury Rovers Reserves also maintain an unbeaten record although three draws from three games sees them just two places above bottom spot.
They will be hoping to give themselves some breathing room when the host FC Barometrics III at their Prestbury Playing Fields ground this weekend.
Both FC Javelins and Cheltenham Athletic have 100 per cent records in Division Six.
Javelins top the table having played five games, two more than United.
With Javelins not having a game this weekend United will have the opportunity to close the gap on their early rivals when the face Pittville United Reserves.