WITH opponents Chinnor unable to raise a full team, Southam United were without a match last weekend and will be hoping the Oxfordshire club is back to full strength for this Saturday’s away fixture at the Chinnor Community Sports Ground, writes David Hucker.
This was the second time the Saints have seen a match called off the day before, with Milton United Development having pulled out of their scheduled fixture at the end of October.
As a result, Saints completed just two matches in December, but won them convincingly to end the year with 30 points and a clear lead in Hellenic Division Two North.
It is 39 years since the club last won league honours in the old Midland Football Combination and, whilst there is still a long way to go, Richard Kay’s team have set themselves up for a title challenge in their first season back after a two-year gap.
Although not boasting the best defence in the division, their strikers have scored consistently throughout the season, notching 41 goals so far, with Levi Steele, who has been ever-present in the league starting line-ups, scoring in all but one of their 11 matches to take his tally to 18.
He is suspended for the Chinnor match and Kay will looking to others, including second-highest scorer Ethan Champkins, to keep the goals flowing.
“It was disappointing to have last week’s game called off very late in the day again, as we had great momentum” said Kay.
“On the plus side, it has given us a period of rest and time to reflect on what, on the whole, has been a very good 2019 since re-launching the men’s first team.
“Credit to everyone involved, because it has been a huge challenge.”
Kay is able to welcome back Pat O’Brien, who has served his three-match ban, but will be without Ara Rhema and goalkeeping coach Krzysztof Zylski.
After Chinnor, Saints go to Stokenchurch in the Chairmans Challenge Cup on 11th January before returning to league action at Heyford Athletic on 18th January.