Week 13 Preview – Abbey Hulton Utd

Each week is seemingly passing like a whirlwind at the moment for Chris Bass and his team, as fixture after fixture is ticked off on the North West Counties Football League Division One (South) schedule.

The Ravens remained unperturbed however, and are enjoying the very rich vein of form that the team are in at present and they are hoping to complete a hectic week with a fourth straight league win before a mini break ahead of next week’s FA Vase 1st Round game.

This Saturday the lads travel to the suburbs of Stoke on Trent to play Abbey Hulton United at Drayton Beaumont Park.

Our Opponents this Week

Abbey Hulton United were formed in 1947 and played for many years with distinction in the local Staffordshire regional leagues. After signing a 99-year lease on their current home, the club moved to the North Staffordshire Alliance league in 1985 before being promoted to the Staffordshire County League in 1987. They were crowned league and cup champions in 1997-98.

In more recent times they were champions of the Staffordshire County Senior League in 2016-17, which earned them promotion to the North West Counties Football League.

United seem to be having a mixed bag of a season. Since the end of August, they have literally won one week and lost the next, but despite this apparent inconsistency they will be a hard nut to crack and last week they ran league leaders West Didsbury very close before losing out in a narrow 3-1 clash. They currently sit 11th in the league on 19 points, and like the Ravens they are still very much in the playoff hunt.

FC Isle of Man Team News

After Wednesday’s mid-week win, the Ravens jumped into the top six for the first time this season and now sit just one point off Sandbach United who sit in the last playoff place… at the moment.

The Manager has been able to pick from a more stable squad in recent games, and it’s shown with the team picking up five wins out of their last six games, including two impressive and dominant performances over the last six days at Eccleshall and Barnton.

The man of the moment is undoubtedly striker Sean Doyle. The big man has really come to the fore in recent games, especially over the last five league games in which he has scored an incredible nine goals (11 for the season). While he will be the first to admit that he’s had great service from his teammates, Sean has invariably been in the right place at the right time and his finishing has been devastating.

His usually partner in crime, Luke Murray will be back for tomorrow’s clash at Abbey Hulton after missing the mid-week trip to Barnton. However, the competition up front is incredible at the moment, with Furo Davies also standing out in recent games and Lee Gale, returning after injury, was also back amongst the goals mid-week at Barnton.

So, with so many players seemingly in form the manager will have some tough decisions to make, but whoever steps out at Drayton Beaumont Park tomorrow we know they’ll do themselves and the club proud.

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