HAVING been given the green light for a return to football, teams from the shoestrings-chargrill Chippenham Sunday League will be hopeful that the forecasted, hail, rain and snow will miss Wiltshire and that they can resume a season that started in early October but was interrupted in November by the second nationwide lockdown of the year.

Prior to Lockdown 2, Melksham based FC Pilot and their local rivals AFC Melksham shared top spot in the Premier Division with 7 points each. With Pilot missing out on a fixture this coming Sunday and with a fortnight of cup fixtures on the horizon, Dave Jenkins will take his AFC Melksham side to Bath Road knowing that if they avoid defeat they will be top of the table come the end of the year. Bath Road themselves won’t be a pushover as they have won their opening two games and if they can beat their guests for a first time in five attempts, it will be Luke Jones side who will go into 2021 in the number one spot.

Bromham who have not had the best of starts to the season, registering just 1 win from their 3 outings welcome title favourites FC Lacock to their New Road. Lacock have won their only game to date, but having beat their hosts 4-2 the last time they met the smart money will be on another Lacock success.

Forest Community Centre have lost their opening 3 matches and unfortunately for the Melksham based side they are unlikely to see any pre-Christmas joy as next up for FCC is a visit from Corsham Wildcats to their Bowmans Court ground and if the hosts were to conjure up a victory it would give them their own Christmas Miracle, while anything other than a Wildcats win would be a massive shock.

Over a Beversbrook, Calne, North Star Club who are currently bottom of the table take on fourth placed Semington FC who have picked up 4 points from their 4 games to date. Both teams will see this as a must win fixture and despite heavy defeats to both AFC Melksham and FC Pilot, North Star have a very good chance of chalking up their first win over the season as Semington have gone off the boil since their opening day win.

Just like the official season opener, the resumption of the 2020/2021 campaign has thrown up a number of mouth-watering clashes, one of the biggest games being at the Lye, Seend where Aaron Latchem’s Division One leaders Lavis FC will be aiming to claim a fifth straight win. Standing in their way are Royal Oak who last season beat their hosts on the two occasions they met and although it maybe early days victory for either teams will see them lay down a marker for the rest of the season. Due to their fine start, Lavis are tipped to take the points.

Kingfisher who are currently at the wrong end of the table travel to Beeches FC and manager Chris Simpkins will be looking for his struggling side to recapture the form of early March when his team claimed a 3-1 success over the team previously known as Westbury Railway. Beeches should give manager Andy Anderson his second win of the campaign with a comfortable win.

Having lost 3 of their opening 5 matches to Covid19 or weather related postponements Biddestone FC are looking to play catch up. However they probably would have preferred opponents other than Bremhill View for their return to action. The Calne based side are in fourth place and playing well so it will take an extra special performance from Biddestone to deny Bremhill a third win of the season.

On the back of three straight victories, Chippenham Icons will start the morning in second place in the standings, and due to a huge goal difference they are likely to remain there even if they lose to local rivals Pack Horse. Icons will give their all to claiming the derby days spoils and pick up the 3 points to keep them in the hunt for top spot, Pack Horse on the other hands will be looking to land a heavyweight blow and get themselves back in the title race having lost to Lavis last time out. This could be a game that sees the points shared.

The remaining fixture sees Sutton Benger who are in third spot after starting their campaign with back-to-back wins take on a Sporting Box side who after their opening day draw with Pack Horse were thumped 6-0 last time out by Chippenham Icons. Benger will be more of a match for their guests, and if the hosts can rediscover the forms of early October they should take the points, if they can’t Sporting may just claim something from what should be another closely contested match.

Two of the three new teams that joined the league this season, go head-to-head in what will be one of the top matches no just in Division Two but across all 3 divisions. Fox & Hounds (Warminster) who are the early pacesetters welcome second placed The Castle FC to their Land Warfare base for what is expected to be a red blooded affair between two of the promotion favourites. The result is really hard to call, however if Castle have a full strength side to call on they are tipped to give manager Tom Perkins an early Christmas gift of 3 points.

Calne United who were the third new club this term will have the welcome mat out for Misfits FC who after picking up their first even league victory a few days before lockdown will be chomping at the bit to get back to action. Calne have manged just 1 point from a possible 9, but for Callum Horne’s side they have a realistic chance of registering their first win since March 2019.

FC Devizes United are unbeaten across all competitions, having won all 4 matches to date. Manager Oscar Webster who is suspended for the visit of FC Libby will be confident of extending that run even further with another convincing win, as Libby despite a convincing win over Warminster Athletic are lacking in the consistency that will see them claim an immediate return back to division one.

Spartak Rudloe have made a promising start to the new season, with a 100% record across all competitions, that includes an impressive 3-2 success over Royal Oak in the Wiltshire Sunday Cup. Manager, Max Bray will be confident that his troops can continue their rich vein of form when the host Calne Athletic who although beating FC Libby at the start of November shouldn’t cause Spartak any problems.

Warminster Athletic will renew old acquaintances with Steeple Ashton and as three of their previous meetings have gone in the favour of Ashton it would be fair to say they will start the game as favourites to take the spoils yet again. Having said that the gap between the teams appear to be narrowing each time they play and it wouldn’t come as a surprise if Stuart Green’s Warminster side didn’t get one over on Dale Raine’s Steeple Ashton outfit.

Fixtures For Sunday 6th December 2020

Shoestrings-chargrill, Chippenham Sunday League: Premier Division, Bath Road v AFC Melksham, Bromham v FC Lacock, Forest Community Centre v Corsham Wildcats, North Star v Semington; Division One, Beeches FC v Kingfisher, Biddestone v Bremhill View, Lavis FC v Royal Oak, Pack Horse v Chippenham Icons, Sutton Benger v Sporting Box; Division Two, Calne Utd v Misfits, FC Devizes Utd v FC Libby, Fox & Hounds v The Castle, Spartak Rudloe v Calne Athletic, Warminster Athletic v Steeple Ashton.