Division One South Preview - Weekend Commencing 29 July 2023

Fri 28th July 2023 | Match Previews
By Gary Langley

We go again! Following a long summer and a period of AGM’s changes, moves, drop-outs and drama we arrive at the start of the 2023-24 League season. This weekend sees a number of teams starting their NWCFL Journeys and a number of clubs returning, ready to start their next adventure.

In Division One South a lot of talk over the summer has been about Droylsden’s very welcome return to the National League System and they have found their way into Division One South via a space created by the resignation of Ellesmere Rangers prior to the season starting. They return to competitive league action with a home tie against Abbey Hulton United.

Winsford United were another club who had an indirect route into this Division this season via a voluntary relegation from Step 5 to ensure they could remain in the NWCFL system, they face a tough looking start with a trip to Alsager Town. Both sides could do well in the Division this campaign but Alsager are needing to get off to try and break the cycle of lower half finishes that they have had in recent years. Both have the potential to do well.

Market Drayton Town make their NWCFL debut this weekend following their relegation from the Midland League Premier Division and they have made a number of changes on and off the Park as they look to consolidate and build with a strong community emphasis. They host Cheadle Heath Nomads who had a strong finish to last season, ultimately finishing 9th but having strengthened their squad over the summer.

Stockport Town narrowly missed out on promotion last season, ultimately missing out in the play-offs and they will be looking to ‘go again’ this campaign and keep that momentum going. They face a tough looking opener this weekend as New Mills, another side fancied to challenge visit Stockport Sports Village.

Eccleshall had a reasonable season last time out, finishing in the top ten, they will be keen to build on that and they welcome another side who had a decent campaign in Ashville, who finished 12th on their debut.

Two sides who struggled last time out were Cammell Laird and Stafford Town, finishing 17th and 18th respectively, indeed the latter needed a technical reprieve to avoid relegation.   These two face each other this weekend at the KRCT Ltd Stadium in Prenton. Abbey Hey also had a disappointing campaign by their own standards last time out, finishing 15th and they will be looking to build on a strong pre-season as they host Stockport Georgians at The Abbey Stadium.

Sandbach United have been close to promotion a few times in recent years but haven’t quite got over the line, they will be looking for a good start but face a tough opener away at Barnton. Broton were akin to Sandbach last season, finishing a place behind them in 4th and missing out via the play-offs, they have a home opener against Maine Road who finished 11th.

Lots of great fixtures taking place in what is a jam-packed fixture list, a theme that will be repeated quite a lot this season with an 18 team Division One South this season. One thing for sure is that it is a tough looking season for all clubs, with the 2022-23 season surprising people with relegations and surprise strugglers serving as an example. If you are off to a game this weekend, have a good game and don’t forget to tag @nwcfl in on your twitter or @northwestcountiesfl in on your Instagram pics or Threads Social Media posts.

Photo courtesey of MKS Photo

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