A great weekend for West Bromwich Albion Dudley, who have already secured five more points at the conclusion of week three, than the entirety of the 17/18 MDUK Championship season. An opening 2-0 defeat to Bolton Bullets could have easily been the start of a difficult weekend for WBA Dudley, but the side deserve huge credit as they were fantastic after this, back to back 2-0 wins over Middlesbrough Reserves and Nottingham Forest capped a good day’s work on Saturday. Although the side will feel they could have secured more from a frustrating 1-1 draw with Electric Eels, the highlight of their weekend was arguably the single Lewis Harris goal that helped WBA Dudley register a brilliant 1-0 win over promotion chasers Muscle Warriors in their final game. Ten points from a possible fifteen marks one of Dudley’s best ever weekends.

AFC Bournemouth Warriors will be disappointed with their opening defeat to closely matched rivals, Muscle Warriors on Saturday. The battle between the respective sides has been a great watch all season, and with just two point separating the sides, the second automatic promotion spot is still very much up for grabs. That stumbling block in their pursuit of league leaders Manchester United was soon forgotten after recording fantastic wins over Norwich City, Middlesbrough and Cheltenham SW All Stars. Ryan Skinner has impressed all season and is proving to be a real jewel in Bournemouth’s crown, registering a further six goals this weekend to cement his position as the league’s top scorer. Matthew Adams commented:

“We were disappointed with the way the weekend started with defeat to Muscle Warriors dropping us to third. It wasn’t a great performance and know we can play a lot better than what we had produced. However we turned things around by winning our other matches including two fantastic performances and results against Norwich (4-0) and SW All Stars (6-0). The funniest thing to happen over the weekend although it wasn’t at the time was probably getting chased around the court by a wasp which the linesman had to swat away, I guess he was attracted to my bright yellow goalie shirt. With other results going our way on Sunday we were pleased to finish the weekend back in second, two points ahead of third which was where we had started the weekend.”

A great start to week three of the MDUK Championship saw South-West side, Cheltenham SW All Stars, record back-to-back 3-1 wins over both Middlesbrough Reserves and Telford PFC. Following this, the side were quickly penned back against promotion-challengers AFC Bournemouth Warriors on Sunday, conceding three goals in both halves in an unfortunate 6-0 loss. Cheltenham would have hoped for a more positive end to 2018, but struggled to break down a stubborn Norwich City defence, losing 4-1.

Considering their high standards set so far this season, little else was expected from league favourites Manchester United PFC’s in week three of the MDUK Championship. Four games played, four comprehensive victories sees them seven points clear at the summit approaching the long winter break. The only thing more impressive than the sides 10-0 win over Telford on Saturday morning was the fact that all players contributed to that one-sided score-line. The side finished Saturday strongly, with a 5-0 win over Electric Eels. Sunday, all but mirrored Saturday, two convincing wins over Evergreen and Nottingham Forest, keeping clean sheets in both

Another solid weekend for Bolton Bullets who have been fantastic so far this season. Bolton are another side who have come on leaps and bounds from last season, surpassing their points total from last season, and in nine fewer game. The hard work that the players and coaches put in away from the main stage doesn’t go unnoticed and their results at the nationals are surely down to this fact. Bolton were unbeaten across week three of the MDUK Championship. Owen Swift proved clinical in-front of goal, scoring in wins over WBA Dudley, Muscle Warriors and Nottingham Forest. The side will feel they could have secured more from the 0-0 draw with Evergreen, but as a whole, a brilliant weekend for Bolton who didn’t conceded once in their four fixtures. The in-form man Owen Swift shared his comments:

“We knew as a team that this round of fixtures was always going to be tough, but everyone gave it 110% and we played some of the best football I’ve seen us play. We tried to express ourselves and play in a creative style and it worked, but also I was impressed with our defensive discipline and it showed after conceding 0 goals all weekend. Now it’s time to work hard the Christmas break and make sure we cement our place in the top half of the table.”

A great start to weekend three for Muscle Warriors PFC, who secured a league double over closely matched rival AFC Bournemouth Warriors in their opening match. In their two following fixtures on Saturday, Jack Morrell put on a show, registering a brace in both wins over Nottingham Forest and Electric Eels. The side were unable to take the same form into Sunday’s fixtures where an opening 2-0 defeat to Bolton Bullets was quickly followed by a 1-0 defeat to WBA Dudley. The side briefly held the second automatic promotion spot over the weekend and will be desperate to secure it once again. The Christmas break provides the perfect opportunity for the side to prepare and give it all they’ve got for in the leagues remaining fixtures. .

A commendable effort from Middlesbrough Reserves in the third round of fixtures in the Championship. Looking past the sides four defeats, there has been massive improvements in their play and they have a great can-do attitude. The side fought incredibly well in their fixture with Telford, where goals from James Found and Umar Hanif were unfortunate to be little more than a consolation in a 4-2 loss. Middlesbrough took the game to Cheltenham in their respective matchup and were unlucky to leave the tie without anything in a 3-1 defeat.  

After an extremely tough run of fixtures in week three, Nottingham Forest PFC were unfortunate to drop into the relegation zone after five consecutive defeats. Unlucky in a tight opening game with Telford PFC, losing 1-0. Two 2-0 defeats to Muscle Warriors and WBA Dudley marked a difficult Saturday. Games on Sunday against league leaders Manchester United and in-form side Bolton Bullets also ended in defeat.

A single James Harrison goal helped Telford PFC secure an opening win over Nottingham Forest PFC. Over confident, or maybe complacent approaching their matchup with Manchester United saw Telford concede seven first-half goals and three second half goals in one of the most one sided games in the league so far. This was followed by consecutive defeats to Cheltenham and Norwich City. In crucial six-point clash, Telford faced Middlesbrough Reserves in their last fixture of the weekend. The back and forward fixture was one of the games of the weekend. Despite a worthy effort from Boro, a James Wright hat-trick sealed the win for Telford, 4-2 it finished.

An overall excellent weekend for Norwich City who did well to keep pace with the in-form teams around them. Michael Coleman and Ben Everett forged an impressive partnership in an opening win over Evergreen to get off the mark. The side will be disappointed with their fairly one-sided loss to AFC Bournemouth Warriors on Saturday afternoon but impressed on Sunday, securing wins over Telford and Cheltenham SW All Stars. Nine points from twelve ensures Norwich City maintain fourth space in what is proving to be an excellent debut season in the Championship.

Two difficult opening games for Electric Eels, who faced, and lost, to both Muscle Warriors and Manchester United. Following this, a single Luke Brennan goal helped the Eels secure all three points against Evergreen followed by a commendable point against a flying WBA Dudley side. The four points accrued from the weekend’s actions puts a small cushion between themselves and the danger zone. Team-captain Kai Gill shared his thoughts:

“As a team we were really pleased with our performance this weekend. We spoke briefly prior to the weekend about really putting in the team performance that we know we had in us. So it was pleasing for everyone to see especially against tough opponents. We will now continue to train hard in the New Year to improve our performances.”

The battle for league safety is proving to be an exciting one. All of Nottingham Forest, Evergreen and Telford currently sit on equal points, with Electric Eels just one point above them. Overall, a tough weekend for Evergreen who, although, were unable to secure any wins in their pursuit of league safety, registered a fantastic point from their game against in-form Bolton Bullets. With the league being so closely contested down the bottom it will be interesting to see who can break from the pack in the next round of fixtures. Evergreen will take positives from their two games in hand over the two teams below them, but will have a tough ask in the final two weekends of competition, playing five games in each.

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