Monmouthshire Windows East Gwent League

THREE teams are neck and neck at the top of Division 1 and two go head-to-head this Saturday, writes Bob Cypher.

With all three teams having identical records, the same +14 goal difference and the same number of points, the only fair way to list them is in alphabetical order, so Chepstow Town A, Rockfield Rovers and Thornwell Red & White A are setting the pace for this season’s campaign.

The situation will change on Saturday when Thornwell are due to welcome Rovers and Town are home to Sudbrook CC.

But all three teams could be in a false position as former leaders Caldicot Castle A are one point behind with a game in hand and a superior goal difference.

They were playing a Benevolent Cup preliminary round match on Saturday, earning a home tie against Sudbrook in the first round proper with a 6-1 win at Chepstow Town B.

Castle beat Sudbrook 8-1 in a league match eight days ago, with goals from Rick Woodland (2), Craig McCluskey (2), Steve Edwards, Sean Marsh, Josh Whitcomb and Richard Lund.

But Woodland and McCluskey were unavailable for the game against Town B and boss Joe O’Brien said his team wasted a number of chances.

“We started against 10 men and looked really dangerous,” he said later.

“We had plenty of the ball and went 3-0 up before Town brought their side up to strength.

“Unfortunately, we stopped playing good football and they made it 3-1 by half time.

“After the break we wasted too many chances but I made three substitutions and we went on to win comfortably, although it should have been a larger winning margin.

“We were missing our captain Craig McCluskey and Rick Woodland, our box-to-box midfielder, who are also our top scorers.

“The referee had a great game and got most – if not everything – right.”

Scorers for Castle A were Joe O'Brien (2), Richard Lund (2) James Reid and Richard Regulski (penalty).

This Saturday, Castle A are home to Caldicot Town, Chepstow Athletic host Severn Tunnel while Mathern A are home to Underwood Athletic.

Undy are home to Mathern B, Tintern welcome Castle B and Portskewett & Sudbrook are due to host Thornwell Red & White B.