Saturday July 29th 2023
United Counties League, Premier Division South
Aylestone Park v HISTON
Kick Off 3pm
The Stutes open their second UCL campaign with a tricky looking tie on the road at newly promoted Aylestone Park.
Lance Key’s charges visit the Leicestershire suburbs as the two sides meet for the first time, with Aylestone Park having been promoted from the UCL’s Division One last season as Champions. During their pre-season campaign The Reds made light work of UCL 1 side Saffron Dynamo (10-2), before hosting Leicester Senior League side Magna 73 with a 3-1 victory and then UCL Division 1 Blackstones (result unknown). Current UCL South Champions Rugby Town were the next visitors to Saffron Lane, as the home side ran out 3-1 victors. UCL 1 Lutterworth Athletic were then put to the sword on home turf (9-0), before a 3-1 defeat was suffered against Midland League, Division One Ashby Ivanhoe on Saturday.
There is no doubt that Josh Dixon’s side will come into their opening game at Step 5 full of confidence off the back of their title charge last season. The Reds amassed 95 points, losing on just 5 occasions from their 40 game campaign. A staggering goal difference of 112 was recorded as Dixon’s men scored 153 times, at an average of 3.82 per game! No doubt they shall find defences at Step 5 a little more challenging to break down, yet the free-flowing quartet of Louis Samuels (40 goals), Matthew Langham (25), Tendai Daire (22) and Aaron Nuttal (20) may still prove difficult to halt.
From a Stutes perspective, Lance Key’s side come into the opening game on the back of a slightly inconsistent pre-season programme. A 1-1 draw against a strong Mildenhall Town side was followed by a narrow win over Step 6 Langford, whilst Northern Premier League, Division One South side AFC Rushden & Diamonds were only victors at Bridge Road with an injury time winner. Then, we met what appeared to be a formidable Lowestoft Town who swept us aside 8-1 before we closed out with a 1-0 loss on Tuesday evening at Cambs League side West Wratting.
We start the season with a somewhat disjointed side, due to various reasons. Sam Roach and Luke Lindsay are unavailable, whilst skipper Ollie Brookes and Luke Crisp are suspended owing to the red cards they received on the final day of last season at Long Buckby. Unfortunately, the returning Rob Ruddy is to face a short spell on the sidelines owing to injury and Ed Rolph is also unlikely to feature. Despite these setbacks there have been a number of highlights during pre-season. Chris Gough has proven his worth in goal with some fine stops, whilst Danny Gould has not shown any adverse effects after his lengthy spell out with injury. Those that may well enter the fray on Saturday find themselves a good opportunity to try and cement a starting berth with the above out of contention.
If you are unable to make the journey to Leicestershire, Matt Payne’s Reserve Team are in action at Comberton Village College as they entertain Bluntisham Rangers. He, and his side would very much appreciate your support. Kick Off is scheduled for 3pm.
Adults £6 Concessions £3 U16’s FREE
Aylestone Park, Saffron Lane, Leicester, LE2 6TG
Travel Time from Bridge Road:
1hr 18 mins, 68 miles