Reigning champions and current tabletoppers Mattersey showed that they are determined to make 2017 as successful as 2016 when seeing in the New Year with a bang in the Gainsborough and District Sunday Football League.
Mattersey brushed aside Smiffys United to the tune of 14-0 and extended their flawless 100% record so far this term to nine matches, in which they have plundered 52 goals and conceded only five.
Now six points clear in the First Division, they look an unstoppable force, and it’s going to take a huge effort from one of their rivals to prevent back-to-back titles.
At present, the only one of those rivals seemingly capable of chasing them is second-placed Friendship, who also began the New Year in style, licking bottom club Misterton United 3-0. The result built them a five-point cushion to the rest of the table, although they were made to work hard by the visitors, who showed signs that they could soon be improving on their deplorable record of 11 defeats in 12 games.
Given that it was the first Sunday of the year, clubs were given the option of waiting another week before resuming their fixtures, so the league programme took on a very depleted nature.
With the third scheduled top-flight match between Elm Cottage and Rose And Crown postponed, there were only two other contests in the other two divisions.
In the Second Division, the points were shared in a 2-2 draw between Rampton Hospital rivals, Ordsall AFC and Leverton United. Remarkably, it was the 15th draw in the division so far, underlining how close and competitive it is. At the top, just one point separates the leading three teams, who are Tuxford WMC, Crooked Billet and MUSC.
In Division Three, there was another landslide scoreline as top-of-the-table Westwoodside routed Ropery Rangers 15-0 to go four points clear of second-placed Ship Inn Morton and five clear of the other two sides in the title race, Kings Arms Reserves and Bridon AFC. Ropery, who have disabled players in their ranks, gave their all and, as usual, showed plenty of sportsmanship.