Here at YFS, we have witnessed many a closely fought title race over the years - and none more so than at the summit of this year’s Lanarkshire FDA U19 division. It is seven weeks into the current campaign and an astonishing five teams are in contention for the top spot.
As things stand, a mere nine points separate Wolves BC in first place and Dalziel BC in fifth, with games in hand and goal difference set to play a key part in proceedings over the weeks to come.
Wolves sit top of the table on 21 out of a possible 24 points, two clear of closest rivals Bellshill Athletic. Since their narrow defeat to Mill UTD Colts on the opening day of the season, Wolves have gone on a seven game unbeaten run, notching up an impressive six clean sheets along the way. They hold the best defensive record in the league by quite a margin, but just as impressive are the 43 goals they have put past their competitors this season.
They may look to be unstoppable in their current form, but second placed Bellshill have other ideas. Bellshill are also enjoying a superb run at the moment and, unlike rivals Wolves, they have not yet tasted defeat this season.
Sitting on 19 points from 21, Bellshill have a game in hand over the table toppers, which they should be confident of winning with their equally good record of 43 goals scored. However, they have not been as tight defensively, conceding 13 goals to Wolves' four, which may prove costly in the grand scheme of things.
Moorlands BC, in third position on 16 points, also remain as yet unbeaten and have two rescheduled games still to play, fixtures which could see them enter the fray at the top. They have not been too shabby in front of goal either, scoring 29 goals, and even have a better defensive record than second placed Bellshill.
Just four points further back sit EK Hotspur and Dalziel BC, in fourth and fifth places respectively. To say they were on the fringes of the title race, however, would be doing both teams a disservice.
Both have won four and lost one in their bid for the title and they each have three games in hand over league leaders Wolves. All that separates them is Hotspur’s superior goal difference. The East Kilbride outfit have proven more prolific in front of goal, netting 25 in comparison to Dalziel’s ten and conceding just six as opposed to eight. Should Hotspur and Dalziel take full points from their games in hand, they will be right up there challenging for top spot with the others.
So there are still lots of ifs, buts and maybes in this Lanarkshire title race and nothing is being taken for granted. The next exciting twist will unfold on the 25th of October, as all five challengers are in action.
The tie of the weekend though, will undoubtedly be Moorlands versus Dalziel. The two sides meet for the first time this season and it will be interesting to see if Dalziel can keep rampant Moorlands at bay.
November, however, should see most toing and froing at the top of the table. With all five sides finding a rich vein of form, head-to-heads may decide the destination of the league trophy and there are a few choice ties next month alone. Moorlands have the toughest time ahead with ties against Bellshill and Wolves, while Dalziel and Hotspur will face each other and battle it out for fourth place.
Games in hand galore, goals aplenty and top table clashes - you would be mad to predict who will end November in top spot.