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Tricky start to new year for Brighouse Town
Brighouse Town start the New Year in good form and with genuine title hopes in the Baris Northern Counties East League Premier Division.
Postponements over the dreadfully soggy holiday period have not helped any of the clubs in either of the league’s divisions, so all are looking for a positive start to the second half of the campaign.
Paul Quinn’s Town start 2013 in third place but with a tricky fixture at Pickering Town.
The hosts are a healthy ninth in the table but have played more games than Thackley, who are immediately above them, and Retford United, who are snapping at their heels.
Town are three points off second spot and four off the summit but they have one game in hand on the top two.
With the rest trailing in their wake, it is very much a three-horse race for the title and the one promotion place that goes with it.
Thackley also start the year with an away game, albeit one they will be expected to win.
The Dennyboys, who have played fewer fixtures than all seven clubs above them, make the short journey to Glasshoughton Welfare, who are struggling at the other end of the table, averaging just one point per game.
Liversedge are the only one of the area’s three clubs to have home advantage on the first Saturday, and they are also expected to pick up a maximum.
Sedge may still be lacking the consistency that manager Eric Gilchrist craves but the lower mid-table Clayborners are hosting basement outfit Lincoln Moorlands Railway, so will be favourites for a home win.
Albion Sports were second in Division One before several postponements cost them their lofty placing but they have only dropped to fourth and now have three games in hand on leaders Athersley Recreation, whom they trail by just five points.
Albion face a long journey to Louth Town and a tough game is in prospect when they arrive.
The home side may be four places behind Kulwinder Sandhu’s men but are just four points worse off at this stage.
Former Bantams assistant manager Bobby Davison could make his long awaited home debut in the dugout for Eccleshill United on Saturday as the Eagles face a visit from sixth-placed Knaresborough Town.
Davison was made head coach by the Eagles way back at the end of November but the weather problems have restricted him to just one away game in charge of his young side, who are looking to pull away from the danger zone.