Family affair as the Britton brothers plot success for Longwell Green Reserves
LONGWELL Green Reserves go into the new year with a five-point lead at the top of the Premier Division, having only lost one of their nine games played so far.
Manager Craig Harmer has the assistance of his brother Julian and club secretary Andy Britton in a bid to lift the crown for the first time since 2010.
General manager John Gibbs said: "We have a few players with Western League experience and several promising youngsters."
Winterbourne Reserves are in second place on goal difference from Lebeq, who have left earlier disappointing results behind with improved displays over recent weeks.
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New Winterbourne boss Simon Monks has also guided the team to the quarter-finals of the GFA Senior Amateur Cup on January 12 when they entertain Sneyd Park, who are unbeaten in the Downs League this season.
A return to the Gloucestershire County League is the aim of Lebeq boss Anthony Whillier, who also has a very experienced squad, spearheaded by leading scorer Dominic Holver.
Lebeq also have Senior Amateur Cup ambitions with a quarter-final visit next to Little Stoke, who are in the top three of Premier Division Two of the Suburban League.
Totterdown United are the third side on 17 points with Martin Branwood in his first campaign at the helm and can yet mount a challenge to the top three.
Waiting in the wings with games in hand are Mendip United, champions for the last two years, and manager Richard O'Connor is confident of retaining the title with injured players returning to strengthen his squad after a slow start in the league.
Old Sodbury took time to settle at the higher level after being promoted last season, but a good run of results has lifted Craig Everson's team to a mid-table position.
Roman Glass St George Reserves remain anchored at the bottom with only one victory in ten games, just below Lawrence Rovers, whose boss Tim Richards will be hoping to perform the Houdini escape act from relegation again, with former regulars back at the club to help to get them out of trouble.
The race for promotion from Division One has hotted up with the top five only separated by three points, as the young Bristol Manor Farm Reserves continue to set the pace under Andy Cole.
Greyfriars Athletic are the surprise packet under the wing of Pat Marsh, while Jon Berry is confident of a return to glory days for Highridge United, the GFA Senior Cup holders in third place. Highridge can take another step towards retaining the trophy with a quarter-final success at home to AEK Boco on January 12 so a notable league and cup double could be on the cards. Frampton Athletic and Eden Grove head the next nine sides, covered by just six points, but Brimsham Green and Henbury Reserves are adrift at the foot of the table.