MATCH PREVIEW: Larkhall Athletic (H)

Manor Farm host Larkhall as the curtain opens on another Southern League Division One South season, and Jack Davies provides all the insights for this thrilling fixture.

If Farm optimism was high after the productive summer, it reached even higher levels following last week’s FA Cup showing. Lee Lashenko’s men were two down away to Thame before an incredible comeback was sealed by new signing Owen Brain. He adds to a wealth of attacking options, all of whom will be very key to the season. The hosts could not have had more polar opposite seasons at this level in the last two years. An incredible run of form two seasons ago saw them reach the play-off final before needing a relegation play-off to ensure survival last time around.

Larkhall boasts their own heroic debutant from their Fa Cup encounter last week. Forward Archie Ferris took the match ball after his hattrick on debut, as Larkhall beat Corsham 3-1. Other fresh faces for Ollie Price’s side include goalkeeper Arthur Nasta and midfielder Eben Taylor. Former Farm defender Sam Boulton became the club’s new captain in the summer, after a very impressive spell so far. The Larks steadily improved towards the end of last season, ensuring a comfortable mid-table finish and renewed optimism to push on for more this season.

Fact file:

Nickname – The Larks
Manager – Ollie Price
Stadium – Plain Ham
Star man – Archie Ferris
Last game – 3-1 Win over Corsham
Last season – 11th
Fun fact – They made the 5th round of the FA Vase in 3 consecutive years, starting in 2011/12.