Football: Abbey boss Wilcox keeping his players focused
MANAGER Karl Wilcox has delivered a warning not to get carried away after guiding Abbey Hulton United to five straight wins at the start of the season.
United continued their impressive opening to the campaign with a 6-0 hammering of Florence, with two goals apiece from Lee Cropper, Michael Wright and Nathan Chin-Shaw.
It comes after former Biddulph Vics supremo Wilcox adapted his side's style of play during the summer to help challenge the likes of Wolstanton United, Hanley Town, Biddulph Town, Ball Haye Green and Redgate Clayton at the top of the Premier Division.
Wilcox, however, has remained grounded with his team only two points clear at the top in the early standings and has urged his players to do likewise.
"It's a good start, but that's all it is at the moment, a start," he said.
"We finished fifth last year and ended up going seven unbeaten, had a good pre-season, the lads are keen and we've had the rub of the green in tight matches so far.
"I felt I needed to change one or two things around in the summer with our pattern of play and it's gone well so far but no-one is getting too excited at Abbey Hulton.
"We all know Redgate Clayton went 12 unbeaten at the start of last season and ended up second and there are six or seven genuine title contenders you could reel off. It's a long season."
Chin-Shaw and Cropper have now both bagged eight goals already this term, topping the division's scoring charts alongside Wolstanton's Mark Grice, who got two himself in a 3-3 draw with Cheadle Town on Saturday.
The prolific pair have helped Abbey net 28 goals in total in the opening 450 minutes of the season, while conceding only three.
Wilcox said: "Nathan and Lee are grabbing the headlines and we are creating a lot of chances, but I'm just as pleased with our goals against column.
"We've started well, but we'll stay calm and work hard to keep this run going."
Redgate won 2-1 on the road at Audley with goals from Mark Massey and Alfie Nelson. Nathan Rowley scored from the spot for the home side.
Reigning champions Hanley beat Keele University 2-1 thanks to goals from Danny Tainton and Ben Sambrook, with Dion Calder scoring a consolation.
Jordan Erdmann got two as Alsager Town won 4-2 at Newcastle Town Reserves, while Eccleshall came from behind to beat Stone Dominoes Res 4-1.
Sean Mountford and Shaun Vincent secured a 2-0 win for Biddulph at Stretton.
Cheadle, who scored through Mark Hodson, Alex Wood and Adam Cartlidge, sit sixth after their fine draw at third-placed Wolstanton.
New boys Uttoxeter Town won their fourth game out of four in Division One when they thumped Redgate reserves 6-0 with goals from Lee Bagley (2), Martin Gadsby, Jack Holly and Tommy Smith (2).
Abbey Hulton reserves won 5-1 at home to Bradeley Town thanks in large to a hat-trick from Moses Adekoe.
Cheadle SMU and Foley shared the points in a 4-4 goal thriller. Matthew Fitzpatrick, Steve Booth, Mitchell Finney and Jamie Tee scored for Cheadle to cancel out two from Matt Wooliscroft and singles from Ashley Bagnall and Darren Wooliscroft.
Scott Abbey and Luke Billinge both hit braces as leaders Hilton Harriers won 4-2 at Congleton Athletic while Ashbourne beat Leek Town 2-1.
In Division Two, Florence Reserves dropped their first points of the season when they were held 3-3 by Betley.
Matt Cockfield got two for Florence.
Stapenhill move top on goal difference after beating Longton 3-0 with second-half goals from Charlie Rumin, Josh Harris and Leon Clarke.
Vibromax racked up a 10-2 win at home to Tunstall Town. Matt Redshaw got four of them while Jordan Taylor notched a brace for the visitors.
Tunstall are kept off the bottom by Whittington, who lost 3-1 to Biddulph Town Res. Matt Robertson, Tom Madden and Liam Hancock scored for Biddulph.