With the first five games of the season already having taken place, the National League North is coming thick and fast for Gloucester City, writes City commentator, Ollie Williams.\r\n\r\nIt’s been a mixed start for the Tigers so far this season, and I’m sure Tim Harris would have liked to see points picked up here and there from those opening games, but this division is tough and anyone can beat anyone on their day, as we proved against FC United of Manchester. Telford on Saturday will be key, with home advantage, we will look to pile more misery on the Bucks, who have installed their new management duo in Rob Smith and Larry Chambers.\r\n\r\nForm for the two is mixed, and looking at the Shropshire side so far, they’ve really struggled. The upheaval of sacking a manager so soon into the new campaign can damage any club. With just one point so far, they look to finally get to winning ways at Whaddon Road.\r\n\r\nBut so far this season, Gloucester have looked bright, with a superb opening day win over FC United of Manchester. Obi Anoruo managed a goal on his debut, and went on to net once again a few days later against Corby Town. However, the Northamptonshire side did score three in the opening half to seal it before the lads could eat their half-time oranges, and with the performance, they’d have tasted a little on the bitter side. The biggest highlight other than our goal came when Jas Singh made a tremendous save from a Greg Mills penalty and then followed it up showcasing stunning reactions to tip the ball over the bar.\r\n\r\nWe dusted off and travelled to Stalybridge, sadly once again we travelled home empty handed, with the opening day win losing significance fast. With Alfreton coming down from Derbyshire, we’ve perhaps already seen the most entertaining game of the year, with both sides having goals disallowed, Spencer Hamilton saw red before Tom Allan gave the visitors the lead. However late on Marc Richards’ bullet header saw the points shared.\r\n\r\nOur opening quintet of games was rounded off with defeat in Lincolnshire, as we lost 1-0 at Boston United’s York Street.\r\n\r\nWe’ve seen some promise in the side so far, with goals key for the season ahead. We struggled to find anyone who could be prolific in the division last year, but with Obi Anoruo, we might just have, as he looks incredibly lively, troubling the defence and his finishing we’ve already seen is superb.\r\n\r\nAt the other end of the field, Jas Singh has shown good form, with a penalty save at Corby and some great stops against Stalybridge and Alfreton. He’s looking solid, which is a real asset to any club whatever division. Meanwhile Spencer Hamilton’s red card ban has been turned over, good news for the side as he looks comfortable at right-back, and did so towards the back end of the 2014/2015 campaign.\r\n\r\nPlaying 4-3-3 is working to a degree, but if a change of shape is needed we’ve got many players who can play in various places to accommodate formation. I was speaking to Tim Harris after the opening day who’s generally pleased with the squad assembled.\r\n\r\n“The pleasing thing for me is that I look at the bench and I see people like Lewis Hall, Joe Parker, Mike Symons, Sammie Hicks and obviously Ricco [Marc Richards] can slot in anywhere and do a job for us, whether that’s in defence or whether that’s in midfield, so the squad is really good.”\r\n\r\nWith a double header coming up on the bank holiday weekend, Telford and Nuneaton have both dropped from the National League last season, and will be tough opposition. Spencer Hamilton of course returns from suspension whilst Anoruo is fit, all good news for the gaffer as City seek to defend their unbeaten home record, whilst looking to pick up their first points on the road at Liberty Way on Monday.\r\n\r\nMake sure to catch all the highlights and interviews, plus loads more on our official YouTube channel ‘GCAFCOfficial’.\r\n\r\nCOYY\r\n\r\n@OllieWills01

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