Express & Star

Lye boss Grant Joshua stunned as Flyers soar to top

Defying the odds and all expectations, Lye Town sit top of the Northern One Midlands, and boss Grant Joshua could not be more proud.


Searching for their fifth league win in a row visiting Boldmere St Michaels tomorrow, Joshua’s side have taken the league by storm so far since their promotion to step four non-league football from the Midland Premier last season.

Victory this weekend would see the Flyers on to 40 points and remain top of the table, but with games in hand for those below boss Joshua remains grounded.

“It’s a little bit surreal,” said the Flyers’ boss. “We’re not arrogant and ignorant enough to not know that the teams below us have got games in hand and I fully expect them to pick up points.

“Our average age is about 21/22 at the moment. The fact that we’re doing it with such a young group is most pleasing for me. There’s no question about it, we are punching above our weight.

“We have probably one of the lowest budgets in the league, but it’s not all about money. It’s about the group of players you have and how they want to work for the club.

“These boys want to play for the club, they’re not coming for a pay day. They’re so well-knitted together. We’ve got a lot of different characters and cultures in the squad but they all seem to come as one and I’m really proud of them.”

Passing the halfway mark of the season, Joshua is putting no pressure on his side to finish in the top five as the Flyers remain driven to perform to the best of their abilities. Joshua said: “The players look like they’re playing with full confidence at the moment.

“It’s about keeping the standards high and driving them.

“The remit this year was to stay in the division. We’ve past the phrase of a good start, we’ve played 20 games, it’s more than a good start.

“Hopefully we can get another three points and that takes us to 40 points. From 20 games, I consider that a good return.

“We’ve proved that we deserve to be where we are, but there will be no pressure from me on the players to go and deliver play-offs or top spot because the teams in and around us have got so much financial power that they can blow us out of the water. It’s about worrying about what we are doing.”

Meanwhile, Sporting Khalsa visit Coleshill Town and Walsall Wood welcome Sutton Coldfield Town. In Northern One West, Chasetown go to Leek Town with one loss from their last six league games while Hednesford Town host Newcastle Town.

In the National League, Kidderminster Harriers visit Maidenhead United, while Rushall Olympic travel to Scarborough Athletic in the National League North.

Elsewhere, Stafford Rangers entertain Lancaster City in the Northern Premier, while in the Southern Central Premier Halesowen Town host Kettering Town and Stourbridge visit Barwell.