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September's fair play kings named!

By David Watters

September’s winners of the EVO-STIK League's newly sponsored FWP Architecture Fair Play Awards are Matlock Town, Leek Town and South Shields!

The trio are celebrating their success as the second winners of the monthly accolades after being named on Friday night as the best behaved clubs last month in the EVO-STIK League Premier, EVO-STIK League South and EVO-STIK League North respectively.

Thanks to the new sponsorship of the Frank Whittle Partnership (FWP), the clubs are now in the running for a share of more than £5,000 in prize money the Northern Premier League hands out annually to the season’s overall fair winners to promote sportsmanship and fair play and back the Football Association's ongoing Respect campaign.

As in previous campaigns, the winners in each division will collect £1,000 with the runners-up banking £500 and the third placed clubs £250 each. The most sporting club with the lowest disciplinary score across the EVO-STIK League's three divisions will also be presented with the Peter Swales President's Cup by FWP at next June's annual awards night in Blackpool.

September’s winners topped the fair tables generated by a totting up of red and yellow cards divided by the number of fixtures clubs have played each month. Clubs must play at least four league games to be eligible for the monthly honours and where tied on points, marks awarded by referees for behaviour in the technical area by managers and coaches are taken into account.

Matlock Town’s squad and joint managers Craig Hopkins are Glenn Kirkwood were named as September’s winners in the EVO-STIK League Premier after collecting just four cautions in eight outings to post the division’s lowest disciplinary points average of 0.50 and an overall average for the season so far of 0.86.

Lancaster City, in second spot in September with 0.60, head the top flight’s overall fair table by the narrowest of margins with 0.82 but have played three games less with Witton Albion still in joint second spot on 0.86 after collecting the inaugural monthly honours for August.

Leek Town under the guidance of manager Neil Baker now head the overall table in EVO-STIK League South after being named as one of last month’s trio of winning clubs. To earn the fair play accolade, the Blues collected six cautions in seven outings to post a disciplinary score of 0.86 and an overall average after the first two months of the season of 1.00. Belper Town and Alvechurch are in second and third spot with 1.10 and 1.25 respectively.

EVO-STIK League North table-toppers South Shields have been writing headlines in the Emirates FA Cup and league all season since winning promotion and Mariners joint bosses Graham Fenton and Lee Picton are proving their side can win the right way after seeing them collect just three cautions in five outings last month to win September’s award. They also lead the season long table with a score of 1.00 from nine outings from closest challengers Trafford on 1.33 and Scarborough Athletic in third on 1.40.

Preston-based FWP stepped up their support for the EVO-STIK League for the milestone 2017-18 50th anniversary season to build on their 10 years of work as existing sponsors and partners. As well as backing the EVO-STIK League's fair play mission on the pitch, the sponsors are set to roll out a series of initiatives off it for all 68 clubs.

Focusing on stadium development, they are set to include an online survey of the needs of clubs and regular updates on the latest industry news and schemes. Representatives from member clubs will also get the chance to meet with FWP's experts throughout the campaign at regional meetings and other events led by the next annual showcase at Blackpool's Hilton Hotel in June 2018. Depending on the results of the upcoming survey, FWP are also considering laying on specialist seminars on stadium development for club officials.

To view the latest Fair Play tables click on the 'League Info' button on the home page and then 'Press Releases' under the 'Downloads' tab.

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Where next?

Stay in touch with live commentary! Fans can tune into live commentary from eight of Saturday's big matches in the EVO-STIK League's top flight and Buildbase FA Trophy.
Charity starts at home on new show Sports Traider's Martin Keech explains why volunteers and staff from the EVO-STIK League's official charity are hoping fans will be digging deep for their cause this season on Friday's new EVO-STIK NPL Show.

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