Season 2016-17 Latest News
Matt Derbyshire’s Omonia suffered their 7 th defeat of the season,losing 2-0 at home to 2 nd placed Apollon. The Harwood legend still leads the goalscoring table with 21, three ahead of his nearest rival.
Another defeat followed, 1-0 at leaders APOEL with Matt and his team-mates finding it too difficult to break down the best defence in the league, just 18 goals conceded in 30 games. Those two defeats saw Omonia drop to 5 th.
Matt then scored the 75 th minute winner in a 2-1 home success against 4 th placed AEL Limassol.
In League One, Don Fitzgerald’s Wimbledon had any hopes of finishing in the play-off positions destroyed as they lost 2-0 at relegation threatened Port Vale. Even worse followed as another of the strugglers, Bristol Rovers, took just 11 seconds to score at Kingsmeadow and that was all it took to seal the three points.
Fleetwood Town will almost certainly have to settle for the play-offs after they were beaten 1-0 at home by 3 rd bottom Swindon Town and then 2-0 at lowly Oldham Athletic with legend Nathan Pond scoring an own goal.
A 2-1 win at Peterborough United then kept their faint hopes alive.
In League Two, Accrington Stanley’s long unbeaten run continued as they defeated Plymouth Argyle 1-0 at Home Park. That run looked set to end as visitors Crewe Alexandra built up a 2-0 half time lead but three goals in 23 second half minutes gave the Reds another three points. Stanley then took over a thousand fans to Blackpool but they couldn’t reward them with three points and had to settle for a point after a goalless draw.
In the Vanarama National League, Southport sank to the bottom of the table after they lost 1-0 at home to Guiseley while North Ferriby United produced one of the surprise results of the season, winning 1-0 at 3 rd placed Forest Green Rovers.
Less than 800 supporters then saw the Sandgrounders go down 2-1 at home to play-off chasing Macclesfield Town, both the Silkmen’s goals coming in the opening 15 minutes.
They then led 2-1 at Sutton United before a last minute goal almost certainly consigned them to Conference North football next season.
A 3-0 defeat at Dover then saw them make that drop.
Paul Clark’s Aldershot Town stayed in the top five after a 2-0 win at Solihull Moors but then dropped two vital points at home to 3 rd bottom Torquay United after a 1-1 draw in front of over 3,000 supporters.
The Shots then earned a fine point with a 2-2 draw at Tranmere Rovers although Dover’s win saw the Kent side leap-frog them into the top six.
In the North Division, Paul Salt’s Altrincham were relegated for the second season running after a 2-1 defeat at Salford City. The Robins led at the break and gave a good account of themselves but their demotion has been ‘nailed-on’ for quite some time.
They then lost 3-1 at home to Brackley Town before winning a derby at Curzon Ashton 3-2.
Boston United ground out a goalless draw at 8 th placed Brackley Town before defeating Telford United 3-0 at York Street.
The good form looked to be on course to continue at 2 nd placed Kidderminster Harriers but an 87 th minute winner saw the home side triumph.
I went to Victory Park and saw Chorley move back into the play-off positions after a 4-0 demolition of struggling Gainsborough Trinity.
The Magpies then dropped out of the play-off positions after they drew 1-1 at Nuneaton Town whilst Darlington won 3-2 at home to Tamworth.
A 1-0 home win against Worcester City got them back into those places and despite Darlington’s 3-0 win at Alfreton, dropped points by Salfrod City and Stockport County left them in 5 th spot.
Phil O’Dell’s FC United drew 0-0 at Bradford Park Avenue in front of only 566 fans at the Horsfall Stadium and then went down 2-1 at home to Brackley Town.
AFC Fylde saw their lead at the top cut to 6 points after they suffered a shock 2-1 defeat at Stalybridge Celtic while 2 nd placed Kidderminster Harriers won 2-0 at Gloucester City. The loss at almost-doomed Celtic was no fluke and the score could have been much worse.
Even more incredible, they then beat Kidderminster 1-0 to put themselves within five points of safety and give Fylde an unlikely boost.
The Whites then won 1-0 at play-off chasing Halifax Town leaving them just one win from the title.
In the South, Mike Barry’s Eastbourne Borough enjoyed a great result, thrashing play-off chasing Wealdstone 5-1 who saw their run of seven consecutive away wins ended in explosive fashion. Their inconsistent form continued as they then lost 4-3 at 4 th paced Dartford and 4-1 at Ebbsfleet United.
In the Evo-stik North, Clitheroe moved to within two points of the play-off position with a 1-0 win at relegation-bound Goole and then drew 4-4 at Hyde United.
Losing 4-2 with only ten minutes remaining, the Blues hit back but the single point saw them drop further away from the top five.
That gap was shortened after I saw them defeat Bamber Bridge 3-1 at Shawbridge. An even contest sprung into life after Alec Newby gave the hosts a 39 th minute lead and from that point there only looked to be one winner. The same player completed his hat-trick with goals in the 55 th and 58 th minutes to cap a superb individual performance in front of over 400 supporters.
Brig’s Jamie Milligan then scored a fantastic 25-yard free-kick which flew into the top corner, an effort that was equal to anything seen in the Premier League this season.
Ossett Albion were then dispatched 2-0, also at Shawbridge.
Jason Hart was on the scoresheet again for Colne as they won 2-1 at leaders Lancaster City who dropped to 2 nd despite title rivals Farsley Celtic being held to a 1-1 home draw by Droylsden.
The Reds then defeated Bamber Bridge 1-0 at Holt House in front of a crowd of almost 200.
They then came from behind to beat Tadcaster Albion, aslo at home, 4-1 but then lost 1-0 at Glossop North End who leap-frogged them into 4 th place.
Ramsbottom United were thrashed 5-0 at Hyde United and have also been deducted four points for fielding an ineligible player. Colne have also been docked a point for the same offence. Another 5-0 hammering followed, at home to Ossett Town before they shipped in another four, at almost doomed Goole, 4-2 the final score.
Down in the South West, Nick Hancock’s Buckland Athletic exited the Les Phillips Cup after a 1-0 quarter-final defeat at Melksham Town and then lost their 4 th game in a row, 2-0 at home to lowly Clevedon with both the visitor’s goals coming in the first half. They finally got back on track with a 3-2 win at Cadbury Heath.
Over 200 fans then saw them defeat local rivals Willand Rovers 4-0.
Bristol Manor Farm secure the title with a 2-0 win at Hallen.
In the NWCFL Premier Division, two late goals gave Barnoldswick Town a 2-1 home win against Hanley Town but they then went down to Atherton Collieries by the same score, also at the Silentnight Stadium. That win for Colls took them to the top of the table and they consolidated that position with a 2-1 win at AFC Liverpool.
Barlick then won 1-0 at home to Bootle before a 1-0 loss at Barnton and a 6-1 thrashing at Bootle in the return league clash.
The sides then met again in the Macron Cup Semi-Final and a fantastic performance saw them come back from a 2-0 half-time deficit to win 3-2.
The heavy schedule caught up with them in the home game with West Didsbury & Chorlton where they let a half-time lead slip to lose 3-1.
Ex-Robin James Dean opened the scoring for Padiham at the Arbories, setting the Blues on the way to a 4-2 win against West Didsbury & Chorlton.
He was on target again, scoring the second goal in a 3-0 victory at Hanley Town.
Nelson went down 1-0 at Runcorn Town and then failed to beat relegated Cammell Laird, drawing 2-2 at Victoria Park. The free admission helped swelled the gate to 130.
Laird then hosted AFC Liverpool in a Merseyside derby that obviously failed to capture the imagination of the public, drawing just 42 fans who saw the hosts come back from two down to earn a point.
Nelson then lost 3-1 at Bootle.
Darwen fans finally saw some action but it wasn’t the sort they were looking for as they lost 3-0 to Runcorn Town. Three days later they lost by the same score, at the same venue, against the other Runcorn side, Linnets.
They then suffered a third home defeat in a row, losing 2-1 to Padiham.
The losing streak was halted by a 1-1 home draw with Hanley Town.
Ashton Athletic attracted 38 supporters for their home game with Abbey Hey, which they lost 1-0 while Ashton Town saw 41 pass through the turnstiles for their 1-0 defeat to Sandbach United yet three days later Athletic drew 298 for the 2-1 win against Squires Gate and Town drew 315 for the 2-0 defeat against Stockport Town.
In the 1 st Division, Charnock Richard trailed 1-0 at Alsager Town but came back after the break to win 2-1 with goals from Hession and Hough. They then travelled to Chadderton and once again came from behind to win 2-1 and consolidate their 3 rd place.
Daisy Hill were then brushed aside 3-0 with all the goals coming before the break, Hession an Grimshaw once again on target for the villagers.
Next up was a home game against Holker Old Boys and on a night when the goals flew in all over the place, the visitors were smashed 8-0 making it 106 league goals for the season, Hession again on target but leading scorer Grimshaw couldn’t add to his tally of 38.
He then put that right in the next game at Preswich Heys, scoring all the goals in a 3-0 win.
Title rivals Whitchurch Alport won 9-0 at Ashton Town despite the opener not coming until the 31 st minute via a penalty.
Carlisle City came back from two down at home to Alsager Town(what an horrendous mid-week journey)to win 5-3 and St. Helens Town recovering from an 8-0 defeat at Widnes, won 5-2 at Cheadle Town.
Bacup Borough were behind after only 6 minutes of their home game with Stockport Town but came back to win with two second half goals before earning a point with a 1-1 draw at Holker Old Boys in front of just 22 supporters.
They then won 2-1 at Ashton Town before a tremendous performance saw them hold Whitchurch Alport to a goalless draw at West View.
Ashton Athletic produced another shock in the Lancs. Challenge Trophy, beating Radcliffe Borough 2-1 at the Macron, in front of 699 supporters, coming from behind and winning the Trophy thanks to a last minute Vaughn strike.
In the Northern League, West Allotment Celtic have resigned from the 1 st Division after their ground rent was increased by 67%!!! Their very future is now in doubt and the owners? The Northumberland FA-you couldn’t make it up.
Matt Derbyshire opened the scoring for Omonia Nicosia in their home game against 6 th placed Anorthosis after 36 minutes and the home side went on to win 2-0 to move into 4 th place. Matt’s 20 goals sees him leading the goalscoring charts and he’s the first player to hit that target for seven years. It’s 14 years since anyone hit the 30 mark which the ex-Great Harwood Town hero has his sights set on.
In League One, Don Fitzgerald’s Wimbledon put up a fine show at Highbury against Fleetwood Town and with a bit of luck could have taken all three points instead of having to settle for one after a goalless draw.
The Dons then hosted Rochdale and after a tight 1 st half, they scored three goals in five minutes just after the break to seal a 3-1 win.
Accrington Stanley gained a point with a 1-1 draw at Yeovil despite going down to ten men after only 22 minutes when Brown was sent off, again, and even took the lead with their only shot on target during the whole game.
They then won 2-1 at Morecambe thanks to a McCarten double and won the next game, at home to Cambridge United, 2-0.
In the National League, Paul Clark saw his Aldershot favourites brush aside FA Cup heroes Sutton United 2-0 at the ‘Rec’ to keep them within three points of the play-off spots. That gap reduced to one after a 3-1 home win against Dagenham & Redbridge.
At the other end of the table, Southport remained bottom and 8 points adrift of safety after a 2-0 defeat at struggling Braintree Town and that went up to 10 after a thrilling game at another lowly side, York City. The Minstermen took an early 4 th minute lead but as half-time approached, the Sandgrounders had built up a 3-1 lead. York pulled a goal back 2 minutes into added time and hit three unanswered goals after the break.
The Sandgrounders then made it through to the final of the Liverpool Senior Cup after coming from a half-time deficit against Litherland REMYCA at Haig Avenue, 3-2 the final score.
In the National League North, Boston United moved nine points clear of the danger zone with a 2-0 win at 4 th bottom Worcester City and despite dominating the next game at Alfreton Town, went down 1-0.
The Pilgrims then gave their long-suffering fans something to cheer as they recorded their first Saturday home win of the season, 2-0 against 3 rd placed Salford City, in front of another excellent attendance of over 1,200.
Paul Salt’s Altrincham couldn’t build on the the previous week’s victory at Boston and despite doing most of the attacking against 2 nd bottom Stalybridge Celtic, could only manage a 0-0 home draw to leave them bottom and a massive 17 points adrift from safety. A 3-1 home defeat against Nuneaton Town.
Phil O’Dell’s FC United lost 2-1 at Alfreton Town in front of less than 900 fans, a far cry from when the Reds regularly took four-figure followings during their NWCFL days.
They were then well beaten, 3-0 at home to Halifax Town but then won 2-1 at neighbours Curzon Ashton in front of another poor attendance of 829.
Almost 2,500 fans saw the top two teams clash at Mill Farm and it was the visitors Kidderminster Harriers who looked set for the points, leading 2-0 with less than 10 minutes remaining, but a Bradley goal gave Fylde hope before Matt Blinkhorn’s 97 th minute equaliser salvaged a highly unlikely point to the leaders.
They were then held again, Stockport County forcing a goalless draw.
Their lead at the top was then cut to 6 points after a 4-1 thrashing at mid-table Nuneaten Town.
Chorley lost their 6 th game of the season, 2-1 at Harrogate Town before a creditable 1-1 draw at Salford City but three first-half goals then gave Curzon Ashton an unlikely win at Victory Park, a result which saw the Magpies drop out of the play-off positions.
In the National League South, Mike Barry’s Eastbourne Borough gave their fans something to cheer about with a 7-3 home win against Welling United but couldn’t reproduce that form at bottom side Margate who forced a 1-1 draw.
In the Evo-stik Premier, bottom side Skelmersdale United sunk to new depths with a 10-1 home defeat against mid-table Ashton United and followed that up with a 6-0 home defeat by Buxton which saw them relegated.
Even worse news for ‘Skem’ is that the ground owners, Chequer Properties, have refused to give the club a lease to play at the West Lancs. College Stadium. Shame on that company and hopefully they’ll reap what they sow in the future.
At the top, Blyth Spartans all but clinched the title after they scored a 92 nd minute winner at home to Rushall Olympic while 2 nd placed Nantwich Town lost 2-0 at home to Whitby Town.leaving the leaders 13 points clear.
In the Evo-stik North, two Gaskell penalties gave Ramsbottom United a 2-2 draw at 3 rd placed Trafford but the Rams were than thrashed 4-0 at home by Scarborough Athletic.
Clitheroe enjoyed their best result of the season, a 4-1 win at leaders Farsley Celtic, despite going a goal down and moved within two points of the top five with a 2-1 win against Mossley at Shawbridge. The Blues had to come from behind and were cheered on by the majority of a 336 crowd but they had keeper Thompson to thank after he saved a late penalty.
Colne found themselves 1-0 down at the break at home to Colwyn Bay but fought back to win 2-1 and maintain their play-off position.
In the Ryman Premier League, quite a turnaround at leaders Bognor Regis Town where relegation-threatened Folkstone Invicta took a 3 rd minute lead which they held until after half-time but the hosts then ran riot hitting seven unanswered goals to remain two points clear.
In the South West, Nick Hancock saw his Buckland Athletic side remain in contention with a 3-2 home victory against Chipping Sodbury Town.
They then travelled to leaders Bristol Manor Farm trailing them by 14 points but with two games in hand, win or bust. Sadly, the Bucks were swept away 4-1 all but ending their hopes and they then lost 2-1 at home to Cribbs leaving them with just one win from their last five games.
In the NWCFL Premier Division, Barnoldswick Town came from 3-2 down at Runcorn Town to win 4-3 but then twice let a two-goal lead slip at home to Congleton Town, having to settle for a 3-3 draw. The boot was on the other foot in the next game, at West Didsbury & Chorlton where the home side were cruising, 3-0 up inside 30 minutes but Barlick stormed back with three goals of their own in the last hafl hour to secure an unlikely point.
Darwen travelled to bottom side Cammell Laird expecting to give their survival hopes a boost but they suffered a humiliating 4-1 defeat, despite taking the lead, against a team who’d failed to win in their opening 34 league games and who would have been relegated with a defeat.
The Merseysiders then won again, 2-1 at home to Hanley Town but other results confirmed their relegation.
Meanwhile, Darwen then won 2-0 at AFC Liverpool.
Nelson lost 2-1 at home to Hanley Town but came back with a bang at AFC Liverpool. Sebastian Julien hit all five goals in a tremendous 5-1 win.
James Dean put Padiham ahead at Ashton Athletic but three goals in ten 2 nd half minutes gave the home side the points.
Another 3-1 defeat followed, at home to 1874 Northwich and a third loss in a week at Maine Road, 2-0 left them in 9 th position.
In the 1 st Division, Charnock Richard blew the chance to make ground on the leaders after being held to a goalless draw by visiting Silsden and their cause wasn’t helped by two missed penalties.
I then travelled over to Daisy Hill to see their next game and despite their 7-0 win, the game was most remebered for the missed chances. The visitors missed several chances from less than six yards including a couple from one yard! It wouldn’t be exaggeration to say that the score could, and should, have been 20-0.
Next up for the Westhoughton side was Whitchurch Alport, again at home two days later and another seven goal thrashing but the game was very different.
The home side looked set for a huge win, leading 3-0 after only 18 minutes but four goals in 12 minutes just before the break had Whitchurch in front before three further unanswered goals in the final 13 minutes made it a bleak few days for Daisy Hill.
Charnock, meanwhile, hit another five at home to Prestwich Heys but were made to fight all the way to claim maximum points. Having built up a two-goal lead inside the opening half-hour, they were pegged back by the visitors who equalised with only 15 minutes remaining but as on the previous Saturday, their fitness told and goals from Hough, Hession and Grimshaw in the final 13 minutes gave them a 5-2 win and moved them up to 3 rd place.
Matt Derbyshire’s Omonia found themselves 2-0 down by the break at league leaders and local rivals APOEL Nicosia but fought back in the second half. Matt reduce the arrears in the 87 th minute but it proved to be insufficient.
They then gained a fine 1-1 draw at 2 nd placed AEK Larnaca, coming back from a half time deficit and playing the final quarter of an hour with ten men.
Don Fitzgerald’s Wimbledon really needed to win their home game with struggling Northampton Town to keep in touch with the play-off positions but a late penalty gave the Cobblers the three points and just about ended the Dons hopes of promotion.
Next came the ‘big one’ where they hosted MK Dons and the game, watched by just over 4,000, caused a bigger police operation than the West Ham-Chelsea game a week earlier! Much to the delight of most present, Wimbledon won 2-0.
Accrington Stanley moved 9 points clear of the drop zone with a comprehensive 2-0 win at 7 th placed Exeter City and that great form continued as they smashed hapless crisis club Leyton Orient 5-0 at the Crown, much to the dismay of an excellent following of 200 ‘O’s’ supporters.
Paul Clark was amongst a crowd of 3,595 at the Rec to see his Aldershot favourites hold leaders Lincoln City to a goalless draw in the National League but he then had to enure a long, miserable journey home from Guiseley after a 1-0 defeat.
Southport dropped to the bottom of the league after they lost 4-2 at fellow strugglers Maidstone United while York City and North Ferriby United both won. A home game against fourth bottom Torquay United gave them the opportunity to move back up but a last minute goal gave the Gulls a 2-1 win.
In the North Division, Fylde went 11 points clear after they drew 3-3 at Harrogate Town, thanks to Hughes’ 87 th minute equaliser, while none of the six chasing teams managed a win. That gap remained the same after a hard-fought 2-1 win at lowly Gainsborough Trinity.
2 nd placed Salford City lost 2-0 at Tamworth but then won 1-0 at Brackley Town.
Boston United ground out a goalless draw at Halifax Town to remain 7 points above the drop zone but that went down to six after a shocking 1-0 defeat at home to rock-bottom Altrincham.
Paul Salt’s Altrincham continued their impoved form at Telford and deserved a point at the very least but an 87 th minute goal for the home side meant a 23 rd defeat of the season before their great win at York Street.
Phil O’Dell’s FC United defeated promotion-chasing Kidderminster Harriers and Tamworth, both 1-0 and both at Broadhurst Park.
Chorley gianed a decent point at Stockport County with a 0-0 draw in front of over 4,000 fans at Edgeley Park but were then shocked by Aston Athletic who put paid to their Lancs. Challenge Trophy hopes. 295 saw Ashton take an unlikely lead at Leyland before Walker equalised for the Magpies with five minutes remaining to take the tie to penalties. The minnows then scored all five spot-kicks to win 5-4.
In the South, Mike Barry’s Eastbourne Borough were thrashed 5-1 at play-off hopefuls Chelmsford City.
Back in League action, they then dented the promotion hopes of Tamworth after they defeated the Lambs 2-1 at Victory Park.
In the Evo-stik Premier, one of the surprise results of the season at 3 rd bottom Sutton Colefield Town. Leaders Blyth Spartans looked well on their way to three more points, leading 2-0 after only 21 minutes but struggling Town stormed back to win 3-2 and in truth, the margin could and should have been much greater.
Skelmersdale United were just about relegated after losing 5-0 at home to Barwell which meant that they had to win their final 10 games, after winning four of their opening 36 games, but some of their rivals would have to lose all of theirs.
In the Evo-stik North, Colne leap-frogged Clitheroe into the final play-off position thanks to their 4-0 drubbing of Goole and Clitheroe’s 1-0 defeat at 6 th placed Glossop North End. Colne were down to 10 men after only 20 minutes after scorer Phil Dean was sent off and Clitheroe went down to an 87 th minute goal despite dominating for much of the game.
The Blues then made it through to the semi-finals of the Integro Cup, coming from behind twice to defeat Scarborough Athletic 3-2 at Shawbridge.
A Lancs. Challenge Trophy against lowly Radcliffe Borough gave them a great chance of reaching another cup final but despite leading at the break, they went down 2-1 at Leyland.
Colne then hammered bottom side Burscough 8-0 at Holt House while Clitheroe’s hopes were dealt a further blow after losing 2-1 at Mossley.
Ramsbottom United consolidated their mid-table position with a 1-0 win at Tadcaster Albion but were then hammered 7-0 at home by Farsley Celtic for whom Walshaw and Nightingale both scored hat-tricks. They steadied the ship at Brighouse Town, earning a 2-2 draw.
A real thriller at Hyde United where the home side led 3-2 with only 6 minutes remaining of their clash with 2 nd placed Farsley Celtic. Goals in the 84 th and 87 th minutes put the Yorkshire side in front only for Hunter to equalise for the Tigers on 90 minutes. There was still time for Celtic to win it through Clayton and both sides finished with ten men.
Another great game took place at the Butchers Arms where visiting Radcliffe Borough looked to be easing their relegation worries by building up a three goal lead just after the hour mark. The Bloods though, stormed back to level with 10 minutes left and only a great save by Borough’s keeper O’Loughlin denied them a winner.
Leaders Lancaster scored two goals in 1 st half stoppage time in reply to Brighouse Town’s 3 rd minute opener but the visitors hit back after the break and scored the winner in the 93 rd minute. The Dollyblues then lost top spot after losing 2-0 at Colwyn Bay.
In the NWCFL Premier Division, Padiham enjoyed a tremendous 2-1 win at 4 th placed 1874 Northwich despite trailing at the break, both goals coming from Kieran Pickup.
The Storks then came back from 2-0 down with only 10 minutes left at Congleton Town but James Dean brought them back into it before Coyne equalised a minute from time.
Barnoldswick Town won 3-0 at home to Abbey Hey with all the goals coming after the break and followed that up with a 1-0 win at Widnes and a 2-1 home success against Nelson.
Preceding that defeat, Nelson won 3-0 at Congleton Town but remained nine points adrift of safety because of Darwen’s win 3-1 at Irlam and their cause wasn’t helped in the next outing when they lost 1-0 at home to Maine Road.
In the Macron Cup ¼ finals, they then lost 3-1 at home to Chadderton.
Meanwhile, Darwen drew 1-1 at Abbey Hey.
In the 1 st Division, Charnock Richard gained a valuable three points with a 1-0 home win against Oswestry Town and then produced their best result of the season, a 3-2 success at leaders Litherland REMYCA.
Bacup Borough lost 2-0 at home to Chadderton.
Nick Hancock’s Buckland Athletic suffered a devastating 3-1 defeat at lowly Brislington leaving their title hopes hanging by a thread.
Great Harwood Town joined the Blackburn & District Football League Division Three this season after the Accrington Combination was scrapped because of lack of team, just six were due to compete.
Their final record is:
Blackburn Elite-Lost 0-2
Blackburn Elite-Drew 1-1
Darwen Alexandra-Won 5-4
Globe Bullough-Won 4-1
Globe Bullough-Drew 2-2
Hole I’th Wall-Lost 1-2
Hole I’th Wall-Lost 0-2
St Mary’s College Old Boys-Won 6-0
St Mary’s College Old Boys-Won 5-2
The above results don’t all correspond with the ones on the results grid!
The Cotton Cup:
Darwen Alexandra-Won 4-2 a.e.t.
Globe Bullough Park-
Sports Coucil Cup:
The Lion-Won 3-2
Clayton Park Rangers-Lost 1-3
P 16 W 10 L4 F59 A16 PTS 32
They finished the season with a 4-1 defeat Hole I’th Wall who boast a 100% League record.
Nick Hancock and around 150 fellow Buckland Athletic supporters, that’s basically ALL the supporters, travelled up North for the FA Vase quarter-final at Bromsgrove Sporting, while I travelled South to see my first Bucks game.
After an encouraging first 45 minutes which they dominated and should have been a couple of goals to the good, the home side fought back after the re-start. A towering header had the Bucks fans cheering but a linesman’s flag, alledgedly for off side, cut short their joy.
Soon afterwards a penalty gave them the opportunity to take the lead but the spot-kick was saved.
The second half was a different story as Bromsgrove took the lead after the award of a very soft penalty and after that they took control and could have won by more than the 2-0 scoreline.
The Bucks then ground out a 2-1 win at Bitton on a very heavy pitch in front of a rather samller crowd, 53 which including 11 visitors.
Matt Derbyshire’s Omonia Nicosia had the chance to move up to 4 th in the Cyprus1st Division by defeating the side occupying that spot, AEK Larnaca but the home side, which began the game with no less then 7 Spanish players, won quite comfortably, 4-2, a result never in doubt after 50 minutes with AEK three up.
Matt’s boys then enjoyed one of their best results of the season,defeating 4 th placed AEL Limassol 4-1 at home with our hero netting the final goal in the 57 th minute.
In League One, Don Fitzgerald’s Wimbledon came from a half-time deficit to draw 2-2 at Gillingham before defeating Walsall 1-0 at Kingsmeadow. They then enjoyed one of their best results of the season, a 2-1 win at 2 nd placed Scunthorpe United which was good news for Fleetwood Town who renained level on points with the Iron.
In League Two, Accrington Stanley gained a fine point at leaders Doncaster Rovers and another one at after a 2-2 draw at home to Wycombe Wanderers to move 6 points above the drop zone.
In the National League, Paul Clark travelled the long distance up to North Wales but the journey was well worth it as his Aldershot defeated Wrexham 2-0. The good form continued with a 4-0 home thrashing of Woking and according to Paul, it could have been many more.
The Shots were kept out of the play-off positions by Dover for who ex-Boston United star Ricky Miller scored all three in the 3-0 rout of visiting Eastleigh.
Aldershot then gained a point after a 1-1 draw at Eastleigh but had to play the final 65 minutes with ten men after Kellerman’s sending off.
Southort earned a point at Woking thanks to a 0-0 draw but then lost by the same score at home to Chester in front of 1,500 fans, half of whom were Blues fans.
In the National North, Phil O’Dell’s FC United went down 2-1 at Stockport County in front of 5,630, a new step two record.
They then came from a two-goal half-time deficit at Gloucester City to win 3-2, the last two goals coming in the final five minutes.
Paul Salt’s Altrincham point gained in a goalless home draw against Harrogate Town did little to help their cause but the improved form this year continued with their first home win of the season, a very comfortable 2-0 success against third bottom Worcester City.
Boston United found themselves behind at the break once again but the two-goal deficit proved too much and despite a tremendous attacking display, they went down 2-1 to Darlington. Yet another home defeat came a week later, 3-1 against lowly Nuneaton Town.
Chorley, meanwhile, won the six-pointer at home to Kidderminster Harriers in front of over 1200 fans at Victory Park, 2-1 the score, and followed that with another win by the same score against lowly Alfreton Town. The visitors looked to have secured a surprise win before goals in the 87 th and 93 rd minutes gave the Magpies a vital win.
Fylde got back to winning ways with 3-1 wins at Brackley Town and at home to Tamworth.
In the South, Mike Barry’s Eastbourne Borough quickly avenged a defeat at lowly Gosport Borough by beating the same team in the following game, 2-0. Surprise, surprise, they then lost, 2-1 at Maidenhead United before coming from one down at the break to win 4-1 at second bottom Bishop’s Stortford with Romain netting all four.
In the Evo-stik North, Clitheroe were back in League action, the prolific James Walshaw scored two for visitors Farsley Celtic who won 3-1.
Colne were back on the winning trail, defeating visitors Ossett Town 2-1.
Lancaster City’s 1-0 success at Mossley saw them move nine points ahead of the chasing pack.
Ramsbottom United’s good form continued with a 1-0 win at Bamber Bridge.
In the NWCFL, Padiham dropped two more points, this time at bottom side Cammell Laird, who were winless and had conceded a whopping 113 goals in 31 games, after a goalless draw.
Nelson earned a point with a creditable 1-1 draw at home to Runcorn Town.
Barnoldswick Town needed a late Hargreaves goal to resuce a point at Congleton Town
Divison One leaders Litherland REMYCA are finding it difficult to attract a decent crowd with just 53 watching their 5-1 home win against Ashton Town.
Bacup Borough lost 4-0 at home to Alsager Town but on the last weekend of the month they made the most of being one of only a few games to survive the weather by winning 1-0 at Cheadle Town.
Sad news up in the North East where our old cup opponents, Norton & Sockton Ancients, resigned from the Northern League 2 nd Division, citing lack of supporters as the main reason. Their final game was on November 16 th when they lost 4-0 at the Norton Sports Complex to Consett in the League Cup 2 nd Round.
The club are continuing to run their Youth teams.
Matt Derbyshire’s Omonia won 4-2 at Aris Limassol to maintain their 5 th place in the Cyprus 1 st Division but still trailed leaders APOEL Nicosia by nine points.
Matt’s goal was his 18 th of the season and leaves him three ahead of his nearest challenger in the 1 st Division scoring charts.
They then won 2-0 at home to AE Zakakiou who managed just one corner and one shot on target throughout the 90 minutes.
In League One, Don Fitzgerald’s Wimbledon were smashed 4-0 at Sheffield United and then had to rely on a 92 nd minute equaliser at home to Charlton Athletic to salvage a point after a bad-tempered game at Kingsmeadow.
It was then a case of ‘deja-vu’ in the next home game where a 93 rd minute Robinson goal gave them a share of the spoils against bottom club Coventry City.
Our old foes Fleetwood Town won a ‘six-pointer’ against Bradford City at the Highbury Stadium. The 2-1 success saw them move six points clear of 7 th placed Saouthend United.
In League Two, Accrington Stanley won a vital relegation battle at home to Notts County, 2-0 the score. They then went down 2-0 at Fratton Park after goals in the first and last minutes.
Another tough game awaited, this time at play-off chasing Mansfield Town, and what a game it was! 2-0 up within half an hour, the Stags pulled it back to 3-3 just after the hour mark but a 66 th minute Kee penalty looked to have secured a vital three points only for Mansfield’s Arquin to make it 4-4 two minutes from time.
In the National League, Paul Clark’s Aldershot remained two points from the play-off positions after a comfortable 2-0 win at Maidstone United but then dropped two vital points at home to Barrow. Two up insde the opening half-hour, they allowed Ross Hannah to rescue a point for the visitors in the final minute.
Southport sacked manager Steve Burr despite the Sandgrounder’s improved form since he took over in September when they’d lost six of their opening eight games. They were then beaten 3-0 at Gateshead to leave them just a point above the drop zone. They then dropped into the bottom four after a 4-1 home drubbing by second-placed Dagenham & Redbridge despite a 24 th minute Allen penalty giving them the lead.
In the North Division, Paul Salt’s Altrincham put in another improved showing at home to promotion-chasing Halifax Town but still went down 1-0 thanks to an excellent goalkeeping performance by the Tykes’ Johnson which included a penalty save.
They then exited the Cheshire Senior Cup, going down 2-1at Hyde United.
Chorley and Darlington gave a 1,400 crowd at Victory Park plenty of entertainment in a 1-1 draw.
The Magpies were then involved in a thriller at FC United, trailing 3-0 at the break before storming back to level in the 95 th minute.
Boston United’s home form continues to frustrate and they lost 3-0 to Harrogate Town to leave them without a single Saturday success at York Street all season!
The manager’s post-match comments suggested that very few of the current players will be at the club after the Summer. Despite the dreadful home results, the attendances have been excellent with well over 1,000 home fans turning up for the game.
The Pilgrims then drew their lowest attendance of the season at home to Chorley, just over 800 which included an excellent following of over 30 from Lancashire.
I travelled (incognito) with the Magpies supporters who were delighted with the first 45 minutes when their side didn’t need get out of second gear to lead 1-0 but an amazing turnaround saw Boston tear into their opponents and deservedly win 3-1 to ease them away from the danger zone.
The kick-off was delayed because of traffic problems for the team and supporters so full credit to the BUFC and the referee.
Most surprising scoreline of the season so far came at Moor Lane where Salford City battered Fylde 5-0. Dave Challiner, not surprisingly was fuming after the game.
His mood hardly improved after the next game where struggling Telford forced a 1-1 draw at Mill Farm and that point was secured by a man-of-the-match performance by Whites keeper Rhys Taylor.
In the National League South, Mike Barry’s Eastbourne Borough were denied a fine win at home to promotion-chasing Hampton & Richmond by an 89 th minute equaliser but the inconsistent form then returned as they went down 3-1 at lowly Concord Rangers.
In the Evo-stik North, Colne defeated Mossley 2-1 at Holt House but then went down 3-2 at 3 rd bottom Prescott Cables.
Lancaster City trailed 2-0 at home to 4 th placed Farsley Celtic but stormed back to win 3-2 and a 1-0 success at Mossley saw them move nine points ahead of the chasing pack.
Clitheroe were beaten 3-0 at home to 2 nd placed Ossett Town in front of a great turn-out of 356 but then moved up into 5 th place after a 1-0 win at Radcliffe Borough thanks to a 57 th minute penalty save by the visiting keeper.
The Blues then defeated Trafford 3-2 in the Integro League Cup at Shawbridge. Leading 2-0 at the break, they were pegged back to 2-2 before an 86 th minute West goal clinched it for the home side.
Ramsbottom United thrashed Ossett Albion 4-0 away from home with all the goals coming before the break. Another home win, 2-0 against Brighouse Town, left then just five points outside of the play-off spots.
Incredibly, Skelmersdale United sacked club legend Tommy Lawson after 11 years of mostly success. Constantly punching above their weight with a small budget and crowds to match, he’ll be a hard act to follow.
In the NWCFL Premier Division, Darwen lost 9-0 at leaders Bootle with five of the goals coming after the 80 th minute. Thankfully for the Salmoners, the bottom three looked starnded, ten points behing the rest.
Barnoldswick Town lost 2-0 at 2 nd placed 1874 Northwich.
Padiham lost 1-0 at AFC Liverpool and despite taking a 13 th minute lead at Bootle, ost 6-1 to the leaders.
Nelson lost 2-0 at home to Winsford United and already looked doomed, 2 nd from bottom but an 80 th minute penalty from Jason Hart gave them a point at Irlam.
Runcorn Town’s Cairns leads the goalscoring charts with 37 league goals in only 27 games.
Divison One leaders Litherland REMYCA are finding it difficult to attract a decent crowd with just 53 watching their 5-1 home win against Ashton Town.
Charnock Richard looked to be in a fantastic position just a month ago but their season has imploded with a 3-1 defeat at Sandback United leaving them hanging on to a play-off position.
Despite being pegged back twice, they then defeated visiting Widnes 4-2 to stay in touch with the leaders.
Bacup Borough continue to struggle an they lost 2-0 at Widnes.
In the Western League, Nick Hancock’s Buckland Athletic won comfortably at Wells City, 2-0, but remained 12 points adrift of leaders Bristol Manor Farm.
The Buck’s next opponents in the FA Vase, Bromsgrove Sporting, have appealed to Worcester County Council to have their ground capacity increased from it’s current 1,500 for the quarter-final tie. National League North side Worcseter City, who ground share, have a capacity of 2,000!!
A 3-0 home win against Cadbury Heath and a 3-1 success at bottom side Hallen lifted them up to third.
In the Non-League Paper’s Fantasy League, Great Harwood Town are sinking like a stone, down 200 places to 1,236 th while the Boston Danglers are down 100 places to 1,063 rd place.
Matt Derbyshire was booked in added time of the first half of Omonia Nicosia’s home game with Achnas as the visitors took a 1-0 lead into the break. Thye added a second after 67 minutes but the ex-Harwood legend then reduced the arrears four minutes later. Three minutes after that he equalised before completing an incredible five minute hat-trick in the next minute and that’s how it stayed.
The first was a header from a left wing corner, the second from a cross from the right and the third from a left wing cross which was missed by the last defender and turned into the net to send the crowd into raptures. That was followed by a 1-0 win at Karmiotissa with you know who scoring the 85 th minute winner. Despite the win, they still trailed leaders APOEL by nine points.
Nick Hancock, along with 55 other Buckland Athletic fans, in a crowd in excess of 250, made the long trip along the South coast to see the yellows defeat Chichester City 3-1 in the FA Vase.
A trip to Longwell Green Sports in the league saw another three points courtesy of a 3-0 win and that moved them up into 3 rd place.
Don Fitzgerald’s Wimbledon began the year by twice coming from behind to draw 2-2 at home to Millwall. They then survived a tricky FA Cup tie at Sutton United, drawing 0-0.
A 2-1 home win against Oxford United saw them swap places in the middle of the table with their opponents.
Accrington Stanley took the lead twice in the relegation battle with Hartlepool at the Crown but an 86 th minute equaliser gave the visitors a vital point. They then made it through to the 4 th Round after a great 2-1 home win against Luton Town, earning the club £67,500 in the process. Omar Beckles scored the winner in front of 1,717 fans at the Crown with almost 500 making the trip from Bedfordshire.
They were then beaten 3-0 at 2 nd bottom Cheltenham Town, a result which saw them drop below Leyton Orient despite the Londoners also losing.
In the Vanarama National League, Paul Clark’s Aldershot completed a quick-fire ‘double’ over neighbours Woking, winning 2-1 away from home thanks to ex-Woking star Rendell scoring the first and setting up the 91 st minute winner. They moved to within three points of the play-off positions after a 2-1 home success over Southport. The previous game for ‘port saw them pull off a great 3-2 win at home to Wrexham in front of over 2,000 fans.
The Sandgrounders good form continued with a tremendous single goal victory at Barrow.
What a game at Forest Green Rovers where the scoring went, 1-0, 1-1, 1-2, 2-2, 2-3, 2-4, 3-4, 3-5. On 83 minutes it was 4-5 and with two minutes remaining it was all square with Rovers also hitting the bar in stoppage time.
In the North Division, a last minute winner at Gainsborough Trinity gave Boston United a 2-1 win, much to the delight of their 320 travelling supporters but then lost 2-0 at home to upwardly mobile Stockport County.
Fylde moved nine points clear at the top after they won 3-1 at Chorley, in front of over 3,000 fans, and by the same score at home to Phil O’Dell’s FC United while 2 nd placed Kidderminster Harriers lost 3-0 at Salford City.
United then drew 0-0 at Worcester City.
Chorley gained their 2 nd great away win in a row, following up the success at Fylde with a 1-0 win at Brackley Town but they then lost 2-1 at Halifax Town.
Paul Salt’s Altrincham alreay looked doomed to relegation. They drew 1-1 at FC United before yet another home defeat, this time 1-0 to Gloucester City.
A welcome break from League action saw them travel to Runcorn Town in the Cheshire Senior Cup where they went through to the next round after a 4-0 win.
Back in league action, against 4 th from bottom Gainsborough Trinity at home, they lost 3-2.
In the South Division, Mike Barry’s Eastbourne Borough drew 0-0 with Poole Town abd 2-2 with Hungerford Town, both at home.
In the Evo-stik League, Clitheroe won a hard-fought home game against Hyde Unite 2-1 and then progressed to the next round of the Integro League Cup with an excellent 2-0 at Workington.
Ramsbottom United gained a tremendous point with a 1-1 draw at 2 nd placed Ossett Town and then picked up another with a 1-1 draw at Droylsden. A 1-0 home win over Bamber Bridge extended tha unbeaten run.
Colne kept in touch with the play-off contenders after coming from two down at home to Kendal Town to win 3-2 thanks to an 89 th minute winner. They then won 2-1 at Tadcaster Albion.
A home defeat against Trafford saw them exit the Integro League Cup. The score finished 1-1 but the Mancunians went through 4-3 on penalties.
Back in league action, a 2-1 win at Ossett Town made it a great start to the year.
The Ossett derby drew the usual great attendance, 541 saw home side Albion defeat Town 1-0.
The remaining NWCFL side in the FA Vase, Atherton Collieries, produced a fantastic performance to win 4-1 at Shilden despite going behind just after half-time.
In the NWCFL Premier Division, Darwen lost 1-0 at Barnton.
Barnoldswick Town drew 1-1 at home to Maine Road and also changed their manager, Danny Craig taking over from Stewart Airdrie
Padiham won 3-2 at home to Irlam.
In the 1 st Division, I travelled to Charnock Richard to see the promtion clash between them and Litherland REMYCA and it was the visitors who claimed a well-deserved 1-0 win.
Bacup Borough managed a 1-1 draw at Stockport Town.
AFC Blackpool were force to postpone their home game with Widnes at the end of December thanks to mindless vandalism after another break in at their Jepson Road ground and then had to play their scheduled home game with City of Liverpool away from home which they lost 6-2.
That win for the ‘purples’ followed a 10-0 win at Stockport Town.
Matt Derbyshire’s Omonia Nicosia defeated bottom of the table Anagennisi Deryneia 5-1 at home in the Cyprus 1 st Division. The visitors were their own worst enemies, scoring two own goals in the opening half-hour and the ex-Harwood hero made it 3-0 before the break.
Matt then made it 4-0 just after the hour mark but sadly couldn’t complete his hat-trick. Amazingly, there were no bookings in the game.
That soon changed in the next game at Doxa where there were seven, five for the home side. Omonia had to come from behind twice but won the game 3-2 thanks to an 88 th minute winner. Matt made it 2-2 after 82 minutes before making way just after his side scored the winner.
Don Fitzgerald’s Wimbledon thrashed fading Port Vale 4-0 at Kingsmeadow in League One to move up to 9 th place but were then well beaten, 3-0 at Southend United and 2-0 at Bristol Rovers.
Accrington Stanley slumped to yet another defeat, this time 1-0 at home to Plymouth Argyle who remained top with the three points. The Reds more than matched the visitors and were unlucky to lose but the defeat left them out of the drop zone only on goal difference. A 2-0 defeat at Grimsby Town then did little to help their cause but they then won 1-0 at Crewe Alexandra to move up to 21 st place.
In the Vanarama National League, Southport moved out of the drop zone with a goalless home draw against Solihull an continued the improvement with a great 4-3 win against big-spending Eastleigh, also at Haig Avenue. The Sandgrounders were in front for most of the game which ended with only 19 players on the pitch after three were sent off, one for ‘port and two for the visitors.
They were back in the bottom four after a 1-0 defeat at Wrexham.
Paul Clark’s Aldershot were beaten 2-0 at Chester which at least was a huge improvement on last season’s thrashing at the Deva. A huge crowd of just under 3,500 then saw them beat local rivals Woking 4-0 at the Rec with ex-Cards player Scott Rendell notching a hat-trick.
Ex-Boston striker Ricky Miller is continuing his electric form, scoring the first and last of Dover’s goals in the fantastic 6-0 win at FA Cup heroes Sutton United and then scored the penalty which gave his side a 1-1 draw at home to Maidstone United.
In the North Division, Boston United drew 1-1 at Phil O’Dell’s FC United and have never lost an away game against them. That was followed by a 3-1 home win against Curzon Ashton and a 1-1 home draw against Lincs. rivals Gainsborough Trinity.
Chorley were held to a 1-1 draw at Victory Park by Tamworth, a result which saw them drop down to 3 rd but a record attendance of 3,858 at Fylde witnessed a fantastic 2-0 win for the Magpies.
Before that defeat, Fylde went behind at Gloucester City after only two minutes but recovered to thrash their hosts 5-1.
Paul Salt’s Altrincham were easily beaten 3-0 at improving Stockport County in front of just under 4,000 fans at Edgeley Park and went into Christmas a massive 13 points from safety. A near 2,500 crowd then saw FC United win by the same score at Moss Lane.
In the South Division, Mike Barry’s Eastbourne Borough suffered a 1-0 defeat at lowly Oxford City but then beat Whitehawk 3-2 at home.
In the Evo-stik North, Clitheroe moved up to 4 th with a single goal victory over Colwyn Bay at Shawbridge before a 2-1 win, also at home, against Fylde, took them through to the semi-finals of the Lancs. FA Challenge Trophy. A fantastic 500+ crowd witnessed an entertaining 2-2 draw with visitors Colne.
Ramsbottom United came from behind to lead at Workington in the Integro League Cup but were eventually beaten 4-2 on penalties.
A few days later the results column in the Non-league paper had them winning 4-2 at Prescott Cables and 3-2 at Radcliffe Borough on the same afternoon! The first scoreline was the corect one.
They then led 1-0 at half time at Radcliffe Borough but went down 2-1 thanks to a 93 rd minute penalty.
A 1-0 home win against Kendal Town then got them back on track.
In the South Division, Witton Albion fans aren’t getting value for money despite their team’s excellent season so far. After the FA Trophy abandonment against Boston, then the late postponement of the re-arrabnged game, their home game against Carlton Athletic, where they were once again 1-0 up, was abandoned because of fog after 70 minutes!
In the Southern League South & West, Taunton Town led 6-0 after only 27 minutes of their game at Wantage Town but surprisingly failed to add any more goals until the 80 th minute. The final score, 9-0.
In the Western League, Nick Hancock’s Buckland Athletic won 2-0 at Gillingham Town and 1-0 at Willand Rovers thanks to a 93 rd minute winner sent the 40+ visiting fans into raptures.
In the NWCFL Premier Division, bottom of the table Nelson put up a good show against promotion-chasing Runcorn Linnets before eventually going down 2-1 at Victoria Park. A Jason Hart penalty then gave them the lead at home to Bootle but the visitors stormed back to win 4-1.
Darwen eased their relegation worries with a 1-0 win at New Mills and then came back from two down at Maine Road to earn a point.
Barnoldswick Town were held to a goalless draw at the Silentnight Stadium by Ashton Athletic before winning 4-0 at Ashton Athletic.
Padiham defeated visiting Comgelton Town 2-1 with James Dean, for once, not on the scoresheet but then lost 3-1 against Atherton Collieries, also at the Arbories.
The Runcorn derby was attended by the usual fantastic turn-out, 655 seeing host Linnets draw 1-1 with Town in the battle of the top two.
AFC Liverpool looked to have put their recent poor form behind them, leading 3-0 at Bootle just intot he second half but the hosts fought back and goals in the 85 th and 90 th minutes gave them an unlikely 4-3 win.
An amazing attendance at West Didsbury & Chorlton where 674 attended the 1-1 draw with Maine Road.
In the 1 st Division, Bacup Borough hosted Cheadle Town and came from behind to lead 2-1 but with the game moving inton injury time, the visitors scored twice to take home an unlikely three points.
They then held a half-time lead at Silsden but went down 2-1.
Charnock Richard made the long trip to Oswestry Town and hammered their hosts 5-0 to put themselves into a very strong position in 2 nd place. Debutant Jonny Hession came on from the bench after 17 minutes with the score goalless but three minutes later the villagers were in front. He scored the third goal and also hit the bar late on as his side dominated for almost the entire game.
That was reversed in the next game at home to AFC Blackpool where the visitors were 3-0 up with just over half an hour played. Two Charnock goals in the final five minutes gave the final score a misleading look.
They then got back to winning ways with a comfortable 3-0 home success against Bacup Borough in front of an excellent crowd of 200.
City of Liverpool won 10-0 at Stockport Town despite taking 26 minutes to break the deadlock.
Matt Debyshire’s Omonia had a difficult second half of the month, playing the top two sides. They hosted leaders AEK Larnaca and won 2-1 thanks to Matt’s 54 th minute winner but then went down 1-0 at 2 nd placed AEL Limassol, to leave them in 4 th spot.
In the FA Cup, Don Fitzgerald’s Wimbledon breezed into the 2 nd round after a 5-0 routing of Bury in a replay.
They followed that just a few days later with a 5-1 win in League One against the same opponents. A goalless draw at Millwall then saw them rise to 7 th place.
They looked on course for three points against Fleetwood Town at Kingsmeadow, coming from behind but an injury time equaliser saw the game finish 2-2.
Accrington Stanley sank way down the League Two table after defeats to Stevenage, 1-0 at home, and Hartlepool, 2-0 away. Yet another loss looked on the cards as they trailed 1-0 to Yeovil Town at the Crown before substitute Boco levelled in the last minute.
Southport put up a great show in their replay at Fleetwood Town, equalising three minutes from time to take it into extra-time but the home side’s full-time status showed in the end as they ran out 4-1 winners.
The Sandgrounders then lost again, 2-0 in the Vanarama National League at Boreham Wood before earning a point thanks to a 2-2 draw at Chester.
Then it was an early Christmas cracker at Haig Avenue against relegation rivals Braintree Town. After going behind in the first minute, ‘port stormed back to lead 3-1 inside half an hour. Amazingly, Town hit back with three more of their own to lead 4-3 at the break. An equaliser 10 minutes after the re-start was followed by the final goal of the game eight minutes later to give Braintree the win which saw the teams exchange places with Southport dropping into the drop zone.
They quickley moved back above Braintree with a goalless draw at home to Solihull.
Paul Clark’s Aldershot blew the chance to move into the play-off positions after a 2-1 home defeat against Macclesfield Town and they then lost for the third game in a row, 1-0 at home to Eastleigh. Three then became four as they went down 2-0 at Sutton United to leave them 9 points from the play-offs.
No stopping ex-Boston star Ricky Miller who hit the first and last goals of Dover Athletic’s 6-0 win at Sutton United, a result that saw them climb into the play-off spots.
In the North Division, I travelled over to the AFC Fylde to see Boston United take on the Coasters, expecting to see a sound defeat, but not the debacle that followed. The Pilgrims took the lead on 10 minutes and then tore the home defence apart for five minutes, with the home keeper keeping his side in the game with several outstanding saves. Fylde equalised on 15 minutes and then proceeded to make the Pilgrims look like a poor pub team, leading 6-1 by the break. Thankfully for me an the other 84 Boston supporters, they took their foot off the gas and only scored another three before the end, winning 9-2. The last third of the game only yielded a single goal for Fylde.
The Pilgrims’ under 19’s fared rather better a couple of days later, beating Maltby Main 10-0 and Blyth Spartans went one better in the Northumberland Senior Cup, winning 11-0 at home to Bedlington Terriers.
Things didn’t get much better for me and Boston in the next game. I travelled to Witton Albion for the FA Trophy game and despite the home side being two divisions below their visitors, they were by far the better side in the opening period and led 1-0. The referee then called the game off because of fog, saving my boys from an almost certain defeat. That proved to be the end for manager Dennis Greene who left by mutual consent two days later.
Three days later it was back down to Cheshire for the re-arranged game, no mention of a pitch inspection on either of the clubs’ websites but as I parked outside the ground, a passing supporter said that the game had been postponed at 7 o’clock!! Having travelled three hours to get there, the players,officials and supporters were not amused!
A Tom Greaves hat-trick gave Phil O’Dell’s FC United a 3-1 win at Abbey Hey in the Manchester Premier Cup and the Reds then eased past Nuneaten Town in the Vanarama North, winning 3-0 at Broadhust Park.
Paul Salt’s Altrincham had the chance to reduce the gap on the safety line with a win at Alfreton Town but despite leading twice, went down 3-2 with Town scoring in the last two goals in the final five minutes.
Incredible game at Curzon Ashton where the strugglers beat promomtion hopefuls Halifax Town 4-3 despite having three men sent off.
Chorley moved into 2 nd place after a 4-1 home win against Gloucester City.
In the FA Trophy, Chorley, Altrincham and FC United all saw their games postponed and all three saw the re-scheduled games go the same way with Alty’s match being called off at 5 o’clock after being passed at lunchtime.
In the South, Mike Barry’s Eastbourne Borough continue with their inconsistent form that has been going on for years. They entertained second-bottom Weston-super-Mare and despite leading three times, lost 4-3. They then defeated lowly Margate 2-1, also at home.
In the FA Trophy, they struggled at lower-league Leiston but managed to come away with a 1-1 draw.
Ramsbottom United made it through to the next round after a convincing 4-1 win against Reditch United at the Riverside. They then forced a draw at Workington in the Integro League Cup thanks to two Seddon goals but went out 4-2 on penalties.
In the FA Vase, Charnock Richard went out at home to Staveley Miners Welfare after extra-time despite leading 2-1. A consolation was the attendance of 195.
An even bigger crowd, 290, saw Padiham lose 2-0 at home to Bootle.
In the Integro Cup, Colne secured a tremendous 3-1 win at Skelmersdale United before another 3-1 away success, at Radcliffe Borough. The good form continued with a 1-1 draw at Colwyn Bay.
In the same competition, Clitheroe won 4-2 at Blackpool. The Blues followed that up with a 2-2 draw at Prescott Cables, coming back from two goals down, and a 2-0 win at Kendal Town.
Back in the league, they defeated lowly Goole 2-0 at Shawbridge although only just over 200 fans turned out in awful conditions.
In the Liverpool Senior Cup, Prescott Cables won 9-0 at Ashton Town but couldn’t make it double figures after drawing a blankin the final 11 minutes.
In the NWCFL Premier Division, Runcorn Town won 8-0 at home to bottom side Cammell Laird.
Squires Gate trailed 4-2 at home to Hanley Town but came back to earn a point but then let a 3-1 lead slip at Runcorn Linnets to lost 4-3.
Barnoldswick Town took the lead at Maine Road but went down 2-1.
Nelson led at Hanley Town but had to settle for a point after a 1-1 draw and then defeated Atherton Collieries 3-0 at Victoria Park.
On the final Saturday of the month, Padiham were the only local side who managed a game, winning 4-0 at home to Cammell Laird. The game was ‘in the bag’ after only five minutes with the Storks 2-0, the second from James Dean,and he also hit the final one in a 4-0 win.
Charnock Richard’s game at Sandbach United started but was abandoned due to fog.
In the 1 st Division, Bacup Borough won 3-2 at Blackpool thanks to a Michael Gerven hat-trick. Brent Peters’ boys then went down 3-0 at Oswestry Town.
More bad news for the club a few days later as the storms ripped off part of the main stand roof.
In the Western League, Nick Hancock’s Buckland Athletic won 5-2 at home to Chard and 3-1 against Bridport, also at Homers Heath.
An amazing crowd of 634 turned up on a freezing night at Whitchurch Alport to see City of Liverpool win 2-1 thanks to an 87 th minute penalty.
In the Non-league Fantasy League, Great Harwood Town are 1087 th from 1618 entrants while the Boston Danglers are 965 th.
Omonia Nicosia won 1-0 at AEZ Zakakiou although leading scorer Matt Derbyshire couldn’t add to his tally. It was the usual feisty affair with the home side racking up four bookings and Omonia two in the last five minutes. They also had keeper Panayi sent off after 67 minutes.
In the FA Cup, Don Fitzgerald’s Wimbledon looked to be heading out after Bury took a two-goal lead inside half an hour at Gigg Lane but cheered on by almost 400 fans, they fought back with two goals inside seven second half minutes to force a replay.
Another trip to the North West ended in disappointment as the Dons could only force a goalless draw at Oldham Athletic.
Fitz’s local side Carshalton Athletic were involved in a thriller at home to Hastings United, Trailing 3-1 at the break, they led 4-3 after only 15 minutes of the second half before the visitors equalised on 64 minutes and that’s how it ended.
In the Conference, Paul Clark was amongst the 266 Aldershot fans who travelled to leaders Forest Green Rovers and after trailing at the break, they fought back to deservedly equalise on 89 minutes. Sadly for Paul and his chums, Rovers hit the winner after 92 minutes.
Another long trip followed, to 2 nd placed Lincoln City, and it proved to be an afternoon of delight and despair for the Shots fans. After they took the lead, the Imps hit back with two goals of their own to go in at the break in front but Paul’s boys were back in front with 20 minutes to go. An injury time equaliser then sent the visiting supporters home despondent.
A 3-2 home win against Maidstone United lifted Southport out of the relegation places but they were never in danger of dropping points, leading 3-0 at the break and only conceding the second goal after 94 minutes.
A 2-2 draw between Tranmere Rovers and Chester drew almost 8,000 supporters.
In the North Division, AFC Fylde had their home game with struggling Stalybridge Celtic sewn up just past the half hour mark, by which time they were 4-0 up. They only managed one more but cemented their place at the top.
The Lancs Challenge Trophy home game against Darwen saw them breeze into the 3 rd round after a 6-2 win. The Coasters led 4-0 after only 18 minutes and 6-0 two minutes after the break before the visitors gained a little bit of respectability.
The Whites then held on for a 1-1 draw at 2 nd placed Darlington.
Boston United scored a last minute winner at Telford United but their indifferent home form then continued against Brackley Town. The visitors were unbeaten in their seven league games and raced into a three goal lead within 33 minutes. The Pilgrims pulled one back before the break and then saw a penalty saved but made it 3-2 with 25 minutes still to play but couldn’t force the equaliser.
Ex-Pilgrim Ricky Miller hit all three of Dover’s goals at Solihull Moors to take his season’s tally to 21.
Chorley drew almost 1000 fans to Victory Park for their game with Nuneaton Town and one goal proved to be enough for the Magpies. They then won 2-1 at Squires Gate in the Lancs Challenge Trophy.
Phil O’Dell’s FC United woes continued as they were well beaten at home to bottom side Bradford Park Avenue. A last minute goal for the Reds made the score 3-2 but they remained in 17 th position.
Despite going behind at relegation-bound Stalybrige Celtic, they then hit back to win 4-2 and move up four places.
In the FA Cup, Mike Barry’s Eastbourne Borough suffered an embarrassing exit, losing 7-0 at Braintree Town, a side who’s won just one of their nine Vanarama home games this season.
That was followed up by a great 4-1 win at Wealdstone and this after trailing at the break.
Accrington Stanley produced one of the results of the 1 st round of the FA Cup by winning 2-1 at Bradford City.
Paul Salt’s Altrincham lost 2-1 at Lincoln City and to make matters worse, they sunk to the foot of the Vanarama North after Bradford won.
I then travelled over to Moss Lane to meet Paul for the Manchester ‘derby’ against Salford City. A promotion which allowed season ticket holders of other clubs to see the game for just a fiver helped swell the attendance to 2,403 but the Robins were well beaten 2-0, a result which left them a huge nine points from safety.
In the Evo-stik League Division One North, Clitheroe suffered two more defeats, at home to Lancaster City, the winner coming two minutes from time, and again against Glossop North End despite taking a two-goal lead after half an hour.
The Blues held the lead until five minutes from time when two late goals gave the Hillmen the points and propelled them into the top five where all five clubs had 28 points.
They then progressed in the Lancs Challenge Trophy thanks to a 4-2 win at AFC Blackpool. They had to come from behind with Newby once again on target.
Yet another loss looked on the cards as they trailed 2-0 at second bottom Prescott Cables with less than 10 minutes remaining but the Blues secured a point thanks to goals from Carroll and Tuanzebe.
Colne won 3-1 at struggling Goole but were then held to a 2-2 draw at Holt House by Radcliffe Borough.
Ramsbottom United moved towards mid-table after a 4-2 home win against Mossley.
Nick Hancock’s Buckland Athletic could only manage a 2-2 draw at Chipping Sodbury, a result which saw them remain in 4 th place in the Western League Premier Division.
Next up was a huge FA Vase second round game at home to Newport(Isle of Wight) where an own goal was enough to see them through in front of a crowd approaching 200.
In the NWCFL Premier Divison, Darwen drew 1-1 at Barnoldswick Town and by the same score at home to New Mills.
Barlick then drew 1-1 at Cammell Laird but had looked on course for a win before a last minute equaliser.
A 4-0 loss at Harrogate Town followed in the West Riding County Cup.
Nelson were denied three points by a last minute equaliser for West Didsbury & Chorlton which saw the game finish 4-4 but then lost 3-1 at Runcorn Linnets.
A Lancs Challenge Trophy exit followed after a penalty shoot-out at home to Atherton LR.
Top v bottom rarely pans out as expected but leaders Runcorn Town despatched bottom side Cammell Laird 8-0 to extend their lead at the top to five points.
Padiham have been in great form since signing James Dean and he scored the Storks second goal against Abbey Hey after only seven minutes. Two minutes later it was 3-0 before the visitors pulled one back. When Deano hit his second after half an hour, Young had already hit the fourth. Abbey Hey then brought it back to 5-3 with 30 minutes left but the only other goal of the game came for Padiham in the final minute.
Another home game, this time against Winsford United, brought another four goals. The visitors took the lead before Padiham hit back to win 4-2 with Deano hitting the final goal four minutes from time.
A massive home game in the FA Vase followed but they lost 2-0 against league rivals Bootle in front of 290 fans.
Ex-opponents Hall Road Rangers saw their hopes ended after a 2-0 home defeat against Bottesford Town.
In Division One, Bacup Borough drew 1-1 at Atherton LR. But then lost 4-2 at Litherland REMYCA.
Charnock Richard went through to the 3 rd Round of the Reusch Cup after a 2-0 home win against Chadderton but then lost 1-0 at Ashton Athletic in the Lancs Challenge Trophy.
Matt Derbyshire opened the scoring for Omonia Nikosia at Nea Salamis 20 minutes from time but his side had to settle for a share of the points after the home side levelled 7 minutes later.
He then scored twice, in the 44 th and 58 th minutes to help Omonia win 3-1 at home to Aris.
A report has revealed the scale of corruption and referee intimidation in the country with officials cars, homes and families being targeted.
Back in the EFL, Don Fitzgerald’s Wimbledon drew 0-0 at home to Swindon Town but then won 2-1 at Bury and 1-0 at Peterborough United.
A home win against Bradford City would have moved them up to 5 th place but the Bantoms won 3-2 to leave the Dons in 9 th spot.
When Blackpool took an 80 th minute lead at the Crown it looked bad for Accrington Stanley but goals in the 88 th and 94 th minutes gave the Reds the most unlikely of wins and must have shocked the ‘early leavers’.
A goalless draw at Crawley was followed by another home game, against basement boys Newport County where a win would have lifted them up into 5 th spot but a shock 3-1 reverse left them in 9 th.
Paul Clark saw his Aldershot favourites draw 0-0 at Torquay United before losing by the only goal at Dagenham & Redbridge but a 1-0 home win against Guiseley lifted them to 6 th place.
A change of manager at Haig Avenue has done Southport the world of good and they ended the month in fine form, drawing 1-1 at home to Sutton United, beating York City 2-0, also at home, and coming from a half time deficit to win 2-1 at Torquay United, a result which took them into 19 th position.
Ex-Boston star Ricky Miller has been in sparkling form for Dover and he hit four goals in the 6-1 demolition of Braintree, making him the hottest property in the Conference.
In the Conference South, Mike Barry’s Eastbourne Borough drew 2-2 at Truro before winning for the first time in six games, 1-0 at home to bottom side Bishop’s Stortford.
In the North, AFC Fylde remain top despite a rare defeat, 1-0 at Tamworth.
Previously, they’d drawn 3-3 at Kidderminster Harriers, and beaten both Nuneaton and Harrogate Town 2-1 at home, the latter coming from a half-time deficit.
Phil O’Dell’s FC United were involved in a thriller at home to Alfreton Town. They tore the visitors apart in the first half to lead 3-0 after 37 minutes but three goals in fifteen minutes either side of the break saw the visitors level but United held on before hitting an 82 nd minute winner.
They then hit six without reply in the Manchester Premier Cup at Chadderton before going down 1-0 at much-improved Telford.
A 2-0 win at Kidderminster Harriers was probably their best result of the campaign so far but they were then well beaten, 4-2 at home to Gloucester City and 3-1 at Halifax Town.
Chorley remain amongst the leading group and wins at Bradford Park Avenue, 3-0, 1-0 at home to Harrogate Town before a surprise 1-0 defeat at Victory Park against Stockport County. A disappointing draw at Curzon Ashton was followed by an even bigger disappointment at Alfreton Town where they led 2-0 with only three minutes of normal time remaining before being pegged back to 2-2.
Injury ravaged Boston United earned an excellent point in a 3-3 draw at Salford City but then had to settle for a goalless draw against Worcester City at York Street before being thrashed 4-1 at the same venue by Halifax Town.
They looke to be back on track after taking a two-goal lead at Nuneaton but a alst minute goal saw the game end 2-2.
Two goals in the final five minutes gave Paul Salt’s Altrincham the points at lowly Stalybridge Celtic but that was followed by three defeats. 2-0 at home to Telford, 3-2 at home to relegation favourites Bradford Park Avenue, despite leading 1-0 at half-time, and a comprehensive 3-0 loss at Worcester City.
In the Evo-stik League, Clitheroe have been disappointing after a good start to the season. They drew 1-1 at home to Trafford before smashing Bamber Bridge 4-1 at Irongate thanks to a Newby hat-trick. They then lost 1-0 at Scarborough Athletic.
Ramsbottom United won 1-0 at Colne but then went down 3-2 at Scarborough.They then made it through to the next round of the FA Trophy after defeating Prescott Cables 2-1 at the Riverside.
Colne again failed to score at home but at least they picked up a point in draw against Brighouse Town.
In the NWCFL, Nelson’s defence have been under the cosh, losing 7-0 at Abbey Hey and then 6-0 at Ashton Athletic who actually led 5-0 after only 40 minutes.
A much-improved performance saw them draw 0-0 with Squires Gate at Victoria Park. In the Macron Cup, the Admirals went through after a single goal win at home to Oswestry Town.
A 90 th minute own goal gave Darwen a point in a 3-3 draw at Congleton Town. They then lost 3-1 at home to Abbey Hey before defeating Barnton 2-0, also at the Anchor.
Ashton Athletic then dumped them unceremoniously out fo the FA Vase with a 4-0 thumping. The misery continued at West Didsbury & Chorlton where they lost 3-0.
Ex-Harwood star James Dean has really found his scoring touch since joining Padiham and he hit the only goal of the game at home to Runcorn Linnets before a huge gate of 283.
He repeated the trick with a last minute winner at home to Squires Gate and rounded off the scoring in a 3-0 Vase win at our old opponents Guisborough Town.
Another of the teams who we’ve played in cup competitions in recent years, Hall Road Rangers, won 3-2 at Congleton Town.
Barnoldswick Town took the lead at Winsford United but still went down 2-1. They then went out of the Vase after losing 3-1 at Charnock Richard with all the goals coming in extra-time.
They then came from behind to win 2-1 at home to Cammell Laird in the Macron Cup.
Charnock Richard had previously won 2-1 at home to Atherton L.R.but exited the Macron Cup after a 2-1 extra-time defeat at Hanley Town.
Bacup Borough lost 2-0 at home to Sandbach United and 5-0 at Prestwich Heys before earing a point in a 1-1 draw with St Helens at West View. They then put up a fine show in the Macron Cup at Runcorn Town before going down 3-2.
Down in the South West, Nick Hancock’s Buckland Athletic are amongst the Western League front-runners despite a 3-0 defeat at Melksham. They then produced a fantastic performance in the FA Vase, winning 3-0 at 2014 winners Sholing. Another big win followed, 4-1 at home to one of the their main rivals, Odd Down.
Matt Derbyshire’s Omonia lost their first Cyprus League game of the season, 2-1 at Apollon.
Don Fitzgerald’s Wimbledon defeated Gillingham at home in League One and then beat League Two leaders Plymouth 2-1 in the Checkatrade Trophy, also at home.
They then defeated Oxford United, at the 13 th attempt, 3-1 at the Kassam Stadium to ove above MK Dons for the first time ever, much to the delight of their 500+ following.
Accrington Stanley suffered a 2-1 defeat at Cambridge United, seeing two late penalties saved by the home keeper.
The Reds then dropped another two points as they let in a late equaliser against lowly Cheltenham Town at the Crown Ground.
Paul Clark’s Aldershot moved into the play-off positions with a 1-0 win at York City and a few days later had the opportunity to go top as they hosted leaders Forest Green Rovers. Sadly for Paul and the other Shots fans, they were blown away after a first half thrashing. Rovers were 2-0 up after only 8 minutes and were down to 10 men on 17 minutes. Two more goals before the break ended the contest but at least that was the end of the scoring.
Thankfully, they were soon back on track, beating Solihull Moors 2-0 at home to leave them in 6 th spot.
Southport are struggling and they remained second bottom after a 2-1 home defeat against Bromley and a 4-0 hammering at Solihull Moors.
A trip to bottom side Guiseley gave then the opportunity to move up a couple of places but they sank to the foot of the table after a 2-1 defeat.
Boston United made their annual FA Cup exit at the hands of lower league opponents. Losing 2-0 at Kettering Town after a lacklustre display, not helped by an early sending off.
They then had to settle for a point as they were held to a goalless draw by mid-table Worcester City at York Street.
Paul Salt’s Altrincham made it through to the final qualifying round of the FA Cup after an easy 3-0 home win against Morpeth Town an followed that with a 2-0 success at struggling Stalybridge Celtic.
Mike Barry’s Eastbourne Borough were held to a goalless draw at home to South Midlands League side Hadley but did win the replay, 4-1, to progress to the final qualifying round.
A 1-1 at Bath City then left both sides in mid-table.
Phil O’Dell’s FC United looked on course for a terrific win against Harrogate Town, leading 3-1 with 12 minutes of normal time left and 3-2 going into the 95 th minute but that’s when Colbeck hit the equaliser.The Yorkshire side then won the replay 2-0.
The next game at Broadhurst Park saw another thriller with United on course for a big win against Alfreton Town, leading 3-0 after only 37 minutes. Three goals in 15 minutes either side of the break brought Town level but an Ashworth goal 9 minutes from time gave Phil’s boys the three points.
Chorley were surprisingly beaten 1-0 at Spennymoor Town before a huge game against promotion rivals Harrogate Town at Victory Park. An excellent game, watched by over 1200 fans, was settled by a 76 th minute penalty by the home side’s Blakeman.
Fylde remained top of the table despite Kidderminster Harriers netting a late equaliser at Aggborough, 3-3 the final score.
In the Evo-stik North, Clitheroe were held to a 1-1 draw against Radcliffe Borough at Shawbridge and then exited the FA Trophy at the preliminary round after an embarrassing 5-0 home defeat at the hands of Stocksbrige Park Steels.
Colne enjoyed a great 5-1 home win against Prescott Cables but hen went out of the FA Trophy after a 2-1 home defeat against Trafford.
Ramsbottom United lost 2-1 at Glossop North End but went through to the next round of the FA Trophy after defeating Sheffield 3-1 at the Riverside.
In the Macron Cup, Nelson won 2-1 at Barnton thanks to goals in the 88 th and 90 th minutes, the latter from the penalty spot. A 3-0 win at Darwen was then followed by a 1-0 home reverse against AFC Liverpool to leave them 3 rd bottom.
A daunting trip to leaders Atherton Collieries was next and the Blues gained an excellent point after a two-all draw. They had led 2-0 before goal-scoring machine Battersby scored a second half double. The point though wasn’t enough to lift them out of the bottom three.
Padiham lost 3-2 at home to 1874 Northwich despite James Dean giving them a 1 st half lead. They then came from behind to win 2-1 at Barnoldswick Town and then won 6-1 at Barnton.
Deano then gave the Storks a first-half lead at home to Darwen but the visitors hit back to earn a point before 188 fans at the Arbories.
Darwen lost 4-2 at St Helens Town, a result which looked highly unlikely with the Salmoners leading 2-0 after only 6 minutes.
They were then well beaten 3-0 by Nelson at the Anchor in front of a fine turn-out of 185 before being held to a goalless draw by bottom side Cammell Laird, winless and with the worst defensive record in the Division. Those games preceeded the draw at Padiham.
Barnoldswick Town came from behind to win 3-1 at West Didsbury & Chorlton before the home defeats at the hands of Padiham, Bootle and Squires Gate.
In the NWCFL 1 st Division, Charnock Richard won 5-1 at Ashton Town, the game over by the break with the score 4-0, and then came from behind to win 3-1 at AFC Blackpool. That great form continued as visitors Cheadle Town were dispatched 6-1 leaving the home side joint top. A long mid-week trip up the M6 to Carlisle City brought another three points thanks to a 3-2 win. The second of the those goals was scored by the League’s top goalgetter, Grimshaw, his 15 th of the campaign.
Bacup Borough won 2-1 at Eccleshall and by the same score at Daisy Hill two days later coming from behind in the second game. They then lost 2-1 at home to Chadderton in the Reusch 1 st Division Cup.
City of Liverpool scored two goals in the final ten minutes of their home game with Daisy Hill to rescue a point in front of 559 fans.
Down in the South West, Nick Hancock’s Buckland Athletic breezed past hosts Cribbs, winning 6-0 to keep in touch with the leaders Bradford Town. A 3-0 home win against bottom side Bitton kept them in 4 th place.
Matt Derbyshire wasn’t on the scoresheet as his Omonia side won 2-1 at Ethnikos Achnas 2-1 to stay 3 rd in the Cyprus 1 st Division.
When they went 2-1 down at home to Karmiotissa just before the hour mark, all three substitutes were brought on, including Matt, who took just 15 minutes to equalise. Seven minutes later he put his side in front and another home goal four minutes after that gave Omonia a 4-2 success.
Don Fitzgerald’s Wimbledon gained a surprise 2-1 win at London rivals Charlton Athletic and were cheered on by a fantastic following of 1,714 fans. The three points moved them up into 17 th place although a defeat would have left them bottom of League One.
They then drew 1-1 at home to Shrewsbury Town before coming from behind to lead at Coventry City but a 94 th minute equaliser denied them of three points.
Accrington Stanley recorded a superb 1-0 home win against high-flying Portsmouth in front of 2,461 fans at the Crown which included 806 visiting supporters.
The Reds then produced a fantastic display at West Ham United and deserved to win before an added time Payet free-kick gave the home side a 1-0 win.
They then came from behind to win 2-1 at Colchester United and drew 1-1 at home to Mansfield Town.
In the Vanarama National League, Paul Clark made the long jourmey up North to see his Aldershot favourites take on struggling Southport. Another poor Haig Avenue crowd of less than 800 saw the points shared after a disappointing 1-1 draw which saw the Shots slip down to 7 th place.
Paul then saw his team score three unanswered second half goals against bogey side Gateshead to leave them in 7 th place with a home record of five wins, one draw, eleven goals for and only one against.
Southport won 1-0 at bottom side North Ferriby United although the three points weren’t enough to move them up from second bottom.
Paul Salt and his fellow Altrincham supporters finally had some thing to cheer about as the Robins progressed intohe next round after a 91 st minute Reeves goal gave them a 3-2 home success against Gainsborough Trinity.
More good news was that Duncan Whatmore made his 10 th Sunderland appearance, activating a ‘sell-on’ clause which will see Alty receive a four-figure fee, all of which is set to be used for transfer fees.
I then met up with Paul for the game with Boston United and after an end to end game, with little between the sides, I was the one who went home happy after the Pilgrims won 1-0 and leave the Robins still winless.
Fylde lost their first game of the season, going down 1-0 at Alfreton Town in the Cup despite dominating for the majority of the game.
They then defeated Gainsborough Trinity 3-1 at home despite trailing at the break and won 2-1 at Stockport County.
In the Evo-stik Premier League, James Dean’s Warrington Town won 2-1 at Grantham Town thanks to two second half goals by the evergreen Ciarran Kilheeney.
In the North Division, Bamber Bridge remained top despite a 2-0 home defeat by struggling Colwyn Bay but they then let a two-goal lead slip at Hyde United and were replaced at the summit by Brighouse Town.
Charnock Richard then won 2-0 at Irongate in the Lancs FA Trophy.
Prescott Cables would have gone top had they beaten Mossley at home but the visitors produced a superb perfrmance to win 5-0.
Clitheroe moved into 7 th place after a 3-2 home win against Droylsden but then dropped two points after being held to a goalless draw by Burcough, both games drawing 300 fans. A trip to North Wales followed and although the Blues led 2-0 in the second half, they still went down 3-2 with the Welsh side’s opener coming from ex-Blue Scott Bakkor. They got back to winning ways with a 3-0 success at Kenal Town.
Colne went down 3-1 at home to Trafford, 1-0 at Scarborough Athletic and 2-1 at Farsley Celtic.
Ramsbottom United were winning at Lancaster City but ended up losing 3-1 before drawing 1-1 at home to Prescott Cables. They then lost 3-1 at home to Colwyn Bay.
In the FA Cup, I travelled down to Kirby Muxloe in Leicestershire to see Boston United scrape home 2-1 against the villagers who competed in the 2 nd qualifying round for the first time and also recorded their record attendance, 330, thanks to around 250 travelling fans.
One of the biggest shocks was Blyth Spartans 4-2 home defeat against Northern League Morpeth Town in front of a four-figure crowd.
That attendance was the second highest of the round, 1,425 seeing Stockport County defeat Hyde United 2-0 at Edgeley Park.
Chorley breezed past Dunston UTS while Phil O’Dell’s FC United cruised into the 3 rd qualifying round thanks to a fabulous 7-1 win at Ossett Town.
The Magpies then earned a point with a goalless draw at Teford United before easing past Prestwich Heys in the Lancs Challenge Trophy courtesy of a 5-0 away win.
FC, meanwhile, drew 1-1 at Tamworth before dropping two more points after a goalless draw at home to Curzon Ashton.
Mike Barry’s Eastbourne Borough scrapped home against Metropolitan Police thanks to two goals in the last 15 minutes which gave them a 2-1 win.
Eastbourne United, meanwhile, have been re-instated to the FA Vase after Guildford City, United’s conquerers in the 1 st qualifying round, were thrown out after fielding an ineligible player, who as it happened, scored the 93 rd minute ‘winner’.
Mike’s boys were then destroyed by visitors Chelmsford City who won 5-1 not helped by two sending offs within an hour.
Bromsgrove Sporting won their Vase game 13-0 with the manager away on holiday so maybe he should go away more often! The next round was rather different but they still won, 1-0 at Tipton Town.
Also in the second qualifying round, James Dean hit both goals in Padiham’s 2-1 extra-time win at West Auckland Town. It was a goodtime to play the Northern Leaguers after they lost 9-0 at 3 rd bottom Washington the previous week. Deano’s first came when he turned his marker in the box and fired in from 12 yards an his second was a great effort. Going into the final minute of extra-time, he cut in from the wing and unleashed a 25-yards shot into the bottom corner of the net.
Ex-opponents Norton & Stockton Ancients lost 3-2 at Chester-le-Street while Hall Road Rangers won 4-3 at Silsden after extra-time.
There were some high scoring games in the round, Bacup Borough getting thrashed 7-3 at Congleton Town after extra-time, after leading 3-2 just after half-time, Barnoldswick Town coming from behind, in the first minute, to hammer Stokesley 7-1 at the Silentnight, Hllam defeated Nostell M.W. 8-1, Westfields beating Dudley Sports 8-0, but the biggest winners were Shoreham who won 10-0 at Oakwood.
Charnock Richard progressed after a fine 3-1 win at Harrogate Railway Athletic.
The remaining NWCFL side went out of the FA Cup, Ashton Athletic losing 5-0 at home to Halifax Town.
In the Premier Division of the League, Barnoldswick Town lost 2-0 at home to Runcorn Linnets but then won 3-2 at Squires Gate. Barlick were cruising until home goals in the 82 nd and 87 th minutes had them hanging on.
They then defeated Irlam 3-0, also at the Slientnight Stadium.
Nelson lost 2-0 at Maine Road and 3-1 at home to 1874 Northwich.
Padiham lost 3-0 at home to Bootle and then 2-1 at Atherton Collieries.
Darwen lost 3-1 at Runcorn Town before being crushed 6-0 at home to Maine Road.
In the 1 st Division, Bacup Borough lost 1-0 at home to Oswestry Town and by the same score at home to Padiham in the Lancs Challenge Trophy.
Charnock Richard have adapted to life in a higher league without too many problems and the highlight of the season so far was when they hosted City of Liverpool, won 4-3, and attracted a crowd of 240.
The Scousers ‘dodgey’ form continued as two late goals for Whitchurch Alport condemned them to a 3-2 home defeat.
Fantastic game at Litherland REMYCA, where the hosts defeated Widnes 6-5.Litherland led 2-0 after only 12 minutes but just after the hour mark Widnes had stormed into a 4-2 lead. The home side drew level but three minutes later the visitors re-took the lead. Two more home goals in the final 8 minutes ened the scoring.
Nick Hancock’s Buckland Athletic smashed visitors Hallen 5-0 at Homers Heath to remain on 3 rd place in the Western Premier League but after leading 2-0 in their next game at home to Bradford Town after an hour, courtessy of two penalties, they ended up drawing 2-2.
Matt Debyshire couldn’t maintain his hot goalscoring form for Omonia Nikosia as they had to settle for a point after a 1-1 home draw with lowly Doxa who picked up their first point of the season. The ex-Harwood legend did though pick up a 59 th minute yellow card. Omonia dropped down to 4 th spot after that disappointing result.
In League One, Don Fitzgerald’s Wimbledon gained their first ‘maximum’ of the season when beating Chesterfiled 2-1 at Kingsmeadow but were then beaten 3-2 at home to Sheffield United, leaving them 4 th bottom.
In League Two, our ex-landlords Accrington Stanley drew 1-1 at Carlisle United and then won 2-0 at Notts County.
Paul Clark’s Aldershot moved up to 6 th spot in the National League after inflicting a first defeat of the season on Tranmere Rovers before a terrific turn-out of 2,585, the Shots won 3-1.
They were then held to a goalless draw by Chester, also at the ‘Rec’.
Paul then made the mid-week trip to Boreham Wood where he saw another draw, 1-1 the score.
A third minute goal from Dover was enough to see off struggling Southport at Haig Avenue before just 760 fans but the Sandgrounders then earned a terrifc point after a 1-1 draw at fancied Eastleigh.
Sadly the next time out saw a 4-1 home thrashing by Barrow, who scored all of their goals inside an hour.
In the North Division, Fylde slipped to second after an 88 th minute Gloucester City goal gave the visitors a 2-2 draw in front of another great attendance of 1,425.
The Coasters then returned to the top after a 3-2 win at FC United despite going down to ten men just before the break.
Paul Salt’s Altrincham’s misery continued as they lost at home again, 3-2 to Stockport County, despite the Robins leading until 15 minutes from time. That result was consolation for the huge away following who endured non-stop rain in the ‘open’ away end.
Alty then slipped to 2 nd bottom after an embarrassing 5-0 defeat at Cheltenham against Gloucester City and a few days later were beaten 4-1 at Nuneaton.
Boston United peppered Phil O’Dell’s FC United for almost the whole of the first half but still found themselves level at 2-2 at the break, and to make matters worse, FC hit the only goal of the second half.
The Pilgrims then earned a point at Stockport County after an excellent game produced a 1-1 draw.
A home defeat looked on the cards three days later as they trailed 2-1 at home to Alfreton but strikes in the 89 th and 94 th minutes gave them a unlikely victory.
Over 1,500 fans were at Moor Lane to see Salford City go top after a terrific 4-1 win against Alfreton Town.
Chorley moved up to 5 th after a 1-0 win at Tamworth but could only draw 1-1 at home to Brackley Town.
Boston is the only place that Stalybridge Celtic had picked up points and the poor form continued with their fourth straight home defeat, 4-0 against Nuneaton Town.
In the South, Mike Barry’s Eastbourne Borough moved up to the dizzy heights of 6 th after a cracking 4-0 home victory over Oxford City. The visitors have lost their opening four away games with a goal difference of 0-10.
The Sports were then held to a 1-1 draw at Poole Town before losing 3-1 at Welling.
In the Evo-stik North, an 82 nd minute Prescott Cables goal condemned Clitheroe to a 2-1 home defeat in front of another fine 300+ crowd at Shawbridge and another efeat followed, 1-0 at Tadcaster Albion.
Ramsbottom United defeated Droylsden 3-2 and then drew 2-2 with Glossop North End, both at the Riverside.
In the FA Cup, Colne went down 1-0 at Hyde United but then won 1-0 at Ossett Albion in the league.
James Dean’s Warrington Town were well beaten 3-0 at Workington before defeating troubled Ilkeston 4-1 at home in the league in front of 333 fans, although Deano was missing from both line-ups.
Ashton Athletic produced arguably the performance of the round, beating Mossley 7-2 at home.
Chippenham Town were the highest winners, 9-0 against Moneyfields.
Ex-opponents Brigg Town were thrashed 6-1 at fancied Kings Lynn Town.
In the NWCFL Premier Division, Padiham went down 4-2 at Runcorn Linnets and then 5-1 to Hanley Town at the Arbories despite taking an 8 th minute lead.
They then turned the form book around, winning 4-1 at Squires Gate with the game being sewn up by the break, already 3-0 up. The final goal was scored by James Dean so I presume that it’s the ex-Harwood player who has dual registration.
Nelson beat Barnton 4-0 at Victoria Park but couldn’t carry on tht good form as they were then beaten 2-1 at home in the Vase by Heaton Stannington.
Barnoldswick Town drew 2-2 at home to 1874 Northwich but a couple of days later lost 3-0 at Atherton Collieries.
In the Vase, a Gaughan hat-trick helped them to a fantastic 4-0 win at Darlington Railway Athletic.
A last minute McKenna goal earned Darwen a point in a 2-2 home draw against AFC Liverpool but exited the Vase after a 2-1 home defeat to Pickering Town in front of an attendance of 174.
In Divison One, Bacup Borough lost 3-0 at home to Litherland REMYCA and then 1-0 to Sandbach United, also at West View.
Litherland, meanwhile, came from a half-time deficit at City of Liverpool, to win 2-1 in the Vase in front of an amzing 711 supporters.
Brent Peters’ side then won 2-0 at home to Holker Old Boys.
What a game at Oswestry Town where the home side drew 6-6 with Silsden.
The home side led 4-1 but the Yorkshire side hit back to lead 6-4 and Town also down to ten men, but 90 th and 95 th minute strikes left the crowd breathless. The defenders also played their part in the goal-fest with three own goals.
Back in the Vase, Charnock Richard had a great 2-0 win at Whickham.
The Great Harwood Town legend that is Matt Derbyshire began his new career in Cyprus with a bang, taking just two minutes of his league debut to hit the target. He scored a penalty which set his Omonia sdie on their way to a 3-1 home victory against Ermis.
As is often the case in Cypriot and Greek football, there were bookings galore, three for the home side and four for the visitors.
Next up was a trip to Anagennisi Deryneia and things looked bleak as the home side raced into a two-goal lead just after the half-hour mark but Matt brought them back into the game just three minutes later with a close-range strike that looke suspiciously offside, and then equalised in the 5 th minute of 1 st half stoppage time. That was just after Anagennisi had been reduced to ten men and the usual crazy tackling continued with three bookings apiece. Surprisingly, despite lying in 3 rd place, Omonia’s attenadances are 17% down on last season, averaging 6,787.
In League One, Don Fitzgerald’s Wimbledon lost 2-1 at home to Scunthorpe, making them the only side in that Division without a win. They did, however, pick up their first point of the campaign with a goalless draw at Northampton Town.
A tough trip to Rochdale followed and it looked destined for their first maximum, leading 1-0 until a 95 th minute equaliser left left rooted to the bottom of the table.
Just 461 fans then saw an excellent performance dispose of Swansea City’s under 23 side 3-1 in the Checkatrade Trophy.
In League Two, Accrington Stanley continued with their good form, even though their results haven’t reflected that. Despite firing in 13 shots at Wycombe Wanderers, the home side managed only six, they had to settle for a point after a 1-1 draw. John Coleman must have been nervous when he saw the name of Akinfenwe on the Chairboys teamsheet and it took the ‘giant’ just five minutes to open the scoring.
Sean McConville hitting the equaliser.
Sadly that form deserted them in the next home game when they lost 2-1 to Exeter City.
A local derby against Morecambe followed and they lead 2-0 after 34 minutes before Hughes sending off changed the game. The Shrimps stormed back with three goals, 15 minutes either side of the break, gave them the three points.
They then exited the Checkatrade Trophy after a 3-0 home defeat against Crewe Alexandra.
In the same competition, Fleetwood Town disposed of the Rovers under 23’s 1-0.
In the National League, Paul Clark’s Aldershot raced into a two-goal lead at Bromley after only 21 minutes but had to settle for a point after a 2-2 draw. The Shots then went down 2-0 at Braintree, the Iron’s first win of the season.
Two first half goals gave them a 2-0 home win against North Ferriby United and a 2-1 success at over lifted them up to 5 th.
Southport lost 3-1 at Macclesfield and 3-0 at Lincoln City to make it three away defeats so far with one goal scored and ten against.
A huge 3,000+ crowd then saw them hold Tranmere Rovers to a 1-1 draw at Haig Avenue but the Sandgrounders then lost 5-1 at Forest Green Rovers to slip to 2 nd bottom and cost Manager Andy Bishop his job.
In the North Division, Paul Salt was in shock after his fancied Altrincham favourites lost 6-0 at home to Fylde, five down at the break and six down a minute or so after the re-start, so it could have been much worse!
The Coasters then smashed another bagful as they won 5-3 at Alfreton Town.
Alty then lost 4-2 at home to Manchester rivals Curzon Ashton despite taking a 1 st minute lead, and then went down 1-0 at Kidderminster Harriers. That, along with some personal abuse directed at manager Neil Young, caused him to resign, not just from Altrincham, but from football altogether.
Fylde then went to the top of the table after their first home win, 3-2 against Halifax Town in front of just under 2,000 fans.
Those three goals made it 19 in their opening six games and they carried on that trend at Bradford Park Avenue, winning 4-1.
Boston United finally got some points on the board with a 3-0 home win against previously unbeaten Tamworth with the Pilgrims even having the luxury of a missed penalty.
They then travelled to Chorley and I made the short trip more in hope than expectation, bearing in mind that Boston lost their best six players during the Summer and had no less than eight first-teamers out through injury.
After a quiet opening the Magpies hit two quick-fire goals and that proved to be enough but only some wayward finishing and excellent goalkeeping prevented a rout in the second half with just one more scored.
That success followed a similar home win against Bradford PA three days earlier.
The Pilgrims then salvaged a point with a 1-1 home draw against an impressive Kidderminster Harriers thanks to a late equaliser.
I then managed to take in the next game, at Cheltenham, against Gloucester City, and once again, some very weak defending cost them as they lost 3-1. Manager Dennis Greene, like Alty’s Young, came in for some ‘grief’ from a minority of ‘supporters’ and appeared to be seriously considering his future.
Chorley, meanwhile, won 1-0 at Worcester City before beating struggling Stalybridge Celtic by the same score. Celtic’s manager Liam Watson, a man like Alty’s Neil Young, has a terrific non-league C.V. but he also quit the game, to concentrate on helping his son’s career.
The Yorkshire derby between Bradford and Harrogate Town failed to capture the imagination of the local populus, just 301 seeing the visiotrs go 2 nd with a 3-2 win.
Phil O’Dell’s FC United lost the big Manchester ‘derby’ 1-0 at Salford City and were then held to a 1-1 draw by bottom side Worcester City at Broadhurst Park.
A 1-0 defeat at Brackley left them near the foot of the table and that was followed by another defeat, 3-2 at home to Darlington.
In the South, Mike Barry’s Eastbourne Borough defeated Concord Rangers 2-1 at home before winning 2-0 at joint leaders Hungerford Town.
Two draws then followed, 0-0 at home to Ebbsfleet and 1-1 at East Thurrock United.
In the Evo-stik Premier Division, James Dean’s Warrington Town defeated visitors Matlock Town 5-3 before drawing 1-1 at Marine, Deano coming on as a last minute substitute.
In the North Division, Colne produced a fine performance to win 2-1 at Bamber Bridge but then lost by the same score at Droysden despite leading at the break.
A 1-0 win at Kendal Town had them back on the right lines.
Clitheroe comfortably disposed of visitors Scarborough Athletic, winning 3-0 but lost out on a money-spinning FA Cup run when they lost 1-0 to Consett at Shawbridge.
They looked on course for another three points at Brighouse Town, leading 1-0 with only 6 minutes left on the clock but they still managed to lose 2-1.
Scarborough, meanwhile, led 2-0 at Tadcaster Albion in the FA Cup but still lost 3-2, in front of a terrific turn-out of 612.
Ramsbottom United lost 2-1 at Kendal Town and then exited the FA Cup. Losing 2-1 at home to Sheffield.
They then attracted a terrific crowd of 264 for a Friday night game against Burscough which ended 2-2.
An even bigger attendance witnessed their next game, a Bank Holiday fixture at Clitheroe where 448 saw the home side win 4-0.
The Ossett derby attracted an astonishing 448 who saw visitors Albion defeat Town 2-0.
Lancaster City breezed through to the next round with a devastating performance which saw them win 5-1 at West Auckland Town.
Big surprise at last year’s giant-killers Northwich Victoria who themselves were ‘giant-killed’ by Cheadle Town who arguably produced the surprise of the round winning 4-2 away from home.
Another fantastic tie took place at Droylsden, who entertained Radcliffe Borough. The visitors struck first but the Bloods soon took the lead. Borough equalised only for the home side to take the lead again, 3-2. After another leveller, Droylsden must have thought they’d done enough when they scored again to make it 4-3 but they were pegged back for a fianl score of 4-4.
Great game in the league at Radcliffe Borough where the home side led 3-1 with only three minutes to go but Mossley produced a devastating finish which saw them win 4-3.
Down in the South West, Nick Hancock’s Buckland Athletic would have gone top of the Western League with a win over Melksham but the visitors’ Ballinger hit his second hat-trick in five days to give his side a 3-1 win and send them to the top. That was the Bucks first defeat of the season but they got back on track in the next game, beating Street 2-0, also at Homers Heath.
Back in the FA Cup, Colne drew 2-2 at home to 1874 Northwich before producing a fantastic performance in the replay which saw them win 3-1.
Padiham went down 2-1 to Newcastle Benfield at the Arbories whilst neighbours Nelson also lost at home to a North East side, 4-1 to Bishop Auckland.
The Storks then lost 2-0 at home to Barnoldswick Town in the league while the Admirals went down 2-1 at home to Abbey Hey.
An 87 th minute goal for West Didsbury & Chorlton then saw the Blues go down 1-0 but they then earned a point with a goalless draw at Cammell Laird. Sadly, another home defeat followed, 2-1 to Barnoldswick.
Bacup Borough drew 2-2 at home to Atherton LR and then forced a goalless draw at Carlisle City followed by a 2-1 home win against Silsden, a 1-0 defeat at Chadderton and a 4-0 home success against Ashton Town.
Darwen were blitzed 7-0 at home to Barnoldswick Town in front of an excellent turn-out of 156. The game was over by half time with the visitors already 4-0 up and Joe Gaughan hit four of their goals.
Barlick couldn’t reproduce that form in their next outing, at Irlam, losing 1-0 but they then won 4-2 at home to New Mills.
The Salmoners followed up that home embarrassment with another heavy home defeat, 5-1 to Atherton Collieries.
The defence then held firm for 80 minutes at 1874 Northwich before three late goals gave the home side a comfortable win.
The fireworks started in the next game at Squires Gate with the home sie taking the lead in the opening minute. Darwen equalised within a minute but 60 seconds later Gate were back in front. After only 8 minutes of the game it was 2-2 but surprisingly just one more goal was scored, by the visitors, giving them a much needed victory.
A crowd of 357 saw Runcorn Town defeat their neighbours Linnets 3-1.
City of Liverpool are certainly drawing far bigger crowds than AFC Liverpool, and a massive 435 saw them take a 4-0 lead just after the hour mark against vistors Stockport Town who then scored twice to give the scoreline some respectability.
551 fans then saw them win 8-0 at home to Atherton L.R.
Very sad news from the Manchester League that Rochdale Town, recently expelled from the NWCFL, have folded just a couple of weeks into the season.
Further afield, in the United Counties East, Whittlesey Athletic won 15-0 at Burton Park Wanderers.
Our former landlords Accrington Stanley got the season off to a good start with a tremendous 3-20 win at home to much-fancied Doncaster Rovers with McConville hitting the winner in added time.
The League Cup saw another high-profile Yorkshire club visit the Crown and once again Stanley came out on top. 120 minutes failed to produce a goal but the net bulged 21 times in the penalty shoot-out resulting in an 11-10 scoreline.
That win proved to be even more vital after the Reds drew a home tie with Burnley in the next round.
Despite having more of the possession and more shots, they then went down to a 2-0 defeat at Barnet.
In League One, Don Fitzgerald’s Wimbledon got off to a shakey start, losing 3-1 at Walsall, 3-2 at Peterborough United in the League Cup, despite taking the lead, and 2-1 at home to Bolton Wanderers, again after going in front.
The Non League’s top division kicked off at the beginning of the month and Great Harwood Town supporter Paul Clark made the massive trip North to Barrow to watch his Aldershot Town side go down 1-0, albeit unluckily.The Shots then won 1-0 at home to Maidstone United before defeating Wrexham 2-0, also at the ‘Rec’. The management must have been delighte at the two home attendances, 2,353 and 1,907 respectively.
Southport were soundly beaten 3-0 at Dagenham & Redbridge and a similar score at home to Gateshead left the Sandgrounders bottom of the table. An 88 th minute goal then gave them a 2-1 home success against Woking with the Snadgrounders coming from behind.
In the Vanarama National League North, Boston United were beaten 1-0 at home to Stalybridge Celtic, a side which they thrashed 5-0 away from home on the final day of last season. In truth, the Pilgrims totally dominated the visitors who would have been relieved had they lost by four goals as Boston bombarded the Celtic goal from start to finish.
I made the trip over the border a few days later to see the mighty Pilgrims take on Harrogate Town on the new 3G pitch. After a shaky opening quarter of an hour for the visitors, the game was very evenly contested and the 2-0 home win flattered Town.
Not so in the next game at Darlington where some kamikaze defending led to a 4-1 defeat, with all the goals coming in a 15 minute spell either side of the break.
Phil O’Dell’s FC United were involved in a 3-3 thriller at Chorley, a game watched by almost 2,000 fans an another draw followed, 0-0 at home to Telford United. The Reds then enjoyed a great 2-0 home win against local rivals Stockport County.
Chorley, meanwhile, then forced a fine goalless draw at Kidderminster Harriers.
Paul Salt’s Altrincham looked to have secured all three points in their opening game against Darlington at Moss Lane afetr a last minute penatly gave them a 2-1 lead but another spot kick, in the 94 th minute, saw Darlo leave with a point.
That was followed by another 2-2 draw, this time at Halifax Town. Three days later another trip to Yorkshire, to take on Harrogate Town, resulted in a hat-trick of 2-2 drawa after a 92 nd minute leveller for the Robins.
Fylde got off to a finestart with a 1-0 win at Telford before their first game at the new Mill Farm stadium drew a huge 1,365 crowd. Sadly for the majority the Coasters couldn’t christen the ground with a win although an 81 st minute Williams equaliser did give them a share of the spoils.
Newly promoted Curzon Ashton’s campaign couldn’t have got off to a worse start, losing 6-1 at home to relegated Kidderminster Harriers but after trailing 5-0 at the break, it could have been an even bigger disaster.
It looked like being another torrid evening at Bradford Park Avenue as the Tykes took an early two-goal lead but Curzon hit back to lead before Avenue levelled. The visitors looked to have secured the points with a fourth goal but a 92 nd minute home equaliser made it 4-4. A 1-0 win at Alfreton Town then constituted a very good start to the season.
In the South, Mike Barry’s Eastbourne Borough enjoyed a great start to the season with a Romain hat-trick giving them a 3-0 home win against Hemel Hemstead Town but a 3-1 reverse at Hampton & Richmond Borough four days later brought them back down to earth and a similar score and result at Gosport Borough gives the impression that they haven’t fixed the inconsistencies of last term. The 2 nd of those away games saw the Sports take the lead but the game at Hampton saw a very eventful 1 st half. The home goalkeeper and the referee were both replaced after injuries and Eastbourne then took the lead in the ‘53 rd’ minute. The home side then equalised in the ‘59 th’ minute before going in front in the 16 th minute of stoppage time! The opening period eventually came to an end 65 minutes after kick-off.
In the Evo-stik League, Clitheroe opened their season with a 2-2 draw at Ossett Albion although after leading 2-0 in the second half, it would have felt more like a defeat.
In the FA Cup, Nick Hancock’s Buckland Athletic were surprisingly beaten 3-2 at home to Plmouth Parkway, a result which coast the Bucks around £1500.
A 1-0 win at Bridport in the opening league game was followed by a 1-1 stalemate at home to Gillingham Town.
Nelson went through to the Preliminary Round thanks to a tremendous 2-1 at Ashington.
Padiham progressed thanks to a 1-0 win againstTeam Northumbria at the Arbories. The Storks then defeated neighbours Nelson in the opening league game, 1-0 in front of a fine turn-out of 230.
That win was followed by a 1-1 draw at Irlam while Nelson lost 2-0 at home to Atherton Collieries.
Barnoldswick Town drew 2-2 at home to Dunston UTS but were soundly beaten 4-0 in the replay in front of 242 fans. Another heavy defeat followed in the league, 5-2 at AFC Liverpool.
Bacup went down 3-2 at Atherton Collieries and went down by the same score in their opening league fixture at new boys City of Liverpool. An amazing attendance of 411 witnessed a great ‘see-saw’ game. The ‘Purples’ led 1-0 with only ten minutes remaining but Brent Peters’ boys stormed back with goals in the 80 th and 87 th minutes only for Liverpool to score twice in added time to send the huge crowd home happy.
Darwen drew 3-3 at home to Cammell Laird before losing the replay 3-2 with the game all but over after half an hour by which stage they were 3-0 behind.
A 2-0 home loss to Congleton Town began their league campaign.
Former foes Thornaby went down 4-0 at home to Bishop Auckland while Norton & Stockton Ancients drew 2-2 at Whitley Bay before winning the replay 2-1.
Highest scorers were Yaxley who hammered Huntingdon Town 12-0 and not far behind were Ilford who crushed Burnham 9-0.
Matt Derbyshire has already played in European competition for his new club Omonia Nikosia from the Cyprus 1 st Division. Although Matt signed on a ‘free’, his current value in the transfer market is £510,000 and he soon justified that figure by helping the club through the first round of the Eurropa League. They won 1-0 at Banants in the 1 st leg but in the return the visitors won by the same score to take the tie into extra-time. Goals just before and after the half time break in that period put Matt’s boys on the way and his 115 th minute strike settled the tie, with a 4 th coming in the 122 nd minute to seal a 4-1 win watched by just over 8,000 fans.
The next round saw them exit the competition despite winning the 2 nd leg against Beitar Jerusalem 3-2 in front of almost 14,500 fans in Cyprus.
After losing the 1 st leg 1-0, the Cypriots did all they could in the home tie which saw 5 yellow cards brandished in the final 10 minutes.
The NWCFL will now be known as The Hallmark Security League.
Chorley have lost ace marksman Darren Stephenson to Tranmere Rovers. They began pre-season with a 5-0 win at NWCFL new boys Charnock Richard before going down 2-1 at home to P.N.E. A 2-1 win at Bamber Bridge and a 3-2 success at Daisy Hill got them back on track.
Charnock Richard, meanwhile, lost 4-0 at home to a Blackburn RoversXI.
Paul Clark’s Aldershot Town began their pre-season friendlies with two defeats, 3-2 at home to Q.P.R. and 3-1 at Gosport Borough. The opening game was marred by a bad leg injury to trialist Ben Harrison. A third defeat followed, 3-0 at Hampton & Richmond.
The Shots then had draws against Wimbledon and Crawley Town with a win against Wycombe Wanderers samdwiched in between.
Up in the North East, Darlington 1883 will return to their old Darlington Arena for two pre-season friendlies against Newcastle United and Sunderland. Having experienced the ‘atmosphere’ for myself, I can well understand why it was unpopular with supporters even though the stadium itself would have graced the Premier League. The decision to build a 25,000 capacity ground for a team with around 2,000 supporters was certainly flawed.
The club won’t be returning there permanently but they will be playing in the town after agreeing a ground-share with Darlington Rugby Club.
After three good away wins, the Quakers were hammered 5-1 in the Magpies game but then recorded a fine 2-0 win against Sunderland’s second string.
Boston United defeated Boston Town 4-0 in their opening fixture with new boys Lavelle-Moore(2), Colley and St Juste scoring the goals.
The Pilgrims then entertained a strong Peterborough United side in long-serving secretary John Blackwell’s testimonial game.
Almost a thousand fans turned up to see a 1-1 draw with Colley on target again.
That was followed by a disappointing 1-0 defeat at home to Spalding.
They then led twice at Gateshead before going down 3-2.
Don Fitzgerald’s Wimbledon gained their first pre-season win, 2-0 at home to Reading.
Mike Barry’s Eastbourne Borough are hoping their new 3G pitch will bring them success as it has done recently for Sutton United and Maidstone who both play on similar surfaces and who both gained promotion last term.
The Sports drew 0-0 at Tunbridge Wells but were then well beaten at Havant & Waterlooville, 3-0, with all the goals coming before the break. They got back on track with a 1-0 success at Hastings.
Phil O’Dell’s FC United were hammered 5-1 at Rhyl and 4-2 at FC Winterthurnians but then won 4-1 at Daisy Hill. Rochdale proved far too strong for the Reds at Broadhurst Park, winning 3-0.
Nick Hancock had seen seven friendly games with the month only half way through.
His Buckland Athletic favourites won 4-0 at neighbours Brixham but Paul and his mates were far from impressed with their trip across the ‘border’ to Saltash United where the lower placed home side won 6-2.
Clitheroe have signed two players from Barrow, Brad Carroll nand Alex Newby and the Blues won 3-2 at Haslingden St Mary’s in their opening friendly match.
They then made a terrific signing in Modou Cham who spent two years with the Rovers.
A 6-2 win at Silsden followed and the goals kept coming in the next game at Barnoldswick Town, 6-1 the score.
They certainly enjoyed their pre-season games in Yorkshire and a goal-fest came in the game at Liversedge where they ran out 9-1 winners.
Paul Salt’s Altrincham lost 3-0 at 1874 Northwich and then drew 2-2 at Widnes. Northwich are having plans drawn up for a new stadium back in the town.
A 2-2 draw at home to Chester was followed by a 1-1 draw at Trafford. Another 1-1 draw came at home to Crewe Alexandra.
AFC Fylde lost 2-0 at home to Stranraer but the big news of the week was the ‘poaching’ of star player Dion Charles by neighbours Fleetwood Town. Charles signed a contract for two years last September, trebling his wages but the FA didn’t receive notification. His agent then set about touting Charles to other clubs including Nottingham Forest who soon backed off when they heard of the circumstances.
Fleetwood, however, have now signed the player as a ‘free agent’ despite the signing of the contract last year.
The matter though is far from over as Fylde seek legal advice.
The Coasters then lost 2-1 at home to Rochale and drew 3-3 at Nantwich Town but then defeated Runcorn Town 5-1 away from home.
Back at home, in their last game at Kellemergh Park, they were given a footballing lesson by a very impressive Tranmere Rovers who won 4-1.
Towards the end of the month, manager Steven Pressley had his resignation, unsurprisingly, accepted by Chairman Andy Pilley.
Whether we find out the reason for the decision is highly unlikely.
Barnoldswick Town followed their home hammering by Clitheroe with another defeat, 2-1 to Charnock Richard, also at the Silentnight Stadium.
Nelson drew 1-1 at home to Bradford Park Avenue.
Colne defeated Atherton Collieries but then lost 3-2 at Silsden.
Darwen lost 4-0 at home to Ashton United, won 3-2 at Turton before losing 2-0 at Eagley before recording an impressive 4-0 home win against Droylsden.
A youthful Southport side lost 2-0 at Bootle but then won 1-0 at Marine before going down by the same score at Ashton United.
Atherton Collieries look to be heading for another good season if their 9-2 win at Ashton Town is anything to go by.
Ramsbottom United drew 0-0 at New Mills before beating Prestwich Heys 3-1, also on the road.
Padiham lost 1-0 at Garstang, won 2-1 at Thackley and lost 3-2 at home to Northwich Victoria.
Very sad news from Colne with the death of club legend, player and manager Nigel Coates. He served the Reds with distinction for many years and enjoyed great success, not just with the achievments, but with the manner of the way his sides played.
The Holt House hero played for the club during its Colne Dynamo days and set up the winner in the the FA Vase victory against Emley at Wembley.
He managed the club for ten years until stepping down 2 ½ years ago.
His sides invariably had the edge over Harwood during our clashes and were reknowned at that time for the excellent football they played.
He’ll be sadly missed by all football fans in the area, not just Colne supporters.
The Reds have been hit by the departure of ace marksman Jason Hart who has left for Ramsbottom United. New managers Paul Fildes and Mark Fell have pursuaded him to move to the Riverside and he’ll link up with the vastly experienced Gareth Seddon, who has moved from Salford City. The latters previous clubs include Bury, Fleetwood, Hyde, Rushden & Diamonds, Chester and Halifax and the twin strikers should give Rammy supporters plenty of optimism for a swift return to the Premier Division. Hart is still only 25 years-old so if he settles down with the Rams then their short-term future could be rosy.
Big surprise at the New York Stadium where Harwood legend Matt Derbyshire, top scorer ove rthe past two years for Rotherham United, was not offered a fresh deal by new Boss Alan Stubbs. Matt has now moved to the Mediterranean to play for Cypriot 1 st Division side Amonoia Nicosia.
Rochdale Town, AKA Castelton Gabriels, have been expelled from the NWCFL after it failed the ground-grading. The reason was that the changing rooms didn’t have toilets, but the club are not best pleased with the decision as the problem was not pointed out during ground-grading visits. Town will compete in the Manchester League next season.
The saga of Evesham and Cinderford has finally come to an end with winners and losers all round.
Cinderford won promotion but declined to make the step up, leaving Evesham up in arms. Their appeal against the original decision was victorious and now Cinderford have to go up, leaving them with huge travel costs.
Meanwhile, Evo-stik Premier League Stamford, who were originally relegated but then given a reprieve, have now been forced to drop down a division.
Boston United may not have won promotion but they did have plenty of awards to celebrate this season. They won the Best Health Programme for ‘United in the community’, Player of the year for the Vanarama North, centre back Carl Piergianni, Best Community Programme, equal Top Scorer, Dayle Southwell and Programme of the Year.
Meanwhile, the Pilgrims have added right back Kalen Thomas, midfielder Herve Pepe-Ngoma, centre half Joe Maguire, centre back Nat Brown(outstanding in his previous two month loan), and forward Wade Fiarhurst. Also coming in are much travelled striker Jason St Juste, Lamin Colley and goalkeeper Christian Dibble. Star players Dayle Southwell, Carl Piergianni, Zak Mills and captain Scott Garner have all left the club.
Leading scorer for the past two seasons, Southwell has signed a two-year deal with Gareth Ainsworth’s Wycombe Wanderers, Piergianni has moved to Australia while Garner had signed for Halifaxx Town.
Highly-rated full back Zak Mills has moved into the Football League with Grimsby Town, signing a two-year deal after rejecting an offer to stay at York Street. Winger Kaine Felix has signed a two-year deal with newly relegated York City.
Boston will do do well to be amongst the leading pack next term.
Mike Barry’s Eastbourne Borough will be playing their Vanarama South games on a 3G pitch next season.
Ex-Harwood star Andy Procter has retired from football toconcentrate on a new career in physiotherapy.
Accrington Stanley, meanwhile have signed Fraazer Shaw from Leyton Orient and ‘keepers Elliot Parish and Aaron Chapman.
22 year-old Great Harwood born striker Marcus Carver has left the Crown Ground after finding 1 st team opportunities hard to come by.
Also leaving the club are Matt Crooks and Josh Windass who’ve both moved north of the border to join Rangers so the change in atmospheres at games will be amazign for the pair.
Great Harwood Town supporter Paul Clark will be looking forward to the coming season for Aldershot under new Boss Gary Waddock. He’s signed ace striker Scott Rendell from local rivals Woking, much to the dismay of Cards fans. After suffering a serious injury in the first game of last season, the Woking fans clubbed together to raise around £10,000 to pay for the players medical fees and his departure has understandably left them non-too-happy.