Season 2018-19 Latest News

 

Early May 2019 - End of Season 18/19

Matt Derbyshire's Omonia Nicosia lost their fourth game in a row, 3-2 at AEK Limassol with the game all over before the two consolation goals for the visitors. That became six after a 2-1 home defeat against champions APOEL.

Don Fitzgerald's Wimbledon have been in the bottom four for almost the whole of the season but moved out of the relegation places in the final week with the chance to survive going to the last game, at Bradford City. The Wombles needed just a point unless Plymouth Argyle won by five goals at home to Scunthorpe United. Plymouth won 3-2 whilst Wimbledon drew 0-0-happy days!

Ex-landlords Accrington Stanley ended the season on a high with a 1-1 draw at 3 rd placed Portsmouth.

Fylde made it through the National League play-off final after a 3-1 home win against Harrogate Town and a 1-0 win at Solihull Moors but lost 3-0 to Salford City at Wembley in front of a paltry turn-out of just over 8,000. Helping the Reds to promotion were two ex-Boston players, Piergianni and Dieseruvwe who both scored.

Paul Clark's Aldershot have given 'the boot' to manager Gary Waddock after the club's relegation from the National League. Th Shots had qualified for the play-offs twice in the last three years but have struggled throughout most of this season.

In the National League North, Paul Salt's Altrincham drew 2-2 at home to Blyth Spartans before going out at Chorley after a penalty shoot-out. Despite the Magpies failing with their first two spot-kicks, the Robins saw their opening three penalties saved paving the way for a home victory in front of a massive 3,446.

Chorley then won promotion at home to Spennymoor Town after another penalty shoot-out. Another huge crowd, over 3,500, saw them once again miss their first two spot kicks but still prevailed.

That was great news for us north west Boston fans who lost four of our six 'local' games. Ashton United, FC United, Stockport County and Chorley, leaving us with just Altrincham and Southport!

Mike Barry's Eastbourne Borough have appointed Lee Bradbury as their new manager.

Evo-stik Colne followed up their Lancs. Challenge Trophy defeat with a 2-1 play-off semi-final loss at Leek Town in front of a four-figure attendance.

Clitheroe have parted ways with their management team after a hugely disappointing season.

Radcliffe won promotion in that league after a 2-1 home win against Leek Town, and that following last season's 20 th finish place.

Steve Pickup's Northwich Victoria won the Mid-Cheshire Senior Cup, defeating Winsford United 4-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw.

1874Northwich defeated City of Liverpool 1-0 in the Macron Cup Final in front of an excellent turn-out of 1100.

In the 1 st Division Cup Final, Avro were surprisingly beaten 4-2 at home by Sandbach United despite going 2-0 up just after half time.

Keeping with 'non-league', in Scotland's Highland League, Fort William finished bottom with -7 points and a goals against column reading an eye-watering 245 after 34 games!!

Champions Cove Rangers won 30 of their 34 games scoring 100 and conceding only 12 before smashing Berwick Rangers 4-0 in the first leg of the promotion play-off game.

Late April 2019

Matt Derbyshire was back in the Omonia starting line-up for the game at Nea Salamis but he and his team-mates were on the end of a 5-2 hammering despite leading 2-1 after a quarter of the game.

Don Fitzgerald's Wimbledon could have moved out of the relegation places with a win at home to Bristol Rovers but had to settle for a point after a 1-1 draw.

Accrington Stanley were well beaten 3-0 at home by champions elect Luton Town who managed 15 on-target shots to Stanley's none.

In the National League, Fylde won 1-0 at home to Barnet to secure their play-off spot but a 2-0 home defeat by Halifax Town, with a below full strength side,saw them finish 5 th and left them with a home play-off game against Harrogate Town.

Paul Clark travelled to Dover to watch his already relegated Aldershot side but they went down by the only goal. They then ended their hugely disappointing season with a 2-0 win at bottom side Maidstone United.

In the North Division, Boston United lost the third game in a row by a 2-0 margin, this time at Brackley before ending their home fixtures with a narrow 2-1 win against Ashton United, a result which relegated the Mancunians. The campaign ebded with a fine 2-0 win at Hereford despite being ravaged by injuries and suspensions to finish in the top half of the table.

Chorley won the massive home game against nearest rivals Stockport County 2-0, in front of 3,500 spectators, to leave themselves in pole position but then lost 1-0 at Spennymoor as Stockport defeated Curzon Ashton by the same score in front of 6,000 fans at Edgeley Park.

That left the Hatters in complete control and 3,500 of their fans saw them win the title with an easy 3-0 win at relegated Nuneaton Borough.

Chorley, meanwhile, won their final game 3-2 at home to Bradford Park Avenue to miss out on the title by just one point.

Paul Salt's Altrincham could only draw 1-1 at relegated Ashton United to finish 5 th.

Southport won 3-0 at Curzon Ashton before drawing 2-2 at home to Kidderminster Harriers and finishing with 2-1 defeat at Blyth Spartans. They then won the Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy by beating Colne 3-1.

Phil O'Dell's FC United suffered their first ever relegation and ended the campaign with a 1-0 defeat at 3 rd placed Brackley Town. The Reds won just a single home game all season.

In the South, Mike Barry's Eastbourne Borough drew 1-1 at Slough Town before what must have been their best result of the season, a 6-0 home thrashing of play-off chasing Dartford. The season ended with a 2-1 home defeat by Concord Rangers and that left them surviving relegation by just 3 points.

In the Evo-stik League, I went to Shawbridge to see Clitheroe lose their 14 th home league defeat of the season, 1-0 to Leek Town and things got no better at Colne in the next game which they lost 3-0 and finished the season with a 1-1 home draw with Mossley.

Colne led 2-0 at Widnes but still went down 3-2 putting a big dent in their play-off ambitions before the easy win against Clitheroe. A 2-1 win at relegated Skelmersdale United saw then overtake Ramsbottom to finish 4 th.

The Reds then lost the FA Challenge Trophy Final, 3-1 to Southport.

Ramsbottom United had an excellent 2-1 home win against Mossley and a creditable goalless draw at Radcliffe, finishing with a 2-2 draw against Kidsgrove Athletic enabling them to finish in the final play-off spot on goal difference.

Sadly, they then lost the semi-final 3-0 at Radcliffe.

In the NWCFL Premier Division, Steve Pickup's Northwich Victoria won 2-1 at home to Squires Gate and then drew 1-1 at Runcorn Town before a disappointing 1-0 home defeat against Irlam. They then let a two-goal lead slip at Silsden and had to settle for a point and another draw, 1-1 at Bootle. The home side had to equal City of Liverpool's result at Irlam but the 'Purps' overtook them after a 2-0 win to steal the crown.

Padiham lost 3-0 at City of Liverpool and then 2-0 at home to Ashton Athletic in front of a bumper holiday crowd of 238. They won their final game, 3-2 at home to Winsford United.

Barnoldswick Town won 3-0 at Ashton Athletic but then lost the West Yorkshire derby 2-0 against Silsden at the Silentnight Stadium. A 6-0 home win against bottom side Abbey Hey was a great way to end their fixtures.

Charnock Richard had to settle for a point after a 1-1 draw at 1874 Northwich, unsurprisingly with Carl Grimshaw on the scoresheet and he grabbed two more as his side brushed aside Squires Gate, who brought on a 59 year old substitute, 5-2 at home.

Two Carl Grimshaw goals saw the season end with a 2-1 home win against Whitchurch Alport and that made him the Division's leading scorer with 38 league goals, 9 more than his nearest rival and 40 goals in all competitions, the same as Barlick's Zack Dale who notched a last game hat-trick.

Title rivals Bootle and City of Liverpool drew an incredible 1,374 fans for the Easter Monday clash which the 'home side' won 1-0.

In the South, another magnificent turn-out for the Wyhthenshawe derby, 584 seeing hosts Town go down 1-0 to Amateurs.

In the 1 st Division North, Longridge Town had to come from 2-0 down at home to Nelson to win 3-2 but a last minute goal for Avro at home to Shelly kept them in pole position.

The Ridge then dropped two points at Garstang,1-1 the score in front of 326 fans but another massive crowd, 235, saw Avro also held 1-1 in their local derby at Chadderton.

Darwen went down 1-0 at Prestwich Heys before being hammered 5-1 at Avro despite taking the lead and that allowed the Oldham side to knock Longridge off the top spot for the first time this season.

The Salmoners then finished the campaign with a 2-2 draw at Steeton.

I travelled to Longridge to see Town deservedly win the title in a nail-biting finish to the season. The Ridge had to better Avro's result at AFC Liverpool and after a 4-1 win against Holker Old Boys, the news came through of a last minute winner for the Merseysiders to delight the players, staff and 177 supporters.

Despite the strong winds and pouring rain, Town played some lovely football and scored a couple of great goals.

I also went to the Anchor to watch the 1 st Division Champions Cup where South winners Rylands put on an impressive performance to win 3-0.

Nelson drew 1-1 at home to Steeton but finished on a high with a 4-0 home win against St. Helens Town.

Bacup Borough scored twice late on at Cleator Moor Celtic to win 2-1 and ended on a high winning 5-0 at bottom side Atherton L.R.

 

Early April 2019

Matt Derbyshire's lost 2-0 at home to AEK Larnaca with both goals coming after he was substituted 20 minutes from time. They then lost by the same score at home to Apollon with Matt coming on after the second goal on 59 minutes.

Don Fitzgerald's Wimbledon continued their quest for a great escape with a 1-1 home draw against Accrington Stanley. Then, despite having no shots on target at Oxford United, they ground out a 0-0 draw which saw them just one point from exiting the drop zone.

Stanley's relegation worries continued after they were beaten 1-0 at the Crown by fellow strugglers Rochdale but they then won a massive 'six-pointer' 2-1 at home to Wallsall which lifted them into mid-table.

Fylde's quest for automatic promotion just about ended as they were held to a 1-1 draw at Mill Farm by lowly Dagenham & Redbridge. They then came from two down at home to play-off chasing Eastleigh to win 4-2 before a 1-0 win at Gateshead.

They were then beaten 2-1 at bottom and already relegated Braintree Town.

Paul Clark's Aldershot could only draw 2-2 at Bromley meaning that they could be relegated after the following game and that's exactly what happened as a 1-1 draw at home to Hartlepool confirmed the inevitable.

In the National League North, Paul Salt's Altrincham looked to be 'nailed on' for a play-off spot after a magnificent 7-0 win at Alfreton Town. They then drew 1-1 at Telford United before beating Chorley 5-3 at home. They then lost 2-1 at home to Brackley who still had an outside chance of the title. The Robins had led until 20 minutes from time in front of a very disappointing turn-out of just 787, no doubt due to televised games elsewhere.

Blyth Spartans (hopeless at home) entertained Boston United (very good away from home) with the almost inevitable outcome, a 3-0 home win, with the Pilgrims putting in one of their worst performances of the season and it didn't improve in the next game at home to lowly Darlington who ran out comfortable 2-0 winners.

Chorley were denied victory at Victory Park after play-off chasing visitors Telford equalised with a late penalty but thankfully for the Magpies, Hereford came from two down to score a last minute equaliser at home to Stockport. They then lost at 5-3 at Altrincham.

Phil O'Dell's FC United had to win at Darlington to stand any chance of survival but they went down 2-0 and it left left them very little chance of avoiding their first-ever relegation. That drop was just about confirmed when losing 1-0 at home to Kidderminster Harriers.

Southport went down 1-0 at York City but then won by the same score at home to Hereford.

In the South Division, Mike Barry's Eastbourne Borough couldn't stop the Torquay United party at Plainmoor where the Gulls won 2-0 in front of over 4,500 fans to secure promotion to the National League and leave the Sports just a point above the relegation places.

In the Evo-stik West, Ramsbottom United maintained their 3 rd spot with a comprehensive 4-0 home win against Droylsden.

Colne scored three times in five minutes soon after half-time helping them to a great 5-2 win at Colwyn Bay but then found bottom side Skelmersdale United a tougher nut to crack before eventually winning 1-0 at Holt House.

They then won two more games by the same score and at the same venue against Droylsden and Radcliffe.

Clitheroe's poor form continued with a 2-1 home defeat against Prescott Cables and a 4-0 thrashing at leaders Atherton Collieries.

In the NWCFL Premier Division, Steve Pickup's Northwich Victoria played their third game in six days but still managed a terrific 5-0 win at Litherland REMYCA.

They were then held to a 2-2 draw by Burscough after the visitors equalised in the 93nd minute.

The Mid Cheshire Senior Cup Semi-final saw them entertain rivals 1874 and they won through after a 2-0 win in front of 371 fans.

They were then held to a goalless draw at home by Ashton Athletic.

Padiham lost 2-0 at Silsden and then 3-1 at home to Congleton Town. They then came from behind twice to draw 2-2 at home to Squire Gate

Barnoldswick Town lost 2-0 at 1874 Northwich before being smashed 6-1 at home to Congleton Town and that despite taking a first minute lead.

Charnock Richard won 1-0 at Ashton Athletic but were then thrashed 5-0 at home by title-chasing Bootle.

In the NWCFL 1 st Division North Darwen were held to a 1-1 draw by Ashton Town and then 2-2 by Carlisle City, both at the Anchor.

Longridge Town were held to a 1-1 draw at AFC Liverpool after the hosts scored a late penalty. That left Avro in pole position but that changed after they lost 2-1 at Garstang. Another game and another favourite for the title as 'ridge' were hammered 3-0 at Lower Breck whilst Avro won 3-2 at home to Prestwich Heys

Bacup Borough drew 2-2 at home to Nelson before the Admirals were beaten 4-1 at home by AFC Blackpool. That was followed by a 1-1 draw at home to Shelly and a 2-0 win at Steeton.

Nelson won 2-1 at home to Holker Old Boys.

In the Western Premier League, Nick Hancock's Buckland Athletic defeated visitors Brislington 4-2 to cement their 6 th place but then changed places with Clevedon Town after a disappointing 2-1 home defeat, leaving Nick and his chums pretty unimpressed!

Late March 2019

Matt Derbyshire scored his first goal in months as Omonia Nicosia defeated AEL Limassol 3-1 at home. With the result in the balance at 2-1, Matt came on as an 88 th minute substitute and two minutes later finished off the visitors who lost their 4 th game in a row.

A visit to leaders APOEL then yielded a 1-1 draw with Matt coming on from the bench ten minutes from time.

Accrington Stanley led 2-0 at Burton Albion before the Brewers stormed back to win 5-2. Another defeat, 1-0 at home to Fleetwood Town left the Reds looking over their shoulders.

Don Fitzgerald's Wimbledon made it three wins and four clean sheets in a row as they continued their attempt at the great escape from relegation from League One with a solitary goal win at Southend United.

Unfortunately, they were then hammered 4-2 by Gillingham at Kingsmeadow but got back to winning ways at Scunthorpe United where they won 2-1.

In the FA Trophy, Fylde could only draw 0-0 at home to Stockport County in the semi-final 1 st leg where the Hatters supporters outnumbered the home ones.

The return leg was a thriller with an 85 th minute goal seeming to give the Whites a win before a home equaliser two minutes from time but the excitement didn't end there as a Reid goal came just a minute later sent Fylde to Wembley where they'll face Leyton Orient.

The two clubs then met in the League where two 1 st half goals secured the points for Orient and barring a collapse, they'll be returning to the Football League soon.

The Whites were then involved in a poor 0-0 draw at Aldershot.

In the National League, Paul Clark's Aldershot lost their 10 th home game of the season, 1-0 to Salford City who had the evergreen non-league legend Nathan Pond in their side. That left the Shots 11 points from safety with only 8 games remaining.

Paul then travelled to Boreham Wood and saw the Shots win 2-0 but a 2-0 defeat at Barnet saw them 'staring down the barrel'. They then held Fylde to a goalless draw at the Rec.

In the North Division, Boston United lost at home again, 2-0 to leaders Chorley. They then came from 2-0 down at York City to earn a point in front of a magnificent away following of 260, leaving there no doubt as to which team in the division has the best away support.

A massive 1,406 then turned out at York Street to witness the Pilgrims' best home performance of the season as they won 4-1 at home to Curzon Ashton.

Southport lost 1-0 at Leamington and looked to heading for another defeat, trailing Bradford Park Avenue 2-0 at the break, but they fought back to draw 2-2 and ensure that the majority of the Haig Avenue crowd went home happy. They then held third placed Brackley Town to a goalless draw, also at home.

Phil O'Dell's FC United look to be heading back into the Evo-stik League. They led 3-1 at home to York City, and against ten men, but they let the lead slip and had to be satisfied with a point after a 3-3 draw. If that was bad then nothing could have prepared them for the next home game against just-about relegated Nuneaton Borough. Before a 1600+ crowd, the Reds were smashed 4-0.

In the South, Mike Barry's Eastbourne Borough lost 2-0 at 2 nd bottom Hungerford Town in front of less than 200 fans and then drew 0-0 at home to 3 rd placed Bath City although they really should have won. A trip to mid-table Hemel Hempstead saw then lead 2-1 after an hour but they still lost 3-2 to leave them in a precarious position.

In the NPL West Division, Ramsbottom United looked to be on their way to a vital three points at Chasetown but an 88 th minute leveller saw the game end 2-2. They then moved up into 3 rd place with a 2-0 home success against Prescot Cables.

They then had the opportunity to go top with a home win against lowly Newcastle Town but they lost 2-1 and with leaders Atherton L.R. Winning 2-1 at Market Drayton Town, it looks like the play-offs for the Rams. Their squad was boosted by the signing of Boston United player Spencer Harris.

I took in the game at Clitheroe where the Blues entertained fellow strugglers Glossop North End and after a dull start, they took control and won 2-0. Although Hazeldine scored both goals, the star of the show was debutant Bevan Burey who was head and shoulders above anyone else on the pitch.

Another victory was within their grasp at Trafford but a 90 th minute goal saved a point for the home side. A 3-0 defeat at fellow strugglers Market Drayton Town followed in front of a pityful turn-out of less than 80.

Colne lost 1-0 at home to Prescot Cables but kept their play-off aspirations alive with a 3-1 home win against Chasetown and that despite trailing at the break.

In the NWCFL Premier Division, Padiham drew 1-1 at West Didsbury & Chorlton before another great turn-out of 539. They then defeated Abbey Hey 4-0 at the Arbories.

The Storks then lost 2-1 at home to Barnoldswick Town.

Barnoldswick Town lost 1-0 at home to 2 nd placed Bootle in front of a 200+ crowd and then lost 2-0 at leaders City of Liverpool before the win at Padiham.

Charnock Richard won 1-0 at Abbey Hey thanks to another Carl Grimshaw strike but they were then well beaten, 3-1 at home by Irlam. Manager Andy Westwell has announced his retirement from the end of the season after 18 years of unrivalled success, winning 'a mountain' of trophies on the way.

In the 1 st Division, leaders Longridge Town were held to a 4-4 draw at St Helens Town giving hope to chasing AVRO. Richie Allen scored yet another hat-trick as the 'Ridge' twice had to come from behind to lead 4-3 until an 84 th minute equaliser dashed their hopes. Those three goals put Allen top of the list for League goals with team-mate Jason Hart second.

Allen then notched another treble as Town defeated Steeton 5-2 at home.

Darwen had a comfortable 3-0 win at Holker Old Boys before losing by the same score at Garstang. I then took in the home game against Shelley where the Salmoners won 2-0 . The abuse that the officials had to endure, as in all the NWCFL games that I've attended this season, was ridiculous and until they start dishing out cards like it's going out of fashion, nothing will change.

Nelson could only draw 1-1 at lowly Atherton LR.

Bacup Borough lost the 1 st Division Cup semi-final 1 st leg at home to Avro 2-0 and the 2 nd leg 3-1, and that despite taking a 13 th minute lead. The losing streak continued as they lost 2-0 at home to Prestwich Heys.

Still no joy for Stone Dominoes in the South Division as they lost 6-0 at home to Cheadle Heath Nomads in front of just 15 spectators leaving their goal difference at -109.

Steve Pickup's Northwich Victoria drew their 1 st leg FA Vase semi-final 1-1 at home to Chertsey Town in front of just under 1300 fans but then lost 2-1 at Congleton Town in the League. The second leg of the Vase ended goalless with Chertsey winning the penalty shoot-out 5-4.

Just two days later they were back in league action at Barnoldswick Town. They took the lead three times only to be pegged back before a 95 th minute winner from Ennis gave them the three points.

In the Western League Premier Division, Nick Hancock made the trip to Bradford Town and saw a late equaliser give Buckland Athletic a share of the spoils after a 2-2 draw.

A home game against Cadbury Heath gave them a great chance of reaching the Les Phillips Cup semi-finals, especially given that the Bucks had smashed their opponents for seven recently but a shocking performance saw them hammered 4-1.

Amazing game in the Bostik North Division where leaders Bowers & Pitsea smashed mid-table Barking 9-0 but in the Southern League Premier South, mid-table Merthyr Town raced into a 4-0 lead at home to bottom side Staines Town after only 12 minutes with Traylor notching all four. It was 7-0 after half an hour and 8-0 by the break. 50 minutes gone and it was 9-0 but incredibly, that's how it ended.

Good news that North Ferriby are to re-form and will probably start life at step 5 in the Northern Counties League. The Villagers were wound up over a debt of less than £8,000.

Early March 2019

Matt Derbyshire's Omonia Nicosia lost again, this time 3-1 at 2 nd placed Apollon. The ex-Harwood star came on from the bench with his side already 2-0 down but within a minute it was 3-0 and there was no way back.

It was then onto the 'Championship Group and Matt once again came on from the bench, with half an hour left of the goalless draw with Nea Salamis.

Don Fitzgerald's Wimbledon earned a decent point with a goalless draw at Shrewsbury Town but the result still left them 9 points from safety. Having just one shot throughout the game (off target) isn't going to help them survive!

They then defeated play-off chasing Doncaster Rovers 2-0 at Kingsmeadow, their cause helped by the sending off of Rovers' star Marquis.

Those three points took them within seven points off safety although just ten points would see them in the top half of the table.

The good form continued against another play-off chasing team, Peterborough United, also at home, and a late penalty sealed the points to leave them still bottom but four points behind 5 th bottom Shrewsbury Town.

Ex-landlords Accrington Stanley lost 1-0 in front of just over 3,000 fans (1,000 visiting supporters) at home to crisis club Coventry City to leave them just four points clear of the drop zone. They then lost 2-0 at promotion-chasing Barnsley to make the gap two points. They eased their worries with a fine 3-1 win at Wycombe Wanderers.

In the National League, Paul Clark's Aldershot remained in deep trouble after a 2-0 home defeat against play-off chasing Gateshead at the 'Rec'. Paul then made the long journey up to Barrow to see the Shots go down to a 2-1 defeat thanks to a 96 th minute penalty and with just ten games to go, they need a couple of wins very quickly. A daunting home game against leaders Leyton Orient followed and another 2-1 defeat was suffered although they did hit the post late on.

Fylde had to come from behind to defeat lowly Maidenhead United 2-1 at Mill Farm to maintain their fourth spot. They slipped down a place after being held to a 1-1 draw at Boreham Wood while Salford defeated second placed Solihull Moors 2-0.

The Coasters then defeated Hartlepool United 4-2 at Mill Farm to go 4 th.

Leaders Wrexham drew a fantastic crowd of over 7,000 for their 1-0 home win against Chesterfield. Another huge attendance of almost 7,000 then saw them go down 1-0 at Leyton Orient.

In the North Division, Boston United overcame an early setback at home to Telford United to lead until the 95 th minute when an equaliser for the Bucks saw their play-off ambitions all but extinguished. They were just about confirmed when they lost 3-1 at home to Stockport County despite another improved performance.

I then kicked the Rovers into touch to see the mighty Pilgrims take on Southport at Haig Avenue and things looked bleak after an opening half which the 74 of us visiting supporters were grateful to see end 1-0. The second period was a different affair with the gale-force wind behind them Boston won 3-2 to ensure that this fixture would take place again next season.

Southport won 1-0 at Guiseley to just about confirm their status at this level despite the following defeat from Boston.

The Sandgrounders then reached the final of the Liverpool Senior Cup, coming from behind at Rylands to win 3-1.

Phil O'Dell's FC United really needed a win at home to fellow strugglers Hereford but had to settle for a point in a 2-2 draw and that was courtesy of a 90 th minute Willoughby equaliser.

Their hopes were further boosted by a terrific 3-1 win at 6 th placed Telford United.

Paul Salt's Altrincham brushed away Chester 4-0 at Moss Lane to move up into 5 th place and just about confirmed their play-off place with a 1-0 win at York City.

Chorley needed a 93 rd minute equaliser to salvage a point at Darlington but that was enough to maintain their top spot.

Stockport County drew a league record attendance of 6,311 for the home game against 3 rd placed Spennymoor United and the majority went home happy after a 1-0 home win.

The Magpies then defeated 8 th places Kidderminster Harriers 3-0 at Victory Park whilst Stockport lost 1-0 at Brackley

In the South, Mike Barry's Eastbourne Borough remained towards the bottom of the table after they could only draw 0-0 at lowly Hampton & R.B.

Possibly the result of the season in this division was bottom side Weston-super-Mare's 2-1 success at leaders Torquay United.

Mike's boys then held 3 rd placed Chelmsford to a 1-1 draw.

In the NPL West Division, Ramsbottom United's 'glory hunter' fans were missing for the home game with Widnes, just 147 turned up to see the mid-table visitors win 1-0.

The Rams then moved up to 4 th spot with a 1-0 win at Clitheroe.

Colne, who won in midweek against the Rams, then came from behind to win 2-1 at leaders Atherton Collieries in front of over 400 spectators. When the mighty Great Harwood Town used to play at Colls, they were lucky to attract more than 50 fans.

Clitheroe were well beaten at home again, 3-0 by lowly Chasetown and with their two main rivals Glossop North End and Kendal Town both winning, it now looks like one from three to face the drop. The Blues then lst 2-1 at home to Ramsbottom United.

In the NWCFL Premier Division, Charnock Richard were beaten 3-0 at home by leaders City of Liverpool in front of a healthy turn-out of 238.

Thy then came from behind to win 6-2 at home to Winsford \United.

A last minute Hancock goal secured a 1-0 win for Padiham at Hanley Town.

Barnoldswick Town were surprisingly thrashed 5-0 at mid-table Burscough before Whitchurch Alport scored three goals in six minutes at the Silentnight Stadium to record a 3-1 win.

In the 1 st Division North, Darwen were beaten 3-2 at Bacup Borough and Brent Peters boys repeated the scoreline at AFC Blackpool.

Leaders Longridge Town followed up their comfortable win against only rivals Avro with an 8-1 mauling of visiting Atherton LR. For the second time in four days, Richie Allen was on fire and followed up his mid-week hat-trick with another one but this time he took just six minutes midway through the second period to score them and had a fourth in added on time. That meant an incredible 126 goals scored in league games this season but the attendance of just 123 must have been a huge disappointment to players and officials alike.

In the South Division, poor old Stone Dominoes were also on the end of an eight goal salvo at Cammell Laird although they did take a 2 nd minute lead at Birkenhead.

Nelson were comprehensively beaten 5-1 by Prestwich Heys at Victoria Park but then thrashed Daisy Hill 8-1 at the same venue.

In the Western League, Nick Hancock's Buckland Athletic won 3-1 at Chipping Sodbury and followed that up with a 4-1 home win against Bradford Town and a top seven finish now looks assured.

I've visited Colwyn Bay many times whilst watching Boston United but it looks like I've made my last visit there as they have voted to leave the English Pyramid to join the Welsh League due to financial reasons.

Sad to see another club 'biting the dust'. Leicestershire outfit Oadby Town have resigned from the United Counties League with immediate effect due to lack of finances.

In the Non League Paper's Fantasy League, Great Harwood Town are struggling in mid-table, lying 872 nd with the Boston Danglers not faring much better in 697 th spot.

Late February 2019

Matt Derbyshire's Omonia drew 0-0 at Anorthosis with the Harwood legend being substituted 8 minutes from time. After his great success in Cyprus for the last few years, he's amazingly scored just a single goal this season!

Next time out he remained on the bench as his side produced probably their best result of the season, a 2-0 home win against an AEL Limassol side who could have gone top with a win.

Wimbledon put up a great fight in their home FA Cup game against Millwall but fell just short, losing 1-0.

The improved form continued in midweek at Rochdale where a 95 th minute penalty earned another vital 3 points and put them within 5 points of their opponents, who wre just above the relegation spots.

Accrington Stanley looked set to inflict only the 3 rd defeat of the season on promotion-chasing Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, leading 2-0 early in the second half but had to settle for a point in front of almost 30,000 fans with a magnificent 661 travelling form East Lancs.

They then won their first game since Boxing Day, 4-2 at home to Oxford United which moved them 7 points clear of the drop zone before having to settle for a point in a home draw with Southend United.

In the National League, Fylde missed the chance to gain ground on their promotion rivals by losing 1-0 at home to relegation-threatened Chesterfield. Luckily for the Whites, three more of the top seven sides also dropped points.

They then made it through to the FA Trophy semi-finals after defeating Barnet 4-1 on penalties after a goalless draw at Mill Farm.

Paul Clark travelled up to relegation rivals Halifax Town but had to settle for a point in a boring goalless draw and that's 18 games without a win.

That run was finally ended at bottom side Braintree Town who they defeated 1-0.

In the North, I travelled to the Deva to see if Boston United could continue their fine away form but shocking defending gifted the home side a 4-1 win. That was only the Pilgrims second away defeat since early November and I've seen them both! They were backed by a great travelling support of about 150.

Chorley suffered a surprise 2-1 defeat at Alfreton Town and even more surprising defeat at home to relegation-threatened Ashton United, 1-0 the score. They remained top on goal difference but the title race is now a three horse race between themselves, Stockport County and Spennymoor Town.

Phil O'Dell's FC United really needed a win at home to Guiseley in a real six-pointer but they could only share the points after an exciting 3-3 draw, the Reds coming back from 3-1 down with just 15 minutes left. A goalless draw at Southport followed which left them seven points from safety.

Southport drew 0-0 at Darlington before the FC United stalemate.

Paul Salt's Altrincham smashed local rivals Curzon Ashton 6-0 away from home.

In the South, Mike Barry's Eastbourne Borough fell to an expected defeat at Billericay and that cost the manager Jamie Howell his job. He was replaced by a 'big name', Mark McGee. He failed to have an instant impact as the Sports were beaten 3-0 at home by Wealdstone.

In the NPL West Division, Clitheroe were hammered 5-0 at Shawbridge by second-placed Runcorn Linnets in front of a big crowd of 380 and then lost 1-0 at Droylsden to leave them in dnager of relegation.

Colne earned an excellent point in a goalless draw at 4 th placed Leek Town before beating Kendal Town 3-1 at Holt House.

Ramsbottom United's cracking recent form continued as they defeated Colwyn Bay 1-0 at the Riverside thanks to an 87 th minute goal in front of a much-improved attendance of 276, around double their normal league crowd. A Nic Evangelinos hat-trick then helped them to a great 6-0 win at mid-table Newcastle Town. Another mid-table side, Trafford were also swept away, 4-0 on their own pitch, moving the Rams into the play-off positions and on recent form, genuine title challengers.

Spare a thought for bottom side Skelmersdale United, one win all season and on the end of a 9-0 thrashing at mid-table Colwyn Bay. Relegation would appear to be a formality.

In the NWCFL Premier Division, Padiham attracted a crowd of 294 for the game with Irlam but they left disappointed after a 0-0 stalemate. They were even more disappointed after the next home game, a 6-1 hammering by Bootle.

Carl Grimshaw was on target again as Charnock Richard won 2-1 at West Didsbury & Chorlton in front of a massive attendance of 407, and that's despite the Mancunians lying 2 nd bottom.

In the 1 st Division North, Bacup Borough won 3-1 at home to Holker Old Boys before being well beaten 3-0 at home by title chasing Avro.

Longridge Town drew almost 200 fans for the home game with Carlisle City which they won 7-0.

I was then part of a record attendance of 451 who saw them virtually clinch the title with a well-deserved 3-0 win against their only serious rivals Avro.

The Mancunians really were a disgrace, abusing the officials from start to finish and chopping down their opponents at every given opportunity. How they completed the game with only one player and the manager sent off was a mystery.

Hero of the evening was Richie Allen who scored all three goals but Issac Sinclair was again outstanding and he was targetted by the ruthless visitors throughout the game who had the attitude of if the first defender didn't 'take him out' then the second or third would.

The referee would have been quite justified in sending off several of the Avro players resulting in an abandonment.

In the South Division, just when you think things can't get any worse for Stone Dominoes, they're thrashed 13-0 at home by mid-table Cheadle Town!!! Pity only 28 people saw it. Better news in the following game as they won 2-1 at home to Barnton but they then lost 3-0 at home to Stockport Town with only 18 people present this time.

In the Macron Cup quarter-finals, Barnoldswick Town lost 3-2 at 1874 Northwich and a few days later they exited the West Riding County Cup at the semi-final stage, in a thriller at National North side Guiseley. The home side raced into a 3-0 lead within quarter of an hour but Barlick stormed back in the final stages to score three times in 11 minutes only for 91 st minute strike to win it for the Lions. They were then well beaten 5-2 at Squires Gate.

Nelson also went out of the Macron Cup after a 3-1 defeat at Avro. I then saw them lose 2-1 at the Anchor against Darwen in the league.

Steve Pickup's Northwich Victoria lost 2-1 at City of Liverpool but then progressed to the FA vase semi-finals with a 3-1 extra-time home win against fancied Sholing in front of over 700 fans. The visitors had led before having a man sent off just before the break and they were instantly made to pay as Vics soon equalised.

In the Western League Premier Division, Nick Hancock travelled up the M5 to Bitton and saw his Buckland Athletic favourites well beaten 3-0 by the title-chasers. Westbury United then arrived at Homers Heath knowing that a win would put them joint top but Nick's boys produced their best result of the season to win 1-0.

Early February 2019

Matt Derbyshire was missing form the Omonia Nicosia team that defeated bottom side Ermis 2-0 away from home although they still remain in the bottom half of the table.

The next game, at home to fellow mid-table side Doxa, had them 2-0 down when Matt entered the fray after 55 minutes and he inspired them to fight back and force a draw.

Don Fitzgerald's Wimbledon narrowly lost out at the Stadium of Light in front of over 30,000 fans ( almost 1,000 Dons supporters) 1-0, and the future looks bleak for the Wombles. A fourth defeat in a row followed, 2-0 at home to Burton Albion which left them a massive 10 points from safety.

They then won 1-0 at Walsall but many more good performances will be needed to avoid the drop.

The National League was badly hit by the weather, but in the North Division, Boston United gained a rare three home points against Phil O'Dell's FC United. Trailing to an 8 th minute opener, the Pilgrims secured the points with goals from Allott and Walker. The good form continued at bottom side Nuneaton who were put to the sword to the tune of 5-1.

In the South Division, Mike Barry's Eastbourne Borough showed no signs of improvement, losing 2-0 at Truro City before drawing 2-2 at home to Oxford City despite playing against ten men for quite a while. Ex-Boston striker Tschimanga gave City an early lead before the Sports hit back to lead but they couldn't hold on.

When the weather subsided towards the middle of the month, the National League saw some action with Fylde missing the chance to go 3 rd after they could only draw 1-1 at 2 nd bottom Maidstone United.

Paul Clark saw his Aldershot side continue to struggle, losing 3-1 at home to Eastleigh, a result that left them just 3 points above bottom spot. Like most of the sides towards the foot of the League, it's easy to see where the problem lies, goalscoring, with the Shots scoring only 15 goals in 16 home games and that's similar to several other sides.

Another home game saw them slip further into trouble with a 3-0 defeat against promotion-chasing Solihull Moors who went top after the result.

Back in the North Division, Phil O'Dell's FC United hosted Paul Salt's Alrincham and the game went to form with the Robins notching a late winner to take the points courtesy of a 2-1 success in front of over 2,000 fans at Broadhurst Park.

The local derby between Southport and Chorley produced a great game with the Sandgrounders running out comfortable winners. They led 4-1 at the break and ended up winning 5-3 before a bumper crowd of 1,542 although the Magpies remained in pole position. They then strengthened that position with a fine 2-0 home win against 6 th placed Brackley Town.

What a game in the FA Trophy, Ramsbottom United and Fylde drew 5-5 at the Riverside. Before a crowd of over 700, Rammy stormed back twice from being two goals behind to lead 5-4 with only five minutes remaining but a late Bond goal ensured that the sides must replay.

I travelled over to the Fylde for that game along with over 230 Rammy fans, more than their usual home gate, to see a tremendous performance despite going down 4-1, a scoreline which flattered the hosts.

In the FA Vase, Steve Pickup's Northwich Victoria trailed 1-0 at fallen giants Histon but fought back to win 3-1 after extra-time. The other NWCFL side left in the competition, Irlam Town, went down 2-0 at home to Chertsey.

Steve's boys then won 1-0 at Abbey Hey in the Premier Division to move up to 4 th.

In the NPL West Division, Colne took an early lead at play-off rivals Prescott Cables but the home side hit back to win 3-1 and move above the Reds.

Clitheroe won 4-1 at lowly Skelmersdale United.

In the NWCFL 1 st Division North, Longridge Town won 2-1 at Prestwich Heys to move 9 points clear at the top.

Brent Peters' Bacup Borough got through to the semi-finals of the 1 st Division Cup with a penalty shoot-out victory at AFC Liverpool after a 1-1 draw. That came as a much-needed boost after Borough's ground was badly damaged by a recent storm, causing thousands of pounds of damage.

In the 1 st Division South, lowly Maine Road trailed 3-0 at 3 rd placed Abbey Hulton United after 52 minutes but hit back in style to win 5-3.

Poor old Stone Dominoes were smashed 9-1 at St Martins, with unfortunately, only 34 spectators present to see the goal-fest.

In the Western League, Nick Hancock's Buckland Athletic faced the long midweek trip up to Bristol to take on Brislington in the Les Phillips Cup and despite the horrendous weather forecast being given the go-ahead in the afternoon, the game was abandoned half way through the second half with the score at 2-2.

Nick's favourites then hosted Exeter City in the Devon Bowl but unfortunately went down 5-4 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in front of a good turn-out of 164.

Not too often that a side hits double figures but Bostik League Premier South side strugglers Basingstoke Town managed it against bottom side Staines Town who could be the first side to be relegated at that level, 20 points from safety. There was no sign of what was to come with the score at 3-2 at the interval and 4-3 after an hour.

 

 

Late January 2019

Matt Derbyshire was missing from Omonia Nicosia's line-up as they travelled to bottom side Paphos and a 4 th minute penalty was enough to see Matt's boys lose 1-0, their 9 th league defeat in 18 games.

Don Fitzgerald, who sadly passed away recently, would have been over-the-moon to see his bottom of the table side Wimbledon, march through to the 5 th round of the FA Cup with a fantastic 4-2 home win against West Ham United.

Our ex-landlords Accrington Stanley put up a great show at home to Championship high-flyers Derby County only to lose 1-0 in front of a record attendance of almost 5,500.

The horrendous weather at the end of the month saw plenty of non league games postponed.

Non-league legend Nathan Pond was in the Salford City side that drew 0-0 at Halifax Town in the National League, keeping them in 2 nd position.

Fylde enjoyed a great 2-1 win at promotion rivals Solihull Moors.

In the North Division, Boston United travelled to bogey side Guiseley but for once they came out on top, winning 5-4 to stay in touch with the play-off positions. I then travelled up to the North East with around 40 other Pilgrims fans to endure over two hours in the freezing cold only to see our team go down 1-0. A fifteen minute delay in the first half, thanks to an injury to the referee, was followed in the second with a ten minute delay after an injury to Boston's Gibbens, saw the game continue to around 10 o'clock. Unfortunately for the travelling contingent, the replacement linesman from the crowd, flagged for an infringement every time the home players appealed and despite Boston having twice as many shots, corners, and three times as many shots on target as their hosts, plus no bookings against three for Town, they couldn't turn the stats into points.

Paul Salt's Altrincham were surprisingly beaten 3-0 at mid-table Leamington.

Chorley had a great 4-1 win at York City to maintain their top spot.

Phil O'Dell's FC United took the lead at home to Stockport County but the Hatters hit back and won it two minutes from time in front of almost 3,000 fans at Broadhurst Park.

Improving Southport suffered a surprise 4-0 home defeat against Telford United.

In the South Division, Mike Barry's Eastbourne Borough continue to frustrate, losing 2-0 at home to 2 nd bottom East Thurrock.

In the NPL West Division, Clitheroe fought back from 2-0 down to level at home to Widnes only to be beaten by a last minute goal.

Ramsbottom United fantastic form continued with a comprehensive 6-0 defeat of visitors Skelmersdale United.

Colne remained handily placed after a goalless draw at Trafford.

In the NWCFL Premier Division, Carl Grimshaw scored another two goals in the 3-3 draw at Congleton Town.

Steve Pickup's Northwich Victoria won 2-0 at home to Whitchurch Alport in front of an improved attendance of 211.

Barnoldswick Town twice came from behind to draw 2-2 at Runcorn Town.

In the 1 st Division North, leaders Longridge Town were held to a 1-1 draw at AFC Blackpool whilst second-placed Avro closed the gap after a 7-1 home triumph against Carlisle City.

An Elliot Pond hat-trick helped Darwen to a terrific 7-1 win against St Helens at the Anchor.

Bacup Borough trailed 2-0 at Ashton Town after 25 minutes but looked set for a point after two goals in three minutes, half way through the second period, but a four-goal blast in the final 10 minutes saw them well beaten.

Nelson won 2-1 at home to Garstang.

In the South West, Nick Hancock's Buckland Athletic heaped more misery on Cadbury Heath, thrashing them 7-0 at Homers Heath, and that followed Cadbury's 9-0 defeat at Willand Rovers 3 days earlier!

Nick was then amongst three away supporters who travelled up to Bath to see the Mighty Bucks defeat Odd Down 2-0.

 

Early January 2019

Matt Derbyshire captained Omonia Nicosia in the home game against fellow mid-table side AEK Larnaca and it had the desired effect as they won 1-0. A daunting trip to 2 nd placed Alollon followed and although they led 1-0 at the break, the home side rallied to win 2-1.

Don Fitzgerald's Wimbledon dropped to the bottom of League One after a 2-1 defeat at leaders Portsmouth.

An FA Cup game at Fleetwood Town promised little but after letting a two-goal lead slip, a 90 th minute Appiah goal put them through. They then earned a point with a 1-1 draw at Coventry City.

Our ex-landlords Accrington Stanley began the New Year with comprehensive 3-0 defeat at improving Bradford City leaving their hopes of making the play-offs a pie-in-the-sky dream.

The FA Cup 3 rd round saw them host Championship bottom side Ipswich Town and it was no surprise that they went through after a 1-0 win. They looked to be on their way to the last eight of the EFL Trophy at home to Bury as they led 2-0 but the Shakers stormed back to win 4-2. The Reds were then held to a goalless draw by Bristol Rovers.

Fylde could only draw 0-0 at home to Barrow in the National League and that was followed by a 3-2 defeat at Bromley. They then made it through to the 3 rd round of the FA Trophy thanks to a narrow 1-0 home win against minnows Biggleswade.

Paul Clark's Aldershot remain in deep trouble after they failed to beat lowly Maidenhead United at the 'rec' in front of a 2,000+ crowd.

In the North Division, Boston United were thwarted again at the death as they had to settle for just a point at Alfreton after the hosts notched a last minute equaliser. They then lost their 8 th home game of the season, 2-1 against Altrincham with less then 900 home fans present.

Back on the road, they then won 2-1 at Kidderminster Harriers.

Paul Salt's Altrincham lost 1-0 at home to Stockport County before the predictable win at York Street but the next outing, at Chorley was anything but predictable. Winning 1-0 at the break, they were then blown away by four unanswered goals in the second half.

Southport started the New Year as they finished the old one, in good form as they fought out a goalless draw at Chester. A 1-1 draw at home to Nuneaton Borough and a 1-0 win against Guiseley, also at Haig Avenue, saw them fly six places up the table to 11 th. Another home game followed and despite trailing at the break, they won 5-1.

Chorley thrashed Phil O'Dell's FCUM 4-0 at Victory Park with all the goals coming after the break and those three points returned them to the top of the table after Bradford's defeat at home to Guiseley.

The Magpies then drew 1-1 at Hereford while United lost 2-0 at home to Chester, their 9 th home league defeat of the campaign-an even worse than Boston's!

Chorley then battered Altrincham 4-1 while United had a great 3-2 win at Bradford P A.

In the South, Mike Barry's Eastbourne Borough stopped the rot by defeating Dulwich Hamlet 2-1 at home and followed that up with another three points thanks to a 3-2 win at Chippenham Town. The good form didn't continue as they were held to a 1-1 draw by bottom side Weston-super-Mare.

In the Evo-stik West Division, Colne lost 1-0 at home to Glossop North End but then won by the same score at Kidsgrove Athletic.

Clitheroe looked on course for three points at Kendal Town until an 89 th minute equaliser and they then drew 1-1 again, at Colwyn Bay.

Ramsbottom United lost 3-0 at home to promotion-chasing Atherton Collieries in front of over 400 fans at the Riverside before drawing 1-1 with Leek Town, also at home.

Another big crowd turned out for the FA Trophy 2 nd Round game against Weymouth where a 96 th minute equaliser gave them a 2-2 draw.

Considering the replay meant a 550 round trip to Dorset on a Tuesday evening, just one player couldn't make it as the Rams won 3-1 and even missed a late penalty in front of 657 fans. They now take their place in the last 16, the lowest ranked side left in it, and a mouth-watering home tie against Fylde to come.

In the NWCFL Premier Division, Barnoldswick Town were surprisingly beaten 4-1 at home to Hanley Town but then won by the same score at home to Litherland REMYCA. Charnock Richard then gave them another thrashing at the Silentnight Stadium, winning 5-0 with Grimshaw notching another hat-trick. A hectic first couple of weeks of the new year ended with a goalless draw at Congleton Town.

Charnock Richard won 2-1 at home to Abbey Hey and by the same score at Padiham. The Storks, meanwhile, lost 4-0 at home to Northwich Victoria.

Steve Pickup's Northwich Victoria made it through to the 5 th round of the FA Vase with a 3-2 win at Newcastle Benfield but they were made to sweat as they led 3-0 at the break and held on for the final ten minutes with just a goal advantage.

They then lost 2-1 at City of Liverpool despite taking an early lead before losing 2-0 at Ashton Athletic. They came back with a bang at the afore mentioned win at the Arbories.

In the 1 st Division North, Nelson lost 1-0 at AFC Liverpool and then 3-0 at home to Avro before drawing 2-2 at St. Helens Town.

Darwen were hammered 4-0 at Chadderton. I then made the short trip to see Darwen take on leaders Longridge Town and predictably, the visitors won 6-2 although that scoreline flattered Town who were wasting time with the score at 3-1 and then 3-2 in the second half. Hart scored a hat-trick to go with his four-goal midweek haul.

Longridge Town won 2-1 at Shelly, 8-1 against Daisy Hill and then 6-2 at Darwen.

Bacup Borough thrashed Atherton L.R. 4-0 at West View.

In the Western League, Nick Hancock's Buckland Athletic made the long trip north to take on lowly Brislington while I made the long trip south to meet up with him. Things didn't look too good after the home side went in front against the Mighty Bucks despite the visitors leading at the break but two goals in a minute made it happy journey home for both of us. The ground was very tidy with cover on all four sides but the club find it difficult to attract spectators to their out-of-the-way stadium, just 34 present and at least six of us supporting the visitors.

A 2-0 home win against Wellington carried on the good results.

 

Late December

Matt Derbyshire was back in the Omonia Nicosia starting line-up for the visit of 2 nd placed APOEL but despite leading 1-0 at the break, courtesy of yet another Gomez goal, they lost 2-1.

A trip to 2 nd bottom side Paralimni gave them great opportunity to get back on the winning trail but they had to settle for point in a 1-1 draw.

Just 88 Accrington Stanley fans made the long trip to Southend United and after a 3-0 defeat, the journey home must have seemed even longer.

Another monumental journey followed, to bottom side Plymouth Argyle but this time a great display gave them a 3-0 win in front of a fantastic attendance of 10,193 which included 102 Reds' fans. They then earned another three points with a 2-1 win at home to Shrewsbury Town in front of an improved crowd of just over 3,000 although the Shrews had a tremendous following of 770. No one could have foreseen the outcome of their next home game against Peterborough United which ended with a 4-0 defeat.

Don Fitzgerald's Wimbledon lost 2-0 at Charlton Athletic despite playing against ten men after less than a minutes play at the Valley. That result saw them stay bottom of League One. Wins at Wycombe Wanderers, 2-1 and then by the same score at home to Plymouth Argyle, lifted them two places and two points from safety. The year ended with a goalless draw at home to Blackpool.

In the FA Cup, Southport hosted Tranmere Rovers in a 2 nd round replay with Tottenham Hotspur as the bait for the winners but the visitors were victorious, winning 2-0 before a massive 5,000+ crowd.

In the FA Trophy, Boston United were swept away by National League high-flyers Wrexham at the Racecourse. Three goals in the opening half hour put paid to any hopes of an upset.

The following game saw more woeful home form resulting in a 1-0 loss to Alfreton Town and despite that dreadful record at York Street, the biggest crowd of the season turned up, just short of 1,400 with only a paltry 56 travelling fans. An improved home performance a few days later earned them a point in a 2-2 draw against leaders Bradford Park Avenue who needed a 94 th minute deflected effort to keep that top spot.

Fylde breezed past Stratford Town in the FA Trophy at Mill Farm, winning 5-1. Back in League action, they then defeated Ebbsfleet United 2-0 at home before drawing 1-1 at Barrow. They moved up to 3 rd place after a last minute Rowe penalty gave them a 2-1 win at promotion rivals Harrogate Town.

Paul Clark's Aldershot continue to struggle and in the FA Trophy they could only draw 3-3 at home to minnows Bedford Town before sending a youth team for the replay which resulted in a 7-0 annihilation. A home game against leaders Wrexham saw an improved performance and a fine 0-0 draw but they then lost 4-3 at Maidenhead United and 2-1 at Sutton United.

The Boxing Day clash between Wrexham and Salford City attracted an amazing turn-out of 8,283 and most of them went home happy after a 5-1 home win.

Paul Salt's Altrincham exited the Trophy after a 1-0 home defeat against Stockport County before losing to the same opponents, this time at Edgely Park, 2-0 in front of 4,549 fans. In between, they drew 3-3 at home to Darlington. A late goal then gave them a 2-2 draw at Guiseley.

After their FA Cup exploits, Southport continued with their excellent form, beating Ashton United 2-1 away from home, and then Chester, 3-0, and Alfreton Town, 2-1, both at Haig Avenue.

Chorley were beaten 4-2 at home to Blyth Spartans but then thrashed Phil O'dell's FC United 4-1 at Broadhurst Park. United had previously drawn 2-2 at Leamington. A 1-0 win at Curzon Ashton cemented the Magpies 2 nd place in the table.

United, meanwhile, lost 3-1 at home to Spennymoor United to end the year in the relegation zone.

Mike Barry's Eastbourne Borough were surprisingly smashed 4-0 at home by lower ranked Dorchester Town in the FA Trophy and then 2-1 at home to St Albans City. A massive crowd of 3,000, for the hosts return to Champion Hill, then saw them lose 2-1 at Dulwich Hamlet. A 2-0 defeat at 2 nd placed Woking was an unsurprising end to the year.

Ramsbottom United drew 0-0 at Workington before winning the Trophy replay 2-0. The good form continued in the NPL at Market Drayton Town where they won 3-1 and a Boxing Day clash with local rivals Radcliffe Borough drew over 500 fans to the Riverside where the Rams came from behind to win 2-1.

Colne came from two down to draw 2-2 at home to Newcastle Town and then won 3-1 at Shawbridge against Clitheroe.

Clitheroe's performance at home to Radcliffe Borough was as bad as the weather and they ended up on the wrong side of a 7-0 thrashing. That was followed by a 3-0 defeat at Kidsgrove Athletic and the afore-mentioned home defeat to Colne.

In the NWCFL Premier Division, a Grimshaw hat-trick inspired Charnock Richard to a 4-0 home win against Litherland REMYCA but then went down 2-0 t Northwich Victoria. Yet another Grimshaw hat-trick gave them a 3-0 win at Squires Gate.

Steve Pickup's Northwich Victoria were 3-0 down at home to Bootle after only 15 minutes and despite a 2 nd half fight-back, lost 3-2. They then proved too strong for Charnock Richard as just mentioned. They then brushed aside Irlam, 4-0 away from home.

Padiham were beaten 4-1 at Winsford United but things got much worse at Ashton Athletic where they lost 8-0. A bumper crowd of 332 saw a better performance at the Arbories against 1874 Northwich but the ressult was the same, a 2-1 defeat.

Barnoldswick Town won 1-0 at Silsden.

In the 1 st Division North, Darwen came from 2-0 down after an hour's play at Daisy Hill to win 3-2. They then looked to have secured a point at home to Prestwich Heys after they made it 2-2 in the 97 th minute but the visitors scored the winner a minute later! A derby game against Bacup Borough saw them win 2-1 at the Anchor.

Nelson trailed 2-0 at home to Cleator Moor Celtic at the break but stormed back to win 4-2 and followed that up with a 1-0 success at Steeton and a 1-1 draw at Avro.

Bacup Borough won 6-2 at St Helens Town with all of their goals coming in the first 50 minutes and they scored three more at home to Carlisle City which proved to be just enough. Their hot run of form continued at Shelley where they won 4-1 despite going behind.

I travelled to Longridge Town to see the leaders take on Cleator Moor Celtic and the home side brushed aside a very youthful visiting side containing several teenagers and no substitutes. The 4-0 half time lead could and should have been doubled but for some wayward finishing which continued in the second period. Shocking finishing, good goalkeeping and determined defending meant that Town didn't add to the scoreline.

In the 1 st Division South, a fantastic attendance( a ground record) saw Wythenshawe Amateurs defeat rivals Town 1-0 on Boxing Day.

Poor old Stone Dominoes failed to take on Stone Old Alleynians because they couldn't raise a team.

In the Western League, Nick Hancock and his pals made the trip to mid-table Shepton Mallet in atrocious conditions and must have wished they'd stayed at home watching the telly as the Bucks were hammered 7-2. They did rather better at leaders Westbury United(14 wins and 2 draws so far), drawing 0-0 but they then lost 2-1 at home to Devon rivals Plymouth Parkway surrendering a half-time lead to lose 2-1 in front of an excellent Boxing Day crowd of 242. They could then only draw 1-1 at home to lowly Roman Glass St George..

 

Early December

In the Cyprus Cup, Matt Derbyshire's Omonia Nicosia defeated 2 nd Division Onisilos Sotira 3-0 at home but then went down 2-1 in the league at leaders AEL Limassol in a very feisty game. The first half saw ex-Rover Jordy Gomez open the scoring before five booking, two for the same player, left them with 10 men for the final 50 minutes. The home side also had two players booked just before the break but they turned it round in the second half winning 2-1 with Matt coming on straight after the equaliser.

The following game saw Matt again on the bench, coming on after 38 minutes and once again two Gomez goals gave them a win, 2-0 at bottom side Alki Oroklini.

Don Fitzgerald's Wimbledon made it through to the 3 rd round of the FA Cup with a 3-1 at Halifax Town but exited the FLT, losing 2-1 to Chelsea's under-21's.

A 1-1 draw at home to Rochdale followed.

Accrington Stanley won 3-1 at home to Cheltenham in the FA Cup and then defeated Lincoln City 4-2 on penalties after a 2-2 draw at the Crown Ground in the FLT.

The Reds then entertained Sunderland and despite the horrendous weather leading up to the game, it went ahead before a record attendance of 5,257 (half from Sunderland). Less surprising was the abandonment 20 minutes from time.

In the National League, Fylde would have gone 3 rd with a home win against Sutton United but the visitors made it 2-2 in the 88 th minute.

They then looked on course for three points at 2 nd bottom Dover until two goals for the home side in the final few minutes left them pointless.

Paul Clark made the long trip north to watch Aldershot take on Harrogate Town but returned to Hampshire disappointed after a 4-1 defeat, despite taking an early lead.

In the North Division, Paul Salt's Altrincham continue to impress, winning 2-1 at Brackley to move within 6 points of the leaders. In-form Telford were next and they were brushed aside 3-1 at Moss Lane to go 3 rd.

Boston earned a good point with a 1-1 draw at Chorley before despatching York City 2-0 at the Jakeman's Stadium.

Chorley then needed a last minute goal to salvage a point at Leamington.

Southport's excellent recent form continued as they drew 1-1 in the FA Cup at Tranmere Rovers and then 2-2 at leaders Bradford Park Avenue in the league.

Phil O'Dell's FC United lost 2-0 at York City but got back to winning ways at home to Curzon Ashton, 2-0 the score. That was United's first home win of the season and took them out of the drop zone.

In the South Division, Mike Barry's Eastbourne Borough had a fine 3-0 win at Wealdstone but then lost 2-0 at home to Billericay Town.

In the NPL West Division, a late goal from visitors Market Drayton condemned Clitheroe to 3-2 defeat and they then lost 2-0 at Mossley.

Colne drew 1-1 at Chasetown in the league and then made it through to the semi-finals of the Lancs Challenge Trophy after defeating Charnock Richard 1-0 at Holt House. Their home game against bottom side Skelmersdale United was then abandoned because of a waterlogged pitch.

Ramsbottom United lost 3-2 at home to leaders Runcorn Linnets but then won 2-0 at Kidsgrove Athletic.

Steve Pickup's Northwich Victoria made it safely through to the 4 th round of the FA Vase, winning 3-0 at home to Silsden.

In the Macron Cup 3 rd round, Barnoldswick Town went goal-crazy at home to Eccleshall, winning 9-4 despite it only being 1-1 after 40 minutes.

In the NWCFL 1 st Division North, an Elliot Pond hat-trick helped Darwen to a 4-3 win at Ashton Town. He was on target in the next game, at home to Lower Breck, where the Salmoners twice came from behind and then got a 97 th minute winner.

Nelson drew 2-2 at Carlisle City before winning 2-0 at Ashton Town and 2-1 at home to Prestwich Heys.

Bacup Borough won 2-1 at Daisy Hill but then went down by the same score at Holker Old Boys.

 

Late November

Matt Derbyshire's Omonia Nicosia drew 1-1 at home to Arnothosis with the ex-Harwood star coming on as a 1 st half substitute.

Accrington Stanley lost 2-0 at home to Barnsley,1-0 at Rochdale and then 2-1 at home to Wycombe Wanderers to go hurtling down the League One table.

Don Fitzgerald's Wimbledon went down 2-1 at Doncaster Rovers and 1-0 at Peterborough United but in between those defeats won 2-1 at home to Southend |United.

Nevertheless, that left them second bottom and amazingly, with Bristol Rovers, Plymouth Argyle and Bradford City occupying the other relegation places.

In the National League, Paul Clark's Aldershot were hammered 4-0 at Salford City in front of a tremendous attendance of just under 3,000 and they lost again, 2-0 at home to Barrow before earning a decent point in a goalless draw at Leyton Orient.

Fylde opened the scoring at Dagenham & Redbridge after only a minute but lost 2-1. The next game at home to Boreham Wood saw then score twice in the final five minutes to win 2-1. They followed that up with a 2-1 success at Hartlepool United.

In the National League North, Paul Salt's Altrincham continued their excellent recent form with a 3-0 home win against York City and then made it through to the next round of the FA Trophy with a great 4-0 home win against league leaders Bradford Park Avenue.

Boston United's dismal home form continued as they lost 2-1 at home to Southport thanks to an added time winner from Astles. The away form remained good though and they hammered Ashton United 5-0 in the FA Trophy at Hurst Cross.

Phil O'Dell's FC United lost 2-0 at home to Telford and exited the FA Trophy after a 3-1 defeat at Hereford.

Southport drew 0-0 at home to Chester in the FA Trophy but progressed thanks to a 2-0 replay win.

Chorley enjoyed great 4-0 win at high-flying Kidderminster Harriers

In the South Division, Mike Barry's Eastbourne United lost 1-0 at Bath City before drawing 1-1 at home to Dartford in the FA Trophy, eventually making it through with a 3-2 win in the replay.

Ramsbottom United won 1-0 at Colwyn Bay and then defeated Yaxley 5-1 in their FA Trophy replay at the Riverside. They then drew 0-0 at Pickering Town in the next round, before making it through with another replay victory, 2-1 courtesy of an 89 th minute Jacobs winner.

Colne won 3-2 at home to Leek Town and by the same score, also at Holt House, against Colwyn Bay.

Clitheroe lost 2-1 at Runcorn Linnets and 4-1 at Prescott Cables.

In the NWCFL Premier Division, Barnoldswick Town won 2-1 at home to Burscough and then 7-1 at Abbey Hey.

Charnock Richard lost 2-0 at home to 1874 Northwich and the slump continued at Runcorn Town who won 4-0. After a 2-1 home defeat against Northwich Victoria they finally got back to winning ways with a 1-0 home win against West Didsbury & Chorlton.

Steve Pickup's Northwich Victoria won 5-1 at home to Runcorn Town and then 2-1, also at home, to Litherland REMYCA. A 2-1 win at faltering Charnock Richard followed.

A crowd of 336 saw home side Padiham go down 1-0 to City of Liverpool but the Storks then picked up a point in a 3-3 draw at Burscough.

In 1 st Division North, Bacup Borough needed a last minute winner to defeat Ashton Town at West View and then made it through to the next round of the 1 st Division Cup, winning 4-3 on penalties after a 2-2 home draw. Also in that competition, Eccleshall made the huge journey to take on Carlisle City but just after the half hour mark they found themselves 6-0 down! The 49 spectators certainly got their moneys worth as City eventually won 11-2.

Darwen had a fine 2-1 win at Garstang in front of an attendance of over 200 but then went down 4-2 at home to Steeton despite twice taking the lead. A comfortable 3-0 home win against Cleator Moor Celtic.

Nelson won 1-0 at home to Atherton LR but then lost 4-1 to Ashton Town, also at Victoria Park.

Down in the South West, Nick Hancock's Buckland Athletic won 4-0 at Hengrove Athletic.

 

Early November

Matt Derbyshire was relegated to the bench for Omonia Nicosia's home game against bottom side Ermis which was a great pity as his side won 2-1, very unconvincingly thanks to two penalties, which Matt would no doubt have taken. Jordi Gomez, who lists the Rovers, Sunderland, Swansea and Wigan amongst his former clubs, converted both spot-kicks.

The ex-Harwood legend was then missing from the squad as Omonia came from behind to defeat Doxa 2-1 away from home.

In League One, Don Fitzgerald's Wimbledon were beaten 2-1 at home by Shrewsbury Town despite leading at the break.

The Dons then hammered Stevenage 4-0 in the EFL Trophy, also at Kingsmeadow.

A televised FA Cup game at Haringey Borough followed and a last minute winner saw the Dons through to the 2 nd Round.

Accrington Stanley were denied victory at Coventry City after the Sky Blues scored a late equaliser but the Reds then defeated WBA under 21's 2-1 in the EFL Trophy before making it through to the FA Cup 2 nd Round with a 1-0 home win against Colchester United. They then lost 3-2 at Blackpool in the Football League Trophy although they'd already qualified for the next stage.

In the National League, Fylde suffered a rare defeat and even more rare, conceded three goals-3-1 the score against Leyton Orient at Mill Farm. The Coasters recently made a great signing in Nick Haughton from Salford City.

Paul Clark's Aldershot Town managed only one shot on target in their home game against second bottom Braintree Town but it proved to be enough to secure the three points. They were then held to a 1-1 draw at home to Bradford City in the FA Cup in a terrific game which was played on a waterlogged pitch.

In the North Division, I travelled to Ashton United to watch Boston United and it looked like Ryan Qualter's amazing 40-yard blockbuster would be enough to give them another away win until the stupid sending off of substitute Abbott who swore at the referee over the awarding of a throw-in on 85 minutes. Two minutes later the Robins equalised to earn a deserved share of the spoils in front of a shocking turn-out of only 227, around 60 of whom were Pilgrims supporters. That poor form continued in the next game, at Telford United, where they lost 1-0.

Paul Salt's Altrincham scored a last minute equaliser to secure a point at Hereford but they then went out of the Cheshire Senior Cup at he 1 st Round stage after a 2-0 home defeat against Congleton Town, watched by just 226 spectators. The Robins then earned three points with a fine 2-1 win at much-improved Chester.

2 nd placed Kidderminster would have topped the table with a home win against rock-bottom Southport but the Sandgrounders produced an incredible performance and led 4-0 with just over half an hours play before eventually winning 4-1 to move above Nuneaton Borough.

That great form continued in the next game as they hammered Clitheroe 6-0 at Haig Avenue in the Lancs FA Challenge Trophy. Next up was a trip to Hereford where they won 3-0

Phil O'Dell's FC United moved out of the bottom three with a cracking 3-0 win at Blyth Spartans and then moved towards the middle of the table with a 3-1 win at Hereford.

Chorley lost their third game in a row, 2-1 at home to Spennymoor Town and then again, 1-0 against Bamber Bridge in the Lancs Challenge Trophy, also at Victory Park. A third home game then saw them draw 2-2 against Doncaster Rovers in the FA Cup 1 st Round, twice taking the lead before a sending off for Challoner had them hanging on for the replay.

In the South Division, Mike Barry's Eastbourne Borough found themselves 3-0 down at Chelmsford City before half time and despite a fight back, went down 3-2. They then won 3-1 at home to Hungerford Town before losing 3-0 at Concord Rangers.

In the FA Vase, Steve Pickup's Northwich Victoria made it through to the 3 rd round after a 1-0 replay win at home to Prestwich Heys. They then won 3-1 at home to Runcorn Town in the 2 nd Round of the Macron Cup but went out of the Cheshire Senior Cup at the first hurdle, losing 2-1 at home to Tranmere Rovers.

In the NPL West Division, Clitheroe won 2-1 at Widnes and then by the same score at home to bottom side Skelmersdale United.

Colne lost 1-0 at home to play-off rivals Trafford before making it through to the 3 rd round of the Lancs Challenge Trophy, coming from behind to win 3-1 at Longridge Town.

Padiham exited the Lancs Challenge Trophy after a 2-0 defeat at Radcliffe. The next game saw them leading 2-0 at Litherland REMYCA with only 10 minutes left but they were pegged back to 2-2. A 1-0 defeat at Irlam followed.

Ramsbottom United won 3-0 at bottom side Skelmersdale United before winning 4-0 at Prescot Cables and drawing 2-2 at Yaxley in the FA Trophy.

In the NWCFL Premier Division, another Carl Grimshaw goal looked to be enough to give Charnock Richard the points at Burscough but the home side equalised in the last minute.

A last minute Walker penalty then saw them progress to the 3 rd round of the Lancs Challenge Trophy.

Back in League action, despite two more Grimshaw goals, they were well beaten 5-3 at top of the table City of Liverpool. The Charnock hotshot appears to be running away at the top of the league's goalscoring charts, already six ahead of his nearest rival.

Barnoldswick Town won 2-1 at home to West Didsbury & Chorlton before progressing to the next round of the Macron Cup with a 3-0 home win against Wythenshawe Amateurs. They then made it through to the 3 rd Round of the West Riding County Cup after a 5-2 home win against Streeton.

In the 1 st Division North, Bacup Borough won 4-2 at home to Daisy Hill and then drew 3-3 at Chadderton thanks to a last minute Hall penalty. They were then knocked out of the Lancs Challenge Trophy after suffering a 3-1 defeat at Prestwich Heys.

Darwen were smashed 5-0 at Lower Breck and then beaten 3-2 at AFC Liverpool

Nelson lost 3-1 at home to leaders Longridge Town for whom Turner hit a hat-trick but they made it through to the 3 rd round of the Macron Cup with a comprehensive 5-0 win at Maine Road.

Our old foes Stone Dominoes, who also folded before coming back, must be wondering why as they were well beaten again, 7-1 at home to Wythenshawe Town in front of a turn-out of 28.

In the Western League, Nick Hancock's Buckland Athletic lost 5-4 at home to Bitton. Bucks led 2-1 at the break but the visitors hit back to lead 4-3 going into stoppage time when a 91 st minute equaliser looked to have salvaged a point only for Bitton to hit the winner 30 seconds later. .

 

Late October

Matt Derbyshire was back in action for Omonia Nicosia and they led 2-0 after 51 minutes of their home game with bottom side Pafos but the visitors then hit four goals in 9 minutes around the hour mark to record their first win. They'd also managed just 2 goals in their opening 5 games.

Our old friends at Accrington Stanley are enjoying another great season, winning 1-0 at highly rated Peterborough United. Hard to imagine that not too long ago, we were higher up the Pyramid than them. They were then surprisingly, if not the result then certainly the scoreline, 4-1 at Luton Town but still remained in 4 th position.

Don Fitzgerald's Wimbledon lost 2-0 at Blackpool despite having almost three times as many shots as the hosts and that defeat saw them drop into the relegation places. Three days later they lost by the same score at Bristol Rovers and again at home to Luton Town four days on.

In the National League North, Boston United fell to a disappointing defeat, 1-0 at Darlington, and weren't helped by having two players sent off.

They then moved up to 4 th after a 3-1 home win against Hereford but their indifferent home form soon returned, being well beaten 3-1 by Brackley Town who were backed by just 11 supporters.

Phil O'Dell's FC United had a great 2-1 win at 2 nd placed Kidderminster Harriers, a win that took them off the bottom to be replaced by Southport. The win preceded Neil Reynolds arrival as manager after he left Bamber Bridge. The good form continued in their next home game where they earned a point with a 1-1 draw against high-flying Brackley Town although they remained win-less at home after 7 games.

They looked to have ended that record but visiting Alfreton Town equalised just two minutes from time.

Paul Clark enjoyed watching his Aldershot Town side defeat Kettering Town in the FA Cup at the 'Rec', 2-0 the score but back in league action, they lost 3-0 at play-off chasing Gateshead. They were then held to a 1-1 draw by Boreham Wood.

Paul Salt's Altricham must wait another season before managing any giant-killing after they lost 2-0 at Stockport County in the 4 th qualifying round. Alty then moved into the top half of the table after a 3-0 home win against local rivals Ashton United and followed that up with a 4-0 home win against crisis club Nuneaton Borough.

Fylde took the lead at home to Chesterfield in the FA Cup but the Spirites hit back to score three times and secure their first win in 13 games.

In the National League, they made it 9 unbeaten away games with a fantastic 6-0 win at Maidenhead United followed up by a 1-0 home win against promotion rivals Gateshead courtesy of a 93 rd minute winner.

Maidenhead, meanwhile, lost 7-0 at Havant & Waterlooville to make it a week to forget.

Southport made it into the FA Cup 1 st Round after a 2-1 home win against Ashton United but remained at the foot of the table after a 1-0 home reverse against Blyth, who would have gone bottom had the Sandgrounders won. They then drew 2-2 at home to Curzon Ashton in front of only 580 supporters.

Chorley pulled off a great result, beating National League Barrow 3-2 at Victory Park, coming from 2-0 down at the break in front of over 1700 supporters. They then lost their first league game of the season, 1-0 at Bradford Park Avenue and then lost again, 3-0 at Stockport County, Warburton notching a hat-trick in the final 20 minutes.

Mike Barry's Eastbourne Borough fell to a disappointing 2-1 home defeat against Slough Town, who's opener was scored by Harris from his own half. No such problems against Hemel Hempstead Town where a Rutherford hat-trick gave them a 3-0 win. The Sports then let a two goal lead slip at home to Hampton & Richmond Borough, drawing 2-2.

In the Northern Premier League Premier Division, Neil Reynold's final game in charge of Bamber Bridge ended in disappointment, a 4-0 thrashing against Basford at Ironbridge.

In the West Division, Clitheroe were pegged back by visitors Newcastle Town who equalised three minutes from the end to force a 1-1 draw.

The next home game saw the Blues trail to an early Droylsden penalty but roared back to win 5-1.

They then let a half time lead slip at Ossett United who went on to win 2-1 in the FA Trophy.

They also went out of the Integro League Cup, losing 5-4 on penalties at Trafford after a goalless draw.

Colne hit four without reply at mid-table Market Drayton but then lost 3-1 at home to Kidsgrove Athletic. They then hosted Atherton Collieries with the visitors needing just a point to go top but Colne triumphed 2-1 to go 3 rd. The Reds then exited the Integro League Cup after losing 3-1 at Bamber Bridge.

Ramsbottom United defeated bottom side Glossop North End 2-0 at the Riverside before moving into the next round of the FA Trophy with an excellent 3-0 win at Frickley Athletic.

In the East Division, Frickley Athletic built up a 4-1 lead at Pickering Town just after half-time and they held that lead until four minutes from time before a grandstand finish saw Town level.

In the NWCFL Macron Cup, Bacup Borough fought back from 3-0 down at home to Avro but couldn't quite get the equaliser. More success in the league though, winning 4-0 at Nelson.

Steve Pickup's Northwich Victoria made it through to the Macron Cup 2 nd Round after a comprehensive 5-1 home win against Alsager Town and also to the semi-finals of the Mid Cheshire Senior Cup by beating Barnton away from home, 4-3 on penalties after a 3-3 draw. Not so clever in the league though, losing 3-1 at home to Congleton Town who went 2 nd with the 3 points.

Darwen lost 3-2 at Eccleshall with all the goals coming in the first half but then won 2-1 at home to Holker Old Boys. Next up was a home game against Daisy Hill but despite taking a 12 th minute lead, they lost 3-1.

Holker Old Boys must have been glad to be involved in a break from League action but they were still hammered again, 9-0 at home by Lower Breck.

A few days later, they must have fielded a completely different line-up as it took hosts Garstang 76 minutes to score, and that was just the equaliser. A 92 nd minute penalty looked to have sealed the points for the home side but the Old Boys earned a draw with a 97 th minute leveller. They then lost 2-1 at Darwen despite once again taking the lead.

Barnoldswick Town lost 4-0 at Bootle.

Longridge Town hammered visiting Ashton Town 7-2 with Hart and Allen both on the scoresheet again. were surprisingly knocked out by visitors Squires Gate who completed a fine 3-1 win and were then held to a 1-1 draw by AFC Blackpool. Back to winning ways in the next game, 5-1 at home to St Helens Town and after 15 games they top the 1 st Division North. They remained there after a 2-0 win at Carlisle City.

Nelson won 2-1 at home to Hanley Town while Padiham smashed Shelley 5-1 at the Arbories. The Admirals then won 4-1 at Daisy Hill in the 1 st Division North, scoring all their goals before the break before the thrashing by Bacup. Also during the latter part of the month, they lost 5-0 at home to Ashington in the FA Vase.

The Storks, meanwhile, lost 4-0 at Bootle before coming from behind to beat Hanley Town 4-1 at the Arbories.

In the Premier League, Charnock Richard lost 3-2 at Litherland REMYCA before defeating Ashton Athletic 2-1 at Mossie Park. Back on the road, they again lost 3-2, this time at Whitchurch Alport despite leading 2-1 with only 12 minutes remaining.

They then held Runcorn Town to a goalless draw at Mossie Park in the Macron Cup but the visitors went through 3-1 on penalties. A Grimshaw hat-trick then saw them come from behind to beat Burscough 4-1, also at home.

No less than four clubs have been expelled from the Macron Cup for fielding ineligible players-Ashton Town, Oswestry Town, Padiham and Shelley.

In the South Division, Lower Breck defeated Atherton LR 8-2.

In the Western League Premier Division, Nick Hancock's Buckland Atheltic moved into the top half of the table after a 3-0 home success against Odd Down but could then only draw 1-1 at Cadbury Heath.

They then made it through to the next round of the Les Phillips Cup, of which they're holders, with a 3-0 home win against Longwell Green with new signing Ethan Phillips scoring a hat-trick just hours after signing.

 

Early October

Matt Derbyshire's Omonia lost again, this time 2-0 at home to Apollon who boast a 100% record this season.

In League One, Accrington Stanley moved into the play-off positions with another 1-0 win, this time at home to Doncaster Rovers but then lost by the same score at Shrewsbury Town who were helped enormously by the 16 th minute sending off of Reds' keeper Ripley.

Just under 3,500 then saw Stanley brush side Bradford City 3-1 at he Crown.

Don Fitzgerald's Wimbledon lost 1-0 at home to Bradford City and then by the same score at bottom of the table Plymouth Argyle. They stayed just outside of the relegation spots after a 2-1 home defeat against leaders Portsmouth.

In the National League, Paul Clark's Aldershot moved towards the middle of the table with a fine 3-0 home win against Halifax Town and despite their poor start to the campaign, the attendances have held up well, over 1,600 at the game. The good form continued with a 2-1 win at Eastleigh.

Fylde drew 0-0 at struggling Chesterfield and have now conceded just three goals in the opening eight away games and only seven in fifteen games overall. Lowly Maidstone United were the next team to find the defence too strong to crack, losing 2-0.

In the North Division, a big blow for Boston United as Nathan Arnold has left the club by mutual consent.

Nevertheless, the Pilgrims strengthened their squad with the signings of ex-Chorley star Josh Hines and ex-Rovers player Jordan Slew.

Both players made appearances from the bench to help United to a 4-0 home win against Blyth Spartans and move them up to 4 th place.

In the South Division, Mike Barry's Eastbourne Borough made it through to the next round of the FA Cup with a 4-3 home win against Dulwich Hamlet. The Sports ended the first half 4-0 up and against ten men and that's how it stayed until the 79 th minute. Eastbourne were left hanging on by the end and Dulwich even had chances to equalise.

A South Coast battle against Torquay United followed and despite leading 1-0 at the break, Mike's boys went down 4-2 in front of a crowd of just under 1,000.

Paul Salt's Altrincham breezed through to the next round of the FA Cup with a fine 4-2 home win against Bradford PA before a 3-1 home win against Alfreton Town in the League, their first of the season.

Phil O'Dell's FC United must have been hoping for better luck away from the League but they exited the FA Cup after a 2-1 home defeat against Witton Albion. They also had three players sent off!

Back in League action, they took an early lead at home to Darlington but eventually went down 2-1 and also had another two players sent off.

Southport continue to struggle, losing 2-1 at home to York City despite taking an early lead.

Chorley made it through to the 4 th qualifying round with a 3-0 win at Boston's conquerors Peterborough Sports in front of the TV cameras.

They then dropped two points at play-off rivals Telford United after the home side equalised in the 93 rd minute.

Billericay were the biggest winners, smashing visitors Whitehawk 9-1.

In the Evostik League West Division, Colne led visitors Mossley as the break but lost 2-1, and then drew 1-1 at 2 nd placed Radcliffe. They remained in 8 th position despite a 6-1 home thrashing by leaders Runcorn Linnets.

Clitheroe won 2-0 at Glossop North End to shoot up to 15 th place but then lost 2-1 at home to TraffordPontefract Collieries.. They made through to next round of the FA Trophy after a 3-2 home win against

In the NWCFL Premier Division, Carl Grimshaw put Charnock Richard 3-2 up at home to Padiham but the Storks hit back to win 5-3. They then got back into the groove with a 4-0 win at Winsford United.

Padiham's next game, however, ended in controversy with the game being abandoned on 65 minutes because someone in the crowd abused the Storks' goalkeeper-the hosts led 3-0 at that stage. Even worse was to come as the players then found out that someone had been rifling through some of their wallets in the changing room. They then lost 2-1 at Abbey Hey.

Charnock, meanwhile, exited the FA Vase after a 3-1 defeat at Hallam in front of a great turn-out of 403, and that despite leading at the break.

A fantastic attendance in the North East of 1,302 saw Hebburn Town defeat City of Liverpool 4-0

Ramsbottom United made it though to the next round of the FA Trophy with a 2-1 success at Trafford.

Steve Pickup's Northwich Victoria won 3-0 at Squires Gate before making it through to the next round of the FA Vase with a 5-0 home win against Cammell Laird.

Barnoldswick Town trailed 2-1 at half time at West Didsbury & Chorlton but stormed back to win 3-2. A 2-0 win at home to Silsden was then followed by a 2-0 defeat at Whitchurch Alport.

Leaders Runcorn Town looked to on course for their 11 th win in 13 games, leading 2-0 after 16 minutes at mid-table Bootle but the hosts hit back to lead at the break before adding one more in the second half.

In the 1 st Division North, Longridge Town continue to impress and that's not surprising with a strike-force of Richie Allen and Jason Hart and they both scored a brace at Atherton LR with the visitors running out 6-0 winners.

Bacup Borough led 3-0 at Avro with just 15 minutes remaining but were pegged back to 3-3 and were left hanging on for the final 10 minutes. They then won 2-1 at Steeton in the 1 st Division Cup.

They then came from behind twice at home to AFC Blackpool to win 4-3 with a last minute Bellamy goal.

A tough-looking home game followed, against Longridge Town, and the visitors eased to a 3-0 win thanks to Allen's hat-trick.

Nelson went down 2-1 at Eccleshall in the 1 st Division Cup thanks to a 93 rd minute winner.

Darwen's home game against Daisy Hill was abandoned due to a serious injury to the visitor's keeper.

Down in the Western League, Nick Hancock's Buckland Athletic drew 0-0 at Wellington and then won 3-1 at 4 th placed Clevedon. A home game against pointless Shortwood United gave them a chance to build on those wins but the Bucks found themselves 2-0 down before hitting back to win 4-2.

The FA Youth Cup produced one of the most incredible scorelines when Nuneaton Borough hosted midland rivals Halesowen Town. The home side scored the opening goal by Luis Corcoron within minute only to be pegged back four minutes later. Jones scored Boro's second goal on 7 minutes and Wanjohi and Corcoran made it 4-1 just before the break but it was after the re-start that the fireworks began. Jones made it 5-1 on 49 before Love hit back for the visitors two minutes later but Corcoran soon made it 7-2 with his 3 rd and 4 th goals before the hour mark. Within a couple of minutes, it was 7-3 and two goals in the 70 th minute brought it back to 7-5. Corcoran's 5 th goal of the evening looked to have settled the tie but goals in the 86 th, 92 nd and 96 th minutes for Town saw them record a fantastic 9-8 victory in front of 83 'gob-smacked' spectators.

Another 'classic' occurred in the NWCFL 1 st Division South where hosts Maine Road came from behind four times to defeat Abbey Hulton United 6-5.

 

Late September

Great Harwood Town legend Matt Derbyshire scored the only goal of the game as AC Omonia won at home to Paralimni but they then lost for the fist time, 1-0 at AEK Larnaca.

In League One, Don Fitzgerald's Wimbledon lost 3-2 at home to Scunthorpe United and then 1-0 at home to Swansea City's under 21 side in the EFL Trophy.

They got back to winning ways with a 2-1 home success over struggling Oxford United.

Accrington Stanley dominated much of the clash at Highbury against Fleetwood Town but had to settle for just a single point after a 1-1 draw. The Reds then gained their first home win of the season, 2-1 against Fitz's Wimbledon before an excellent 1-0 win at much-fancied Walsall thanks Billy Kee's 7 th minute spot kick. Those three points took them up to 8 th place.

In the National League, Paul Clark and his Aldershot buddies made the long trip north to Fylde hoping for an improvement on last season's seven goal thrashing but after an hour the result was settled with the Shots already 3-0 down and that's how it ended. Their sixth away defeat from six games.

They then won 2-0 at home to bottom side Dover thanks to two goals from Portsmouth loanee May and then gained their first away point in a 1-1 draw at Hartlepool.

Fylde slipped out of the play-off positions after a 1-1 draw at Barnet, their fifth away draw in six games but a 3-0 home win against bottom side Braintree Town took them back in them.

In the North Division, Boston United's inconsistent form continued as they failed to build on the previous week's great win at Stockport and despite dominating the first half against Chester at York Street, the visitors deservedly won 2-0.

A fourth 2-0 home defeat in a row followed, against minnows Peterborough Sports in the FA Cup. It's now an annual event in the competition where the Pilgrims lose to lower league opposition and this embarrassing failure saw them make the front page of the NLP.

37 year-old David Norris has returned to York Street after many years away. The Pilgrims put him on the road to stardom before a move to Premier League Bolton Wanderers for a record £50,000+. Things didn't work out too well at the Reebok where he played just one FA Cup and four League Cup games. but he then enjoyed a long Football League career with the likes of Plymouth Argyle, Ipswich Town and Leeds United. In all he played for fourteen different clubs.

He helped them come from behind at Curzon Ashton to win 3-1, a win which incredibly took them into the final play-off position.

Paul Salt's Altrincham came from behind to win 3-2 at promotion-chasing Bradford Park Avenue and then breezed into the next round of the FA Cup with a 5-0 demolition of Whitley Bay at Moss Lane.

The Robins then lost 3-2 at promotion-chasing Kidderminster Harriers.

No stopping Chorley at the moment and they won yet again, 3-1 at home to Alfreton Town before making it to the third qualifying round of the FA Cup with a comfortable 3-0 home win against Leek Town. They then dropped their first home point of the season in a 0-0 draw against Chester.

Phil O'Dell's FC United lost again, 3-0 at Guiseley but fared better in the FA Cup, defeating Colne 2-0 at Broadhurst Park.

Back in League action, a trip to Nuneaton Borough saw them lose 1-0 and replace the hosts at the foot of the table.

Southport drew 0-0 at home to Darlington and then despatched Farsley Celtic in the FA Cup, 3-0 away from home before a 2-0 defeat at Brackley Town saw them sink to second bottom. A trip to NWCFL 'whipping boys' Holker Old Boys was just what the doctor ordered to get then back on track and it looked as though the home side were going to suffer another humiliating defeat, trailing 5-1 just after the half hour mark but they got through the next hour without conceding further.

In the South Division, Mike Barry's Eastbourne Borough were up against ten men at home to Slough Town after only ten minutes but they suffered a dreadful 4-2 defeat and despite the numerical advantage, found themselves 3-0 down after half an hour.

An FA Cup tie at Eastern Counties League Brantham Athletic should have been comfortable but the Sports just made it through with a 1-0 success.

A last minute equaliser for Gloucester City denied them victory at Evesham United's ground where the attendance was only 227.

In the Evo-stik League West Division, Clitheroe lost 2-0 at home to Colwyn Bay before a 1-1 draw at Chasetown saw both sides drop into the bottom two places.

Some relief in the Lancs. Challenge Trophy where they defeated Atherton LR 3-0 at Shawbridge.

Ramsbottom United were well beaten 4-0 at Leek Town but then hosted Clitheroe in a game which produced an exciting 3-3 draw. They then let a 2-0 half time lead slip at Kendal Town to draw 2-2.

Colne lost 2-0 at Runcorn Linnets and then exited the FA Trophy after a 2-1 defeat at Trafford but they made it through to the 2 nd round of the Lancs. Challenge Trophy after an exciting 5-3 home win against Darwen.

In the NWCFL, most sides were involved in the FA Vase and Steve Pickup's Northwich Victoria made it through to the next round after a 2-0 home win against Maltby Main.

Vics were then beaten 1-0 at Whitchurch Alport and 3-2 at Winsford United in the league. A 2-0 home win against Silsden got them back to winning ways.

Darwen exited the Vase after losing 2-1 at home to Garstang and were then smashed 7-1 at Cleator Moor Celtic before the 5-3 Trophy defeat at Colne. That was followed by a 4-4 draw at Atherton LR despite leading 3-0 after 41 minutes.

Brent Peters' Bacup Borough lost 4-1 at home to Litherland REMCA and then 3-1 at Lower Breck but came from behind to defeat Cleator Moor Celtic 4-2.

Barnoldswick Town's interest was ended within 23 minutes at Guisborough Town when they were already 3-0 down before losing 4-2.

The next game, in the Premier Division at home to City of Liverpool, also saw then trail by three goals before two late Barlick goals gave the scoreline some respectability. They then produced a great display to thrash visiting Runcorn Town 5-1 following that up with a 2-1 home win against Ashton Athletic

Nelson came storming out of the blocks at home to Tow Law Town with a hat-trick from Hill and two goals from Wolfenden sending to them into the break with a 5-0 lead before eventually winning 5-2. A last minute goal then gave them a point after a 2-2 draw at home to Chadderton but they went out of the Lancs. Challenge Trophy after a 5-1 home defeat by Atherton Collieries despite taking a 2 nd minute lead. They ended the month with a 2-1 defeat at AFC Blackpool.

Ex-Harwood star James Dean has arrived back on the radar, playing and scoring for Padiham in the 2-2 home draw against Prestwich Heys. The Storks were then thrashed 6-2 in the replay but soon got back to winning ways at home to Litherland REMYCA. They then made it though to the next round of the Lancs. Challenge Trophy with a 2-0 win at Squires Gate but then lost 3-2 at home to Burscough.

Charnock Richard eased past Penrith in the Vase, winning 4-1 away from home but they then lost 2-1 at home to Congleton Town. They made it through to the next round of the Lancs. Challenge Trophy with a superb 2-1 win at Lancaster City before a comfortable 4-2 win at Irlam in the league.

In the 1 st Division North, just 29 spectators turned up to witness the 'goal-fest' at Holker Old Boys. Visitors Longridge Town led 10-0 after 74 minutes and won the game 11-2.

That followed the Old Boys previous home defeat, three days earlier, 5-0 against another of the new boys, Garstang. A trip to St Helens then saw them ship another nine in without reply with the Saints unable to hit double figures in the final ten minutes.

In the South Division, there were also gaols galore, not least at Eccleshall where the hosts went down 11-3 to new boys Wythenshaw Town despite only losing 4-3 just after half time.

Nick Hancock's Buckland Athletic followed up their poor league form and early FA Cup exit with another defeat in the FA Vase, 1-0 at home to Newquay thanks to a 95 th minute penalty. That proved to be the end for player-manager Craig Duff who was relieved of his duties shortly after the game.

A Devon Cup game at Ivybridge saw them get back on the winning trail with a 5-0 success and a last minute winner then gave them a 3-2 league success at Cribbs but a home game against pointless Chipping Sodbury Town saw them lose 1-0.

The Fantasy Football League looks like being another disaster for GT Harwood Town who lie in 1,133 rd place with Boston Danglers faring a little better in 952 nd place.

Early September

In League One, Don Fitzgerald's Wimbledon went ten games unbeaten last month, their best ever since joining the Football League, but after losing that record, they lost for the third time in a row, a 3-0 trouncing at Burton Albion. They then knocked Charlton Athletic out of the League Cup, 4-2 on penalties after a 2-2 draw at Kingsmeadow, and then got back to winning ways in the league with a 1-0 victory at Gillingham.

In the National League, Paul Clark's Aldershot are really struggling and they dropped into the relegation places after defeats at Wrexham, 2-0, and struggling Havant & Waterlooville, 2-1. Things also looked bleak in the next game, at home to Bromley, but after trailing 2-1at the break, they fought back to win 3-2.

AFC Fylde won 3-1at highly-placed Ebbsfleet United to move into 3 rd place but another win, at home to Salford City, which would have seen them top the division, wasn't forthcoming as they lost 2-0 in front of a huge crowd of 3,000.

Getting booked in that game was the legend that is Nathan Pond. The previous game, a goalless draw at Dagenham& Redbridge, saw him almost score, his header being deflected in by Rooney who was offside.

The Ammies did well to get a point after Lloyd was dismissed for a second yellow card, for a dive, on 42 minutes.

Fylde, meanwhile, then drew 0-0 at Eastleigh.

In the North Division, Boston United lost their third game in a row, failing to score in any of them, losing 2-0 at home to Kidderminster Harriers.

I then travelled over to Edgeley Park, in hope more than expectation, but the mighty Pilgrims put in a superb performance against their full-time opponents to thoroughly deserve their 2-0 victory and delight the excellent three-figure following.

Phil O'Dell's FC United attracted just short of 2,000 fans for their home game with Southport which finished 1-1.

Paul Salt.'s Altrincham lost 2-1 at lowly Blyth Spartans and 2-0 at home to neighbours Curzon Ashton.

Southport were within one minute from moving out of the relegation places before visiting Spennymoor Town equalised in the game that preceded the FCUM game.

In the South Division, Mike Barry's Eastbourne Borough won 1-0 at bottom side Weston-super-Mare to move up to 3 rd place but dropped down a spot after a 2-2 draw at Dartford where the host equalised in the final minute.

In the Northern Premier League Premier Division, Bamber Bridge remained the only unbeaten side after the opening month, maintaining that record with a 2-0 home win against Witton Albion.

In the West Division, Colne won their 4 th game in row with a 1-0 home success against Widnes to move into 2 nd place. Another fine performance saw them defeat visiting Hyde United 2-0 to move into the next round of the FA Cup.

Clitheroe came from behind to win 2-1 at Leek Town and then made it through to the next round of the FA Cup after twice coming from behind at Sunderland RCA to win 3-2 but they exited the competition after a 5-2 home reverse against Mossley. They then conceded another five goals at home, this time in a 5-3 defeat to Atherton Collieries.

Ramsbottom United drew 1-1 at Mossley, ending the home side's 100% record. The Rams then drew 0-0 at home to Kidsgrove Athletic in their FA Cup replay but went down 3-2 on penalties.

In the FA Vase, there were goals galore, Racing Club Warwick were top scorers, winning 10-0 at home to Pegasus Juniors.

Leverstock also won by the same score against Unite MK.

Shrivenham won 9-0 at home to Tytheringham

Hucknall won 7-0 at Borrowash Vics and Sherwood Colliery won by the same score at Oadby Town.

Deeping Rangers also scored seven, winning 7-1 at home to Blackstones.

New entrants May & Baker hammered visiting Burnham Rangers 8-1 while Chess & Hook sent visiting Oakwood home after a 7-0 defeat.

One of our previous opponents, Guisborough Town, won 9-0 at Stokesley SC.

Other recent opponents, Thornaby, lost 3-2 at Thackley while Seaham Red Star won 5-0 at Durham City.

Barnoldswick Town won 2-1 at Goole.

Charnock Richard won 2-1 at Alnwick Town thanks to a last minute Carl Grimshaw winner.

In the FA Cup, they drew 2-2 at home to Leek Town in front of a fantastic turn-out of 232 but the replay saw them end their interest after a late goal condemned them to a 3-2 defeat.

Two new NWCFL sides, Wythenshaw Town and Rylands, due to meet in the FA Vase, have been expelled from the competition as neither had met the minimum ground grading regulations regarding floodlights.

In the Western League, Nick Hancock's Buckland Athletic continued their poor start to the campaign with a 1-0 defeat against Devon rivals Willand Rovers and things got no better in the FA Cup as they went out after a 3-0 defeat at Binfield.

In the NWCFL Premier Division, Steve Pickup's Northwich Victoria drew 2-2 at home to Padiham despite leading 2-0 before the half-hour mark but they then won 3-1 at home to Abbey Hey and by the same score at home to Hanley Town.

Barnoldswick Town won 3-0 at Hanley Town and 2-1 at home to Squires Gate.

In the 1 st Division North, Bacup Borough had a great 5-1 home win against Steeton.

Darwen won 4-1 at Carlisle City, 5-1 at home to Chadderton and 1-0 at home to Atherton LR.

Nelson lost 2-0 at Garstang before drawing 1-1 at Prestwich Heys.

Late August

Matt Derbyshire's Omonia Nicosia began the season rather better than they finished the last one, winning 1-0 at home to Alki Oraklini.

Great Harwood Town appear to have disappeared from the Blackburn Combination and it looks like their place has been taken by Great Harwood Rovers.

Accrington Stanley were hammered 6-1 at Mansfield Town in the League Cup despite taking a 6 th minute lead. The Reds then gained a creditable 1-1 draw at home to Charlton Athletic before another fine point at Blackpool thanks to Hughes' 93 rd minute equaliser which kept the Reds in 8 th place.

Don Fitzgerald's Wimbledon came from behind to win 2-1 at Portsmouth in the League Cup before earning a fine point in a goalless draw at Barnsley. The Dons then lost 3-1 at home to Walsall and 2-1 at to Sunderland also at home, despite leading at the break.

Fleetwood Town continued their fine start to the season with a fantastic 5-0 win at Scunthorpe United and followed that up with a fine goalless draw at Charlton Athletic and after five games they lay in 6 th place.

In the National League, Paul Clark's Aldershot Town gained a much-needed three points with a 2-1 home win against out-of-form Dagenham & Redbridge but then fell to another defeat, 2-0 at home to Harrogate Town. Things got no better in the following game at Ebbsfleet United when they lost 3-1, despite taking an early lead, leaving them 3 rd bottom. Thankfully, they got back to winning ways with a 2-1 home success against Sutton United

Fylde continued their unbeaten start to the campaign with an excellent 3-1 win at home to Solihull Moors who'd won their opening three games and then thrashed Dover Athletic 4-0, also at home. A trip to unbeaten Sutton United United yielded another point after a 0-0 draw to leave them in 2 nd place. Another draw followed, 0-0 at home to Harrogate Town.

Boston United moved up to 3 rd in the National League North after a 2-1 home win against Nuneaton Town. I then travelled over to Altrincham to see them turn in what manager Craig Elliot described as their best performance of the season in the 2-0 win which took them up to 2 nd with both goals coming in the second half. The Pilgrims then, surprisingly, lost 2-0 at home to Spennymoor Town who had failed to win in their opening five fixtures.

I then travelled over to West Yorkshire along with a terrific following of around 150 Boston fans, but once again they lost. The only goal of the game came from the penalty spot but despite having the lions share of possession, they failed to trouble the home 'keeper.

Phil O'Dell's FC United came from behind to win 2-1 at Paul Salt's Altrincham and in doing so, moved off the bottom of the table but then 2-0 at home to Leamington leaving them 2 nd bottom. Another 2-0 defeat followed, this time at Spennymoor Town.

Chorley kept top spot after their 4 th win in a row, 4-0 at home to Southport and didn't concede a goal during that run. Southport, meanwhile, lost their opening four games scoring just a single goal in that disastrous start. The Magpies then made it five with a 1-0 home win against 2 nd placed Hereford and six with a 2-1 success at Blyth Spartans. The incredible start to the season continued with a 2-0 home win against Curzon Ashton.

Paul Salt's Altrincham drew 1-1 at home to Guiseley.

The Sandgrounders then broke their duck with a comprehensive 4-1 win at Nuneaton Town who replaced them at the foot of the table. The next game saw them trail 2-0 at the break at home to Ashton United before a great 2 nd half comeback gave them a point in a 2-2 draw but they then lost 3-1 at Alfreton Town.

In the South, Mike Barry's Eastbourne Borough won 1-0 at East Thurrock United taking them to the dizzy heights of 5 th place! They followed that up with a 2-1 home success at home to Chippenham Town and a 1-1 draw at St Albans City. The good run couldn't continue and they lost thenext game 2-1 at home toWoking.

In the FA Cup, Barnoldswick Town produced a superb performance in their replay at Billingham Synthonia, winning 4-0 but that's as good as it got, losing 6-1 in the following round at Whitley Bay.

Steve Pickup's Northwich Victoria won 1-0 after extra-time in their home replay against Widnes before starting their League campaign with a 4-1 home win against Winsford United. Vics then lost 2-0 at Burscough in the FA Cup and 5-3 at Burscough in the league. They then drew 1-1 at neighbours1874.

In the Northern Premier League Premier West Division, Clitheroe opened the season with a disastrous 4-0 home defeat against Kidsgrove Athletic and followed that up with another heavy defeat, 4-1 at Radcliffe Borough. The FA Vase saw Sunderland RCA travel to Shawbridge and a crazy game ended with the Blues down to nine men for the final few minutes but an injury time goal from Recizac which made it 6-4 appeared to have settled the game but two very, very late strikes for the Wearsiders made it 6-6.

Colne won 2-1 at Newcastle Town and then progressed in the FA Cup with a great 4-0 at Pickering Town.

Ramsbottom United began with a 2-1 home win against Markey Drayton and then drew 1-1 at Kidsgrove Athletic in the FA Cup.

Padiham won 3-2 at home to Whitchurch Alport thanks to a late Knight strike. A 4-1 home defeat against Silsden followed but they then won 3-1 at 1874 Northwich. That was followed by a 1-0 defeat at Squires Gate.

In the NWCFL Premier Division, Charnock Richard won 4-1 at home to Hanley Town and completed a quick fire 'double' with a 5-1 win against the same opponents after leading 2-0 after only 3 minutes. Despite taking a 19 th minute lead at Bootle in their next outing, they lost 3-1 at Bootle before a 2-0 home defeat against Silsden.

Barnoldswick Town drew 3-3 at Litherland REMYCA before winning 3-2 at Irlam and 4-1 at home to Winsfrod United.

In the 1 st Division North, Darwen took a 1 st minute lead at home to new boys Avro but the visitors from Oldham soon equalised and took the points with three goals in the final 15 minutes. They then drew 2-2 at St. Helens Town and ended their interest in the FA Cup after a comprehensive 4-1 home defeat against Trafford.

A 1-1 draw at Nelson and a 2-1 home win against Garstang followed.

Highest scorers in the FA Cup Preliminary Round were Frickley who won 10-1 at home to Liversedge.

Bacup Borough lost 2-1 at Carlisle City but then came back from a half-time deficit to win 3-1 at home to Garstang before a 3-2 defeat at City of Liverpool.

Nelson won 4-0 at Holker Old Boys in front of a paltry opening day attendance of just 29. That turn-out increased to 70 for the game with AFC Liverpool but the majority went home disappointed after a 3-0 defeat. Another defeat followed, 1-0 at Lower Beck.

Nick Hancock's Buckland Athletic have endured a poor start to the season and their 4-1 defeat at Royal Glass St. George left them next to bottom with three defeats from three.

The Fa Cup gave them some relief as they defeated higher-placed Mangotsfield 2-0 at Homers Heath in front of a crowd of 138.

Recent cup opponents Seaham Red Star lost lost 5-2 at Consett while Guisborough Town drew 2-2 at Albion Sports

Early August 2018

Accrington Stanley got off to a poor start in League One, being well beaten at home to Gillingham but then won 2-1 at Bristol Rovers.

Don Fitzgerald's Wimbledon opened with a 1-0 win at Fleetwood Town in League One thanks to a fine away performance and then earned a point in a goalless draw at home to Coventry City.

In the National League, Paul Clark's Aldershot began with a goalless draw at home to Barnet in front of almost 2,500 at the 'Rec' though they did enough to have claimed all three points. Not so in the next game when they were well beaten 3-0 at Chesterfield in front of a tad less than 5,000. Another away defeat followed, 1-0 at Solihull Moors.

AFC Fylde won 2-1 at home to Bromley before earning a point in a goalless draw at Wrexham in front of a fantastic 5,777 attendance. A Danny Rowe penalty then earned them a point at Havant & Waterlooville.

In the North Division, Southport got off to a poor start, losing 1-0 at Telford United, 3-1 at home to Altrincham and 1-0 at home to early pacesetters Stockport County.

Phil O'Dell's FC United began with a disastrous 5-1 defeat at Stockport County and things got no better in the next game, another local derby, at home to Ashton United where they lost 4-3 despite losing 3-1 at the break. They were then lucky to onl;y lose 3-0 at home to a dominant Boston United.

Chorley enjoyed a great start to the season, winning 1-0 at home to York City, 2-0 at Guiseley and 1-0 at Nuneaton.

Boston United enjoyed a fine 1-0 home win against fancied Guiseley but then sunk to a 2-0 defeat at Leamington before comprehensively beating FC United.

Paul Salt's Altrincham twice came from behind at home to Leamington to force a draw before the afore mentioned 3-1 win at Southport. They then drew 4-4 at Spennymoor Town.

In the South, Mike Barry's Eastbourne Borough gained a fine point with a 0-0 draw at Oxford City. Another draw followed, 2-2 at home to Truro City.

In the Western League, Nick Hancock's Buckland Athletic suffered a very poor start to the season, losing 1-0 at home to Willand Rovers and 2-0 at Bridgwater.

In the NWCFL Premier Division, Charnock Richard won 2-0 at home to Barnoldswick Town before earning another point with a 1-1 draw at Silsden with all three goals scored by last season's leading goal-getter Carl Grimshaw.

Padiham were hammered 5-2 at home to Runcorn Town and that represented a comeback after trailing 5-0 after an hour. They then inflicted Barnoldswick's second successive defeat, winning 3-1 at the Silentnight Stadium.

Steve Pickup's Northwich Victoria won 5-3 at West Didsbury & Chorlton in front of a great turn-out of 328 but then lost 2-1 at home to City of Liverpool before a 1-1 draw at Widnes.

In the 1 st Division North, Nelson won 1-0 at Chadderton but then lost 2-0 at home to Shelley and 5-1 at Cleator Moor Celtic.

Bacup Borough lost 1-0 at Prestwich Heys before a goalless draw at home to Lower Breck but looked like taking all three points at home to St. Helens Town before a 91 st minute goal saw the game end 2-2.

Darwen could only get better after last season and they enjoyed a fine 3-1 win at new boys Shelley before losing 3-2 at home to AFC Blackpool.

New to the league Longridge Town had a great start, coming back from two down at home to AFC Liverpool to run out 5-3 winners in front of a healthy crowd of 153. They followed that up with a 3-3 draw at Daisy Hill, this time letting a two goal lead slip and relying on a 95 th minute equaliser to gain the point. The boot was on the other foot in the next game as a 94 th minute goal for Avro gave the home side a 3-2 win.

In the 1 st Division South, good to see Stone Dominoes back but they went down 2-1 at home to Abbey Hulton United.

In the FA Cup extra preliminary round, Darwen won 3-1 at home to Barnton while Barnoldswick Town drew 1-1 at home to Billingham Synthonia.

Despite the BBC stating that Nick Hancock's Buckland Athletic had lost 3-0 at home to Pewsey Vale, they actually won by that score.

Charnock Richard exited at the first hurdle, losing 4-2 at Litherland REMYCA and Padiham also went out, 5-2 at Liversedge.

   
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