This weekend finally sees all our teams in competitive action. The National League finally joins the ranks and FA Cup action aplenty see a great weekend of sport. Hopefully, our EFL teams can get motoring and start to get some points on the board.
Accrington Stanley suffered their second defeat on the bounce in League One against Oxford Utd at weekend. A trip to unbeaten Wimbledon will provide another early stern test for John Coleman’s side, who need to plug the gap after conceding six goals in the past two matches.
Wigan Athletic grabbed their first points of the season, with a 2-1 victory over Portsmouth. A home match against Doncaster Rovers, who currently sit in the playoff places with two wins on the bounce, will again be a difficult challenge in what is going to be a testing season for John Sheridan and his team.
A singular point for Rochdale sees Dale in the bottom three early on in the season, a 2-0 defeat against top of the league Ipswich Town last weekend was an expected result. However, Fleetwood Town, who have not won in two could be there for the picking. Rochdale need points on the board early on this season, which was always going to be a tough campaign for Brian Barry-Murphy given the current circumstances and limited budget.
Moving on to League Two
Bolton Wanderers and Ian Evatt are really struggling despite being many’s favourite to win League Two this season. Zero goals and zero points so far, see the trotters loitering near the bottom of the table. A trip to newly-promoted Harrogate, who are favourited to win surprisingly, will provide another test for Evatt and his newly-assembled squad.
Oldham Athletic, are a team in disarray. Like Bolton, they are pointless after three games. Colchester United are up next for Harry Kewell’s men, and as the social media witch hunt gathers pace, like last week, three points is a must to stave off the combustion awaiting.
Salford City are a team going about their business this season, as I can see them reaching the playoffs. A match against Stevenage, who have had a mixed bag of results so far, could see the Ammies continue their unbeaten run.
The National League kicks off this weekend, which will see both Stockport County and Altrincham in action. As we now know, Macclesfield Town will not be in action following their winding-up order and expulsion from the National League
Altrincham host Weymouth in their first National League match since 2016 and Phil Parkinson will be looking to start the season as they finished the last.
Stockport County, following an impressive pre-season travel to Torquay United. Jim Gannon will be looking to go one better than last season and secure a place in the playoffs with his impressive squad.
Curzon Ashton face two matches in three days to their opening of the season. They host FC United in the FA Cup on Saturday, who comes off the back off a frustrating 0-0 draw against Scarborough Athletic and open their league campaign to Alfreton Town on Monday.
The FA Cup dominants many of our team’s fixtures this weekend with Hyde Utd hosting Fylde, the impressive and young side David Fish is creating Mossley v Tadcaster Albion. Another impressive side following their televised FA Cup game last time; Stalybridge Celtic play Longridge. Micheal Clegg’s Ashton Utd face South Shields for the second time in a week and Brad Cooke’s Atherton Colleries are away at Guiseley
The Northern Premier league west division see Trafford travel to unbeaten Clitheroe in an early-season test for Danny Caldecott and his side. While Chris Wilcock’s Ramsbottom United host Pontefract Colleries with goalkeeper worries following new signing Ollie Martins leg break last weekend.
Again, there are plenty of home matches to get down to this weekend, to support your local club. The Football Manc Cave will be providing live action from their selected match on their Twitter feed. For £20, you could get a match ticket, a pie, pint and a program and see some great live-action; all socially distanced and safe. This is our time to help and preserve our local non-league teams in a time of uncertainty and struggle.