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Round table prediction: Where FC United, Radcliffe Boro and Ashton Utd will finish

Where do we think FC United, Radcliffe and Aston United will finish in the Northern Premier League.

Today, the writers here at Football Manc Cave looked at all the teams we cover and predicted, where we thought they would finish in each of their leagues.

We cover teams that are in the Premier League, Championship, Leagues 1&2 and non-league teams. Which makes it harder to quickly think about this, however, we have an average result based on all of our predictions for Ashton United, FC United and Radcliffe who are all in the Northern Premier League.

Radcliffe Boro’

We had to consider that Radcliffe was promoted at the end of last season to the Northern Premier League, after finishing 2nd in division one west. On average, we have put them as finishing 9th next season. I predicted they would finish lower down but after looking at all our guesses, it seems the majority think they will have a good league campaign.

FC United

This club was relegated from the National League North last season after finishing 21st out of 22nd teams. Even though they were relegated, here at the Manc Cave, we think they’ll have a great season. I predicted they would finish 5th and it seems that we are nearly agreed because collectively, our results came out as FC United finishing 3rd.

Ashton United

Another team that ended up being relegated into the Northern Premier League last season. They managed to finish one place higher than FC United though, 20th out of the 22 teams. This was a factor that made me predict that Ashton would secure 3rd place in their new League campaign and collectively, we all have averaged out at again, placing them 3rd overall next season. So according to all of us, the Northern Premier League will have a battle of the United’s for third place.

2 Stockport Players that should be looking to move on this summer

The Hatters secured promotion back to the National League this season after winning the North National League title. 

Now that Stockport have a new season to go into, they’ll be looking to do well and keep themselves in their new league. Then hopefully move up the leagues from there. If they want to make a positive impact on their National League run, they’ll have to look into their team. Maybe try to sign or get players loaned that can play in the league.

To make a little room, Jim Gannon could look at these two players as options to loan or completely get rid of…

Connor Dimaio

The 23-year-old midfielder has been with Stockport since 2018. He’s managed 17 appearances and got 3 goals on his record but in 2019, Dimaio was loaned to Ashton United where he made 12 appearances.

He’s on a 2-year contract with Stockport and the club have confirmed that he’s still one of their own, after coming back from his loan spell. It could go one of two ways for the midfielder, he could come back to the Hatters inspired and motivated to get starts and do well, or he could have bad games and not get the starts.

I think he should maybe keep his options open to go elsewhere before Gannon considers his options. 

Elliot Osborne

Another midfielder who started off as just being on loan to the club but then permanently signed for the Stockport in 2018. When the 23-year-old was on loan with Gannon’s team, he impressed after making 5 appearances and bagging a goal.

However when he signed officially, in 24 appearances he only managed one other goal. Maybe Osborne was an exciting prospect at the time and now he could do with some more games somewhere else. 

EFL & Below Show 2018/19 Season Review: Bury FC, Salford City, Oldham Athletic, Rochdale, Wigan Athletic & Bolton Wanderers

This is the EFL and Below Show, your look at all the footballing action in Greater Manchester that doesn’t come from Old Trafford or the Etihad.

Niall McCaughan is joined by Ian Foran and Aaron Benson from the Football Manc Cave in this final episode of the season, taking a look back at the respective seasons of Bury, Salford, Oldham, Bolton, Rochdale and Stockport County.

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OPINION: Who Will Gain Promotion To The National League North; Ashton United, FC United or Radcliffe Borough

Ahead of every new season mountains of speculation appear as to who are the favourites for promotion the coming year.

Going into the 2019/20 season we took a look at which of the three Manchester sides could challenge for promotion to the National League North. Following Ashton United and FC United of Manchester getting relegated from the second tier of Non-League last year to the Evo-Stick League Premier Division and Radcliffe Borough getting promoted to that same division through the playoffs. The three clubs will have a host of derby games next year that we are sure will be exciting affairs for supporters and players alike.

Despite all three clubs being in the same division, there is nothing to say that any of the clubs will get promoted from what is a very strong division. With some big clubs such as beaten play-off finalists Warrington Town, Nantwich Town and South Shields.

Therefore, the clubs will all have to have good preseasons and especially for the two relegated sides, big squad rebuilding jobs will probably need to take place following relegation.

One of which at the first club we are going to look at is already well underway under manager Neil Reynolds…

FC United of Manchester

Following relegation from the National League North, FC United will be looking to bounce straight back up and, are in the process of having a major clear out under manager Neil Reynolds.

Only four players return from last seasons team including club captain Mike Potts. Meaning that the squad being assembled at Broadhurst Park will have a completely new look. Recruiting well and a lot of this has been based around Manchester signing a couple of players from their division rivals for next season including midfielder Ryan Shenton from Curzon Ashton, full back Mason Fallon from Radcliffe Borough and Paul Ennis from Ashton United.

Somewhat of an unknown quantity for FC United going into this season, so will they get promoted? Ask us again in a couple of weeks.

Ashton United

Another massive rebuild is well underway at Ashton, a number of key players from last year have committed to the robins though such as Liam Tomsett and midfielder Sam Sheridan.

Local players seem to have been a focus for this season, taking two from local rivals Curzon Ashton in the form of midfielder Chris Rowney and returning to Ashton United for a second spell John Pritchard.

The club has also brought in players who know this level very well, in Hyde United defender Kyle Harrison and former Bradford Park Avenue winger Nicky Clee.

The recruitment of players who know this level will only help Ashton United and holding on to a core of players will too, we can see them challenging this year.

Radcliffe Borough

Following their promotion, last term will a double promotion be on the cards?

Radcliffe are yet to strengthen their squad, although they can be forgiven only gaining promotion a couple of weeks ago. But keeping hold of the players who did so well for them will be key especially with their new rivals/neighbours sniffing round, having already lost Mason Fallon to FC United.

It completely depends on the aspirations for Radcliffe, they’ve shown the class they have through promotion last term a couple of additions could see them heading in the right direction up the table. With the strength of the other clubs in the league, however, we don’t think Radcliffe will go up again.

We Look Back at Curzon Ashton’s Season Roller Coaster and What Could Be In Store For The Nash Next Season

I think a fair few Curzon Ashton supporters are sporting a few extra grey hairs at the end of this season. It been a somewhat dramatic one with some remarkable moments but, plenty of games fans would be keen to forget.

The season started promisingly enough with an away win at Darlington. A strong October, then results started to dip with the temperatures and there wasn’t a league win for the Nash in November.

There was the surprise and slightly tempestuous dismissal of manager John Flanagan, who had been at the club since 2011. It was not a smooth start for Mark Bradshaw either, with the Nash losing three of four games in December, including to league struggles Ashton United and FC United. This left Curzon Ashton with the very real possibility of being in a battle to stay up.

New year, new Nash, as Curzon entered the new year with a bang and totted up four wins on the bounce, including against high flyers Chester. This lead to a lot of talk about an unlikely bid for a play off place. Wins against Alfreton (In possibly the most bizarre game I’ve seen ever) and Hereford further strengthened this claim, before there was a bit of a bump down to earth with an away loss to Brackley and a thumping at home to Altrincham.

They looked to make a speedy recovery with a draw against high flyers Bradford Park Avenue followed by two further wins.

However, it all seemed to go a bit Pete Tong in the league, managing to be the first team since October that Guiseley pick up three points off, and not winning another league game, including ending the season with a 5-0 loss at home.

All was not lost, however, as Curzon flew through to the final round of the Manchester Premier cup and saw off Mossley comfortably in the final. This really gave fans something to cheer in a difficult season.

So what’s next for Curzon?

This is a tough league to get out of but on their day, The Nash are a good enough side to make them something to really be feared.

I’ve banged the drum about needing to make sure that they tighten up their back line. They are good up front but conceded far to many goals. Sharpen this up, draw a line under a difficult end of season and hopefully come into the next season fully wound up and ready to go and make an impact.

FC United Travel to Alfreton, Reynolds WIll Be Looking to Go Out With a Bang

At the start of their football packed Easter weekend, FC United travel to North Street to face Alfreton Town in their penultimate away game of the 2018/19 season in the National League North. United currently sit 21st, 7 points from safety, meaning if Guiseley match FC’s result this weekend it will confirm the relegation that has been on the cards for several weeks, if not months. This will create unwanted history for FC as they will face their first ever relegation in their 14-year history.

With relegation on everyone’s mind at Broadhurst Park, Reynold’s will be hoping to go out with a bang and claim all three points. When the two teams met in late October at Broadhurst Park in what would be Neil Reynold’s second match as manager of the Moston outfit, FC looked to be in control of the match after leading one goal to nil for the majority of the match, only to be cancelled out by a late equaliser by James Clifton in the 88th minute meaning the two teams would share the points.

This will be the fourth time the Manchester team has traveled to Alfreton, winning only once and losing the other two. Last season this fixture was United’s final away match, which finished 1-0 to Alfreton after a goal by Tom Platt on the 24th minute.

With both teams looking to end their season on a high regardless of their poor form, it looks as if Reynold’s men will be aiming for nothing but a win in an attempt to kick off their great escape and survive another season playing at this level. However, many fans will also be keeping an eye on Guiseley and Ashton United’s results as these remaining matches are all to play for in the hope of staying up for another season.


FC United Hope Ashton Can Help Them Close the Gap to Guiseley

This Saturday FC United of Manchester welcome playoff contenders, Kidderminster Harriers, to Broadhurst Park in the Red’s second to last home match of the season. United have lost their form as of late with only one win in five. Kiddy have also dropped the form they will be looking for, if they are looking to finish the season in the playoffs as they have only won two games in their last five but still currently sit in 9th place, 4 points from the playoffs.

United will be looking to see if they can end this poor season on a high and claim all three points in both remaining home fixtures. This campaign has seen only win at home in the league once against local rivals Curzon Ashton in early December, giving them the second poorest home record in the league, first being Nuneaton Borough who have now been officially relegated.

The Red’s away record has seen them win six games on the road, one of which was against Harriers at the Aggborough in what was club legend, Dave Chadwick’s last match as the caretaker manager before Neil Reynolds came to the club. United come from 1-0 down in the reverse fixture, to win 2-1 after Jack Bannister made a statement with two goals to give United all three points.

Tomorrow also sees a huge fixture in the relegation battle as Ashton United travel to Nethermoor Park to face AFC Guiseley. The outcome of this match could impact where FC United will be playing their football next season, as a win for Guiseley would put them nine points clear of FC and with only three matches left to play of the season, this would almost certainly confirm relegation. However, Ashton United now also sit above FC in the table meaning a win for Ashton would put them five points ahead.

It is certainly a big day of football for the Reds tomorrow as it may determine which league United will be in next season. Neil Reynold’s will be looking to make amend on last week’s 2-0 defeat against Darlington, however, many United fans will also have their eye on the Guiseley match in able to prepare for the remaining few fixtures.

Bury Stave Off Administration for Now, Curzon Ashton Boss Mark Bradshaw Talks Cup Chances, Rochdale Making Improvements

This is the EFL and Below Show, your look at all the footballing action in Greater Manchester that doesn’t come from Old Trafford or the Etihad.

Manchester Football Social’s Niall McCaughan is joined by Ian Foran and Aaron Benson of the Football Manc Cave for this week’s podcast.

Bury have struggled off the pitch in recent weeks as financial worries surround the club – is there a light at the end of the tunnel at Gigg Lane?

Curzon Ashton manager Mark Bradshaw chats to us as the Nash chase Manchester Premier Cup success for the first time since 1990.

We reflect on Salford’s promotion ambitions and Rochdale’s chances of safety in League One.

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4/4: Bradshaw Has Got Curzon Ticking – Is a Late Surge For The Playoffs Too Much Of a Task?

I am struggling to believe that three weeks ago I was heading to Hurst Cross to watch the Ashton Derby, feeling pretty pessimistic about the chances Curzon had of survival and had pretty much resigned myself to a season watching Northern Premiership football.

However, something clicked that day for Curzon and they were utterly dominant. This was followed by two fairly kind games, in York and strugglers, Nuneaton. Chester was far more of a challenge, they were 11 league places ahead of the Nash and gunning for a place in the playoffs. Their recent slight dip in form had given me a bit of hope of the Nash grabbing a point. I didn’t think this away fixture was winnable.

Furthermore, the confidence boost that comes from having already picked up 9 points in 2019 showed on Saturday. One thing that was really impressive was Cameron Mason’s goalkeeping. It really kept Chester out of the game, and while the defence at Curzon still needs a bit of work, Mason really earned his fee on Saturday and kept a hard-won clean sheet.

Curzon have climbed 7 places in a very short space of time and are now a mere 8 points away from the playoffs. The next two fixtures at home to Darlington, who they have recently leapfrogged in the league and away to strugglers Hereford could see another 6 points, which would be huge.

There are some good teams at the top, and getting into the playoffs can be really tight. However, Curzon are looking better than they have for years, they are working together excellently. While they never really had an issue scoring goals, they used to also let quite a lot in which is something they have improved on drastically in a short space of time. If this trajectory of improvement continues they have every chance of reaching the playoffs, and in doing so their highest ever league position.

Red Rebels Aim To Rock Robins in Huge 6-Pointer

The Red Rebels look to edge closer to safety in this weekend’s local derby against The Robins. This Saturday sees two of the National League North relegation favourites, FC United and Ashton United hoping to edge closer to safety in the weekend’s massive six-pointer derby.

The two clubs sit close to the foot of the table as FC United are currently sitting in 20th and Ashton United are positioned 21st, 4 points behind their Manchester rivals. FC United are making the short trip to their neighbours Ashton United in a huge match for both clubs at Hurst Cross this Saturday.

The Reds have recently halted a run of four consecutive defeats after such a bright start under the clubs third manager Neil Reynolds, who replaced Club Legend and record goalscorer with 103 goals for the Moston outfit, Tom Greaves, in August 2018,. However, after last weeks shock result of the weekend When FC United managed to score three past title contenders Bradford (Park Avenue) at the Horsfall Stadium, the reds are hoping their impressive away record, which has previously seen them comfortably beat Kidderminster, Altrincham, Blyth and Hereford, will give them the upper hand against Ashton with them struggling to hit top form at home.

The last time these two clubs met was a night for the underdog on August 7th. FC United looked to be on their way to picking up their first 3 points of the season as they were comfortably 3-1 ahead at the break, however, the reds defence seemed to have disappeared minutes after the second half commenced. In no time, the newly promoted opposition were back in the game with the scoreline at 3-2, and by the end of the game had completed the come back with a 4-3 victory.

This Saturday’s fixture will be FC’s chance to start building confidence with back to back victories and, kicking on after Christmas as is their tradition over the last few years. Neil Reynolds will be keen to see the good performances of recent weeks which have not delivered the results they possibly deserved, repeated but this time the result included with goals added to the performances This promises to be a game not to be missed and a large crowd is anticipated due to the short distance between the 2 teams and FC’s renowned travel support.

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