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Non-League Round-Up: FC United, Radcliffe, Ashton Utd, Curzon Ashton & Stockport County

The Football Manc Cave is looking at how FC United, Radcliffe FC, Ashton United, Curzon Ashton and Stockport have been getting on recently.

FC United

After a 2-0 Tuesday night league loss to South Shields. FC United went out on Saturday with the intentions of winning some points and that’s exactly what they managed to do.

They beat Stalybridge Celtic 3-2. This takes them up to 11th in the league on 15 points. Charlie Ennis was one stand out player as he returned from injury to find the back of the net twice and get one assist. This was also a win for him against his former club.

United also managed to excite fans and keep them on their toes as the winner came in the last minute. This is 4 wins out 11 played now for the club.

Radcliffe FC

A 3-0 win over Hyde United takes Radcliffe up to 16th in the league with 8 points. It only took 17 minutes for Liam Ellis to score his first goal for the side and Tyrese Sinclair bagged a penalty. Ollie Martin managed to produce a great save at the end of the game to keep the clean sheet and Rick Smith perfectly timed a header to give Boro’ their third goal.

Boro’s season starts now. They’ve had games postponed for a number of different reasons but when they get chance to play, they can produce.

Ashton United

Ashton faced Spennymoor Town in the FA Cup third Qualifying Round. In the first half, fans were satisfied with their team’s performance as they managed to turn things around. After going 1-0 down, they ended up 2-1 up. Casian Anghel grabbed both goals but unfortunately, Ashton was hit with what fans are calling a reality check in the second half as they ended up losing 6-2.

Curzon Ashton

The Nash didn’t have a game this weekend because they are in action this evening against Wythenshawe Town in the Manchester FA Premier Cup at 7.45 pm. Curzon needs to be more focused on the league as they currently sit 19th on 9 points and their last home game ended in a 2-1 defeat to Farsley Celtic. Maybe this game will give some other players some time.

Stockport County

Stockport managed their first point in 5 games on Saturday as they drew with Sutton United 0-0. They’ve had a disappointing month as Jim Gannon’s side were doing quite well up until a few weeks ago, which has seen them slip down the league to 17th.

Fans are calling for the club to just put September behind them and move on because it was a bad month for the Hatters. Hopefully, this is the start of a month that will see them turn it around and come out on top.

Radcliffe, Ashton United & FC United of Manchester all look to get some points on the table this weekend

The football season is underway in all English Leagues now and the Football Manc Cave are looking at the Northern Premier Division to see how Radcliffe, Ashton United and FC United of Manchester could all go on this weekend.

Radcliffe Vs Runcorn – FA Cup

The Boro’ have two games this weekend, FA Cup tie on Saturday and a league game on bank holiday Monday. With this in mind, some second choice players like Lanre Olapade, Elliot Rokka and Riley O’Sullivan May get chances to start to keep some other players rested.

I could be completely wrong but you would think that the league games would be more important to Radcliffe, therefore, some important players should only come on as subs in this game or keep them rested.

Radcliffe and Runcorn have never met before so it should be an interesting game at the Neuven Stadium. Boro reaches the second qualifying round last season and lost 1-0 at home to National League side, Curzon Ashton. Radcliffe’s best run in the FA Cup was in the first round in 2000. They’ll be looking to take something from this game either way.

Bamber Bridge vs Ashton United

Ashton United played South Shields in their last league game and lost 3-0 unfortunately. They had to cope with a last-minute line-up change as Aaron Chalmers had to replace Kyle Harrison. Harrison was on the bench for the game so he could be back in action this week. In this game, United gave away a penalty in the first 5 minutes so will need to try and refrain from those mistakes and be careful at the back.

Ashton is currently 18th in the league with 1 point after 2 games. Bamber Bridge is 20th with 0 points so far so this clash could be close. Ashton will definitely be looking to get 3 points but it will be disappointing if they fail to take away nothing.

FC United vs Scarborough

FC United are currently bottom of the Northern Premier Division with 0 points after 2 games. Scarborough is on 1 point after the 2 games and is currently 19th in the league. However, Scarborough will be on the bounce back after they lost 5-1 to Stalybridge on Tuesday.

The FC United fans are still excited after Paddy Wharton’s double save this week. They may have lost 2-1 to Hyde at home, however, it wasn’t the score sheet that took centre stage, it was Wharton’s penalty save that saw him save the rebound as well. You can watch this yourself here. Regan Linney also scored in the game for FC United so he will be another player on Form this week feeling motivated.

These 2 new signings have to start for Radcliffe in the season opener

Radcliffe starts their season in the Northern Premier League this Saturday against South Shields. The Football Manc Cave is giving a glimpse into how Radcliffe could line up and more.

Pre-Season

Radcliffe have had a pretty interesting pre-season campaign and I got to see two of the games. They lost against Bury 3-1. They also managed a draw with Leicester’s youngsters, 1-1. The Bury game showed some good first-half football form the Boro’ lads, and a goal from Ben Wharton was what saw them look like they might have a chance. Only the second half stood in their way when Bury produced some quality football. There was a little scuffle in the first half involving Rick Smith which made me keep an eye on him in their next game.

The Leicester friendly was certainly not very friendly as a Leicester player apparently spat in a Radcliffe player’s face. This resulted in him and Danny Mitchley being sent off. This was only in the first couple of minutes and it resulted in a huge delay as managers called the referee over to explain his decisions. Shortly after, the ref was calling his linesmen to follow him in walking off the pitch as he didn’t want to take control of the game. It was fans that convinced the officials to rethink and Rick Smith has a quick and quiet word that saw the game go on. Smith also was rewarded with a goal and there was some good football from Boro.

Players

With Dan Mitchley getting a red card in the last friendly, he will certainly be one to watch throughout the season. He’s a great player, just needs to stay out of trouble. Rick Smith and Scott Metcalfe are two other players that can be a bit mouthy with referees so they need to keep quiet and play on. Ben Wharton is a key goal scorer for Radcliffe only you can see him getting tired at times throughout games so he gets taken off early from time to time giving someone else a chance.

Line Up

Going off friendly games, this is how Radcliffe could line up…

The ultimate decisions will obviously come down to Jon Macken. Harry Winter is a new player who is looking for a chance. Rick Smith has also dropped to a defensive position during the pre-season friendlies which is a change from his usual midfield position. He has done a brilliant job though and even managed to score in games.

Smith is loud at the back and directs the rest of the team too. Ben Wharton could get replaced with Matthew Wolfenden in the second half of the game if he’s looking tired. Finally, new signing, Olapade may be given a chance as the defence has been left open to speculation as it hasn’t been the same in any of the friendlies.

Two players that must start today for Radcliffe Borough

Radcliffe Borough has a big test in the upcoming season, and these two players, in particular, have to be ready.

Radcliffe have found themselves in the National Premier League table after promotion last season. The Boro finish 2nd in the Northern Division 1 West table, 7 points behind winners Atherton Colliers.

The race for promotion last season gave no signs that Radcliffe was outright better than the rest of the competition. There were only 6 points between Radcliffe in 2nd and Prescot Cables in 7th.

Radcliffe have a pre-season game against Workington AFC on Saturday 3rd August. Workington is currently in the league Radcliffe belonged to last season, and will be a good chance to prove that they truly are of higher quality. These two players need a run in the form to keep Radcliffe in the Northern Premier League this season…

Danny Mitchley

In Radcliffe’s recent 3-1 local derby defeat against EFL League One side Bury, the one goal the side got was from a piece of Danny Mitchley genius as he played a fantastic pass for Ben Wharton who buried it home. The new signing previously captained Marine, scoring 81 goals in 170 games for the club.

Chairman Paul Hilton had this to say about the player: “He was captain of Marine and was at the club for four years, so he will bring the leadership we have been looking for.”

The 29-year-old striker will be important in The Boro’s success in their new division this season and should feature heavily in order to gel with the squad.

Ben Wharton

An exciting duo. Ben Wharton can bring Danny Mitchley straight into action by having a natural link-up with the new signing. Having these two goal machines in form could result in more than a satisfactory season. Wharton scored 18 times last season, and both 29-year-old experienced strikers can lead the team from the front. Expect to see a heavily attacking Boro this season.

Salford City can take positives away from defeat

After going to watch Salford City take on Woking on Friday night. I had to return to see them face Championship side, Middlesbrough last night.

Friday night’s match didn’t look like it would go ahead as the rain kept coming down, however, after the weather calmed down, it did go ahead. Unfortunately, Salford lost 3-1. This game was completely opposite in terms of the weather as the heat meant the teams had to take water breaks. Salford also got a chance to show off their new white kit as opposed to their usual home colour, red. There was also a lot more fans at this game as they anticipated the opposition, Championship club, Boro’.

As we know, friendlies are used to give as many players as possible the chance to warm up before the season starts and this was no different. One of the biggest changes came in keepers as Kyle Letheren started the game.

First Half

Middlesbrough opened up the game with a series of chances and they looked impressive, they just couldn’t find the back of the net.

At the 10 minute mark, Richie Towell stood out for me again as he created Salford’s first chance of the game. It, unfortunately, went a couple of yards in front of Mani Dieseruvwe which put it out of his reach.

20 minutes in and a Mark Shelton corner found Liam Hogan who managed to head the ball into the middle, and find Louis Maynard who headed it home. Salford was 1-0 ahead and fans were happy with their team’s performance so far.

The Ammies didn’t give much away as they deserved to be on top. New keeper, Kyle Letheren was given a chance to shine in the 23rd minute. Middlesbrough player, Ashley Fletcher, received the ball at the top of the area and was denied by a fantastic first save from Letheren. He blocked another shot immediately from Assombalonga, even though he was offside. This also resulted in Salford fans singing, “Championship, you’re havin’ a laugh,” which probably came too soon.

The drinks break was exactly what Boro’ needed as a few minutes later, as they won a free-kick. It was taken quickly, a cross from Marvin Johnson came in from the right, and Assombalonga’s header found the back of the net with a header.

With two minutes to half time, they created a chance as their equaliser inspired them to push for another. After a big push forward, in the 45th minute, the Ammies thought they’d taken the Championship club to the halfway point at a draw. Unfortunately, Britt Assombalonga’s powerful volley found the back of the net again. It was a fantastic goal that even the Salford fans clapped along with.

Second Half

Going into the second half, Graham Alexander made a couple of changes. Mark Shelton and Kyle Letheren’s chances were up as they were replaced by Joey Jones and Chris Neal.

It took a while for the half to get going with the subs and both teams were head to head.

This didn’t throw Boro’ off their game as the 66th minute came around, and another brilliant goal from Britt Assombalonga completed his hat trick. This 3rd goal caused the Ammies to shake up their side again as fans were becoming frustrated.

The starting eleven that were struggling to pass before were now replaced, with a team of players who were creating great passes and skill, Threlkeld especially for me. The 89th minute saw Salford push for a second goal with Rooney on the ball, he went straight for goal instead of passing, even though Tom Walker was stood in a perfect position, unmarked and screaming for the ball. Walker ended up punching the ground in frustration as the fans were screaming.

There were a few scrambled chances before the final whistle, however, Salford ended up losing 3-1 again.

Salford looked a lot stronger and you have to credit their efforts seeings as they were playing a Championship club. They’ll need to tighten up their defence and passing ability before the start of the season. Some positives, however, Ritchie Towell looks really promising. He scored against Woking and tried to win every ball in this game too. He’ll be one to watch.