Tag Archives: checkatrade trophy

2 key Man City u23’s that will cause Rochdale problems tonight

The future of Man City will face Rochdale in the Leasing.com Trophy and two youngsters, in particular, will be looking to make a name for themselves in this local derby…

Man City could begin to bring players through the youth system as opposed to buying in talent, which would give the club more status in world football. The Leasing.com Trophy gives an opportunity for young talent to face experienced first-team players from lower leagues.

In their first game of the group stage of the competition, Man City u23s will face a decent Rochdale side at Spotland Stadium.

In a tough game against a confident side in a harsh league, the youth of Man City needs to put in a professional display. However, there are 2 players in particular who will put in a huge performance against Rochdale…

Benjamin Garre

Garre, 19, came from Argentina in 2016 to join up with Man City’s academy. This old-fashioned winger has a certain style of play that doesn’t come around so often in modern football, making him a project for the future.

With his contract expiring at the end of the season, Garre must impress this season. Performing against people his age might not be enough to convince Guardiola that the winger can come close to the first team any time soon. However, a successful run in a competition against experienced players will allow him to prove otherwise.

Iker Pozo

Pozo was a part of the Real Madrid youth academy before joining Man City in 2012. Being part of both of these academies tells you how highly this 19-year-old midfielder is rated.

The Spaniard plays as a defensive midfielder. In a game where they could be considered the underdogs, being attacked heavily by Rochdale is probably on the cards.

This will give Pozo a perfect opportunity to prove his defensive skills. Putting himself in the mind of Guardiola, as someone who could one-day rival Rodri for his defensive midfield position.

Lowe Scores a Hat Trick For Bury With Top Award

Ryan Lowe has had plenty to cheer about in his first full season as manager of Bury and, the awards keep on coming with the Shakers boss again the man of the hour.

With Bury still yet to taste league defeat in 2019, Lowe was named manager of the month for February,  the third time he’s picked up the award this season.  With Bury 2nd and on the verge of promotion with only 10 games to play, everything seems to be shaping up nicely for a grand stand finish at Gigg Lane between now and May.

It’s the second time in as many months Lowe has won the accolade, yet he knows more than anybody that most important award is still to be achieved this season.

“I’m over the moon to get a hat-trick of Manager of the Month awards for the season, but as I’ve said before, it’s not just me, it’s my staff, my players.

“It’s nice to have them accolades, it’s recognition we’re playing the right way, but ultimately, it’s just another personal accolade, with the big picture at the end of the season. I’d happily trade them all in for where we want to get to’.

Bury sit just two points off Lincoln-having played a game more than Danny Cowley’s men, but the form guide will show the Shakers are more than worthy to return to League One at the first time of asking, following on from their relegation last April.

Despite being knocked out of the Checkatrade Trophy by League One Portsmouth, February was again an impressive month for Lowe’s side, picking up 10 points from a possible 12, one that included a derby win over Oldham and season defining wins at both Morecambe and Exeter.

The Shakers have been the EFL’s entertainers this season, never mind in League Two where already 25 goals have been scored by Bury in 2019, more than another club in England’s top four divisions.

Yet despite these eye-catching statistics, Lowe won’t be satisfied until his side are promoted, no matter how many individual awards he picks up before the end of the season.

Positives Ringing Around Gigg Lane, Despite Cup Knockout

Tuesday’s 3-0 defeat in a cup competition is not a scoreline alien to Bury fans when it comes to knockout football.  This was the same result as the embarrassment against Woking back in The FA Cup first round replay in 2017.

The fans took out their frustrations on the players that night with several verbal complaints, as a sorry Shakers side were dumped out of the FA Cup which would end with relegation back to League Two only a matter of months later.

Yet despite a disappointing second-half display against Portsmouth in the Checkatrade trophy, the reaction from the fans could not have been different. As the game drifted to a rare Bury defeat, fans in the North Stand turned to loud cries of the chant ‘Ryan Lowe’s barmy army’, just to show how strong the backing of this promotion-chasing side is.

There has been plenty of support from the fans this season, something the players have bounced off strongly.  This follows the season-high attendances last Saturday, which saw nearly eight thousand fans flock to Gigg Lane in Saturday’s 3-1 derby win over Oldham Athletic.

Despite spending large parts of the game behind, a 25-minute blitz saw Paul Scholes’s Oldham side blown away, as a Nicky Maynard brace and Caolan Lavery goal brought home a derby victory, another thing that has been a struggle in recent years for Bury.

Yet there is no question Ryan Lowe has brought an attacking brand of football not seen at Bury for years, yet League One Portsmouth did take advantage of the defensive lapses that still exist amongst the defence in Tuesday’s cup defeat.

Pompey did this in the space of only three minutes. Gareth Evans free kick to open the scoring was well taken, but the three-man backline was caught napping as Oliver Hawkins found a clinical and crucial second goal, acting quicker than any Bury defender in the box to end Bury’s Wembley dream.

Pompey may have made the final score grim reading for Bury, however, it definitely flattered Kenny Jackett’s men. But after Evans put Pompey ahead, the home side’s response was lacking in order to cause an upset against a team who have struggled to find wins over the past few weeks in League One.

Yet for Bury to reach a semi-final speaks volumes and no fan could leave their seat feeling too annoyed with their side, having exceeded all expectations, especially to make the semi-finals of the Checkatrade Trophy.

After league Two leaders Lincoln dropped points against Exeter, there was indeed a silver lining feeling in the air at Gigg Lane as The Imps lead at the top was cut to only three points. A response against Macclesfield on Saturday is much needed though, but even after a defeat, it’s hard to go against this Bury side.

Ryan Lowe’s Two Huge Games in a Crunch Four Days for Bury

Ryan Lowe has taken to management this season like a duck to water but, will need to see steer his side over two giant hurdles. When his Bury side takes on local rivals, Oldham Athletic and then Portsmouth in The Checkatrade semi-final only a few days later.

Although Bury will be underdogs in next Tuesday’s crunch semi-final.  Opponents Portsmouth will come up against an attacking outfit that has outclassed virtually all of their League Two rivals, since the start of the season.

Having scored 85 goals in all competitions this season, the place for football entertainment has been no other than Gigg Lane. Lowe having played as a striker himself has made it no secret in wanting to promote an all-out attack style of play, and his tactics have been merited with Bury’s current league position.

A home win on Saturday could see the Shakers leapfrog Lincoln to the summit of League Two, something which looked unlikely after January’s end to end 3-3 draw. Having had his style of football backed by non-other than Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, this way of playing had every chance of proving to be successful.

And The German has been proved correct so far with the way that Bury have played this season, now in second place in League Two and four points clear of MK Dons who occupy the leading playoff spot (4th place).

Having also picked the brains of Brendan Rodgers and Rafa Benitez, lifelong reds fan Lowe has already had a vocal taste of what a successful life of a manager is like. Benitez having won the 2005 Champions League with Liverpool and, Rodgers dominating Scottish football to the point he’s won the ‘double treble’ in Scotland since moving North of the border in 2016.

Now Lowe has the chance to secure his own success as a manager. A win against either, or both Oldham and Portsmouth – would take his side closer to putting a trophy back in the Bury trophy cabinet, league or domestic cup.

Is Going Out of The Checkatrade Last Night a Blessing for Bunn?

No team likes to lose a seven-match unbeaten streak especially to a local rival, but Frankie Bunn and his players can at least console themselves with the fact that they are out of a competition that nobody has any real interest in unless they reach the Wembley final.

The manner in which Latics exited the competition is certainly a hot topic of discussion. Down to 10 men on 51 minutes after the dismissal of Mohammed Maouche, Oldham struggled to keep Rochdale at bay but they managed to keep them out until a ridiculous penalty decision seconds from full time. The dismissal was no more than a yellow card and the penalty defies any sort of explanation other than the ref had suffered some sort of temporary blindness.

To lose a player through suspension is annoying when the red card is picked up in a competition that has been largely ignored by supporters. Credit must be given however to those who made the trip to Spotland although I believe many left before the final whistle in disgust at the manner in which the game was settled.

It would be foolish of Bunn or the players to dwell on the defeat as the momentum shown in the run up to the game has been promising.  Instead, I would see it as a blessing in disguise. There are far more important games on the horizon for Oldham with several key games in League Two coming up and a 3rd round tie with Premier League Fulham to look forward to.

This isn’t meant to be a sour grapes piece, I’m sure Rochdale fans would have shrugged off the result as well if it hadn’t gone in their favour. For the record I wish them well against Manchester City U-21’s as I do for all the other teams left in the competition facing academy sides from Newcastle, Chelsea and Tottenham. I hope Rochdale make it to Wembley but my interest in the competition is at an end for this season as I suspect it is with relief by Frankie Bunn.


Keith Hill Can Look Towards Rescheduled Cup Game With Oldham With Optimism

Rochdale are set to do battle with their Lancashire rivals on Tuesday in the Checkatrade Trophy after the original fixture was postponed last Wednesday following a sudden spate of rainfall.

The advantage or disadvantage, depending on which way you look at it, these clubs have gained through having their tie delayed by a week is that they now know who they would face in the next round should they progress. The winners shall face Manchester City’s Under 21’s in a home match which as far as this trophy goes, should bring in a bumper attendance with a local clash and a chance to test themselves against one of the best academies in the country.

That could be a good incentive for either side going into this match, but I feel Keith Hill has reasons to be positive as recent performances have been improving. Which suggests they could be about to turn a corner and, start to pick up the results their performances have warranted.

In their 2 games so far in December, they have come up against Portsmouth in the FA Cup. In which they lost 1-0 thanks to a 90th-minute goal deflecting off Ryan Delaney and wrong-footing Josh Lillis. In a result which was very unfair considering they apparently largely dominated the second half and won the shot count 18-14, also had 5 shots on target to Portsmouth’s 3. This shows they were creating the chances and just couldn’t put them away, even hitting the crossbar late in the second half.

On Saturday they played away at AFC Wimbledon on Saturday and picked up a point, but this doesn’t tell the whole story with Rochdale once again winning the shot battle, this time 11-9 and having more possession in this match 55% – 45%. Besides this Wimbledon’s keeper had to pull off an excellent save low to his left at the death to ensure they shared the points.

With Rochdale only having lost once to Oldham in the past seven matches between the sides at Spotland and a home tie against Man City U21’s awaiting the victors, I see plenty for Keith Hill to be positive about and once again place faith in a lot of his academy developed players, like he has to great effect so far in this competition.

What It Means To Get One Over Rochdale For an Oldham Fan

The Checkatrade Trophy tie with Rochdale on tonight at the Crown Oil Arena will be the 60th meeting between the two clubs. There is as would be expected, a certain amount of rivalry between the sides whose homes are only 5 miles apart.

I was first introduced to the joy of playing Rochdale in November 1970 when our paths crossed in the FA Cup first round. Rochdale were enjoying a brief spell in a higher division than us, whilst we were about to embark on a departure from the bottom tier which would last 48 years.

It was evident that despite a relative handful of games since the clubs were formed, there existed a powerful rivalry which continues to this day. We are blessed or cursed depending on how you look at it, to be able to swap banter at will in the modern age thanks to technology.  Back then it was limited to strongly worded letters to the local paper.

The FA Cup defeat to Rochdale in 1970 should have been forgotten in a matter of days. As the Oldham side went on to win promotion, but the embarrassment of losing to what was viewed as a club who wasn’t really a relevant threat stuck in the throats of Latics fans for a considerable period of time.

After three seasons of competition in the Third Division in which Rochdale failed to beat us, our paths took different directions and it was to be 36 years before we met again in the league. In all that time, Rochdale supporters relished any opportunity to ‘have a dig’ at any misfortune that fell on us but they were always viewed as the annoying cousin who you didn’t want your mates to know about. It was very easy to dismiss them as irrelevant when Latics’ fixture list contained games against Man United and Liverpool.

Rochdale have once again enjoyed a brief spell of fortune which saw them stay in League One this season whilst we have dropped into League Two. Recent meetings have shown that Latics are more than capable of turning our poor neighbours over and even if we fail to do so again on Wednesday night, it will mean an awful lot more to them than it does to us.

That FA Cup defeat is long forgotten.

Mayor’s Expressing Himself On The Pitch More Than Off it and Bury Score Nothing but Bangers: Two Things Learnt From Bury’s 4-0 Win Over Stevenage

If Bury’s fellow League Two opponents were taking their goal scoring feats lightly, the 4-0 win over Stevenage would have made the doubters think again.

Following on from the 5-0 win over Dover in the FA Cup and the 3-1 win against Fleetwood in the Checkatrade Trophy, the dedicated fans who went to all three competitions were witness to a 12 goal extravaganza across 7 days of football.

The Stevenage triumph showed just why Bury are a contender for a play-off spot and maybe even automatic promotion. The Shakers lie just three points off MK Dons who occupy the final automatic promotion spot and just one point behind Tranmere Rovers in 6th.

It’s been a week full of goals and talking points, let’s take a look at what’s hot at Gigg Lane…

Quantity and Quality

In most cases of life, quality is always a winner over the quantity of a substance. yet like with most cases football offers the exception. The Shakers are scoring some cracking goals at present, something that Bobby Charlton would have been proud of.

Eoghan O’Connell’s goal at the weekend was as good as any you’ll see all weekend, a right foot curler into the top right-hand corner to round off a perfect afternoon. The other few weren’t bad either. It’s goals galore at present.  Macclesfield, Notts County, Dover and Grimsby were already on an ever-growing  list of teams to be toppled by Lowe’s men before Stevenage joined on Saturday,

Danny Mayor, a bit too good 

Danny Mayor’s performances and stats are as good as any. Mayor may be shy off the pitch, not that Bury will mind as he certainly expresses himself on it.

Another pearling goal at the weekend adds to an ever growing collection. Having found himself struggling for form over the past year or so, the twenty-eight year old is making up for lost time at present.

Showing form that mirrors the likes of Eden Hazard and David Silva in the Premier League, it’s time Mayor starts getting the outward credit that matches those above.