Tag Archives: national league north

This line up will see Stockport County earn 3 points over Eastleigh, agree?

Jim Gannon’s side is trying their best to gain points in the National League and their next chance comes this Saturday against Eastleigh. The Football Manc Cave is looking at the possible line up, both teams last few games and players to look out for.

First 4 Games:

Stockport have done pretty well since they only got promoted last season.

Stockport 0-1 Maidenhead

Notts County 1-1 Stockport

Yeovil Town 1-1 Stockport

Stockport 3-2 Barrow

They’ll be looking to take another three points this weekend, however, they’ll have a hard task with Eastleigh in their sixth season in the National League. They got to the playoffs last season, so if Stockport wants to take anything from this game, they’ll have to work hard.

Eastleigh Form

Eastleigh so far has won against Notts County, 1-0, lost 1-0 to Yeovil, lost again to Barrow, 2-0 and drawn 1-1 with Sutton United. If the Hatters can play at the same standard they did against Barrow, they’ll be in with a chance. Jim Gannon’s side managed to win 3-2 from being 1-0 down.

Line-Up

Frank Mulhern received Man of the Match against Barrow so he will surely be in the line up on Saturday. Jordan Keane found the back of the net so he’ll be guaranteed his position. Adam Thomas also netted the other two goals and will be one to watch for Stockport.

The Hatters will be fighting for three points but even a draw will be an accomplishment from this tough side. Hopefully, Jim Gannon’s side can take the buzz they got from their 3-2 win and take motivation from it.

One to watch for Curzon Ashton as they look to remain unbeaten against Kidderminster

Curzon Ashton will play their 5th league match this weekend against Kidderminster. The Football Manc Cave are walking you through previous results, stand out players and how they could line up.

Great Start

The Nash is currently 3rd in the National League North after beating Darlington 3-1. They originally went straight to the top of the league, other results impacted in them shifting to 3rd. They have gone unbeaten so far which is brilliant for Ashton.

Results:

Curzon Ashton 5-0 Bradford

Southport 0-0 Curzon Ashton

Leamington 1-1 Curzon Ashton

Curzon Ashton 3-1 Darlington

Key Players:

Issac Sinclair, the son of Trevor Sinclair is proving to be one to watch. He’s already bagged a few goals. At 18 years old, some call him a ‘wonder-kid.’ The 18-year-old will surely have all eyes on him. Sean Miller is another key goalscorer for the Nash and one who will be one to be marked by Kidderminster this weekend.

Line up:

My prediction is that The Nash will go unchanged from their game against Darlington. The 4-3-3 formation also seems to work. Despite Sean Miller scoring twice in their last game, he got taken off just after 60 minutes however he’s not believed to be injured and should start again.

Let’s hope Curzon Ashton can keep in their unbeaten run, whether it’s 3 or 1 point this weekend, if they can keep that great form going, they could end up setting themselves up for a fantastic season.

Two Stand Out Players For FC United next season

Even though Neil Reynolds’ FC United side were relegated at the end of last season, they still remain hopeful. Today the Football Manc Cave picks out two players you should look out for in the upcoming season.

FC United have been busy recruiting this summer, not only for their first team but their women’s team too. This suggests that the club is determined and motivated to do well as a whole. The first team have managed to put on a good display of football in their pre-season campaign.

Throughout pre-season, they’ve managed to create some good football and goals from set-pieces, showing their training pays off. We’ve picked out to stand out players that should play a big part in FC United’s season.

Charlie Ennis

Also known as, Paul Charlie Ennis. He’s played for Buxton, Stalybridge and Celtic previous to joining FC United. The 29-year-old rose from youth to senior level at Stockport County before he decided to move on. He recently signed for his new club in May from Ashton United and has already made his mark. In the pre-season friendly against Chester, he managed to bag two goals. If pre-season is anything to go by, he should impress in the league.

Jack Lenehan

Another player who joined FC United in May. The midfielder has joined the club with Brian Richardson who is now the clubs assistant manager. He’s joined the club from Prescot Cables and is excited to get started. The comfortable centre midfielder was a part of the squad that beat Chester and will be out to drive the club to wins over the course of the season.

Stockport County needs to start these two players, agree?

Jim Gannon’s Stockport County side has got underway in the National League. Now that fans have an idea of how their team are performing, the Football Manc Cave take a look at 2 players who will make the biggest impact going forward.

The Hatters got an idea of the standard required in the National League as they lost their opening game against Maidenhead United, 1-0. They then managed to grab a draw against Notts County in the week. Before they play Yeovil Town on Saturday, we are picking out two players who should be the key players for Stockport through they season as they are given the chance…

Elliot Osborne

The 23-year-old midfielder had a loan spell with the Hatters in 2017 after Fleetwood sent him out for experience. In 2018, he signed for Southport who also sent him out on loan back to Stockport. He has now signed a two year deal with Jim Gannon’s side.

Osborne has impressed fans, the team and the manager. This has earned him starts this season and I imagine he will be a great influence to assists, goals and the team pushing forward to produce chances.

Jake Kirby

Another player who started his journey with the Hatters after appearing in a loan spell from Tranmere Rovers. He joined the club permanently in 2018 and has been successful ever since. The midfielder started Stockport’s last game along side Osborne and Jim Gannon’s side managed a draw in their new league campaign.

Gannon explores the possibilities of all his players and plays to their advantages while teaching his players to exploit their opponents. We hope Stockport can perform even better on Saturday with these two players in the mix.

Two small learning curbs Stockport County can take into tonight’s match

Stockport County lost their first league game of the season to Maidenhead United 1-0. The Football Manc Cave are picking out two things Jim Gannon’s team would have learned ahead of their clash with Notts County.

Stockport could have had a worse start to the National League. A 1-0 defeat is something they shouldn’t take too hard as it’s their first game back in the league.

Before they take on Notts County on tonight, here’s two things that their opening fixture would have taught them.

League

They’ve now had a little taste of what football in this league will be like and the standards required. Now they can build from their mistakes and work on things they may have missed. Stockport did a great job of playing to their strengths last year and exploiting the weaknesses of their opposition which is what gained them promotion.

Now that they’re going into the National League, they will have to find those strengths and weaknesses at a new level but they’ll have to do it soon before it gets too late into the season.

Fouls

Jim Gannon spoke about the game and he addressed the referee and the ‘scuffles’ in the match. He basically pointed out that the referees in this league need to establish what is a foul and what’s a bit of acting.

However, that’s football these days, players will go down for anything and it’s for that reason that the Hatters should try to refrain from silly tackles and get their timings right when going for the ball. They should also start going down a little easier to try and win free-kicks as other teams are clearly taking advantage, so why not try to win a challenge every now and again.

Fans would have noticed these two things from Curzon Ashton’s fantastic season opener

While legging it past the East Cheshire Harriers athletics track to make it for the whistle, I wasn’t feeling totally confident, of making the start of the game or the result. Memories still strong in my mind of a lacklustre Curzon Ashton performance against Guiseley, and watching Bradford Park Avenue pulling York apart.

On arrival at Tameside Stadium, once I had caught my breath, I was so glad it was back. There was a strong turn out from supporters, Bradford Park Avenue’s strip that seemed to be modelled on a Germany kit from the 1950s and there was a steward nailing a chicken balti pie.

My initial fears were starting to fade watching Curzon in the early stages, they were giving Bradford a lot of bother, and on the odd occasion they were getting it back the defence looked solid.

A fairly early goal for the Nash saw their confidence grow and grow, and the final 5-0 result was nothing less than they deserved, and quite frankly, it could have easily been 7 or 8.

So, what would I say we have learnt?

Curzon have learnt to defend

I have moaned at length about Curzon’s struggles keeping a clean sheet. However they saw no real issues doing so today, and Cam Mason only had to make one proper stop. Some strong, confident defending meant Mason could pop his feet up for much of the game.

There were clean strong tackles that Stuart Pearce would have been proud of, and Isaac Sinclair skinning a Bradford midfielder with a bit of skill not often seen at this level went down very well with fans. Bradford Park Avenue was not able to cause the Nash any real headaches and meant the forward players could spend time causing a real nuisance to the Bradford Park Avenue keeper.

Faith in the young players has paid off

Curzon Ashton does not have the funds of many teams at this level and has long been reliant on very young players. Something that hasn’t gone unnoticed, “we’re getting beaten off a youth team” wailed a Park Avenue fan.

However the young team under some good coaching from Mark Bradshaw looked to have come good. Adding to this the signings of Nicky Wroe (himself an ex Park Avenue Player) and Andrew Halls adding a bit of stability and invaluable experience to the young side. If today taught us anything it is that Curzon is developing and improving young players. There are some young men playing for the Nash at the moment who may have a serious future.

I’m wary not to get carried away, one game in, but the Nash was fantastic in their opening game. The support was excellent and I hope there are momentum and confidence that we can carry forward over the next few weeks.

Two players that must start for FC United today as they continue to impress

FC United has two pre-season friendlies left before a big season ahead, where they hope to regain a position in the National League North.

FC United of Manchester achieved promotion to the National League North after a triumphantly winning the Northern Premier League in 2015. In the sixth tier of English Football, FCUM remained for four years, floating around the 15th place position.

Last season was a nightmare, however. FC Utd finished second to last, winning only one home game all season and conceding 82 goals. The relegation survival race was not an intense one. Nuneaton, FC Utd and Ashton were all more than nine from remaining in the division.

However, with signs of both strengths and weaknesses during their current pre-season, an up-to-scratch FC Utd could storm right back into the National League North.

FC United recently played against Chester, a team who are comfortable and strong in the league about. FC United dominated and won 4-1. Despite being a friendly, it still holds true that this FC Utd squad have potential in the league above they currently find themselves in. The club retweeted the following tweet about the game, by in impressed fan:

“Superb recruitment this summer. I can’t wait for the season to start after watching that last night! FC UNITED are back!!!”

Two players stood out in this game and should be involved against Runcorn Linnets in order to maintain fantastic form before a big comeback season…

Charlie Ennis

Apart from bagging a double in the 4-1 win over Chester, Charlie Ennis is the driving force in this team. He is involved in almost every attack and is lethal around the edge of the box. Capable of finding a teammate or having a pop himself, as well as showing how clinical he can be in front of goal, expect a tonne of goals and assists from the number 7 in the upcoming season.

Paddy Wharton

19-year-old Goalkeeper Paddy Wharton is a recent acquisition for FC Utd. Previously of EFL League One Tranmere Rovers, he spent some time on loan in the lower tiers of English football.

Although untested for many minutes, he was successful on the occasions he was called into action, bar the one goal. This shows signs of a very alert goalkeeper. At only 19 years of age and part of a club like Tranmere, FC Utd should allow this keeper to grow during a season that shouldn’t see them concede as many goals as their last.

Hopes and fears ahead of Curzon Ashton’s weekend opener today

It’s back, and I’m sure we are all looking forward to standing in freezing fields wondering what life was like when you could feel your feet, fixtures being rained off and googling where on earth Spennymoor is. (I’ll save you 20 seconds, near Durham, that was last season’s discovery).

I imagine like many Curzon fans, I’m slightly nervous about the upcoming season and unsure what to expect, last season was something of a rollercoaster. A steady start, which got a bit rocky and then rockier still after the sacking of a long term and well-liked manager.

Rollercoaster

After the initial appointment of Mark Bradshaw, the club had a run of results that saw them losing to season-long strugglers FC United and Ashton United and that left them staring down the barrel of the relegation gun. Thankfully there was a bit of revival that caused such a remarkable about-turn there was even talk of playoffs. Then Curzon’s difficulty keeping a clean sheet caught up with them, and the run of good form tailed off, and the season ended with less of a bang, more of a whisper.

And so, having just about got blood pressure down to acceptable levels, it’s going to start all over again. Curzon has been busy this transfer window, and the starting line up will see a number of new faces. Including Josh Agnew on loan from a recently promoted Salford City, two players who know the league well in Kallum Mantack from Ashton United and Jack Banister from FC United.

The type of player Curzon needed

They have also signed the sort of player that I have been saying Curzon need in Andy Halls, who is the older player Curzon’s mainly very young team really need. He has had spells with Stockport and Macclesfield, and several other teams in between which will provide the EFL experience and class the Nash craved last season.

So this season opens with a home fixture against Bradford Park Avenue who were a side to be reckoned with last season and finished 7th, a cool 11 places above Curzon in the league. However, Curzon held their own against Bradford both times last season, with a 1-1 draw at home and a 2-2 draw at Horsfall Stadium.

I’m unsure of what I feel Curzon’s realistic chances are in this fixture, but I am hoping for a more solid defensive line as I feel so many of Curzon’s many draws last season should and could have been 3 points for the Nash. They need to put a poor end to the season behind them and focus on the task at hand. Curzon showed, in flashes, that they are a team to contend with at this level, they just need to work on consistently getting those results.

As is often said, you can’t win the season in the first few weeks, but you can blow it. So here’s hoping for a strong start for the Nash.

The final touches: What Gannon should be getting right in Stockport County’s training this week

With a big season ahead, Stockport County has a lot of work to do in order to survive in their new division.

Last season, Stockport County won the National League North and secured promotion to the National League.

Jim Gannon has breathed life into County since his third appointment at the club in 2016. Going into the National League, his side must prepare for an intense season.

Although it is unlikely for Stockport to follow suit of their neighbours Salford City with a double-promotion, Gannon’s men could still go far in their new division.

Where does Stockport go from here?

In order to survive their new competition, Stockport must fully establish a method of play. The team need to gel fully, understand each other and have the same vision for the club. Therefore, training sessions should focus on tactics and strategies, whilst keeping the fitness of the team very high.

By establishing a method that has been solidified in the squad, they can continue to build towards projections, which should be to find themselves in the EFL League Two.

If Jim Gannon can continue to get the players on his wavelength, his side can survive the National League next season. Upon that, they can acquire the correct signings who will find it easy to integrate with a squad who all know exactly how the gaffer wants them to play.

Stockport County has lost their main goal scorer Matt Warburton, meaning that Gannon needs to find alternative methods for scoring goals. Their ability to hit the back of the net, whilst remaining fairly solid at the back, is what clinched the side promotion.

Gannon should remain at the club for the foreseeable future. He is the right man to lay the foundations to build on, being closely tied to the club. By following a set structure of projections, Stockport County could easily be contenders for promotion over the next few seasons.

Stockport County’s Gannon will have noticed two stand out points from pre-season

With pre-season drawing to a close, The Football Manc Cave is looking at what Stockport County have given us an insight to for the upcoming season.

Their promotion to the National League was an achievement in itself and now Jim Gannon’s side has put on a great display of football in their pre-season campaign. They managed to beat Cheadle Heath 8-0, Stockport Town, 10-0, Curzon Ashton 2-0, draw with Guiseley 2-2, beat Altrincham 2-1 and Oldham Athletic 2-0.

These friendly games often see unexpected results, high scoring games and a series of new players get a chance to shine. The season ahead may be more challenging for the Hatters, however, here are two things that have stood out for Gannon’s side in the summer games.

Goals

They’ve obviously had some high scoring games here and managed to keep clean sheets. If they can try to keep that same form and standard up in the National League, it could determine their place in the table as goal difference will play a huge part.

Some County fans are still trying to get their club to invest in new signings. As the game against Guiseley saw them go 2-0 up only to end up with some sloppy defending that resulted in a draw. Not giving away goals so easy when they’re leading is something Jim Gannon will probably have them working on before the start of the season.

Jake Kirby

The 25-year-old striker has scored quite a few in these friendlies and for that reason, he’s surely one to watch. He’s even got himself the title for the Hatters pre-season leading goal-scorer throughout these friendlies. Kirby was loaned to Stockport in 2015 from Tranmere Rovers. In 11 appearances he managed to bag 4 goals for the Hatters, and when he signed officially in 2018 he found the back of the net 3 times in 20 appearances. Clearly, the striker has blossomed since and I bet he’ll wind up this season as a lead goal-scoring contender.

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