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The Football Manc Cave’s Non-League day preview

As normal, here is your non-league round-up of the teams The Football Manc Cave cover. This week is an extra interesting one as it is Non-League Day this Saturday. You can read more on that here.

Here is what’s been happening and what is to come for our non-league teams. Stockport County, Ashton United, Curzon Ashton, FC United and Radcliffe Borough.

Stockport County

Jim Gannon’s side got off to a good start this season. However, September turned out to be a month that fans want to forget. After a series of losses, the Hatters dropped down in the league.

October is a fresh start for County as they earned a point against Sutton United last week. Ash Palmer and Tom Walker then managed to deliver in a 2-1 win over Hartlepool midweek. These points have now taken them back up to 15th in the National League.

This Saturday will see Gannon’s side take on a 10th placed Dagenham & Redbridge. Stockport will be looking to make these three matches in a row that they can pick up points from. It could be a good chance seeings as Dagenham & Redbridge haven’t been on top of their game either recently.

Ashton United

Ashton will be looking to get some points this weekend. They’ve had their previous two league games postponed and their last match was an FA Cup qualifying game. They, unfortunately, lost 6-2 to Spennymoor Town.

This Saturday will see them take on Lancaster City. Ashton sits down at 16th in the league compared to Lancaster who is currently 6th. It will be a hard battle for some points but a well-rested Ashton side may be hungry for some goals.

Curzon Ashton

The Nash is desperately in need of some points after a series of losses. They lost their last league game 2-1 to Farsley Celtic. However, they did take the lead in this game thanks to a Daniel Trickett-Smith goal.

Curzon is at home this weekend to Blyth Spartans. This is a fixture that fans will be expecting some points from at Blyth are bottom of the league. The Nash just need to make sure they stay tight until the very end of the game.

Against Farsley, they conceded both goals in the 88th minute and the 95th minute. If they can keep going until the final whistle this week, 3 points may be on the cards.

FC United

FC United sit comfortably at 11th in the league. They’re currently on 15 points and could easily make it 18 this weekend. They play Buxton who is currently 21st in the league.

Fans will be expecting a win after United managed to pull a 3-2 win out of the bag against Stalybridge Celtic last weekend. If they do manage to earn all three points, this could potentially take them into the top 10 depending on other results around them. This could be a big week for FC United.

Radcliffe

Radcliffe is a team who have done well when they’ve got a chance to play. A series of games being postponed meant they fell behind in the league. However, things are looking a little better now.

They have moved up to 16th in the league and could go even further up this weekend. Boro’ will face Nantwich Town away. They are 5th in the league which sounds impressive. Although, they did draw their last game.

Radcliffe will be looking to take a point from the game if they can. Rick Smith has been a standout player for goals recently so he is one to look out for.

The Non-League Saturday preview

Once again, The Football Manc Cave is taking a look at how Stockport County, Curzon Ashton, FC United of Manchester, Ashton United and Radcliffe have all been getting on and how they could get on this weekend.

Most have FA Cup Qualifying games to look forward to this weekend. For those who don’t, it’s usual league games to try and secure some points in.

Stockport County:

This weekend will see Jim Gannon’s side go out to try and take three points from Boreham Wood FC. The Hatters have been having a really good league run up until recent weeks when they lost two in a row, so they will be hoping to win this clash.

County currently sits 9th on 17 points. Boreham sits 16th on 12 points. This should hopefully see Jim Gannon preparing his squad to go out and go for goal.

Something to note is that this is the first time these two sides have ever faced one another. A player to take into consideration and keep an eye on is Joe Leesley. He has stolen the show for the Hatters in recent games and will be looking to be consistent in doing it again.

Curzon Ashton:

The Nash currently sit 19th in the league on 9 points and they face a bottom of the league Blyth Spartans this Saturday. However, it’s an FA Cup qualifying game. Even though both teams will be looking to get something from the competition, they could have both done with this being a league clash as they need points in the National League North.

FC United Of Manchester

This Saturday will also see FC United take on Warrington Town in the FA Cup Qualifying stages. When you look at the league, Warrington are 4th on 14 points while FCUM are 16th on 6 points. However, FC United managed a 1-0 win in the first qualifying round against Atherton Collieries.

Paddy Wharton has been a key player in goal and one to watch for the Manchester team. Another thing to consider is that the youth team got knocked out of the FA Cup when their clash this week had to be decided on penalties, so FCUM will be hungry to make sure the first team go further in the competition.

Ashton United:

Ashton are another team in FA Cup action this weekend as they face Pontefract Collieries. Ashton won their first qualifying round 4-2 against Tadcaster Albion. This should be another big scoring game as Ashton are in a higher league than Pontefract who are currently 8th I the Northern North West League.

Radcliffe:

Radcliffe have only had 4 league games go ahead so far this season which has put them at the bottom of the league. If they had have played all their fixtures so far, I think they’d be a lot higher as they have picked up 2 points from 4 games so far. They even managed a draw against a 4th placed Warrington last week. They face Stalybridge Celtic at 3pm on Saturday. They have 7 points from 6 games and sit 13th in the league.

Curzon Ashton looking to bounce back with these few changes to the starting 11

Curzon Ashton could overtake Kings Lynn if they come away with three points at The Walks Stadium. But after last weeks defeat, they might need to take a new approach to the game…

Matchday six of the National League North sees Curzon Ashton playing away from home against Kings Lynn Town. Both teams have lost only one game so far this season, but Kings Lynn sit two points ahead of sixth place Curzon Ashton.

The Northerners suffered a 1-0 defeat at home in the Tameside Stadium last week against Kidderminster. The home side failed to control the game in most aspects, despite being expected to on their own soil.

Curzon Ashton escaped relegation by 14 points last season. Therefore the Greater Manchester side should definitely be upping their game this season in order to reach greater heights. The recently promoted sides such as Kings Lynn themselves, could offer greater competition than the four teams who finished below them last season.

What needs to be different from last week’s performance?

In Curzon’s first defeat of the season, they were lucky to only receive a 1-0 scoreline. But the introduction of substitutes Michael Elstone, Luke Wall and Liam David breathed a new intensity into the side. Nearly allowing the well-beaten Curzon Ashton to come away with a point.

In the game against Kings Lynn away from home they must be prepared to perform with a high intensity. Should they have a passive and lacklustre performance against the newly-promoted side, they will likely go home empty-handed.

20 year-old Michael Elstone is far too dangerous to leave on the bench, particularly against a side that they should be beating on paper. Giving him a run off the bounce of having a big impact off the bench, in a game where senior members disappointed could be what he needs to kick start an impressive campaign.

With 9 goals for and 3 goals against them so far this season, Curzon Ashton could be well on their way to having an impressive season. Squad fitness and rotation could be the key in a high table finish for a team with the potential to do so.

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.

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