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Non-League round-up: Stockport County, Ashton United, FC United of Manchester and Radcliffe

Here’s your Non-League round-up from last nights action. The action from Stockport County, Ashton United, FC United of Manchester and Radcliffe is explained below.

Stockport County

Last night saw Jim Gannon’s side play a friendly against Trafford FC. The friendly was organised after Stockport’s weekend game was called off.

Gannon wanted to keep his squad fit and give them game time. Devante Rodney put the Hatters 1-0 up after 10 minutes. Adam Hammill then made it 2-0 after scoring from his own half. Czubik then made it 3-0.

Trafford was awarded a penalty in the latter stages of the game and managed to pull one back. However, it wasn’t enough to get past Gannon’s side.

Ashton United

Ashton had an away clash with Witton Albion. Lewis Walters made his debut for Ashton and looks to be an exciting player.

It ended in absolute heartbreak for the Robins. They had kept it 0-0 until the 93rd minute. Witton might have won 1-0 but Ashton has a lot of positives to take from the game.

FC United

FC United was home to Basford United. A win would have taken them further up the league and past Basford.

Tunde Owolabi put FC United 1-0 up after 7 minutes. 26 minutes in and Basford equalised. 61 minutes in and Basford made it 2-1.

This was the second time a corner had proven too much for FC. Due to some bad communication, Basford made it 3-1 in the second half. United still sit at 10th in the league.

Radcliffe

Radcliffe travelled to Lancaster FC. Unfortunately, they managed to go 1-0 down at the end of the first half and couldn’t pull one back.

Tyrese Sinclair came on at half time and he is one player that looks promising. He drove the side forward and looked for chances. Boro’ just couldn’t find the back of the net.

The Football Manc Cave’s Non-League round-up

The Football Manc Cave gives you a Round-Up Of this week’s Non-League action. Stockport County, Curzon Ashton, Ashton United, FC United and Radcliffe’s games are all summarised below.

It was an important weekend for these games as Non-League Day was celebrated. Here’s a round up from the local action…

Stockport County

Unfortunately, Jim Gannon’s side had no game this weekend. They were supposed to be playing Dagenham & Redbridge at home but due to an incident at Milton Keynes, the team couldn’t get to the game on time.

While news on the rearrangement is still being organised, Jim Gannon has organised a friendly to keep his squad fit but also getting them game time. They will play Trafford FC away tomorrow night.

Curzon Ashton

The Nash faced Blyth Spartans at home. Things were looking up as they managed to make it until half time keeping it 0-0. Unfortunately, after 75 minutes, Curzon went 1-0 down.

Despite pressing for an equaliser for the rest of the game, it never arrived. However, it was a good performance and Isaac Sinclair ended up with a well-deserved man of the match.

Ashton United

Ashton travelled to Lancaster City for a Manchester Premier Cup tie. 17 minutes in and Ashton were 1-0 down. Just under 10 minutes in, they, unfortunately, went 2-0 down.

After half time, even though Ashton fought hard to defend and try to get a goal back, they conceded a third. However, manager, Jody Banim apologised to the fans that had travelled to see their side in action. On a positive note, at least they can focus on the league.

FC United

FC United was looking to take some more points from their game this weekend as they have taken 9 from the last 12. They faced Buxton at home.

It only took 12 minutes for FC United to go 1-0 up after a goal from Buckley. A few minutes later, they were awarded a penalty in which Tunde managed to score and put them 2-0 up. He then managed to deliver again after 18 minutes of play and FC were 3-0 up.

The goals just kept on coming and the game ended up 7-0. A fantastic effort from United. This has now taken them up to 9th in the league. Fans will be hoping this great form continues.

Radcliffe

Radcliffe travelled to Nantwich Town for Non-League day. Matt Hughes was forced off the pitch due to injury in the 20th minute. Kingsley Williams had to replace him and got stuck in straight away.

The fight for some points was well and truly on. Both teams were level at half time and the second half was anybody’s game. In the 74th minute, Boro’ gave away a penalty.

Just when they thought they’d be scrambling for an equaliser in the last 10 minutes, Ollie Martin saved the shot and kept it 0-0. The buzz of the penalty save was clearly inspiring as Boro’ went down the other end and the first-half substitution, Kingsley Williams made it 1-0.

After an agonising 5 minutes of injury time, Boro’ managed to keep a clean sheet and took all three points. This has taken them up to 16th in the league.

Wales star looking to bring the international form into Wigan Athletic

Kieffer Moore scored his first international goal for Wales this week. Wigan Today has explained that Ryan Giggs was very impressed by the striker’s efforts. Therefore, fans want to see him play to the same standard for Wigan.

Ryan Giggs described the 27-year-old as a ‘handful.’ He was very pleased with his overall performance. The game ended 1-1 with Moore’s goal being only Wales on of the night. Giggs was also happy with the striker’s end product.

Wigan fans will have noted his performance and will have high expectations of him after the international break. He only signed for the Latics in the summer but is looking promising.

Career

The striker has had an interesting career so far. He worked as a part-time lifeguard while playing non-league football in his early days. Now look, he’s scoring for Wales.

Before signing for Wigan, he was at Barnsley where he scored 21 goals in 51 appearances. He’s also had spells at Ipswich, Rotherham, Forest Green Rovers and Yeovil Town.

His international dreams came true when he was called up to the Wales team. He now has 2 caps under his belt and one goal.

Wigan

A three-year deal he signed upon joining Wigan. He’s already made 9 appearances. He has failed to find the back of the net as of yet but that’s something that could come in time.

Fans of the Latics are conflicted with their manager Paul Cook. Some are getting fed up and some think he deserves more time.

Maybe when performances turn around at the DW Stadium, Moore will get his chance. One thing is for sure, he will certainly be feeling motivated after that goal. He’ll also be excited to get back to the Championship.

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.

‘Easy easy easy!!!’ Stockport County taking to life in the National league with ease

Stockport County managed to beat Fylde last night 2-1 at Edgeley Park. Making it 3 wins on the bounce for the Hatters.

They managed to beat Fylde for the first time at Edgeley Park last night and earn 3 points. That makes it 5 wins in 6 for County and fans are ecstatic.

The game was that good for fans that the club asked who they thought the man of the match should have been because there were so many options with such a great performance. Jim Gannon couldn’t help but keep praising his team and the belief they have to do well. The fans couldn’t help but praise their manager.

Here are your reactions…

Photo Credit: Stockport County

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.

Will VAR drive Premier League fans to the EFL and Non-League for a real football fix

The introduction of VAR to the Premier League has caused as much controversy as expected. With money as the motive in every aspect of a business, it might not last much longer as fans are preferring lower-tier competitions in order to see some real football being played…

Football fans across England see VAR as a destructive tool of the game. The human error of referees had always been part of the sport, judging the performance of the referee came second to judging the performance of the players.

VAR, which stands for Virtual Assistant Referee, has killed the buzz of seeing your team score a goal, as you tend to have to wait for VAR to check the legitimacy of the goal.

With the billions and billions of pounds floating around the Premier League, fans fear that football is beginning to come second to the ‘Reality TV-like’ aspect to the modern game. VAR certainly adds to this.

As a result, lovers of the sport are preferring to watch lower-tier football. The EFL and non-league competitions have not had VAR introduced, and also have more of a focus on the football being played on the pitch as opposed to what happens off it, who took a penalty or what Pogba’s hair colour is etc.

In essence, it is a form of boycotting.

So what is bad about VAR?

Of course, and myself is no exception to this, VAR is only ever good when it favours the side you support. It is part of the natural biases and delusions of a football fan.

However, many European folks criticise American Football for its stop/start nature and claim that the sport isn’t gripping or exciting. This may well be the case for European football in the coming years as VAR takes over.

As it stands, VAR is necessary for decisions that are not absolutely clear to human referees. With arguments that VAR cannot be completely accurate, it completely avoids the need for it.

3 players stand out as FC United suffer second defeat to Hyde

FC United suffered their second defeat in the Northern Premier League in a 2-1 defeat at home to Hyde United. Today, The Football Manc Cave will take a look at the key events of the game and what players to keep an eye on for the rest of the season…

A home defeat would leave you thinking that manager Neil Reynolds would be giving the players the hairdryer treatment in the dressing room post-match. However, I was fortunate enough to see a high-quality performance from FC Utd which proved that this side has the potential to challenge in this division.

First Half

The beginning of the game saw FC Utd take total control. The Reds were pinging passes from left to right. James Joyce had acres of space out on the left, where the likes of Tom Dean and Luke Griffiths were picking him out for fun. But FC Utd was unable to capitalise despite dominance.

A mistaken pass in their own half saw Hyde take advantage and Danny O’Brien scores a tap in from a yard out.

In a baffling event, Hyde was awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box, until the referee changed his mind and awarded a penalty. Imminently, the referee became the most disliked man in the stadium. However, goalkeeper Patrick Wharton pulled off a fantastic double save to stop the penalty as well as the rebound. It was one of the most fantastic things I have ever seen in live football.

Despite FC Utd’s control of the game, Hyde was vicious on the odd occasion they had a counter-attack. On one of the very rare occasions that Hyde played some good football was down the left, where they completely undid the FC Utd defence. Liam Tongue slotted it away nicely leaving Hyde Utd 2-0 ahead.

Second half

Hyde Utd started the second half the way FC Utd started the first. Hyde was holding possession and switching play until FC Utd found their groove again.

Niall Rodney and Regan Linney looked to be the two most threatening players for the Reds. Linney regularly cutting inside from the left for the shot or Rodney playing off the last man and attempting to get on the end of some fairly wayward long balls.

FC Utd gained more and more momentum as the clock ticked down. The introduction of Chris Sharp gave the Reds more threat and options, adding to the attack v defence display.

Regan Linney’s favoured technique of cutting inside and shooting finally paid off, as a slight deflection sent the keeper the opposite way.

The remainder of the game saw FC Utd try to prod and pick away at the sturdy and compact Hyde. By the way, Hyde was hoofing the ball up and taking time on dead-ball situations, it was clear the side was holding out for the result they had.

It worked. Despite piling on the pressure in the final stages of the game, FC Utd undeservedly missed the mark on several goal-scoring opportunities.

The game had some fantastic moments and displays of good football. But the highlight has to be manager Neil Reynolds’ yellow card for descent towards the assistant referee over a throw-in awarded to Hyde where the ball hadn’t completely crossed the line. From my position, Reynolds was correct, but he must remain composed and focused in order to set a good example for his team.

Scout report: Who stood out?

Luke Griffiths

Griffiths played in the centre of the park and made everything tick for the Reds. Without him, it’s hard to see how they could dominate possession. His ball control, passing accuracy and footballing IQ set him apart from every other player on the pitch.

Craig Carney

Carney is a joy to watch. Finding acres of space on the right side of the field allowed him to be one of FC Utd’s most dangerous players. His ability to storm down the wing, whether defenders are there to stop him or not, makes him one of the best full-backs to watch live. He found himself in both crossing and shooting opportunities and was unfortunate to not come away with more. For myself, he was Man of the Match.

Patrick Wharton

The FC Utd goalkeeper deserves a special mention for his double save after the Reds conceded a very suspect penalty. He also pulled off the odd good save in a game where he wasn’t entirely busy.

Overall

In my opinion, FC Utd deserved to win this game. They played some amazing football, looked good as a squad and challenged Hyde Utd throughout the 90 minutes. It looks as though they need an imposing striker who can be an aerial threat and well as a hold-up player to slide the ball into the wingers.

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.

Wigan Athletic closing in on Portsmouth’s 24y/o winger

According to Portsmouth News, Wigan Athletic are on the verge of signing Portsmouth attacker Jamal Lowe, for a fee in the region of £3 million.

Dan from The Football Manc Cave looks at how he will benefit Wigan’s side.

Paul Cook gave the 24-year-old his first opportunity in the EFL, after signing the attacker from Non-League side Hampton and Richmond Borough in 2016.

After rarely featuring during the 2016/17 season, Lowe scored a brace at Notts County to help Pompey clinch promotion to League One. On the final day of the season, Lowe scored again in a 6-1 win over Cheltenham, which meant they won the League Two title.

Cook left that summer to join Wigan. Since then, Lowe has played a majority of games for Kenny Jackett, usually out on the right wing. This year, he scored 15 league goals and also a great goal in the Checkatrade Trophy Final vs Sunderland, which Portsmouth won on penalties.

Lowe is a very good player. A constant threat with his pace, directness and goalscoring. He deserves to be playing at a higher level, that along with the pull of working with Cook again is too much to turn down.

It’s a signing that will get the fans excited, for sure. Big money for us, so the pressure will be on him to deliver. Fair play to the owners, they’re backing Cook. Lowe is a man in demand so we must be offering him a fair whack of wages. Let’s hope he does the business and scores plenty of goals.

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