Tag Archives: non league

Salford Defeat Leaves Alexander With Much to Ponder

At Salford City’s Peninsula stadium Inspirational quotes are never far from view. So much so on the steps leading into and out the stadium’s entrance, a final message for fans to take solace off on their Moor Lane exit is scripted on the concrete front.

It reads ‘There is no elevator to success, you have to take the stairs’.

For this particular quote seems highly appropriate at present. Saturday’s 3-1 loss at home to relegation-threatened Dover was a rather bitter pill to swallow for the home support.

Because by the time Dover’s Jai Reason had put the final nail in a very sorry Salford coffin, a large majority of Ammies fan had seen enough and ploughed towards the exits. All this after Dennis Politic had started what looked to be a rather promising afternoon with a goal which mirrored David Beckham’s against Wimbledon in 1996. So appropriate  The ex-Manchester United man was in the stands in his first match since becoming co-Chairman and the memories of that sunny day would surely have come flooding back.

Yet Becks would have watched what happened after and wondered where the next three points may come from. For while he and the rest of the ‘Class of 92’ squad will be a key part to Salford for their future success, Graham Alexander looked a man in need of a quick turn around in form to prove he’s the right man to continue Salford’s speedy climb up the English Football ladder.

After Alexander’s predecessors Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley guided Salford to three promotions in four seasons, it has left Alexander with big shoes to fill. After swapping League One football for non-league last summer, the Salford manager was left perplexed on the touchline as his second-half substitute tweaks failed to make the required impact as his side stumbled to their third straight defeat.

Now without a win since the mid-January, this hasn’t been a Happy New Year at The Peninsula Stadium. Yet only a year into the job, Alexander only looks to be starting what appears to be an ongoing ‘project’ at Salford, something Beckham is obviously dying to get his teeth stuck into.

Not that he would have been impressed with his new side against Dover, who climbed out of the relegation places in a well fought out display. Salford who were lucky the visitors didn’t increase their advantage after wasting two golden chances at the death, but due to other results going their way, they remain in 5th place and most importantly still in the driving seat for a playoff position.

Although things of recent weeks look grim reading, things could be a lot worse. Take Barnet and Chesterfield for example who were only relegated last season, but show more signs of going down a league rung than up one. Yet in comparison with the teams in and around them, their New Year slump couldn’t have occurred at a worst time. At seven points behind leaders Solihull Moors, their chances of becoming champions decrease every game.

Right now Salford are digging deeper into a worrying hole, but the need for realism right now is greater than ever. The doubting fans taking a look at the message on the ousted stairway should do the trick just fine.

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AWAY FANS SERIES: The Class of 92 Inspired Danish Jens to Create an Online Community

As part of our away fans series, I spoke to Jens, a Salford City fan from Denmark who has recently created a website to connect with fellow Ammies fans around the world…

Ian: How long have you been a Salford City fan?

Jens: I have been a fan since 2015 when a friend who is a dedicated Manchester United fan told me about the club. The story of the club fascinated me

Ian: It certainly is a great story, have you managed to get to the ground?

Jens: Not yet no, but I will be travelling later this spring. I will go there with my friend to see a Man United game, and then spend a few days in Salford meeting up with other Ammie fans to see them play, of course!

Ian: How did the Danish Supporters club come about?

Jens: Well, as I told you, the whole story of the team fascinated me. I have been a fan of UK football since the late 70s when Danish national television broadcasted one match per weekend. I always loved the atmosphere of the matches there.

I remember being hooked on West Bromwich Albion in those days. So when my friend told me about Salford City FC… it kind of took me back to those days – back to the community feeling.

At the time I became a fan, the whole team was in a big transition, and I really felt the whole Class of 92 buzz.

Ian: I bet you’ve been surprised about the quick rise through the leagues?

Jens: I know that when they took over, the whole game changed. I know that some fans were against money coming into the game at the volume it did. But the class of 92 were not just rich guys wanting to direct a team.

They had a history with the area, and I feel that they genuinely wanted to give something back to the place that gave them great careers. Salford City is, in spite of the money, still a team that is very much about the community.

Yes, for sure. It blew everyone away, that they could get 3 promotions in 4 years. I guess it also bred a lot of envy in the fan world of sub-Premier League teams although there are no local players left, the team is still all about Salford. It gives Salfordians something to be proud of. Which team would not love to have more money on thier hands?

Ian: Yeah I bet, what are your thoughts on this season so far?

It has been a bit rocky so far, late 2018 proved to be a bit of a challenge, but they caught up nicely in the end. However, we should still be happy to get into the playoffs for promotion, and sometimes you need to let things settle before you make the next big leap.

The team as such is still finding it’s feet

Ian: Do you think another promotion is on the cards?

We are now spending time and energy in the FA Trophy, and there are some strong teams in the National League, and nothing is set in stone. I applaud their latest signings, and they may provide the energy and extra talent, that it would take to get promoted directly but honestly, I would love to see them get promoted again. It would take Salford City FC into a whole other game.

Ian: You say you have created the Redammies website, tell me more?

Jens: Sure…

Living so far from the team, I wanted to do the next best thing, which would be to get involved with other Ammie fans. So I wanted to network with them and that is the main reason I created the site. Redammies.club is an alternative site for fans, with networking features on its own proper domain. I did not want to create yet another group on Facebook. There is already one great community of Salford City fans running a group there.

Redammies.club is a networking site for fans and supporters of Salford City FC. I started it a couple of weeks ago (mid-January 2019), and we have 50+ active users within three weeks in!

That may not seem a lot to you, but starting a brand new (and unofficial) site is an extremely steep curve to climb. I am confident that we will grow quickly and my first aim is to reach 100 active users by the end of February, and 500 users by Summer 2019. I don’t aim for the number of users as much as I aim for the quality of the user base. I sincerely hope my enthusiasm and dedication will inspire other supporters to join redammies.club

Ian:Brilliant, where can fellow Ammies find it?

Jens: They should go to https://redammies.club, and sign up. The procedure is extremely simple and user-friendly – Salford City FC Red Ammies Supporters Site – This is the new home for the fans and supporters of Salford City FC, also called the Red Ammies. Fan site with forum groups, networking and more.

Join us, and make it happen!

Ian: Excellent, I wish you all the best for it Jens.

Curzon Run Continues…On to The Cup Final

Curzon Ashton’s remarkable recovery in the league has been well documented, however they are carrying on their run of form elsewhere. 

The Frank Hannah Manchester Premier Cup may not trip off the tongue but it’s a great tournament for local clubs, with semi-professional and non-league clubs getting a chance at their day in the sun, or more accurately, evening in Oldham. Traditionally it’s been dominated by Tameside clubs however FC United have lifted it the last twice. 

There is no chance of them defending it this year following their expulsion from the competition for fielding an ineligible player, and the cup is sure to go back to Tameside with the results from last night leaving Curzon Ashton and Mossley in the last two spots. 

Curzon had to get past National League high-flyers and high-rollers Salford City to get to the semi-final, which is no mean feat. Their opposition this time around was Chadderton FC and therefore a short trip to Andrew Street. Which is a true non-league ground with limited infrastructure and tucked away on a terraced street, it’s worth a visit if you are decidedly anti concrete bowls, and according to a colleague when I mentioned the fixture to them, “is well near Asda.” Convenient. 

Curzon came into this game in a brilliant run of form, and this was a big chance for them, with Chadderton playing in North West Counties division one – two leagues below the Nash. Curzon came in with a brilliant attitude and were utterly dominant. Putting a remarkable 8 goals past Chad. The confidence from their rapid improvement in the league was evident, and they played fantastically throughout. The scoreline was thoroughly deserved, and credit to the players and coaches for deciding to throw the proverbial kitchen sink at this tournament, despite some important league games coming up. It will be fantastic for fans to get their trip to Oldham and guarantees a big game for the club even if they fail to make the playoffs. 

Mossley, who are in the same league as Chadderton saw off Radcliffe Borough on the same evening, with the final result being 3-2. So the traditional Tameside Derby will return to Boundary Park at a yet to be confirmed date. If Curzon are in their current run of form the Lilywhites, while deserving respect, could be a great chance for a bit of silverware for Curzon this season, and following on from a recent article about making sure that fans are really getting behind their team, I’ll make sure I’m there.

4 Fixture Focus: Crunch Time For FC United

In FC United’s history of almost 14 years, they have had 4 promotions to get them into the National League North.

Although, this could all change this season after only winning 6 matches throughout the length of the season. With only one of those wins coming at home against local rivals Curzon Ashton, which saw the Reds come away with 3 points in a comfortable 2-0 win.

Five wins of United’s this season have come away from home after going against the odds by beating potential playoff contenders Bradford Park Avenue, Altrincham, Kidderminster Harriers and Blyth Spartans. However, with time running out Reynolds will be hoping to scrape out as many points as possible over the coming months in order to secure their position.

After a season that has seen United have 3 managers at the club, they have failed to stay out of the relegation places on a regular basis and the last few weeks results have conspired to find them set adrift from the safety of 19th place with teams above them also having games in hand.

This could potentially see the Reds set an unwanted milestone as they have never suffered relegation in their short history. The next four matches will prove crucial to FC United’s season-long battle. The men in red will be going into every one of their remaining matches as if it is a cup final, in order to secure themselves a place in the National League North next season and, with the reds 6 points from safety with 13 matches left of the 2018/19 season, it is all to play for!

Altrincham

This Saturday sees the red rebels play against local rivals Altrincham at Broadhurst Park. FC United’s first win of the season came at Moss Lane on August 14th, in a 2-1 win that saw United secure all three points after Kurt Willoughby scored the winner in the 80th minute with a wonderful curling effort.

The Robins currently sit in 7th place however with only 2 wins out of 5 in the calendar year, this weekend’s match is set up to be an absolute cracker with both teams fighting for the points at either end of the table.

Guiseley

The Reds face back to back home matches over the next couple of weeks as Guiseley AFC are the next team to visit Broadhurst Park after Altrincham. The reverse fixture saw The Lions take all three points at Nethermoor Park after a comfortable 3-0 win against FC United.

Guiseley sits just 6 points above United and have only one win in 2019 which came against fellow Yorkshiremen Bradford Park Avenue. With both teams being around the relegation places and both having a bad form, this match sets up to be a real six-pointer as the two teams will have to go out fighting for all three points in order to avoid the dreaded drop.

Southport

The first away match FC United face in this run of four fixtures will take place at Haig Avenue, as the reds take a trip to the seaside to play former league club Southport FC. The sandgrounders currently sit 13th in the league and will be looking to take all three points from the red rebels, after the points were shared in the reverse fixture at Broadhurst park in the less than enthralling 1-1 draw.

Liam Watson former Stalybridge Celtic manager will be hoping that former red rebel Jason Gilchrist will be able to remind his old club of his goal-scoring prowess, while the Moston Outfit will be aiming to keep him and his striking partners at bay.

Hereford

The final match the team from Broadhurst Park will play over these next four fixtures will be current Southern Premier League Champions Hereford FC. November saw the Red Rebels travel the 284-mile round trip twice in both the league and the FA Trophy. In the league fixture, it was the men in red who came out on top after a 3-1 win against The Bulls in their 4th away win of the season.

Two weeks later saw the same scoreline however for the other team as Hereford knocked United out of the FA Trophy in the Third Qualifying Round. Hereford are currently sat in 16th place, 7 points ahead of the drop zone. The Whites will be hoping to secure more points in the upcoming months in hope, of securing themselves a place for a second season in the National League North.

Play Off Dark Horses Curzon, Close the Gap to 4 Points

If I’m dreaming, please don’t wake me up. Curzon extended their remarkable unbeaten 2019, making it 6 unbeaten and a remarkable 5 wins.

Hereford was one of the lucky games on the fixture list that managed to get the go-ahead this weekend. After a quiet first half, Hereford went 1-0 up. Being the pessimist I am I thought, oh here we go, and I think the Nash of two months ago would have crumbled, however, Curzon remained composed, and 12 minutes later Lewis Reilly managed to get an equaliser.

Curzon was not happy with the point, and defended well, parking the bus when they needed to and attacking aggressively when they had a chance. Their tenacity was rewarded when Shaun Miller hit the most superb strike from 25 yards. There wouldn’t have been many better finishes than that in the league this weekend and, was one of the strikes of the season. It was a hard-fought but deserved win, and an excellent way to celebrate long-standing stopper Cam Mason’s 100th game in net for the Nash.

This weekend’s win has left Curzon, who barely 6 weeks ago were looking like getting embroiled in a relegation battle, are now sitting just 4 points off a play-off place. Alongside, Spennymore playing Bradford PA this weekend and Southport playing Chorley, some of the clubs in those desirable play-off places will inevitably be dropping points at the hands of each other.

With arguably the toughest games of the competition out of the way, having played Chorley both home and away, they have a slightly easier run to the end of the season and the playoff dream stays alive under Mark Bradshaw.

FC United Will Look to Bounce Back After 2 Losses by Defeating Boston

This afternoon looks to see Boston United take on FC United of Manchester in the National League North at York Street. The match sees 11th Boston United play 21st place FC United as The Reds look for 3 crucial points that, depending on results could edge them closer to safety. Whereas The Pilgrims are hoping for a home win that could see them push towards the playoff places.

Neil Reynolds, who is back after an educational trip in relation to his day job, will be looking for a response from the red rebels after back to back defeats against local rivals Ashton United and Stockport County, with the County match showing some promise and team spirit, after giving 2nd place Stockport a run for their money and only losing to a last minute from Oldham Athletic loanee Jamie Stott.

Currently 6 points off 19th place York City, tomorrow’s match is a must win game for Reynolds team. However, Boston will be hoping for a long overdue home win that could get them into the playoffs, with only being 4 points behind 7th place Altrincham. The Pilgrims have only won one of their home matches in the past five. Reynolds will be hoping to take advantage of Boston’s poor home record as the reds have enjoyed 4 victories away from Broadhurst Park against teams in the top 10 of the National League North.

Neil Reynolds will be hoping in this match that his attacking flair players will be able to convert the chances, they have shown that they can create in recent games without having to rely on England C international and the clubs top goal scorer Kurt Willoughby – with his 11 league goals.

FC’s Gaffer will also be hoping for another solid performance from last seasons fans player of the year, Lloyd Allinson who after a shaky couple of games has showed signs of getting back to his best with some outstanding saves in recent matches.

Today’s match is set up to be an enthralling, entertaining encounter between two teams who like to attack which was evident in last seasons 4-4 draw and is a game not to be missed!

Curzon’s Key Matches In February in Quest for Unlikely Playoff Hunt

Curzon’s most recent result of a 1-1 draw leaves them unbeaten this year and hopefully won’t put the breaks on too heavily on their chances of a playoff place.

There are two games this February I think are crucial to the Nash’s hopes this season…

The first falls this weekend against Hereford away at the utter beauty of a football ground that is Edgar Street. Curzon are comfortably clear of Hereford in the National League North so you might wonder why I think this is an important game. Well, years of supporting Manchester City in their difficult years in the 90s and 00s have taught me many things, mainly about staying warm and the location of chip shops in Reading, but also that you cannot get complacent against any team.

Hereford should be easy for a team playing as well as Curzon who are currently hard to beat, however, if they go in with that attitude and Hereford go in battling in an attempt to avoid the drop, they could drop points that they shouldn’t be.

Staying focussed against this opposition is crucial. On paper, it looks an easy three points for the Nash, and if they come away with that it could be a huge step to their playoff dreams. However, taking a point from this would mean a lot to Hereford and I imagine they will be throwing the kitchen sink at this game. Curzon need to make sure they go into this respecting this opposition, keeping the upward curve in improvement with their back line and hopefully walking away with the points they deserve.

The other game I think could have a huge baring is Altrincham at home at the end of the month. This is for two reasons, the first of which is that Altrincham are floating far higher up the league than they are, currently in the playoff, and a good performance against them is a real statement that Curzon are playing better than they ever have and are a team to be taken seriously at this level.

The second is that playing well would be a confidence boost to the team itself who will have a tough game away against Bradford Park Avenue for their first March game. Bradford PA are almost certainties for the playoff spots and I saw them pull York apart earlier this season, they will be tough opposition on home turf. However, if they have performed well against Altrincham it will be a bit of hope that they can head to Horsfall Stadium with a real chance of taking something from one of their toughest remaining games this season.

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