Tag Archives: northern premier league

Radcliffe FC, FC United and Ashton United match previews

The Football Manc Cave are looking at the Northern Premier League to see who Radcliffe, FC United of Manchester and Ashton United are facing this weekend and how we think they’ll get on.

Radcliffe

The Boro’ are away to Basford United. I saw their last game against FC United of Manchester in which they drew 1-1 and they looked more promising than before. Elliot Rokka was a stand out performer for me as he was constantly in the right places at the right time, he found a lot of space and in the second half, I decided to go and sit with the FC United fans and even they picked up on how dangerous he looked. They didn’t like how he was finding areas and going unmarked.

Basford has taken 6 points from 4 games and is currently 9th. Radcliffe, on the other hand, have pushed up to 17th after winning their first point but they have only played 2 games so far due to games being shifted around. Their chances don’t look great in this fixture but with a combination of good players like Rick Smith and Ben Wharton, hopefully, Radcliffe will be able to try and win at least a point.

FC United Of Manchester

After watching them play Radcliffe at the weekend, I was impressed mostly by their fans. They were loud, proud and in their numbers. Unfortunately, they sit 19th in the league with only one point from 4.

They face Morpeth Town who are currently 10th in the league with 6 points from 3 games. It’s going to be tough and they obviously aren’t the favourites in this clash. Hopefully fan favourite, Patrick Wharton, their goalkeeper, can keep a clean sheet or at least make some more great saves to keep them in the game.

Ashton United

They face the toughest test this week in the Northern Premier League. They face Matlock who are top of the league after winning all 4 of their games to earn an impressive 12 points.

Ashton lost their last game to Stalybridge Celtic 2-0 and they sit bottom of the league. This game doesn’t look promising at all for Ashton and they’re facing a team who are great at keeping a clean sheet.

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.

These 2 new signings have to start for Radcliffe in the season opener

Radcliffe starts their season in the Northern Premier League this Saturday against South Shields. The Football Manc Cave is giving a glimpse into how Radcliffe could line up and more.

Pre-Season

Radcliffe have had a pretty interesting pre-season campaign and I got to see two of the games. They lost against Bury 3-1. They also managed a draw with Leicester’s youngsters, 1-1. The Bury game showed some good first-half football form the Boro’ lads, and a goal from Ben Wharton was what saw them look like they might have a chance. Only the second half stood in their way when Bury produced some quality football. There was a little scuffle in the first half involving Rick Smith which made me keep an eye on him in their next game.

The Leicester friendly was certainly not very friendly as a Leicester player apparently spat in a Radcliffe player’s face. This resulted in him and Danny Mitchley being sent off. This was only in the first couple of minutes and it resulted in a huge delay as managers called the referee over to explain his decisions. Shortly after, the ref was calling his linesmen to follow him in walking off the pitch as he didn’t want to take control of the game. It was fans that convinced the officials to rethink and Rick Smith has a quick and quiet word that saw the game go on. Smith also was rewarded with a goal and there was some good football from Boro.

Players

With Dan Mitchley getting a red card in the last friendly, he will certainly be one to watch throughout the season. He’s a great player, just needs to stay out of trouble. Rick Smith and Scott Metcalfe are two other players that can be a bit mouthy with referees so they need to keep quiet and play on. Ben Wharton is a key goal scorer for Radcliffe only you can see him getting tired at times throughout games so he gets taken off early from time to time giving someone else a chance.

Line Up

Going off friendly games, this is how Radcliffe could line up…

The ultimate decisions will obviously come down to Jon Macken. Harry Winter is a new player who is looking for a chance. Rick Smith has also dropped to a defensive position during the pre-season friendlies which is a change from his usual midfield position. He has done a brilliant job though and even managed to score in games.

Smith is loud at the back and directs the rest of the team too. Ben Wharton could get replaced with Matthew Wolfenden in the second half of the game if he’s looking tired. Finally, new signing, Olapade may be given a chance as the defence has been left open to speculation as it hasn’t been the same in any of the friendlies.

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.

Two Players To Look out for this season for Radcliffe FC

The Football Manc Cave are picking out two Radcliffe players that will make the difference this coming season.

I got the chance to see them in action against Bury in pre-season. Although they lost 3-1, there was some good play that will see them do well in the Northern Premier League.

Radcliffe did well to gain promotion last season and they’ll be hoping to be successful in this new league challenge. With that being said, here are two players who should stand out to fans throughout their campaign…

Danny Mitchley

The 29-year-old striker spent his youth years at the likes of Oldham Athletic, Wigan Athletic and Blackpool. He made his senior debut with Blackpool and has had a long list of clubs such as Southport, Mansfield Town, Skelmersdale United and Marine to his name since.

Despite only signing for Radcliffe this summer, he’s had a brilliant pre-season campaign that has seen him score, come close to or assist in every friendly he’s played. He’s blended in with the team extremely well which is only a positive going forward.

Ben Wharton

Wharton is also 29 years old who has played for the likes of Rochdale, Buxton and Warrington Town. Fans like to see him in action.

Rick Smith is another standout player to be mentioned as even when he’s not got the ball he makes a big impact on the other players, knows how to lead and drive the team forward and influences his teammates. However, the play between Wharton and Mitchley was particularly good against Bury as Mitchley assisted Wharton to Radcliffe’s only goal.

Two players that must start today for Radcliffe Borough

Radcliffe Borough has a big test in the upcoming season, and these two players, in particular, have to be ready.

Radcliffe have found themselves in the National Premier League table after promotion last season. The Boro finish 2nd in the Northern Division 1 West table, 7 points behind winners Atherton Colliers.

The race for promotion last season gave no signs that Radcliffe was outright better than the rest of the competition. There were only 6 points between Radcliffe in 2nd and Prescot Cables in 7th.

Radcliffe have a pre-season game against Workington AFC on Saturday 3rd August. Workington is currently in the league Radcliffe belonged to last season, and will be a good chance to prove that they truly are of higher quality. These two players need a run in the form to keep Radcliffe in the Northern Premier League this season…

Danny Mitchley

In Radcliffe’s recent 3-1 local derby defeat against EFL League One side Bury, the one goal the side got was from a piece of Danny Mitchley genius as he played a fantastic pass for Ben Wharton who buried it home. The new signing previously captained Marine, scoring 81 goals in 170 games for the club.

Chairman Paul Hilton had this to say about the player: “He was captain of Marine and was at the club for four years, so he will bring the leadership we have been looking for.”

The 29-year-old striker will be important in The Boro’s success in their new division this season and should feature heavily in order to gel with the squad.

Ben Wharton

An exciting duo. Ben Wharton can bring Danny Mitchley straight into action by having a natural link-up with the new signing. Having these two goal machines in form could result in more than a satisfactory season. Wharton scored 18 times last season, and both 29-year-old experienced strikers can lead the team from the front. Expect to see a heavily attacking Boro this season.

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.

Exclusive offer for Ashton United fans to see these two stand-out players

Jody Banim’s Ashton United side were relegated last season although they have had a good pre-season. The Football Manc Cave have picked out two players who have stood out and will make a difference in the league.

The Robins were disappointed when they were relegated from the National League to the Northern Premier League. However, their pre-season campaign has seen them play some good football, managed a draw with Oldham Athletic and see goals.

Ahead of the start of the season, Ashton United would like to offer all Football Manc Cave readers discounted tickets to their first home game against Atherton Collieries on August 17th at 3:00 pm.

This exclusive offer reduces tickets to just £5 admission if you purchase your ticket online. Simply head to ashtonunitedfc.ktckts.com and enter the *promo code to be part of the Robins promotion push at the start of an exciting season at Hurst Cross.

*Email Ian@thefootballmancave.com to receive the secret code

It’s looking promising for them and here are two players that fans should look out for.

Ryan Crowther

Two years ago Crowther suffered an injury that left him out of action, and last season he made a few appearances but he has recently admitted that he wasn’t fully fit at that time. Now that he’s back to being fully fit, he’s also said that despite the fact he’s turning 31 this year, he feels 18 years old again going back into the game. He’s also said he wants as much football as he can get this season and his campaign to make that happen is going great as he scored against Oldham in a friendly.

Callum Dolan

The 18-year-old defender used to play for Stockport Town although he’s found his feet with Ashton. In the game against Oldham, he was another standout player as he shot from long range and managed to find the back of the net. The youngster is clearly aiming to impress and will be hoping to get similar goals in the league if he’s shooting from such distances so fans should look out for that.

Round table prediction: Where FC United, Radcliffe Boro and Ashton Utd will finish

Where do we think FC United, Radcliffe and Aston United will finish in the Northern Premier League.

Today, the writers here at Football Manc Cave looked at all the teams we cover and predicted, where we thought they would finish in each of their leagues.

We cover teams that are in the Premier League, Championship, Leagues 1&2 and non-league teams. Which makes it harder to quickly think about this, however, we have an average result based on all of our predictions for Ashton United, FC United and Radcliffe who are all in the Northern Premier League.

Radcliffe Boro’

We had to consider that Radcliffe was promoted at the end of last season to the Northern Premier League, after finishing 2nd in division one west. On average, we have put them as finishing 9th next season. I predicted they would finish lower down but after looking at all our guesses, it seems the majority think they will have a good league campaign.

FC United

This club was relegated from the National League North last season after finishing 21st out of 22nd teams. Even though they were relegated, here at the Manc Cave, we think they’ll have a great season. I predicted they would finish 5th and it seems that we are nearly agreed because collectively, our results came out as FC United finishing 3rd.

Ashton United

Another team that ended up being relegated into the Northern Premier League last season. They managed to finish one place higher than FC United though, 20th out of the 22 teams. This was a factor that made me predict that Ashton would secure 3rd place in their new League campaign and collectively, we all have averaged out at again, placing them 3rd overall next season. So according to all of us, the Northern Premier League will have a battle of the United’s for third place.