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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 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.

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.


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.

Radcliffe FC will do well if their discipline record improves

It was Radcliffe’s first league game of the season and I had done a match preview here at the Football Manc Cave before it took place.

The line up I predicted wasn’t too different to the starting eleven that came out to face the first home game this season.

In my match preview, I stated that some of the Radcliffe players needed to calm a little and stay away from red cards going forward. Both the friendlies I saw them in saw little fights or arguments with the referees.

Inside the first ten minutes of the game, there were chances for both sides, however nothing enough to take any goals from their efforts. At the ten minute mark, Nathan Lowe received a yellow card for a late challenge on Kingsley Williams. After this, South Shields got a chance that was cleared by Boro’.

20 minutes in and just as both teams looked to be settling into the game, Harry Winter ended up getting booked for a silly challenge. This led to a very competitive period of football. The first half an hour of the game was tight.

34 minutes went by and this time, it wasn’t a Boro’ player seeing red, it was Jason Gilchrist of South Shields. There was an altercation in midfield which led to this. It was nice to see the Boro players not be on the receiving end of a disciplinary for once.

Danny Mitchley and Ben Wharton played ok, the fact that they were playing against 10 men and put some good work in together. They went for goal but unfortunately, it went just wide.

At half time, it was still 0-0. A competitive first half that got a little heated. The interval came at the right time allowing both teams to cool down and compose themselves.

Second half

The second half got underway and there were some clear chances from Radcliffe. A corner won by Danny Mitchley saw Rick Smith, Ben Wharton and Scott Metcalfe’s efforts fall short. Unfortunately for the Boro’, at the 51-minute mark, Robert Briggs of South Shields hit the ball into the top corner to put them up 1-0.

This was very disappointing as Boro’ had done brilliantly to stay in the game. Things got too much for the lads as 70 minutes in, Harry Winter was given his second yellow card and sent off for another silly challenge. This was the attitude I talked about in my match preview.

There were five minutes added on at the end of the second half and to be honest, South Shields should have been 2-0 up. It was a disappointing first game for the Boro’, although only a 1-0 loss isn’t as bad as what it could and probably should have been. They look promising for the rest of the season, however, and if they can refrain from red cards, they should be able to improve.