Arash Ahmad from Norwich City to Glossop North End
Kyle Hawley from Stalybridge Celtic to Glossop North End
James O'Hara from Altrincham to Mossley
⚫️ COVID-19: If you’re at a game tomorrow please adhere to all social-distancing guidelines. For more information, including admission, visit individual club websites.
All NPL clubs are legally obliged to use the NHS covid-19 app. NHS QR posters —specific to each club — will be displayed to offer a simple and secure way for supporters to register that they’ve been to the ground. This will help NHS Test-and-Trace to identify people who may have been exposed to the coronavirus.
Players, fans, coaches, match officials, staff, volunteers and all other visitors aged 16 and above must provide their details. The app is available on Android and iOS https://covid19.nhs.uk/help-downloading.html
MOSSLEY's march continues with another home game tomorrow (Saturday).
The Lilywhites, who have a 100 per cent record from three matches, face Pickering Town in an intriguing fixture. The North Yorkshire side were bottom when the Pitching In NPL first division north west was wound up in March but last week took a point from Workington, the club that was top.
Manager Dave Fish's only absentee is Ste Mason, who continues to struggle with a hip injury picked up at the end of pre-season.
"He's likely to be out for another week or so, but all the little knocks and niggles from Tuesday are fine," said Fish.
In the first division south east, GLOSSOP NORTH END welcome Cleethorpes Town looking not only for their first points of the season but their first goal after two heavy defeats.
Manager Peter Band has made two signings. Kyle Hawley, a 20-year-old striker, moves to the Amdec Forklift Stadium from Stalybridge Celtic on what Band calls a gentlemen's agreement, and left-back Arash Ahmadi, brother of Rio, from Norwich City.
Striker Joel Mills returns after missing the visit to Stamford. Midfielder Ali Sheriff and striker Yves Zama are still out but have started light training.
Injuries mean STALYBRIDGE CELTIC travel to Nantwich without three players: Nic Evangelinos (abductor strain), Matty Makinson (ribs) and Callum Harris (knee). With Kyle Hawley having joined Glossop, that means manager Simon Haworth must choose from a squad of 18.
Krisel Prifti is expected to return to the starting line-up after being left on the bench for Tuesday's FA Cup win over Bishop Auckland.
Star player Tom Pratt is a doubt for HYDE UNITED who have the daunting task of taking on South Shields at Ewen Fields.
Liam Tongue, who scored in the midweek cup victory over West Allotment Celtic, is suspended as is centre-back John McCombe. Louis Myers misses out but is close to a comeback while Janni Lipka is unlikely to return for another two weeks.
ASHTON UNITED's match has been postponed because a Bamber Bridge player has tested positive for covid-19. Fans who bought tickets online will be reimbursed and there is full information on the Robins' website.
CURZON ASHTON round off their pre-season friendlies by facing Halifax Town at the Tameside Stadium. Fans will not be admitted.
Non-league Football Preview
⚫️ COVID-19: If you’re at a game tomorrow please adhere to all social-distancing guidelines. For more information including admission visit individual club websites. Don’t give the Government a reason to impose a lockdown that locks out non-league football fans. #hands-face-space
CAN HYDE UNITED pick up where they left off last season? That’s the question a lot of Tigers fans will be asking as the new Pitching In Northern Premier League season starts.
When the 2019-20 campaign came to a juddering halt last March, Hyde were in tenth place, ten points away from the play-off positions and through to the semi-finals of the Cheshire Senior Cup and the last eight of the Integro Cup.
If the Tigers are capable of building on last season’s foundations, the first two weeks of the season should provide the evidence as there are home games against FC United, Basford and South Shields who were 12 points clear at the top of the premier division when the pandemic took hold.
Manager Dave McGurk has a string of absences to contend with as he prepares for tomorrow (Saturday’s) visit to Gainsborough Trinity who had a very similar league record to Hyde last year.
Liam Tongue and John McCombe are both suspended. Harry Benns, Joel Logan and Jordan Fagbola won’t play until 2021 and Louis Myers is out for at least a couple of months. Janni Lipka (Achilles) and Chinedu Uche (broken nose) are doubts.
Earlier this week McGurk made three late additions to his squad: academy goalkeeper Riccardo Longato, ex-Southport defender Andy Hollins from Colne, and striker Darius Palma from Curzon Ashton.
STALYBRIDGE CELTIC will be looking to build on their victory at Stocksbridge when they welcome Lancaster City to Bower Fold.
New signing Nick Evangelinos looks likely to make his debut up front as manager Simon Haworth juggles his options with all three substitutes having made significant contributions in the FA Cup last week.
Defender Matty Makinson misses out again with a rib injury.
Fate could just be against the Bridge. Lancaster boss Mark Fell revealed: “In the six or seven seasons I have been a manager, I have never lost on the opening day of the season.
“That’s becoming a horrible thing to keep saying because one day it’s going to catch me out, but obviously we're planning on keeping my record going.
"I usually win the first league game and lose the second. Hopefully we can beat Stalybridge and follow it up by beating Basford.”
ASHTON UNITED come up against former manager Jody Banim when they visit Stafford Rangers. Fresh from a 2-0 FA Cup win over Squires Gate, Robins boss Mike Clegg confined his comments to a terse “fully-fit squad, mate”.
In the premier division north west, wide man Jes Uchegbulam, who made such an impression when he came on as a substitute last Saturday, will be missing from the MOSSLEY side to face Ossett United at Seel Park.
"He's on trial at Fleetwood and picked up an injury on Wednesday. It's a huge shame after the impact he made against St Helens," said manager Dave Fish.
Ste Mason is also injured but otherwise Fish has a full squad to choose from.
Striker Szymon Czubik has left Seel Park to look for regular first-team football. And only a week after chairman Ray Moreland stepped down, influential director Callum Irving, who had been interim chair, has announced his departure from the club. Stephen Porter takes the role until a new chair is appointed.
Peter Band has two injuries — Ali Sheriff and Yves Zama — as he tries to pick up his GLOSSOP NORTH END team after last week's FA Cup defeat by City of Liverpool as they head to Stamford in the first division south east.
Jack Tuohy has trained for the first time in eight months after undergoing knee surgery.
CURZON ASHTON visit Padiham for a friendly.
On Tuesday, Stalybridge are home to Bishop Auckland in the first qualifying round of the FA Cup. Ashton United visit Scarborough an Hyde United have to go all the way up to Newcastle to face West Allotment Celtic of the Northern League first division.
Winning clubs receive £2,250 and the losers get £750.
Non-league Football Preview
ALMOST six months to the day since non-league football had to go into lockdown, competitive games resume in the Tameside and Glossop area tomorrow (Saturday) with the FA Cup preliminary round.
And in a move sure to disappoint clubs that have had to tolerate a long period with almost no income, the prize fund has been slashed. Winning teams will receive £1,444 instead of £2,890 and the losers get £750 rather than £960.
STALYBRIDGE CELTIC will be the first Tameside outfit in action thanks to the early kick-off for their visit to Stocksbridge Park Steels.
The cross-Pennines tie - which is all-ticket - has been selected for live streaming by the BBC (available on the red button) and will kick off at 12.40pm.
Only four players remain from last season’s squad as manager Simon Haworth and his new assistant Ian Johnson look to engineer an uplift in fortune for the Bower Fold club. Skipper Steve O’Halloran has also been added to the coaching staff.
Haworth will select his team from a fully fit squad of 20, with one of the 16 new signings, Keano Deacon, fit again after missing last weekend’s 4-0 friendly win at Longridge Town.
Defender Freddie Sass was unveiled as the final piece of the jigsaw yesterday, with Bradley Knox and Chris Holroyd being released.
Bridge were unbeaten in pre-season, winning seven and drawing two of their nine games and will travel to South Yorkshire full of confidence despite only one competitive win in 2020.
Three months after his appointment, MOSSLEY fans will finally get their chance to run the rule over new manager Dave Fish who replaced Dave Wild in June.
The former Chadderton boss, who leads his side against St Helens at Seel Park, admits he faces a difficult task in deciding on his line-up. “I’m still mulling over the starting 11 given the performances from everyone in the squad over pre-season,” he commented this morning.
Steve Mason and Paul Riley both miss out through injury and Jordan Butterworth is suspended. A couple of other players are said to be carrying niggles but should be fit. Andy Keogh is available after returning from holiday.
The Lilywhites have declared a crowd limit of 400 for the tie and admission is on a first-come, first-served basis.
ASHTON UNITED only have one injury for the visit of Squires Gate. The influential Liam Tomsett has a damaged shoulder and will be having an MRI scan tomorrow.
There will be some admission on the gate but given the covid-19 situation the club would prefer tickets to be bought through the website www.ashtonunited.co.uk
Peter Band is in confident mood of GLOSSOP NORTH END’s clash with City of Liverpool at Surrey Street.
He said: “We have a lot of new faces but I feel we’re going in the right direction. I have a full squad to pick from with 13 from last season as well as the new lads.
“I just hope we can get the paperwork for Mark Haslam and Alfons Fosu-Mensah sorted out it time.
Admission should be possible on the gate.
There are two friendlies. HYDE UNITED are home to Farsley Celtic (3pm) while CURZON ASHTON visit Stockport County for a game behind closed doors.
PLAYER movements registered with the Northern Premier League to Friday, August 7.
Steve Howson from Droylsden to Clitheroe
Craig Billington from Shelley Community to Glossop North End Remeece Brown from New Mills A.F.C. to Glossop North End
Alex Moloney from Royton Town to Glossop North End
Anthony Thomas from Maine Road to Glossop North End
Moses Yoak from St Helens Town to Glossop North End
Braulio Maieco from Glossop North End to Matlock Town
Theo Bailey-Jones from Stafford Rangers to Hyde United
Kingsley James from Gainsborough Trinity to Hyde United
Tom Morris from Congleton Town to Hyde United Louis Myers from FC United of Manchester to Hyde United Bradley Roscoe from Buxton to Hyde United
Luis Morrison from Hyde United to Radcliffe David Brown from Hyde United to Scarborough Athletic
Jordan Butterworth from Chadderton to Mossley Szymon Czubik from Stockport County to Mossley
Dylan Fitzgerald from Glossop North End to Mossley Jack Grundy from Oldham Athletic to Mossley Jordan Hadlow from Chadderton to Mossley Ethan Kershaw from Longridge Town to Mossley Daniel McLaughlin from New Mills to Mossley Jack O’Leary from Glossop North End to Mossley
Ben Richardson from Ramsbottom United to Mossley Ryan Shenton from Chadderton to Mossley
Matty Waller from Shelley Community to Mossley
Godwin Abadaki from Mossley to Buxton
Ryan Brooke from Mossley to Runcorn Linnets
Kayde Coppin from Mossley to Matlock Town
Mark Lees from Mossley to Matlock Town
Max Leonard from Mossley to Ramsbottom United
Michael Burke from Staveley Miners Welfare to Stalybridge Celtic
Damani Holness from Stockport Town to Stalybridge Celtic Scott Sephton from Matlock Town to Stalybridge Celtic
Thomas Stewart from Ramsbottom United to Stalybridge Celtic
Craig Hobson from Stalybridge Celtic to Clitheroe Christopher Smalley from Stalybridge Celtic to Clitheroe Neil Kengni from Stalybridge Celtic to Marine Nathan Valentine from Stalybridge Celtic to Matlock Town
Jack Sloan from Curzon Ashton to Trafford
DAVE PACE summed it up perfectly when he took part in a BBC Radio Manchester question-and-answer programme in the 1990s. Asked how you make a million in non-league football, he replied “start with two million”.
Droylsden’s shock resignation from the Northern Premier League, and their withdrawal from all cups, signals the end of a dream that started almost 30 years ago. Goodness knows how much money Dave Pace poured into the club with which he became synonymous, but it wasn’t enough.
And there’s the rub — Dave Pace was Droylsden AFC and Droylsden AFC was Dave Pace.
People were happy to watch the big games at the Butchers Arms but where were they at other times? I was there in 2008 as a BBC Radio Manchester summariser for the FA Cup ties against Darlington and Chesterfield. The ground was so full you could barely move, yet the following Saturday there was the usual 100 to see them play the likes of Workington or Solihull.
The usual crowdfunding and Save the Bloods campaigns have already been launched, but the support of the Droylsden and Tameside public was needed through the turnstiles when games were being played. Sadly, it’s the old story and applies to pubs, cinemas and even churches as much as football clubs: if you don’t use it you lose it. It’s too late once the die has been cast.
No one at the Butchers Arms was saying anything today. Secretary Bryan Pace gave me a terse “thanks pal” when I said I was sorry to hear the news. Assistant-manager Aeon Lattie limited himself to: “I’ll speak when the time is right.”
In one of those strange coincidences that football often throws up, the last game I covered pre-lockdown was at the Butchers Arms. In my post-match interview I questioned Dave about the effect covid-19 might have on the club and he quipped: “You could self-isolate quite safely here. There’s usually no one within 20 yards of you.”
Yet humour wasn’t very much in evidence that damp, March teatime. The Bloods had lost 4-0 to Clitheroe to make it six straight defeats in which they’d conceded 28 goals and scored only once.
Droylsden’s a friendly, welcoming club but it wasn’t a good atmosphere after the game. As the scoreline suggests, the team had played badly. Many of the officials were angry and exasperated. There were people were wondering out loud whether Dave Pace might even pack it all in.
In the interview, Dave stuck tenaciously to the line that he had a lot of injuries and had had to play several games in a short space of time and in bad conditions. However, he did say: “We have events lined up after the season and some pre-season stuff on the pitch. This is another kick in the wrong direction. It’s not looking good.”
And there’s another issue. Coronavirus may have dealt the lethal blow but Droylsden hadn’t been the same since the club was hit with a huge tax bill in 2013. It left them reeling and successive relegations took them down to the NPL second tier where they languished for six years, effectively struggling to avoid relegation.
The Bloods haven’t gone out of business, so it remains to be seen if they return. But if they do it’s going to be at a lower level and the road back to parity with their Tameside neighbours will be a long and hard one, and much harder than when they battled out of the North West Counties League in the Eighties.
It also remains to be seen whether Dave Pace will stay with the club. The focus has been on the football club but the unfolding economic crisis must have taken its toll on his business interests.
Whatever the future may hold, it’s worth remembering that he was responsible for some of the proudest moments in Droylsden AFC’s long history. In 24 years as manager he led them to within a whisker of reaching the third round of the FA Cup and to the Conference North title in 2007.
He may well have been unrealistic in his desire to play the beautiful game at non-league level but he signed plenty talented and skilful players, many of whom, including Jody Banim and Paul Phillips, have been among those taking to Twitter to voice their disappointment at the Bloods’ fate.
Since taking ownership of Droylsden from Dave Sterling in the early 1990s, Dave Pace was certainly a character. He could be hot-tempered and at one time he went out of his way to court controversy, although usually with his tongue in his cheek.
Who could forget the Manchester Premier Cup ties when he worked in the tea bar while putting his partner, Stella Quinn, in charge of the team to register his disgust with the Manchester County FA’s decision to expel the Bloods from the competition for fielding an ineligible player — him?
Love him or hate him, Dave Pace was devoted to Droylsden Association Football Club. It’s a pity more people in the town and surrounding area weren’t.