Wild promises to be equal to Mossley challenge
Weekend Non-league Football Previews
EASTER is generally accepted as one of the most crucial weekends of the season. The stakes are high, there are two games in quick succession, and one of them is usually a local derby.
It’s against that background the Dave Wild makes the step up from the NWCL first division, where he was in charge at Stockport Town, to take over at Evo-stik NPL first division club MOSSLEY.
Wild, who was appointed on Thursday after the unexpected sacking of Peter Band and Lloyd Morrison, says he began the week with no idea of what lay ahead. “Events have left me gobsmacked,” he commented. “I started off planning to play Bacup and now I’ve got games against Ramsbottom and Glossop.
“It’s all been a huge surprise but I’m pleased and feel really proud and privileged. Mossley are a great club with a rich history.”
The new manager, who has appointed Terry Hincks as his assistant, takes over at a time when the Lilywhites have lost the winning habit. They have taken a meagre six points from the last 45 and won only once in 2018. The slump has left a side that started off with play-off hopes lying fourth-bottom of the table.
Wild knows some fans will wonder if he is up to the task of reviving Mossley’s fortunes given his North West Counties League background. He acknowledges the size of the challenge he faces, but adds that he’s keen to meet it.
“I know I’ve got the capability to do the job, and I believe my style of football is suited to a higher level. I’m not the sort of man who can sit in the dug-out and watch my players lump long balls upfield. I believe in getting the ball down and playing,” he explained.
“The Evo-stik League has better quality players who will be able to hold the information I give them, so I’m really looking forward to it. When I was given the job I was told there was no pressure, but I can promise the supporters that I put massive pressure on myself. Whatever club I work for I want to improve and do well.”
Wild met his new players last night (Thursday). Instead of training there was a general get to know you session and he spent time individually with club stalwarts such as Mike Fish, Andy Keogh and team captain Tom Dean “thrashing a few things out”.
“I’m glad to say it was a rip-roaring success,” he said. “All the lads said they were behind us, they wanted to stay, and they’ve made themselves available. With that sort of attitude I’m sure we can progress and get towards mid-table where I think the club ought to be.
“Bandy and Lloyd assembled a capable squad and while the transfer deadline has passed there are players signed on with us who I could call on to freshen things up a bit and maybe provide one or two people with a kick up the backside.
“It’s a little tricky at the moment because I’ve only been manager a couple of days. But we’ve got enough experience to get us through the first 90 minutes, and after that we can really dig our teeth in.
“I realise the importance of the Glossop game as a local derby, and the need to have bragging rights, so we’ll be going all out for a positive result.”
Mossley should be at full strength at Ramsbottom. There was a doubt over goalkeeper Max Povey, who had a damaged hamstring, but he is expected to be fit.
HYDE UNITED’s promotion marathon moves on to sixth-placed Trafford but the Tigers ought to be in confident mood after taking four points from rivals Bamber Bridge in little more than a week.
It’s understood a couple of players came through fitness tests last night, but after his quartet of deadline signings manager Darren Kelly has cover in all areas and plenty of scope to field a strong side.
Ross Daley returned from his one-game ban in midweek. Striker Matt Beadle has also completed a suspension but it’s thought unlikely he will be on the teamsheet.
Ben Richardson returns after a one-match ban and goes straight into the GLOSSOP NORTH END squad for their home match with Colwyn Bay. Manager Mark Canning said: “We had a couple of knocks but the players recovered well so I have a full line-up to choose from.”
Struggling DROYLSDEN face Atherton Collieries at the Butchers Arms without Danny Ventre or Alex Frost.
In the premier division, it looks like ASHTON UNITED have lost Curtis Jones for what remains of the season. The midfielder, who was signed from Southport only a couple of weeks ago, has a back injury and needs specialist treatment that will not be available until June.
Matty Chadwick also misses the home clash with Mickleover Sports.
STALYBRIDGE CELTIC face an injury crisis and shortage of numbers as they gear up for their visit to Matlock Town.
Striker Liam Dickinson (knee), midfielder Greg Wilkinson (thigh) and defender Harrison Holgate (calf), who was the subject of a very heavy challenge from Grantham centre-back Tom Bachelor in midweek, are likely to miss tomorrow’s game and Monday’s home derby against Ashton United.
Striker Matty Wolfenden and skipper Danny Morton face late fitness tests before the trip to Causeway Lane.
Keeper George Sykes-Kenworthy, who has arrived on loan from Bradford City for the rest of the season, will replace Jack Walton who has been recalled by Barnsley.
Gutted Bandy vows to make a comeback
PETER BAND willingly admits that he is gutted after being sacked as co-boss of Mossley with his pal Lloyd Morrison. He loved the club.
But he’s also quick to stress that his desire to be a manager is undiminished. Soccer is his life and he and Morrison want to get back into the game as quickly as possible.
Band learned of his dismissal yesterday (Wednesday) evening when he received a phone call from director John Larner. He recalled: “John said ‘we’ve had a discussion and we think you need to go’. I’ve been in shock ever since.
“We really didn’t see it coming. It’s not been the best of seasons but on Tuesday, when we got a great point at Colne, I thought we were back to our old selves. We should have won. Lloyd was going to watch Ramsbottom tonight and I was going to take training. I’ve been talking to players I wanted to bring in for next season.
“I would never walk away from a job but at the end of the day it’s Mossley’s decision and I’ll live with it. The last thing I want to do is come across as sour.
“When I became manager at Seel Park I did wonder what I’d done, but I ended up loving every minute of it. All I want to do now is to get back into football as quickly as possible because I love non-league and the people involved.”
Band and Morrison were appointed in 2013 and in that time built Mossley sides that were able to consistently punch above their financial weight in the NPL first division north. However, a run of 15 games with only one win proved too much for the directors who have now appointed Stockport Town boss Dave Wild as manager with Terry Hincks as his assistant. Hincks has experience at Cheadle Town and Glossop North End.
Although Band refuses to criticise Mossley, he is eager to defend his record at the club and says that he is immensely proud of what he and Morrison achieved.
“When I was first given the job, most of the players followed Steve Halford to Ashton United. I managed to get a squad together and we finished 14th,” Band explained.
“In the time since Lloyd and I took over in 2013 I feel Mossley did better than most local clubs. Hyde, Droylsden and Stalybridge were all relegated while we dominated the Manchester Premier Cup. Not everyone can win titles, especially with the number of clubs now paying silly money, but we won trophies.
“Crowds went up at Seel Park while we were there and we built up a good relationship with the fans. I’ve been overwhelmed by the messages and phone calls I’ve received. Lloyd isn’t my partner anymore, he’s become part of my extended family.
“When I was at Hyde United, Gerry Clowes used to have the dressing room bouncing but he taught me that if you respect people then they will respect you. I’ve always tried to do that and I’ve always tried to give players a chance because Mike McKenzie gave me a chance. A lot of them have gone on to greater things. Richard Bennett is playing for Carlisle. Scott Hogan is at Aston Villa.
“At the end of the day I had seven good years at Mossley as a player and manager and it’s left me with a lot of good memories. Lloyd and I will dust ourselves down and go and watch a few games. Hopefully we’ll be back soon and can use those players we were lining up.
“We’re gutted but we’re proud of what we’ve achieved. And nothing will stop us having a laugh.”
Two doubtful for Curzon six-pointer
Weekend Non-league Football Previews
NIALL CUMMINS and Matt Regan are the doubts for CURZON ASHTON who badly need some points to drag them away from the relegation places in Vanarama North.
The Nash, who have lost their last two league games, sit in 19th place, level on 37 points with Telford United but with a better goal difference. Tomorrow (Saturday) they face fellow strugglers Tamworth at Tameside Stadium.
Cummins is rated as 50/50 while Regan has an on-going groin strain. Paul Marshall should be available in two weeks.
Curzon have made no deadline signings.
STALYBRIDGE CELTIC manager Steve Burr’s luck continues with his paper-thin squad. Everyone is fit for the clash with title-chasing Warrington Town at Bower Fold.
However, Burr will have to manage without the services of Theo Bailey-Jones and Oliver Crowley, who were left the club on deadline day to join Altrincham and Brighouse Town respectively.
This will be Celtic’s first home game for five weeks as they look to build on a run of three consecutive away wins.
ASHTON UNITED, who stuttered again last night (Thursday) losing 1-0 at Buxton face fellow Evo-stik NPL premier division play-off hopefuls Witton Albion at Hurst Cross.
Matty Chadwick, Curtis Jones and Josh Ollerenshaw all miss out but Dom Smalley and Nic Evangelinos are back in.
In the first division north, HYDE UNITED are at Tadcaster Albion as they look to keep up the promotion pace. Matt Beadle remains suspended. Chris Sutherland and Tom Pratt are injured. James Burke should be available for selection after a hamstring injury.
Family commitments mean Jack Tuohy will be unable to play in MOSSLEY’s home clash with Ossett Albion.
Dylan Smith returns from suspension for DROYLSDEN who visit Prescot Cables. Danny Ventre, Alex Frost and Sefton Gonzalez are all out. Ben Barber is doubtful.
Still looking for their first win under caretaker manager Mark Canning, GLOSSOP NORTH END go to Bamber Bridge, midweek victors over title-favourites South Shields. Ben Richardson missed the match because of a one-game ban.
Canning said: “Apart from that we have a full squad. I’d also like to wish Ben Deegan well on his move to Hyde United.
Player movements registered with the Evo-stik Northern Premier League from Sunday, March 18, to the transfer deadline at 5pm on Thursday, March 22.
Rico Abreu De Almeida Gomes (striker) from Macclesfield Town to Droylsden
Edward Moran (midfield) from Ramsbottom United to Droylsden
Malachi Clarke (central defender)
Adam Cooper (right-back) from Accrington Stanley to Glossop North End (work experience)
Daniel Pilkington (wide) from Ashton United to Glossop North End
Ben Deegan (striker) from Glossop North End to Hyde United
Adam Etches (midfielder) from Stockport County to Hyde United (loan)
Dominic McHale (midfielder) from Salford City to Hyde United (loan)
Elliot Rokka (winger) from Tranmere Rovers to Hyde United (loan)
Michael Jones (midfield) from FC United to Mossley (loan)
Tyrell Palmer (midfield) from FC United to Mossley (loan)
Max Povey (keeper) from Ashton United to Mossley
Paul Phillips (keeper) from Glossop North End to Buxton
Theo Bailey-Jones (winger) from Stalybridge Celtic to Altrincham
James Coates (keeper) from Stalybridge Celtic to Ossett Albion
Oliver Crowley (right-back) from Stalybridge Celtic to Brighouse Town
PLAYER movements registered with the Evo-stik Northern Premier League from Sunday, March 11, to 11am on Saturday, March 17.
Mohamud Ali from Mossley to Droylsden
Jack Dyche from Scunthorpe United to Ashton United (youth loan)
Callum Chippendale from Glossop North End to Buxton
Jude Oyibo from Glossop North End to Buxton
Drake Rendle from Macclesfield Town to Glossop North End
Russell Saunders from Trafford to Glossop North End
Zephaniah Thomas from Glossop North End to Ossett Town
Weekend Non-league Football Previews
THE fact that South Shields are hot favourites to win the Evo-stik NPL first division north title doesn’t worry Mark Canning in the slightest.
GLOSSOP NORTH END’s new caretaker manager believes his side has more than enough talent to win at at Surrey Street tomorrow (Saturday) and become only the third club to inflict a league defeat on the Mariners this season.
“We won’t be there just to make up the numbers, that’s for sure,” said Canning. “Paul Phillips and Steve Halford assembled a squad that can compete with the top three. These lads can play good football and I’m hoping to get a nice little reaction from them.
“If the players listen, do their jobs and perform like they can, then there’s going to be some fun. We’ll be going out there to play football for 90 minutes and I certainly won’t be parking any bus.
Canning was appointed caretaker boss at Surrey Street on Tuesday, a day after Phillips and Halford were announced as co-managers of Buxton. He has the job until the end of the season. The Glossop board are inviting applications for the post and Canning admits it’s something he would definitely consider.
In the meantime, he has spent what he says has been a very hectic few days dealing with comings and goings. He has appointed former Bury, Hyde and Stalybridge striker Andy Bishop as his number-two, and signed goalkeeper Russ Saunders to replace Paul Phillips.
Jude Oyibo (who was also registered with Curzon Ashton) and Callum Chippendale have both joined their former managers at Buxton. James Aspinall has been recalled by Bolton.
Canning said: “I’m up against it as the transfer deadline is on Thursday but I do have plans to make signings and it’s not impossible that Andy will turn out.
“It’s been difficult to do anything so far because things have been very hectic and we didn’t have time to put seven days in for anyone. I also needed to know who was staying and leaving so that I knew what gaps needed filling.
“But as I’ve said, Paul and Steve left me a fantastic squad. They’re fantastic guys and I wish them all the best.
“If we can pick up some results who knows what might happen? You could say we’re going to get a baptism of fire tomorrow but isn’t that what football’s all about? Just watch this space.”
With freezing weather forecast for the weekend, there will be a pitch inspection at Surrey Street at 8.30am.
After unexpectedly losing at Ossett Albion in midweek, HYDE UNITED have received the good news that Luke Porritt will be fit to play against promotion rivals Bamber Bridge at Ewen Fields.
Porritt sustained mild concussion in last weekend’s victory at Droylsden, which man the Tigers had to travel to Yorkshire on Tuesday without any of their recognised wide men. Tom Pratt and Chris Sutherland remain injured.
Although DROYLSDEN have still not won a game in 2018 they have shown signs of a revival recently. After giving Hyde a torrid time last Saturday, they held Bamber Bridge to a 2-2 draw on Tuesday and were winning with 11 minutes left.
However, they will have to face Prescot Cables at home tomorrow without Danny Ventre, Alex Frost or Ben Barber, all of whom are injured. Dylan Smith is suspended.
MOSSLEY have signed midfielders Mike Jones and Tyrell Palmer on loan from FC United as they prepare to visit Brighouse Town.
James Blair returns after almost a year out with an ankle injury, Tom Dean is available after completing a two-match ban, and Fylde keeper Max Povey should start.
In the premier division, STALYBRIDGE CELTIC face mission impossible when they visit their bogey ground, Moss Lane, to play NPL champions-elect Altrincham.
Bridge have won there only once in 23 visits since 1992 — a 2-0 Cheshire Senior Cup triumph in 2003.
Manager Steve Burr has a fully fit squad to choose from as his team embark on a minimum 16 games in six weeks run.
Wide man Theo Bailey-Jones returns earlier than expected after suffering a hamstring injury in the win at Warrington in mid-February.
Jack Dyche comes into the mix for ASHTON UNITED who go to Stourbridge. The Scunthorpe striker has returned to Hurst Cross on loan until the end of the season.
Aaron Chalmers is the only injury absentee. Rick Smith has left the Robins to sign for Radcliffe Borough.
Manager Jody Banim said: “I’m really excited about Jack coming back as he’s going to freshen up the front three. We believe in him and he just needs to knuckle down and get some games.
“Previously he scored 18 goals in 36 matches for us, none of which were penalties. That’s a decent record for a kid of his age.
“As for Rick, he wanted to play and I couldn’t guarantee him enough games.
“Aaron’s injured but he’s not far way from a return. When he comes back it will give us a few good headaches in terms of selection. We’re not too far from full strength which is good because we’re getting to the business end of the season.”
Regarding Tuesday’s defeat at Coalville, Banim added: “We could have won. Obviously I’m disappointed because it kind of killed our momentum but we’re still third. We have to make the most of the games we have left.”
In National League North, CURZON ASHTON’s match at Blyth Spartans has already been called off because of a waterlogged pitch.
The Nash won’t relish having to travel up to Northumberland on a Tuesday night but the postponement gives more time for Niall Cummins (knee) and Matt Regan (groin) to recover.