CURZON ASHTON may not have realised manager John Flanagan’s ambition of reaching the play-offs in Vanarama North, but tomorrow (Saturday) they could achieve something that would scarcely have been considered possible only 12 months ago.
If they can win at Edgeley Park, the Nash will finish above Stockport County and have a legitimate claim to being the top non-league football club in Greater Manchester. Altrincham play at a higher level, but their membership of the national division hangs by a thread and it is unlikely they will avoid relegation.
Under Flanagan’s leadership, Curzon have enjoyed an incredible three-season spell. They have risen from the Evo-stik NPL first division north to the top half of Vanarama North, leaving traditional rivals such as Stalybridge Celtic and Hyde United trailing in their wake.
Only 18 years ago, when Stockport finished eighth in the Football League first division — now the Championship — the Nash were being relegated from the first division of the Northern Counties (East) League to the second division of the North West Counties League.
Midfielder Joe Guest returns to the ranks at the Tameside Stadium tomorrow after completing a suspension. Alex Brown (ribs) and Jordan Wright (hamstring) are both unable to play.
STALYBRIDGE CELTIC sign off the season in a tough home clash with Boston United who are looking to seal a place in the play-offs.
Celtic’s league form has been impressive in recent weeks and they go into the match unbeaten in their last four games, and having lost only twice in ten.
The fans will be demanding a better display than was given on Wednesday, when Bridge lost 3-1 to Mossley in the Manchester Premier Cup final. They had to play the last hour with ten men after key defender Jack Higgins was sent off but the feeling among the Bower Fold fans is that their team failed to rise to the occasion.
Relegated HYDE UNITED take the first steps toward naming a new manager tomorrow morning when their football sub-committee — Pete Ainger, Mark Worthington, Darren Mellor, Allan Kenyon and Mike Davies — meets to draw up a shortlist.
There has been lots of interest in the position although no names have been revealed other than caretaker boss Darren Kelly, who has made no secret of his desire to take the job on a permanent basis.
It’s understood that two applications have come from teenage boys who believe their skill at football management video games qualifies them for the post.