ON-LOAN Rochdale duo Nyal Bell and Billy Haslett-Cregg are unavailable for DROYLSDEN’s FA Cup second qualifying round clash with Lancaster City at the Butchers Arms tomorrow (Saturday).
The Bloods are one of five Tameside clubs in FA Cup action and hoping to pick up £4,500 in prize money.
A hamstring strain has ruled out Simon Lakeland for CURZON ASHTON’s visit to Salford City.
Simon Woodford is fit again, but will not feature tomorrow, and Connor Hampson may return in a couple of weeks after getting some reserve-team appearances under his belt.
Chris Rowney has recovered from a chest infection but Ryan Brookes, sidelined with a knee injury, is unlikely to return until late October.
STALYBRIDGE CELTIC are at Kendal Town, and the only selection worry manager Liam Watson has is how to shuffle the 16 players he has available.
The competition allows for seven substitutes and Watson could well look to the academy side knocked out of the F A Youth Cup by Prescot Cables last night to fill the vacant spaces on the bench.
Chris Simm and Adam Farrell are unavailable due to suspension and Peter Wylie, Danny Wisdom and Alex Mudimu are all on the injured list. Farrell is clear to return should the tie require a replay on Tuesday.
Bridge will be looking to avoid the embarrassment of falling to lower league opposition, a fate they have suffered six times in the eleven years since they last reached the first round proper in 2003-04. In that time their cup run has extended to the fourth qualifying round on only one occasion.
Full-back Lee Neville is working abroad and misses HYDE UNITED’s home match with first division north leaders Northwich Victoria who lost their first game of the season in midweek. Loanee Michael Muscat is cup-tied.
Aaron Burns returns from suspension for ASHTON UNITED who make the short journey to NWCL side Abbey Hey. Midfielder Geoff King, signed from Altrincham, comes into the squad.
In the Evo-stik NPL first division north, Kelvin Lugsden is still unavailable for GLOSSOP NORTH END who are home to Radcliffe Borough/
MOSSLEY, away to Ossett Town, welcome back Caldon Henson as they seek to stem a run of defeats. Sam Robinson has rejoined the club from Farsley Celtic and Rory Bressan is back after a knock. John Bennett is still a week from fitness.
Dave Pover – a true Celtic legend
STALYBRIDGE Celtic sports therapist David Pover completed a quite remarkable 1,000 games for the club when he appeared on the bench at Nuneaton Borough on September 15.
The likeable though - and he will admit this himself - sometimes truculent and awkward man of Carrbook has been with his hometown side for 20 seasons and has devoted his time selflessly to everything and everyone connected with the Tameside club.
“He is protective of the players he helps and unstinting in his praise of the players who follow his advice and, invariably, return to action much sooner than anticipated. Many have benefited from his healing hands – and his use of comfrey,” said Celtic chief executive Syd White.
A former fireman, Dave learned his healing and rehabilitation crafts with the service, working with the football and rugby union national teams in some exotic places: San Marino, Russia and Italy to name just three.
In addition to his time with Stalybridge, Dave has been a sports therapist with Glossop, Curzon Ashton, Ashton United and Leigh RMI. If you add in these games he has certainly been on the touchline at more than 1,500 semi-pro matches.
Dave has also attended countless reserves, academy and junior matches for Celtic and his other clubs, a truly astonishing record of service to footballers. He will offer his advice to anyone, anywhere, anytime to help them recover. He has time for everyone.
His first game with Stalybridge was a 1-0 win against Dagenham and Redbridge at the start of the 1993-94 season when Peter Wragg was the manager. He has worked with every manager since, from Wragg to current boss Liam Watson, a constant in the Bower Fold backroom team.
In recent years Dave has been mentoring young sports therapists and Celtic have benefited immensely from this support as have other clubs, who now enjoy the services of experienced personnel.
“From all of us at Celtic, and many beyond, thank you Dave for your devoted service to our club and our players and long may you continue.
“We are all immensely proud of you for this remarkable achievement,” said club chairman Rob Gorski.
By Martyn Torr
JODY BANIM is back in Tameside. The former Hyde, Droylsden and Stalybridge striker signed for ASHTON UNITED earlier this week and co-manager Paul Phillips was rejected all suggestions that Banim (36) might be too old or too lacking in fitness.
“I’ll grant that he never looked the fittest, but if you gave him the ball you couldn’t get it off him,” said Phillips. “And don’t forget that Shrewsbury Town once paid £20,000 for him.
“Jody will probably need a few games to get into things but even if he’s half the player he was he’ll be a credit to us because he’s a tip-top player.”
Banim has been working in Thailand and was lucky to survive the Bangkok bombing of early August. The blast was very close to his home and he missed it by only 20 minutes.
Tomorrow, the Robins are home to Skelmersdale United in the Evo-stik NPL premier division. Matt Chadwick, who had to go off with a strained hamstring in the midweek FA Cup replay at Guisborough, is not expected to be fit. Aaron Burns serves the second instalment of a three-game ban.
Two new faces will be in the HYDE UNITED squad at Darlington. Former Fleetwood centre-half Michael Muscat joins the Tigers from Bamber Bridge and striker Liam Davies has been signed on a month’s loan from Tranmere Rovers. Otherwise Gary Lowe has a fully fit squad.
In the first division north, GLOSSOP NORTH END visit Lancaster City without striker Kelvin Lugsden, who was left in plaster after the win over Farsley. Defender Ben Richardson is also unfit.
Tom Dean and Kyle McGonigle return for MOSSLEY who welcome Prescot Cables to Seel Park. Dougie Carroll and Mike Fish have both returned to training.
Centre-half Jack Bradley has been signed on a month’s loan from Halifax Town and co-boss Peter Band is suggesting an old face could be returning next week.
DROYLSDEN go to Ossett Albion whom they beat in the FA Cup last week with two new loan players. Striker Nial Bell and midfielder Bill Haslet-Cregg have both moved to the Butchers Arms from Rochdale.
Assistant-manager Aeon Lattie said: “Selection’s getting harder, which can only be a good thing.
In National League North, CURZON ASHTON visit leaders Solihull Moors with new signings Matt Flynn and Shelton Payne both available.
Ryan Brooke is still sidelined with a knee problem but Connor Hampson continues his return from injury and should be able to play in two weeks’ time.
STALYBRIDGE CELTIC manager Liam Watson faces a unique situation tomorrow in that the team he is facing has more experience of playing at Bower Fold than his own does.
Karl Marginson and his FC United squad will be all too familiar with their surroundings having ground-shared with Celtic on various occasions over the past three seasons.
Watson will be without long-term injury victims Alex Mudimu, Danny Wisdom and Peter Wylie, although there is some good news in that respect as Mudimu is back in light training after breaking a metatarsal. Wisdom and Wylie are already doubts for next week’s FA Cup trip to Kendal Town.
He will also be without the services of strikers Chris Simm and Adam Farrell, both through suspension. Youngster Darius Osei could be a surprise inclusion after coming off the bench to net the equaliser in Tuesday’s 3-3 thriller at Nuneaton.
THAI midfielder Big Khamsuk misses HYDE UNITED’S FA Cup first qualifying round tie at Darlington tomorrow after inuring an ankle in training last night (Thursday).
Spencer Harris needs a late fitness test after hobbling out of last weekend’s home defeat by Mickleover when he was flattened by Jack Broadhead. Adam Jones is back in central defence after returning from holiday.
ASHTON UNITED face Guisborough Town without striker Jordan Bove who has returned to Oldham Athletic at the end of his loan period. Midfielder Adam Morning is doubtful with a back injury.
Midfielder Matt Chadwick has returned to the Robins from Salford City and another new signing, defender Curtis Jones, is awaiting international clearance.
Luke Sharry and Andy Langford are both doubtful for DROYLSDEN who meet Ossett Albion at the Butchers Arms. Matt Burke and Ben Hampson are definitely out.
Chris Willcock once again has a full squad to choose from as promoted GLOSSOP NORTH END, who are second in the Evo-stik NPL first division north come up against premier division opposition in the shape of Skelmersdale United at Surrey Street.
Each winning club in the FA Cup receives £3,000 in prize money.
In Vanarama North, STALYBRIDGE CELTIC will be looking to record their first home win in three attempts when they take on Lowestoft Town at Bower Fold tomorrow. The Suffolk side have gone six games without a win.
Manager Liam Watson is hopeful that defender Danny Wisdom will have recovered from the slight groin strain he picked up on Bank Holiday Monday, but he will be without defender Peter Wylie (knee) and striker Chris Simm who is serving the second instalment in a seven-match ban.
Keeper Tony McMillan was a doubt earlier in the week but is expected to play. John Shaw is available for selection after recovering from a neck injury.
Celtic’s youngsters advanced to the first qualifying round of the FA Youth Cup with a 2-0 win over Burscough last night (Thursday) and their reward is a home tie with Prescot Cables.
After recording their first win last week, CURZON ASHTON travel to Worcester City.
Defender Matt Flynn, newly signed from Chorley, is available for the Blues but Ryan Brooke has still not recovered from a knee problem and Chris Rowney starts a three-game suspension.
Connor Hampson has been given the all-clear to resume light training.
In the Evo-stik NPL first division north, MOSSLEY will be trying to end a run of three consecutive defeats.
Caldon Henson and Lee Wilshaw return to the squad but Tom Dean is still on holiday. Keeper Will Jones has broken an ankle playing for Winsford United in the North West Counties League.
JOHN FLANAGAN is blaming defensive lapses for Curzon Ashton’s tentative start to the season.
It took the newly-promoted Blues eight games to record their first win in Vanarama North, although it was worth waiting for. It was achieved at the expense of Nuneaton Town who had topped the table early-on after winning their first four matches.
Curzon have stuttered, drawing and losing games. In many ways it has been a credible start for a club playing at National League level for the first time. But Flanagan demands better and insists that his ultimate aim remains the play-offs.
“We’ve conceded too many goals. That’s the crux of our problem,” he explained. “Going into the Nuneaton game we had scored more than them but they were near the top and we were near the bottom because, defensively, they were much better than us.
“Individually, the players have done okay but we’re not defending well as a unit. Collectively we’ve left a lot to be desired and that’s really strange because we’ve been so strong over the last two seasons and kept a lot of clean sheets.
“Also, I’ve got to say that the strikers are much better in Vanarama North than the Evo-stik Premier. The whole thing is stronger. I can’t say we’ve played a bad team yet.”
Flanagan has not ruled out new signings to make good his side’s defensive frailties. Almost two months into the campaign, players are becoming available and he is ready to seek out talent to bolster the back line.
However, he also points to the fact that Curzon are novices at National League level. The players, the clubs and grounds are uncharted territory for a side that had never played higher than the Evo-stik NPL first division north little more than a year ago.
Flanagan said: “We don’t really know what we’re up against and we have to go from game to game. We don’t know anything about the conditions when we travel away. We’re at Worcester this weekend and I’ve never been to the place before.
“I know we surprised a lot of people by getting promoted last season, but I’m sticking to my aim of getting into the play-offs because if you don’t have high expectations players can take their foot off the gas. You’ve got to keep going full pelt.
“There might be a bit of blind faith there but we can achieve it if we pick up new players. We’re improving game by game. We’ve played eight and lost three. It’s not a nightmare.”