PLAYER movements registered with the Evo-stik Northern Premier League from Sunday, October 9, to 11am on Saturday, October 15.
Matthew Burke from Droylsden to Mossley
Mason Duffy from Sheffield Wednesday to Mossley
Craig Kelly from Rugby Town to Rugby Town
Rio Murray from Oldham Athletic to Ashton United
Kristian Platt from Stalybridge Celtic to Warrington Town
Alexander Salmon from Bayswater City (Australia) to Droylsden
Dominic Smith from Trafford to Droylsden
Grant Spencer from Hyde United to Ramsbottom United
Kealan Steenson from Accrington Stanley to Ashton United
AS expected, Simon Woodford misses CURZON ASHTON’S FA Cup fourth qualifying round tie at National League York City tomorrow. His calf injury has flared up again which means he will have to sit out the Bootham Crescent clash.
Danny Shaw is also likely to be sidelined as his damaged thigh has still not cleared up. But Jordan Wright is fit again after a thigh injury of his own and is available for selection.
Central defender Andy Watson has seen significant improvement with his knee problem, so could be back next week. Matt Flynn, who has been in hospital with a viral infection, may return at the start of November.
The Nash are taking three coachloads of fans over the Pennines and manager John Flanagan hopes defender Jamie Stott, on loan from Oldham Athletic, could prove a pivotal figure.
“He’s done very well and, as a left-footed player, has given us balance at the back” said the Curzon boss. “We haven’t conceded a goal since he joined us, which is very encouraging.”
STALYBRIDGE CELTIC will be without defenders Aaron Chalmers and Jay Gorton for tomorrow’s trip to fellow Vanarama North strugglers Worcester City. Chalmers faces a further fortnight on the sidelines after being carried off in last weekend’s home defeat to Altrincham. Gorton picked up an injury in training this week.
Joint-bosses Steve Halford and Paul Phillips continue to ring the changes at Bower Fold as they attempt to drag the club out of the relegation zone where they are now seven points adrift of safety.
Striker Liam Dickinson comes in on an initial month’s loan from Bradford Park Avenue and defender Danny Morton has been drafted in from Colne. Kristian Platt and Danny Pilkington depart on loan to Warrington Town and Hyde United respectively.
In the Evo-stik NPL premier division, coach Damian Crossley will be in charge of ASHTON UNITED in their home game with Barwell. Co-managers Will Haining and Jody Banim are unable to be at the match because of commitments that pre-date their appointment to the Hurst Cross hotseat.
Three new faces could feature. Midfielder Kealan Steenson comes in from Accrington, who are managed by former Robins boss John Coleman, and striker Rio Murray joins from Oldham Athletic. Mitchell Andrew moves up from the reserves.
However, Salford City have recalled defender Dom Smalley.
Banim said: “Looking at the league table, Barwell present us with a great opportunity for another three points. But I think they’ll be similar to Grantham, a big physical team. If we can we win that battle I know we can win the football.”
A torn hamstring means HYDE UNITED centre-half Dave McGurk may be out for as much as a month.
Manager Darren Kelly says the odds of wideman Phil Dean being available are 70/30 against because of a thigh injury.
His place at Scarborough in the Evo-stik NPL first division north is likely to be taken by Danny Pilkington, signed on loan from Stalybridge.
“I know Danny well. He was with me at York and he’s a good player,” said Kelly.
Two new strikers should feature for DROYLSDEN at Tadcaster. Birkenhead-born Alex Salmon, who has played for Workington, joins the Bloods from Australian football. Former Colchester and Crewe man Dominic Smith returns from Shrewsbury for a new stint at the Butchers Arms.
Ryan Winder and Steve Lewis are suspended. Luke Daly remains injured but is making good progress.
GLOSSOP NORTH END go to Burscough with only one doubt – defender Martin Parker.
John Bennett comes back into the reckoning for MOSSLEY, who are home to Colne, having completed a three-match ban.
Two new signings could also figure. Midfielder Matt Burke, brought in from Glossop, and high-scoring Sheffield Wednesday scholar Mason Duffy.
FA Cup fourth round (qualifying) preview
IF ever an FA Cup tie looked ripe for some giant-killing, it has to be Curzon Ashton’s fourth qualifying round clash at York City on Saturday.
The National League club are hovering just above the relegation zone, have not won any of their last seven league matches, and are without a manager after the sacking of Jackie McNamara earlier this week.
Nash boss John Flanagan acknowledges that if his side had to draw a club from a higher-level, York was the one to get. He also acknowledges that despite City’s problems, they are still the favourites to win.
“At the very least they’re going to be in better condition than us, so we’re going to have to rely on our team spirit and the fact we’re the underdogs and have nothing to lose,” said the Curzon manager.
“If we’re going to beat York we’ll have to play at our very best. We’ll have to give it everything we’ve got, and I know I have the lads to do that.”
The Nash go into the tie — where there is £12,500 in prize money at stake — buoyed by Saturday’s 1-0 win at Nuneaton. Flanagan has virtually a full-strength squad to call on, the only absentees being Andy Watson, Danny Shaw and Simon Woodford who have long-term injuries.
York, in contrast, are in turmoil. Jackie McNamara was sacked after Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Braintree — having said he would quit of his own volition if the team failed to win — but was then asked to carry on until a replacement was found.
Among those being linked with the job are Hyde United striker Andy Bishop, who is reported to have contacted the Bootham Crescent board, and former Leeds United boss and Oldham Athletic midfielder Neil Redfearn.
Flanagan commented: “The York players might be thinking that they don’t need to impress Jackie because he has no future at the club. They might be considering how they can impress the new manager whenever he arrives.
“That could mean they don’t prepare properly. They might be looking beyond the FA Cup and the chances are they won’t be overly motivated to prove themselves to Jackie McNamara.
“We couldn’t ask for a better situation in terms of what’s going on off the pitch at York City. With all that’s happening they may take us lightly and we have to keep our fingers crossed that happens. It doesn’t take many players to cause a wobble in the dressing room and that easily have a bad effect on morale.
“But none of that means we’ll win. They’re York City, a club that spent years in the Football League, so they’re not going to have rubbish players. Their boss has managed at the highest level in Scotland with Dundee United and was a top player who won 33 Scotland caps.
“The reality is that the York squad won’t be a bad bunch. They’ll be a decent team, very fit and dangerous at set-pieces. If we’re going to win we’ll have to be at our very best while they only have to turn up. It’s really more about how we do than how they do.”
Despite the lowly league position, York’s squad has quality in depth. It includes former Ashton United and Stalybridge Celtic defender Jack Higgins, vastly experienced defender Matt Fry, and former Manchester United reserves midfielder Danny Galbraith.
If Curzon can hold York at Bootham Crescent, the odds could be in their favour at the Tameside Stadium. The Minstermen have not won away from home, across all competitions, in 30 games. They were minutes away from breaking that duck at Braintree on Saturday but conceded a late goal, and after keeper Kyle Letheren had saved a penalty.
Flanagan said: “We’re all really looking forward to the match. In terms of National League clubs they don’t come bigger than York City.
“Hopefully we can go through and get a top club in the first round proper. If we take York to a replay, we’ll be in the draw on Monday and, if we got a Football League club, that would work as a great motivating factor.
“If we get beaten, we’ll carry on with the league. Whatever happens it’s going to be a great experience for us.”
PLAYER movements registered with the Evo-stike Northern Premier League from Sunday, October 2, to 11am on Saturday, October 8.
Callum Bagshaw from Stalybridge Celtic to Trafford
Paul Foy from Stalybridge Celtic to Burscough
Lee Knight from Oldham Athletic to Ashton United
George Mannion from Mossley to Ramsbottom United
Astley Mulholland from Glossop North End to Hyde United
Ryan Winder from Lancaster City to Droylsden
Dale Wright from Stalybridge Celtic to Prescot Cables
STRIKER Andy Bishop could make a sooner-than-expected return for HYDE UNITED.
The former Southport man was thought to be touch-and-go for tomorrow (Saturday’s) FA Trophy preliminary round tie at Colwyn Bay because of a pulled thigh sustained in last week’s game with Trafford.
However today, manager Darren Kelly received a text from Bishop saying the injury was feeling much better and he will now undergo a late fitness test. Fellow striker Ayrton Bevins also returns to squad, as does defender Dave McGurk. Both missed Tuesday’s abandoned Manchester Premier Cup clash with Mossley.
Kelly has the next few days to find a replacement keeper for Dylan Forth who received a straight red in midweek for kicking out at Tom Pratt and faces a three-match ban. Thomas Beaurepaire, who appeared in goal in the early pre-season friendlies, remains injured.
If Forth’s red card remains valid, even though the game in which he received it was abandoned, bad luck works the opposite way for MOSSLEY man John Bennett. He was serving the second instalment of a three-match suspension on Tuesday but as the game was not completed it doesn’t qualify. That’s something that irks Peter Band.
“I don’t understand how an abandoned cup tie can count for bookings and a sending-off but not as part of a ban,” the Seel Park co-boss commented.
Centre-half Tom Dean misses the trip to Northwich Victoria, which takes place on Sunday, but Andy Keogh comes back.
The Manchester Premier Cup tie with Hyde will be replayed at Ewen Fields on Tuesday, October 25, when the gate receipts will be given to Mossley man Callum Warburton who broke his tibia and fibula in midweek and is expected to be in a leg brace until Christmas. He underwent an operation earlier tonight.
It’s as-you-were for DROYLSDEN, who go up to Lancaster City, where Luke Daly remains the only man injured. GLOSSOP NORTH END have a fully fit squad for their home tie with Tadcaster Albion.
Each winning side in the FA Trophy preliminary round receives £2,500 in prize money.
STALYBRIDGE CELTIC have virtually a full-strength squad to choose from for their Bower Fold crunch clash with winless Altrincham in Vanarama North.
The only absentee is youngster Sam Tatum who broke his leg and ankle in the midweek Manchester Premier Cup tie at Droylsden.
Sam Madeley returns from suspension and Adam Mather, Eddie Toner and Danny Wilkins are all available after missing last weekend’s defeat at Halifax Town because they were cup-tied.
Darren McKnight, Keil O’Brien and Brian Summerskill are all in line to make their league debuts after featuring in the two cup ties.
CURZON ASHTON travel to midtable Nuneaton without Matt Flynn, who has a virus. Joe Guest is 50/50 with an ankle ligaments problem, and Simon Woodford is ruled out with a calf strain.
Andy Watson is still sidelined with knee ligaments and manager John Flanagan says Danny Shaw is still three weeks from a return.
In the NPL Evo-stik premier division, the injuries continue to pile up for ASHTON UNITED who are hoping to build on last week’s victory over Coalville by winning at Halesowen. But co-manager Jody Banim expects it to be difficult.
“Will Haining and I had Coalville and Halesowen earmarked for wins but we’ve heard Halesowen is a forbidding place on and off the field. Given their league position tomorrow’s game looks winnable on paper but with injury problems and the conditions we’ve been told to expect it’s going to be very tough,” said Banim.
“Jack Dyche went over on his ankle as soon as he scored last Saturday and is likely to be out for six weeks. Altogether we have five ankle injuries now on top of all the others, so we’re down to the bare bones again.
“But it was good to beat Coalville, and the fact they took three points off Mickleover in midweek shows just what a good win it was. It was our first clean sheet, too, which was very pleasing.
“I just wish we could have a settled team and keep same side or formation two weeks running.”
To plug the gaps, Banim and Haining have signed Oldham Athletic youth scholar Lee Knight who can play on the wing or up front.
MOSSLEY’S players have agreed to forego their wages this weekend to help out team-mate Callum Warburton who suffered an horrific leg-break at Hyde United last night.
The midfielder fractured the tibia and fibula of his right leg and is in Tameside Hospital waiting for an operation. If all goes well, he could be out of his leg brace by the end of the year and maybe able to start jogging in January. However, as co-boss Peter Band put it, “it all depends what they find in there”.
Band added: “I’ve been speaking to Callum’s family and it looks like he’ll need plates and screws in the leg. But our main concern is helping him make ends meet while he’s unable to make any money.
“He works as a delivery driver for Asda and has two children. It’s really going to hit him when he’s not earning — that’s why the players have agreed to forfeit their wages this Sunday when we play at Northwich Victoria.
“Hyde United have very kindly agreed to let Callum have the gate money from the replay, and with a couple of charity events we’ll hopefully be able to see him and his family through to Christmas.
“You really have to feel for him because he’s had more than his share of bad luck. His Stalybridge Celtic career was ended by a snapped Achilles and now, just as he was coming back, this happens. It could have happened to anyone, but it had to happen to Callum. We’ll just have to help him the best we can.”
On a bad night for Tameside football, Stalybridge Celtic defender Sam Tatum suffered a compound fracture of the leg at Droylsden and could be out for the rest of the season.