WEEKEND NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL PREVIEWS
GLOSSOP North End are up against the big boys tomorrow (Saturday) even if they are facing a club from a level below them in the non-league pyramid.
Ryhope Colliery Welfare, who are at Surrey Street for an FA Vase second round tie, play in the second division of the Northern League. According to manager Chris Willcock, who saw them beat Bottesford 2-1 in a first-round replay, they are a very tall side.
“I don’t think they had a single player under 6ft. Physically, they have to have one of the biggest line-ups I’ve seen. They’re a big, big side,” said Willcock.
“Although Ryhope are a level six outfit they are quite an ambitious club by all accounts. Their squad includes some experienced ex-professionals including three or four former Whitley Bay players - some of whom played in the Vase-winning sides.
“We’ve had a really good month here at Glossop. We’ve had a couple of really tough league games and come through with flying colours, so we’re quietly confident. But Ryhope will be no pushovers.
“It’s a cup match, a one-off, and Northern League clubs are very strong in the FA Vase. Five out of the last six winners have been from up there and for me West Auckland are this season’s favourites.
“I expect it to be a good contest and we’re looking forward to the challenge.”
Willcock has no injury problems other than Sam Hare who has been out for more than a month with a damaged abductor muscle.
Hyde have another two new faces in the squad for their Vanarama North game at Chorley. Goalkeeper Connor Hunt joins the Tigers on a month’s loan from Everton. The 18-year-old was part of the Blackpool side that reached the third round of the FA Youth Cup last year.
Matt Flynn has been signed from Southport. A defender, he has played for a succession of non-league clubs including Macclesfield and Altrincham. Flynn made 11 Football League appearances for Rochdale before joining Fleetwood Town.
Defender Daniel Mukuna has joined Kendal Town until January to gain match fitness.
McNiven’s only absentee is centre-back Kelvin Lomax who is unfit.
Stalybridge Celtic will be looking for their first win in 11 games when they take on Oxford City at Bower Fold.
Defender Nathan Heath returns from a one-game suspension as Celtic look for only their second clean sheet of the season. Striker Liam Dickinson and defender Matty Hughes are both available but will miss Tuesday’s trip to Gloucester City through suspension.
Manager Keith Briggs has no injury worries but striker Anthony Malbon will not be in the squad.
Alex Brown, Simon Woodford and Danny Shaw all return for Curzon Ashton who are home to Matlock Town in the Evo-stik NPL premier division. However, Simon Lakeland and Jonathan Hunt both have one-match bans.
Manager John Flanagan has signed defender Tom Eckersley on a dual registration from Vanarama North club Fylde.
Matty Warburton and Jordan Knight are both described as a few weeks from fitness. Centre-back Andy Watson has a prolapsed disc in his back and is expected to be out for a lengthy period.
Ashton United travel to Witton Albion without Jay Gorton, Martin Hill and Sam Egerton. Mat Chadwick has become the latest Robins player to join Salford City.
In the first division north, Shaun Holden is suspended for Droylsden’s visit to Spennymoor.
Tom Dean and Tom Pratt are 50/50 for Mossley’s game at Prescot as a result of knocks picked up last week. Arron Hevingham and John Bennett are both fit for selection. Ross Davidson has left Seel Park to sign for Kidsgrove Athletic.
BARROW midfielder Ted Cribley comes into the Hyde team for tomorrow's Vanarama North game at Harrogate Town.
Cribley (24), who has played much of his football in the US college system, began his non-league career with Sheffield in the Evo-stik NPL first division south.
Kyle Brownhill has been loaned to Telford United while Luke Giverin, Kelvin Lomax and Tom Bentham all miss out through injury.
Stalybridge Celtic travel to Vanarama North leaders Barrow looking for their first win in ten matches.
Manager Keith Briggs, who held a clear-the-air forum with fans last night (Thursday) will be without suspended left-back Nathan Heath. Skipper Matt Regan will deputise.
Midfielder Aidan Chippendale returns to the squad after injury and could start.
In the Evo-stik NPL premier division, Ashton United welcome back Dale Johnson. The striker, who played a huge part in getting the Robins to last season's play-off final, returns after a three-month spell at Salford City.
Defender Sam Egerton-Wilson has signed from Nantwich Town and Mike Aspin has been allowed to join Farsley.
Jay Gorton, Matt Chadwick and Martin Hill are injured.
Curzon Ashton take on Barwell, the team which put them out of the FA Cup, in the second qualifying round of the FA Trophy at Tameside Stadium.
Manager John Flanagan will have to field a side without Matt Warburton,Danny Shaw, Jordan Wright and Alex Brown who are all injured. Simon Woodford is classed at 50/50 with a tight hamstring.
Droylsden, who are home to Burscough in the Evo-stik NPL first division north, have a fully fit squad, as do Mossley who face Brighouse Town at Seel Park.
Glossop North End also have no injury worries for their North West Counties League premier division clash at Colne.
LLOYD MORRISON is facing the prospect of celebrating his 43rd birthday in hospital.
The Mossley co-manager suffered an accident during training at Wright Robinson College, Abbey Hey, last week. He slipped while clambering over a fence and impaled both his hands on spikes.
His partner, Peter Band, said: "Lloyd had to pull himself free and with the amount of blood coming from the wounds it was like something from a low-budget horror movie. For some reason he's blaming me.
"Lloyd's due for an operation tomorrow (Thursday) which will be a nice way to spend his birthday."
After a run of poor results, the two co-bosses have trimmed the size of the Seel Park squad, which had swelled to more than 30. In what Band describes as bit of a cull, he and Morrison have released fringe players such as Saul Henderson, Jay Mehmet and Jordan Jacobs.
However striker Brian Matthews, who had looked set for a move to Glossop North End, has decided to fight for a place in the Mossley team. Ross Davidson's unavailability for the Doodson Cup tie with Northwich Victoria gave Matthews his chance and he responded by scoring the Lilywhites' only goal.
"Brian had been playing at Winsford, which is a fairly long way to go on your own for training. He lives in Denton so Glossop would have been easy to get to, but he's decided to stay.
"Glossop are a good club but they could well finish runners-up in their division. If they get promoted they come up to our division which is where Brian already is," said Band, who insists he remains optimistic despite a run of three defeats, including the 5-1 league cup reverse.
He continued: "No one likes to lose 5-1 but sometimes you can learn a lot about yourselves in a game like that.
"We ought to have five or six points more than we have. It's hard to compete against a big club like Darlington but we were very disappointed to lose at New Mills because after a bad first half we played very well.
"It's a crazy division. We beat Warrington in the FA Trophy and then they went and beat Exeter in the FA Cup.
"What we've got to do is make sure we finish top of our mini-league. We've barely played a league match for a month so other clubs have caught us up.
"Our next two matches are against Brighouse and Prescot. These are games we should have a chance of winning and if we do that we'll be up to 29 points. Last season we only got 42 in total."
DEFENDER Stefan Galinski could start for Stalybridge Celtic at Oxford City tomorrow afternoon.
The former Derby County trainee, who has also played for Corby Town, has been signed on three months loan from Boston United.
Celtic head south looking to end a sequence of seven consecutive defeats against a team they have never beaten.
Manager Keith Briggs will still be without the suspended Matty Hughes but has no injuries to worry about as his side look for only their second away win of 2014.
Liam Dickinson, who played in central defence in last week's morale-sapping home defeat by Hednesford, is expected to return to his normal striker role.
Hyde, who face Gainsborough Trinity at Ewen Fields, have signed young striker Jordan Bove on a month's loan from Oldham Athletic.
Scott McNiven has no injury problems but Steve Tames is heading for suspension after accumulating his fifth yellow card. Ryan Masterton comes into the first-team squad from the academy.
Ashton United have announced a couple of signings ahead of their Evo-stik NPL premier division clash with Barwell at Hurst Cross.
Macclesfield Town goalkeeper Connor O'Keefe could go straight into the side to replace co-boss Paul Phillips who is ill. Congo-born Liverpool and Patrick Thistle striker Henoc "John" Mukendi also comes in and the Robins have brought back on-loan midfielder Kieran Shaw.
A question mark hangs over Tom Corner. Earlier this week Phillips announced that Ashton had signed him but Buxton have since claimed they have taken the North Ferriby striker on loan. The Robins co-manager has promised that the matter will be settled by midweek.
Hamstring victim Jay Gorton is unlikely to return before Christmas. Greg Pearson faces a late fitness test.
Curzon Ashton make the long trip to Norfolk to take on Kings Lynn with a long list of injuries.
Danny Shaw has suffered a slight recurrence of his hamstring problem and will be out for a further ten days. Alex Brown faces another week on the sidelines with ankle ligament damage.
A knee injury picked up against Northwich Victoria in the FA Trophy rules out Jordan Wright for a fortnight and Simon Woodford, who suffered a slight hamstring strain, is out for ten to 14 days.
On the plus side, Ryan Watson is available after a one-game suspension and Chris Rowney returns to the squad following a chest infection.
Matt Warburton has received positive results after a scan on his knee and should be back within three weeks.
In the first division north, Mossley will have to take on Darlington at Seel Park without Sam Robinson, Mike Fish and Arron Hevingham.
Co-bosses Peter Band and Lloyd Morrison are hoping to have Tom Pratt available. They have signed striker Dominic Marie on loan from Halifax Town - he also played for Winsford and New Mills - and are waiting to get international clearance for Wrexham's former Burnley winger Lewis Nuttall.
Droylsden have a full squad available as they set out to continue their promotion challenge at home to Lancaster City.
In the NWCL premier division, Glossop North End may be without Sam Hare for their home clash with Winsford United. He has a groin problem and will undergo a fitness test in the morning.
Striker Lee Morris has returned to Surrey Street.
DROYLSDEN are planning to hold a minute's silence in memory of supporter Hughie Todd ahead of Saturday's home game with Lancaster City.
Hughie, who was well known in Manchester footballing circles, died in the early hours of Monday aged 80.
Bloods assistant manager Aeon Lattie said: "Myself, Dave Pace and a lot of other people will miss Hughie deeply. He was a very funny man - a real character. He could get away with blue murder.
"Hughie took me to Droylsden 20 years ago and talked more about my first game against Frickley than I've ever done. I don't know who'll tell those stories now that he's gone.
"Dave and I both went to see him in hospital and we'll both miss him a lot. Hughie was a very good friend to the two of us and to Droylsden Football Club."
*Meanwhile the Bloods are coping well in the Evo-stik NPL first division north. After two dreadful years and two consecutive relegations they are now in the thick of the promotion race.
Droylsden currently sit second in the table, three points behind Darlington, but Lattie believes they should be doing better. "To be fair, we should be clear. No one has really troubled us, not even Salford," he commented.
"Once again we've brought in lots of new players and we're not just asking them to win, we're asking them to win the way we play.
"We're down to what you could call a minimum squad now. Ciaran Kilheeney and Ben Deegan are scoring lots of goals but what we also have to do is stop conceding silly goals. But we're making progress. We just need a bit of tweaking.
"Dave and I are also happy that we're getting our matches in. Spennymoor have got five in hand which sounds good, but they've got to win them and it won't be long before the weather starts getting bad. They could find themselves with a pile-up."
ASHTON United are likely to be without defender Jay Gorton for around six weeks after he tore a hamstring in the FA Trophy tie at Buxton.
Co-boss Paul Phillips commented: "Jay was running and suddenly pulled up. It was a case of bang and it had happened.
"It's a massive blow to us. He's the team captain and one of the main players. After the injury we had to field a makeshift back four. The only one who would normally play there was Jack Higgins.
"Being without Jay is a nightmare. We're down to the bare bones. Steve Halford and I will be doing our best to get some new faces in by weekend."
One signing already made is North Ferriby striker Tom Corner. He is described as a young, direct centre forward and started his career with Grimsby Town. He has also played for Ossett Albion, Bradford Park Avenue, Barrow and Spenish club Racing Portuense.
Scott Harries and Robbie Williams are both available having been cup-tied for the Trophy clash. Phillips is hopeful that Greg Pearson will be able to return for Saturday's home game with Barwell.