Monday, 31 August 2015

Apology/2

Unfortunately health issues prevent me from covering County`s game at AFC Fylde today.

hedgegrower

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Stockport County 0 Stalybridge Celtic 3 ( Vanarama National League North) 29 August 2015







This was one of those days……you know the ones where to have stayed in bed instead of venturing out, would have turned out to be a great idea. Yes….a bumper crowd at Edgeley Park witnessed County surrender their unbeaten record to local rivals Stalybridge Celtic, when all in SK3 and around rather fancied a fairly easy County victory pre-kick-off.
The score line of 0-3 was depressing enough, but the manner of the reverse was several degrees worse, County having been reduced to 9 men in a 5 minute spell in the first half perhaps best forgotten!
Firstly we saw power house figure Glenn Rule done studs up by Aaron Chambers, and get a red for his perceived indiscretions in response. The tackle by Chambers was an abysmal one, and deserved a red, and….if…..and I say if…..Rule`s response was an illegal one, then he too must get a red, but…despite County getting the free kick, it was Rule who walked and the felonious `tackler’ who got shown a feeble yellow.
It only needed a brain dead moment from Danny Hurst 5 minutes later to see him off for an early bath, after handling stupidly outside the box, and County were down to 9.
I had no argument with that one, but plenty with the way the referee had handled the build up to the two game changing incidents. He was  on the spot physically but mentally elsewhere apparently when Abs Baggie was assaulted on three occasions, indeed one of these was immediately prior to the first sending off ,and had Chambers been penalised upon fouling Baggie smack in front, the game might have taken an altogether different path.

 
and you thought that vaudeville was dead !
But….it didn’t…….. indeed  referee Scott Oldham went AWOL too many times for County’s comfort, particularly in the first half, and reduced in numbers to 9 ,it was never ever going to be anything other than a massively uphill struggle from there on out.
County defended heroically…..O`Hanlon , Thorniley and new man Paul Connolly doing particularly well, but NY`s changes seemed to leave County looking disjointed and lacking their usual drive and coherence. Instead we saw laboured passing and too many hopeful balls to the willing Sefton Gonzales who was the 1 in the blues 4/3/2/1.
Not a good day at the office then…..but it all started so well…so hopefully , with the Bung full to the rafters again to see Neil Young receive a cheque for £5000 from the supporters for the Players Fund.

 
Neil Young receives cheque for £5k for Players Fund, from Joe Holland.
I was slightly bemused to see that both Roberts and Morton were absent from the County line up, but this gave new man Paul Connolly a start on the right and Joe Garvin on the other flank,

 
Paul Connolly-did well.
 so maybe they could add something vital to the mix. I felt sure that Baggie could, and he was given a start along with Andy Robinson, with Sefton Gonzales ploughing a lonely furrow at the sharp end.
With Ellison, Odejayi, Colley, and Ledsham on the bench along with Jake Kirby, there seemed plenty of fire power to spare should push come to pull.
So…off we went and quickly the communal rant mode was set in motion as Baggie was sent crashing to the ground, quite illegally, right under the referees nose. Free kick then…….but no….play was allowed to carry on with Baggie left to pick himself up off the ground.
Good work from Connolly stopped a Celtic raid next, followed by a crisp effort by Dan Wisdom, but Hurst dealt with this without undue problems.

 
Connolly stalks Wisdom.
The early minutes saw Celtic very much on the front foot and Thorniley, more than once, impressed me with his cool…classy handling of situations.
County`s first visit to Calamity City came on 5 minutes when Andy Robinson had to be substituted…Jake Kirby coming on for his County debut.

 
Andy Robinson.
A fumble from Hurst then ushered in a corner, and a momentary flurry of excitement, but County’s cover held and it stayed 0-0, as it did a minute later when the myopic Mr Oldham allowed the grossly annoying Chris Simm to win a corner despite his foul en route. Good work from Hurst and Gonzales saw the corner cleared, but already the laxity cum partiality of the referee was beginning to irk more than somewhat.
Ten minutes passed with very little of note coming from County, whose play seemed to lack the cohesion of previous games this term.

Montrose & Rule keep Johnson quiet.

That said…..they were absolutely fine at the back where ( twice) O`Hanlon made decent blocks to thwart the visitors .



At this point I gave credit to the referee for finally penalising Simm for the latest in a running series of shoves….pushes and other infractions, but no sooner had I warmed to the hopeless man in black than he reverted to his Panto Villain mode, and looked on contentedly as Chambers sent Baggie crashing to earth for the second time! 

 
County defend.
We were 25 minutes into proceedings before County produced anything remotely of note-Kirby winning a corner before, with Baggies support, seeing his follow up shot charged down.
County then turned attack into defence as they allowed Celtic to break through Adam Farrell, who was arguably their most effective player. His run though was halted just before the box, by Baggie, whereupon the referee somehow fashioned a free kick to the visitors from a pretty decent position. The situation was distinctly iffy ,and the EP faithful were now not that well disposed to Mr Oldham and his team, but the mood lightened upon seeing Farrell’s well struck kick thud into the angle of bar and post before being cleared.
 
That fee kick.......

.....thuds into the angle of bar & post !



Hmm…..that was an escape for sure, and Wisdom did his best to usher in another moment of misery for the blues, almost immediately, only for his shot to clear the bar narrowly.
Thirty minutes had now gone, and still County looked second best….disjointed…unable to muster their usual quota of serviceable moves, and it was both depressing and reassuring to see Hurst dive to push yet another free kick from Farrell out at the very last gasp!
More reassurance followed as Baggie and Connolly combined to thwart Aidan Chippendale and Farrell who were looking to make waves down the left.
Two minutes on  from the last action and there was more anguish for County as again Chambers did for Baggie smack in front , with the referee showing no interest.
That was diabolical, and things rapidly went from bad to worse for County as ,almost straight away WW3 broke out in the far distance in front of the Danny Bergara Stand. I saw Chambers launch himself, in studs up mode, making substantial contact with Glenn Rule’s person. Rule reacted to what was a truly abysmal non –tackle, and …..despite the obnoxiousness of the original foul( for which County got the free kick !) it was Rule who got the red and Chambers the yellow.

 
WW3....exit Glenn Rule !

 
County were down to ten…..and then nine as…..Hurst had a moment to forget electing to handle the ball a yard or so outside his box. It was an unaccountably bad decision on Hurst’s part and this time the referee had no option but to send him off!


 
WW3 Part 2.......


 
...exit Danny Hurst !
With no keeper on the bench, Karl Ledsham, who moments before had come on for Baggie, went in goal. He had a free kick to face straight away as well, but Farrell sent this one our way in Row R and the stand in County keeper’s goal remained intact.

 
Ledsham faces the free kick.....


 
...which joins us in Row R (see top left)
Credit to County…they tried to make a fight of it….Gonzales and Garvin doing well down the left for a time, but the half ended with Celtic on the front foot.
Chippendale volleyed wide , being rewarded with a corner via another hallucinatory moment on the referee’s part. The EP faithful were incandescent with rage ( again) at this, but County held out OK, thanks to good work from Gonzales and Montrose .
Simm did his best to snatch something for Celtic in the minutes that remained of the first half, being thwarted firstly by O`Hanlon’s fine blocking tackle, and then by his own indifferent shooting which saw the ball head off towards Row R yet again!
Still…..it remained 0-0, and did so until the break, which under the circumstances was not a bad effort by the slimmed down blue line up!

 
Main Stand courtesy of Andrew Machin.
I indulged myself a bit at half time…asking myself just where Mr Oldham figured in the annals of great vaudevillian acts….somewhere twixt `the Mysterious Werth’( Banana Skin & Stone Manipulator) and Kardomah ( He Fills the Stage with Flags) I would guess, but there was serious stuff afoot, and County had to face another 45 minutes…..and the dreadful Mr O…. 2 short!
Celtic went 3 at the back on the re-start whilst for County it was backs to the wall time  with every hand to the tiller, and again Connolly did well a couple of times early on. Dyson tried to lighten the defensive load a tad with a raid that saw him sneak to the by-line, but despite some alarm in the visitors’ ranks it stayed 0-0.
Meanwhile Simms propensity to irritate went into overdrive with a wondrous swallow dive that brought his side another tasty free kick. The County wall dealt with this, and Ledsham earned applause in dealing with the follow up from substitute Ben McKenna.
With Ellison on for Garvin ,County set about denying Celtic that vital first goal, none more so than Ledsham who pulled off another neat save to keep Farrell’s effort out.
A foul…and a yellow for Chippendale then threatened to tip the County following’s patience over the safety line next, but Chambers, who might reasonably now be suited and watching the game from the stand, just managed to keep  Kirby`s cross cum shot from causing mayhem.



We were now past the hour mark…County were doing OK…..they were still in it…but surely it was only a matter of time………
Bohan Dixon did offer us a crumb of comfort with a truly awful shot that threatened the already threadbare flags at the back of the Railway End, and Farrell’s glancing header a minute or so later faired no better.
Ooooo…err….there was even a moment not long after when County almost found a way through. Connolly and Gonzales set it up with some intelligent lively play, but Gonzales delayed his onward pass to the craftily positioned Connolly and the moment was lost, and within the blinking of an eye ….Celtic broke clear….won a corner….. and were one up as Jack Higgins forced the ball home from close in!

 
The first goal.
County kept trying …..Connolly and Ellison getting forward to supplement the hard work of Gonzales, who was unlucky to see Hughes cut out his incisive ball before Dyson could latch onto it in the box.

 
County keep trying.
But…..inevitably the pressure mounted on County, and despite brave work from Ledsham …an unlucky ricochet and the odd misplaced pass saw Celtic double their lead via McKenna who lashed the ball in from distance.
County had much pressure to absorb after this, but it was not all Celtic, and the visitors were relieved to see Chambers in position to hook the ball clear from Ellison’s cross. 

 
Ellison on the charge !
For a moment or two there was a touch of panic abroad in the Celtic ranks, relieved again when Dyson’s shot went wide.
County were still defending like the proverbial lions, but …inevitably numbers counted and …again inevitably …eventually a pass or passes would go astray and the pressure would be on us again.
Montrose shot wide with less than 10 minutes left, as a rather dismal 1 man pitch invasion fizzled out at the Cheadle End. I am not sure what this individual hoped to achieve except perhaps a hefty fine( or points deduction) for County, meanwhile I hope he was ushered from the premises forthwith!

 
County press.
Praise be……the excellent Tony McMillan had to dash out and deny Gonzales who had sneaked clear down the right- it was a close call, and the County support rose to the County number nine shortly after as another run from him failed narrowly!


 
Gonzales fights for the ball.....
Praise indeed, and Dyson joined in seeing Hughes look to locate Reservoir 1 with the young Everton loan man threatening! From the throw that followed there was more angst coming County’s way as Ellison’s run into the box was ended when his effort came out off Jack Higgins arm. Not so according to you know who though, and Celtic had escaped again.

 
an arm......
More pressure next from Celtic….another save from Ledsham denied them in response, but again County’s luck ran out ,with a couple of minutes left…the ball reaching Farrell who headed home unchallenged to make it 0-3.
That was the killer I suppose, but Ledsham was in great heart it seemed and a terrific diving save kept one from Dixon out, when the lanky number 7 at last found his range.
Time for McMillan to somehow keep Ellison’s effort out on the line …….for McKenna to be thwarted by another glorious finger tip save from Ledsham…..for Hughes to lay Ellison out for which he got a yellow, and for a Montrose sizzler to fizz inches over, and that was that, barring another witless attempt by Hughes to re- start WW3 which thankfully came to nought.
Game over…..match and points lost!
Lessons learnt? Well let’s hope so as we have AFC Fylde to face on Monday at theirs!

County line up:

Hurst, Connelly, Garvin( Ellison 53), O`Hanlon, Thorniley, Rule, Baggie( Ledsham 35), Montrose, Gonzales, Robinson( Kirby 5), Dyson.

Subs not used:

Odejayi, Colley.

Stalybridge Celtic line up:

McMillan, Wylie( Mc Kenna 46), Chippendale, Hughes, Higgins, Chambers, Dixon, Farrell, Simm( Wright 65), Johnson, Wisdom( Crowley 78).

Subs not used:

Hill, Tames.

Attendance : 3628     


Ian Brown



Additional Gallery ,with thanks to Andrew Machin......









Friday, 28 August 2015

Taking a look at County v Stalybridge Celtic

OLD TIME CHESHIRE DERBY

Saturday's fixture goes back 93 years to the days when Stalybridge had their brief spell in the Football League. Meetings would have gone back even further, as County were supposed to play their first team in the Cheshire Senior Cup and were drawn to play Celtic in 1912. However, County were fined for playing a weekend team in the first round and pulled out of the competition in protest. After the solid start to the season the game could give County the chance to put pressure on the leading two teams, although modern matches against Celtic always seem to be a bit of a struggle, even the high scoring ones.

PAST MEETINGS

County reserves were playing Celtic in the 1912-13 season as our visitors first team were fellow members of the Central League. But the first clash between the senior sides came in the 1921-22 season. Having been relegated to the newly formed Football League Division Three (North) County were on their way to the title. They beat Celtic fairly easily, going 2-0 up in the first five minutes thanks to Steele and O'Kane. The game was more or less wrapped up on 20 minutes with O'Kane's second. The line-ups back in 1922 were:

Saturday 14 January 1922
Football League : Division Three (North)

Stockport County (3) 4 (Steele, O'Kane J 2, Waterall)
Stalybridge Celtic (0) 0 Att. 12,000 - Ref. CT Lutwyche (Aston)

County: Harry Hardy, Billy Richardson, Arthur Layton, Albert Walmsley, Westby Heath, Albert Waterall, Harry Crossthwaite, Ernie Gault, Gilbert Steele, Joe O'Kane, Charlie Jones

Stalybridge Cel: Tommy Lonsdale, John Holt, Billy Dennis, Jimmy Carney, Herbert Tyler, Harry Lockett, Harry Stafford, Jimmy Thompson, William Simmons, Arthur Gee, John Ellis

In more recent years we first met in the FA trophy - when Staly held the Hatters at EP, before becoming the first team to knock us out of Non-league clubs FA Cup. The full set of results at EP are shown below, with links to All Things Stockport County match reports where they exist.

1921-22 FL 14 Jan 4-0
1922-23 CM 25 Sep 5-1
2011-12 FT 10 Dec 2-2
2012-13 FQ 20 Oct 5-3
2013-14 NN 8 Feb 2-0 [match report]
2014-15 NN 7 Feb 4-3 [match report] prog cover shown right

County score given first. CM - Cheshire Medal, FL - Football League, FQ - FA Cup Qualifying Round, FT - FA Trophy, NN - National League North

So an unbeaten home record but as always nothing can be taken for granted against Celtic. After all County were minutes from losing last season but somehow turned it round to claim a welcome three points.

CURRENT FORM

Celtic come to County on the back of successive 3-1 defeats, and lie 17th in the National League North table. Whilst they have only recorded one win so far, that coming in their third game, 1-0 versus Gloucester City, there is a bit of a warning to County in that Celtic have scored in every game so far, with each goal coming from a different player. However, they are still looking for their first point away from home in 2015-16.

CURRENT CONNECTIONS

There were plenty of cross-connections last season but all these players have now moved on to pastures new. County did sign on one man with Celtic previous,in Glenn Rule, who will be aiming to follow up last weekends impressive strike with plenty more. Glenn was at Bower Fold in 2010-11 before starting his four year stint at Airbus UK Broughton.



Celtic have added one former County trainee in Alex Johnson who played against us last season whilst on the book of Guiseley. Danny Gregson did join Stalybridge from County in the summer, but shortly afterwards he was offered a great full-time coaching opportunity. Danny left to join Fleetwood Town's Academy set up which was being restructured following the release of their previous senior coaches, including ex-County man Craig Madden.

STALYBRIDGE SQUAD

Whilst nothing to compare to County's recruitment campaign, Celtic have had a busy summer as manager Liam Watson, who took over late last season, has tried to adjust his squad to avoid a relegation battle this time around. There are just five men who have previously played against County for Celtic. As well as Johnson, the manager has recruited another player from one of last season's promoted teams, bringing in Tony McMillan as Bower Fold's new keeper. 


 
Tony McMillan

According to the FA Disciplinary website Celtic have picked up 12 bookings so far, . , as against County's 14. No Celtic player has more than two yellow cards


"
" " "
NameApp.GlsPosKnown Past Clubs (may not be complete)
Callum Hill 0..0 G -
Tony McMillan 5..0 G Preston NE, Lancaster C, Burscough, Runcorn Halton, Southport, Altrincham, Barrow
Danny Wisdom 0..0 LB Kendal T, Northwich Vic, Kendal T, Skelmersdale U
Jack Higgins 5..1 CD Crewe Alex, Boston U,  Rushden & Diamonds,  Daventry T(L), Hemel Hempstead T(L), Rossendale U, Clitheroe, Ashton U
Matty Hughes 5..0 CD Rochdale, Glasgow Cel, Fleetwood T, Colwyn Bay(L), AFC Fylde, Stalybridge Cel
Matt Regan 0..0 D Nottingham For, Tamworth(L), Tamworth, Hednesford T(L), Worcester C(L)
John Shaw 5..1 D Marine, Witton A
Oliver Crowley 0..0 D Fleetwood T
Peter Wylie 5..0 D Blackburn Rov, Skelmersdale U
Alec Mudimu 0..0 M/D Sheffield Wed, L to Radcliffe Bor(L)
Arron Chalmers 4+1..0 M Oldham Ath, Macclesfield T, Hibernian, Mossley, Droylsden(L), Woodley Sp, Southport, Droylsden(L), New Mills, Curzon Ashton, Ashton U, Hyde, Northwich Vic
Aidan Chippendale 5..0 M Huddersfield T, York C(L), Accrington S, Bury, Chester(L), Inverness CT, AFC Fylde, Curzon A
Bohan Dixon 5..1 M ex-Accrington S, Lincoln C, Northwich Victoria, Salford C
Adam Farrell 3+2..1 M Chorley, Lancaster C, Kendal T, AFC Fylde, AFC Telford U
Alex Johnson 3+2..0 M COUNTY, Myerscough Col, Lancaster C, Ashton Ath, Clitheroe, FC Halifax T, Guiseley
Cesaire Lingouba 0+1..0 M -
Dale Wright 5..0 M Caernarfon T, Skelmersdale U, Prescot CablesWarrington T, Skelmersdale U, Northwich Vic, Marine, Droylsden, Skelmersdale U
Ben McKenna 1+2..0 W Carlisle U, Annan Ath(L), Workington
Chris Simm 2+2..1 F Leigh Gen, Wrexham, Hyde U, Southport, Chorley(L), Chester, Bangor C, Airbus UK Broughton, Witton A, Skelmersdale U, AFC Telford U(DR), Warrington T, Chorley
Steven Tames 2+3..0 F Prescot Cables, Southport, Vauxhall Mot(L), Vauxhall Mot, Hyde


PAST CONNECTIONS

One of last season's former County men appearing in the Stalybridge line-up was Liam Dickinson, who scored that memorable goal, at Wembley for the Hatters against Rochdale, to clinch our most recent promotion. Sold to Derby during the following summer, his career has stuttered ever since, His return to EP a couple of years ago never really got going. He had a slightly better time back full time training under Keith Briggs at Celtic, and then helped Guiseley to their play-off win, coming off the bench in the final to play an impressive part in their turn-around at Chorley.

Scorer of another memorable goal or two was John Hardiker. County had already been relegated in March 2002 but they still kept up their bogey club status in matches with Manchester City. Another future County player, Jon Macken, had put City in front in the first half. With 5 minutes left Hardiker scored an equaliser, and then gave the County fans at least one great memory from that torrid season with the winner with the final whistle imminent.

Brian McCord was one of a number of former Derby County players Danny Bergara brought to County. After signing from Barnsley he was creating a good impression in the midfield and looked set for a lengthy career with County. That plan ended due to a badly thought out attempted tackle at Swansea's old Vetch Field ground in March 1993. The resultant injuries effectively ended his career. Many months later, and after a successful court case against the player concerned, Celtic was one of the the club's at which Brian tried to make a comeback.

A LOOK AT NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH

It's still a little early to see any real pattern in the League table although this didn't stop Telford removing their manager last weekend as they remain bottom of the table with only one goal all season. Of last season promotion chasing sides Chorley have finally shown some signs of life, whilst AFC Fylde - who County meet on Monday- have put together some good performances since the their early slip-up. The side vanquished by County three weeks ago, Boston United, are also moving towards the top places. Solihull Moors are again scoring for fun, their top spot being built on a 14 goal foundation, whilst Worcester have a more difficult propensity to deal with. Four red cards in five games, it's hard enough grinding out results in National League North without that added hindrance.The positions directly affecting where County will lie after Saturday's games are:


Pos Pld HW HD Hl HF HA AW AD Al AF AA GD PT
1 Solihull Moors 5 2 0 0 6 0 2 1 0 8 3 11 13
2 Nuneaton T 5 2 1 0 3 1 2 0 0 4 2 4 13
3 COUNTY 5 1 1 0 3 2 2 1 0 4 2 3 11
4 Tamworth 5 2 0 0 3 1 1 2 0 3 2 3 11
5 Harrogate T 5 2 1 0 5 2 1 0 1 2 2 3 10
6 AFC Fylde 5 2 1 0 5 2 1 0 1 2 4 1 10




The other fixtures for these top six teams are: Chorley v Harrogate Town, Curzon Ashton v AFC Fylde, Solihull Moors v Alfreton Town, Tamworth v Nuneaton Town. There are now three men, Darryl Knights (Solihull Moors), Ashley Sammons (Corby T) and Dayle Southwell (Boston U), sharing the top spot in the goalscorers list with 5 each.

IN RESERVE

County recorded a 1-1 with Hyde Untied last week in a home game switched to Atherton Collieries ground. Tonight (Friday) they are in action again when they travel to New Mills for a 7.45 kick-off. The next fixture on the Lancashire League website is shown as Sunday 6th September. So those of you not busy working , or running, in the half marathon can head to Ashton Untied for some Sunday football. . The lesson from the Hyde fixture is try and check with someone at the club - or perhaps better still the opposition club - before committing to traveling to these games.

Ian Watts

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Player Profiles - CALUM DYSON





I've had a break from the Player profiles whilst here were two games a week, but they return this week with a look at Calum Dyson.
Calum, one of County's loan signings from Everton, first made the national press as a 7-year-old. A story in the Liverpool Echo during March 2004 outlined his 14 hat-tricks or better in 16 games for Barlows in the Hightown Mini League. This was picked up and used as a football snippet by some of the nationals. The article also reported that he already had a tally of 129 goals that season. Calum had been playing for Barlows since before his 5th birthday, with his speed and ability being a major contributing factor in the impressive record. His performance attracted interest through the senior professional clubs in the North West but Calum was already training with Everton.

Hailing from Fazackerley, Calum continued to make good progress with Everton, eventually signing a contract and joining their Under 16 side. Meanwhile his schoolboy football continued with Maghull High School. In 2010-11 he had a particularly good season with over 40 goals. The side reached two cup finals and Calum came up against his current County teammate Ryan Ellison (Archbishop Beck). Ryan's team won the Liverpool Echo Cup for Under-14 schoolboys. Calum was also in the Merseyside representative side competing in the Inter County competition.

 When the 2012-13 season came round Callum was a regular in the Everton U18s side. The Everton scholars had a cracking season, although to their supporters, the main highlight would probably have the been a 3-1 derby victory over Liverpool. Dyson set up two goals in the game which sent Everton to the top of the U18 Premier League table. Match reports regularly mentioned Calum's contribution in both setting up and scoring goals.

June 2013 saw Calum join 14 other youth players in becoming full time members of the Academy. Being an Academy player at a Premier League club can often give you the chances you might not have had elsewhere, such as travel. This came quickly for Calum as ahead of the 2013-14 season under-18 manager Kevin Sheedy took the team to Sweden where they played in and won the Gothia Cup, after 6 games during their week away, with Calum setting up the opening goal in their 3-0 cup winning victory over IF Brommapojkarna .

During the 2013-14 Everton were again challenging for the title. There was the distraction during the first few months of 2014 with an FA Youth Cup run. Everton progressed from the 3rd round to the last 8/ During the run Calum set the side on their way to a closely fought 4-3 win over Birmingham City. They followed this up with a 2-0 win at Sheffield United, but another away tie proved a step too far as Arsenal won 3-1 at the Emirates Stadium.


The youngsters responded well to this disappointment and went on to claim 2nd place in the 11 team Professional U18 Development League. Calum and his teammates the beat Tottenham in the national semi-final, and recorded another 1-0 win to beat Manchester City in the final.

During the successful campaign Calum scored six goals and made 10 assists. There were slip-ups not least when the U21s, including Calum, lost 7-6 on penalties at Bootle in the Liverpool Senior Cup semi-final.




The summer of 2014 was key to Calum's progress and, along with six of his team mates, the striker signed his first professional contract. Preparations this time included a tournament in South Africa. Calum and his team mates lost games against much older and stronger sides from Santos and Feyenoord before finishing with a 1-1 draw with South Africa. This season youth cup gave Calum a goal against Stevenage (3rd round 2-0 aet). They were knocked out in the following round on penalties at Southampton. The team responded well enjoying a 5-0 win over Liverpool, in a game in which Dyson scored twice.

He faced Liverpool again near the end of the season but this time as a substitute for the Under-21s. With several of their older players out on loan  Everton had to introduce younger lads to their Under-21 side. He came close to earning a point for the Toffees with a late chance. I

During the summer Calum signed a two year contract  keeping him at Goodison until 2017. His pre-season preparations with his parent club included a fair bit of travelling. Everton’s U21 squad were sent to Australia for a training camp. The inclusion of Calum was believe to be a sign of how he was viewed as one of the Toffees more promising youngsters. On their return they headed off again, this time for games North and South of the border in Ireland. the impressive pre-season saw a handful of goals as Everton won their first seven pre-season friendlies. It's good to see he has brought that winning - and goal scoring - form with him to County after signing on the eve of the Boston game.

Ian Watts

Monday, 24 August 2015

Away Ground Guide 4 - AFC Fylde (Monday 31 August 2015)







AFC Fylde
Kellamergh Park,
WARTON, Lancashire,
PR4 1TN

Ground Capacity ;  3,000.( Seating 533)



What can you say about Kellamergh Park? Lots probably, but I am conscious of restrictions placed on me by the Laws of the land. The stadium is miles from anywhere, and is positioned precisely nowhere, as far as I can ascertain. Its not in a town.....hamlet or even near a house, but there`s plenty of grass...mud, and sheep in the vicinity!
No seats were provided for the County supporters,last time around, which again I felt was not a great way to treat the more elderly and infirm amongst us, so the 600 or so County fans , last season,spread themselves about over a mix of terraced areas, only one of which was covered!


Woody`s Eatery.


REFRESHMENT.



Fullers Bar- not for us though !

I noticed that Fullers Bar was on site, serving alcohol, but only to home fans( and those of Blackpool and Preston of course).  Refreshments for County fans ( the majority) were restricted to the usual non alcoholic variety via 2 outlets. To be fair these both looked to be doing a good job, and I am reliably informed that the meat & potato pies were excellent, whilst the coffee had what one discerning County supporter described as ` a curious flavour’.


The Meat & Potato Pies were OK however !






Admission Prices 2015/16:

Adults                                           £12

Concessions                                   £9

Under 16's /Students 16/18          £5




Directions:
M60 to J15
M61
M6 to J32
M55 TO J3  (signposted A585 Fleetwood/Kirkham).
Turn left towards signs for Kirkham. In around 3/4 mile you will approach a roundabout. Then follow the signs for Wrea Green and Lytham St. Annes (2nd exit) B5259.
After another 500 yards you will approach a new roundabout (go straight on) and 1/4 mile you will go over main Preston/Blackpool railway bridge and drop down almost immediately to a small mini roundabout (pub on left called Kingfisher). Carry on straight over this and up to main roundabout (another 200 yards) at junction of main Preston/Blackpool A583. Go straight over roundabout and drive on into Wrea Green Village.
At 2nd mini roundabout in the centre of the village (Church on right and Primary School) take left turn into Bryning Lane, signposted on The Green (small white signpost) to Warton (2 miles).The Green will now be on your right as you exit out of the village and in around 1.8 miles you will come to the Birley Arms Pub on your left.
Turn left at The Birley Arms Pub Car park and continue to drive through the car park down an access road and park in the Main Club Car Park located behind the Main Stand.
Approximate mileage from motorway to the ground is around 5 miles and will take around 10 minutes in a car to travel.
Nearest Railway Station: Kirkham & Wesham 4 miles away, (For a Taxi – call Kirkham Macs on 01772 683003).
Estimated Journey Time ;   1 hour 10 minutes

Post Code for Sat Nav ; PR4 1TN

Nearest Real Ale pubs ; 

Adjacent to ground             ;    Birley Arms
0.9m   away                          :    Clifton Arms  , Lytham Road. 

For Coach Travel.......

Fingerpost flier leaves the Finger at 12.00/ Picks up outside the TS : 12.15
Fare : £14   / Under 16`s £10
To book ring Lou on 07896536757



Ian Brown