Weekend Review 25 October

So that's the FA Cup run over for another season and the County management now have more idea of the standard their team needs to reach to have any chance of fitting in at Conference National level should we get out of this division. I'll take a brief look at the other Conference North clubs' FA Cup efforts later but first there were five games in the league on Saturday.

It was Solihull Moors who claimed the points in the battle between the sides directly below County. Omar Bogle (27) added to his impressive tally of goals this season to give the visitors the lead but Zac Mills (41) levelled things for Boston United before half time. Moors winner came with 11 minutes left when Rob Elvins put Solihull up to 5th in the table.

County's next opponents Harrogate Town warmed up their scoring boots for our visit with a 5-0 victory over Brackley Town. The points were wrapped up in the first half hour as a James Walshaw's brace (6 &29) sandwiched a Craig Nelthorpe (22) effort. Both scorers were to add another to their tally before the end of the game. Walshaw completed a first half hat-trick on 40 minutes and Nelthorpe got his second with 6 minutes left.

Two sides in the play off places were in action and had mixed fortunes. Barrow played their game in hand on AFC Fylde and closed within two points of the leaders. After a goalless first half Andy Cook (47) gave them an early second half lead and Colwyn Bay were unable to respond.

Meanwhile Oxford City, who have now played three games more than most of the teams around them, suffered a bad defeat at home to Hednesford Town. Richard Batchelor, who joined them on Wednesday having played for Leamington earlier in the season,had a very happy debut getting two of the goals (45 & 85). Tom Thorley (55) also scored for the Staffordshire side who are now just behind County in the table.

The final Vanarama Conference North game saw Batchelor's previous club held by bottom club Hyde. The bottom placed hosts led twice thanks to Connor Hughes (30) and an own goal from Leamington's substitute Jamie Tank (50). However they let the lead slip on both occasions as a penalty from Matt Dodd (47) was followed by a Jordan Goddard goal (75) to leave things all square.

Pos PL W D L F A GD PT
1 AFC Fylde 13 10 1 2 34 8 26 31
2 Barrow 13 9 2 2 31 14 17 29
3 Chorley 13 7 3 3 22 15 7 24
4 Oxford C 16 7 3 6 30 32 -2 24
5 Solihull Moors 13 7 2 4 31 18 13 23
6 Guiseley 13 6 5 2 25 16 9 23
7 COUNTY 13 7 2 4 25 18 7 23
8 Hednesford T 15 6 4 5 20 17 3 22
9 Boston U 14 6 3 5 22 23 -1 21
10 Worcester C 14 5 5 4 14 15 -1 20
11 North Ferriby U 13 5 4 4 19 16 3 19
12 Colwyn Bay 14 5 4 5 22 22 0 19
13 Leamington 14 5 2 7 20 22 -2 17
14 Harrogate T 14 4 4 6 15 19 -4 16
15 Lowestoft T 13 4 4 5 13 19 -6 16
16 Gainsborough Tr 13 4 3 6 14 19 -5 15
17 Bradford PA 14 4 3 7 19 30 -11 15
18 Brackley T 13 4 3 6 8 19 -11 15
19 Stalybridge Cel 13 3 2 8 15 21 -6 11
20 Tamworth 13 1 8 4 11 19 -8 11
21 Gloucester C 12 1 5 6 17 29 -12 8
22 Hyde 15 1 4 10 20 36 -16 7


CUP TIE ACTION

There will be at least three Conference North side in Monday's First Round proper draw although two could well have been eliminated in replays the following day. Of the 6 Conference North teams who were drawn against teams from the national division none managed to win at the first attempt. The best result probably came at Chorley where 2nd placed Vanarama Conference National side FC Halifax Town were held to a goalless draw. The result was all the more impressive as Chorley lost two men in training ground injuries two days before which meant manager Gary Flitcroft had to look for a new goalkeeper by the Friday lunch time deadline. Burnley's Danijel Nizic was the man he turned to and the loan signing kept a clean sheet in front of 2,333.

Tamworth also go to a replay after drawing 1-1 with Southport. A foul on Dave Hibbert allowed Tamworth to take a 3rd minute lead through Shane Clarke's penalty. The Staffordshire side held their advantage for 67 minutes but Southport took the tie back to Haig Avenue thanks to James Belshaw's goal.

Copying County by going out of the Cup to Conference National sides were Gainsborough Trinity, Gloucester City and Guiseley - and all three had fairly comprehensive defeats. Gloucester City hosted Forest Green Rovers. And after Luke Rodgers (21) had given the visitors the lead City responded quickly through Tom Webb (23). Jon Parkin (30) restored Forest Green's lead and a late double from James Norwood (86 & 88) left the final score at 4-1.

Gainsborough Trinity travelled up the country to 4th placed Gateshead and came back on the end of a 4-0 hiding. It was injury time of the first half before the Heed took the lead through Tom Allan. Then three goals in 11 minutes just after the hour mark through Danny Wright (64), Alex Rodman (66) and Jon Shaw (76) wrapped up the tie.

Guiseley had no response to Grimsby Town's three goals in their away tie. They managed to keep Grimsby out until half time but there quick goals from Nathan Arnold and a Lenell John-Lewis’ brace meant no first round game for Guiseley.

North Ferriby United also went out, suffering a shock defeat at Warrington Town - repeating their giant killing act over Colwyn Bay in the previous round. Lewis Field (66) got the only goal of the game 11 minutes after the visitors lost Matt Wilson to a red card.

That leaves the only side certain to be playing in the First Round Proper in a couple of weeks and its League leader AFC Fylde. They got the better of a 7 goal thriller at Northern Premier Leaguers Kings Lynn Town. George Thomson (33) put the home side in front and there was no further scoring in the first half. Fylde then established a 3-1 lead thanks to a Richie Allen brace (50 & 61) and Michael Potts (55). Thomson's second 12 minutes later gave King's Lynn hope but on 72 minutes Allen completed his hat-trick. Stephen Spriggs (85) completed the scoring for Kings Lynn and there was lively finish as just like at Edgeley Park both sides had a man sent off.

On Sunday Worcester City became the second Conference North side to claim a definite place in the first round when they beat Greenwich Borough 2-1. City took a first half lead through Ellis Deeney (20) but Greenwich substitute Billy Bennett (60) levelled the scores just four minutes after being introduced. The winner came from Worcester substitute Daniel Nti (83).



Ian Watts

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