Taking a look at County v Brackley Town

THE RETURN OF FRANK SINCLAIR

After last weekend's missed opportunity County have a chance to take on another struggling club on Saturday. Town's manager quit earlier in the week and they put player coach Frank Sinclair in temporary charge; a man who provided County fans with some entertainment during his days in charge of Colwyn Bay.






 
Frank Sinclair


 

PAST MEETINGS

Brackley spoilt County's run-up to Christmas in 2013 by taking the points with a 2-0 victory, Diggin and Story getting the goals. Last season it was a November game, in which Sam Whittall scored for Brackley on 75 minutes. This equalised Richie Baker's goal on the hour, but with the final whistle imminent current Hyde United player, Scott Spencer, got the winner for County. All three of Town's scorers are still with County's visitors. Full All Things Stockport County reports can be accessed through the links below.

2013-14 NN 14 Dec 0-2 [2013-14 match report]
2014-15 NN 8 Nov 2-1 [2014-15 match report]
County score given first, NN - National League North

CURRENT FORM

As mentioned above, Brackley are in poor form and after the opening day victory it's been mostly downhill. The result that proved the final straw for then  boss Jon Brady, was a 2-4 defeat last Saturday to a North Ferriby United side that had drawn their previous five games. On their travels Brackley have picked up a single point, at Alfreton, in four games. The scores have been close though, with their worst result coming at bottom side Telford United when they went down 2-0.

CURRENT CONNECTIONS

There is one connection with County in the Brackley squad as during our days in administration we "hosted" Inverness Caledonian Thistle, in a game played at Witton Albion's ground. Amongst the trialists listed that day was Curtis McDonald. Later that pre-season, after another trial with Leyton Orient, Curtis decided to head back to Forest Green Rovers, the club he played for the previous season.


Curtis McDonald
Capped for Wales at all levels other than the senior side, Curtis moved to Brackley in 2012.

VISITOR'S SQUAD

With a new manager in temporary charge there is the possibility that he will use his contacts to try and bolster the Brackley squad ahead of Saturday's game. The current batch of players are only one behind the Hatters in scoring. Dave Moyo (3) tops their list, even though he has only made the starting line-up for the last three games. Like County they have only one more player with more than one goal to his name, but unlike County, both these players are available ion Saturday. County's top scorer Dyson has returned to Everton, whilst two-goal Rule is out due to suspension. Temporary manager Frank Sinclair made his first appearance of the season from the bench last Saturday. He may well feel he wants to lead from the front.


NameApp.GlsPosKnown Past Clubs (may not be complete)
Dan Crane 8..0 G West Bromwich A, Burton A, Moor Green, Rushden & D, Lewes(L), Cambridge U, Kings Lynn, Bromsgrove Rov, Corby T, Solihull Moors, Hednesford T
Dan Farrell 0..0 G -
Ryan Austin 8..0 CD Crewe Alex, Burton A(L), Burton A, Kidderminster H, Brackley T(L)
Luke Graham 8..1 CD Northampton T, Kettering T, Kings Lynn, Mansfield T, York C, Luton T, Forest Green Rov, Hereford U, Alfreton T
Owen Story 4+1..0 LB/M Torquay U, Rushden & D, Brackley T, Solihull Moors
Curtis McDonald 5..0 D Cardiff C, Accrington S, Carmarthen T, MKS Swit [pol], Forest Green Rov, COUNTY(T), Leyton O, Newport Co, Forest Green Rov
Stephan Morley 6+1..0 D Kettering T, Corby T(L), Rugby T, Banbury U, Rugby T, Halesowen T, Hinckley U, Brackley T(DR), Leamington, Corby 
Eddie Odhiambo 2..0 D/M Oxford U, Southampton, Chester C(L), Yeovil T(L), Tamworth(L), Oxford U, Stevenage Bor, Newport Co, Gateshead
Dwayne Samuels 3..0 D/M Grimsby T, Redditch U(L), AFC Telford U, Worcester C, Harrogate T
Frank Sinclair 0+1..0 D Chelsea, West Bromwich A(L), Leicester C, Burnley, Huddersfield T, Lincoln C, Wycombe W(L), Wrexham, Hendon & Jamaica, Colwyn Bay
Richard Batchelor 7..0 M Romulus, Solihull Bor, Bedworth U, Highgate U, RC Warwick, Alvechurch, Studley, Romulus, Solihull Bor, Romulus, Chasetown, Leamington, Brackley T(DR), Hednesford T
Will Green 0..0 M Northampton T, Banbury U(L), Brackley T, Leamington(L), Bedworth U(L), Bedford T, Oxford C, Leamington
Greg Kaziboni 2+6..0 M Northampton T, Corby T, Brackley T, Rugby T
Glenn Walker 8..0 M Corby T, Banbury U, Brackley T, Hednesford T
Sam Whittall 4..1 M Wolverhampton W, Cambridge U, Brackley T(L)
Pablo Mills 6..1 M/CD Derby Co, Milton Keynes D(L), Walsall(L), Rotherham U, Crawley T(L), Crawley T, Macclesfield T, Rotherham U, Bury, Cheltenham T(L)
Tom Winters 2+2..0 W Oxford U, Brackley T, Oxford C
Steve Diggin 6+1..2 F Gregory Cel, Cogenhoe U, Corby T, Brackley T, Hednesford T
David Moyo 3+5..3 F Northampton T, Corby T(L), Stamford(L), Brackley T(L)
Sam Smith 5+3..1 F Cambridge U, Lincoln C, L Brackley T(L), Hereford U, AFC Telford U



PAST CONNECTIONS

There are a handful of connections between County and Town. After a trial with the tour party in Portugal, Gary Megson paid then League of Wales side Holywell Town £10,000 to sign winger Simon Travis. Simon never really established a permanent place in the side. The step up to the second tier of football in England proved too much and although Simon played 26 games during his two seasons, he started only four of these. Simon returned to his studies and non-league football, eventually turning up at Brackley eight years and eight clubs later.

Another youngster, Kevin Slinn, had a season with County after joining from Watford. Kevin was a squad player during the 1994-95 season, starting three games and coming on in three more. He scored once, at York City, before moving on to Corby Town at the end of the season. He joined Brackley early in 2003 and helped them to the Hellenic League title, and a place in the Southern League.

Striker Marvin Robinson, currently with Hednesford Town, played for County at the end of the 2004-05 season after joining from Walsall. He played just three games for rock bottom County, all lost, before being released in the summer. Marvin had two and a half seasons with Brackley from February 2012. He helped them to the Southern League title in his first season, and they challenged for promotion to the top tier of non-league football tin each of the following two seasons.

A LOOK AT NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH

Solihull continue to set the pace and none of the other challengers seem capable of stringing the victories together to stay with them. Last weekend's away defeats for Harrogate Town and Nuneaton Town would have given County the ideal chance to claim second spot, but even then they would have been five points adrift of Solihull. As we know the Hatters couldn't take advantage of their first half superiority so remain in the pack behind Solihull. North Ferriby's Curtis Bateson jumped to the top of the goal scoring list. Although he has only scored in three games he now has seven goals. The full League table is below whilst this Saturday's fixtures are: AFC Fylde v Tamworth; AFC Telford U v Harrogate T; Alfreton T v Hednesford T; Boston U v Chorley; Bradford PA v Solihull Moors; FCUM v Corby T; North Ferriby U v Gloucester C; Nuneaton T v Gainsborough Tr; Stalybridge Cel v Lowestoft T; Worcester C v Curzon Ashton.


Home Games Away Games GD PT
Pos Pl W D L F A W D L F A GD Pt
1 Solihull Moors 8 5 0 0 12 2 2 1 0 8 3 15 22
2 AFC Fylde 8 2 1 1 7 5 3 0 1 7 5 4 16
3 Harrogate T 8 3 1 0 7 3 2 0 2 3 3 4 16
4 COUNTY 8 1 2 1 3 5 3 1 0 7 4 1 15
5 Tamworth 8 2 2 0 5 3 1 3 0 4 3 3 14
6 Nuneaton T 8 2 1 1 3 2 2 1 1 5 4 2 14
7 Gainsborough Tr 8 2 2 0 6 3 1 1 2 5 6 2 12
8 North Ferriby U 8 1 3 0 6 2 1 2 1 9 8 5 11
9 Corby T 8 2 1 0 7 3 0 4 1 9 11 2 11
10 FCU of Manchester 8 1 2 1 8 8 2 0 2 7 5 2 11
11 Hednesford T 8 2 1 1 8 9 1 1 2 6 6 -1 11
12 Alfreton T 8 1 2 1 4 4 1 2 1 6 6 0 10
13 Chorley 8 1 0 3 6 6 2 1 1 6 8 -2 10
14 Boston U 8 2 1 1 5 6 1 0 3 6 7 -2 10
15 Gloucester C 8 2 1 1 4 4 1 0 3 2 5 -3 10
16 Stalybridge Cel 8 1 1 2 3 5 1 1 2 6 6 -2 8
17 Lowestoft T 8 1 1 2 6 7 1 1 2 2 3 -2 8
18 Curzon Ashton 8 1 1 2 4 6 0 3 1 6 7 -3 7
19 Brackley T 8 2 0 2 6 7 0 1 3 3 7 -5 7
20 Bradford PA 8 1 2 1 8 8 0 1 3 2 6 -4 6
21 Worcester C 8 1 0 3 6 10 0 2 2 1 6 -9 5
22 AFC Telford U 8 1 1 2 2 3 0 0 4 1 7 -7 4

IN RESERVE

The reserve team's positive start to the season continued on Sunday with a 4-3 victory at Ashton United. The basis of the victory was three goals in the first half, which came from Jordan Rogers, a Danny Murray penalty and Antoine Recizac. The all important fourth goal came from top scorer George West with a few minutes left. The Lancashire League side start their cup campaign at Buxton on Wednesday. Meanwhile the Academy side are back in action on Monday night when they host Burscough's youngsters at Myerscough College.

POSTSCRIPT

On the same day that County and Worcester failed to score there was another goal less draw a little further afield. In Dar es Salaam host nation Tanzania played an African Nations Cup qualifier with Nigeria. The relevance to County, this game saw another former County loan keeper become a full international, as keeping a clean sheet on his debut for the visitors was Carl Ikeme. On Wednesday he kept another clean sheet playing the first half of a 2-0 friendly victory over Niger at Port Harcourt. Carl has certainly made good progress since his less than impressive performances with the Hatters 10 years ago this Thursday.

Ian Watts

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