Five Things We Learned - w/e Saturday 7th January 2017

Mon 9th January 2017 | General
By Ian Templeman

Colls on the Wembley trail

Sometimes a club delivers a result that makes everyone sit up and take notice – and anyone who doubted Atherton Collieries’ credentials as potential FA Vase winners will have been given food for thought after their tremendous 4-1 win at Shildon on Saturday.

In recent times of course, we have seen Kirkham & Wesham and Glossop North End represent the league in the Vase final at Wembley, but arguably neither of those clubs delivered such an eye catching result on their way to Wembley as Colls did on Saturday, going to the home of the reigning Northern League champions, and dumping them out of the competition in such convincing style.

Bear in mind Shildon hadn’t conceded four goals in any game all season, had lost just once at home, and had gone into the game on the back of five straight wins, after winning 14 of their last 15 games.

Whatever Colls achieve this season, they will need to go some to top their performance on Saturday.

Town back on track

The former Prime Minister Harold Wilson once said “a week is a long time in politics”, to illustrate how quickly circumstances can change, and in a footballing context Stockport Town appear to now be emerging from their recent spell of turbulence on and off the field.

The departure of most of their first team squad at short notice contributed to a heavy defeat at the hands of City of Liverpool last Saturday, but the appointment of a new manager in Dave Wild and having another week to regroup appears to have worked in their favour, with the new team picking up a point from a goalless draw at FC Oswestry Town on Saturday.

Having started 2017 on a positive note, Town now seem geared and ready to embark on a new era.

Cox the fox in the box

After winning the Premier Division Player of the Month award for December due to his goalscoring exploits, Bootle striker Ryan Cox picked up where he left off in the Bucks’ opening game of 2017, scoring both goals in the 2-0 win at Congleton Town.

The double takes his tally to 13 goals in the last 9 games, and with Bootle now topping the table, an inform striker like Cox will be an invaluable asset as the Bucks continue their promotion push.

Gold Bailey

Another striker in good form at the moment is 1874 Northwich’s Tom Bailey, whose late winner for the Greens to clinch a 1-0 win over Ashton Athletic on Saturday took his goal tally to seven in the last six games.

More notably, three of those goals arrived in the last ten minutes of games to secure victory for 1874, proving that a good striker needs patience as well as predatory skills to deliver the goods for his team.

With Bailey on form and the addition of his old team mate Jason Carey to the ranks, 1874 don’t look likely to be found wanting in the goals department.

Widnes on a roll

One team quietly going about their business are Widnes, who continued their great run of form with a 3-1 win over Carlisle City on Saturday.

Joey Dunn’s side have now posted nine wins and a draw in their last ten games, and have lost just once in 17 games. It’s form that has seen them move up Division One to the edge of the promotion play offs, and with plenty of football left to play, and games in hand on those above them, you wouldn’t bet against them being involved in the shake up at the end of the season.