Macron Player and Reusch Goalkeeper of the Month Awards - September 2017
Mon 9th October 2017 | League Awards | By Ian Templeman
MACRON PLAYER OF THE MONTH AWARDS
PREMIER DIVISION - STUART WELLSTEAD OF RUNCORN LINNETS
With nine goals in seven matches in September, Stuart Wellstead has stamped his mark on Runcorn Linnets' season.
It is a run of form which helped the Linnets to be unbeaten during the month, with six wins and a draw.
The scoring sequence came in very handy with Michael Ellison needing someone to fill the attacking void left by Freddie Potter being sidelined for six weeks with a shoulder injury.
Stuart held up his hand as an ideal replacement but he is much more than that.
An extremely versatile front player and capable marksman in his own right, he has justified and merited regular inclusion in the side once again.
Stuart is a deserving player of the month, although the usual Linnets team work threw up several other major candidates including winger Paul Shanley (with three opposition man of the match awards in September), midfielder Michael Simpson, scorer of five goals including four screamers from outside the box, and right back Danny O'Brien who has performed with typical efficiency in defence and going forward.
Stuart is the No. 1 choice after inspiring the Linnets with a consistently high, all-round contribution which has seen him score at a prolific rate with both head and feet. He has an excellent attitude, always showing good discipline in all aspects of his game.
Be it leading the line, playing off the front or creating problems for defenders out wide (on the right or left), he gets the job done.
The highlight for Stuart was scoring the first and only hat-trick of Runcorn's season so far - all headers - as the Linnets kicked off the month with a 6-1 victory over Padiham at The Millbank.
The hosts had needed a lift after being unusually off form in a 4-0 August Bank Holiday Monday defeat at West Didsbury & Chorlton. Wellstead led the desired response with the first two goals of the comeback game, his effort in the first minute immediately lifting the spirits.
At City of Liverpool, Stuart again played a full part, although not scoring, in a superb team display and 5-1 away win. The player's participation was cut short by an injury, which saw him limp off gingerly.
However, he got himself fit for the next game 12 days later, sidefooting home the opener from close range at the far post to set the Linnets on their way to a 3-0 home victory over Maine Road.
Stuart's strength of character was again apparent in the 5-2 home comeback win against AFC Liverpool. At 0-2 down, he had a penalty well saved but was undeterred.
When the Linnets were promptly awarded a second spot-kick, the experienced player took responsibility again.
As fans held their breath, he showed admirable composure to this time convert before adding another goal for good measure in the second half - from his and Runcorn's third penalty of the evening.
Abbey Hey were next and this time, it was with a stunning volley from outside the box that Stuart struck the first blow.
The Mancunian visitors hit back with two of their own to put Linnets in trouble and unsurprisingly, it was that man Wellstead to the rescue.
A further demonstration of steely resolve saw the Linnets favourite score his second of the contest from the penalty spot to square the match in a 2-2 draw.
Wellstead put in another shift in dreadful conditions at rain-hit Darwen and would have opened the scoring early on but for an excellent save by the Lancastrians' 'keeper, who ultimately couldn't prevent the Linnets from edging home 1-0.
But Stuart's uncanny knack of scoring first in games resurfaced as Linnets ended the month with a 5-0 win at Squires Gate. The confident Runcorn player rifled a close-range effort into the roof of the net for his 11th goal of the campaign after five minutes.
With his warm-up campaign having been interrupted by injury, Stuart Wellstead had to wait for his chance this season after being influential in the last.
His two goals in August had come as a substitute. But once his starting chance came, Stuart has certainly taken it with an excellent show of talent, technique and temperament.
DIVISION ONE - KYLE HANCOCK OF SILSDEN
Kyle played in five of the six games which the Cobbydalers played in September. The only game Silsden lost in the month was the one which Hancock didn’t participate, at West Auckland.
He has been the playmaker in midfield who has scored vital and sensational goals, as well as playing his part in the team effort in getting back to help in defence.
In the first game of the month at St Helens Town, Kyle didn't score but did bring a breathtaking save from Bradley in the Town goal, and in the next game at home to Atherton LR.
al Kyle teased and tormented the opposition with some nifty footwork, deft twists and turns and electric pace. He created the opening goal, dribbling into the Rovers’ half before sliding the ball forwards to Nicholas McNally to open the scoring.
The next game was at Chester-le-Street in the FA Vase, with Kyle scoring twice in the 3-2 win, both of which were rated as "worldies" by everyone in the camp.
He opened the scoring with a shot from the edge of the penalty area into the far corner of the Cestrians’ goal on 33 minutes, and his second was equally outstanding when he cushioned a clearance on his right knee, flicked it up and then volleyed it beyond the reach of the keeper.
Kyle then played another significant role in the Cobbydalers' next win, a 5-2 defeat of Cheadle Town, but for the next game at West Auckland Town in the Vase, Kyle
was serving a one match ban. However he travelled with the team to the North-East, but the Cobbydalers lost 3-0. In his current form, who knows what might have happened had he been available.
He was, however, back in the team for the final game of the month at Stockport Town, which the Cobbydalers won 3-1 to maintain their 100% league record, and gave them the lead in the second minutes with a thirty-yard free kick.
Throughout the month Kyle has demonstrated his abilty to burst through defences, create openings and score goals and his performances have made a significant impact in the club's fine start to the season.
REUSCH GOALKEEPER OF THE MONTH AWARD
GOALKEEPER OF THE MONTH AWARD - GREG HALL OF 1874 NORTHWICH
Greg was an ever present in 1874’s eight games, with four of the matches being played against higher league opposition. Therefore, the team needed Greg to be at his best and he was!
In the cup replay against Mossley, the visitors were the first to nearly take the lead, however Greg reacted instinctively to smother a close-range attempt. He turned provider a few minutes later, when his fantastic delivery was met by a 74 attacker, who slotted the ball home.
Mossley tried to respond, by driving an effort from distance however the attempt was parried over by Greg. Towards the end of the game, Hall stretched to tip over a further attempt, to ensure there was no fightback from the visitors.
In the cup game against three leagues higher North Ferriby United, Greg asserted his authority by collecting all balls that came close to him. He made some routine saves during the game until Ferriby tried to push for the equaliser and near the end, Greg was called upon to make a fine save from one of their forwards. This ensured that the match was won.
Next up was the Vase game against Cheshire neighbours Congleton Town, and Greg made two fine saves early on and was on hand throughout the rest of the game, to gather up any danger that the Bears posed.
In the replay, it was Greg who was the first keeper to be called upon. A powerful shot from 15 yards saw Hall save well and turn it round the post for a corner. During the remainder of the game, Greg needed to stay focussed to any threat that the opposition posed. During the closing stages, Greg pulled off a fantastic save to keep the greens ahead and eventually on to victory.
In the final game of the month, and once again against a team ranked higher in the pyramid in Ossett Town, Greg played his part in ensuring a positive result for 1874. The Evo-Stik side started the sharper and Greg was in fine form, saving well to tip a shot over the bar and also keeping out a close-range header. Both sides traded chances throughout the second half, Hall saving a shot and being quick off his line to block another.
Of the goals that 1874 conceded during the month, there is only one that in truth, Greg Hall will feel that he could have done better with.
There is probably little more that Greg could have done about others. He made some excellent saves, which were important as they kept us in the ascendency but in particular his handling from set pieces and crosses were excellent and the confident way he controlled his area, was needed in some very important and difficult games.
Greg showed throughout the month what a top keeper he is, and this very much contributed to a historic period for the team.
DIVISION ONE - BEN MORROW OF LITHERLAND REMYCA
During September, Ben kept up the fantastic form he has shown since the first game he started back in August. Five clean sheets in the seven games he played during the month says it all.
He made some fantastic saves in all the games during the month and important ones at that.
In the 2-0 away game at Daisy Hill at 0-0 he made a very brave save at the feet of an opposition forward in a 1 on 1 situation.
Again in both 1-0 wins at home to Ashton Town and Whitchurch Alport, he made important saves at the right times to keep clean sheets in both games, including a late double save in the Alport game to keep all three points for the team.
Again at 2-0 down to Chadderton in the FA Vase game Ben stuck out a leg to save late on in the first half to keep Remy in the game which they eventually won 3-2.
In the final game of the month away to FC Oswestry Town, Ben was again brave to come out of his box to head away when challenged he had a clash of heads which ened with the attacker being withdrawn for the game.
Overall, Ben had a fantastic month and a fantastic season so far, and gains more confidence with each game. He is a young lad with a good future ahead.