Division One Preview - 13th and 14th October 2017

Fri 13th October 2017 | Match Reviews
By Gary Langley

Given the current state of the First Division people are already working out the possible multiple permutations of who will be up, down or flying around already.  We announced this week that we had been selected by the FA as the operator of the additional Step 6 League being created in the North Western Region from 2018-19 season.  We have put out a statement this week suggesting that there may be a dividing line of the M62 and the fact that there has also been a lot of interest from clubs around the region looking to join us.  So with that in mind it potentially has a knock-on effect to clubs from both divisions.

The first Division games get under way this Friday, Friday 13th in fact and Prestwich Heys and Chadderton will be hoping for this not to be an omen as they go head to head under the lights at Adie Moran Park.  Heys’ are flying at the moment, they are currently second in the league table, buoyed by being unbeaten in the last five games, this also sees them third in the form table.

Chadderton currently sit 16th in the League standings and without a win since a 3-2 win away at Atherton LR on 16th September.  They are looking for an important win to re-start their league hopes and to generally just build some momentum, their last game was a midweek 0-1 defeat to Cheadle Town in the LWC Drinks Trophy 1st Round.

Movin on to Saturdays fixtures, Abbey Hulton United host Bacup Borough at Birches Head Road with Abbey Hulton currently sitting in 12th position and Borough in 15th only 5 points behind them.  The amount of league games varies greatly between these clubs with Bacup having played five games less (7) than their hosts this weekend.  Both clubs are fairly close by way of form too, being in close proximity in the lower half of the form table. 

Alsager Town welcome Stockport Town to the Woodpark Stadium with both clubs in good form, indeed Alsager are currently top of the Division One form table with Stockport also in the top five.  Alsager are fourth in the league table at present, level on points (25) with second placed Prestwich Heys who beat them 2-1 last weekend, whilst Stockport sit just a few places behind in seventh on 19 points.

Cammell Laird 1907 travel to New Sirs to Face Daisy Hill this Saturday with both of these clubs looking for the points for differing reasons.  Lairds currently sit eleventh in the table but are only four points behind a play-off position so will be keen to pick up some points on the road.  For Daisy Hill, they need to clock up points swiftly as they currently sit in the bottom two in the Division.  Whilst relegation this season is unlikely, any club in the lower half of the table will be looking for a bit of leeway between themselves and the virtual black line that separates the top twenty from the bottom two.  Reasons to be optimistic for Daisy Hill include an impressive scalp in the LWC Drinks Trophy First Round in midweek as they beat Litherland Remyca 5-4 on penalties.

With Runcorn Town’s 0-0 draw in midweek, Silsden are now the only club in the Hallmark Security League with a 100% League Record.  They will put that to the test this weekend as they travel to Pershore Park to take on Eccleshall.  Paul Snapes’ Eccleshall side currently lie 19th in the league table but prop up the form table at the moment, a polar opposite to their visitors.

Last weekend Eccleshall went down 2-4 at home to Holker Old Boys whilst Silsden put in an effective performance to do just what they needed to do as they beat Cammell Laird 2-1 at home.

Litherland REMYCA will be looking to put their midweek exit in the LWC Drinks Cup behind them as they host Holker Old Boys at Litherland Sports Park.  The Remy’ currently sit third in the table and have at least a game in hand on both clubs above them.  They are in a poor run by their standards at the moment having sustained back to back defeats, that defeat in the LWC Trophy at the hands of Daisy Hill was proceeded by a 2-1 home defeat to New Mills last Saturday.  Manager, Paul McNally will be looking for a return to forum and with Colin Quirk having returned to the club last week from Widnes as well as a couple of other new arrivals, he will consider himself ready.

Holker Old Boys make the trip to LSP in cracking form at the moment, despite sitting 14th in the League Table, recent results see them fourth in the Form table having won four of their last five games and drew the other.  This has seen them rise from bottom four to their current spot in just a few short weeks.  If you are looking for historical OCD relief, these clubs have played each other six times in the League, the first three games were won by the away club, the last three have been won by the home side. 

Nelson play against Sandbach United at Little Wembley this weekend in a first ever meeting between these two clubs.  Nelson are currently in the bottom three of the table at the moment and have only one win all season, that was last Saturday’s 2-0 win away at Cheadle Town.  Sandbach are currently fifth in the table and are looking decent at the moment, five wins in their last six league games backs that claim up.

On the subject of first meetings, New Mills and FC Oswestry Town meet for the first time this weekend at Church Lane.  New Mills won last weekend away at Litherland Remyca with a decent looking 2-1 win to lift them into the top ten of the table, their form prior to that had been all over the place.  In their previous four league games they had shipped 16 league goals but then go and record a 10-1 win against Kilburn in the Derbyshire Senior Cup.

FC Oswestry Town prop up the league table at the moment and cannot seem to get a foothold on any sort of momentum at all, they don’t travel too well, however their one win this season came away at Cheadle Town a few weeks ago.

Speaking if getting a foothold, St Helens Town seem to have recently turned a corner and they host AFC Blackpool at the Ruskin Drive Sportsground this weekend.  Town have won two of their last three league games in a run that has seen them climb to 18th in the League table.  After a poor start by anyone’s standards they now seem to be finding their feet.

AFC Blackpool sit nicely in eighth in the table at the moment and have been fairly consistent all season, they seem to recover well from defeats and whilst they have been particularly decent at home, they aren’t too bad on the road either.

Whitchurch Alport have been slightly more under the radar this season than they were in 2016-17, however, they host Atherton LR this weekend at Yockings Park and are in sixth place in the table.   Alport have only played nine games in the league so far and if they win their games in hand they will be right in the mix and are well poised at the moment to mount an assault on the top three.

In order to do that they will need to start by taking something from this game against an Atherton LR side that has only one win from their last five league games.  LR seem to have hit a patch of inconsistency that has seen the, slip to 17th in the table so they will be keen not to be cut adrift as a dividing line starts to form near the mid-table point.

Lots of good games scheduled for this weekend and as the table starts taking shape we are starting to see the challengers really emerge from the pack, whilst at the other end we are seeing some clubs who are already by common consensus under-achieving.  A few good results can certainly change things, so if you are at a loose end this weekend, pop around to your local game and cheer on your team as we prepare to see what affect Non-League day has on the gates.


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