Archive 2015-2016

1st XI vs Hesketh Casuals (Away)

The first team had a tough away fixture to keep up their unbeaten run with a long trip to play Hesketh Casuals.

The squad depth was going to be tested with 6 players missing through injury or being unavailable. With this being our 8th away game in a row, and with Heskeths captain promising after our 5-2 home win earlier in the season that they would “batter us with a full team”, this promised to be a massive test for the lads.

With the story of the season being slow starts and poor first halves, the lads were asked to concentrate on starting from the first whistle and they duly obliged creating numerous openings and dominating possession, and even with Captain Mick Cranage having to come off early through injury, the lads continued to be the better team and took the lead after 20 mins when Rob McClure’s corner was flicked on brilliantly by Nick Molyneaux for Nick Mooney to tap in to make it 1-0. Hesketh had a couple of chances on the break but found Kieran Dawe on top form to deny them. The team continued to dominate and a mixture of good goalkeeping and bad luck stopped it being more going into half time.

The lads started the second half where they left off dominating possession and creating chances before Hesketh started their best spell of the game creating chances with Dawe making saves and the defence defending brilliantly led by Martin Sim, but on the stroke of the hour mark Hesketh equalised with a fine volley at the back postafterslack marking by the team. This kicked the team into gear and they dominated again and goals from Arron Phillipson and McClure put the team 3-1 up before the goal of the game when a good spell of possession was rounded off with a superb finish from Phillipson after a superb run and pass by Tom Gavin.

It sealed the game and despite a defensive blip leading to another goal for Hesketh, and another couple of fine saves from Dawe, the lads saw out the game to seal an impressive win and a very controlled performance with all players playing their part.

Onwards now to a tough fixture against Prestwich at home if we remember where our home pitch actually is !!!!

1st XI Vs Blackrod Town (Away)


The first team came crashing down to earth with a bang after losing 4-2 away to Blackrod Town.

With what was a massive game for both teams, before kick- off we were in second place and Blackrod in third, the stakes were high for us to continue our unbeaten run. It was always going to be a difficult game, Blackrod in my mind were the best team we have played so far this season, and we played out an entertaining 4-4 draw at home on the opening game of the season.

Unfortunately it never happened. Blackrod totally dominated from the first whistle, they were strong, physical, moved the ball fast and were arguing every decision with the referee, clearly showing how up for it they were. The lads just could not respond and get themselves into the game. After several chances in the opening 15 minutes, Blackrod took the lead when their very talented centre forward looped a near post flick over the excellent Kieran Dawe. It could have been classed as lucky but I think it was a clever finish but we should have defended much better and should not have even allowed him the opportunity. The second goal was a bit of class from the same player, picking the ball up from about 30 yards out he produced a stunning chip over Kieran. Again though I look at how he was allowed the space and how we didn’t put enough pressure on to stop the ball getting to him. They followed that up with another goal to make it 3-0, the attacker completing a deserved hat-trick. In fairness to sum up the first half, we was out fought, out played and bullied, and it was in truth a disappointing performance. I take responsibility as manager, a formation change to cope with their domination 20 minutes in did not work and we are all in this together.

A half-time talking to (I tried to keep it as nice as possible!!!) and a change of formation and substitutions was made. The message ‘show everyone what you are really about’.

The response was fantastic we did everything me and Pete Cranage wanted from the start. We bullied, worked in numbers, passed the ball brilliantly, attacked and defended in numbers harassing every one of their players, we grabbed two much deserved goals from Rob McClure and Arron Phillipson, we had other chances to grab that equaliser and complete another amazing comeback but unfortunately it fizzled out with about 15 minutes to go, running out of steam because of the intensity we had shown. A couple of half chances was all we got before Blackrod killed the game off with virtually the last kick of the game. In truth on overall play this very good Blackrod team deserved all three points

All in all we as a team were disappointed, the second half showed what we were capable of, we made a very good team look average at times, but in fairness in the first half they made us look poor. But I was proud of the second half response. We all have bad halves and we are all guilty of complacency and like I pointed out, I made mistakes as a manager in the first half as well. Time to stick together and keep the brilliant team spirit going. The run comes to an end but it may be the kick to the backside that we needed to keep our feet on the ground and start another run and show us that we cannot turn up for the game and expect to win. At this level you need to earn your points- starting this Saturday at home to Ainsworth. Onwards and upwards.

Line-Up – Kieran Dawe, Russ Gallagher, Martin Sim, Nick Molyneaux, James Cranage (Matt Andrew 45), Mick Cranage, Nick Mooney, Norman Bell (Glenn Hodgkinson 45) Carl Fletcher, Arron Phillipson, Rob McClure.

Man of the Match – Russ Gallagher<

1st XI vs Ainsworth ( Away )

The 1st XI continued their good start to the season with a fine 5-1 win away at Ainsworth, with goals from Carl Fletcher (2), Nick Mooney, Rob McClure and Mick Crannage.

3rd XI Vs Lymm - Back To Winning Ways

Following last weeks defeat the 3rd XI took on a Lymm side who have had mixed results so far this season, and it seemed that last weeks result was still on some players minds in the first 15 minutes of the first half, as Lymm enjoyed some good periods of posession, as Blacks struggled to settle. Then Lymm opened the scoring, with what could only be described as a fluke goal, when a sliced cross from the right hand side looped over Blacks keeper Bradley Oliver and dropped just inside the post.
Blacks seemed to take this as warning sign and started to play some better football, and enjoyed a lot of posession in the opponents half. Some very good dead ball deliveries from fullback Andre Veneziale created some good chances, testing the Lymm back line, and then the pressure finally paid off when yet another quality free kick was met by centre half Andrew Charnley for 1-1.
The game then went from one end to the other, with both teams having chances but neither converting and the game was evenly poised at 1-1 at halftime.
Not long in to the second half Blacks were caught out for pace at the back, when Lymm's number 9 went passed Charnley, and as he attempted to tackle the centre forward he was deemed to have brought him down - penalty! Lymm coverted the penalty for 2-1,and the Blacks management team were forced to make some formation changes to get back in to the game.
These changes made the difference with Blacks now fully on the offensive, and Lymm struggling to get in to the Blacks half. Blacks were then awared their own penalty, but it was saved by Lymm's man between the sticks, and you began to wonder if it just wasn't our day.
Blacks continued to press in search of the equaliser, and this pressure finally paid off when Charnley made amends for giving away the penalty when again he rose above the Lymm back line to convert his second of the afternoon for 2-2.
Then followed a very entertaining last 10 minutes, as both teams went after the win. Both had chances, but then Blacks found an opening down the left, and when the resulting cross was cleared, it fell to the feet of Captain Mark Feeney, who met it with a first time side footed shot which went though a crowd of players and in to the back of the net from fully 25 yards. 3-2.
Blacks doggedly hung on for the final few minutes to win all 3 points, in what was described as an 'ugly win' by manager Dave Fielding.

2nd XI Vs Failsworth Dynamos

A good first half performance from the Reserves saw them 1-0 up (Jonny Dunn) against top of the league Failsworth, however 2 late goals in the second half resulted in a 2-1 defeat.