NWCFL Preview

All you need to know ahead of the big matches this weekend.

Premier Division

Bootle vs Runcorn Linnets – Saturday 3pm

Second placed Runcorn Town face third placed Bootle in a crucial game on Saturday.

Bootle are one point behind their opponents and a win would move them into second spot, with three games in hand.

Both sides go into the game in fantastic form. The hosts have won 10 out of their last 11 games in league and cup, including beating National League Premier side, Tranmere Rovers to progress to the semi-final of the Liverpool Senior Cup.

Along this fantastic run, Bootle have been free-scoring in league and cup, smashing in 43 goals in 11 matches. This figure was helped by a 9-0 home win against AFC Darwen back in February.

This should not be a surprise as Bootle are the top scorers in the league with a massive 108 goals in just 32 matches, which averages out at just over 3 goals a game.

The sole defeat in that run came at the hands of table-toppers Atherton Collieries, who managed to stop Bootle from scoring and grab a 1-0 win to solidify their place at the top of the Premier Division.

Likewise, Runcorn Linnets have been on a good run themselves, they are unbeaten in their last 6 matches with 5 wins and 1 draw.

In that time, they have done the double over Ashton Athletic with a 2-1 home win and 3-0 away win that has kept them second in the table, ahead of the match.

Bootle will be wary of the goal threat from Mark Houghton who has scored 22 goals in 32 games this season, which included five goals in four matches throughout February.

A win for Runcorn would take them potentially into first place in the Premier Division, however they have played 35 games this season which means teams around them will have games in hand.

When the sides met earlier in the season, Runcorn ran out comfortable 5-0 winners back in October, because of this Bootle will look for revenge against their opponents – allowing for an extra incentive for the players and manager.

The match takes place this Saturday, 3pm at the Delta Taxis Stadium.

Atherton Collieries vs Ashton Athletic – Saturday 3pm

Top of the table Atherton Collieries face mid-table Ashton Athletic looking to solidify their place at the top of the Premier Division.

Atherton Collieries returned to winning ways last week with a 1-0 away at Maine Road. Ben Cooke’s 90th minute winner gave Atherton a crucial 3 points.

A week prior, Atherton lost 2-1 at Runcorn Town, signalling the end of their four match winning run.

Atherton’s last six wins in the league have all come with a clean-sheet, which reflects their season so far as they have the best defence in the league this season – conceding 30 goals in 32 games – under one goal a game.

A win for Michael Clegg’s side could potentially put them six points clear, should Bootle beat Runcorn Linnets, which would be a massive boost for their fight to win the title.

Ashton Athletic, however have not been in the best of form. Two wins in their last six matches leaves them 13th in the table, two points away from the top half.

Last week, Ashton won 3-1 at home to Padiham, ending a run of three straight loses in the league where they conceded a total nine goals.

Atherton will have to keep an eye out for Ashton’s Adam Gilchrist who has scored 18 goals in just 21 games this season.

When the sides last met, back in October, Atherton won by 4-0 with two goals from Ben Hardcastle, one from Mark Battersby and Mark Truffas.

The Kensite Stadium is the location for the match, 3pm Saturday.

Full Fixture List

Friday 24th March:

19:45 – AFC Liverpool vs AFC Darwen – The Marine Travel Arena

Saturday 25th March:

15:00 – Atherton Collieries v Ashton Athletic – The Kensite Stadium

15:00 – Barnoldswick Town v Congleton Town – Silentnight Stadium

15:00 – Bootle v Runcorn Linnets – Delta Taxi Stadium

15:00 – Irlam v Maine Road – The Ambitek Stadium

15:00 – Nelson v Hanley Town – Little Wembley

15:00 – Padiham v 1874 Northwich – YESSS Electrical Arena

15:00 – Runcorn Town v New Mills – Pavilions

15:00 – West Didsbury & Chorlton v Abbey Hey – The Recreation Ground

15:00 – Winsford United v Squires Gate – St Luke`s Barton Stadium

 

League Table

Premier Division P GD Pts
1 Atherton Colls 32 53 76
2 Runcorn Linnets 35 47 74
3 Bootle 32 66 73
4 Runcorn Town 32 48 67
5 1874 Northwich 32 24 65
6 AFC Liverpool * 33 11 51
7 Padiham 31 8 50
8 Hanley Town 34 11 48
9 West Did & Chor 33 8 48
10 Abbey Hey 32 -3 46
11 Winsford United 31 1 45
12 Maine Road 34 2 44
13 Ashton Athletic 33 6 43
14 Irlam 31 -13 42
15 Barnoldswick Tn 29 6 39
16 Congleton Town 35 -18 39
17 Squires Gate 36 -21 35
18 Barnton 33 -40 34
19 AFC Darwen 31 -45 30
20 Nelson * 31 -23 20
21 New Mills 32 -34 19
22 Cammell Laird 36 -94 14

 

First Division:

Atherton LR vs Litherland REMYCA – Saturday 3pm

After last month’s postponement, Atherton and REMYCA meet this Saturday.

Last week’s ugly 1-0 win at Silsden allowed REMYCA to return to winning ways after defeat to Charnock Richard the week prior.

The 1-0 win saw REMYCA gain their third clean sheet in the past four games and Phil Stafford will hope that form will continue, going into Saturday’s match.

Phil Stafford’s men go into Saturday’s clash still top of the league and two points clear of second placed City of Liverpool.

Atherton themselves have been on a very poor run with one win in their last six matches with five loses, including a 2-1 loss at home to AFC Blackpool last time out.

Shaun Lynch’s side have not won at home in the league this year, with their last three points coming against Carlisle City back in December. They sit 20th in the first division, eight points clear of the relegation places.

Ashton Town and Bacup Borough are the only two side who have scored less goals than Atherton with 30 goals, whilst Atherton have only scored 32

When the two sides met earlier in the season, the REMY came out 3-0 winners with goals from Tom Foley, James McGrane and Colin Quirk.

REMYCA have their five new signings available to them for the match Saturday. Luke Holden, Mark Barnes, Ste Ferrigan, James Colbourn, and Andy Fowler will be hoping to make an impression come the match this weekend.

This match takes place at Crilly Park on Saturday 3pm.

Sandbach United vs Chadderton – Saturday 3pm

7th placed Sandbach face up against 9th placed Chadderton on Saturday.

Sandbach go into the game level on points with 6th placed Alsager Town who occupy the last play-off spot in the division.

Andy Hockenhull’s side are not in the best of form lately, they are winless in their past three games – picking up two points against City of Liverpool and Daisy Hill respectfully.

Sandbach have been a side that has struggled to defend well recently, the past six games has saw one clean sheet which came in the draw at City of Liverpool. During this time ten goals have been conceded.

In contrast, Chadderton are on a four game winning streak. This streak includes an impressive 3-1 at St Helens Town on Thursday – a blivesport covered match.

Also a 7-0 rout of AFC Blackpool last Saturday also contributes to this run that has pushed them to 9th placed in the table.

This four game winning run was a response to a 5-0 thrashing by City of Liverpool at the start of the month.

When the sides last met in the league, Leon Iloube’s 25th minute goal for Chadderton proved to be the winner back in December.

The sides meet at the Sandbach Community Football Centre on Saturday for a 3pm kick off.

Full Fixture List

Saturday 25th March:

15:00  – AFC Blackpool v FC Oswestry Town – Mechanics Ground

15:00  – Atherton LR v Litherland REMYCA – Crilly Park

15:00  – Daisy Hill v Charnock Richard – New Sirs

15:00  – Eccleshall v Carlisle City – Pershall Park

15:00  – Holker Old Boys v Alsager Town – Rakesmoor

15:00 – Prestwich Heys v Ashton Town – Adie Moran Park

15:00  – Sandbach United v Chadderton – Sandbach Community Football Centre

15:00 – Whitchurch Alport v Silsden – Yockings Park

15:00  – Widnes v Cheadle Town – Select Security Stadium

League Table

First Division P GD Pts
1 Lith REMYCA 35 39 73
2 City of Lpool 34 59 71
3 Whitchurch Alp 32 36 67
4 Charnock Rich 31 38 64
5 Widnes 31 39 63
6 Alsager Town 31 39 62
7 Sandbach 32 25 62
8 Prestwich Heys 29 36 56
9 Chadderton 31 18 51
10 Stockport Town * 34 1 49
11 FC Oswestry 34 -14 47
12 St Helens Town 33 -2 46
13 Cheadle Town 34 -1 45
14 Silsden 31 3 41
15 Carlisle City 33 -19 40
16 Daisy Hill 30 -12 38
17 Holker OB 31 -18 35
18 Bacup Borough 32 -36 26
19 AFC Blackpool 35 -56 26
20 Atherton LR 32 -40 21
21 Eccleshall 31 -64 13
22 Ashton Town 30 -71 8

 

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