[POLL] Which team will stay up

After 17 games in we have an idea of who is likely to finish where. Although not 100% of certain most of the teams down near the bottom are more then likely to end up down here.

So who will stay up? You can chose who do you think will beat the drop into Step 2 of Non-league Football.

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Fastest penalty given in history Macclesfield Town v Wrexham.

Saturday afternoon saw Macclesfield Town welcome Wrexham to Mose Road in the Skrill Premier.

Photo by Ben Sutherland

Photo by Ben Sutherland

Just an average game really in all honesty, the game was your normal league game with the winners getting all three points. But the game, which for the record the Silkmen won 3-2.

But the game also saw the Macc being awarded what might well be the fastest penatly of all time.

11 seconds were just on the clock when the Red Dragons goalkeeper Andy Coughlin brought down Connor Jennings in the box. Up-stepped the Macc inform striker and he beat the keeper to put the hosts into the lead.

Two more goals from Jennings saw him complete his hat-trick while Joe Anyinsah and Brett Ormarod scored goals for the Red Dragons who suffered yet another defeat this season.

Click below to see the history making goal.

Why Steve Burr shouldn’t leave Kidderminster for FGR

Friday afternoon and as the Kidderminster Harriers faithful and team were putting last minutes plans together to make the trip down to London to face Barnet news filtered through that manager Steve Burr could well be off to join local rivals Forest Green Rovers as their manager.

Kidderminster manager Steve Burr.

Kidderminster manager Steve Burr.

A statement on the Kidderminster Harriers website read as follows: “Kidderminster Harriers can confirm that they have received a formal approach from Forest Green Rovers, through the correct channels, for permission to speak to Manager Steve Burr about their managerial vacancy.

Steve Burr has been kept fully aware of the situation at all times and has expressed an interest in meeting with Rovers officials to discuss the post and, as such, the club have reluctantly granted him permission to do so.

Until we discover the outcome of those discussions we will make no further comment on the matter – the team has a fixture at Barnet coming up this weekend and it is vital that Gary Whild and the rest of the management team and playing staff are left to focus as nothing is more important than that.”

A bitter blow for the Harriers who have backed, the former Macclesfield striker, last season even tough the Worcestershire lost their first five games of last season. Chairman Martin Sarrell could have quite easily got rid of Burr who joined the club in November 2010 for Stalybridge Celtic.

But he was quite happy to stand by and what results it was for the Harriers who transformed there season around and were close to securing the title.

It has always been believed that Burr would only leave Aggborough for a chance at managing in the Football League if he didn’t manage to take the Harriers back into the Football League, so it makes Friday’s announcement a little more surprising.

Despite Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Barnet at the Hive the Harriers sit 2nd in the Skrill Premier and look set to challenge once again in May for title glory. It would be a huge blow if they were to lose their manager, if he was to join Forest Green Rovers despite them being made one of the team for promotion this season they have thus far been disappointing and left David Hockaday with a job.

So it would make no sense for Burr to make the move now really if you were to base it on league positions.

The only reason why Burr may possibly leave DY10 is for Money. FGR are reportedly set to be banked rolled by a wealthy businessmen and have one of the top budgets in the Skrill Premier.

Sadly money attracted people these days and Burr will feel that he has earned the right to be getting a large wage for his work. But, if the Harriers were to be promoted which I think they have a real chance in doing so then he could be earning more money managing last season Conference runners up.

At Aggborough Burr has built and impressive squad bringing in young players in the main from lower leagues and turning them into top class players- Chey Dunkley, Anthony Malbon and Marvin Johnson are just three of the current ream players who have worked their way into Burr’s first team places thanks to hard work.

The only real place where this didn’t happen was when they sign Michael Gash from Cambridge United and what a signing he proved to be last season for the Harriers as he pushed them to promotion.

If Burr was to leave then he would be leaving a cracking job behind which has seen him take them from missing out on play-offs to the verge of the Football League. Where if he were to join FGR then he would be possibly taking a step back in the progression of his management career.

Barnet bees looking to sting the Kidderminster Harrier in the Skrill Premier

Kidderminster manager Steve Burr hoping for another three points at Barnet.

Kidderminster manager Steve Burr hoping for another three points at Barnet.

In a new way of the previewing the fixtures we are going to take one big game and look at that hopefully then we can focus a little bit on each team more through out the season and then also after the game we will have a write up about the game and analysis what has happened.

We are now 16 games into the Skrill Premier season and after a break for the FA Cup last weekend we now concentrate on the league once again as the table is starting to take shape.

Our feature game this week comes from The Hive as Barnet welcome Kidderminster Harriers to capital in what is a promotion six-point despite the hosts sitting in 8th position.

Both sides enjoyed cup wins and look forward to the first round of the FA Cup. Kidderminster needed an extra replay to beat Bradford PA at Aggborough on Tuesday night and now welcome Sutton United to Aggborough. While Barnet ran out 3-0 winners at Concord Rangers and now have a trip to Lancashire to face Preston North End in the next round.

The Bees had such a great start in their return to the Skrill Premier but have dropped off in recent weeks including draws against Wrexham (live on BT sport) and loses at Halifax and Alfreton mean that Edger Davids men has slipped down the league table.

While for Steve Burr’s Kidderminster Harriers they have flown up the table and have the momentum behind them as they look to go 7 games unbeaten in the Skrill Premier they slipped up against Aldershot and Chester with two 0-0 draws.

But the Harriers will find themselves in a familiar position as they ended last season 2nd after going so close to winning the league now. However we cannot talk about that much really as we are now well into the new season and have a new set of fixtures and set of results to look at it.

Personally for me I think this game will be a tough game for both sides I think both teams have enough quality to cancel each other out and we might well see a draw here at The Hive.

Also it is quite hard to chose a winner because Barnet are the home side and are doing well despite losing to Macclesfield at home in the league. This was the Bees first home lose of the season going down by 2 goals to 1.

While for the Harriers they are one of the inform teams at the minute having not lost since 21st September away 3-0 at Dartford since then the Harriers have found some consistency winning games and have scored some thunderbolts so far.

Like this one from Joe Lolley vs Halifax Town as the harriers ran out 2-0 winners.

It is important for the Harriers that they keep winning games as league leaders Cambridge United remain unbeaten but all the Worcestershire club can do is keep winning their games and hope that Cambridge slip up at some point and that they can be ready to take full advantage of it happening.

If I was to predict the outcome of this game I will go for a 1-1 draw between Barnet and Kidderminster Harriers.

Other fixtures taking place this weekend in the Skrill Premier are as follows: Alfreton Town v FC Halifax, Chester FC v Aldershot, Forest Green Rovers v Dartford, Gateshead v Luton Town, Hyde FC v Nuneaton Town, Macclesfield v Wrexham, Southport v Cambridge United, Tamworth v Braintree Town, Welling United v Lincoln City and Woking v Grimsby Town

Look back at the FA Cup 4Q round.

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The FA Cup has really got underway now as Conference Premier teams entered the fray for the competition on Saturday and despite a few potential upsets most of the Skrill Premier sides have made it into round One of the competition.

Barring the likes of Aldershot and Kidderminster who drew 1-1 away to Shortwood and Bradford Park Avenue away respectively we have 12 teams already in the round two with 3 more possibly joining us.

Where teams have gone out it is only due to being in an all Conference Premier ties such as Chester going out to Gateshead. While the only real upset so far came at manager less Forest Green Rovers who went out to Bishop Stortford at home.

The result means that The Skrill South side get to play the Cobblers of Northampton Town fc in the first round of the FA Cup.

But overall the weekend has been a really enjoyable one with lots of goals for example we had at 8 at Southport as they won 6-2 over Marske United from the Northern League.

To be fair to Alan Wright he could have easily rested his stars but he played a strong 11 and were 4-0 up after 15 minutes played okay they took their foot off the gas but as the end of the day it was also going to be a case of getting the first couple of goals and it kills the game.

We also had 7 goals at Macclesfield where the Skrill Premier side hammered Vauxhall Motors 7-0 at Mose Road with a bit of a strange score line.

I had seen the Motormen earlier in action this season as they knocked out Chorley fc (the team I support) 4-0 out of the competition so was a little surprised when the full time score flash up on my twitter feed.

A 15 minute hat-trick from Danny Rowe as well as goals from Connor Jennings, Danny Whitaker, Scott Boden and Scott Key put to the hosts through and was also Macc’s biggest win in over 17 years, so a good day for the Cheshire Club.

Personally for me I was the other side of Staffordshire to cover Tamworth v Solihull Moors which saw The Lambs walk all over the Moors with a 4-1 win. Goals from Richard Peniket, 2 from the birthday boy Nick Chadwick and one for sub Ben Richards-Everton made sure there was no upsets in South Staffordshire.

It was a really enjoyable game and despite the score was very end to end and the 319 Solihull fans who travelled to Staffordshire did themselves proud by singing till the end.

After the game I went to interview Dale Belford, the Tamworth fc manager for a website I work for called StaffsLive and the Tamworth press Officer filmed me doing the interview for their YouTube account and was given credit. You can see the video below.

There were also a few upsets one being Stourbridge winning at Workington, who sit bottom of the Skrill North. The Glassboys are no strangers to a cup upset having knocked out Plymouth 2-0 in the first round a couple of years back, this having drawn 3-3 in the original game.

The draw was made Sunday lunchtime and has thrown up some great games. Personally speaking I like the look of Hednesford v Crawley and Tamworth v Cheltenham Town (for StaffsLive reasons), Southport (One the closet team to where I live) have a trip to Leyton Orient.

But one of the ties of the round is Daventry being rewarded for beating Hartley Wintney 6-1 by facing Chestefield in the second round. The away end at the Proact stadium will certainly be full of fans cheering on the Southern League side.

For the full draw click here.

How to rekindle the magic of the FA Cup

This is a piece I wrote for the Atherton Colls match day programme vs Radcliffe Borough for the FA Cup game earlier this season which is reproduced below. If you want to view the whole programme you can find it on the link below.

The Football Association Challenge Cup- the oldest knockout competition in the world. Better known as The FA Cup.

For years the competition has brought upsets and magical moments which has left the fans and the players wanting more. But has the competition now being devalued as the so called big teams fielded weakened teams?

Once the FA Cup was the biggest competition for English teams after the league. But now English teams are making the latter stages of The Champions Leagues and surviving in the league becoming more important the FA Cup is being devalued by many clubs.

Wigan Athletic bucked the trend last season and managed to win the FA Cup with a 1-0 win over Manchester City. But, were sadly relegated just days later after their cup success. This seemed to be a similar story at Luton Town as they missed out on a shot of promotion as they had an excellent cup run which included them beating Norwich 1-0 at Carrow Road. Before going out in the 5th round to Millwall at Kenilworth Road.

But on the whole it feels like the greatest knockout competition in the world is losing the magic touch so how can we make it better?

Well for a start the media could cover the earlier games a lot more. In the early rounds only the local media covers the cup ties such as the local newspapers and the non-league paper. I fully understand people watching BBC will not want to watch a game such as Atherton Colls v Radcliffe Borough live on the BBC but maybe the FA Cup could have a camera there and it be put on the North-West web page. As not every team can make it into round one and get on the TV.

Also the round names could be changed why is it that we play in the first qualifying round etc. Clubs have already qualified for the FA Cup so why do Non-league teams have to go through a qualifying process to make it into playing Premier League teams. Many people think the FA Cup start at round 3 when Premier League and Championship sides enter the fray. Yet some teams like Hasting United last season have been playing in the cup competition since September.

My final way that the FA Cup could be improved is by seeding the teams so a premier league and championship clubs are in one pot, league one, two and non-league clubs in the other. That way we can have a more David v Goliath ties. The FA Cup is famous for the Giant killings and it’s what everyone loves. Also it will stop the all premier-league clashes happening. We seem play each other week, so why do we want to watch them again? The FA Cup is a chance for a little side to pit their wits against the big boys. I know we may at points be imbalanced so the lower ranked teams are placed in one pot and the top teams in the other.

I doubt the FA will use these ideas and will leave it how it is, but maybe they will try for a change and will go for it and trying and make the FA Cup become the great competition a club side can play in these days.

You can read a copy of that match day programme here.

Skrill Premier review 19th October

league trophy review
We are now over two months into the Skrill Premier season and the table is starting to take shape as team who are going to be battling it out for the title and who is going to be in for a long season battling relegation Saturday’s round of fixtures saw a total of 45 goals being scored with seven fixtures having four or more goals being scored.

Hyde fc are still yet to win a game this season as they went down 4-3 to Dartford at the Princes Park stadium. Matt Gooden put the Arrowmen 2-0 up before Scott Spencer scored two goals of his own on 34 minutes (from the spot) and 43 minutes. Before Chris Almond put the Tigers 3-2 as they looked to be taking their first win of the season. But, with seven minutes left George Monger made it 3-3 before Gooden completed his hat-trick with just three minutes to go leaving the Tigers win out a win this season.

Another 4-3 game was at the Lamb and it went the way of the visitors as Luton over turned Tamworth in Staffordshire. Tamworth went 1-0 up thanks to Daune Courtney opening the scoring on 13 minutes but Jonathan Smith made it 1-1 on 31 minutes before Andy Parry made it 2-1 just before the interval. In the second half the Hatters were quick out of the box as just a minute in Paul Benson made it 3-1 on 46 minutes then just moments later 4-1 on 54 minutes. Tamworth did pull back two goals thanks to Lateef Elford-Alliyu from the spot and a second for Courtney but they couldn’t do enough to win the game.

Kidderminster are still looking towards promotion this season as they beat Lincoln City 4-1 at Aggborough Michael Gash gave the Harriers the lead just 3 minutes before half time. Before Andrew Boyce doubled the hosts lead 10 minutes into the second half when he put through his own net. Harriers skipper Kyle Storer made it 3-0 before Nick Wright made it 3-1. But right on full time Anthony Malbon made it 4-1 to the Harriers.

Gateshead also ran out 4-1 winners as they won by that score line away at Nuneaton. James Marwood put Heed 1-0 up on 15 minutes before the lead was doubled that to Jordan Hugill on 20 minutes. In the second half ColinLarkin made it 3-0 from the penalty spot before Robert Ramshaw made it 4-0 just before the hour mark. Louis Moult pulled on back for Nuneaton on 73 minutes but the damage was already done.

Alfreton claimed another great win as they beat Aldershot 3-2 at The Rec. In a fast 10 minute spell the visitors went 2-1 up thanks to Shaw opening the scoring on 23 before Jaydon Gibbs made it 1-1 on 28 minutes but Tom Law restored the visitors lead on 31 minutes to go into the break 2-1 up. The shots drew level just two minutes into the second half thanks to Brett Willams but Jake Speight won the game for Alfreton just before the hour mark.

Newly promoted Halifax Town are enjoying life back in the Conference Premier as they beat Welling United 3-0 at the Shay. This was thanks to a first half hat-trick from Lee Gregory who netted on the 7th 24th and 36th minutes to keep the Shaymen riding high in the Conference.

Halifax were promoted from the Blue Square North a long side Chester and the Deva were beaten 3-0 at Braintree. A early double from Charlie Strutton (6 and 7 minutes) put Braintree 2-0 up before Dean Wells added a 3rd on 28 minutes. The results leaves the Deva in third from bottom in the Skrill Premier, while Braintree sit in 4th place.

Cambridge United remain the only unbeaten side in the Skrill Premier as they beat Salisbury 2-0 to remain top of the league. The U’s won the game thanks a 5 minute double from sub Kwesi Appiah in the second on 49 and 56 minutes.

Grimsby are 5th in the league after they came from behind to beat fellow promotion hopefuls Forest Green at Blundell Park 3-1. FGR went 1-0 thanks to Klukowski on 24 minutes. Before a double from Ross Hannah 34 and a 64 minute penatly. Before Alex Rodman sealed the win for the Mariners with 6 minutes to go.

Wrexham are slowly climbing up the Skrill Premier table after they beat Woking 2-0 at Racecourse ground. Dean Keates put the Reds Dragons 1-0 up on 21 minutes before Joe Clarke secured the win for the North Wales side when he netted on 90 minutes.

Barnet were in the winners in the battle of the Bulls and Bees at they won 1-0 at Edger Street the home of Hereford United. The only game came 9 minutes before half time when Ahmed Abdulla netted for the visitors. Who now have Carl Fletcher, who has previously played for West Ham and the Wales National team.

On Thursday night Macclesfield and Southport played out a 2-2 draw. Conor Jennings put Macc 1-0 up on 10 minutes before Danny Hattersley leveled up on 61. Conor Jennings got his second as he made it 2-1 on 77 minutes. But Southport leveled in the final minute when Jamie Milligan made it 2-2 from the penalty spot on penalty.

You can view the Skrill Premier league table here.