Non-league Matters: Stockport County grab revenge derby win over Hyde in busy New Year’s Day programme

By John McDougall & Ross McLean

Stockport County grabbed a revenge win over rivals Hyde as New Year’s Day brought another busy round of fixtures for Greater Manchester’s non-league teams.

In the Blue Square Bet Premier’s Cheshire derby, Stockport County beat Hyde 1-0 at Ewen Fields.

Connor Jennings’ goal on the hour proved to be decisive, lifting the Hatters to 17th in the table and away from the relegation zone.

Up next for the Hatters is an away clash on Saturday against eighth-placed Cambridge United.

As for Hyde, they drop to 11th but have another game at Ewen Fields against promotion chasing Forest Green Rovers at the weekend.

Another Greater Manchester derby took place in the Blue Square Bet North as Altrincham defeated ten-man Stalybridge Celtic 2-1 at Moss Lane.

Celtic took the lead through Greg Wilkinson’s 11th minute strike, but were reduced to ten men when goalkeeper Alex Cairns was dismissed for hauling down James Lawrie.

Damian Reeves converted the resulting penalty on 39 minutes, before Jake Moult scored the Robins’ winning goal a minute later.

Eighth-placed Altrincham’s next game is a home clash with Harrogate Town, who are three points behind them in the Blue Square North table in 12th.

Defeated Celtic meanwhile drop to 11th, with an away trip to bottom of the league Hinckley United next up for them.

A James Ellison hat-trick could not save Droylsden from losing a thrilling game 4-3 at the Butchers Arms Ground to top of the table Chester FC.

The Bloods were 3-0 down within eight minutes thanks to goals from Antoni Sarcevic, Craig Curran and Danny Williams.

The home side got one back through Ellison’s 16th minute tap in but Nathan Turner restored Chester’s three goal advantage on 41 minutes.

Ellison grabbed his second in the 85th minute and a third in injury time, but could not save Droylsden from their fourth successive league defeat.

The Bloods remain in 21st place and next face a home clash against third placed Brackley Town.

After the disjointed festive fixture programme due to the inclement weather, fans of Evo-Stik football were treated to plenty of fixtures yesterday and no shortage of drama.

In the Premier Division, Ashton United could only muster a goalless draw at home to mid-table Stafford Rangers and start the year with a point.

FC United of Manchester have a host of games in hand on the teams above them and now have another to re-schedule during the remaining months of the season.

The Red Rebels were without a match after Stockbridge Park Steels’ Look Local Stadium pitch was deemed waterlogged and unplayable.

In Evo-Stik League Division One (North), there was a rude awakening for league leaders Mossley in their opening game of the calendar year.

Steve Halford’s charges were handsomely beaten 4-0 by New Mills, who find themselves very handily placed for an assault on the play-offs over the coming months.

Goals from Daryl Weston and Daniel Grimshaw preceded a double from former Northwich Victoria forward Chris Luby as The Millers recorded their seventh away win of the campaign.

Ramsbottom United built on their impressive Boxing Day victory at Clitheroe by defeating Radcliffe Borough at The Harry Williams Riverside Stadium.

Jon Robinson and Phil Edghill scored early goals for the Rams before Matt Crooks replied for the visitors shortly before the break.

There was still time for Dominic Smalley to restore the hosts’ two-goal advantage before the interval which was maintained until stoppage when Simon Carden reduced the arrears.

There was a thrilling derby encounter at Moor Lane as Salford City and Trafford had to be content with a point after sharing six goals.

The prolific Michael Oates scored his 21st goal of the season to put Garry Vaughan’s men into the lead before Danny Heffernan equalised for the Ammies.

Darren Sheridan’s side then led twice through Nathan Mcdonald, in-turn being pegged back by Andrew Smart and Melford Knight.

Elsewhere, Curzon Ashton suffered a disappointing defeat at Wakefield despite surging into an early lead through the division’s leading goalscorer Kristian Dennis.

Andrew Fieldhouse and Lee Turner scored either side of half-time to completely turn the match on its head and ensure a miserable start to the New Year for John Flanagan.

2013 certainly looks to be an exciting year for our non-league clubs with many issues to be resolved between now and April.

A number of Greater Manchester sides, particularly those at Evo-Stik level, are well-placed in their respective divisions at the turn of the year.

And there is no doubt several with have ambitions of securing play-off berths with some perhaps eyeing more.

What is for sure is there will be many more twists and turns between now and the end of the season when silverware is handed out futures decided.

Image courtesy of Stockport County, via YouTube, with thanks

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