Non-league matters: Curzon Ashton boss John Flanagan hopeful of another cup scalp

By Arandeep Singh Dhillon & Tom Paterson 

Curzon Ashton manager John Flanagan believes his side can cause another cup upset as they gear up to travel to Chorley for Saturday’s FA Trophy first round tie.

After beating AFC Fylde just under two weeks ago, Flanagan believes his side can beat Garry Flitcroft’s men – who currently lie 2nd in the Evo-Stik Premier Division.

Both teams combined have scored 78 goals in the league so far this season but Flanagan would not be surprised if scoring was limited in tomorrow’s match.

He said: “Maybe Fylde took us lightly the other week and hopefully Chorley will do tomorrow.

 “We are struggling terribly with injuries and down to our bare bones and at the moment we’re patching players up and putting them back out their but next weekend we may have to start shifting the team about because of the injuries.

“It will probably be 0-0 tomorrow knowing the way football is.”

Hyde boss Scott McNiven has addressed the rut his side are in saying that all they need to do is believe in themselves if they are to survive in the Skrill Premier.

They suffered their 18th league defeat on Saturday losing 2-1 to Alfreton Town and McNiven stressed the importance of not losing hope and to keep plugging away as they take a break from league duties to face North Ferriby United in the FA Trophy.

“It’s massively important to win as a team and to lose as a team. Even if you go 1-0 down, if you stay strong and stick to the belief of what we’re trying to do of getting the ball down, to play the right way and to create chances, we need to believe it’s going to happen,” he said.

“We’ve had three poor months and it’s been hard for us, the players, the board and the fans but everyone is sticking by us which has been a massive boost.

“With the amount of work that everybody does here we don’t deserve to be where we are considering how we have played, but points don’t lie and that’s the hardest thing to take.”

Ashton united travel to Ilkeston FC in the Premier Division and joint-manager Steve Halford feels a turn in fortunes for the club is just around the corner as his side seek their first win in five.

“The extra rest we have had could play a part, we wanted to play last Saturday but that’s how it has panned out but we’ve been on the training ground twice this week and it’s been good,” he said.

“Now I’m more focused on the results rather than the performances, I’m confident tomorrow we can get a win.”

Halford also spoke of the impact he hopes new signing Dale Johnson could have.

He said: “We need something to kick-start us, Dale Johnson is a prolific player and has got the quality that we need.”

United look set to have a fully fit squad after defender Greg Pearson has passed himself fit.

In tonight’s First Division North encounter, Salford City face an away tie at New Mills.

FC United host Blyth Spartans and Trafford entertain Nantwich Town in tomorrow’s other Premier Division matches whilst Peter Band’s Mossley play Darlington 1883 at Seel Park in the First Division North.

Image courtesy of Iain Lees, with thanks.

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