And so, we have reached the halfway point of our very first North West Counties Football League Division One (South) season. If you had said we’d be sitting fourth in the league at this stage before our opening game, we would have probably bitten your hand off.
And it’s appropriate that our first game ‘on the turn’, is against our very first league opponents on that day back in July, Maine Road.
What an occasion that Saturday afternoon was at Brantingham Road. And what a game too. Captain, Frank Jones scored our historic first ever NWCFL goal inside ten minutes, but a superb, volleyed equaliser just before the half, levelled things up for the Sky Blues.
The second half was a nail biter. Ste Whitley’s penalty on the hour was saved by the Maine Road ‘keeper and Dean Kearns had to be just as alert between the Raven’s posts to keep the hosts at bay. The last ten minutes were crazy as both sides went gung-ho in an attempt to find the winner, but in the end the honours were shared.
Our Visitors This Week
The Sky Blues actually had quite a difficult start to the 2021-2022 season. Despite a good draw against the Ravens on that opening day as described above, they then went on to lose seven of their next nine matches, and after just ten games they were languishing towards the bottom end of the league table.
However, since then they have turned the tables somewhat, winning six of their last nine matches and now sit comfortably in 11th place on 25 points.
The Sky Blues come into this match after losing a close-run encounter at nearby Stockport Town last week, and they’ll be looking to get back on the winning track at the Bowl tomorrow.
Louis Edwards and Ben Mooney are Maine Road’s top scorers with nine and eight respectively. Edwards, in particular, is in a rich vein of form scoring all of his nine goals in the last six games.
FC Isle of Man Team News
Quite sensational news this week! Manager, Chris Bass might actually be able to pick a team from the full gamut of his squad for the first time this season.
There are no new injuries to add to the list, and in fact, more and more players are returning from the physio table and coming back into contention, especially at the centre back position. Indeed, Alex Maitland, arguably the team’s best defender before suffering a hamstring injury against Abbey Hulton in September could make his return tomorrow.
In the midfield and attack, all the usual suspects are available, except for the suspended Lee Gale. Last week Bass rotated his attack somewhat, resting both inform wingers Ste Whitley and Adam Mealin against Rocester. Dan Simpson’s excellent form in that game, however, will give Bass some headaches when he comes to select his starting eleven.
However, we all know, no matter what team the manager selects to tomorrow they will do the Ravens proud.