NLN Round-up: Fagbola extends FC United stay

Former County defender, Jordan Fagbola, has extended his stay at FC United after signing a one year contract with the Moston-based club.

The 23-year-old defender, who spent four years at County under a number of different managers, joined the club in January of this year after a short stint at Solihull Moors.

Fagbola started the last eight matches in a row for FCUM, and his performances in the latter part of the season were enough to earn the former Rochdale defender a 12 month contract.

Elsewhere in the National League North, Alfreton Town continue to strengthen for the new season with the re-signing of Brad McGowan, their 2017 player of the year.

Chorley fans will also be pleased with the news of Jake Cottrell signing for a further season, the midfielder now enters his fifth season at the Lancashire club and has made more than 200 appearances for The Magpies.

Finally, highly rated Shrewsbury striker, Ethan Jones, has decided to sign for Southport, despite interest from a number of clubs. The 19-year-old has cited game time as the main reason for his move to The Sandgrounders.

2016/17 NLN Average Attendances

We compiled data from a number of different websites including football web pages and The Linnets to determine a list of average attendances for the 2016/2017 season.

Notable mentions should include AFC Fylde, who improved their attendance by 275% on last season and Salford City, who achieved 117% improvement on their 2015/16 attendance.

County can also be pleased with a 12% jump whilst the FC United hierarchy may be worred with a 21% drop in support last season.

  1. Stockport County – 3,477
  2. FC United of Manchester – 2,660
  3. FC Halifax Town – 2,156
  4. AFC Fylde – 1,961
  5. Kidderminster Harriers – 1,837
  6. Darlington 1883 – 1,739
  7. Chorley – 1,454
  8. Salford City – 1,430
  9. AFC Telford United – 1,182
  10. Altrincham – 1,149
  11. Boston United – 1,081
  12. Harrogate Town – 901
  13. Tamworth – 825
  14. Worcester City – 636
  15. Nuneaton Town – 626
  16. Gainsborough Trinity – 612
  17. Stalybridge – 569
  18. Alfreton Town – 546
  19. Gloucester City – 483
  20. Bradford Park Avenue – 453
  21. Brackley Town – 427
  22. Curzon Ashton – 405

In addition, the teams that were relegated/promoted to the league had the following average attendances:

  • York City – 2,558
  • North Ferriby United – 615
  • Southport – 1,140
  • Blyth Spartans – 648
  • Spennymoor Town – 623

 

National League North: Weekend Preview

There are nine big matches taking place this weekend in the Vanarama National League North, with key games in both the race for promotion and the battle to avoid relegation.

downloadStarting at the top, the two form teams in the division play each other as AFC Fylde travel to Salford in what is a massive game, failure to win at Moor Lane would mean that Kidderminster could move to within three points of The Coasters if they win their two games in hand. Salford, meanwhile, would go second with a victory and surely, with 15 league games still to go, harbour their own thoughts of catching Dave Challinor’s men.

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In another big match, Chorley look to consolidate their position in the top five as they host Darlington, whereas The Quakers will be looking to move back in to the play-offs after recently being replaced by Stockport County. In the other games of interest at the top, Tamworth and Halifax travel to Worcester and Altrincham respectively in games that neither team can afford to lose, especially if they want to keep pace with the leading five.

A win for County, however, could see them move into third position (albeit they’d have to beat Stalybridge at Edgeley Park on Saturday by at least 15 goals), and with other promotion chasing teams playing each other, a win for County is a must.

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However with Bridge currently 11 points from safety at the moment, they will also view Saturday’s game as an incredibly important one, a win or draw for Celtic would see them unbeaten in four and would really give their side belief that they can beat the drop.

Elsewhere in the relegation zone, Bradford Park Avenue  face Curzon Ashton and will aim to move to within a point of 19th placed Alfreton, whereas bottom club Altrincham host Halifax as they look to move into double figures this season and secure just their second win of the entire league campaign.

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In mid-table, Gloucester City could move into ninth position as they go head-to-head with AFC Telford at the New Bucks Head Stadium, The Tigers will be looking to build on their impressive win against Tamworth as they continue their surge for the play-offs.

In the final two games of the weekend, Gainsborough Trinity face Alfeton Town in a game which will see connotations at the bottom of the table, whilst 10th placed Harrogate Town take on Boston at York Street.

Alfreton 0-3 County

County ran out comfortable winners against Alfreton Town in what turned out to be County’s third league ‘double’ of the season in what is the Hatters last away match of the season. The result also saw County surpass their points tally for 2014/2015 season, quite a damning stat considering last season was nowhere near good enough.

County went ahead 27 minutes into the first half, with Odejayi making a nuisance of himself, the ball fell to Marsden who put a smart finish beyond the former Hatter, Matt Duke. The score remained 1-0 as the referee blew for half time.

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Some second half pressure, in which Alfreton could have had a couple of goals, was withstood by the County backline and their hard work in keeping the Derbyshire side at bay was rewarded when substitute Richard Brodie poked home from a low Morton cross.

The cherry on the icing on the cake came 4 minutes later when, in the 88th minute, Henderson launched a diagonal ball forward which found Marsden unmarked, who smashed home County’s third from a  tight angle.

Overall, a good victory for the Hatters against a side of similar stature this season, Jim Gannon will have learnt a little more about who he wants next season from yesterday’s showing.

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Full Time: Alfreton 0-3 County

Scorers: Marsden 27, Brodie 84, Marsden 88

Starting XI: Henderson, Connolly, Roberts, Ellison, O’Hanlon, Smalley, Morton, Wilson (Russell, 64), Odejayi (Brodie, 72), Marsden, Garvin (Rule, 77).

Attendance: 837