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

 

Rivals strengthen for next season

As news broke earlier this week of Gannon’s first summer signing of 2017, many of Stockport’s National League North rivals were also strengthening their squads as they look to secure one of two promotion spots next season.

Tamworth made their first signing on Thursday as they brought in former Yeovil, Solihull and Kidderminster forward, Darryl Knights.

20-goal striker George Thomson joined Harrogate from FC United of Manchester whilst Town have also brought in Goalkeeper James Belshaw and midfielder Josh Falkingham from league rivals Tamworth and Darlington as they look to show a real statement of intent this summer.

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Bradford Park Avenue have signed experienced attacker, Nicky Clee, with the winger calling time on his Altrincham career following 263 appearances.

Elsewhere, Seventh-placed Brackley Town have signed Solihull Moors defender, Connor Franklin, whilst Salford City made their second signing of the summer in the form of Liam Hogan, a former Stockport Town player who most recently played in the national league premier division with Gateshead.

Winter signs from FC United

Harry Winter has signed for Stockport County from FC United, the club have confirmed via Twitter this week. The 27-year-old left Broadhurst Park this week after interest from County following United’s victory over Kidderminster last weekend.

The midfielder, who has played 60 times for the Greater Manchester club, was highly regarded by the management and supporters of FCUM, and will likely be a huge loss as they aim to avoid the drop this year.

County’s new man has been a regular in and around non-league over the past decade, and has played for Northwich, Fylde, Halifax, Chorley and FC United, before his move was confirmed this week.

The combative midfielder caught Gannon’s eye during the 2-1 victory over FC earlier in the year, much the same way that Jimmy Ball and Sefton Gonzales impressed against County prior to signing.

Take a look below at the FC United supporters reactions via Twitter.

 

County vs FCUM: Twitter Reacts

Twitter was abuzz with praise for County’s players and supporters after the game, we’ve rounded up some of the best tweets so you don’t have to.

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County 2-1 FC United

County delivered a dominant performance against a limited FC United side as they ran out 2-1 winners in front of a record National League North crowd. 

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County lined up with two changes from the side that acquired a point at Alfreton a week previously, with Kaine Felix and Connor Hampson coming in for Scott Duxbury and Mark Ross respectively, with Gannon adopting a 4-3-3 line up as his side chased a play-off spot.

The tactics were working for The Hatters, as they restricted United to a single shot off target in the first half, but despite good chances from Lloyd, Amis and Ball, County had to wait till the 44th minute to find a breakthrough.

After an injury forced FC United down to 10, a corner from the right side caused confusion in the FC United box, and in the commotion, Danny Lloyd found Elliot Osborne on the left who lashed it home from 10 yards to put his side 1-0 up at half time.

HT: County 1-0 FC United

County came out attacking the Cheadle End and had two chances to extend their lead before FCUM had chance to catch breath, on both occasions, stand in stopper Dave Carnell kept his side in the match.

United then had their first meaningful attempt of the match, a good bit of play from Harry Winter saw Ben Hinchliffe forced into a save with his legs to keep County in front.

Thankfully, Stockport doubled their lead in the 70th minute, a long throw from Minihan was missed by Lloyd and Brown which allowed Scott Duxbury to slot home just minutes after coming on, 2-0 County.

Just four minutes later, however, and FC United were handed a lifeline, Josh Amis handled in the area and Jerome Wright smashed his penalty straight down the middle. Despite FC failing to threaten all match, they were now back in with a chance, 2-1.

In the closing stages, both sides had chances and County could have made it 3, 4 or 5 goals but couldn’t convert. Thankfully, United didn’t have any more clear cut chances and the game finished 2-1, but not before Chris Chantler was sent off for an elbow to (man of the match) Minihan in the dying seconds.

FT: County 2-1 FC United

Team: Hinchliffe, Minihan, Hampson, Montrose, Clarke, Smalley, Felix (Duxbury, 64), Osborne, Amis (Gonzales, 78), Ball, Lloyd (Ross, 87).

Unused Subs: Ormson, Marsden.

Attendance: 5,630 (957 away).