Groundhog Day for the Mighty Stalybridge Celtic.
Where did Christmas go? Three derbies and one point out of nine for the Mighty Stalybridge Celtic, a pulsating 3 – 3 draw at Tameside Stadium between Curzon Ashton and Mossley and the small matter of a transfer to Scunthorpe United.
Amid the hubris, the ‘Bridge recorded a memorable 2 – 1 victory against Stockport County in an F.A Trophy First Round Replay. A last minute goal from Connor Jennings guaranteed the Mighty Stalybridge Celtic their fifth clash against Guiseley in a year, and their third trip to Nethermoor within that period.
If you thought playing Guiseley for the third time this season wasn’t enough, the Hatters could also be sick of the sight of each other. Should they beat Winsford United in the Cheshire Senior Cup Quarter Final, Stockport County will return to Bower Fold in about a month or two, in the semi finals. What odds would you get on Stalybridge Celtic beating Guiseley and facing another team known as The Hatters [Luton Town] in the next round?
Owing to Hyde’s exit in the first round, Droylsden is Tameside’s only other club left in the competition. This coming Saturday sees them facing Kidderminster Harriers at Aggborough. The Bloods aim to get one over another Conference Premier side, but will Steve Burr scupper Pace’s Wembley aspirations?
Chester, hotly tipped to win the Northern Premier League Premier Division face a lengthy trip to Ebbsfleet United. Second placed rivals Northwich Victoria have a home clash against Staines Town. Also heading south is Boston United, who face Dartford. Worksop Town, who beat Curzon Ashton, face a challenging tie with Newport County making their way to Nottinghamshire.
F.A. Trophy Second Round fixtures (14 January 2012):
- Guiseley v Stalybridge Celtic;
- Ebbsfleet United v Chester;
- Kidderminster Harriers v Droylsden;
- Dartford v Boston United;
- Worksop Town v Newport County;
- Northwich Victoria v Staines Town.
All fixtures kick-off at 1500 hours unless otherwise stated.
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Getting to Guiseley:
Of the 22 Blue Square Bet North clubs, Guiseley’s Nethermoor ground is one of the easier grounds to get to on public transport. The railway station is only a short walk from the ground with frequent services along the Wharfedale Line from Ilkley to Leeds. If you prefer to catch the bus, the 737 service from Bradford Interchange to Leeds/Bradford Airport stops close by. First Leeds also run frequent services which pass the ground.
By train (directions from Stalybridge):
Off-peak return: £17.20. Cheaper option: go by bus or choose the supporters’ coach which departs from Stalybridge bus station, or purchase off-peak return to Huddersfield (£10.20) then purchase a rail MetroRover ticket from there (£6.20) saving you 80p and offering several ways in and out of Guiseley, so long as you meet your Huddersfield train.
- First/Keolis Transpennine Express service to Leeds;
- Change at Leeds for Northern Rail/Metro West Yorkshire Wharfedale Line MetroTrain service to Guiseley.
Bus/Train Combo from Stalybridge (possibly cheaper though longer route):
- 236/237/348/387/389 to Ashton;
- 409 to Rochdale;
- 528/589/590 to Littleborough;
- Train from Littleborough to Bradford Interchange (£7.10, off-peak return);
- 737 or 653 from Bradford Interchange to Guiseley (allow 10 minutes to transfer from rail to bus part of Bradford Interchange).
By bus (for the most daring and patient among you all, again from Stalybridge!):
- 236/237/348/387/389 to Ashton, or 408 to Oldham;
- 409 to Rochdale or Oldham;
- Either 528 to Halifax from Rochdale, or 184 from Oldham to Huddersfield;
- Either 571 from Halifax to Bradford or X6/363 to Bradford from Huddersfield;
- 737 or 653 from Bradford Interchange. The ground is a short walk up from the Morrisons store (the town’s main bus stop). Allow 10 minutes to transfer from stop to Nethermoor.
F.A. Trophy Second Round Results: could The Mighty Stalybridge Celtic get over last season’s exit at Nethermoor, this time without Connor Jennings? All will be revealed on the 14th January 2012.
S.V., 12 January 2012.