Non League Day, 07 September 2013: Real Football for the Masses

The joys of Non League Football in Greater Manchester

Main Stand, Glassworld Stadium, Histon FC, Cambridgeshire
Photographed during the 2011 Non League Day on the 04 September at Histon FC. (The Mighty Stalybridge Celtic beat the Stutes 1-0 in that fixture).

Whilst our Premier League and Championship sides are having a weekend off due to international fixtures, the 07 September 2013 is Non League Day. As well as attracting potential newcomers to non-league football, some football clubs are enticing them with discounts.

With Greater Manchester having a great many non-league footballing sides, most of them are easily reached by bus, train and tram. Some may be a short walk from the nearest bus stop or right outside one.

Our conurbation’s non-league sides have a proud history. One of them resigned from the Football League, another was beaten 26-0 by Preston North End. One of them, and another one just outside Greater Manchester, have been in Wembley finals. And these are just in the Tameside and Glossop areas.

With our non-league sides facing competition from City, United and other counter attractions, a great many need your support more than ever. You get to visit weird and wonderful parts of the UK you didn’t think exist. You can even change ends at half time, stand up to watch a match and have change from a £20 note in most grounds.

Plus there’s a family atmosphere once you’ve started to watch The Mighty ‘Bridge/Tigers/Bloods/Lilywhites/Hillmen properly. No £62 ticket at a fancy dan stadium can offer you that in addition to the privilege of seeing Dzeko, Felliani or Van Persie. I was drawn into non-league football and haven’t looked back. I even managed to convert a staunch Manchester United fan into a non-league one, though his first love was and remains United.

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Non League Day Fixtures in Greater Manchester

Skrill Conference Premier

Only one in the top flight of non league this coming Saturday: Hyde FC versus Cambridge United. Whereas the ‘U’s are top of the league and undefeated, the Tigers are next to bottom and have yet to register their first win.

Offers: half price admission will be offered to anyone producing a season ticket from a Premier League or Championship club, or an Armed Forces ID Card. Therefore, discounted admission will be £8.00 for adults.

Buses: (from Hyde bus station) 201, 341, 342, 344.

Trains: Half hourly from Hyde Central or Newton railway stations from Manchester Piccadilly, Rose Hill Marple or Glossop.

Skrill Conference North

  • Stockport County v Gainsborough Trinity;
  • Stalybridge Celtic v Solihull Moors.

Both Stockport County and Gainsborough Trinity have yet to register a win. This would be the first home match between the two sides since 1903 when the Hatters lost 4-1 in Football League Division Two.

At Bower Fold, Stalybridge Celtic are at home to Solihull Moors, a side which has often been difficult for the ‘Bridge to beat. Financially, one which has registered the lowest home gate.

Getting to Edgeley Park:

Buses: (from Stockport bus station) 11, 11A, 368, 369 stop outside Edgeley Park.

Trains: Stockport railway station is a short walk from Edgeley Park.

Getting to Bower Fold:

Buses: (from Ashton-under-Lyne and Stalybridge) 236, 237 and 387 stop outside ground.

Trains: Stalybridge railway station: frequent services to Manchester Victoria and Piccadilly railway stations. Then 236, 237 or 387 bus to Bower Fold.

Offers: Stalybridge Celtic AFC is offering half price admission for season ticket holders of any club in the cosmos! Whether you’ve got a valid season ticket for Manchester United, Wigan Warriors or Sale Sharks, it’s £6.00 or £3.50 instead of the usual £12.00 or £7.00.

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Evostik League Premier Division

  • Ashton United v Trafford;
  • FC United of Manchester v Rushall Olympic.

At Hurst Cross we have a Greater Manchester derby fixture with Ashton United facing Trafford. Last season, Trafford gained promotion to the Evostik League Premier Division after beating New Mills in the Evostik League First Division North play off final on penalties. Top of the table FC United of Manchester are at home to Rushall Olympic. The Midland side are mid table.

Offers: Ashton United is offering concessionary rate admission (£6.00) for anyone who produces a season ticket from any of the 72 Football League or 20 Premier League sides. Also a saving on the usual admission price of £9.00.

Getting to Hurst Cross:

Buses: 38, 39, 231, 331 and 333 from Ashton bus station, or 408 from Oldham and Stalybridge bus stations.

Trains: Ashton-under-Lyne railway station has half hourly trains from Manchester Victoria. Then bus from Ashton bus station nearby.

Getting to Gigg Lane:

Buses: 135 to the Swan and Cemetery from Piccadilly Gardens, Cheetham Hill and Heaton Park.

Tram: regular Metrolink services to Manchester city centre and Altrincham.

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Evostik League First Division North

  • Curzon Ashton v Bamber Bridge;
  • Radcliffe Borough v Mossley;
  • Ramsbottom United v Northwich Victoria;
  • Salford City v Padiham.

Greater Manchester has no shortage of home fixtures in the First Division North of the Northern Premier League, and one of them is an all Greater Manchester clash.

Curzon Ashton entertain Bamber Bridge making them the second Ashton club to have a home match and the fourth Tameside club to have a home match on Non League Day. The Nash are riding high with a 100% record whereas Bamber Bridge, in third place have a 100% record on their travels.

Our all-Greater Manchester clash sees Radcliffe Borough and Mossley yet to register a win this season. Also winless, is Ramsbottom United who face Northwich Victoria. The exiled Cheshire club are unbeaten away from home. Salford City, whose last season ended on a poor finale face Padiham at Moor Lane.

Getting to the Tameside Stadium:

Buses: 41 from Ashton bus station or Dukinfield [Tennyson Avenue] stops near ground.

Trains: Ashton-under-Lyne railway station has half hourly trains from Manchester Victoria. Then bus from Ashton bus station nearby.

Getting to Stainton Park:

Buses: 98 from Bury Interchange or Manchester [Shudehill Interchange] stops near ground.

Tram: regular Metrolink services to Manchester city centre and Altrincham from Whitefield tram station. Then change for 98 to Stainton Park.

Getting to Nuttall Park:

Buses: 474 from Bury Interchange, every 10 minutes, stops near ground.

Trains: East Lancashire Railway’s service from Rawtenstall to Bury and Heywood. Ground alongside ELR line.

Getting to Moor Lane:

Buses: 98 from Bury Interchange or Manchester [Shudehill Interchange] then 5 – 10 minute walk to ground. Also, X40, X41 (Lancashire Way) and X43 (Witch Way) limited stop buses stop at Moor Lane from Chorlton Street and Albert Square.

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FA Vase 1st Qualifying Round

Most of Greater Manchester’s North West Counties League sides will be featuring in this season’s F.A. Challenge Vase First Qualifying Round. Six of our conurbation’s sides and Glossop North End have been drawn at home.

  • Abbey Hey v Congleton Town;
  • Cheadle Town v Daisy Hill;
  • Glossop North End v Nostell Miners’ Welfare;
  • Irlam v Runcorn Linnets;
  • Oldham Borough v 1874 Northwich;
  • Stockport Sports v Atherton Collieries;
  • Wigan Robin Park v Winsford United.

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North West Counties League Premier Division

Only one Greater Manchester club has a home match this coming Saturday. West Didsbury and Chorlton host AFC Blackpool.

North West Counties League First Division

Again, only one side within Greater Manchester at home. Coming to Crilly Park, Atherton Laburnum Rovers will entertain Northwich Flixton Villa. The latter club have merged with Northwich Villa and set up home at Flixton’s former ground, Valley Road.

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Bus routes to the following grounds:

  • Hyde FC, Ewen Fields: 201, 341, 342, 344;
  • Stockport County, Edgeley Park: 11, 11A, 368, 369;
  • Stalybridge Celtic AFC, Bower Fold: 236, 237, 387;
  • Ashton United, Hurst Cross: 38, 39, 231, 331, 333, 408;
  • FC United of Manchester: 135;
  • Curzon Ashton, Tameside Stadium: 41 (168, 169 and 409 also stop about 5 – 10 minutes walk from ground);
  • Radcliffe Borough, Stainton Park: 98;
  • Ramsbottom United, Nuttall Park: 474;
  • Salford City, Moor Lane: 98, X40, X41, X43;
  • Abbey Hey, Goredale Avenue: 7, 201, 203, 205, 206 (then short walk);
  • Cheadle Town, Park Road: 11, 11A, 130, 157;
  • Glossop North End, Surrey Street: 236, 237, 341, 394;
  • Irlam FC, Silver Street: 67, 100 (then short walk up Silver Street);
  • Oldham Borough, Alder House (Atherton Collieries’ ground): 582 (from Atherton railway station), 682;
  • Stockport Sports, Lambeth Grove: 330 (then 5 – 10 minutes walk);
  • Wigan Robin Park, Robin Park: 621, 622, 628;
  • West Didsbury and Chorlton FC, Brookburn Road: 22, 85, 86, 168;
  • Atherton Laburnum Rovers, Crilly Park: 682.

Recommended Tickets:

  • System One Any Bus DaySaver: £5.00 (all buses throughout Greater Manchester and Glossop).

S.V., 05 September 2013.

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