Non League State of Mind: Non League Day, 06 September 2014

The joys of Non League Football in Greater Manchester

It’s that time again, the greatest day in non-league football: Non League Day. Tomorrow sees the non-league sides of Greater Manchester enticing Premier League and Championship football fans with the joys of real football.

A real matchday experience, easily reached by bus, train and tram. Some of which 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 tickets or £5.00 burgers; mainly £10 tickets and food from local bakeries. Pies: likely to be £2.00.

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Non League Day Fixtures in Greater Manchester

Vanarama Conference Premier

Only one in the top flight of non league this coming Saturday: Altrincham versus Dartford. The Robins, recently promoted, have yet to find their feet this season.

Offers: £5.00 entry for Barclays Premier League season ticket holders.

Buses: (from Altrincham town centre) 41, 263 from Manchester city centre; 18, 19 from Manchester Airport and Sale.

Trains: Hourly from Altrincham Interchange from Manchester Piccadilly, Stockport or Chester.

Trams: frequent Metrolink services to Manchester city centre and Bury.

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Vanarama Conference North

Stalybridge Celtic versus Leamington F.C. is the only Conference North home match in Greater Manchester. The ‘Bridge has seen a positive change in fortunes with a new-look side managed by Keith Briggs. This will be the Brakes’ second visit to Bower Fold, and one which proved to be fruitful for Mr. Briggs last season. During half time there will also be a Mascot Derby and supporters will be greeted by our furry athletes. After the match,

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 Barclays Premier League and Skybet Championship club. Therefore it’s £6.00 or £3.50 instead of the usual £12.00 or £7.00. This year, the offer will be extended to include Greater Manchester Police and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue personnel, members of the armed forces and N.H.S. employees (photo ID required). There will also be an acoustic set after the game by Nina Gerstenberger.

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Evostik League Premier Division

  • Curzon Ashton v Rushall Olympic;
  • Ramsbottom United v Stamford;
  • Trafford v Stourbridge.

There seems to be a march of the Midlands sides into Greater Manchester this Saturday. Newly promoted Curzon Ashton face Rushall Olympic whereas Ramsbottom United, promoted via the play-offs entertain in-form Stamford. Trafford face Stourbridge at Shawe View.

Getting to Tameside Stadium:

Buses: 339 from Ashton bus station, two buses per hour.

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

Getting to the HW Riverside Stadium, Nuttall Park:

Buses: 474 service from Bury then short walk to ground, parallel with East Lancashire Railway line from Rawtenstall to Heywood.

Train: East Lancashire Railway services from Rawtenstall, Bury and Heywood.

Getting to Shawe View:

Buses: 474 service from Bury then short walk to ground, parallel with East Lancashire Railway line from Rawtenstall to Heywood.

Train: two hourly service from Chassen Road (close to ground) from Manchester Oxford Road, Warrington Central and Liverpool Lime Street.

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Evostik League First Division North

  • Droylsden v Darlington 1883;
  • Mossley v Lancaster City;
  • Radcliffe Borough v Ossett Town.

Greater Manchester has no shortage of home fixtures in the First Division North of the Northern Premier League. The juiciest fixture of all is at the Butchers Arms.

Droylsden play Darlington 1883 where a match against the phoenix club could be exciting on the terraces as well as on the pitch. The Quakers’ travelling support would swell Mr. Pace’s coffers this weekend.

Mossley are at home to Lancaster City. To commemorate Non League Day, the Lilywhites is offering discounted admission to all fans at Seel Park. It’ll be £6.00 for adults and £3.00 for concessions – £3.00 off their usual gate prices. Radcliffe Borough entertain Ossett Town at Stainton Park.

Getting to the Butchers Arms:

Buses: 168, 169, 216, 217 and 231 from Ashton bus station; 408 from Oldham.

Trams: every 12 minutes from Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester city centre (no direct service from Deansgate to Eccles due to engineering works).

Getting to Seel Park:

Buses: 351 from Ashton bus station; 343 from Oldham, Dukinfield and Hyde. (Owing to roadworks, there is disruption and diversions on Mossley’s bus routes, hence the temporary 351 service compensating for the diversion of the 350 service).

Trains: every hour from Manchester Victoria and Huddersfield, then uphill walk to Seel Park.

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.

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FA Vase 1st Qualifying Round

Some of Greater Manchester’s North West Counties League sides will be featuring in this season’s F.A. Challenge Vase First Qualifying Round.

  • Daisy Hill v Newton Aycliffe;
  • Irlam v St. Helens Town;
  • Atherton Collieries v Penistone Church;
  • Oldham Borough v 1874 Northwich (Sunday 07 September, Seel Park, Mossley, 2pm).

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North West Counties League Premier Division

Three out of five Greater Manchester clubs have a home match this coming Saturday, as do Glossop North End.

  • Abbey Hey v Bootle;
  • Ashton Athletic v Maine Road;
  • Glossop North End v Runcorn Linnets;
  • West Didsbury and Chorlton v Nelson.

Most importantly…

Enjoy the game, enjoy your chance to see some real football.

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S.V., 05 September 2014.

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