October Preview

Another busy month for the First XI, starting off with an important matter....

Saturday 3rd
Handsworth Parramore (away)
FA Vase 2nd Qualifying Round

No, no - not Handsworth in Birmingham before you start looking.

It's another trip over Woodhead Pass for us in the next round of the FA Vase as we head to Worksop to tackle Handsworth Parramore who play in the Northern Counties East Premier Division (the same level as our opponents in the previous round, Staveley Miners Welfare).

If you're familiar with the geography of Sheffield and its surrounding wards then you'll know that Handsworth is east of Sheffield; so what is the link with Worksop which is much further east down the A57?

Handsworth Parramore are a relatively new club. Formed in 2014 they are a result of a merger between Handsworth FC and Worksop Parramore and took the league placing and ground of the latter for their first season, with plans to return to Handsworth in the very near future.

The club actually owns two grounds: the one that we will be travelling to - Sandy Lane in Workshop - and Olivers Mount in Handsworth itself...which was formerly the home of Handsworth FC and failed a ground grading in 2012 which resulted in Handsworth being relegated from the NCEL.

Sandy Lane, home of Handsworth Parramore FC (Sandy Lane by Matthew Wilkinson is licensed under Creative Commons CC-BY

Sandy Lane, home of Handsworth Parramore FC
(Sandy Lane by Matthew Wilkinson is licensed under Creative Commons CC-BY

Sandy Lane was originally built in 1992 as a new home for Worksop Town FC but they were then evicted in 2008. Parramore bought it with ownership transferring to Handsworth Parramore FC when the merger was done and dusted. The club now rents the ground back to its former owners Worksop Town FC for their league games.

At the time of writing we find Handsworth Parramore in rude health. They are 3rd in the league, just 4 points off leaders Worksop Town (ironically) and are unbeaten in their last seven matches in all competitions. They eliminated NWCFL Premier Division side AFC Liverpool in the previous round so this will be a tough match.

Mind you, I said that about the Staveley one and we didn't fair too badly that day.

Wednesday 7th
Rochdale Town (home)
NWCFL Division One

Assuming there will be no need for a replay we will be in action once more the Wednesday after as we entertain Rochdale Town at Park Road.

Going into this match our league record will be one win in four matches. In our favour is a decent home record over Rochdale Town of late but we will have to be mindful that 'Dale's form is better than ours - three wins in the last six.

Previous five seasons at Park Road:
2014-15: drew 2-2
2013-14: won 1-0
2012-13: won 2-1
2011-12: won 2-1
2010-11: won 1-0

Saturday 10th
Atherton LR (away)
NWCFL Division One

No rest for the wicked. Following that one we travel to Crilly Park and an away match vs Atherton LR.

Yours truly, for one reason or another, has always managed to miss the trip to Crilly Park but this season - barring any last-minute disaster - will be the one where I break my duck. Hopefully I can bring the squad a bit of luck and break the run of defeats that we have suffered there of late and also our first away win in the league this season.

Previous five seasons at Crilly Park:
2014-15: lost 1-2
2013-14: lost 1-4
2012-13: won 2-1
2011-12: did not meet
2010-11: did not meet

Saturday 17th
Holker Old Boys (home)
NWCFL Division One

There's something about the Holker match that always evokes conversation around SK8 2AN.

Be it the long trip either club has to make, our woeful away record up there (more of that particular lament in the March preview), their questionable record at Park Road or the fact that their club secretary John Adams and his warm smile and sense of humour will be sorely missed due to his untimely death back in Spring.

Usually a good fixture for us, it's another chance to get three home points on the board.

Previous five seasons at Park Road:
2014-15: drew 0-0
2013-14: won 4-1
2012-13: won 3-0
2011-12: drew 0-0
2010-11: won 1-0

Tuesday 27th
Stockport Town (away)
NWCFL Division One

Ah, we meet again. A month after the League Cup tie at Park Road in which Stockport Town ran away with the spoils and the so-called "bragging rights" we meet at their place for our first ever league encounter.

Saturday 31st
Widnes (home)
NWCFL Division One

And this, barring a meet-up in the latter rounds of the First Division Trophy, will be the Widnes league matches dealt with by the end of October.

We came away from the Select Security Stadium in mid-August feeling mightily relieved that we had come away with a draw following a rather difficult evening, so we know that this won't be an easy task.

Previous matches at Park Road have seen goals galore. What price a 0-0?

Previous five seasons at Park Road:
2014-15: lost 3-5
2013-14: won 5-2
2012-13: did not meet
2011-12: did not meet
2010-11: did not meet