The next two teams on our ‘Opposition in Focus’ feature two more newcomers in Ashton United and Radcliffe Borough.
Ashton United are another side who were plying their trade in a different league last season and were unfortunately relegated from the National League Northern when they finished third bottom. They accumulated 35 points, winning just nine of their league matches and losing 25 of them.
The club who are based in Greater Manchester conceded the second most goals in their division during the 18/19 campaign, letting opposition score a combined 86 goals against them. Along with that, they struggled to score goals and accumulated the second lowest goals tally as well.
In terms of signings, manager Jody Banim has attempted to bring in players who can help the club bounce back to the National League. Additions include experienced ‘keeper Jon Worsnop, former Radcliffe right-back Kyle Harrison and former Curzon Ashton captain Jonathon Hunt. These additions should help solve Ashton’s leaky defence.
However, the Robins still seem to be a bit light in terms of attacking options, with just two registered forwards at the club in Josh Wilson and Steven Tames.
Radcliffe Borough had quite the opposite season to Ashton, with the club gaining promotion from the Northern West league by pipping Leek Town to 2ndplace by one point. There were five teams chasing that promotion spot, but it was Radcliffe who reached the Northern Premier League for the first time.
Radcliffe boasted an impressive defensive record, sharing the best defensive statistics as league champions Atherton Collieries and Leek Town, all three conceding just 34 goals all season.
In terms of preparation for their maiden season in this division, Jon Macken recently completed the double signing of prolific forward Danny Mitchleywho scored 81 goals in 178 games for his former club. Former Manchester City youth player LanreOlapade followed Mitchley to Stainton Park, with the exciting full-back joining from Ashton United.
Along with the new additions, current players Ben Wharton, Scott Metcalfe and Rick Smith have all extended their contracts at Radcliffe. All three were vital in the club’s previous success and will be key in their next chapter.
The Dolly Blues face off against Ashton United at the Giant Axe Stadium on October 12th at 3pm, whilst on October 15th will face Radcliffe at home at 7:45pm.
By Adam Smith