1. Bury willing to fight for boss
AFTER losing at home to Oldham the week before, BURY looked set to suffer back-to-back defeats when they went 3-0 down in 27 minutes at Walsall on Saturday. But manager David Flitcroft made an early attacking change by bringing on Tom Pope for Niall Maher in the first half.
Jacob Mellis then came on at the break and within two minutes of the restart Leon Barnett had pulled one back, and two minutes after that new striker James Vaughan grabbed a debut goal. The Shakers then completed a stunning comeback on 66 minutes as Danny Mayor fired in his first goal of the season to clinch a 3-3 draw.
The fightback showed that Bury’s new-look squad are very much willing to fight for Flitcroft, and they backed that up by beating Morecambe 4-1 in the EFL Trophy on Tuesday night.
2. Big week ahead for Rochdale
ROCHDALE needed a stoppage-time own goal by the AFC Wimbledon keeper to earn a 1-1 draw on Saturday. Without it, they’d be bottom of League One with just one point from five games.
Keith Hill didn’t have to prepare his side for a midweek game in the EFL Trophy – they’re playing Sunderland’s Under-23s next Tuesday – so he has all week on the training ground. He might need it too as Dale must hit the road the next two Saturdays, to visit Oxford then Bristol Rovers. With both in the bottom half, Dale should be looking to win at least one of them. If they don’t then maybe Hill should start to worry.
3. Salford look the real deal
ANTHONY Johnson has previously been open about the expectations on him and joint-manager Bernard Morley at SALFORD CITY – and bullish about their chances of achieving it. With the Ammies playing at step two for the first time, Johnson has been a bit more cautious this term. After the start they’ve made there is no chance of them going under the radar now. Certainly not when they’ve got their own programme on BBC!
Salford are one of three sides that remain unbeaten in the National League North and it’s not down to simply playing teams off the park, as they often did in the Evo-Stik League. They seem to have found that knack of winning games even when not at their best.
Johnson admitted it wasn’t a vintage performance on Saturday but they still ground out a 3-2 win over Gainsborough. Their defensive solidity then returned on Bank Holiday Monday as they won 2-0 at Curzon Ashton. And next up are two home games, against Alfreton on Saturday then FC Halifax on Tuesday.
4. All change at Altrincham and Stalybridge
ALTRINCHAM’s Neil Young and STALYBRIDGE’S Liam Watson became the first local managerial casualties of the season over the weekend, with both not just resigning but saying they are retiring from management completely.
Alty started with three straight 2-2 draws while Celtic won away to Boston but after each lost both their games over the weekend, they’ve lost every game since. Young and Watson overhauled their squad in the summer, especially Young as he was appointed right after Alty were relegated to the National League North.
At least they made the call early in the season. They brought in plenty of their own men and whoever succeeds them will no doubt want to do the same. They’ll have time to do that so there’s no need for Alty and Celtic fans to write the season off just yet.
5. Radcliffe are up and running
IT was a mixed weekend for most local clubs in the Evo-Stik League, but RADCLIFFE BOROUGH were the biggest winners. Although Boro overcame league rivals Droylsden in the FA Cup, they were unfortunate to lose their opening two games in the Evo-Stik North.
They had a chance to put that right at the weekend and did just that, drawing 1-1 at Prescot Cables on Saturday before winning 2-0 at home to Trafford on Bank Holiday Monday.
There’s been plenty of change at Boro this summer under new chairman Paul Hilton and returning manager Bill Prendergast and it seems now they are seeing the fruits of their labour. They could even be set for a Cup run too, with Spennymoor visiting Taurus Park in the first qualifying round this Saturday.