Andrew’s Match Preview
1874 Northwich v Colne
Saturday 11th February - 15:00
Colne travel 64 miles to the village of Barnton just outside Northwich in Cheshire, to take on 1874 Northwich at Townfield in the NPL West.
1874 Northwich, who were formed just 11 years ago play their home games at Barnton FC’s ground Townfield, and have an average attendance of 330 this season. They are nicknamed the ‘74 or the Greens. Last season 1874 Northwich finished comfortably in 12th place in the NPL West with 47 points. In the head to head with the Reds, an Ashley Woods strike gave the Greens an early lead at Townfield last October, but Colne hit back with an equaliser by Billy Hassler-Cregg, and a last minute penalty winner from Reece Webb-Foster. In the return at Holt House, 1874 ran riot in the 2nd half with goals from Matthew Woolley (2), Jamie Reed and Taylor Kennerley to give them a 4-0 rout. The two sides have met twice this season at Holt House with the Reds winning 2-1 in the FA Cup extra preliminary round in August thanks to goals from Watkinson and Doherty with Joe Woolley replying for Northwich. In the league encounter a month later, a solitary Jack Doherty goal won the points for the Reds.
This season the ‘74 have won 9, drawn 7 and lost 9 and sit in 9th spot with 34 points from 25 games. They have won 5 at home - City of Liverpool 2-0, Skelmersdale United 2-1, Trafford 2-0, Widnes 2-0 and Newcastle Town 2-0 and lost three - Glossop 0-2, Hanley Town 0-1 and Witton Albion 1-4. The Greens went out of both cup competitions at the first stage losing 1-2 at Holt House in the FA Cup and going down 1-2 at Clitheroe in the FA Trophy. In their last home fixture, 1874 beat Newcastle Town 2-0 with goals from Fenton Green and Joe Woolley.
1874 Northwich players to watch
Rght winger Joe Woolley (pictured) has been the Greens’ danger man this term. He’s already scored 11 times in all competitions, including a goal at Holt House in the FA Cup. Joe has been at the club since 2015.
His older brother Matt Woolley is the club captain and is already ‘74’s longest serving player, making his debut back in 2014. Matt transferred in from Knutsford having played at a higher level for Witton Albion and Halifax Town.
20 year old forward MacKenzie O’Neill came through Wigan Athletic’s academy before signing for Prescot Cables. This is his 2nd season playing for the Greens and he has netted 8 times this season in 27 appearances.
Centre back Matthew Fenton joined the club last year from Crewe’s academy. The 22 year old has been an ever present for the ‘74 this season.
Liam Buckley is a 20 year old full back who came through Chester’s youth system and spent last season with Welsh Premier side Cefn Druids and has played 27 times for Northwich this term.
Last season’s player of the year CB/CM Mark Jones, is another experienced asset who is enjoying his 7th season at the club.
Striker Josh Quarless is 6 foot 7, and he obviously offers an aerial threat. The 24 year old played at City of Liverpool last season and joined Runcorn Linnets in July. He never played for Linnets and signed for 1874 only a month later.
Central midfielder Fenton Green is another product of Crewe’s youth system and he had spells at Hyde United and Stockport Town last term. The 19 year old has scored 3 goals in 26 appearances this season for the Greens.
Former title winning Red’s keeper Tony Aghayere, seems to have won the battle for the number one spot with youngster Ellis Allan. Tony came through Burnley’s academy and left Colne for Salford City. He is in now his 5th season at the club.
21 year old attacking midfielder/striker Harry Bower joined on loan from Macclesfield at the end of December for an initial month, but that loan has been extended until the end of the season. Harry has settled in quickly and has played in every game since coming in.
1874 Northwich are joint managed by Paul Bowyer and Wayne Goodison. They have been in charge since March 2017.
Last time out for the Reds
Colne travelled to Bootle on Tuesday evening for a basement scrap with City of Liverpool. Phil Brown went for a 433 formation with Stowe and Kyobe on either side of Watkinson up front. Kardacz started in front of the back 4 (replacing Lusiama) and Fagan came in for Wallbank at right-back. The Reds went on the front foot from the off and dominated the first 10 minutes with Stowe and Steel both having good chances to open the scoring. The Purps came back into it and Mitchell was unlucky to see an excellent turn and shot just clear the Colne crossbar. McCann replaced Stowe at the break in a tactical switch, but it was the home side who looked the most likely to score in the second half, as they pressed the Colne back four. Leading scorer James Steele couldn’t believe he hadn’t netted when his header from a Wylie cross was pushed onto the post by Colne stopper Hakan Burton. But the pressure told, when on 70 minutes, centre-back Mike Grogan - up for a set-piece - poked home a sliced shot from Steele. Danny Kyobe had a one on one with Purps keeper Ben Barnes from a Carney through ball, but a great spread from the goalie maintained CoL’s lead. Sheikh Islam was Colne’s last throw of the dice as he came on for Kyobe, but City of Liverpool held on for the win and moved up to 11th in the table with the Reds dropping a place into 18th spot. Glen Steel was dominant once again for Colne, but the Reds’ number one Hakan Burton was chosen as the man of the match by Ashh.
Who’s on Ashh’s couch?
Oli Roberts is a doubt for the game, but he will have a late fitness test with Ashh on Saturday morning.
Lucas Weaver rolled his ankle in last Saturday’s fixture and he will miss out once again.
Aaron Turner is awaiting surgery for his knee/MCL issue.
Jack Doherty has now had surgery on his ACL injury and will begin his rehabilitation when ready under the watchful eye of Accrington Stanley. This injury has ruled him out for the season.
Tom Hoyle got a late extension to allow him to play against City of Liverpool on Tuesday and 1874 on Saturday, then he will return to Fleetwood. Oli Roberts could miss out if he fails a fitness test; Tom McCann will be on standby. The gaffer will have 16 to choose from.
1874 Northwich, have won 3, drawn 1 and lost 2 since the turn of the year. In their last 2 games they have recorded 2-0 victories away at Skelmersdale United last Saturday and at home on Tuesday evening to Newcastle Town. Their performance on Tuesday night was arguably their best of the season and they could easily have won by more than the 2 goals. The Greens play 433 with a compact midfield and their star man Joe Woolley, playing in the number 10 role behind 2 wide players and a centre forward (usually Quarless).
Colne have won 1, drawn 3 and lost 3 in 2022. That victory was an excellent battling performance last Saturday in a 1-0 win over 5th placed Runcorn Linnets. On Tuesday evening however, they were beaten 0-1 away at fellow strugglers City of Liverpool and have dropped to 18th place as a result. Obviously scoring goals is the Reds’ Achilles heel, with them only scoring an average of one goal per game over the season so far. Despite an attacking formation of 433 on Tuesday night, they could not find the net once again. The Reds have never scored more than 2 goals in any league game this season and are the lowest scorers in the division with 25.
At the very least, the bottom 10 sides in the division are fighting to avoid the bottom 4, and with 13 games to go, the Reds are in a fierce battle to preserve their NPL West status. Positively, Colne won this fixture last year and have beaten 1874 twice already this season in cup and league; so a repeat of any of those performances would be most welcome, and provide a significant morale boost to the young Red Lions.
To quote a certain Dennis Bergkamp - “You have to shoot, to want to score goals no matter how. Just score that goal! You can't be afraid to miss.”
Admission Prices are:
Adults : £10
Concessions (over 65’s) £6
12 - 17’s: £1
Under 12's: Free
1874 Northwich FC
Sat 18th February - Prescot Cables v Colne - 15:00 NPL West
Tue 21st February - Colne v Glossop North End - 19:45 NPL West
Sat 25th February - Witton Albion v Colne - 15:00 NPL West
Today’s other NPL West games - 15:00
City of Liverpool v Hanley Town
Clitheroe v Widnes
Glossop North End v Skelmersdale United
Kidsgrove Athletic v Trafford
Mossley v Witton Albion
Prescot Cables v Leek Town
Runcorn Linnets v Newcastle Town
Workington V Bootle