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Match Preview: Newcastle Town (A)

Andrew’s Match Preview

Newcastle Town v Colne

NPL West

Red Industries Stadium, Lyme Valley

Tuesday 15th November - 19:45

Colne travel 85 miles to Staffordshire, for another evening league fixture, at Stoke on Trent based Newcastle Town. This is a re-arranged game due to Colne’s involvement in the FA Trophy on the original date of 29th of October.

Newcastle Town, nicknamed “Castle”, play at Red Industries Stadium, which has a capacity of 4,000, and is unusual in that the grass pitch is enclosed by a cycle velodrome. Their local rivals are Kidsgrove Athletic and Hanley Town. Last season Castle finished 16th in the league table with 40 points, and they did the double over the Reds with an emphatic 5-1 win at home last October, thanks to a James Askey hat-trick and one each from Jack Van Der Laan and Nathan Morley, and a narrow 1-0 victory at Holt House in February, through a goal by Jacob Lovett.

This season, Newcastle Town have won 5, drawn 6 and lost 3, and currently occupy 9th position with 21 points from 14 games. Their wins have come away at Hanley Town 2-1, Skelmersdale United 3-1, City of Liverpool 2-1, and at home to Widnes 2-1 and Bootle 1-0. In the FA Cup, Town won 2-1 at AFC Wulfrunians in the extra preliminary round. They then beat Bedford United 1-0 away in a replay, won 2-0 away at higher league opposition Stafford Rangers, but were then knocked out by North West Counties side Congleton Town 2-3 in another replay. Town lost to NPL Midlands side Spalding United 0-2, at home in the FA Trophy in the first qualifying round. In their last fixture Castle drew 1-1 at home to Glossop North End in front of 184 spectators.

Newcastle Town players to watch - Attacker Jacob Lovatt joined from local rivals Kidsgrove Athletic at the beginning of the year, and he’s been prolific this season scoring on 10 occasions in all competitions, including 7 league goals. Left sided player Oliver Ritchie became a Newcastle player at the beginning of the campaign after transferring in from Uttoxeter Town, and he’s been an ever present so far this season. Former Port Vale youngster Joe Slinn is in his 2nd spell at the club after returning from Mickleover in January. The 23 year old goalkeeper has been the number 1 choice since coming in, but was sent off in the win at City of Liverpool at the beginning of the month for deliberate handball outside the area. 17 year old keeper Owen Mooney has been drafted in from Wigan Athletic on a loan deal to cover Slinn’s suspension. Energetic midfielder Jack Van Der Laan was Town’s leading goal scorer last term and he’s weighed in with 3 so far this season. 30 year old skipper and defender James Askey was voted into the Newcastle Town all time X1 at centre-half. He joined the club 11 years ago from Buxton and has scored 3 times this term. 21 year old central midfielder Ethan Vale has played 20 times for Castle this season and scored on 3 occasions. Ethan came in from Burton Albion 2 years ago. Newcastle Town are managed by former Premier league player Robin Van Der Laan. Robin has been the gaffer for Town since 2018, and as well as playing for Derby County, he also turned out for Port Vale, Wolves and Barnsley in the EFL.

Last time out for the Reds - Oli Roberts returned to the first 11, at the expense of Tom McCann for the foot of the table clash with Ramsbottom United at Riverside Stadium. Rammy came into the game after losing their previous 4, and their lack of confidence and form was there for all to see. However the Reds could not step up to the plate and take advantage of a very poor home side. Colne’s midfield never got to grips with controlling the tempo of the game and despite Roberts and Carney swapping roles midway through the first half, very little improvement was achieved. The Reds bossed the second half in terms of possession, but never looked like breaking down the worst defence in the division, with the two strikers struggling to form a productive partnership. Two substitutions gave Colne a glimmer of hope, with Tom McCann making driving runs from the middle and Lucas Weaver’s excellent cameo, running at the opposition with pace and purpose. Alas, in the end, a point was all the Reds deserved from an uneventful goalless draw, and they remain in 18th place with 13 points from as many games. A typically solid and professional display from Colne’s three central defenders, was the Reds’ biggest asset, with “Rolls Royce” Glenn Steel’s dominant display, gaining him the man of the match.

Who’s on Ashh’s couch? - Harry Winstanley is back to full training this week, and hopes to be back involved for the visit to AFC Fylde, although that may come a little early.

McDaniel “Danny” Kyobe is recovering from a fractured collar bone and is only a week or two away.

Aaron Turner is waiting to see a specialist concerning his meniscus knee issue.

Jack Doherty is still awaiting surgery for his ACL injury, that will rule him out for the season.

Hakan Burton is keeping fit whilst nursing his shoulder injury, and he is well ahead with his rehabilitation, which may well see him return sooner than first thought.

Team news - There doesn’t appear to be any issues from Saturday re injuries, so hopefully the same squad should be available to manager Phil Brown. If he wishes to freshen up the first eleven, McCann, Fagan and Weaver are the obvious options, as the games continue to come thick and fast.

Newcastle Town, comfortably sitting in 9th place, have had a pretty solid start to the season. They are tough to beat with only 3 losses, they don’t score a lot, but neither do they concede many either, with almost half the goals against them coming in two thrashings, away at Macclesfield 0-3 and Clitheroe 1-7. Colne have lost 6 out of 13 so far this term, and with only 11 goals, are clearly the league’s lowest scorers. However, Phil Brown will be taking positives from the fact that only Clitheroe outside the top 4 have conceded less goals, and the Reds have only lost once away from home this season, backed up by impressive wins in the FA Trophy at Bridlington Town and Hyde United. Brown will also take heart from Town’s home results, where they have only won twice in 10 league and cup games at Lyme Valley this season. His challenge will be to get his strikers firing and improve on their 3 league goals this season, if the Reds are to collect the 3 points and climb out of the bottom 4. However, another draw seems to be the safest bet, to elevate Colne up a place to 17th, before taking another break from the league once more, to continue their FA Trophy quest at AFC Fylde on Saturday.

Admission Prices are:

Adults : £9

Concessions : £6

13-16 - £1

Under 12's: Free

Newcastle Town Football Club

Red Industries Stadium

Buckmaster Ave




Upcoming games

Sat 19th November - AFC Fylde v Colne - 15:00 FA Trophy 2nd round

Sat 26th November - Leek Town v Colne - 15:00 NPL West

Sat 3 November - Colne v Macclesfield - 13:00 NPL West

Today’s other NPL West game - 19:45

Leek Town v Widnes


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