Andrew’s Match Preview
Prescot Cables v Colne
Joseph Russell Stadium
Saturday 18th February - 15:00
Colne travel 52 miles South West to take on Merseyside outfit Prescot Cables in the NPL West division.
Prescot Cables, nicknamed the Pesky Bulls, we’re founded in 1884 and play their home games at the Joseph Russell Stadium. Their average attendance this term is 672, boosted by a bumper 1,348 crowd against rivals City of Liverpool back in November. Their average is the second highest in the league after Macclesfield. Cables are having a much better season than they endured in 21/22, when they finished in 18th position and were fortunate to not have to play in a play-off against Skelmersdale United due to PPG. In the head to head with the Reds last term, the honours were even, with Colne winning 4-0 at Prescot thanks to goals from Anthony Williams and Oli Roberts and a brace from Reece Webb-Foster, and Cables running out 2-0 winners at Holt House in March, with goals from the returning Sam O’Halleron and an own goal from Tommy Lent. Earlier in the season the two sides met at Holt House in a league encounter where Kyle Sambor’s two goals won the game for the visitors, who took advantage of the home side being reduced to 10 men when Owen Watkinson was dismissed in the 23rd minute.
This season Prescot have played 27 times winning 10, drawing 5 and losing 12, and currently sit in 9th spot with 35 points. At home they have won 6 times beating Runcorn Linnets 1-0, Witton Albion 2-1, Glossop North End 2-0, Skelmersdale United 2-1, Ramsbottom United 3-1, and 1874 Northwich 2-1. After victories over Ashton Athletic 2-1, Skelmersdale United 3-1, and Goole 1-0, their FA Cup run finally came to an end with a 1-2 defeat at home to NPL Premier side Bamber Bridge. Cables overcame Cleethorpes on penalties in the FA Trophy, but were then beaten 1-3 at home to Worksop Town in the next round. In their previous home game last Saturday, Cables were beaten 1-4 by Leek Town in a baptism of fire for new manager Steve Daley.
Prescot Cables players to watch
Striker John Murphy joined in the summer from Ramsbottom United and he’s Cables’ leading scorer with 14 goals in all competitions.
Number 8 James Foley is another another pre season signing, this time from Witton Albion. James was previously on the books at Marine, Cammell Laird and Macclesfield Town and James has scored 7 times this season.
Last season’s young player of the year Jack Goodwin is another midfielder with an eye for goal. He has 9 goals to his credit already this season.
Manager’s and player’s player of last season, former Stoke City young keeper Mitchell Allen, joined the club from Buxton a couple of seasons ago and he’s been the number 1 choice ever since.
Forward Kyle Sambor has been constantly on the move since starting his career with Cables, including a short spell at Colne. He can also count Widnes, AFC Liverpool, Atherton Collieries, Witton Albion, Warrington Rylands, Cammell Laird 1907, Kendal Town, Ytterhogdals IK, Mansfield Town, Litherland and Vauxhall Motors on his CV, and he’s still only 24. Hopefully he’s settled back on Merseyside and he has 8 goals to show so far this term.
30 year old centre half Tom Dean has had 2 spells with the Reds, before joining Cables in September. He has previously played at Mossley, Buxton, FC United, Hyde and Macclesfield.
Right back Harry Cannon-Noren is known in Prescot as the “Southport Cafu”. Harry joined the Pesky Bulls just over a year ago from Holt House where he made 15 appearances.
Winger Adam Hammill is their most accomplished player. After spending 11 years at Liverpool as a youngster, he played at Premier league level with Wolves and had extensive Championship experience with several clubs including Southampton, Barnsley and Middlesbrough. Adam retired in the autumn, but he has now returned to the club and featured last Saturday.
Cables were managed by former Marine and Colwyn Bay gaffer Kevin Lynch, but he resigned after the loss to Newcastle Town earlier in the month. First team coach Steve Daley has been promoted from within and taken over as the new Cables gaffer.
Last time out for the Reds - Colne travelled to Cheshire to take on 9th placed 1874 Northwich. Tom Hoyle returned to Fleetwood and his place was taken by Ellis Wallbank and Oliver Roberts failed a fitness test which allowed Alex Henderson to return to the midfield. Tom Fagan played as a third centre back allowing Wallbank to play on the right side. Danny Kyobe joined Owen Watkinson in attack. The Greens had won their last 2 games and they took advantage of their knowledge of their lively sandy pitch and pressed the Reds for an opener. The Colne keeper Hakan Burton kept them out a couple of times with good blocks, but despite pushing Matty Woolley’s free header onto the post from a corner on 25 minutes, the ball spun back into the goal giving the home side the lead. Colne’s only riposte in the first half was an Owen Watkinson free-kick which was pushed away by the ‘74 keeper. Northwich pushed forward in the second half and duly doubled their advantage on 57 minutes, when a Crawford cross from the left was headed home by an unchallenged Jack Irlam. Tom Fagan and Luke Stowe were then replaced by Ben Anderson and Tom McCann, as Colne tried to get a foothold in the game. Alas, a third goal followed on 74 minutes, when a free-kick from the right was once again met by the head of Matty Fenton and although Burton made a great stop, the ball fell back to Fenton who couldn’t miss. 15 minutes later, a free-kick on the edge of the Colne box was only parried by the Colne keeper and Isaac Noble was the first to react to make it 4-0. Colne went up the field from the kick-off and a pass across the ‘74 penalty area by debutant Cuan Bradley, who had come on to replace Matty Kardacz, was deflected into the net by the unfortunate Liam Buckley for an own goal. The drama wasn’t over as the referee decided to award the home side a ridiculous penalty with seconds remaining. Harry Winstanley attempted to clear the ball and it struck the hand of Glenn Steel, who was facing him just 2 feet away. Hakan Burton made sure of his Colne man of the match award by diving to his right and saving skipper Matty Woolley’s spot kick, as the game finished 4-1. It was the worst performance of the season by the Reds and this 11th defeat of the season leaves them in 18th place with 27 points, just 3 points above the automatic relegation places.
Who’s on Ashh’s couch? - Lucas Weaver’s ankle injury has cleared up and he is available for the squad.
Jack Doherty is recovering from 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.
Team news - Tom Hoyle and Tom Donaghy have returned to their parent clubs now that their loans have ended. Oli Roberts has left the club and signed for Wythenshawe Town, who play in the North West Counties Premier league. Alex Doyle, a 22 year old central midfielder has joined the Reds from Marine for an initial month loan deal. Alex came through Salford City’s academy and he made 38 appearances last season for Marine during their promotion season. He has featured 20 times in the NPL Premier this term and goes straight into the Colne squad. Lucas Weaver is expected to return to the first eleven after recovering from an ankle injury. Phil Brown should have 17 to choose from.
Prescot Cables are much improved from last season and have had a much more comfortable time of it this term, pushing for an assault on the play-off spots. However, things have taken a turn for the worse in the last few weeks. Their manager Kevin Lynch stepped down at the beginning of the month citing personal reasons, after claiming that he was the victim of a hate campaign against him. First team coach Steve Daley has taken over the reins, but the cross over has seen Cables lose their last 4 games, 3 of which were at home. A 1-2 loss at the end of January to Trafford started the rot, followed by a 2-3 loss at Newcastle Town. They were then beaten 0-1 at home to next to bottom Widnes and were thrashed last Saturday 1-4 at home to Leek Town. Leek’s lightning breaks and Cables’ mistakes in their own half saw the away side blow Prescot away with 4 first half goals. The Pesky bulls did well to match Town in the second half and stem the tide to ensure there were no further goals. Daley has managed to coax Adam Hammill back out of retirement and he has strengthened his squad by signing ex-Red Tony Donaldson and defender Robert Murphy, and he has also persuaded Liam Hollett to return to the club after he left for City of Liverpool in November.
The Reds are reeling from their biggest defeat of the season last weekend at 1874 Northwich. Their normally reliable defence was anything but, and their woes in front of goal continue. The constant changing of formation and personnel is not helping the young side progress. Since the beginning of December they have only scored 14 goals in 11 games, and to compound matters, only 4 of those goals were notched by players still at the club. The transfer and selection policy of replacing senior players such as Dean, Russell, Knox, Dugdale and Roberts, with loanees and inexperienced recruitments is coming home to bite, as 3 points from the last 5 games have seen the Reds challenge Widnes and Ramsbottom United in a race to the bottom. With 12 cup finals remaining to maintain their NPL West status, the Reds still have it in their own hands, but the red flags became abundantly more focussed after last Saturday’s performance. Some experienced recruits are needed fast, along with a settled formation and a more easily understandable identity for the selected eleven. Both clubs are trying to overcome their own mini crises. A reaction from the boys from Holt House would be most welcome and a point apiece would give both managers a much needed breath.
Admission Prices are:
Adults - £10
Concessions - £6
Accompanied Under 16’s - £3
Prescot Cables Football Club
Joseph Russell Stadium
Tue 21st February - Colne v Glossop North End - 19:45 NPL West
Sat 25th February - Witton Albion v Colne - 15:00 NPL West
Sat 4th March - Skelmersdale United v Colne - 15:00 NPL West
Today’s other NPL West games - 15:00
Bootle v Newcastle Town
Clitheroe v Mossley
Hanley Town v Leek Town
Kidsgrove Athletic v City of Liverpool
Macclesfield v Glossop North End
Runcorn Linnets v Workington
Skelmersdale United v Ramsbottom United
Trafford v 1874 Northwich
Witton Albion v Widnes