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Match Preview: Rylands (H)

Andrew’s Match Preview



Colne v Warrington Rylands

FA Trophy Round 1

Holt House

Saturday 29th October - 15:00

Penalties if a draw after 90 minutes


Colne take a break from the league as they welcome Cheshire outfit Warrington Rylands to Holt House for the 1st round proper of the FA Trophy.


Warrington Rylands, nicknamed the Blues, currently play in the NPL Premier division, after winning promotion from the NPL West last season as champions. Rylands did the double over the Reds last term, winning 2-0 at Holt House in January with second half goals from Scarisbrick and Drummond and thumping the Reds 6-0, at Gorsey Lane a month later, where Scarisbrick scored a hat-trick adding to goals from Hunt, Tinning and Hughes.


This season the Blues have played 17 times, winning 5, drawing 5 and losing 7, and are currently placed 14th in the table with 20 points. Their victories have come with home wins over Bamber Bridge 2-0, Marine 1-0 and Marske United 3-0, and away at Belper Town 5-0 and Liversedge 5-2. The Blues were dispatched from the FA Cup in the 1st qualifying round, losing 0-4 at home to Hyde United. They entered the FA Trophy at the 3rd qualifying stage, beating Nantwich Town 2-0 away, to set up today’s clash at Holt House.

Warrington Rylands players to watch - 22 year old attacking midfielder/winger Callum Dolan came through the youth systems at Man United and Blackburn Rovers. After spells at various clubs including Stockport County and Oldham Athletic, he joined the Blues from Matlock Town in the summer of 2021. Callum scored 7 times in Rylands’ Championship winning side last season, and has markedly improved on that this term, bagging 13 goals in 19 games. Former Liverpool Academy striker Kane Drummond, was Rylands’ first ever contracted player. The 21 year old was part of the Blues’ successful FA Vase winning side and scored 18 goals in last season’s title winning team, earning him the NPL West’s player of the season. He’s already netted 9 times this term. Former Rochdale youth player, 21 year old centre half James Neild, joined the Blues from Trafford in January and he’s been a virtual ever present since. Salford City under 21 keeper Joel Torrance is on loan to Rylands until January, and he’s kept goal for the Blues in their last 5 games. Joel had a spell with Colne last October and represented the Reds for 4 games, the last of which, saw him sent off in the first half in Colne’s infamous victory at Buxton in the FA Trophy. Creative midfielder Jak McCourt started his career at Leicester City, and has had plenty of EFL experience at several clubs including Northampton Town, Chesterfield, Swindon Town and Macclesfield Town. He joined the Blues in the summer and has appeared 15 times this season scoring twice. After the surprise departure of Dave McNabb in September, a manager who led Rylands to 3 successive promotions and an FA Vase success in 2021, the Blues appointed former Ashton United and Stafford Rangers boss Jody Banim, as caretaker manager.


Last time out for the Reds - A welcome league game on the road helped the Reds shake off their Holt House frustrations, as a well managed 1-0 victory gave Colne a much needed 3 points. Owen Watkinson returned to the line up after serving his one match ban, and Tom McCann was preferred on the left hand side, with Lucas Weaver and Tom Fagan dropping to the bench. Phil Brown changed the formation slightly after 20 minutes, bringing McCann into the centre and pushing Oli Roberts onto the left. The first 30 minutes were very much a case of two sides cancelling each other out, with Craig Carney having a couple of half chances and influencing Colne’s attacking play. The Reds then began to get on top, and 7 minutes before half time, an Owen Watkinson surge into Glossop’s 18 yard box resulted in a misplaced defensive challenge, and the referee pointed to the spot. Owen stepped up, and although Morgan Bacon, in GNE’s goal dived to his right, the penalty hit his legs and Colne couldn’t follow up. It’s the first spot kick, young Mr Watkinson has ever missed, as it remained 0-0 at the break. The Reds took the game to the home side in the second half, and after five minutes a long ball into the opposition half was chased down by Watkinson, who arriving in the penalty area, just got to the ball before the Glossop keeper flattened him. Great refereeing allowed advantage to be played from what was a blatant penalty, and on loan striker Enock Lusiama was on hand to head the loose ball into the empty net to earn his first goal for the club. The Reds were confident in defence as the home side tried to get back into the game, with some particularly assured defending from Thomas Hoyle and skipper Paul Dugdale, but it was the Reds who had the best chance of a second goal, when Lucas Weaver broke down a keeper clearance and raced through on goal, but instead of shooting, he pulled the ball back for the supporting Craig Carney, who was just beaten to the pass by a defending clearance. Colne saw the game out, and the 3 points means that they now have 11 points from 11 games, and have moved out of the relegation places and into 18th position. Craig Carney’s influential attacking play earned him the man of the match.


Who’s on Ashh’s couch? - Harry Winstanley has ramped his training up involving a lot of running and passing, and he’s looking at another 3 weeks before a return to action.

Ellis Wallbank started non contact training on Thursday, all went well, and he’ll be back training fully next week.

Jack Doherty is still awaiting a scan through the PFA to determine if as expected, he has an ACL injury.

Aaron Turner, likewise is awaiting a knee scan to determine his issue.

Luke Stowe is back in full training from his hamstring injury, and he should be in contention for Saturday.

Kyobe “Danny” McDaniel has fractured his collar bone and is likely to be out for between 6-8 weeks.

Hakan Burton is keeping fit whilst nursing his shoulder injury, and he is responding really well to his rehabilitation.


Team news - Luke Stowe has recovered and should be fit enough to make the squad, probably the bench. Matty Kardacz came off on Tuesday night after a head collision, so he must sit out for the mandatory 14 days. Phil Brown could well name an unchanged starting 11 from the side that won on Tuesday night in Glossop, with minor tweaks re the positions. Tom Fagan could be the one to capitalise if any changes are made.


Back to Holt House for the Reds, as the FA Trophy trail continues. A 2-1 win away at Bridlington Town started the run in September, followed by a narrow 1-0 victory at home to Consett, and a superb 3-2 win away at NPL Premier opponents Hyde United. Warrington Rylands arrive as favourites courtesy of their division higher status. They are prolific in front of goal, and are the joint highest scorers in the NPL Premier league with 30 so far. Needless to say, they are very much reliant on the attacking prowess of Callum Dolan and Kane Drummond, who have scored 21 of those 30 goals between them. Things are not as rosy at the back for the Blues though, as they have conceded 28 times, and this is where Phil Brown will be hoping to exploit. The new partnership of Watkinson and Lusiama are a physical threat to any side, and although they are quite similar in the way they play, more time together should see an improvement in their understanding of one another, and produce chances and goals for the Reds. The deciding factor in who is going to progress to the next round, is likely to be who wins the shoot out between the two attacking pairs - bring your popcorn!

PS - The Red Army have their fingers crossed that Duggers wins the toss.


Admission Prices are:

Adults : £9

Concessions & Students with Valid ID: £6

Under 16's: £1

Under 12's: Free


Upcoming games

Sat 5th November - Colne v Bootle - 15:00 NPL West

Tue 8th November - Colne v Witton Albion - 19:45 NPL West

Sat 12th November - Ramsbottom United v Colne - 15:00 NPL West

Next round of FA Trophy - Sat 19th November


Today’s other FA Trophy games involving NPL West sides - 15:00

Leek Town v Worksop Town

Macclesfield v Guiseley

Runcorn Linnets v Belper Town


Today’s NPL West games - 15:00

1874 Northwich v Glossop North End

Bootle v Hanley Town

Prescot Cables v Clitheroe

Ramsbottom United v Kidsgrove Athletic

Skelmersdale United v Mossley

Trafford v Witton Albion

Workington v City of Liverpool

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