Monday, 28 January 2013

New website - Bashley FC

BASHLEY FC have today launched their new website on the Pitchero network in conjunction with theonionsack. 

The new site can be found here:

If your club or organisation would like any help with launching a new site or with press releases and taking care of current web material, please contact us for a chat about cost effective solutions to improving your web and social media profile. 

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Report: Wimborne Tn 0-1 Paulton Rovers - Southern S&W

Nick McCootie

WHEN you ship a goal 17 seconds after your own side has kicked off, you just know your luck’s not in.

Wimborne Town’s barren home run has halted their push for the Southern South & West play-offs in recent weeks and Steve Cuss’ men missed the chance to turn the corner against their fellow contenders.

Four defeats in five at Cuthbury leave the Magpies seven points adrift of the top five, but of greater concern will be a lack of spark in the final third. With Town collecting just one league clean sheet all season, back in October at Paulton, their profligacy becomes a real headache.

Visiting stopper Kyle Phillips was largely a spectator in a dour clash in Dorset as Paulton, buoyed by Nick McCootie’s opportunistic strike, looked the likelier to add to the scoring throughout.

For their spells of nice possession outside the two penalty areas, Wimborne took a step back towards last season in the two danger zones as hesitant defending and a lack of end product undermined some decent play.

Rovers’ defensive partnership of Stuart Pearson and Scott Brice stood firm to any pressure, while in the second half, McCootie’s ability to offer his defence some respite put wind in Paulton’s sails.

A long ball forward found James Billing who slid McCootie in to tuck the ball past Jason Harvell early on with Adam Costello and Nathan Peprah-Annan statuesque, their minds seemingly still in the dressing room.

Rovers' Marcus Mapstone wasted a good opportunity to double the visitors lead before Dan Cleverley’s shot was snuffed out. Craig Loxton drew a fine save from Harvell while Ben Lacey’s rebound pelted the post as Wimborne were over-run during the first 20 minutes.

The hosts eventually settled but offered little in attack and McCootie almost made it two for Paulton before the break, darting past two defenders with ease and beating Harvell at his near post only for Peprah-Annan to clear off the line.

Tom Jeffes could only force a routine save from Phillips with a close range header, and while Wimborne offered more after the restart, there was no killer instinct.

Cuss made three changes in three minutes and the introduction of AFC Bournemouth loanee Alex Moth, along with strikers Matt Kemble and Steve Smith, added impetus in the closing stages.

Kemble and Smith combined for the former to give Phillips his biggest test of the afternoon before Pearson’s last ditch tackle stopped Smith racing away one-on-one.

The overwhelming feeling, though, was that this was again not to be Wimborne’s day and Jon Blake’s harsh late dismissal for a second booking confirmed it.

It would be wrong to talk too much about fortune though – Paulton thoroughly deserved their victory and looked by far the better bet for this season’s play-offs. Meanwhile, if Wimborne want to make an impact on the top five, they need to address last season’s problems in the two penalty areas, even if they aren’t as prevalent as they were a year ago. 

*STEVE Cuss' post match thoughts given to the Bournemouth Echo can be found here.  

WIMBORNE TOWN: Harvell, Arnold, Case, Costello (Smith 70), Peprah-Annan, Blake, Sainsbury, Hubbard, Jeffes (Kemble 67), Davidson (Moth 67), Webb. Unused subs: Maybury, Ackerman (g/k). 

PAULTON ROVERS: Phillips, Tovey, Allward, Pearson, Brice, Mapstone, Loxton (Egan 80), Lacey, Billing, Cleverley, McCootie (Norris 90). Unused subs: Jeffries, Vyner. 

STAR MAN: Nick McCootie (Paulton Rovers)

After catching Costello and Peprah-Annan cold early on, Paulton's burly bruiser gave all of the Magpies defence a torrid afternoon. Powered through at will during the first half and was unlucky not to add to his tally, then offered an outball when the pressure came after the break. Classic centre forward play making Rovers' classic away performance possible. 

Friday, 25 January 2013

News: Bashley loan Pompey midfielder Colson for a month

George Colson
BASHLEY have secured the services of Portsmouth youngster George Colson on a month's loan ahead of this weekend's trip to Barwell

Colson, 19, made his Pompey debut in the League Cup against Plymouth Argyle before spending a a two month loan spell with Dorchester Town

The attacking midfielder goes straight into the Bash squad for tomorrow's trip to Barwell in the Southern Premier. The Canaries won the reverse fixture 5-0 in September.

*The story for the Bournemouth Echo can be found here, as well as a preview of tomorrow's match. 

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Betting blog: Southern Premier - Saturday 26th January 2013

IN the first of a new column theonionsack takes a look at betting in the Southern League Premier Division and picks the hot tips for the forthcoming weekend’s action.

Despite the weather forecast being pretty grim for most fixtures, we’ve plucked four matches out for potential profit this week with some of the less obvious selections looking the best bet.

There may not be a lot between AFC Totton and St Neots Town in the league table, but with the Saints’ form plummeting and Steve Riley’s charges winning seven of their last eight outings at the Testwood Stadium the Stags are great value for a home win at 11/10.

We should get two more home wins from promotion chasing clubs in the Midlands with Barwell, on the back of three straight wins, hosting a Bashley side who are winless in six and the Canaries won 5-0 at Bash back in September. Elsewhere, high-flying Stourbridge welcome strugglers Hitchin Town. Both are odds on (Barwell 4/7, Stourbridge 4/9) but added to our final selection, the odds add up to nearly 9/1.

Cambridge City, who are 11/10 to win at Frome Town make up the quartet. The hosts are without a win at The Aldersmith Stadium in six matches while the Lilywhites have won six out of eight away games with the only blots on their copybook being narrow defeats at Hemel and Barwell, bothcurrently in the top five.

We’re avoiding the top two this week as Leamington travel to an in-form Arlesey Town and Hemel host improving Weymouth. Elsewhere, Chesham’s form is too good to discount as they travel to Gosport Borough who top the form table.

TOP TIP: A cheeky tenner on those four returns just shy of £100 with Bet365 at the current odds, but get on it quickly if you’re going to, the odds are getting shorter pretty quickly.

*Prices correct at time of publication. 

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Exclusive: Pompey star Paul Hall joins Romulus coaching staff


FORMER Portsmouth star and Jamaican international Paul Hall has joined the back room staff at Northern Premier League club Romulus theonionsack can exclusively reveal.

Hall, 40, will come in as First Team Coach as the Roms shake things up behind the scenes with current coach Dave Barnett stepping up to the role of joint manager alongside the long serving Richard Evans.

The former Pompey striker or winger returns to the game after a year out following a spell as assistant manager at Mansfield Town, who reached the FA Trophy final, and as coach at Tamworth who got to the 3rd Round proper of the FA Cup.

That came on the back of a successful Football League career, totalling more than 500 appearances and scoring over 100 goals for a succession of clubs including a successful five year stint at Fratton Park.

But he really made his name by receiving the call to represent the Reggae Boyz in the 1998 World Cup with his displays in France earning Hall a £300,000 move to the Premier League with Coventry City before helping another Midlands club Walsall to promotion.

His latest move may raise a few eyebrows, but despite the Roms sitting second bottom of the Northern Premier League Division One South, Hall is relishing the task ahead.

“This will be the biggest challenge of my life,” he said “people may look at that and think it is a strange thing to say with some of the highlights I have had in my career, but that has gone and it is all about now.

“The league position means the lads can’t be very happy at the moment, but that is a good thing, you don’t want people who are happy to be down there struggling.

“We need to create a good atmosphere because wherever I have had success there has always been that togetherness.”

Hall has already got to work, attending his first training session and meeting the players, and insists that the Roms’ young charges were not overawed by his arrival.

“Everyone was very welcoming and it was quite relaxed. I have always considered myself to be one of the lads and I respect these players in the same way I would respect the top players I have played with.

“There are some familiar faces in the squad that I have come across before and we are all in it together. We just need to try and improve what we have done already. We need to make ourselves hard to beat again.

“We’ll set our own targets amongst ourselves but you have to be realistic and remember that we are here for the long term, to build the team and get everyone doing the right things.”

Meanwhile, new joint-manager Barnett added: “The management team are united in achieving better results during the second half of the season.

“The players will get all the information they need and we will be well organised. It is now down to team spirit, hard work, raising confidence and individual standards, so that we become a more consistent, solid unit.”

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

UPDATED News: Redditch Utd budget cut denied by chairman

 Simon Redhead

REDDITCH United boss Simon Redhead refused to confirm or deny that his playing budget has been cut at the Valley Stadium following the departure of fans favourite Stuart Hendrie.

The former Morecambe frontrunner, who starred for the Reds last season before moving onto Stourbridge, returned to the Valley as recently as October, but the younger brother of ex-Aston Villa star Lee said on the social networking site today that his second spell had been cut short through cutbacks.

When asked about his departure by theonionsack, Hendrie tweeted: “I have left the club and want to say thanks to the fans they have been great as always.

“Was told the budget had been cut and couldn't afford to pay my wages. Gutted as I took a paycut to join them from Stourbridge.”

When asked about any adjustment, the manager of the Southern Premier strugglers politely declined to comment, a sentiment he repeated when asked whether the claims were false.

However, United’s manager did say: “Like all clubs, Redditch have found the winter difficult financially and there has been some pressure on the club. There have been so many games off, it has been a horrendous December.

“One thing I can say is to bring anyone in then players would have to go out as there is not much surplus in the budget at the moment.”

Meanwhile, on another possible departure, Redhead added that there has still been no movement with contract player Connor Deards.

The winger, a revelation on loan from Walsall last season, signed a deal with Reds in the summer but has struggled to command a place in the first XI and was made available for loan

On Deards, Redhead said: “There has been no movement yet. A couple of clubs came in for Connor but he and his agent felt it wasn’t right for him to go anywhere and they are pretty clear on their stance.

“He is a very good, talented player but he has struggled to adapt to the part time game and his confidence has suffered as a result. We felt it was in his best interests to go out on loan and that it might have done him good.

“After initially agreeing to go out he decided to stay put, so he will feature for us in the coming weeks and hopefully rediscover his form.”


theonionsack was unable to reach Redditch chairman Chris Swan, but the Valley Stadium supremo has since told the Redditch Advertiser that the speculation was wide of the mark in this article

However, in the same piece boss Redhead would not be drawn on the reasons behind Hendrie's departure. 

Monday, 7 January 2013

Report: Poole Town 2-3 Yate Town - Southern S&W

Yate's Matt Groves

THERE was an element of fate about Poole Town’s imperious home run coming to an end against bogey side Yate Town.

The Dolphins juggernaut has kept driving into Hungerford’s lead at the top of the Southern South & West, but all of the statistics and circumstances seemed against Poole on a day where Matt Groves’ injury time winner for Yate seemed inevitable.

Poole’s run of six straight wins with clean sheets in their last four surpassed Yate’s unbeaten run of seven matches with five wins going into the clash, but the visitors’ form was all the more surprising after winning one and losing nine of the opening ten matches before that.

And with boss Tom Killick away, the hosts were soon light on the pitch as well, assistant boss James Wood having to use all three substitutions before the second half started after injuries to defender Sam Clarke, wing wizard Carl Preston and goal machine Warren Byerley.

But in truth, the Dolphins were off colour before that and always looked uncharacteristically vulnerable at the back. On a heavy pitch, the hosts lacked tempo while Yate worked hard and were swift on the break, making light of the difficult conditions.

The match ebbed and flowed with little punch in the final third until Yate took a 13th minute lead with a goal that would give Killick nightmares had he seen it.

After Groves’ shot was blocked by the chest of Will Spetch, the Dolphins failed to regroup for the resultant corner with Tom Seery heading home unchallenged from close range.

Poole were laboured in their efforts to fight back, but the revelation that is Warren Byerley conjured up some magic and earned a slice of luck with the equaliser.

The former Weymouth front man cut inside and did well to work some space on the edge of the penalty area before hitting a tame, bobbling shot that was heading well wide until Luke Burbidge reacted first, bombing onto the loose ball to crash home the leveller.

Byerley kept battling away and a neat touch and turn two minutes later bought the savvy striker some space on the edge of the box again and this time he made no mistake, his looping shot was deflected past the helpless Josh Dempsey to hand the hosts the lead.

Yate were not done and smart link up play between Mitchell Page and Scott Wilson saw the latter curl an effort just wide of Nick Hutchings’ post, but Poole did not heed the warning and allowed their lead to slip a minute later.

Wilson drove into space down the left and swung the ball in to the far post where the onrushing Page carefully watched the ball and sent a sublime cushioned volley past the flailing Hutchings.

The Dolphins were forced into some desperate defending before the break with Keith Emmerson instrumental as Clarke and Preston struggled with knocks that ultimately ended their afternoon.

And worse was to follow and an innocuous clash between Byerley and Yate’s Tom Warren saw Poole’s best hope writhing in agony after landing awkwardly on his ankle.

All three were replaced and while Poole kept plugging away, they just didn’t look the same side after the break.

Steve Devlin almost caught Dempsey out with an audacious chip while Byerley’s replacement Michael Charles, who looked out of sorts, spurned two presentable chances.

Yate were still dangerous on the break despite looking tired in some areas as Groves constantly switched wings to prove a thorn in Poole’s side. He flashed a shot just wide with Hutchings rooted to the spot midway through the second half before Adam Kelly saw Warren head his effort off the line at the other end.

Groves skimmed the post for Yate while Marvin Brooks drew a full stretch save from Dempsey as both sides cautiously sought the winner.

But it was Yate who upset the form book with another lapse in concentration proving costly. Wilson’s deep ball from right to left caught the Dolphins’ defence napping and Groves had time to cushion his header back across Hutchings at the far post, leaving the host’s 13 match unbeaten league run at Tatnam in tatters.

It was not all bad news though as, whisper it carefully, arch rivals Wimborne did the Dolphins a favour by ending title rivals Swindon Supermarine’s winning run as well as top dogs Hungerford losing at Mangotsfield.

This was an off day, but a rare one. Poole did show their quality in patches and could still have snared victory had one of their second half chances been converted. The Dolphins are still hot favourites to win the Southern South & West and rightly so.

Yate will rightly savour this victory but a betting man would still back Poole to lift the ultimate prize come May.

*THE post match interview with the Bournemouth Echo was with striker Warren Byerley who discusses his future at Tatnam after spending time dual registered with Dorchester Town

POOLE TOWN: Hutchings, Clarke (Baines 39), Spetch, Emmerson, Walker, Howes, Burbidge, Devlin, Byerley (Charles h-t), Preston (Kelly h-t), Brooks. Unused sub: Dibba. 

Goals: Burbidge 22, Byerley 24.

YATE TOWN: Dempsey, Warren, Cox, Thomas, Seery, Bater (Sarr 90+1), Groves, Bryant, Page, Wilson, Wring (Purnell 74). Unused subs: Meaker, Barnes, Cousins.

Goals: Seery 13, Page 30, Groves 90+2.

STAR MAN: Matt Groves (Yate Town)

Poole’s momentum was often stifled by their own misfortune, but Yate’s outball to Groves on the wings were also a vital part of their victory. As his team mates around him tired, Groves played with zest and energy and carried the fight. Fitting that he snatched the winning goal. 

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Report: Sutton Coldfield Tn 4-3 Kidsgrove Ath - NPL One South

AT THE DOUBLE: Sutton striker
Mark Danks

SUTTON Coldfield Town may have a reputation for falling at the final fence when trying to snaffle a play-off place, but that all may be about to change for the Royals.

Coles Lane has witnessed its fair share of last ditch heartache in recent years with Sutton twice pushed out of the Southern League play-offs on goal difference, the second time by a single goal on the last day of the season in 2009-10 before blowing a promising position in their maiden Northern Premier League campaign in 2010-11.

And after a season of inconsistency saw Sutton slip to a 13th place finish last season, locals could be forgiven for thinking the chances of Step 3 football were about as likely as local MP Andrew Mitchell remaining as Chief Whip.

However, after a shake-up both on and off the pitch and Neil Tooth’s surprise promotion to the manager’s role, the Royals have been on the up.

Tooth’s reign started with some patchy results, but since reshuffling his squad, the man who served as assistant to former boss Chris Keogh has overseen a run of 10 wins in 13 league matches, propelling the men in blue up to 3rd in the Evostik NPL One South.

And this latest victory is testament to a change in mentality for the Royals.

So often routine wins against struggling sides have evaded Sutton through poor performances or defensive lapses, but a bold tactical change along with a generous dose of character saw Tooth’s side recover against a dogged Kidsgrove outfit.

A vital cog in Sutton’s results machine has been enigmatic striker Mark Danks. With Blue Square Bet North pedigree during his time with Worcester City, the at times feisty striker had plundered eight goals in six starts prior to this match before adding another two against an Athletic side that just couldn’t handle his movement.

Danks’ ninth of the season came after a clever bit of footwork outfoxed two markers before turning back inside to drill a low shot beyond Dave Dyson’s left hand to seemingly put Sutton in control.

But Kidsgrove hadn’t read the script and with lively front pairing Liam Shotton and Andy Kinsey giving the Royals plenty to think about, it allowed the rest of the side time and space to retain the ball well on the synthetic surface.

Ten minutes to go before the break and Kidsgrove were level as Shane Reaney’s low ball found Shotton who took full advantage of Phil Male’s slip to cross for Kinsey to rifle home.

And within four minutes, the Royals found themselves behind when Kinsey rattled in the goal of the day, collecting Paul Donnelly’s airborne ball with a single deft touch before volleying past stunned keeper Lee Evans.

Things got no better for the shell shocked hosts at the start of the second half as Shotton cut inside and saw a swirling effort fizz past the far post with Evans stranded before the third came courtesy of a horrible mix up at the back. Louis Keenan wasted the chance to clear his lines before Evans made a hash of collecting with Daniel Skelton tapping home the loose ball.

But it was from there that Sutton’s performance stood out from their previous endeavours. The crowd stayed with a side that remained purposeful. Tooth went three at the back with substitute Jamie Sheldon adding impetus to the attack, and the former Leamington livewire got the Royals back on track driving a half cleared corner across Dyson and into the bottom far corner with his first two touches.

With over half an hour to play the pendulum had swung – Kidsgrove were tiring with Shotton and Kinsey steadily drifting out of the game.

The Royals continued to probe and that man Danks was again in the thick of the action to equalise, peeling away from his marker to tuck a neat finish into Dyson’s bottom right corner following Lee Parsons’ long throw.

As Sutton sought a winner Kristian Ramsey-Dickson’s thumping header was cleared off the line by James Curly, but Tooth’s charges weren’t to be denied as Luke Chapman picked up a loose ball and hit a speculative shot for all of 30 yards, beating Dyson at his near post.

As well hit as Chapman’s effort was, Dyson will be disappointed not to have kept it out, though it was no less than the home side deserved with Kidsgrove offering little in response.

There may still be flaws in this Sutton side, but with Danks on board it is hard to bet against them finally making that top five this time, and in such free scoring form the Royals could yet be this season’s surprise package.

SUTTON COLDFIELD TOWN: Evans, Lycett, Keenan (Sheldon 54), Parsons, Kettle, Male, D Taylor (Leek 86), Edwards, Ramsey-Dickson, Danks (McNaught 90), Chapman. Unused subs: Thompson, Bedford (g/k).

Goals: Danks 17, 71, Sheldon 56, Chapman 81.

KIDSGROVE ATHLETIC: Dyson, Curly, P Taylor, Donnelly, Parkinson, Espley, Reaney (Nagington 86), Skelton, Shotton, Kinsey, Sherratt (Johnston 77). Unused subs: Hill, White, Street.

Goals: Kinsey 35, 39, Skelton 52.

STAR MAN: Daryl Taylor (Sutton Coldfield Town)

A difficult decision, but Taylor was instrumental in the way that Sutton played. The width he gave the Royals allowed Danks the space to work his magic as well as working hard without the ball. Danks and Kinsey were at their prolific best and ran Taylor close, but the wing wizard takes the plaudits for showing the courage and ability to prize Kidsgrove open despite them shielding a two goal lead.