Words By: Brad Carr
At Chucktown, we are going to break down the football lower leagues each week. As you will know, it is not a much focussed on part of the beautiful game.
What better way to start our lower league feature than the week of #NonLeagueDay. Premier League and Championship fans had to suffer the torment of an international break (something us lower league fans don’t experience, thank god).
Instead of sitting and sulking that they didn’t get that £50 million player on deadline day or how bad the England team was last night, we had the opportunity to experience football at it’s most humble. A series of leagues without the tantrums, without the money (except for Billericay) and without the god-awful pre and post match group singing (except for you know who).
In general it would be a great day out for someone who is used to such high expectations. Unlike the bigger leagues, where they just want to survive after just paying the ‘leccy’ bill.
In today’s Ten Things We’ve Learned, I look at a range of games scaling from League 1 down to the National League North and South.
In general, it would be a great and eye-opening experience for fans who are used to the glitz and glamour of the Prem. If they went to a club that are just surviving after paying the “leccy” bill, they might think twice about putting their hard-earned money into the rich corporate investors of the Premiership. Maybe they should spend their money more wisely and get to the lower leagues.
Town Hit For Six At Sixfields
I strongly doubt Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink expected this scoreline when tucking into his cornflakes Saturday morning but he was in for an incredible shock when “The Gas” rocked up at The Sixfields. Northampton Town’s poor start to the season followed suit, when just after the half an hour mark Billy Bodin put Bristol Rovers in front.
Just seconds after scoring, Bodin had to go off due to injury. The drama continued as substitute Tom Nicholls missed a penalty, meaning they went in at half time 1-0. You have to think it made for a nervy half time team talk for Rovers.
Even if it was nervy, it didn’t show as the second half is where things really got out of hand. Rovers ended up netting 5 goals in the second half. Three of which came in the last 20 minutes. Ending up 6-0 for the winners Bristol Rovers. I think JFH will have to take a long hard look at his squad after yet another dismal performance.
Six Shared At York Road
An insane back and forth game took place at the home of Maidenhead United. They and Aldershot Town battled to a 3-3 draw. After The Shots took the lead twice and got pegged back both times, you could feel the frustration showing from the team and the crowd.
Harry Pritchard scored an 86 min penalty for the home side. Not all was lost though, as a hardworking Maidenhead weren’t going to make their start count for nothing, going on to slot home an equaliser in the dying beats of the game.
Disappointment For The Vegans
I know what its like, I’ve been there. However the Forest Green Rovers will be feeling bitter after Saturday’s affair, especially after the start they’ve had in their first ever Football League campaign. Playing the top side Notts County, FGR were delirious when they took the lead via Omar Bugiel.
County tried everything, even bringing on legend in his own lunchtime Shola Ameobi. No matter what they tried however, they just couldn’t break down The Vegans. Heartbreak city came upon Meadow Lane through the way of Robert Milsom, as he scored a late equaliser for County. The draw positioned Notts County second in League 2.
Hat-trick For Hopson
An insane 9 goal thriller took place at Croft Park where Blyth Spartans defeated Nuneaton Town 6-3. Dale Hopson took the match ball home, after converting two penalties and a speculative effort that earned him a hat-trick. While Blyth were impressive in their victory, questions must be raised over Nuneaton’s defensive frailties.
Whiteman’s Ten Minute Hat-trick Destroys The Shrimpers Souls
Continuing the theme of hat-tricks Doncaster’s Ben Whiteman had 10 minutes of brilliance. When the game was 1-1 and either side was looking for that extra work to be put in, it was Ben Whiteman who tooks the reigns. He took the game from 1-1 all the way to 4-1 all in the space of 600 seconds, leaving Southend “shell-shocked”.
3-3 draw in bottom of the table clash at Ferriby
North Ferriby United’s poor form from last season continued, as they find themselves at the foot of the table. Only a couple of places above them are opponents FC United Of Manchester. It was your classic 6 pointer and both teams needed the win.
After taking a 3-1 lead on the hour mark, Ferriby finally thought they were going to kick-start their season. However FC United pushed forward and pulled it back to 3-3 within 15 mins. The draw left both sides wondering where to look next for a win.
Bottom Two Continue Shameful Start, While New Managers and Former Club Players Jack Lester And Neil Aspin Try To Recover Them.
Port Vale and Chesterfield have found no rhythm to their football this season, which has led to both their managers getting the sack. With the help of their former players Jack Lester and Neil Aspin, the clubs were hoping for a breath of fresh air. Unfortunately both teams suffered the same 2-1 fate. It’ll take time but hopefully for these clubs the results come sooner rather than later.
Life After Aspin
On the other side of the Neil Aspin debacle was his previous club Gateshead. They faced a strong Bromley side and came up short losing 2-1. Gateshead have said since that they have had around 50 applicants for the role. They have narrowed that down to 7 potential replacements and with interviews taking place on Monday they should have a new leader in charge by the end of the week.
Argyle’s form continues
Plymouth Argyle’s miserable start to the season didn’t get any better. Another lacklustre performance and a 2-1 defeat to Fleetwood insured they stay at the bottom of League 1.
Gulls Sent Back Down To Earth By Dover
Torquay fans must have thought they were dreaming midweek when they won 4-0. That dream ended quickly though as Dover’s Paul Lewis scored after just 5 minutes. Ryan Bird then doubled the score for Dover and Torquay were resigned to the the same fate they’ve felt all too often.