All twenty four teams in the Vanarama National League North would have been optimistic at 3pm on Saturday, in common with every football team ever the opening day of the season. A couple of hours later and while some teams will have remained bullish, others will be dreading the long cold winter of suffering ahead of them.
Fastest out of the traps were Stockport County bouncing back from last seasons playoff disappointment and newly promoted Hereford, comfortable victors over FC United of Manchester and Blyth Spartans respectively. There were also home wins for AFC Telford United, Boston United, Bradford (Park Avenue) and Chorley; with the only away win of the day being Curzon Ashton’s win at Darlington. Curzon are in action again tonight when they host Chester, held at home by Spennymoor Town on Saturday. There was a high scoring draw at the Impact Arena where Alfreton Town and Kidderminster Harriers shared 6 goals and elsewhere a goalless draw between Ashton United and Nuneaton Borough. Our next opponents, Southport, lost 1-0 to AFC Telford United. Matty Warburton of Stockport County matched Jordan Hulme in scoring a brace on Saturday.
AFC Telford United 1-0 Southport
Alfreton Town 3-3 Kidderminster Harriers
Altrincham 2-2 Leamington
Ashton United 0-0 Nuneaton Borough
Boston United 1-0 Guiseley
Bradford (Park Avenue) 1-0 Brackley Town
Chester 0-0 Spennymoor Town
Chorley 1-0 York City
Darlington 1-2 Curzon Ashton
Hereford 3-0 Blyth Spartans
Stockport County 5-1 FC United of Manchester
The clearest indication of the difference in stature between the National League North and the Northern Premier League is that Stockport County’s gate of 4577 for Saturday’s game is larger than the entire home attendance for Shaw Lane in the whole of last season. The average gate on Saturday was close to 1600, compared to the Evostik average of 321. Our first gate this season of 1047 compares with our last season average of 767. Thank you to everyone who attended and we look forward to seeing you back at The J. Davidson stadium on Tuesday 14th August for the visit of FC United of Manchester.