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Maine Road 2 Millers 1. Sat 14th Jul 12. Pre Season Friendly
New Mills's 2012/13 season started on Saturday as they travelled to the impressive Wright Robinson College in Gorton to face Maine Road.
The North West Counties Football League side took the lead midway through the first half when Matt Warburton capitalised on some defensive hesitancy and easily rounded James Coates to score.
Immediately after the opening goal, Daniel Douglas-Pringle had The Millers best opportunity of the opening half but his header from Justin Pickering's left wing cross produced an excellent reflex save from the Maine Road keeper.
As is customary, both sides made a number of substitutions at the interval and one such replacement doubled Maine Road's three minutes into the second half as his precise angled shot beat substitute goalkeeper Craig Alford.
New Mills pulled a goal back with five minutes of the game remaining when youngster Ross Needham produced an excellent volleyed finish but the strike came a little too late for The Millers to snatch a draw from what was a very worthwhile pre season exercise.
New Mills starting XI - James Coates, Jordan Armstrong, Dave Chadwick, Adam Mitten, Luke Horrocks, Mark Innes, Carlos Meakin, Mark Haslam, Justin Pickering, Leon Grandison, Daniel Douglas-Pringle.
Congleton Town 0 Millers 0. Sat 21st Jul 12. Pre Season Friendly
New Mills's second pre season workout ended in stalemate at Booth Street on Saturday afternoon.
The Millers had the best of what few chances there were and probably the best opportunity in the entire game fell their way in the twelfth minute. Good link up play around the edge of the area eventually saw Harry Noon cross the ball to Justin Pickering whose close range stooping header was well saved by the ever reliable Matt Conkie.
A whole host of substitutions after the interval saw the game lose its momentum but two late efforts could have secured the win for New Mills. Firstly Carlos Meakin's free kick was well saved by Congleton's reserve keeper with Ross Needham only able to hit the side netting with the rebound. Shortly after Kristian Cox narrowly flashed a shot past the far post but ultimately the game remained goalless in what proved to be another useful exercise for both sets of players.
New Mills starting team - James Coates, Jordan Armstrong, James Brackenbridge, Michael Bowler, Dave Chadwick, Justin Pickering, Carlos Meakin, Chris Young, Harry Noon, Leon Grandison, Max Lonsdale
Millers 0 Hyde FC 2. Thurs 26th Jul 12. Pre Season Friendly
Two set pieces were the difference between New Mills and Hyde on Thursday evening as football returned to Church Lane after the summer break.
The Blue Square Bet Premier newcomers fielded a strong side as their prepare for their debut season at the highest level of non league football and it was they who took the lead midway through the opening half. The Millers defence failed to pick up men at a corner kick and after a cross was flashed back across the six yard box, an unmarked Luke Ashworth guided a header home from close range.
The lead was doubled on the stroke of the interval when Michael Bowler was harshly adjudged to have handled the ball in the area and Mr Massey pointed to the spot. Up stepped David Poole to convert the penalty and to increase Hyde's advantage.
Although James Coates had made some excellent saves, New Mills hadn't done a lot wrong in the first half but hadn't posed much of a goalscoring threat in the final third of the pitch. The introduction of the returning Steve Moore livened things up a little though after the break and his fellow replacement Ross Needham very nearly reduced the arrears with a clever chip over the keeper but the ball unluckily cannoned back into play of the crossbar.
Hyde also hit the woodwork in the second half but there was no further addition to the scoreline in what proved to be a fairly entertaining game by pre season friendly standards.
New Mills starting XI - James Coates, Russ Headley, James Brackenbridge, Michael Bowler, Dave Chadwick, Justin Pickering, Carlos Meakin, Chris Young, Harry Noon, Kristian Cox, Luke Horrocks
Millers 1 Macclesfield Town 6. Weds 1st Aug 12. Pre Season Friendly
For the second week in succession, Blue Square Bet Premier League opposition triumphed at Church Lane as a strong Macclesfield Town side hit New Mills for six on Wednesday evening.
The visitors, looking to bounce back to NPower League Two at the first opportunity this season, wasted no time as Matthew Barnes-Homer opened the scoring in the first ninety seconds of the game when he ran onto a through ball and slotted past James Coates.
That early lead was doubled ten minutes later when Charlie Henry latched onto Euloge Ahodikpe’s cross and dispatched an excellent volley from the edge of the penalty area.
The visitors pace and one touch passing were proving a constant threat to the home defence but it was The Millers who scored next on the half hour to reduce the arrears. Skipper Carlos Meakin picked up a loose ball twenty yards from goal and drilled an unstoppable left foot shot past the helpless Lance Cronin.
Hopes of a New Mills comeback were dashed though as they conceded another two goals before the break. Firstly Euloge Ahodikpe was the recipient of a loose pass in midfield and clinically capitalised on his fortune by neatly finishing past James Coates. The home keeper was left exposed again shortly after when Matthew Barnes-Homer beat the offside trap and scored his second goal of the evening with relative ease.
With The Silkmen making a number of substitutions as the game progressed, The Millers created some half chances in the early stages of the second half as they tried to force themselves back into the contest. Max Lonsdale curled a shot narrowly over the crossbar from distance and then Steve Moore was denied by two good defensive blocks.
Despite all the changes, Macclesfield continued to attack and stretched their advantage further with twenty minutes of the game remaining. James Coates was unfortunate to concede again when he initially blocked Arthur Gnahoua’s shot with a superb reflex save but his luck was out as the rebound fell kindly back to the striker who made no mistake second time round.
The final goal of the game arrived in the last minute of normal time when substitute Jack Mackreth finished off his own good work which saw him run through a tired looking home defence and cheekily chipped the ball into the roof of the net to round of the scoring for the evening.
New Mills starting XI – James Coates, Jordan Armstrong, Ellis Appleton, Michael Bowler, Dave Chadwick, Dave Fitzpatrick, Carlos Meakin, Chris Young, Arnaldo Mendes, Steve Moore, Luke Horrocks
Macclesfield Town starting XI – Lance Cronin, Carl Martin, Tony Diagne, Lewis Chalmers, Nat Brown, Kieran Charnock, Charlie Henry, Euloge Ahodikpe, Matthew Barnes-Homer, Dean MacDonald, Harry Agombar
Millers 1 Guiseley 5. Tues 7th Aug 12. Pre Season Friendly
New Mills’s last scheduled pre season friendly saw them defeated by an excellent Guiseley side at Church Lane on Tuesday evening.
Despite The Conference North side creating a couple of good opportunities in the early exchanges, it was The Millers who took the lead in the twelfth minute with a stunning Carlos Meakin long distance strike which simply flew past the helpless Steve Drench.
The visitors weren’t to be denied for long though and they stamped their authority on the game as they scored three well-crafted goals before the interval. Firstly Josh Wilson equalised from close range just past the midway point of the opening half and then The Millers never recovered from a quickly taken corner kick routine which ultimately saw Gavin Rothery confidently finish from eight yards. Ex Guiseley keeper James Coates then kept his former Club at bay but could do absolutely nothing about an excellent James Walshaw header as the half time whistle approached.
Despite trailing, New Mills started the second half positively and Steve Moore and Luke Horrocks both missed the target from very presentable chances afforded to them in the penalty area.
Guiseley substitute Nicky Boshell appeared in the right place at the right time in a goalmouth scramble to extend the visitors lead around the hour mark and the final goal of the evening arrived in the dying moments when Boshell turned provider on this occasion as his cross was decisively swept home by Danny Ellis.
New Mills starting XI – James Coates, Michael Bowler, Dave Fitzpatrick, Matt Cotton, Dave Chadwick, Russell Headley, Carlos Meakin, Chris Young, Daniel Douglas-Pringle, Steve Moore, Luke Horrocks
Harrogate RA 1 Millers 4. Sat 18th Aug 12. Evo Stik League TOP
An incident packed opening day of The Evo Stik NPL season saw New Mills score three second half goals to secure the victory against Harrogate Railway Athletic on Saturday.
On a baking hot Yorkshire afternoon, striker Steve Moore very nearly made the perfect reintroduction for The Millers as early as the fourth minute. Dave Fitzpatrick's deep corner found Carlos Meakin lurking with intent at the back post and his resulting volley was flicked goalwards by Moore who saw his instinctive effort miss the target by a mere fraction.
Both defences looked shaky in the opening stages and the home side came close twice in as many minutes around the quarter hour mark but neither Nathan Cartman nor Jon Maloney could hit the target from presentable opportunities.
The opening goal came somewhat out of the blue in the thirty second minute when a poor back pass across his own penalty area by defender Jake Lawlor went straight to Steve Moore who couldn't quite believe his luck and proceeded to neatly tuck the ball past the onrushing Jordan Yorath from ten yards.
Yorath's opposite number James Coates was fortunate not to concede an equaliser in the run up to the interval when he appeared to misjudge a long distance shot. The keeper could only parry the ball onto the crossbar and when the rebound was headed in by Phil Myles, it looked like the equaliser had been scored but the assistant referee had raised his flag much to the relief of the travelling faithful.
It took no more than ninety seconds of the second half for Harrogate to draw level though. This time Coates was completely faultless as Colin Hunter's speculative strike took a huge deflection of Chris Young and left the keeper completely stranded as the ball flew into the opposite corner.
Buoyed by the equaliser, The Rail immediately took the game by the scruff of the neck but had left their shooting boots at home as they spurned some decent looking chances.
They were made to pay for their profligacy when The Millers regained the lead midway through the half albeit in slightly strange circumstances. Dave Fitzpatrick's wicked inswinging corner caused mayhem in the six yard box and centre half Michael Bowler was adjudged to have applied the final touch as several players including goalkeeper Jordan Yorath ended up in the back of the net.
Maybe Yorath felt aggrieved he had not been awarded a free kick in that incident and his visible frustration seemed to get the best of him minutes later. This time the keeper dealt with an almost identical Fitzpatrick corner but appeared to strike out in the aftermath at centre half Dave Chadwick who didn't appear to do a great deal by way of retaliation. The assistant referee saw the incident though and after consultation, referee Mr Gittins disappointingly dismissed both players for supposed violent conduct. A chaotic few minutes ensued and saw Harrogate's assistant manager Lee Ashforth eventually come on as a replacement keeper and once it had become apparent that a penalty had been awarded for the initial challenge, Dave Fitzpatrick cheekily chipped the spot kick straight down the middle as Ashforth dived to his left.
That goal seemed to kill the game off but Steve Moore applied the finishing touches with his second goal of the afternoon with eight minutes remaining. The impressive Dave Fitzpatrick supplied a crossfield ball to the striker and after coming inside the defender, his low angled shot clipped a defender's ankle en route to the bottom corner but there was absolutely no question that the goal was Moore's.
Maybe the final scoreline flattered New Mills a little but there was no doubting the importance of registering an opening day victory and gives the team a foundation to build on against Prescot Cables at Church Lane on Monday evening.
Team - James Coates, Jordan Armstrong (Matt Cotton), Dave Fitzpatrick, Michael Bowler, Dave Chadwick, Liam Millen (Russ Headley), Carlos Meakin, Chris Young, Martin Ormesher (Ross Needham), Steve Moore, Luke Horrocks. Unused sub - Craig Alford (GK)
Millers 2 Prescot Cables 1. Mon 20th Aug 12. Evo Stik League
A dramatic injury time goal from substitute Ross Needham maintained New Mills’s 100% start to The Evo Stik NPL Division One North season as they defeated plucky Prescot Cables at Church Lane on Monday evening.
After a cagey opening, it was the home side’s summer signing Dave Fitzpatrick who produced the first significant effort on goal in the twelfth minute but his sweet left shot fizzed narrowly over Brian Pilkington’s crossbar.
The Millers were enjoying the lion’s share of possession without creating anything significant in the final third of the pitch and this lead to Russell Headley trying his luck from distance but his rasping strike drew a fingertip save from Pilkington. The resulting corner saw skipper Carlos Meakin outjump the Cable’s defence but could only guide his header over the upright.
It looked like the two teams would go into the interval level but two minutes before the break, an alert piece of play from Steve Moore saw the deadlock broken. Whilst Prescot’s defensive line momentarily dallied over a loose ball on the edge of the penalty area, the striker nipped in front of the advancing goalkeeper whose attempted clearance was a split second too late and only resulted in him upending Moore. Referee Mr Grundy had no hesitation in pointing to the spot from where Dave Fitzpatrick confidently beat Brian Pilkington to register for the second successive game.
That half time lead was just about deserved but in almost identical circumstances to Saturday’s victory at Harrogate, New Mills’s defence allowed the opposition a strike on goal in the opening minute of the second period but fortunately on this occasion, a volley went the wrong side of James Coates’s post.
The game was being played at a good tempo with both teams closing each other down trying to restrict the time spent on the ball. Prescot looked more threatening the longer the half progressed and only the combination of James Coates and a defender’s outstretched leg denied Jon Bathurst. No matter though as the equaliser arrived sixty seconds later when Jack Webb’s deep cross saw half time substitute Luke Edwards outjump Coates and head the ball home into an unguarded net.
The Cables defence were proving a tough nut to crack as the clock ticked down and when Brian Pilkington made an agile low save to block Chris Young’s slightly deflected shot it looked like both teams would have to settle for a point. But two minutes into stoppage time, the home side launched one final attack and when a loose ball fell to Luke Horrocks , he showed a cool and experienced head by squaring the ball across the six yard box into the path of young Ross Needham who powered the ball into the roof of the net with aplomb.
Prescot, who probably felt hard done by that their endeavours weren’t rewarded, were adamant that there had been an infringement in the build-up prior to the winning goal but no amount of protesting could change the decision and there was barely time to restart the game before Mr Grundy’s final whistle blew to send New Mills top of Division One North for at least twenty four hours.
Team – James Coates, Michael Bowler, Dave Fitzpatrick, Matt Cotton, Dave Chadwick, Russell Headley, Carlos Meakin, Chris Young, Martin Ormesher (Harry Noon), Steve Moore (Ross Needham), Luke Horrocks. Unused subs – Liam Milen, Jordan Armstrong, Craig Alford (GK)
Millers 2 Mickleover Sports 2. Mon 27th Aug 12. FA Cup Preliminary Round TOP
Match Photo's (Courtesy of Allan Toft)
A replay is required to determine who will play Retford United as New Mills and Mickleover Sports could not be separated in The FA Cup Preliminary Round tie at Church Lane on Monday evening.
Following Saturday's washout, Mickleover made the trip to The High Peak for the second time in three days and it was they who struck first blood in the sixth minute. A crossfield ball found Martin Smyth on and around the edge of the penalty area and with no defender in his immediate vicinity, he turned and accurately drove the ball into James Coates's bottom corner.
On a typical wet and windy Bank Holiday evening, it was important that The Millers got back on level terms as quickly as possible and this they did on the quarter hour. It was a simple but highly effective goal which saw Luke Horrocks play a pinpoint midfield pass into the path of skipper Carlos Meakin who didn't break his stride before clinically beating Damian Clarke with a left foot strike for his first competitive goal of the season.
That goal saw the home side gain much needed momentum in the game but with Mickleover's defence absorbing much of their attacking play, the visitors regained the lead nine minutes before the interval courtesy of an impressive effort from Karl Ashton whose strike was just too good for James Coates. The keeper got fingertips to the ball to the stinging effort but couldn't quite prevent it from entering the net to give Mickleover the advantage at the break.
The tie could have been out of New Mills's reach in the opening minutes of the second half as Mickleover came flying out of the dressing rooms and in quick succession, shots flew narrowly wide of James Coates's uprights with the keeper looking beaten on both occasions.
The introduction of striker Leon Grandison for his first appearance of the season immediately livened up proceedings for The Millers and he made a vital contribution to the equaliser which arrived with just under twenty minutes of the game remaining. A clever turn just outside the penalty area created some vital space and although his resulting effort was deflected, the ball fell neatly into the path of Dave Chadwick who belied his centre half status by expertly rounding Damian Clarke and slotting the ball home into the unguarded net.
It was definitely game on now and from thereon, the home side pushed for the winning goal. The two wide men, Russ Headley and Luke Horrocks, continually stretched the Mickleover defence and delivered a sequence of teasing crosses which always seemed to just evade the attackers in the box. The closest that New Mills came was when Steve Moore’s deflected shot looped over the keeper who could only watch the ball hit the inside of his post but saw the spin take it virtually across the goal-line rather than into the back of the net.
The pulsating finish to the game was somewhat ruined when referee Mr Hayes cautioned Dave Chadwick for the second time in the game and dismissed him in the final seconds of injury time. The defender’s vocal claims that he had been elbowed at a corner kick was clearly backed up by a badly swollen left eye but the official was disappointingly having none of it.
The two well-matched teams produced an excellent cup tie particularly in the second half and will face each other again at The Raygar Stadium on Tuesday evening ( 4th September ) with the possibility of extra time and penalties to decide the victor.
Team – James Coates, Michael Bowler, Dave Fitzpatrick, Matt Cotton, Dave Chadwick, Chris Young, Carlos Meakin, Russ Headley, Martin Ormesher (Leon Grandison), Steve Moore (Harry Noon), Luke Horrocks. Unused subs – Jordan Armstrong, Ross Needham, Liam Millen
Millers 1 Warrington Town 6. Sat 1st Sept 12. Evo Stik League
Match Photo's (Courtesy of Allan Toft)
A hat trick from Warrington Town's Lee McEvilly emphatically ended New Mills's 100% record in The Evo Stik NPL Division One North at Church Lane on Saturday.
Warrington, who arrived undefeated themselves after drawing their opening two games, took the lead in the ninth minute with a looping Michael Reid header. In fact, such was the trajectory on the ball few in the ground actually realised it had gone in the net until the goalscorer wheeled away in celebration.
Daniel Douglas-Pringle, who rejoined The Millers from Hyde FC in the week, then had two almost identical heading opportunities within a short period of time to draw the home side level. Both came courtesy of Luke Horrocks left wing crosses but the forward narrowly missed the target with his first effort and unluckily rattled the crossbar with the second.
Experienced and former Northern Ireland striker Lee McEvilly opened his account midway through the opening half when he collected Liam Shipton's pass and showed his qualities, which saw him play professionally for clubs such as Rochdale and Accrington Stanley amongst others, by executing the perfect chip over James Coates from around the edge of the penalty area.
Leading by two goals at the interval, Warrington simply tore into New Mills's defence at the start of the second half and quickly extended their lead further when Reid scored his second of the afternoon by drilling an excellent strike into the bottom corner.
Town were attacking James Coates's goal almost at will and McEvilly showed no mercy to the shell-shocked defenders, who afforded him far too much space, by completing his hat trick with two fairly simple finishes in the sixtieth and sixty sixth minute.
With the game long finished as a contest, The Millers at least grabbed a consolation goal with seven minutes remaining. Substitute Ross Needham battled well for the ball down the left and freed the overlapping David Fitzpatrick. The full back delivered a trademark pinpoint centre and found skipper Carlos Meakin whose neat,controlled header found the corner of the net.
Even then there was time for Warrington to complete the scoring when young striker James Anderson tapped in from close range to round off a thoroughly miserable afternoon for New Mills.
Team - James Coates, Liam Millen (Jordan Armstrong), David Fitzpatrick, Matt Cotton (Jordan Cooper), Michael Bowler, Chris Young, Carlos Meakin, Russ Headley, Harry Noon (Ross Needham), Daniel Douglas-Pringle, Luke Horrocks. Unused subs - Kristian Cox, Martin Ormesher
Mickleover Sports 1 Millers 1 (AET. Millers win 6-5 on Pens). Tues 4th Sept 12. FA Cup Preliminary Round Replay TOP
New Mills secured their passage into the next round of The FA Cup after a dramatic penalty shoot-out victory at Mickleover on Tuesday evening.
Following a 2-2 draw in the original game at Church Lane, the two evenly matched sides could not be separated again until the eighty fifth minute when Harry Noon gave The Millers a crucial advantage. Back came Mickleover though and they took the game into the additional half an hour when Martin Smyth equalised in the last minute of normal time.
Dave Fitzpatrick had an opportunity to win the game for New Mills in the first period of extra time but home keeper Damian Clark saved his spot kick and with no further score at the end of the extra thirty minutes, a penalty shoot-out ensued. Harry Noon missed the target with The Millers third attempt but James Coates got his side back into the game by immediately saving John Guy‘s penalty. With the scores level at 4-4 after five attempts, sudden death followed and Coates was again the hero by saving Alex Steadman‘s kick and it was left to Chris Young to win it for New Mills whose reward is a trip to Northern Counties East League side Retford United.
Team – James Coates, Liam Millen, Dave Fitzpatrick, Michael Bowler (Jordan Armstrong), Martin Ormesher (Kristian Cox), Chris Young, Carlos Meakin, Russ Headley, Harry Noon, Steve Moore (Ross Needham), Luke Horrocks. Unused subs – Justin Pickering, Craig Alford (GK)
Retford United 1 Millers 2. Sat 8th Sept 12. FA Cup First Qualifying Round
Match photo's (courtesy of Retford United's Jon Knight)
Two Steve Moore goals ensured New Mills progressed into The Second Qualifying Round of The FA Cup at the expense of Retford United at Cannon Park on Saturday afternoon.
On an afternoon more suited to the nearby cricket ground, the warm conditions saw a cautious start to the game and it took until the eleventh minute for the game's first significant effort on goal. Moore gambled well and was rewarded when he intercepted the defender's header and his resulting shot was saved low down by Jack Ward.
Skipper Carlos Meakin, playing in an unaccustomed centre half role, very nearly gifted Retford the lead in the fourteenth minute. His intended square pass across the back line went straight to Shaun Nesbitt whose first time shot cannoned back to him off the inside of the upright. His second stab at goal was thankfully saved by the scrambling James Coates who spared his captain's blushes.
As the half progressed, The Millers grew stronger and started to exert some concerted pressure on the Retford goal. Twice in quick succession, Steve Moore glanced headers goalwards but the first was deflected wide and the second grazed the crossbar.
Once again though, New Mills were very nearly architects of their own downfall ten minutes before the interval. The defence thought that a tame goalbound effort would roll harmlessly to James Coates but Jake Stannard showed great anticipation by nipping in and instinctively stabbing the ball towards goal and his quick thinking wasn't rewarded as the shot hit the top of the crossbar.
The visitors had ridden their luck at times in the first half but it was they who crucially drew first blood in the final minute of the opening half. Dave Fitzpatrick's sweet left foot delivered a trademark corner kick which was only half cleared and the ball fell kindly to striker Steve Moore who bundled home from no more than four yards.
The same player was again in the right place nine minutes after the interval to double The Millers advantage. Again Dave Fitzpatrick was involved as this time his left wing cross found Harry Noon whose downward header bounced up to hit the bar but like every good forward, Moore was lurking with intent and decisively drilled the rebound past Jack Ward.
Retford's keeper then kept his side in the Cup tie with an outstanding save to deny Luke Horrocks's controlled shot which seemed destined for the bottom corner until Ward's fingertips intervened. That save seemed to galvanise Retford and within two minutes, they grabbed a lifeline and halved the arrears. New Mills never recovered from Luke Horrocks carelessly giving the ball away and the ultimate recipient was substitute Steve Phillps whose deflected effort crept home.
Within two minutes, Phillips then came within inches of getting his side back on level terms but for the third time in the afternoon, a home team effort rattled the woodwork with James Coates beaten.
As the closing minutes ticked by, Retford pushed for the equalizer but never really seriously threatened The Millers goal and the returning Tony Barras more than played his part in his first outing of the season covering for the suspended Dave Chadwick.
After six rather unnecessary minutes of injury time, referee Mr Swift blew the final whistle and despite Retford hitting the woodwork on three separate occasions, New Mills’s overall performance, particularly in the second half in difficult conditions, saw them just about deserve the victory and their place in the draw for the next round.
Team - James Coates, Michael Bowler, Dave Fitzpatrick, Tony Barras, Martin Ormesher (Liam Millen), Chris Young, Carlos Meakin, Russ Headley, Harry Noon (Kristian Cox), Steve Moore (Ross Needham), Luke Horrocks. Unused subs - James Moss, Jordan Armstrong, Craig Alford (GK)
Millers 1 Ossett Albion 0. Sat 15th Sept 12. FA Trophy Preliminary Round TOP
Match Photo's (Courtesy of Allan Toft)
A dramatic injury time winner from New Mills debutant Daniel Grimshaw broke Ossett Albion's stubborn resistance at Church Lane on Saturday afternoon to help register the home side's first victory in the FA Trophy since the 1976/77 season.
In what was The Millers third successive Cup fixture, manager Ally Pickering fielded a further newcomer by way of experienced ex Oldham Athletic, Sunderland and Derby County defender Chris Makin who filled the defensive void created by Dave Chadwick's continued suspension.
Following his two FA Cup goals at Retford last weekend, centre forward Steve Moore was at the heart of New Mills's best moves in the opening forty five minutes. After a fairly even start to the game, Moore was the architect of the move which ultimately produced a stinging shot from Daniel Grimshaw, who joined from FC United of Manchester during the week, which drew a fine fingertip save from Ossett keeper Jody Barford.
Possibly the best chance of the first half came The Millers way two minutes prior to the interval when again Steve Moore was the creator after wriggling free from his marker. His percentage ball across the face of the goal from a wide area flashed not only past the Ossett defenders but also inches past strike partner Harry Noon's desperate outstretched lunge at the back post.
After posing very little attacking threat in the first half, Ossett started a lot brighter after the interval and indeed they had the ball in the net around ten minutes into the second half but were denied by the assistant's raised flag.
As the game progressed into its latter stages, the introduction of three attacking changes saw New Mills create but squander good heading opportunities for both Steve Moore and replacement Ross Needham. These substitutions also released Carlos Meakin from his defensive duties and saw him push into his more traditional midfield role and with ten minutes remaining, the skipper stung the palms of Jody Barford with a neatly controlled low half volley.
With the clock ticking down in stoppage time and the home crowd pretty much resigned to a trip to Yorkshire for a midweek replay, Daniel Grimshaw collected a loose ball around twenty five yards from goal and hit a low shot which evaded the keeper and found the net via the inside of the post.
There was to be no response from resilient Ossett as there was barely time to restart the game before Mr Rawcliffe's final whistle concluded the game and saw New Mills secure a home fixture against Evo Stik NPL Premier Division side Stocksbridge Park Steels on Saturday 29th September.
Team - James Coates, Michael Bowler, Dave Fitzpatrick, Chris Makin, Daniel Grimshaw, Chris Young (Justin Pickering), Carlos Meakin, Liam Millen (Jordan Armstrong), Harry Noon (Ross Needham), Steve Moore, Luke Horrocks. Unused subs - James Moss, Craig Alford (GK)
Wakefield 3 Millers 5. Tues 18th Sept 12. Evo Stik League
New Mills remain unbeaten on their travels this season after they secured three valuable NPL Division One North points at Wakefield on Tuesday evening.
With Harry Noon and Chris Young missing through injury, Jordan Armstrong, fresh from a fine cameo substitute performance against Ossett Albion, came into the starting eleven and the youngster should have opened the scoring in the second minute. Dave Fitzpatrick's through ball found Armstrong whose effort unluckily cannoned back into the play off the inside of the post.
He didn't dwell on his misfortune for long though and quickly made amends four minutes later by setting up the opening goal for Steve Moore. Armstrong's pinpoint right wing cross found the striker who decisively headed past Danny Trueman to register his fifth goal of the season.
Wakefield searching for their first home win in over a year equalised with their first significant attack of the game in the sixteenth minute. Full back Liam Millen was dispossessed down the left wing and the resulting cross was neatly steered home by David Boardman. This strike was Wakefield's first NPL goal of the season after drawing blanks in their opening four fixtures.
Back came The Millers almost immediately and regained the lead within ninety seconds. Jordan Armstrong's pace was too much for the home defence to handle and he accurately found the back of the net via the base of the upright from the narrowest of angles.
Kristian Cox, making a rare start, should have wrapped the points up for New Mills and collected the matchball personally but had left his shooting boots at home as he squandered three excellent opportunities in the opening half hour.
Leading 2-1 at the interval, The Millers were forced into a half time substitution when Leon Grandison replaced Steve Moore but if anything, the change injected fresh impetus into the visiting attack. In fact it took Grandison only twelve minutes to get on the scoresheet when he collected Kristian Cox's pinpoint through ball and rounded the onrushing goalkeeper with comparative ease.
Back came Wakefield again though and they reduced the arrears just after the hour when David Boardman's deft header found the corner of James Coates's net.
Despite some defensive frailties, The Millers constantly looked dangerous going forward and scored two quick goals to effectively kill the contest. Kristian Cox finally got his goal when the home keeper could only parry Carlos Meakin's powerful free kick into his path and the alert striker tapped home the rebound from close range. Then Leon Grandison's burst of pace took him clear of the defensive line and he confidently placed an accurate shot past the despairing Danny Trueman.
That really should have been game,set and match for New Mills but again they switched off at the back and allowed Wakefield a glimmer of hope when in the seventy third minute, a corner kick was diverted in at the near post and was officially credited as an own goal by Michael Bowler.
Despite one or two alarms in the closing stages in the visiting penalty area, there was to be no further addition to the scoreline. Whilst scoring five goals away from home is always an achievement, manager Ally Pickering will be keen for his players to stop making life hard for themselves by cutting out the mistakes which nearly gifted Wakefield a way back into the match which should have been comfortably put to bed in the first hour.
Team - James Coates, Liam Millen, Dave Fitzpatrick, Jordan Armstrong, Michael Bowler, Daniel Grimshaw, Carlos Meakin, Justin Pickering, Kristian Cox (Ross Needham), Steve Moore (Leon Grandison), Luke Horrocks. Unused sub - Russell Headley
Carlton Town 4 Millers 3. Sat 22nd Sept 12. FA Cup Second Qualifying Round TOP
Team - James Coates, Jordan Armstrong (Kristian Cox), Dave Fitzpatrick, Daniel Grimshaw, Chris Collins-Reed, Russell Headley, Carlos Meakin (Mark Innes), Chris Young, Steve Moore, Leon Grandison, Luke Horrocks(Carl Carey). Unused subs - Justin Pickering, James Moss
Millers 3 Stocksbridge PS 2. Sat 29th Sept 12. TA Trophy First Qualifying Round
Match Photo's (Courtesy of Allan Toft)
For the second successive round, a goal in the dying minutes secured victory for New Mills in The FA Trophy, this time against Evo Stik NPL Premier Division side Stocksbridge Park Steels.
Any thoughts of the players suffering an FA Cup hangover after last week's defeat at Carlton Town were quickly dispelled as The Millers started the game in explosive fashion scoring twice within the opening five minutes. Skipper Carlos Meakin, starting in his more familiar midfield role after a recent spell in defence, took just nineteen seconds to get on the scoresheet after collecting Luke Horrocks's cross and neatly tucking the ball home from twelve yards.
There was to be no rest bite for the shell shocked Yorkshire visitors who fell further behind shortly after. Daniel Grimshaw was impeded in the box by ex New Mills defender Nick Swirad and whilst referee Mr Powell did not initially give a foul, his assistant had spotted the infringement and placed his flag across his chest. The penalty was duly awarded and up stepped Meakin to send Adam Billard the wrong way to double the advantage.
The home side were showing no mercy to their higher ranked opponents and when Lincoln Adams clumsily upended Luke Horrocks in the twenty second minute, Mr Powell this time had no hesitation in again pointing to the spot. Carlos Meakin stepped up looking for his hat-trick and put the ball to the same side of Adam Billard but on this occasion, the keeper guessed correctly and made a decent save.
Stocksbridge grabbed a lifeline in the game ten minutes before the interval after Mark Innes was harshly adjudged to have committed a foul. The resulting free kick was swung in and Danny South's precise looping header hit the stanchion in the roof of the net before bouncing over the line past debutant home keeper Andrew Mills.
Mills's opposite number Adam Billard failed to complete the first half when he was shown a red card in stoppage time. A caution for dissent following the award of the second penalty proved very costly when the keeper raced out of his area aiming to dispossess Kristian Cox but the striker was too quick for Billard who could only bring Cox down. Mr Powell had no alternative but to show the keeper his second yellow card and dismissed him from the field of play. With no replacement available on the bench, striker Andy Ring donned the gloves for the remainder of the game.
Starting the second half a goal and a man down, Stocksbridge appeared happy to sit on the edge of their own eighteen yard box and hit The Millers on the break. One such attacking foray very nearly produced an equaliser though in the fifty fifth minute but Andrew Mills, signed on loan from Macclesfield Town, produced an outstanding point blank save to deny Janni Lipka.
New Mills were enjoying the lion's share of possession but The Steels defence were proving very resilient and apart from a Chris Young effort which skimmed the outside of the upright, the home side never seriously tested the stand-in keeper.
With ten minutes remaining, Mr Powell awarded his third penalty of the afternoon when there was a clatter of bodies in the home penalty area. The referee confirmed after the game that he had penalised Michael Bowler for a push in the back and Stocksbridge captain Brett Bowden-Lovell confidently converted the spot kick.
Buoyed by that unlikely equaliser, the visitors were now fiercely contesting every ball and it appeared likely that a midweek replay was looming. But with the clock ticking towards the last sixty seconds of normal time, debutant substitute Jay Burgess made himself an instant hero by grabbing the winner. The young striker, who like Andrew Mills joined on loan from Macclesfield Town during the week, had only been on the field for around a dozen minutes, when he connected with Dave Fitzpatrick's inswinging free kick and his deft flicked header crept inside the post to spark celebrations on and off the field.
There was no time for the visitors to reply again and it will be the name of New Mills in the hat for Monday's draw for The Second Qualifying Round.
Team - Andrew Mills, Russell Headley, Dave Fitzpatrick, Michael Bowler, Dave Chadwick, Mark Innes, Carlos Meakin, Chris Young, Kristian Cox (Jay Burgess), Daniel Grimshaw, Luke Horrocks (Jordan Armstrong). Unused subs - Justin Pickering, James Moss, James Coates (GK)
Millers 1 Ramsbottom United 0. Sat 6th Oct 12. Evo Stik League TOP
Match Photo's (Courtesy of Allan Toft)
An eighty eighth minute free kick from David Fitzpatrick secured New Mills a hard earned three points against Ramsbottom United at Church Lane on Saturday afternoon.
Despite the absence of influential skipper Carlos Meakin, The Millers very nearly made the perfect start to the game in the third minute. Daniel Grimshaw escaped the clutches of the high defensive line but his resulting cross lacked sufficient pace to play in unmarked debutant striker Brandon Windsor who signed on a short term basis from Stockport County during the week. The ball was only scrambled clear to the edge of the area where Ramsbottom's Grant Shenton appeared to impede Daryl Weston but referee Mr Pashley waved play on after adjudging that the keeper had played the ball and not the man.
Last season's North West Counties Football League Champions Ramsbottom squandered a very presentable opportunity to take the lead in the eleventh minute when a misplaced defensive pass was seized upon by Phil Dean. The midfielder neatly rounded the advancing Andrew Mills but the on loan keeper pushed the attacker away from goal and the subsequent angled effort was wide of the gaping target.
Probably the best chance of the opening half fell the visitors way around eight minutes before the interval. A corner was swung in from the right which ultimately saw ex New Mills striker Jon Robinson beat the keeper to but his header rebounded back into play via the underside of the crossbar and was
just about successfully cleared by the home side.
The Millers were again their own worst enemies five minutes after the break when a poorly directed pass was capitalised upon by Jon Robinson. With a free run on goal, the striker placed his effort past the onrushing Andrew Mills but also fractionally wide of the far post.
Rammy had a glorious opportunity to take the lead ten minutes into the second half when they were awarded a penalty. A free kick was only half cleared to the edge of the eighteen yard box from where Danny Warrender was upended in the box by an outstretched defensive leg. Up stepped Gary Stopforth who fatally hesitated in his run up and saw his spot kick clip the outside of the post and go out of play for a goal kick.
Almost immediately following that miss, manager Ally Pickering made two attacking substitutions and it was New Mills who came exceptionally close to breaking the deadlock when Daniel Grimshaw's low skimming effort looked a goal all the way until it unluckily crashed into the base of the post with Grant Shenton a mere bystander.
As the game reached its conclusion, it became apparent that the first goal would probably decide the contest and this proved to be the case in the last two minutes of normal time. With the clock quickly ticking down, New Mills were awarded a free kick on the edge of the area after substitute Jordan Armstrong was unceremoniously barged over around twenty yards from goal. With the ball positioned almost centrally to Grant Shenton's goal, full back David Fitzpatrick ran up to execute the perfect set piece which curled exquisitely into the bottom corner to break Ramsbottom's hearts.
According to the acclaimed media pundits, football is a funny old game and whilst Ramsbottom will feel aggrieved not to have picked up anything from the game, they only have themselves to blame for missing opportunities which New Mills clinically capitalised upon in the dying stages.
Team - Andrew Mills, Chris Collins-Reed (Jordan Armstrong), David Fitzpatrick, Michael Bowler, David Chadwick, Mark Innes, Luke Horrocks, Chris Young, Brandon Windsor (Steve Moore), Daniel Grimshaw, Daryl Weston (Jay Burgess). Unused subs - Justin Pickering, Sam Mitten
Millers 2 Curzon Ashton 1. Mon 8th Oct 12. Evo Stik League
Two second half goals ensured New Mills beat Curzon Ashton in an enthralling contest at Church Lane on Monday evening.
The Tamesiders, who were last season's Division One North runners up and beaten play off finalists, took the lead in the sixth minute when Simon Lakeland's corner was flicked on at the near post for Sam Walker to power home a close range header.
Shortly after, the returning Carlos Meakin stung the palms of the visiting Josh Ollerenshaw with an angled shot and in a see-saw opening, his opposite number Andrew Mills then pulled off a fine reflex save to prevent Curzon from doubling their advantage.
The visitors deserved their lead at the break but it was The Millers who turned the game on its head with two goals in the opening quarter hour of the second half. Chris Young's venomous effort from twenty yards took a slight deflection as it flew past Ollerenshaw but there was absolutely no doubt that it was the stand in skipper's goal. That early leveller, ninety seconds after the interval, gave the home side a massive confidence boost and they went on to produce arguably their best spell of play this season which resulted in them taking a thoroughly merited lead just before the hour. Strike partners Steve Moore and Jay Burgess battled well for a loose ball around the edge of the area before the latter played an intelligent pass into the path of Daniel Grimshaw. After cutting inside the full back, the versatile midfielder then produced a precise curling effort which kissed the inside of the post before nestling in the back of the net.
As all good teams tend to do, Curzon regrouped after falling behind and started to reassert themselves in the attacking third of the pitch. A measured curling effort narrowly whistled past Andrew Mills's far post and their best chance to grab a share of the spoils came with nine minutes of the game remaining. Substitute Matthew Purcell's centre found an unmarked Kristian Dennis but the ball arrived at an awkward height for the ex Macclesfield Town marksman who could only skew his effort wide of the target.
There was no let up in the pace of the game as the contest entered its closing stages and substitute Michael Fish came within inches of celebrating his home debut in the perfect manner following his recent move from Stocksbridge Park Steels but his effort from just inside the area rebounded back into play via the base of the upright.
Both sides should be complimented for providing such an excellent spectacle for Church Lane's highest crowd of the season so far. Those who witnessed the game from a New Mills perspective will have seen a fine all round team performance from The Millers who gave their absolute all in aid of a winning cause.
Team - Andrew Mills, Jordan Armstrong, David Fitzpatrick, Michael Bowler, David Chadwick, Daniel Grimshaw, Carlos Meakin, Chris Young, Steve Moore (Michael Fish), Jay Burgess (Mark Innes), Luke Horrocks. Unused subs - James Moss, Sam Mitten, Russell Headley
Goole 2 Millers 3. Sat 13th Oct 12. Evo Stik League TOP
New Mills's third win of a very productive week came courtesy of a late Daryl Weston goal against Goole at Victoria Pleasure Grounds on Saturday.
A glorious autumnal East Yorkshire afternoon greeted Non League Day as The Millers faced managerless Goole who parted company with ex Buxton chief John Reed during the week leaving Chairman Des O' Hearn in temporary charge for the game.
The visitors, riding high following their triumph over Curzon Ashton, took the lead in the thirteenth minute when Luke Horrocks fed Monday night's match-winner Daniel Grimshaw. His shot was partially blocked by a Goole defender but looped fortuitously right into the path of striker Jay Burgess who mopped up the rebound from close range.
As often happens, the team taking the lead proved their instant vulnerability as Goole struck back within ninety seconds. Andrew Mills punched a home corner half clear to around the edge of the penalty area to where Andy Jackson was lurking. His deflected effort looked like it was going over the crossbar until it dipped viciously at the last second and ended up in the back of the net.
Both teams had good opportunities to subsequently take the lead with Carlos Meakin and Jay Burgess missing for The Millers and Callum Russell heading straight into the grateful hands of Andrew Mills from point blank range. But it was New Mills who regained their advantage eight minutes before the interval following a push on Luke Horrocks out on the left flank. Not for the first time this season, David Fitzpatrick's set piece delivery was excellent as his pinpoint cross found Daniel Grimshaw who beautifully guided his header past Adam Reid.
The game took a dramatic twist as the clock ticked down into first half stoppage time. Firstly Carlos Meakin broke through the home side's offside trap and after choosing to ignore the unmarked Luke Horrocks, elected to round the keeper only for his shot to hit the frame of the goal. Within a matter of seconds, Goole counter-attacked very effectively and Mark Baggaley nipped in front of Andrew Mills to guide home an equaliser right on the stroke of the half time whistle.
Kristian Cox replaced the injured Jay Burgess at the start of the second period and had a gilt edged chance four minutes after coming on but his header from David Fitzpatrick's corner lacked conviction.
Similar to the first half, both teams had further presentable opportunities to get on the scoresheet again but both David Fitzpatrick and Carlos Meakin fizzed efforts narrowly over before Andrew Mills had to be smart and alert to beat away Chris Ovington's strike.
Midway through the second half, Millers skipper Chris Young was involved in a sickening collision whilst challenging for a header. There was nothing malicious involved, just two very committed opponents going for a loose ball but it was immediately obvious that the player was in distress as he hit the ground very heavily. Quick thinking by referee Mr Thompson and Carlos Meakin ensured that the stricken Young was stabilised as it became apparent that the player had been knocked unconscious. Despite an ambulance arriving on the scene and a break in play lasting around seven minutes, Chris Young was able to walk off the pitch to warm applause from both sets of supporters with thankfully nothing more than a sore head and a cut mouth.
Perhaps understandably that lengthy delay seemed to disrupt the flow of the game as the latter stages became scrappy. New Mills continued to press forward and once again secured the three points with a late goal, this time two minutes into an extended period of stoppage time.
Luke Horrocks's determination won a corner kick and from the resulting set piece, Goole's defence couldn't effectively clear the ball and it was left to Daryl Weston to turn on a sixpence and send a low shot into the bottom corner from around eight yards.
There was still sufficient time for home substitute Oliver Brennan to grab a point for Goole but his lobbed effort not only cleared the quickly advancing Andrew Mills but also the crossbar much to the relief of the travelling contingent.
It was far from a vintage New Mills performance but nonetheless they left with the three points and an over-riding relief that their skipper had thankfully avoided serious injury.
Team - Andrew Mills, Jordan Armstrong, David Fitzpatrick, Daryl Weston, Michael Bowler, Mark Innes (Michael Fish), Carlos Meakin, Chris Young (Russell Headley), Jay Burgess (Kristian Cox), Daniel Grimshaw, Luke Horrocks. Unused subs - Steve Moore, James Moss
Ashton United 4 Millers 1. Weds 17th Oct 12. Manchester Premier Cup
New Mills exited The Manchester FA Premier Cup at the first hurdle after they were defeated by Ashton United at Hurst Cross on Wednesday evening.
The home side who are currently flying high in The Evo Stik NPL Premier Division took the lead in the seventh minute when Aaron Burns scored from close range after The Millers defended a corner kick poorly.
Michael Fish ensured that the visitors stormed back into the game within sixty seconds when Carlos Meakin found the striker who timed his run to perfection before finishing clinically past Paul Phillips from twelve yards.
Another corner kick proved New Mills's downfall in the eighteenth minute when Aaron Burns was again afforded too much time and space as his free header whistled past Andrew Mills.
The two fairly even matched sides produced an entertaining spectacle after the interval and The Millers were definitely not fazed by their higher ranked opponents. Youngster Sam Mitten possibly had the best chance to grab an equaliser but with time and space available around the edge of the area, the substitute failed to pick his spot and shot over the bar.
Opposing replacement Matthew Kosylo fared much better though as he secured Ashton's passage into the next round with two goals in the closing stages of the game. Firstly his deft chip over the advancing Andrew Mills found the back of the net and then the same player crashed home from close range after his initial shot had hit the upright.
Those two late strikes put a slightly flattering stance on the scoreline but New Mills afforded Ashton some cheap goals which ultimately cost them the Cup tie.
Team – Andrew Mills, Russell Headley, David Fitzpatrick, Michael Bowler, Tony Barras, Daniel Grimshaw, Carlos Meakin, Mark Innes (Justin Pickering), Michael Fish, Kristian Cox (Sam Mitten), Luke Horrocks. Unused subs – James Moss, Harry Noon, Liam Millen
Bamber Bridge 1 Millers 4. Sat 20th Oct 12. Evo Stik League TOP
Roy Soule's managerial career at New Mills began with an excellent victory at The Irongate against Bamber Bridge on Saturday afternoon.
The two teams were meeting competitively for the first time and it was The Millers who looked to take control of the game as they sought a fourth consecutive NPL victory.
It took until midway through the first half for the visitors to show their ascendency when Michael Fish's low strike took a sizeable deflection off Neil Reynolds to completely wrong-foot goalkeeper Lee Dovey but with the original effort being on target, the goal was officially credited to Fish.
In a rare home attack, Andrew Mills had to be brave to snuff out the danger caused by Matt Mahoney’s weaving run but it was at the opposite end of the pitch where the majority of action was taking place. New Mills doubled their advantage on the half hour following the award of a free kick on the left flank. David Fitzpatrick and Daniel Grimshaw were involved in the set piece but it was centre half Daryl Weston who was in the right place at the right time for the second consecutive weekend to steer the ball home from within the six yard box.
The goal of the afternoon came five minutes before the interval and followed an excellent save by Dovey to deny Weston scoring again. The resulting corner was taken quickly and when the ball arrived to Luke Horrocks who was stood unmarked on the edge of the area, the midfielder arrowed an unstoppable effort into the top corner to give the visitors a three goal lead.
The game effectively ended as a contest seven minutes into the second period when Matt Lawlor committed a needless, clumsy foul on Steve Moore and referee Mr Croft had no hesitation in awarding a penalty. Up stepped David Fitzpatrick to coolly send Dovey the wrong way from the spot to register his fourth goal of the season.
As tends to be the case, the team leading by a comfortable margin took their foot of the gas and this appeared to happen again with New Mills in cruise control. A header from Andy Bell narrowly went wide of Andrew Mills's post before the young keeper was beaten with around fifteen minutes of the game remaining. A long goal kick by Mills's opposite number Lee Dovey was allowed to bounce by the defensive line and they never recovered from that error of judgement as substitute Greg Johnstone neatly netted with an angled shot.
That goal proved nothing more than a consolation goal for Bamber Bridge as New Mills ran out comfortable and deserved victors and ensured they go into this week's two big games full of confidence.
Team - Andrew Mills, Michael Bowler, David Fitzpatrick, Daniel Grimshaw (Mark Innes), David Chadwick, Daryl Weston, Carlos Meakin, Chris Young, Michael Fish (Kristian Cox) , Steve Moore, Luke Horrocks (Jordan Armstrong). Unused subs - Russell Headley, Jay Burgess
Skelmersdale 3 Millers 3. Tues 23rd Oct 12. Evo Stik League
A breathless yet highly entertaining game of football at The West Lancashire College Stadium saw New Mills grab a merited point to end Skelmersdale's 100% Evo Stik NPL Division One North record.
The game's tempo was set right from the opening whistle with both sides playing quick, neat and attractive passing football.
Skelmersdale, sitting on a perfect record after eight consecutive victories, took the lead in the eleventh minute. The goal came out of nowhere really with a ball from Antony Hickey over the defence which the rapid Josh Hine ran onto and beat Andrew Mills.
Controversy reigned in the twentieth minute when The Millers thought they had equalised. A David Fitzpatrick corner, awarded despite a clear Steve Moore push in the build up, caused trouble in the heart of the home defence and centre half David Chadwick rose highest to nod the ball home from close range. Or so everybody thought. Despite the ball clearly crossing the goal-line and players and the travelling supporters celebrating alike, the assistant sadly thought otherwise and waved play on much to most people's amazement. Where's the goal-line technology when you need it !!
Despite Skem looking strong up top, their defence who had conceded just four NPL goals previously, were being kept right on their toes by the increasingly confident New Mills. Danny Grimshaw and Luke Horrocks both maybe should have done better with strikes from opposite sides of the eighteen yard line but the equaliser arrived at the second time of the asking with eight minutes of the first half remaining. Justice was seen to be served when Dave Chadwick's header, again from a Dave Fitzpatrick corner, this time hit the underside of the bar but the ever alert Steve Moore came to life in the six yard box to steer home the rebound.
The Millers continued on the front foot at the start of the second half and a quick free kick from Fitzpatrick very nearly released Moore in the opening sixty seconds. The striker was then the recipient of a good advantage by referee Mr Buxton but the ball stuck between his feet right at the crucial moment and the chance was lost.
The hosts are a decent side though and recovered their composure to regain the lead around the hour mark. A scramble in the penalty box was eventually rounded off by Antony Hickey but again the assistant was questioned as New Mills were claiming an infringement immediately before the goal was scored.
Nonetheless the lead was short-lived as a second equaliser followed within two minutes. Russell Headley, who came onto the pitch following Skelmersdale's second goal, had an immediate impact when his trickery caused problems down the right and his subsequent cross was neatly headed home by " fox in the box " Steve Moore.
The home side took the lead for the third time with a quarter of an hour remaining after the officials awarded them a free kick on the left flank. Despite the angle and the distance the ball had to cover Kenny Strickland's set piece beat Andrew Mills at his near post although the keeper was hindered by a deflection of the defensive wall.
Back came The Millers again though as they drew level a further three minutes later. Another substitute, this time Mark Innes, played a valuable contribution in the build up as his forceful header played in Luke Horrocks whose decisive effort was simply too powerful for home keeper Sam Ashton.
With the game reaching it's conclusion, the next goal would have sealed the contest for either side but despite scares at both ends, Mr Buxton blew the final whistle to end a superb game and an excellent advertisement for The Evo Stik NPL.
Team - Andrew Mills, Michael Bowler, David Fitzpatrick, Daniel Grimshaw (Russell Headley), David Chadwick, Daryl Weston, Carlos Meakin, Chris Young (Mark Innes), Michael Fish, Steve Moore (Kristian Cox), Luke Horrocks. Unused subs - Jordan Armstrong, Jay Burgess
Millers 5 Coalville Town 2.Sat 27th Oct 12. FA Trophy Second Qualifying Round TOP
Match Photo's (Courtesy of Allan Toft) to follow
New Mills progressed into The Third Qualifying Round of The FA Carlsberg Trophy for only the second time in the Club's history after beating Coalville Town at Church Lane on Saturday afternoon.
The Leicestershire visitors, currently flying high at the summit of The Evo Stik NPL South, started well and after powerful striker Danny Davidson spurned two good early opportunities, they eventually took the lead in the fourteenth minute when defender Sam Carline rose highest to nod home Callum Woodward's inswinging corner.
Back came The Millers though three minutes later with an equaliser which would have graced any footballing stage. David Fitzpatrick's thirty yard left footed equaliser simply rocketed into Sean Bowles's top corner with the keeper completely helpless such was the splendour of the strike.
Despite Coalville continuing their pressing of the home goal, it was New Mills who secured an interval lead when ten minutes before the break, Danny Grimshaw's pinpoint right wing cross found Michael Fish whose stooping header was just too good for Bowles.
The Millers came flying out of the blocks at the start of the second period and centre half Josh Hill appeared to impede Daniel Grimshaw when the midfielder appeared to be clean through on goal. Despite the awarding of the free kick just outside the penalty area, referee Mr Richardson felt the challenge was only worthy of a cautionary word rather than the expected card. Some kind of justice was therefore seen to be served three minutes after that particular incident when Carlos Meakin's doubled his side's advantage by applying a measured finish to conclude a fine passing move involving Michael Fish and Luke Horrocks.
Coalville got a lifeline when they were awarded a penalty just after the hour when referee Mr Richardson adjudged that Dave Chadwick felled an attacker in the box and up stepped skipper Cameron Stuart to just beat Andrew Mills despite the goalkeeper guessing correctly.
Steve Moore missed a glorious gilt edged chance almost immediately after the penalty but the striker somehow missed the gaping target from point blank range. Fortunately that miss didn't prove too costly when Carlos Meakin restored The Millers two goal advantage twenty minutes from time with a deflected effort from around the edge of the eighteen yard box which looped over the stranded Sean Bowles.
Andrew Mills prevented another deflected effort, this time at the other end of the pitch, with a fine reflex save and it was left to Russ Headley to apply the gloss to New Mills's afternoon. As the game entered stoppage time, the home side counter-attacked well down the left flank and when the ball broke loose to the substitute, he superbly kept his composure to round the keeper and slot the ball into the empty net.
Church Lane's biggest crowd of the season were rewarded with ninety minutes of pulsating Cup action and for the third time in a week, Roy Soule's side produced an outstanding all round team performance. The game will enter the history books too as the final result surpassed the 4-2 victory against Retford Town some thirty six years ago to become the Club's highest ever victory in The Trophy.
Team - Andrew Mills, Michael Bowler, David Fitzpatrick, Daniel Grimshaw (Mark Innes), David Chadwick, Daryl Weston, Carlos Meakin, Chris Young, Michael Fish (Jay Burgess), Steve Moore (Russell Headley) , Luke Horrocks. Unused subs - Jordan Armstrong, Kristian Cox
Millers 1 Cammell Laird 1. Sat 3rd Nov 12. Evo Stik League
Match Photo's (Courtesy of Allan Toft)
New Mills and Cammell Laird shared the Evo Stik NPL Division One North spoils at Church Lane on Saturday.
The home side, full of confidence after last weekend's FA Trophy victory against Coalville Town, took the lead after five minutes when Daniel Grimshaw's pinpoint cross from the right was headed home by the unchallenged Michael Fish.
Rather than giving The Millers the impetus, the early goal seemed to have the reverse effect as the home players squandered possession on a number of occasions and this invited pressure from Cammell Laird.
The Merseysiders, themselves on a decent run of form having remained unbeaten since the first week of October, equalised in the twentieth minute. New Mills's back line looked in vain for an offside flag which never appeared and ultimately striker Jamie Henders had the comparatively easy task of rounding Andrew Mills and scoring.
The Millers best opportunity to regain the lead came just after the half hour with arguably their best move of the game. Good link up play down the left saw David Fitzpatrick cut a left wing ball across the face of the box to where Michael Fish flashed his instinctive effort inches past the far upright.
The second half saw both trades exchange chances as it became clear that the longer the game progressed, the next goal would probably win the game. David Fitzpatrick's free kick was fingertipped away by Kevin Atherton which was almost immediately followed by Jamie Henders curling effort which not only beat Andrew Mills but also his far post.
The best opportunity to win the game though came in the last five minutes when Laird's Joe Holt escaped his marker down the right flank. As the midfielder bore down on goal, he had Aaron Bowen and Jamie Henders unmarked to his left but with his two team-mates screaming for the ball which would have resulted in a probable tap in, Holt strangely elected to shoot rather than pass and his effort went straight into the very grateful hands of the exposed Andrew Mills.
New Mills have set themselves high standards over the course of the last few games but a rare below par performance combined with stubborn and resilient opposition prevented them from playing the high energy, high tempo football which had become a familiar sight in recent weeks.
Team - Andrew Mills, Russell Headley, David Fitzpatrick, Daniel Grimshaw (Jordan Armstrong), Michael Bowler, Daryl Weston, Carlos Meakin, Chris Young, Michael Fish (James Hampson), Steve Moore (Leon Grandison), Luke Horrocks. Unused subs - Mark Innes, Jay Burgess
Match Sponsors - The Light At The End Of The Tunnel who awarded their Man of the Match to Carlos Meakin.
Millers 0 Leek Town 4. Mon 5th Nov 12. Doodson Sports Cup Preliminary Round TOP
New Mills exited The Doodson Sport League Cup at the first hurdle following a disappointing defeat to Leek Town on Monday evening.
Manager Roy Soule shuffled his pack for the Cup tie and one of the incoming players, Mark Innes, drew a fine save from Danny Roberts in the opening seventy five seconds.
Down at the other end, Andrew Mills’s legs kept out Peter Wright’s low skidding effort but the goalkeeper was not so fortunate in the eleventh minute when despite looking suspiciously offside, the striker was allowed to continue before comfortably slotting home.
Leek's lead was doubled seven minutes later when Wright's experienced strike partner, Matt Haddrell, flicked on a header and Tom Urwin was given the freedom of Church Lane to slot home.
The Millers enjoyed a good deal of territorial possession as they looked for a way back into the game before the interval but found Danny Roberts in inspired form. The keeper produced a sequence of fine saves with his best coming with a full stretch fingertip effort to deny Carlos Meakin's curling shot.
The home side's plight on the evening was neatly summed up by events seven minutes after the break. After being awarded a free kick on the edge of the Leek penalty area and subsequently sending up the big lads from the back, David Fitzpatrick's quickly taken set piece was intercepted by Tom Urwin. With everybody now hopelessly out of position, it seemed inevitable that a goal would follow and sure enough Peter Wright was on hand to deliver the knockout blow seconds later.
After Sam Hall hit the inside of the post, Wright swapped roles and turned provider as the game was reaching its conclusion as his cross was swept into the roof of the net by Anthony Danylyk.
On a bitterly cold night, Leek’s superiority in the attacking third of the pitch simply froze New Mills out of the contest as the home side produced a damp squib of a performance on Bonfire Night.
Team - Andrew Mills, Michael Bowler (Russell Headley), David Fitzpatrick, Mark Innes, David Chadwick, Daryl Weston, Carlos Meakin, Chris Young, Steve Moore (Jay Burgess), Leon Grandison (Michael Fish), Luke Horrocks. Unused subs - Daniel Grimshaw, James Hampson
Skelmersdale 3 Millers 1.Sat 10th Nov 12. FA Trophy Third Qualifying Round
New Mills's pursuit of playing in the national stages of The FA Carlsberg Trophy for the first time in the Club's history ended at The West Lancashire College Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Following the recent high scoring NPL draw between the two teams, it was obvious that Skelmersdale's main threat was in the attacking third of the field and this was proven again after a mere eighty seconds. A quick attack caught the whole defensive line napping and Josh Hine, playing in his last game for the home side before starting a new career in The RAF, gave his side a dream start.
The lively Hine was determined to enjoy himself in his final outing and proved how much of a loss he will be after his departure when he doubled Skem's lead just before the half hour. A low cross found the striker unmarked and his neat, decisive finish went through the legs of keeper Andrew Mills.
As has been the case in recent games, The Millers had plenty of territorial possession in the opening forty five minutes but in areas that did not really test Skem and they failed to create any meaningful goalscoring opportunities to significantly test Sam Ashton in the home goal.
Trailing by two goals at the break, the visitors had no alternative but to take the game to Skelmersdale and they did exactly that after in the second half but only after Andrew Mills had kept them in the Cup tie when he made an excellent save.
Leon Grandison was introduced as substitute midway through the second period and the change paid almost immediate dividends when he contributed to the visitors halving the deficit. His cross from the right found the unmarked Carlos Meakin whose trademark run into the penalty area saw the midfielder burst free and fire home into the roof of Sam Ashton's net.
Five minutes later, Michael Fish had a goalbound effort superbly diverted away from danger by a flying defensive block. With The Millers throwing caution to the wind as they searched for the elusive equaliser, it left them open to the counter attack and this proved decisive with twelve minutes remaining. A long defensive clearance completely exposed the back line again to Skelmersdale's pacey attackers and this time, Michael Phenix ran free into clear space and beat Andrew Mills to more or less secure his side's passage into the First Round stage of this prestigious competition.
Credit to New Mills who never gave up even at such a late stage of the game and Chris Young drew the save of the match from Sam Ashton deep into stoppage time but even if that had gone in, it probably would have been too little too late for Roy Soule's side who had equalled their best ever performance in The FA Trophy this season.
Team - Andrew Mills, Michael Bowler, David Fitzpatrick, Russell Headley (James Hampson), David Chadwick, Daryl Weston, Carlos Meakin, Chris Young, Michael Fish, Steve Moore (Leon Grandison), Luke Horrocks. Unused subs - Mark Innes, Jay Burgess, Adam Halton (GK)
Millers 1 Clitheroe 2. Sat 17th Nov 12. Evo Stik League TOP
Match Photo's (Courtesy of Allan Toft)
A spectacular late Danny Mahoney strike secured a comeback victory for Clitheroe at Church Lane on Saturday afternoon.
In what was believed to be the teams first meeting for around thirty years, New Mills started the game positively and only the outstretched hand of Hakan Burton prevented Carlos Meakin opening the scoring in the second minute.
Burton was beaten shortly after but Jack Higgins came to Clitheroe’s rescue as he somehow bundled David Chadwick’s close range shot off the line after the centre-half drifted free of his marker at the back post. Whilst to the naked eye, it looked like some of the ball had crossed the goal-line, the assistant referee was in the perfect position to wave play on.
The Millers early dominance was eventually rewarded though in the twelfth minute when James Hampson released Luke Horrocks through on goal. The resulting effort was half stopped by Hakan Burton but the keeper could only watch on helplessly as the ball spun into the back of the net.
That advantage should have been doubled six minutes later when Hampson twisted and turned down the left flank and stood up an excellent pinpoint cross to the back post. Most people in the crowd would have put their mortgages on Carlos Meakin applying the finishing touch but from point blank range, the onrushing midfielder could only guide his header over the crossbar.
The lively Hampson, making his full debut, very nearly marked the feat with a goal just after the half hour but his stinging shot from just outside the penalty area was pushed away by the strong wrists of the busy Hakan Burton.
Such was the home side's dominant performance, Clitheroe would have been happy at going into the break only one goal down but they were handed a bonus lifeline on the stroke of the interval. New Mills keeper Adam Halton, who replaced the unwell Andrew Mills during the warm-up, felled Chris Mason in the box and referee Mr Benton had no alternative but to award a penalty. Danny Mahoney's spot kick was just too good for Halton who guessed correctly.
In complete contrast to the first half, New Mills just couldn't get going after half time and barely threatened the Clitheroe goal at all as the home faithful started to show their frustration at what was unfolding in front of them. Not even three substitutions could alter the flow of the game as Clitheroe started to realise that the three points were up for grabs.
Only a fine reflex save by Adam Halton denied Simon Nangel but with four minutes remaining, Danny Mahoney collected the ball just inside New Mills's half and spotting Halton off his line, audaciously delivered a very deliberate forty five yard chip over the stranded keeper who couldn't back-pedal quick enough.
It was most definitely a game of two halves and New Mills will ultimately rue not making the most of their chances in the first half where a three or four goal advantage would have been a fair representation of their dominant performance. On the flip side, the players themselves will know that their second half showing was simply nowhere near the standards they have set in the earlier part of the season.
Team - Adam Halton, Michael Bowler, David Fitzpatrick, Mark Innes (Steve Moore), David Chadwick, Sam Egerton, Carlos Meakin, Chris Young, James Hampson (Jay Burgess), Leon Grandison (Russell Headley), Luke Horrocks. Unused Subs - Daryl Weston, Andrew Mills
Millers 9 Garforth Town 2. Mon 19th Nov 12. Evo Stik League
New Mills returned to winning ways after going goal crazy against struggling Garforth Town at Church Lane on Monday evening.
After trying his luck at Blue Square Bet Premier side Hyde FC earlier in the season, returning striker Daniel Douglas-Pringle took less than five minutes to get on the scoresheet when he decisively swept home Leon Grandison's pinpoint cutback from the bye-line.
The rock bottom visitors, who arrived late after being caught up in heavy traffic on the M62, fell further behind in the twenty first minute. Keeper Chris Senior denied Carlos Meakin with an acrobatic fingertip save but was less fortunate from David Fitzpatrick's subsequent corner which was comfortably headed home by Dave Chadwick.
When Luke Horrocks bundled in a rebound from another corner just after the half hour, it looked like the contest was already over. Maybe defensive complacency set in though as Garforth reduced the deficit to a single goal by the half time interval. The visitors most impressive player and captain Fernando Moke scored both goals, the second being a nonchalant chip over the stranded Andrew Mills, as the Yorkshire side looked to record only their second NPL success of the season.
It was important that The Millers quickly regained their composure after the shock of conceding those goals and thankfully Carlos Meakin settled any home side nerves by drilling the fourth goal shortly into the second half.
From thereon in, it was virtually a game of attack versus defence as Garforth battled to keep the scoreline respectable. Daniel Douglas-Pringle completed a fine hat-trick with two goals in quick succession and then added his fourth of the evening with fourteen minutes of the game remaining.
There was a very realistic chance at this stage of proceedings that New Mills could break into double figures but as the game concluded, Carlos Meakin's powerful shot and Douglas-Pringle's injury time effort, which took his personal tally to five on the night, saw The Millers declare at nine.
Whilst the home side were grateful of the three points after four games without victory as well as improving their goal difference, it was hard not to have some sympathy for Garforth's current plight and for their players who battled hard for ninety minutes.
Team - Andrew Mills, Michael Bowler, David Fitzpatrick (Daniel Grimshaw), Leon Grandison (Mark Innes), David Chadwick, Sam Egerton, Carlos Meakin, Chris Young, Michael Fish (James Hampson), Daniel Douglas-Pringle, Luke Horrocks. Unused subs - Russell Headley, Daryl Weston
Burscough 0 Millers 3. Sat 24th Nov 12. Evo Stik League TOP
Two penalties from Carlos Meakin went a long way towards securing New Mills three points at Victory Park on Saturday afternoon.
The difficult playing conditions lead to a very evenly contested first half and it took until stoppage time for the two sides to be separated. After a fine run, Luke Horrocks was felled in the box and despite some histrionics from goalkeeper Tim Horn, Carlos Meakin kept his composure to give The Millers a crucial advantage.
Substitute James Hampson replaced debutant striker Chris Luby and his introduction paid immediate dividends when he doubled New Mills's lead with fifteen minutes of the game remaining. Monday evening's five goal hero Daniel Douglas-Pringle headed a Daniel Grimshaw corner goalwards and Hampson was in the right place at the right time to bundle the ball home to register his first goal for the Club since joining from Manchester League side Avro FC.
As the rain fell steadily, Carlos Meakin put the cherry on the visitors cake with a second successful spot kick in added on time. Substitute Michael Fish was upended in the area and with virtually the last kick of the game, Meakin drove the ball home to register his eleventh strike of the season and his second double of the week.
The victory, built on a solid team display rather than any one individual performance, pushes Roy Soule's side into the top six of The Evo Stik NPL Division One North and with several games in hand on the teams above them, it is hoped that the clean sheet secured can be added to and the team can start to build up an unbeaten sequence of games.
Team - Andrew Mills, Michael Bowler, Daniel Grimshaw, Leon Grandison, David Chadwick, Sam Egerton, Carlos Meakin, Chris Young (Mark Innes), Chris Luby (James Hampson), Daniel Douglas-Pringle (Michael Fish), Luke Horrocks. Unused subs - David Fitzpatrick, Daryl Weston
Millers 3 Lancaster City 1. Sat 1st Dec 12. Evo Stik League
Match Photo's (Courtesy of Allan Toft)
It was a tale of contrasting fortunes for two old boys at Church Lane on Saturday as New Mills cemented their place in the Evo Stik NPL play off zone with victory over Lancaster City.
The game took place following a mid-morning pitch inspection and in what was believed to be the teams first ever competitive fixture, it was The Millers who were quickest out of the blocks. In the first five minutes, strike partners Daniel Douglas-Pringle and Chris Luby both failed to hit the target and test Richard Whiteside after they found themselves with time and space.
The home side deservedly took the lead in the nineteenth minute with the goal coming from an unlikely source. A quick counter-attack involving Luke Horrocks and Daniel Douglas-Pringle down the left hand channel resulted in the latter's shot forcing a save at full stretch from Richard Whiteside. However the keeper could only parry the ball straight into the path of ex Lancaster defender Sam Egerton who comfortably found the net from close range to bag his first goal for the Club since his recent move from Stalybridge Celtic.
That advantage was extended six minutes later with the undoubted goal of the afternoon. Daniel Douglas-Pringle collected the ball around the edge of Lancaster's penalty area, picked his spot and continued his recent goalscoring streak by curling an absolute beauty into the top corner past the helpless Whiteside.
Shortly after, the rampant Millers should have further increased their lead when David Fitzpatrick's free kick caused chaos in and around the six yard box. The ball ultimately fell to Luke Horrocks who from point blank range somehow crashed his shot against the upright with the keeper once again beaten.
Richard Whiteside kept his side in the game with an excellent fingertip save to deny Douglas-Pringle his second goal of the afternoon whilst his opposite number Andrew Mills made his significant contribution of the first half as the clock ticked down to the interval. The young goalkeeper on loan from Macclesfield Town, who was a virtual spectator for the vast majority of the opening forty five minutes, produced an outstanding triple save, the best of which denied Tom Kilfin.
Mills was beaten though within sixty seconds of the resumption when joint player manager Michael Stringfellow's effort, which was heading towards the corner flag, took a huge deflection of Michael Bowler to completely wrong foot the goalkeeper to give Lancaster hope.
That flicker of hope was extinguished within four minutes as New Mills regained their two goal advantage. Dave Fitzpatrick's corner floated its way to the back post and found the completely unmarked Chris Luby who celebrated his home debut by heading in from six yards. Almost immediately, Lancaster's plight was hindered further by Dave Swarbrick whose return to Church Lane was soured when he was shown a straight red card by referee Mr Yates following an off the ball incident involving his former team-mate Sam Egerton.
New Mills capitalised on that numerical advantage in the latter stages of the game as Lancaster tired in the testing conditions and only the brilliance of Richard Whiteside kept the scoreline respectable. The keeper produced a string of excellent saves especially a late one to deny Daniel Douglas-Pringle but his overall performance did not prevent The Millers from collecting a third successive triumph with a highly satisfying and impressive team display.
Team - Andrew Mills, Michael Bowler, David Fitzpatrick, Daniel Grimshaw, David Chadwick, Sam Egerton, Leon Grandison (Michael Fish), Chris Young. Chris Luby, (Robert Walton), Daniel Douglas-Pringle, Luke Horrocks (Mark Innes). Unused subs - Daryl Weston, Jay Burgess
Prescot Cables 1 Millers 2. Sat 8th Dec 12. Evo Stik League TOP
New Mills made it six wins from seven on their travels in The Evo Stik NPL Division One North with a hard earned three points at Prescot on Saturday afternoon.
The Valerie Park pitch had survived the week's elements to allow the game to commence but it was obvious to the naked eye that the playing surface would be a great leveller.
The Millers had what looked like a worthwhile shout for a penalty in the thirteenth minute when Ged Murphy made a complete hash of a clearance and the ball appeared to strike his arm in the aftermath but referee Mr Mycock decreed that the infringement wasn't deliberate.
Another defensive error handed New Mills the lead seven minutes later when Murphy's colleague Chris Rimmer shanked an attempted aerial pass. The ball looped high up into the air from where Chris Luby outjumped debutant keeper Gary Spotswood and the striker was alert to enough to roll the resulting loose ball into the unguarded net.
The ever lively Luby scored his second of the afternoon five minutes before the interval when his determination paid dividends again. With time and space available down the right hand flank, Leon Grandison's chip cum cross beat the rapidly advancing keeper Spotswood. As the ball bounced across the six yard box, Luby looked second favourite to get to the ball but despite being outnumbered, his desire saw him somehow nip in front of the defenders to prod home from an acute angle.
That two goal advantage was halved almost immediately when Andrew Mills, who had barely been troubled, misjudged a deep swirling cross and as the ball rebounded off the post, Prescot's Jonathon Bathurst couldn't believe his luck as he capitalised on the rebound from close range.
The playing conditions worsened in the second half as both the wind and rain picked up meaning that the game turned into an attritional midfield battle. Bathurst acrobatically volleyed a deep cross wide of Andrew Mills's goal but as the game progressed, both sides struggled to create any significant goalscoring opportunities.
Workmanlike Cables had the lion's share of territorial possession and exerted some concerted late pressure on New Mills's goal but the defensive line stood strong and ensured that the three precious points were heading to The High Peak.
Whilst the game won't live long in the memories of The NPL Division One's highest crowd of the afternoon, a "less than pretty" single goal victory in mid December is worth exactly the same as any other win during the season as The Millers maintained their fifth position in the League table.
Team - Andrew Mills, Michael Bowler, David Fitzpatrick, Daniel Grimshaw (Daryl Weston), Carlos Meakin, Sam Egerton, Leon Grandison (Michael Fish), Chris Young, Chris Luby (James Hampson), Daniel Douglas-Pringle, Mark Innes. Unused subs - Jay Burgess, Robert Walton
Borrowash Victoria 3 Millers 2. Tues 18th Dec 12. Derbyshire Cup Third Round
New Mills were eliminated from the Derbyshire Senior Cup at the first hurdle following a 3-2 defeat at Borrowash Victoria, in a match that was delayed because of the late arrival of the playing staff due to a traffic incident.
The Millers went a goal down just before half-time when Borrowash's David Hind opened the scoring but Chris Luby levelled proceedings almost immediately. The home side, who have progressed into the latter stages of The FA Vase, regained their advantage through Tom Leighton but with time running out, full debutant Robert Walton's thunderbolt took the game into extra-time.
Luke Garton's goal proved decisive five minutes into the first period of extra time and The Millers were unable to recover again hampered by the late dismissal of skipper Chris Young.
Team - Andrew Mills, Robert Walton, David Fitzpatrick, Daniel Grimshaw, David Chadwick, Sam Egerton, Daryl Weston, Chris Young, Chris Luby, Michael Fish (Jay Burgess), Mark Innes (James Hampson). Unused sub - Ross Needham
Mossley 0 Millers 4. Tues 1st Jan 13. Evo Stik League TOP
New Mills celebrated The New Year with arguably their best performance of The Evo Stik NPL season so far as they convincingly defeated League leaders Mossley at Seel Park on Tuesday.
After over three weeks of inactivity due to the recent inclement weather, manager Roy Soule handed a full debut to goalkeeper Russell Saunders and included fellow newcomers Wez Wilkinson and Raphael Evans amongst the substitutes in what was the first ever competitive League meeting between the two sides.
New Mills started the game on the front foot and Daniel Grimshaw should have given The Millers the lead in the second minute but failed to connect with David Fitzpatrick's cross when unmarked in the penalty area but the travelling fans did not have to wait much longer to celebrate the opening goal of 2013. An inswinging free kick found Michael Fish whose downward header was parried by Martin Pearson straight into the path of ex Mossley defender Daryl Weston who easily mopped up the rebound from close range.
The visiting players must have been chomping at the bit after their unscheduled break as they looked hungry for the ball as they continued to force the pace. Those efforts were further rewarded when they doubled their advantage in the twelfth minute when Daniel Grimshaw collected the ball around thirty yards from goal and proceeded to unleash a stunning half volley which simply flew into Martin Pearson’s top corner. In fact, such was the power and cleanness of Grimshaw’s shot, it would be doubtful whether any goalkeeper would have saved it.
Such was the dominance of New Mills’s display, it took until just before the half hour for the home side to register an effort on goal and even then Lewis Nightingale’s long distance strike was a fairly tame one which Russell Saunders dealt with comfortably. The debutant keeper did well shortly after though when the same player escaped the clutches of his marker but after Saunders forced the attacker wide of the goal, the resulting shot from an acute angle went high and wide of the target.
The Millers further extended their lead in the thirty third minute with an excellent free flowing move which full back Michael Bowler started deep in his own half when a Mossley attack broke down close to the dead ball line. More than half the team were subsequently involved in the passage of play which covered virtually the entire length of the pitch and although Chris Luby’s less than elegant finish didn’t quite match the previous build up, the goal was duly awarded by the officials despite vociferous Mossley claims for both offside and handball.
Leading by three goals at the interval, it was important that New Mills’s defence were resolute at the start of the second half to repel any kind of attempted Mossley comeback and despite a triple attacking substitution, they managed to do exactly that. In fact as the game progressed, the visitors started to look increasingly dangerous on the counter attack and on one such foray forward, they completely killed the game off in the sixty sixth minute. A long diagonal ball over the defensive line found Chris Luby who timed his run to perfection to beat the offside trap and the in-form striker kept his composure beautifully by drawing the quickly advancing keeper before neatly lifting the ball over him to register his sixth goal since joining from Northwich Victoria in late November.
With the game finished as a contest, Mossley finally exerted some late pressure on Russell Saunders’s goal with former Church Lane favourite Adam Mather coming the closest to grabbing a consolation but his firm header from a corner flashed narrowly over the crossbar. The victory was New Mills's seventh out of eight games on the road this NPL season and the clean sheet was equally as important as the goals scored at the other end of the pitch as they have been few and far between in recent months.
Despite Mossley delivering an under par performance, nothing should detract from New Mills’s high intensity, high tempo display delivered by all fourteen players used on the day and hopefully the weather gods smile on Roy Soule’s side in the coming weeks as they look to continue their momentum into some tough looking games later in the month.
Team – Russell Saunders, Michael Bowler, David Fitzpatrick, Daniel Grimshaw, Daryl Weston, Sam Egerton, Carlos Meakin, Chris Young, Chris Luby (Mark Innes), Michael Fish (James Hampson), Luke Horrocks (Wez Wilkinson). Unused subs – Raphale Evans, Robert Walton
Millers 1 Trafford 2. Sat 5th Jan 13. Evo Stik League
Match Photo's to follow (Courtesy of Allan Toft)
After recording five league victories in a row, including the 4-0 thumping of league leaders Mossley on New Years Day, New Mills crashed to a disappointing defeat at home to Trafford, another club with realistic ambitions of finishing the season in the play off places of the Evo-Stik League Division One North.
The Millers started brightly and Tom Read in the Trafford goal was forced into an early double save, keeping out efforts from Chris Young and Daniel Grimshaw, as the home side dominated territory and possession in the early exchanges.
On 10 minutes Russell Saunders in the New Mills goal produced a wonderful save to keep out a 25 yard free-kick as Trafford battled their way into the game. They took the lead 19 minutes in, Shelton Payne, who was to be a thorn in The Millers side throughout the match, raced clear and although Saunders did superbly to keep out the attackers initial effort, the subsequent deflection was cruel on the keeper and Payne was left with the simple task of slotting into an empty net to give the visitors the lead.
The goal galvanised Trafford and they were to dominate the remainder on the first half, with the home sides best opportunity being a low cross from Michael Fish that Carlos Meakin could not quite reach at the far post. It was to be Meakin's final action of the afternoon as The Millers talismanic midfielder limped off shortly afterwards to be replaced by Wez Wilkinson.
The Millers were perhaps fortunate to go in at half-time all square, but they grabbed an equaliser just before the break. On 41 minutes they were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the Trafford area, and Grimshaw's left footed strike clipped the defensive wall and drifted past Read for into the corner of the net.
Having been second best for much of the first-half The Millers started the second-half in more energetic fashion. They were denied by the post following a fine effort from Fish, and they had what appeared to be a legitimate claim for a penalty turned down when Chris Luby tumbled in the area following a challenge by the visiting keeper.
As they had in the first-half Trafford battled their way back into contention and took control of the midfield once more. Payne saw a fine effort clawed away by Saunders on 70 minutes, and then with their next attack they took the lead. The Millers failed to deal with a left wing cross and Chris Palmer was unmarked six yards out to head past Saunders for what turned out to be the winning goal.
The Millers failed to threaten the Trafford goal in the remainder of the game, their best effort being another Grimshaw free-kick that sailed well wide of the target.
The Millers visit Ramsbottom next weekend for what will be another tricky game, but one that they will certainly believe they can win should they return to the form they showed just a week ago against Mossley.
Team - Russell Saunders, Michael Bowler (James Hampson 85), David Fitzpatrick, Daniel Grimshaw, Darryl Weston, Sam Egerton, Carlos Meakin (Wez Wilkinson 36), Chris Young (c), Chris Luby, Michael Fish (Robert Walton 74), Luke Horrocks. Unused Subs: Raphale Evans, Mark Innes
Ramsbottom Utd 2 Millers 3. Sat 12th Jan 13. Evo Stik League TOP
New Mills made it eight wins out of nine on their travels this NPL season as they secured a hard earned yet highly valuable three points at Ramsbottom on Saturday.
Injuries and suspension saw manager Roy Soule shuffle his playing pack but Raphale Evans's debut at centre half lasted no more than ten minutes as he limped off with a calf injury. By that time though, Carlos Meakin had already given The Millers the lead when he climbed highest at the back post to direct David Fitzpatrick's corner past a flat-footed Grant Shenton.
Shortly after, the home side’s Lee Gaskell skied a very presentable opportunity but Ramsbottom were extremely fortunate to survive an almighty goalmouth scramble in the fifteenth minute when incredibly James Hampson saw successive efforts hit both posts. His exquisite turn resulted him in initially hitting the inside of the far post, the rebound trickled across the six yard box to where Leon Grandison's follow up was blocked on the goal-line by a scrambling defender and then Hampson's next effort was deflected onto the outside of the near post as somehow the ball stayed out of the home goal.
After doing little wrong in that few seconds of complete madness, James Hampson deserved to get on the scoresheet and the striker doubled New Mills's advantage just before the half hour. Carlos Meakin turned creator on this occasion as the midfielder, who was wearing the captain's armband in the absence of Chris Young, won the ball well in the attacking third of the pitch and then played an inch perfect pass to Hampson who didn't have to break his stride as he coolly beat the quickly advancing goalkeeper from ten yards.
In a similar vein to the New Year's Day game at Mossley, The Millers needed to be on their guard at the start of the second half to protect their lead and to stifle any Ramsbottom comeback. They managed to do exactly that and got the added bonus of scoring a crucial third goal twelve minutes after the interval. Again it was a David Fitzpatrick corner which caused problems in the heart of the home defence as keeper Grant Shenton spilt the ball under pressure and James Hampson was in the right place at the right time to prod the rebound into the unguarded net.
Trailing by three goals, Ramsbottom had nothing to lose and made a triple attacking substitution and the introduction of the height of Glodi Kuba-Kuba started to trouble the defensive line whose cause was not helped by the enforced withdrawal of Michael Bowler with a shoulder problem following an awkward looking fall.
With eleven minutes remaining, Dominic Smalley reduced the arrears as his well executed right foot shot from outside the area nestled into Russell Saunders's top corner. The nerves of the travelling contingent of supporters were further tested as the game went into the first of four additional minutes when the home side's Grant Spencer was felled in the area and referee Miss Walker had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Despite guessing correctly and getting a good hand to the penalty, Russell Saunders couldn't quite prevent Phil Dean's effort creeping in.
Fortunately there were no further late dramas as the final whistle ensured that Roy Soule's side maintained their highly impressive away record and moved them up to fifth position in the League table with a number of games in hand on teams around them.
Team - Russell Saunders, Michael Bowler (Mark Innes), David Fitzpatrick, Leon Grandison, Raphael Evans (David Chadwick), Sam Egerton, Carlos Meakin, Daniel Grimshaw, Chris Luby, James Hampson, Luke Horrocks (Robert Walton). Unused sub - Ross Needham
Millers 1 Bamber Bridge 5. Sat 2nd Feb 13. Evo Stik League
Match Photo's to follow (Courtesy of Allan Toft)
New Mills crashed to their second successive home defeat, thumped by visitors Bamber Bridge at a bitterly cold Church Lane.
The Millers enjoyed a fine win at Ramsbottom in their previous fixture, but the extended lay off due to the inclement weather worked against them, as they looked painfully short of match practice.
With Sam Egerton recalled to his parent club Stalybridge Celtic, Daryl Weston partnered Dave Chadwick at the heart of The Millers defence and with Chris Young unavailable Daniel Grimshaw moved into central midfield with Carlos Meakin. Ashley Woodhouse took over the number one jersey for his debut following Russell Saunders departure for Mossley.
Bamber Bridge seized the initiative from early on, the lively Andrew Bell proving to be a thorn in the side of The Millers defence and was to continue to be so throughout the 90 minutes. His fizzing effort from 25 yards being the best of the opening exchanges.
On 27 minutes the visitors took the lead. Daryl Weston miscued a clearance out for a corner and from the resulting set piece Ryan Thompson converted following a fabulous double save from Woodhouse.
The Millers responded well to the setback, on 33 minutes a cross from the left hand side by Fitzpatrick was headed just wide by Meakin, and then two minutes later James Hampson received the ball inside the area, swivelled and fired in a fierce drive that was parried by the visitors keeper Lee Dovey, the rebound fell to Meakin three yards out but, he uncharacteristically sliced over the empty target.
The Millers were punished for their wastefulness on 40 minutes when Bell raced through on goal and fired past Woodhouse to double their lead. The home side responded immediately from the kick-off, a long ball into the area was sent goalwards by Leon Grandison forcing a good save from Dovey, unfortunately for the visiting keeper, Hampson was on hand to force the ball home from close range.
The goal restored The Millers belief and they poured forward in search of an equaliser, Chris Luby forcing a wonderful save from Dovey following a volley from 12 yards out. Then right on half-time, the game swung firmly back in the visitors favour. Leon Grandison, having already been been shown the yellow card, made a crude challenge on Alistair Waddecar and was shown a second yellow card. While the visiting bench claimed that the challenge deserved a straight red card, then end result was the same, Grandison was sent from the field leaving The Millers with ten men for the remainder of the contest.
While the home side attempted to force the pace in their efforts to fight their way back into the match, Bamber Bridge played an intelligent counter attacking game and were a constant threat on the break. They extended their lead further on 68 minutes, Bell converting a cross from the right flank.
Hampson continued to be a threat for The Millers as they lengthened their game using the front man as an outlet from the back, his hold up play and close control proving effective, and it seemed that if there was to be any way back into the game for the home side then it would be via that route.
With 15 minutes to go the result was put beyond doubt when Bell completed his hat-trick, Greg Johnstone's effort was superbly saved by Woodhouse, but he could do nothing to prevent the striker converting the rebound. The scoreline became worse still for The Millers in injury time, Daniel Wilkins firing a 20 yard shot beyond Woodhouse to make it 5-1.
The Millers management team of Roy Soule and Paul Armstrong will have been given much to think about with this result. Having added players to their pool in midweek, they must now decide whether the time is right to introduce their new signings to the side, whilst also considering any other areas that The Millers need to strengthen as they look to maintain their promotion bid.
Team - Ashley Woodhouse, Michael Bowler, David Fitzpatrick, Daniel Grimshaw (Mark Innes), David Chadwick, Daryl Weston (Andrew Graham), Carlos Meakin, Leon Grandison, Chris Luby, James Hampson, Luke Horrocks (Deji Omoboye). Unused Subs: Michael Fish, Robert Walton
Trafford 2 Millers 0. Sat 9th Feb 13. Evo Stik League TOP
Two late goals saw Trafford edge out New Mills in a tight and tense tussle at Shawe View on Saturday afternoon.
With the hosts unbeaten on their own patch and The Millers undefeated on their travels, a lot was riding on the game in which the visitors handed a debut to goalkeeper David Stephenson who was granted international clearance from The Welsh FA on Friday and also saw Deji Omoboye make his first full start after a brief introduction from the bench last weekend.
Trafford's award winning pitch was slippery after overnight rain and in the early stages, players from both sides regularly lost their footing. The first significant attacking effort came in the twelfth minute when Luke Horrocks careless underhit backpass put his defensive team-mates under unnecessary pressure. There was a huge shout for handball from the home crowd as Michael Oates's initial shot was blocked by a supposed arm, referee Mr Gooch waved play on which allowed Shelton Payne's follow up to be headed off the line by Michael Bowler.
The same two players were involved ten minutes later when Trafford came even closer to opening the scoring. Another Oates shot rebounded back into play off the post and again the rebound wasn't capitalised upon as Payne's effort could only find the side netting.
It took until shortly before the half hour for The Millers to finally make some impact in the attacking third and goalkeeper Tom Read made a decent block to tip away Deji Omoboye's stinging left foot shot.
Arguably the best chance of the opening half fell to the visitors twelve minutes before the interval when Carlos Meakin broke down the right hand side. New Mills's skipper proceeded to stand an excellent cross to the back post where Michael Fish was unmarked and with the goal at his mercy, Tom Read flicked the ball with the merest of touches to divert it narrowly away from the striker.
Even then, Shelton Payne had another opportunity in the run up to the half time whistle but again he failed to hit the target with either his first effort or his desperate sliding attempt to retrieve the ball from a wide angle at the second go.
After creating few clear cut chances, New Mills started the second half in more positive fashion and only a fine defensive block prevented Michael Fish from seriously testing Tom Read. Shortly after with his team-mates looking somewhat reluctant to shoot, Carlos Meakin showed them how to do it but his skidding effort was always drifting just wide of the goal.
With the game being so tight, the opening goal was always going to go a long way to deciding the contest and it was Trafford who grabbed it with fourteen minutes remaining.
After Steve Mason's header was ruled out for offside, a quick break down the left flank saw New Mills exposed and eventually a cross was whipped across the six yard box by Andy Smart to where Michael Oates nipped in front of his marker to decisively prod the ball home.
There was no lack of effort or energy from The Millers as they chased the game for an elusive equaliser but creativity was lacking in the final third as it had been for much of the afternoon. As the game reached the final minute, Carlos Meakin's well struck effort from the edge of the area was straight at Tom Read who still had to make a decent reflex save such was the power of the strike. Within thirty seconds though, the ball had travelled the full length of the pitch to where ultimately Paul Ashton sealed the contest when he planted a firm shot by David Stevenson.
Even then, New Mills had what looked like a stonewall penalty denied when Read clearly upended Chris Luby and despite the keeper clutching his hand in pain after the incident, referee Mr Gooch decreed that the striker had dived and showed him the yellow card for simulation in an incident which just about summed up the visitors afternoon from an attacking perspective.
Team - David Stephenson, Michael Bowler, Deji Omoboye (David Fitzpatrick), Daniel Grimshaw, David Chadwick, Daryl Weston, Carlos Meakin, Chris Luby, Michael Fish (Andrew Graham), James Hampson (Leon Grandison), Luke Horrocks. Unused subs - Mark Innes, Jack Willison
Millers 1 Skelmersdale United 1. Sat 16th Feb 13. Evo Stik League
Match Photo's to follow (Courtesy of Allan Toft)
The Millers fought out a well earned draw with League leaders and promotion favourites Skelmersdale United at a sun soaked Church Lane, where the highest crowd of the day in the Evo-Stik Division One North were treated to a match of the highest quality.
Chris Young returned to The Millers starting line-up although Carlos Meakin retained the captaincy of the side after some inspirational performances in Young's absence through suspension. Daniel Douglas-Pringle also returned after injury while Ben Say was introduced at right-back for his debut.
Just a minute into the game Skelmersdale created the first chance, Gary Burnett raced through on goal only to be denied by a wonderful save by Dave Stevenson in The Millers goal.
Five minutes in and The Millers seized control of the contest. Chris Luby sent in a low cross from the right flank which found its way through to Dave Fitzpatrick 18 yards out. The wideman produced a finish of the highest class, fizzing his shot back across Sam Ashton and into the top corner of the goal.
The Millers had a great chance to double their lead on 13 minutes. Luby linked well with Meakin and The Millers skipper drove into the penalty area only to see his effort saved by the legs of the visitors keeper.
The Millers remained in command for the remainder of the first-half, Meakin dominating the centre of the pitch with a Herculean performance while the defence looked solid after some shaky displays of late. Debutant full-back Say impressing in particular.
The visitors began the second period with purpose and on 52 minutes were rewarded, Matty Hughes firing past Stevenson after a fine team move.
The Millers responded well to the setback, Meakin sending an effort just wide from 25 yards, and on 70 minutes Daniel Grimshaw was denied by a superb save by Ashton after a well worked move gave him the opening just inside the area.
As the game reached it's climax both sides pushed for the win. Stevenson producing another wonderful save to deny former Manchester United and Chelsea midfielder Kenny Strickland, while in injury time substitute James Hampson headed just over following a Fitzpatrick free-kick. Dave Chadwick came a whisker away from winning the game for The Millers with the final effort of the match. His 16 yard header flying just wide of the target.
There was barely time to restart the game before the referee Mr Wilson brought the fascinating encounter to a close. Both sides deserve praise for their performance in a match that was a credit to the League.
Team - Dave Stevenson, Ben Say (Andrew Graham), Dave Fitzpatrick, Daniel Grimshaw, Dave Chadwick, Michael Bowler, Carlos Meakin, Chris Young (Mark Innes), Chris Luby, Daniel Douglas-Pringle (James Hampson), Luke Horrocks. Unused subs: Michael Fish, Daryl Weston
Salford City 1 Millers 2. Tues 19th Feb 13. Evo Stik League TOP
New Mills started the second half of their Evo Stik NPL Division One North campaign with an extremely hard earned yet nonetheless valuable three points at Salford on Tuesday evening.
The Millers first evening fixture of 2013 took place on the wide expanses of Moor Lane which contained a true and crisp playing surface. Going into the game, Salford were one of the form teams of the Division after suffering just one defeat in their previous ten matches and were undefeated under the new managerial regime of Andy Heald and Chris Thompson. In fact, it was the home side who created the first opportunity of the evening when Rob Kinsella tested David Stevenson in the ninth minute after he dispossessed Sam Egerton but the goalkeeper was more than equal to the effort claiming it low down.
As the half progressed, New Mills started to exert their authority in the midfield areas and Chris Luby came within inches of giving them the lead when David Chadwick flicked on Michael Bowler's set piece. The livewire striker turned onto the loose ball in an instant and fired a shot which flashed across Ritchie Branagan's goal but inches past his far post.
The game burst into life midway through the opening half with two goals in as many minutes. Sloppy defensive play down the left saw New Mills unnecessarily concede possession and moments later they paid the ultimate penalty when Nathan McDonald’s well directed right wing cross found an unmarked Nathan Taylor who headed back across goal for skipper Jamie Rother to guide home into an unguarded net.
It was important that The Millers responded and this they did with an almost instantaneous equaliser as Rother quickly turned from hero to villain. After winning a corner, David Fitzpatrick's set piece was flicked onto his own crossbar by Salford’s goalscorer at the near post and Sam Egerton, making a welcome return from Stalybridge Celtic, bundled the loose ball home from close range.
The opening half ended in unfortunate circumstances when Salford's substitute Phil McGrath, who had been on the pitch for little over ten minutes, collapsed to the floor and the referee brought proceedings to a slightly premature ending when it became apparent that the player had suffered a serious injury, believed to be damaged cruciate knee ligaments.
David Fitzpatrick, who carried an ever present attacking threat for much of the game, broke free down the left in the opening minutes of the second half but with Daniel Douglas-Pringle arguably better placed at the back post, Fitzpatrick chose to ignore the advancing striker as he went for glory but shot over the crossbar.
With the game turning into a tight affair, The Millers crucially took the lead on the hour mark and again the goal owed much to another slice of good fortune. Daniel Douglas-Pringle’s cross from close to the bye-line appeared to lack the necessary power to trouble Ritchie Branagan but the goalkeeper inexplicably let the ball squirm from his grasp and Chris Luby was the grateful recipient as he steered the ball home from point blank range to register his first strike since the New Year’s Day success at Mossley.
Shortly after, Daniel Grimshaw’s measured chip almost gave New Mills the security of a two goal advantage but the ball narrowly cleared the crossbar. From thereon in, the visiting defence needed to stay strong to repel the hard-working and energetic home side. Their best chance to draw level came with seventeen minutes of the game remaining when Carlos Meakin lost possession in a dangerous area and after subsequently skipping past Sam Egerton, Salford’s leading scorer Nathan McDonald successfully lifted his effort over David Stevenson but couldn’t hit the target as the ball drifted high and wide.
Salford continued to exert late concerted pressure on the New Mills goal but apart from a comparatively tame header from Rob Kinsella didn’t significantly stretch David Stevenson. Such was the home side’s desperation in pushing for a leveller, they almost fell to the classic sucker punch in added time as Chris Luby ran clear from just inside his own half with only Andy Heald as company. Salford’s player manager tried his best to put off the striker with a few crafty nudges and niggles from behind and his attempts appeared to work as Luby slightly over-ran the ball at the crucial moment which enabled Ritchie Branagan to smother.
The final whistle signified New Mills’s first win since their victory at Ramsbottom in mid-January and whilst it wasn’t the most free-flowing of performances, there is no doubt that it represented an excellent three points secured on the road. This success pushes The Millers back into the thick of things at the right end of the Division One North table and with a number of games in hand on most of the teams above them, it promises to be an action packed and hectic couple of weeks.
Team – David Stevenson, Michael Bowler, David Fitzpatrick, Daniel Grimshaw, David Chadwick, Sam Egerton, Carlos Meakin, Chris Young, Chris Luby, Daniel Douglas-Pringle (Deji Omoboye), Luke Horrocks. Unused subs – Michael Fish, Mark Innes, James Hampson, Andy Graham
Millers 6 Wakefield 0. Sat 23rd Feb 13. Evo Stik League
Match Photo's to follow (Courtesy of Allan Toft)
New Mills emerged as comfortable victors from a match that was even for long periods, where the scoreline slightly flattered the home side, although there can be no denying they were clinical in making the most of the opportunities created after the interval.
The visitors enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges, looking a threat on the break, seeing an early effort cleared off the line by Luke Horrocks, and then Shequille Clarke wasted a good opportunity, screwing across David Stevenson's goal when clean through.
The Millers were awarded a penalty on 20 minutes. Chris Luby adjudged to have been fouled by the Wakefield keeper Neil Bennett. It certainly appeared to be harsh on Bennett, who was also booked for the challenge, as he seemed to take plenty of the ball as he challenged Luby, and perhaps justice was done when he turned away Carlos Meakin's spot-kick.
On the half-hour mark The Millers had a penalty appeal turned down, when Daniel Grimshaw clipped into the area and a defender seemed to clamber over Chris Luby. This time the referee favoured Wakefield and surprisingly waved play on.
There were few other chances of note in a drab opening period, Grimshaw firing over from 35 yards for New Mills, and Eddie Hague slicing wide from the edge of the area for Wakefield. The half ended goalless.
The Millers were fast out of the blocks in the second half and seized control of the contest. On 53 minutes Grimshaw swung a speculative cross into the area that was met powerfully by the head of central defender Dave Chadwick 10 yards from goal, giving Bennett no chance, and the home side were ahead.
The lead should have been doubled immediately. Dave Fitzpatrick sent in a fierce drive that Bennett could only parry out to Luby, unbelievably the forward, noted for his deadly finishing, scooped his effort over the cross bar from two yards out.
On the hour mark Dave Chadwick almost added a carbon copy of the opening goal, this time seeing his effort saved by Bennett.
With 25 minutes to go Roy Soule freshened things up as The Millers sought to seal the game, removing Luby and Michael Fish, bringing on Daniel Douglas-Pringle and recent signing Deji Omoboye, and the changes were to prove decisive.
With 18 minutes to go Grimshaw twisted and turn on the edge of the Wakefield area before firing in a shot that appeared to be flying wide before being turned in by Douglas-Pringle and The Millers finally had control of the game.
With ten minutes to go it was 3-0, a long Michael Bowler cross deflected past his own goalkeeper by Wakefield right-back Keenan Ratcliffe, and unfortunate moment for Ratcliffe who had been one of the games outstanding performers to that point.
It was 4-0 almost immediately, Deji Omoboye picking the ball up 25 yards from goal, drove into the area past the tiring defence and slotted past the onrushing keeper, for his first goal in a New Mills shirt.
With five minutes to go Daniel Grimshaw was sent clear on Bennett and he clipped cleverly over the keeper for number five, a fine finish to round off an outstanding all round performance by the dynamic midfielder.
There was still time for The Millers to add a sixth goal, the icing on the cake following an outstanding second-half performance., Omoboye glancing home a Luke Horrocks cross.
The lack of a cutting edge in front of goal had been a criticism levelled at The Millers following their hard fought victory over Salford City in midweek. That criticism answered resoundingly here with a ruthless performance in front of goal, one that is sure to have supporters flocking back in their numbers for Monday evenings clash with Ossett Albion, in hope of a repeat performance.
Team - David Stevenson, Michael Bowler, Dave Fitzpatrick (Andrew Graham), Daniel Grimshaw, David Chadwick, Sam Egerton, Carlos Meakin (c), Chris Young, Chris Luby (Deji Omoboye), Michael Fish (Daniel Douglas-Pringle), Luke Horrocks. Unused subs - Mark Innes, James Hampson
Millers 5 Ossett Albion 1. Mon 25thFeb 13. Evo Stik League TOP
For the second time in little over forty hours, an emphatic second half performance helped New Mills secure the three Evo Stik NPL points on offer, this time against Ossett Albion at Church Lane on Monday evening.
Following on from the weekend clean sheet against Wakefield, it took only five minutes for the home back line to be breached on this occasion. Ossett’s Alex Booker took advantage of a slightly fortuitous ricochet off Luke Horrocks which bounced favourably into his path and the striker’s luck continued when his resulting shot deflected off Sam Egerton’s intended block to wrong foot goalkeeper David Stevenson.
The first half followed a similar course to Saturday’s game with resolute visiting defending keeping New Mills at bay and even when the strikers did manage to break free, they found keeper Jody Barford in commanding form. Another mirror image of the Wakefield game was that New Mills missed a penalty, awarded after Stefan Holt clumsily upended Chris Luby just inside the area. Michael Fish took over the spot kick responsibilities from skipper Carlos Meakin but this didn’t have the desired effect as the striker’s effort was turned away by Barford.
Thankfully Fish didn’t dwell on that miss for long though as he redeemed himself within sixty seconds by scoring for the first time since early November. After collecting a loose ball, he drilled a low, crisp shot from around eighteen yards which clipped the inside of the far post before nestling in the opposite corner.
After turning round all square, The Millers looked a different side in the second half as they immediately took a stranglehold on the contest. This early dominance was rewarded six minutes after the interval when David Fitzpatrick’s corner was met by a towering header at the back post by Sam Egerton who bagged his second goal since returning to Church Lane last week.
Shortly after, the centre half almost doubled his tally for the evening but his acrobatic volleyed effort from just inside the box was superbly tipped away for a corner by Jody Barford. With the visiting keeper in such fine form, it became apparent that it would take something decent to beat him and this duly happened as the game approached the midway point of the second half. Skipper Carlos Meakin picked up possession midway in Ossett’s half and drove forward in trademark style before playing in Chris Luby. The striker applied the perfect finish to the free flowing move by controlling the ball before expertly placing it into the bottom corner.
Despite Barford’s opposite number David Stevenson making a fine low save to repel a rare attack, Ossett’s resistance looked to have finally been shattered by New Mills’s third goal. As the game entered its latter stages, another David Fitzpatrick caused confusion in the visitors penalty area and after a goalmouth scramble, Michael Fish decisively lashed the ball home from ten yards.
The best was saved until last though as with three minutes of the contest remaining, Michael Bowler brought proceedings to an end with an absolute beauty. With time and space and a rapidly tiring defence in front of him, the full back raided forward and after gaining sight of the goal promptly let fly with a thunderous shot which curled beautifully into the net.
The result rounded off a highly profitable weekend for Roy Soule’s side who secured a maximum haul of six points and bettered their goal difference by ten which could prove crucial as the season reaches its conclusion.
Team – David Stevenson, Michael Bowler, David Fitzpatrick (Jack Willison), Daniel Grimshaw (Andy Graham), David Chadwick, Sam Egerton, Carlos Meakin, Chris Young, Chris Luby (James Hampson), Michael Fish, Luke Horrocks. Unused subs – Deji Omoboye, Mark Innes
Garforth Town 3 Millers 4. Sat 2nd Mar 13. Evo Stik League
New Mills were made to work very hard for their fourth consecutive victory as they defeated Garforth Town by the odd goal in seven at The Brazilian Soccer Schools Stadium on Saturday.
On a glorious Yorkshire afternoon, Garforth, who started the game bottom of the Division One North table, stunned The Millers when they took the lead in only the second minute. A goalmouth scramble followed a corner and Brett Mbalanda was in the right place at the right time to bundle the loose ball past David Stevenson as the striker gave his side the perfect start as they looked for their first home win of The NPL season.
In fact such was New Mills's sluggish start to the game, only an excellent, perfectly executed sliding challenge by David Chadwick prevented the bustling Mbalanda from breaking through on goal shortly after. Slowly but surely though, the visitors started to create goalscoring opportunities and home keeper Chris Senior made some unconventional saves to keep his side's lead intact.
The midway point of the opening half saw a madcap spell of three goals in as many minutes. Firstly James Hampson got The Millers back on level terms when Garforth's defence fatally let Michael Bowler's long header bounce in the six yard box and the striker was alert to enough to head home from an acute angle.
Almost immediately from the kick off, Daniel Grimshaw lost possession of the ball in his own half and seconds later James Burgess dished out the ultimate punishment by scoring with a low shot.
Back came New Mills though and capped a breathless and frenetic period of play by equalising for the second time. David Fitzpatrick's set piece delivery caused problems in the heart of the home defence where Carlos Meakin's initial effort was blocked but the skipper was not to be denied for a second time as his follow up attempt was crashed into the roof of the net.
Only an excellent reflex save from Chris Senior subsequently denied James Hampson another goal but the keeper was utterly powerless to prevent Michael Fish giving New Mills the lead in the thirty fourth minute. Daniel Grimshaw played in the striker who fired an excellent angled drive from the corner of the area to register for the second successive game.
In keeping with the game, Garforth should have been back on level terms within two minutes. Only James Burgess will know how he blazed over a glorious chance from eight yards with only David Stevenson to beat.
In complete contrast to the opening forty five minutes, the opening period of the second half saw precious few attacking moments as both teams struggled on a playing surface not conducive to passing football.
The lively Daniel Douglas-Pringle, who replaced Daniel Grimshaw at the interval, came within inches of giving The Millers a two goal advantage with around twenty five minutes of the game remaining. The substitute nipped in front of Chris Senior to nick David Fitzpatrick's precise ball past the keeper and only a fantastic last ditch goal-line clearance from Andy Villerman prevented his side from falling further behind.
When David Chadwick powerfully headed home another David Fitzpatrick corner at the back post in the eighty sixth minute, it looked like Garforth’s challenge had finally been ended. However The Millers defensive fragility was exposed again though as the clock ticked into four additional minutes of play when substitute Steve Richards grabbed a lifeline for the home side.
Thankfully there was to be no further alarms for New Mills as referee Mr Hull’s final whistle brought the game to a close. Whilst Garforth belied their lowly position with a battling display, The Millers would simply have been grateful to leave Yorkshire with the three points safely won after a far from fluid performance. The significance of the victory became even more apparent at 5pm when news started to filter through that Skelmersdale, Trafford and Mossley had all dropped points meaning that Roy Soule’s side finished the day in fifth position.
Team – David Stevenson, Michael Bowler, David Fitzpatrick, Daniel Grimshaw (Daniel Douglas-Pringle),, David Chadwick, Sam Egerton, Carlos Meakin, Chris Young, James Hampson (Deji Omoboye), Michael Fish (Andrew Graham), Luke Horrocks. Unused subs – Mark Innes, Jack Willison
Millers 1 Burscough 2. Sat 9th Mar 13. Evo Stik League TOP
Match Photo's to follow (Courtesy of Allan Toft)
Two goals from Niall Cummins secured victory for Burscough against ten man New Mills at Church Lane on Saturday afternoon.
The Millers bucked the trend of recent games of conceding early goals and missing penalties by taking the lead from the spot in the second minute. Striker Chris Luby was clumsily upended in the box by Dave Thompson and David Fitzpatrick confidently dispatched the resulting penalty into the roof of the net.
That advantage was short lived though when six minutes later, centre half Sam Egerton misjudged the flight of David Lynch’s set piece and the unmarked Cummins capitalised by confidently slotting home past David Stevenson to restore parity.
The home keeper's afternoon didn't get much better as he was sent off just before the mid-point of the opening half for handling the ball outside the penalty area on advice from the assistant referee. Whilst the decision could be construed as a harsh one, once referee Mr Pashley awarded the free kick he was left with little alternative under current footballing legislation. With no substitute available on the bench, defender Michael Bowler donned the gloves, not for the first time during his Church Lane career.
Ultimately the result hinged on events which occurred right at the start of the second half. Michael Fish should have given New Mills the lead but could only direct his chip onto the roof of the net with keeper Tim Horn in no man's land. Within thirty seconds of that missed opportunity, Burscough were awarded a spot kick of their own following an infringement by skipper Carlos Meakin. Cummins initial effort was superbly saved by the stand in Bowler but the striker's blushes were spared when he knocked in the rebound which very fortuitously rolled straight back to him.
Despite at a numerical disadvantage, The Millers pressed hard for an equaliser and with fourteen minutes remaining, Michael Fish spurned another gilt edged opening when he could only shoot tamely straight at Tim Horn after breaking free of the visiting offside trap.
Michael Bowler produced an excellent save to keep his side in the contest as the clock ticked down but no matter how hard his team-mates tried at the other end, they simply could not get back on level terms. All in all, it was an extremely frustrating afternoon for New Mills who despite costly individual mistakes and playing with ten men for well over an hour, should have at least ensured a share of the spoils.
Team - David Stevenson, Andrew Graham (Deji Omoboye), David Fitzpatrick (Daniel Grimshaw), Daniel Douglas-Pringle, Michael Bowler, Sam Egerton, Carlos Meakin, Chris Young, Chris Luby, Michael Fish (Mark Innes), Luke Horrocks. Unused subs - James Hampson, Daryl Weston
Warrington Town 4 Millers 1. Tues 12th Mar 13. Evo Stik League
Warrington Town completed an Evo Stik NPL double over New Mills at Cantilever Park on Tuesday evening.
Looking to bounce back following Saturday's disappointing home defeat to Burscough, The Millers started the game positively and created a string of good opportunities in the opening twenty minutes. An unmarked Carlos Meakin flashed an early header narrowly over the crossbar and then shortly after the skipper knocked Andy Graham's cross back across to goal to Chris Luby whose effort was scrambled off the line by James McCarten.
Defensive colleague Nat Kerr then went perilously close to scoring an own goal when he flicked on David Fitzpatrick's wicked inswinging free kick but the header missed the net by the smallest possible margin. Just after the quarter hour mark, McCarten rescued his side for the second time with another last ditch clearance as this time he denied Daniel Douglas-Pringle's effort.
New Mills paid the price for missing these chances when the home side took the lead in the twenty first minute against the run of play. Ciaran Kilheeney laid a long ball into the feet of Ashley Ruane who skipped past one challenge and fired left footed across goal and into the bottom corner.
The balance of the game tipped decisively Warrington's way when they doubled their lead on the half hour. Lee Parle’s inviting cross tempted David Stevenson to come and collect but under strong pressure from Ciaran Kilheeney, the ball slipped free from the goalkeeper's grasp and fell kindly to Phil Mooney who netted the rebound with comparative ease.
Trailing by two goals, any second half comeback by The Millers was constantly thwarted by strong and resolute defending from a physical home side. Daniel Douglas-Pringle was a ray of light down the right flank and his pace and trickery was perhaps under-utilised as he seemed to have the measure of full back Phil Doran.
Two quick goals for Warrington ended the game as a contest when firstly substitute Jon Newby was the grateful recipient of a slightly fortunate ricochet off Andy Graham before decisively slamming the ball into the back of the net. Then with twelve minutes remaining, Ciaran Kilheeney escaped the offside trap and after rounding David Stevenson, composed himself before slotting home. This was Warrington's tenth goal against New Mills this season after they recorded a 6-1 victory at Church Lane last September.
Roy Soule's side grabbed the merest of consolations as the game reached its conclusion. Chris Luby seized upon an underhit backpass but was hauled to the ground by keeper Andy Robertson who was shown a straight red card for his troubles for denying a clear goalscoring opportunity. Despite the infringement being clearly in the area, the assistant overruled referee Mr Mycock's original decision meaning that a spot kick was belatedly awarded. Defender Nat Kerr took over in goal and his first job was to pick David Fitzpatrick's penalty from the corner of the net.
Despite that late strike, New Mills were soundly beaten on the evening and quickly need to regain some defensive solidity before they face two tricky looking fixtures in Yorkshire in the coming week.
Team - David Stevenson, Andy Graham (Daryl Weston), David Fitzpatrick, Daniel Grimshaw (Michael Fish), Michael Bowler, Sam Egerton, Carlos Meakin, Chris Young, Chris Luby, Daniel Douglas-Pringle, Luke Horrocks. Unused subs - James Hampson, Deji Omoboye
Farsley 1 Millers 2. Sat 16th Mar 13. Evo Stik League TOP
A goal in each half by Daniel Douglas-Pringle helped New Mills to a valuable three points on their travels at Farsley on Saturday.
The wide expanses of Throstles Nest suited the home side's wideman Adam Priestley who was a constant threat to The Millers in the opening half, none more so than when he gave Farsley the lead in the twentieth minute. Michael Bowler lost possession in a dangerous area and quick as a flash one pass later, Priestley found himself completely clear of the defensive line and he comfortably slotted home after rounding keeper David Stevenson.
Despite missing key attacking personnel, New Mills were back on level terms within five minutes though with an excellently worked goal down the left hand flank. David Fitzpatrick's neat pass played in James Hampson who ran unopposed to the bye-line before pulling the ball back across the six yard box. Fitzpatrick somehow crashed the resulting cross against the underside of the bar but thankfully the rebound fell to Daniel Douglas-Pringle who netted decisively.
The start of the second half was littered with a number of misplaced passes as both teams effectively cancelled each other out for long periods. It took twenty minutes after the interval for a rare attacking bright spark from The Millers which ultimately drew a fine reaction save from Farsley's Tom Morgan. Douglas-Pringle, on this occasion turned creator, as his pinpoint low cross found Luke Horrocks whose low effort was superbly tipped away at his near post by the home stopper.
The longer the game progressed, the greater the likelihood that the next goal would decide the contest and New Mills vitally took the lead with thirteen minutes remaining. Immediately after being switched in a tactical move, Luke Horrocks won good possession and played in David Fitzpatrick down the left. A trademark pinpoint cross was sweetly delivered to the back post to where an unmarked Daniel Douglas-Pringle boomed a header into the roof of the net from eight yards, giving Tom Morgan absolutely no chance.
It was imperative that the defence now stood firm to enable the precious lead to be protected and despite inviting late home pressure in the dying minutes, they did precisely that. The closest that Farsley came to securing an equaliser was in the ninetieth minute when Simeon Bambrook tried to pick his spot from twenty five yards but his subsequent left footed effort curled wide of the upright.
The final whistle marked a welcome return to winning ways for The Millers following successive defeats last week. With the season at the business end, results definitely outweigh performances and whilst it wasn't much of an entertaining spectacle for the fans present, New Mills's goals undoubtedly came from the best two worked moves of the whole ninety minutes. Roy Soule's side have the bragging rights for only a week though as the two teams go head to head again on Saturday at Church Lane in the reverse fixture.
Team - David Stevenson, Michael Bowler, David Fitzpatrick, Mark Innes, David Chadwick, Sam Egerton, Daniel Grimshaw, Chris Young, James Hampson (Daryl Weston), Daniel Douglas-Pringle, Luke Horrocks. Unused subs - Paul Armstrong, Andy Graham
Ossett Albion 1 Millers 4. Tues 19th Mar 13. Evo Stik League
( report by Pat Kenyon )
New Mills put some indifferent recent form behind them to record another impressive away win and maintain their play off challenge.
On a cold but dry evening, The Millers settled quickly at The Dimples Wells Stadium and David Fitzpatrick, back in his more familiar left back position, soon tested the keeper from distance and was only denied by a brilliant save by Jody Barford in the Ossett goal. However, it wasn't long before Barford was picking the ball out of his net as in the 18th minute Micky Bowler picked the ball up a good 35 yards from goal and unleashed a powerful daisy cutter into the bottom right hand corner.
After the goal, New Mills began to dominate the play but lacked the final pass and were indebted to a large slice of luck when a defensive clearance cannoned off an Ossett forward and onto the inside of a post before landing in the arms of the stranded David Stevenson. However, in the 37th minute The Millers did get their passing together and a ball through the middle caught the Albion defence square and the lively Daniel Douglas-Pringle calmly sidestepped the keeper and slotted home from not the easiest of angles.
At 2-0 it looked game over and the young Ossett team struggled to contain a number of fast breaking moves. But this all changed in the 42nd minutes when the otherwise impressive Fitzpatrick dithered in possession and lost the ball to Ossett's lively winger Alex Metcalfe. There was still a lot for the youngster to do but he scored with a tremendous strike from wide on the right into the top corner of the New Mills net.
The goal gave Ossett a lift and they started the second half brightly without really troubling Stevenson before the game became a little scrappy and both teams were guilty of playing too many long balls that were easily dealt with. As the half progressed the Millers forced Ossett to drop deeper and this enabled them to build some sustained pressure on the home defence.
After a series of penetrating Fitzpatrick corners, the best of which saw Egerton shoot over from only 6 yards, Daniel Douglas Pringle forced one over the line from only a few yards out. With just over 10 minutes left, this took the pressure off New Mills and they began to play more freely. Douglas-Pringle’s cross shot was horribly missed by Chris Luby from only a yard out when it looked easier to score but with a few minutes left Mark Innes, a late substitute for the quiet Horrocks, scored a cracking fourth, finishing off a lively move with a first time shot from the edge of the area. This was very much a collector’s item – it was only Mark's 2nd goal in over 140 appearances for the Club. The game finished as it had begun with New Mills attacking and overall they were worthy winners despite a poor patch at the beginning of the second half.
Team: David Stevenson, Michael Bowler, David Fitzpatrick, Daniel Grimshaw, David Chadwick, Sam Egerton, Carlos Meakin, Chris Young, Chris Luby, Daniel Douglas-Pringle, Luke Horrocks. Subs Mark Innes, Daryl Weston, James Hampson. Unused subs Steve Moore, Wez Wilkinson
Lancaster City 1 Millers 2. Sat 30th Mar 13. Evo Stik League TOP
Two goals from defender David Chadwick sealed the points for New Mills at The Giant Axe on Saturday.
Debutant keeper Karl Stone, deputising for the suspended David Stevenson, was picking the ball out of the net in only the third minute when he was beaten by an effort by ex Miller David Swarbrick.
David Fitzpatrick's corners continue to create numerous problems for New Mills's opposition week in, week out and Chadwick was the grateful recipient on two separate occasions before half time as the pinpoint accuracy of the delivery wreaked havoc in the home defence.
Following an entertaining opening forty five minutes, the second half turned into an attritional affair and despite some late concerted pressure from Lancaster and some unnecessary stoppage time, The Millers held onto their crucial advantage to secure a hard earned triumph.
Team - Karl Stone, Michael Bowler, David Fitzpatrick, Nicky Platt (Mark Innes), David Chadwick, Sam Egerton, Carlos Meakin, Chris Young, Daniel Grimshaw, Steve Moore (Michael Fish), Luke Horrocks (Daryl Weston). Unused subs - Andrew Graham, Richard Battersby
Millers 2 Mossley 2. Mon 1st Apr 13. Evo Stik League
Match Photo's (Courtesy of Allan Toft)
New Mills and Mossley played out a hugely entertaining draw on a bitterly cold Easter Monday at Church Lane.
Victorious at Lancaster City just 48 hours previously, The Millers were forced into five changes from the side that took the three points on Saturday. Most notably Carlos Meakin, Steve Moore and Saturdays two goal hero Dave Chadwick were among those unavailable.
David Stevenson returned in goal for The Millers and Richard Battersby came in at right-back to allow Michael Bowler to move into the centre of defence to replace Chadwick. With skipper Meakin missing, Mark Innes came into the starting line up alongside recent signing Nicky Platt in midfield.
There were familiar faces in the Mossley squad, goalkeeper Russell Saunders spent a short spell at Church Lane earlier in the season, while Millers legend Adam Mather was among the visitors substitutes.
The opening exchange saw both sides playing cautiously with little goalmouth action. Then on the 20 minute mark the game burst into life and became a typical fiercely fought local derby.
First on 20 minutes Chris Luby raced clear on goal and was bundled over in the area, however no penalty was awarded and the referee waved play on. Almost immediately Mossley broke away and took the lead. A well worked move released Chris Denham who raced into the area and fired past Stevenson.
Tackles began to fly in as the the home side seethed with injustice and the visitors looked to impose themselves physically. Chris Young and Michael Bowler both being shown yellow cards following an off the ball incident with Mossley striker Kayde Coppin, that also saw Coppin booked.
The Millers started the second half brightly and barely two minutes in levelled the score. Bowler launched a long ball out of defence that was brought down by Daniel Douglas-Pringle. The Millers striker was sandwiched by two defenders 25 yards from goal in a central position. In Dave Fitzpatrick The Millers have a dead ball specialist second to none at this level, and once again he did not disappoint, curling a beauty around the wall and past Saunders before the former Millers keeper could move.
The equaliser galvanised the visitors as The Millers relaxed and they took the lead for the second time almost immediately. A long ball from defence seemed likely to cause few problems for The Millers, however a fatal hesitation by Bowler allowed Sam Madeley to nip in and prod past Stevenson.
Millers boss Roy Soule shuffled his pack as the home side chased the game. Luke Horrocks, a virtual ever present this season, was introduced from the bench and his probing runs forced Mossley onto the back foot allowing The Millers to seize the initiative. It was from a Horrocks burst that The Millers grabbed a deserved equaliser. With 15 minutes to go Horrocks raced deep into Mossley territory and
the ball found its way to Douglas-Pringle who fired in a wonderful effort from 25 yards that left Saunders with no chance.
As the game reached its climax Mossley dropped deeper as the home side set up camp in the Lillywhites territory. The winning goal however would not arrive. Daniel Douglas-Pringle wasting the best opportunity in injury time, scooping over from just six yards out.
The game ended 2-2 leaving both sides in a strong position in the race for play-off places in the Evo-Stik Division One North.
The Millers are at home again this Saturday as they entertain Ossett Town with a 3.00pm kick off, and then again on Monday evening 7.45pm kick off, when Goole are the visitors.
Team - David Stevenson, Richard Battersby, David Fitzpatrick, Mark Innes, Michael Bowler, Sam Egerton, Nicky Platt (Michael Fish), Chris Young, Chris Luby, Daniel Douglas-Pringle, Daniel Grimshaw (Luke Horrocks). Unused subs: Daryl Weston, Raphale Evans, Andrew Graham
Millers 2 Ossett Town 1. Sat 6th Apr 13. Evo Stik League TOP
Match Photo's (Courtesy of Allan Toft)
A far from convincing yet ultimately productive performance from New Mills saw them grind out the three points against ten man Ossett Town at Church Lane on Saturday.
On an absolutely glorious High Peak afternoon, the visitors took the lead in the nineteenth minute when a deep clearance by goalkeeper Matthew Convey was allowed to bounce in the heart of the home defence from where James Eyles struck a spectacular angled half volley which left David Stevenson completely helpless as it simply flew into the top corner.
The game turned on its head shortly after though as Convey quickly turned from hero to villain as he clearly upended Luke Horrocks in the area and once Mr Crawford had awarded the spot kick, the referee had little option but to show the keeper a straight red card for preventing a goalscoring opportunity.
As the Yorkshire side's squad had been decimated by a sickness bug during the week, they had no replacement available on the substitutes bench. Full back Luke Richardson was forced to don the gloves and his first task was to pick David Fitzpatrick's precise penalty from the back of the net. That successful strike brought up double figures for the season for Fitzpatrick which is an impressive haul especially when he's played the majority of the time in defence.
From that moment, Ossett had to stand up and fight for their lives but to no avail as they fell behind in the thirty sixth minute. This time Fitzpatrick turned creator as his deep corner was met at the back post by a towering header by centre half Sam Egerton whose effort just squeezed past the covering defender on the goal-line.
Despite the numerical advantage, The Millers simply couldn't break down a resilient Ossett defence in the second half. The home side's play lacked tempo and energy and on the rare occasions they tested stand in custodian Luke Richardson, he responded admirably although admittedly he knew very little about an instinctive but fortuitous save made with his head from skipper Carlos Meakin's close ranged effort.
Richardson's opposite number David Stevenson protected the home side's vulnerable advantage in the dying stages of the game as he made two fine reflex saves to prevent an unlikely Ossett equaliser, the best of which denied the ever lively James Eyles.
Team - David Stevenson, Richard Battersby, David Fitzpatrick, Nicky Platt (Daniel Grimshaw), David Chadwick, Sam Egerton, Carlos Meakin, Chris Young, Chris Luby ( Michael Fish ), Mark Innes ( Steve Moore ), Luke Horrocks. Unused subs - Michael Bowler, James Hampson
Millers 3 Goole 1. Sat 6th Apr 13. Evo Stik League
The Millers clinched another vital three points to cement their place among the Evo-Stik Division One North leading pack, by defeating Goole at a bitterly cold Church Lane.
With the games coming thick and fast as the season reaches its climax, Millers boss Roy Soule took the opportunity to shuffle his pack and utilise the playing pool at his disposal. Karl Stone replaced David Stevenson in goal, while Michael Bowler was restored to right back at the expense of Richard Battersby. Mark Innes impressed at weekend and retained his place in central midfield. Chris Young, a virtual ever present this season, was rested, handed a place on the bench to allow extra recovery time from a facial injury suffered against Ossett Town at weekend.
In blustery conditions, and on a playing surface that was not conducive to passing football, both sides struggled to settle into any kind of rhythm. Nicky Platt having The Millers best effort on 8 minutes, fizzing a half-volley just wide from 20 yards, while at the other end Grant Allott was unfortunate to see his header cannon back from Karl Stone's crossbar.
On the half hour mark the game finally burst into life. First Dave Fitzpatrick saw his shot from 25 yards clawed wide by Goole keeper Neal May, and Platt fired just over from the resulting corner.
Just a minute later The Millers broke the deadlock. Michael Bowler powered forwards up the right flank and his low cross was swept home by Platt for his first goal in an amber and black shirt.
The visitors responded to the setback and were level within five minutes. Sam Egerton mistimed his defensive header from a long ball, leaving Bill Law clear on goal and he made no mistake smashing past Stone from 12 yards out.
The equaliser forced The Millers into action and at last they began to take control. On 40 minutes Chris Luby flashed in a cross that was headed just wide by Daniel Grimshaw, and then a minute later May produced a wonderful save to thwart Grimshaw from close range.
Just two minutes before the interval The Millers went ahead for the second time. A well worked move saw Luke Horrocks slip in Nicky Platt who fired across the keeper and into the far corner.
A minute later and it was 3-1. Fitzpatrick's wicked low cross from the left was cleverly diverted past May by Carlos Meakin. It was a double celebration for Meakin, who just 24 hours previously had been named in the Evo-Stik League Division One North Team of the Year.
At 3-1 the game was over as a contest and the second half was reflected such. Both sides rarely threatened as the conditions worsened and slick football became an impossibility due to the high wind and difficult surface.
Horrocks went closest for the home side early in the second half, while Fitzpatrick cleared off the line following a Goole corner.
Soule took the opportunity to rest his strikers, bringing Michael Fish and Steve Moore into the action, but they struggled to make an impact as The Millers eased to victory.
Worryingly for The Millers, Carlos Meakin was carried from the field in the dying moments, victim of an over exuberant challenge by a defender. He was replaced by youngster Kane Wallwork, coming on to make his Millers debut.
The game ended 3-1 to The Millers who now move on to face Cammell Laird away from home this weekend, before taking on Salford City at Church Lane on Monday evening.
Team - Karl Stone, Michael Bowler, Dave Fitzpatrick, Mark Innes (Steve Moore), Dave Chadwick, Sam Egerton, Carlos Meakin (Kane Wallwork), 8. Nicky Platt, Chris Luby (Michael Fish), Daniel Grimshaw, Luke Horrocks. Unused subs - Richard Battersby, Chris Young
Ossett Town 3 Millers 3. Weds 10th Apr 13. Evo Stik League TOP
After two postponements and an abandonment, New Mills finally completed their game in West Yorkshire against Ossett Town and what a bizarre game it turned out to be. The Miller amazingly gifted all 3 goals to their opponents and were thankful to a late equaliser to ensure they earned a point from a game they controlled for long periods.
A much changed Millers line up included the reinstated James Hampson as a lone striker with both Innes and Young forming a defensive looking midfield with little natural width and without the injured Carlos Meakin. The game started slowly with few chances until the Millers took the lead on 14 minutes. A free kick wide on the right was delivered with pace and accuracy by Fitzpatrick and Hampson only had to apply the faintest of headers to steer it in. Fitzpatrick, New Mills' Leighton Baines, was enjoying himself coming forward from left back and had 3 strikes from distance during the next 10 minutes, the latter of which flew just over.
Just as it looked like the Millers were taking complete control Ossett scored from their first attack. A 25th minutes cross from the right didn't look particularly dangerous but the normally reliable Sam Egerton made a horrible hash of clearance and presented the alert James Eyles with a simple tap in from 6 yards . Egerton's night got even worse in the 38th minute when an over hit through ball again looked pretty harmless. However, 'Big Sam' perhaps unsure whether to kick or head it proceeded to mis-kick it directly into the path of Eyles again who calmly lobbed Stevenson to put Ossett 2-1 up. Eyles almost completed his hattrick on the stroke of halftime but put a shot wide when under pressure.
New Mills came out early for the 2nd half perhaps on the instructions of manager Roy Soule. Whatever, he said had the desired effect as the Millers level within a few minutes. A free kick on the left was beautifully struck by new signing Nicky Platt into the opposite top corner giving the keeper no chance. Ossett were stunned but they hit back and on 56th Stevenson was slightly fortunate to only receive a booking when he upended Eyles just outside the box. Whilst the striker's touch had taken him wide of the goal many refs would have interpreted it as a goalscoring opportunity. However, Ossett didn't need to wait long for their good fortune to return. On 75 minutes another rather aimless punt forward was directed at the luckless Egerton defending deep in the Millers own half. Perhaps he received a late call, but the decision to duck under the ball was pure 'schoolboy defending'. Once again the lively Eyles was the beneficiary completing his hattrick with another simple finish as Stevenson's poor positioning gave him most of the goal to aim at.
Now New Mills looked stunned. With Hampson looking increasing isolated upfront it was a surprise to many that Soule did not make any attacking changes from the bench. However, with only a few minutes left Hampson had the last word by wriggling through a cluster of defenders in the box before being caught late just as he reached the byline. The ref had no hesitation pointing to the spot and the ever reliable Fitzpatrick dispatched the penalty with ease. There was still time for Bowler to lift a difficult chance over the bar, but in fairness perhaps neither side deserved to win. The point did at least lift New Mills into 2nd place, just ahead of a cluster of teams vying for play-off places, although both players and management know that improvements at both ends of the pitch are required if this position is to be maintained until the end of the season.
Team: Stevenson, Weston, Fitzpatrick, Bowler, Egerton, Innes, Young (Capt), Platt, Grimshaw (Wilkinson 62 min), Horrocks, Hampson (Wallwork 89 min). Unused subs: Stone, Graham, McNulty
Cammell Laird 0 Millers 0. Sat 13th Apr 13. Evo Stik League
Two strong defensive units ensured that Cammell Laird and New Mills fought out a stalemate at Kirklands on Saturday afternoon.
The home side, who came into the game as the form horse in Division One North, adapted better to the blustery conditions as the opening half progressed and Millers goalkeeper David Stevenson produced a brave block to deny Joe Holt.
After James Hampson skied New Mills's first significant opening, Stevenson had to be at his best to deny Laird's Craig Cairns. Three times in as many minutes, the diminutive attacker tested him, the keeper was his equal on the first two occasions but his final attempt appeared to graze the base of the post as it narrowly went wide.
Arguably The Millers best opportunity of the half fell to Luke Horrocks in the latter minutes when the wideman found himself in a central attacking position where his pace was too much for the defence to handle. Home keeper Kevin Atherton raced from his goal but Horrocks beat him to the ball by a split second before being clattered but the effort rolled wide of the target.
Wez Wilkinson replaced Daniel Grimshaw at the start of the second half and put some much needed impetus into New Mills's attack. David Fitzpatrick's accuracy from set pieces caused confusion in the heart of the home defence but it was opposite full back Daryl Weston who came the closest to breaking the deadlock in the fifty fourth minute. The versatile defender broke up an attack down the right before confidently surging forward with the ball. His resulting angled low shot from well outside the area beat the despairing dive of Kevin Atherton but unluckily cannoned back into the play after hitting the post.
The lively Joe Holt then started to affect the balance of the game as he continuously found himself with time and space and one such occasion, an attack from one of his numerous crosses was thwarted by Daryl Weston who cleared off the line.
Any goal in the final minutes would probably have been a decisive one and Cammell Laird came within inches of grabbing the three points when a shot fizzed past the post but all in all, a draw and a point for each side was a fair conclusion.
The Millers won't consider the outcome as a bad result against one of their play off chasing rivals. Whilst the attacking players got very little change out of Laird's back line, the same can be said at the other end as well where Michael Bowler, Sam Egerton and David Stevenson formed a resolute rearguard with the former producing a near faultless display to help secure his side a rare clean sheet.
Team - David Stevenson, Daryl Weston, David Fitzpatrick, Mark Innes (Richard Battersby), Michael Bowler, Sam Egerton, Daniel Grimshaw (Wez Wilkinson), Chris Young, James Hampson (Chris Luby), Nicky Platt, Luke Horrocks. Unused subs - Andy Graham, Michael Fish
Millers 2 Salford City 1. Mon 15th Apr 13. Evo Stik League TOP
The Millers moved another step closer to securing a play off place in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One North with a last gasp victory over Salford City at Church Lane. It was a far from convincing performance by Roy Soule's men, but his side showed tremendous determination to eke out three points from a game in which they were second best for long periods.
With Nicky Platt, fast becoming a key player for the club, Daniel Grimshaw, Richard Battersby and Luke Horrocks unavailable, along with the continued absence of Carlos Meakin, Soule was once again forced to make changes to his starting line up. With Meakin, Grimshaw and Platt missing Daryl Weston was moved into midfield alongside Chris Young and Kane Wallwork was introduced on the left flank to make his first start for the club. David Chadwick was restored to the side having missed several games recently. James Hampson continued up front, enjoying his best run in the side since his autumn arrival.
The Millers were slow out of the blocks and it was the visitors who took control early on. Only an incredible goal line clearance by skipper Chris Young prevented Adrian Bellamy from giving The Ammies the lead on 15 minutes. On 20 minutes Salford suffered a huge blow when their player manager Andy Heald was stretchered off following an innocuous looking challenge with Wallwork. Sadly for Heald the early prognosis was not good, a torn achilles likely to keep him out of action for some time.
The game restarted after a lengthy delay, with the visitors still in charge. The Millers best effort of the early stages being a stinging half volley by Michael Bowler from 35 yards out that was beaten away by Ammies goalkeeper Ritchie Branagan.
The lively Nathan McDonald wasted a great chance to give the visitors the lead on the half hour, heading against the post when unmarked six yards out, while Kane Wallwork missed The Millers best chance of the half, firing over after being slipped in by Mark Innes.
On 40 minutes Salford took a deserved lead. A cross from the left found Nathan McDonald, again unmarked in the six yard box, and this time he made no mistake in planting his header past David Stevenson. Stevenson was booked in the aftermath as The Millers appealed for offside. The referee Mr Barnard, who was excellent throughout, backed his assistant, and the goal was allowed to stand.
Salford started the second half well, on 52 minutes Adrian Bellamy headed against the post from a long free-kick, and then a minute later Brad Robinson spurned a wonderful opportunity to double the lead shooting wide when clean through on goal. The visitors were made to rue those missed chances as The Millers finally gained a foothold in the game and took control.
On 68 minutes Sam Egerton climbed highest in the Salford area to meet a Dave Fitzpatrick free-kick, and was unfortunate to see his header cannon back from the crossbar.
With 20 minutes to go The Millers levelled the score with a fine team move from back to front. Keeper Stevenson fed Fitzpatrick in the left back position and he powered forward before feeding Chris Luby 30 yards out. Clever inter-play between Luby and James Hampson saw Luby clear on goal, and he made no mistake slipping the ball past Branagan for the equaliser.
Sensing victory The Millers threw everything into attack. With 10 minutes remaining substitute Michael Fish headed over from a Fitzpatrick cross, and moments later Branagan produced a wonderful save to keep out Andy Graham's 30 yard chip.
With just seconds remaining Stevenson launched a long free-kick downfield and Fish rose well to guide his header into the path of Luby who raced clear and produced a fine finish, clipping the ball over the onrushing Branagan, much to the relief of The Millers players and supporters.
There was barely time for the game to restart before Mr Barnard brought proceedings to a close. It was not a vintage Millers performance by any means, but Roy Soule and the supporters will take heart from the desire and determination shown in securing the three points.
Team - David Stevenson, Michael Bowler, Dave Fitzpatrick, Mark Innes, David Chadwick (Andy Graham), Sam Egerton, Daryl Weston, Chris Young, James Hampson (Wez Wilkinson), Chris Luby, Kane Wallwork (Michael Fish). Unused Subs: Steve Moore, Ryan McNulty
Millers 4 Harrogate RA 0. Sat 20th Apr 13. Evo Stik League
Match Photo's (Courtesy of Allan Toft)
New Mills consolidated second place in the Division One North League table with a four goal victory over Harrogate Railway at Church Lane on Saturday.
On a glorious High Peak afternoon and in a front of a very healthy crowd boosted by the presence of many New Mills junior players, Chris Luby continued his good run of recent form by netting twice from close range in a four minute spell during the first half. Following his late double in Monday night's triumph over Salford City, the in-form striker firstly neatly converted Nicky Platt's precise pass and then tidied up James Hampson's effort at the back post after The Millers forwards had escaped Harrogate's offside trap.
Luby should really have secured his hat-trick seven minutes after the interval but hit the post after rounding goalkeeper Sam Dobbs. The rebound fell to strike partner James Hampson who unbelievably hit virtually the same part of the upright with a fiercely struck effort.
To their credit, Harrogate never gave up and came close to reducing the deficit on two separate occasions when Jesus Samuel Martin- Farina had a shot kicked off the line by David Fitzpatrick and then Patrick McGuire showed excellent technique when hitting a volley which nearly snapped the crossbar.
Despite those scares, The Millers were always in control of the game and wrapped up victory with two additional goals. The first came just before the hour when Sam Egerton converted Daryl Weston's cutback from the bye-line with a cheeky back heel. The afternoon's proceedings were completed in the last minute of normal time when David Fitzpatrick's cross was met by a thumping Michael Fish header
Team - David Stevenson, Daryl Weston ( Wez Wilkinson ), David Fitzpatrick, Mark Innes ( Andy Graham ), Michael Bowler, Sam Egerton, Nicky Platt, Chris Young, Chris Luby, James Hampson ( Michael Fish ), Richard Battersby. Unused subs - Daniel Grimshaw, Steve Moore
Radcliffe Borough 2 Millers 3. Tues 23rd Apr 13. Evo Stik League TOP
It's a well-used footballing cliche but it literally was a game of two halves at Stainton Park on Tuesday evening as a three goal interval lead proved just enough for New Mills to triumph over Radcliffe Borough and ensure their participation in the end of season play-offs.
In the team's first meeting of the season, Radcliffe very nearly caught The Millers napping in the opening two minutes but Kevin Sanasy's header from a short corner was scrambled away by a combination of goalkeeper David Stevenson and a defender on the goal-line.
James Coates, who started this season in goal for New Mills, showed his class which made him such a firm Church Lane favourite with an excellent save to deny a shot from Nicky Platt but the newly crowned Radcliffe Borough Player of the Year was left completely helpless as he was beaten by the same player in the ninth minute. David Fitzpatrick’s corner eventually found its way to Platt who acrobatically hooked the ball into the top corner from eight yards.
Carlos Meakin, who was playing in an unaccustomed defensive role, was perhaps lucky to escape with only a caution in the twelfth minute. Borough’s Ben Wharton appeared to have a clear route on goal after escaping his marker but after falling under a flurry of legs, referee Mr Underwood brandished the yellow card when the home fans were baying for a completely different colour.
Despite that scare, The Millers were playing some tremendous attacking football and took complete control of the game with two further strikes either side of the half hour. Firstly Carlos Meakin’s bullet header from another David Fitzpatrick corner doubled their advantage and then the team brought up their century this season with a goal perfectly befitting of that milestone. Richard Battersby’s long throw found the closely marked James Hampson at the near post from where the striker laid off a flicked pass to Nicky Platt. The onrushing midfielder then unleashed a sumptuous strike that flashed into the top corner and past James Coates in an instant.
After producing arguably their best forty five minutes performance since the New Year’s Day success at Mossley, it was difficult for the travelling supporters to fathom the second half display from the same players. Maybe playing down the slope proved to be a disadvantage, maybe the players relaxed after securing a healthy lead, maybe manager Kevin Glendon read the riot act to the home players at half time. Whatever happened, the game took on a different complexion as it was Radcliffe’s turn to dominate proceedings. Prompted by midfielder Jamie Baguley, who had a spell at Church Lane a few seasons ago, the deficit was reduced nine minutes after the interval when David Stevenson splendidly turned a Ben Wharton header from Jake Pollard’s free kick onto his post but the goalkeeper rued his luck as James Mullineux comfortably headed in the rebound.
The Milers simply lost all momentum in the game as they couldn’t find the high tempo and fluidity they had achieved earlier. Only a goal-line clearance from Carlos Meakin prevented further inroads into his team’s advantage but it proved to be only a temporary reprieve. After controlling James Coates’s measured clearance out on the right wing, Matty Chadwick cut inside his marker before trying his luck from well outside the penalty area and the ferocity of his resulting shot deceived David Stevenson who was beaten low down at his near post.
Fourteen minutes of the game remained at that stage and the likelihood was that if there was to be any further goals in the game, they would be for the home team. However, substitute Wez Wilkinson missed a golden opportunity to give New Mills some much needed breathing space as the game reached its dying stages but he dragged his effort harmlessly wide of the target after creating room for himself after a jinking run.
Thankfully, there was to be no late drama as everybody connected to The Millers breathed a collective sigh of relief upon the final whistle. The three points proved to be crucial though as these together with results elsewhere ensured that New Mills’s place in the play offs was secured with four games of the regular season remaining. Victories in two of these will see The Millers confirmed as runners up to Skelmersdale United which will see them enjoy home field advantage during the play offs.
Team – David Stevenson, Daryl Weston, David Fitzpatrick, Mark Innes (Andy Graham), Carlos Meakin, Sam Egerton, Richard Battersby (Kane Wallwork), Chris Young, James Hampson (Wez Wilkinson), Nicky Platt, Chris Luby. Unused subs – David Chadwick, Luke Horrocks
Clitheroe 0 Millers 0. Sat 27th Apr 13. Evo Stik League
Clitheroe and New Mills fought out a goalless draw at Shawbridge on Saturday meaning that the Lancashire side are now out of contention for a Division One North play off spot.
The healthy crowd in attendance witnessed an attritional midfield battle in the first half where goalscoring opportunities were at an absolute premium. Those that did occur fell the home side's way with Daley Woods dispossessing Sam Egerton in a dangerous central area but the forward elected to shoot early when he had time to carry the ball further forward and his subsequent effort was blocked low down by David Stevenson. Eight minutes before the interval, Mr Marsden awarded a generous free kick to the home side from where captain Lee Pugh's well delivered inswinging set piece was headed onto the top of the bar from within a crowded penalty area.
The introduction of Michael Fish for the injured James Hampson just after the hour brought a new dimension to New Mills's play and reinvigorated them as an attacking force. The substitute was involved in by far The Millers best move of the whole game in the sixty fifth minute, linking up well with strike partner Chris Luby before the latter crossed for Michael Bowler whose low shot from eight yards was excellently blocked by the legs of Clitheroe's Hakan Burton.
Burton was grateful to then see Sam Egerton's glancing header from David Fitzpatrick's free kick drift narrowly wide of the target five minutes later but despite both teams actively searching for the breakthrough, both defensive units were on top and were proving very resilient.
Clitheroe pushed everything forward in the dying stages of the game looking for the goal which would prolong their season but when their last chance was smothered by David Stevenson, this result and others elsewhere ended their mathematical chances of reaching the post season games.
Whilst drawing a blank, The Millers, who recorded a third clean sheet in five games, will see this most definitely as a point gained and now have two midweek home games to collect the four points needed to ensure both the runners up spot and home advantage in the play offs.
Team - David Stevenson, Michael Bowler, David Fitzpatrick, Daryl Weston, Carlos Meakin, Sam Egerton, Andy Graham (Daniel Grimshaw), Chris Young, James Hampson (Michael Fish), Nicky Platt, Chris Luby. Unused subs - Luke Horrocks, David Chadwick, Paul Armstrong
Millers 3 Farsley 0. Mon 29th Apr 13. Evo Stik League TOP
As spring finally arrived and the early evening sun shone down on picturesque Church Lane , The Millers clinched a comfortable three goal victory against Farsley to secure a home tie in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One North Play Offs. The three points ensured that The Millers cannot finish below third place in the league, meaning that, although their opponents are still to be decided, the High Peak side will have the advantage of the New Mills faithful behind them when the play off semi-final kicks off on Monday afternoon.
With Nicky Platt and Chris Luby unavailable, and striker James Hampson still feeling the effects of a knock picked up in the weekends goalless draw at Clitheroe, The Millers boss Roy Soule was once again forced to make changes to his team. Daniel Grimshaw was restored to the starting line up replacing Platt, while Michael Fish and debutant Raducio King started up front in place of Hampson and Luby. Seasoned campaigner Mark Innes also returned to the side at the expense of former Stockport County midfielder Andrew Graham.
Bringing Innes back into the side was to prove a masterstroke by Soule, as the midfielder gave The Millers the lead with just 18 seconds on the clock. Straight from the kick off a fine passing move released Daniel Grimshaw wide on the right. He raced into the penalty area before sliding an inch perfect pass into the path of the incoming Mark Innes, who finished in style for what is only his third goal in an amber jersey, in over 150 appearances.
The early goal settled the home side and they went on to dominate the opening half. On 23 minutes Carlos Meakin saw his curling effort comfortably saved by Ben Higginson in the Farsley goal and from a Dave Fitzpatrick cross Mark Innes, clearly in goalscoring mood, saw a wonderful volley sail just wide of the post.
On 35 minutes The Millers doubled their lead. Fish played a clever through ball that sent Raducio King clear on goal, the pacy striker nudged the ball around Higginson and slotted into an empty net. Meakin had an opportunity to extend the lead further just before the interval, but his curling 25 yard effort was just off target.
Andrew Graham was introduced to the action at the start of the second half, to replace Sam Egerton, with Meakin moving into central defence. While The Millers remained in control and the visitors were reduced to long range efforts at David Stevenson's goal, the removal of Meakin from midfield resulted in a loss of the attacking thrust shown throughout the first half and the home side appeared happy to allow the visitors to force the pace as they sought to find a way back into the game.
Having seen Mark Innes score less than a minute after being restored to the side, another Soule change was to pay off in astonishing fashion. On 78 minutes he replaced the tiring King with Luke Horrocks, and just seconds after coming on the winger, making his comeback from injury, was to clinch the victory. A slick passing move ended when Innes burst into the penalty area and squared to Horrocks six yards out, and he made no mistake, slotting past Higginson.
With the game over as a contest Soule took the opportunity to rest the impressive Grimshaw, showing a return to his early season form, replacing him with striker Steve Moore, a proven goal scorer at this level, and the type of player who may prove crucial in the knock out format of the promotion play offs.
As the match reached its conclusion there was little action of note, save an Andrew Graham effort from just outside the area that was turned away by Higginson. The game ended 3-0, a huge victory for The Millers and an ideal start to what is now the biggest week in the clubs history. A victory against Radcliffe Borough at Church Lane on Wednesday evening (7.45 kick off) will secure second place in the league table, and failing that they visit Curzon Ashton in the final game of the regular season on Saturday (game to be played at Bower Fold, Stalybridge) where they will have the opportunity to secure a morale boosting victory to take into the play off semi-final which will take place at Church Lane on Bank Holiday Monday (6 May) with a 3.00pm kick off.
Team - David Stevenson, Daryl Weston, Dave Fitzpatrick, Mark Innes, Michael Bowler, Sam Egerton (Andrew Graham), Carlos Meakin, Chris Young, Michael Fish, Raducio King (Luke Horrocks), Daniel Grimshaw (Steve Moore). Unused Subs: David Chadwick, James Hampson
Millers 1 Radcliffe Borough 4. Weds 1st May13. Evo Stik League
The Millers, playing their third game in five days, produced a tired display in crashing to defeat at home to Radcliffie Borough, a horror show that leaves them needing to take a point from the weekend's trip to Curzon Ashton to ensure they achieve second place in the league table.
Boss Roy Soule was forced into a number of changes from Monday nights victory over Farsley. Karl Stone deputised for David Stevenson in goal, while Daryl Weston slotted in at right-back for Michael Bowler. With Sam Egerton still not 100% fit, Carlos Meakin moved to centre back. Recent signing Nicky Platt returned to the starting line up to replace the unavailable Raducio King, while Chris Luby replaced Michael Fish.
The home side were handed the perfect start to the match, when less than two minutes in, a catastrophic error by former Millers keeper James Coates handed them the lead. Trying to prevent the ball going out for a corner Coates only succeeded in presenting the ball to Chris Luby, who squared for Daniel Grimshaw to tap into an empty net.
Borough hit back quickly, and on 12 minutes levelled through Ben Wharton, the big striker allowed to dance through The Millers defence before lifting the ball past Stone. Then just five minutes later the same player put the visitors ahead, turning a low cross past Stone from six yards out.
Feeling the effects of so many games recently, The Millers struggled to up the tempo to regain control, and were reduced to speculative attempts on Coates' goal. Luke Horrocks, Nicky Platt and Chris Young all sending efforts wide of the target.
On 40 minutes The Millers suffered another blow when Luke Horrocks limped out of the action, replaced by Andrew Graham. Horrocks, only recently returned from injury, must now be a doubt for the weekend. The Millers injury woes were to continue as Carlos Meakin failed to return for the second half, having been visibly limping as he left the field, and then shortly afterwards his
replacement Sam Egerton was withdrawn after suffering a heavy blow to the face.
With The Millers struggling to raise the tempo the visitors sensed an unlikely victory and produced a super human effort, for the second time in a week suggesting that their position in the league table is not an accurate reflection on their capabilities.
On 78 minutes Borough increased their lead, although it was a goal heaped in controversy. A long cross into the Radcliffe area was brought down by substitute James Hampson whose goalbound overhead kick appeared to strike the hand of a Borough defender. As The Millers appealed for a penalty the visitors broke and Ben Wharton was sent clear on goal. Karl Stone produced a fine save to keep out Wharton's effort, but he could do nothing to keep out Kevin Sanasy's follow up header.
To The Millers credit the continued to press, searching for a route back into the game. On 87 minutes Coates produced a wonderful save to tip Grimshaw's fierce drive around the post, and from the resulting corner David Chadwick headed over from just five yards out.
In the dying moments a defensive blunder allowed the visitors a final opportunity and Ben Wharton made no mistake, firing past Stone from 20 yards out to cap off a miserable evening for The Millers.
Team - Karl Stone, Daryl Weston, Dave Fitzpatrick, Mark Innes, Dave Chadwick, Carlos Meakin (Sam Egerton, James Hampson), Daniel Grimshaw, Chris Young, Chris Luby, Nicky Platt, Luke Horrocks (Andrew Graham). Unused subs: Michael Fish, Wez Wilkinson
Curzon Ashton 4 Millers 3. Sat 4th May 13. Evo Stik League TOP
New Mills relinquished second place in The Evo Stik NPL Division One North after losing by an odd goal in seven against Curzon Ashton at Bower Fold on Saturday.
With a home play off semi final berth already guaranteed, manager Roy Soule took the opportunity to freshen his squad up and introduced full backs Andy Graham and Jamie Kay from the reserves as well as resting some key personnel.
The League's leading scorer Kristian Dennis almost made it forty one goals for the season in the sixth minute as he wriggled free of his marker Michael Bowler but his low skidding effort on the turn went fractionally wide of the near post.
The Millers took the lead on the quarter hour when James Hampson was dragged down in the penalty area by defender Jonathan Hunt. Despite being the last man and denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity, referee Mr Hanley showed some last day leniency on Hunt by only brandishing a yellow card when a red would have been more befitting of the challenge. Daniel Grimshaw took it all in his stride though by coolly sending Josh Ollerenshaw the wrong way from the resulting spot kick.
That precious lead lasted all of six minutes as again New Mills appeared to fall foul of the officialdom again. Despite looking many yards in advance of the defensive backline, the offside flag never materialised against Kristian Dennis and after advancing towards goal, the striker squared the ball to Matty Kay who knocked in the rebound after a brave block denied his first effort.
Michael Fish restored the visitors advantage in the twenty fourth minute when he executed a fine finish which glanced the inside of the post before nestling in the bottom corner but that was immediately cancelled out as Matty Kay scored his second goal of the afternoon within a matter of seconds of the restart.
After the interval, the game meandered a little towards a typical end of season fixture and some defensive complacency very nearly hindered Curzon as Michael Fish's shot was saved low down by the pink shirted Josh Ollerenshaw.
At the other end, Ollerenshaw's opposite number David Stevenson gifted Curzon the lead with fifteen minutes of the game remaining. New Mills's keeper dallied over an attempted clearance and in an instant substitute Scott Metcalfe had dispossessed him and tapped the ball home into an empty net.
Whilst that goal was fortuitous, there was no doubting the quality of Metcalfe's second strike in the eighty seventh minute when his excellent precise header found the corner of the net with aplomb.
Michael Fish halved the deficit in the last minute of normal time with another excellent effort, this time from the edge of the area which simply flew past Josh Ollerenshaw.
Despite that late strike, The Millers couldn't rescue a point which would have secured the runners up position especially after news filtered through that an injury time strike for Cammell Laird had secured them home field advantage throughout the play offs.
Team - David Stevenson, Andrew Graham ( Daniel Douglas-Pringle ), Jamie Kay, Daniel Grimshaw, Michael Bowler, Raphale Evans ( Chris Young ), Raducio King ( Chris Luby ), Andrew Graham, James Hampson, Nicky Platt, Michael Fish. Unused subs - Steve Moore, Paul Armstrong
Millers 0 Trafford 2. Mon 6th May 13. Evo Stik League Play Off Semi Final
Trafford, inspired by their central defender and captain Nia Bayunu, defeated New Mills at a sun drenched Church Lane to book their place in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One North Play-Off final against Cammell Laird on Friday evening.
The Millers were once again shorn of key personnel and while they gave a good account of themselves, and forced the game into extra-time, cracks eventually began to show in the patched up team and they were made to pay for missed opportunities during the game.
Kick-off was delayed for 15 minutes, due to heavy traffic caused by bank holiday revellers visiting the Peak District, meaning that the Trafford team coach was late in arriving. It did not prevent them starting the game in lively fashion though, and roared on by an impressive visiting support they had the better of the early exchanges.
On the half hour mark The Millers finally gained a foothold in the game and began to create the best chances of the first half. First, from a wonderful cross from the left by David Fitzpatrick, Nicky Platt sent a header goalwards from six yards out that was clawed away in spectacular fashion by Read in the visitors goal. Just minutes, later the tireless Chris Luby chased down a long ball and fed Michael Bowler who saw his effort cannon back from the post and to safety. Five minutes before the interval Carlos Meakin sent a firm header just over the bar, then a minute later Nicky Platt squandered a golden opportunity. He received the ball five yards out, jinked inside a defender and with the goal
at his mercy sent a tame effort into the legs of Read.
The visitors reminded the home support that they too were in the contest, the ever dangerous Michael Oates sending a vicious 30 yard effort crashing into David Stevenson's left hand post.
Both sides looked nervous throughout the second half, and few chances were created. Neither team taking any risks whatsoever and both looking to play on the counter attack, the only chance of note coming with 10 minutes to go when Read once again produced a wonderful save to keep out Platt's close range effort.
Within minutes of the start of extra-time Trafford took the lead. A low cross by Oates was clipped past Stevenson by former Miller Will Ahern.
The Millers lengthened their game in an effort to find a way back into the match but they found man of the match Nia Bayunu in commanding form as he headed away cross after cross.
The home side should have equalised in the first minute of the second period of extra-time, from a Fitzpatrick corner Daniel Douglas-Pringle somehow managed to head over the bar when unmarked a yard from goal.
With time running out The Millers created one final chance, Raducio King curling a left footed effort just wide.
From the resulting goal kick Trafford broke away and with the final kick of the Match Michael Oates made it 2-0 to the visitors and to end The Millers promotion hopes for the season.
In spite of the disappointing end to the campaign there is still much for The Millers support to be proud of from the 2012/13 season. Their side have played wonderful football at times, and have arguably the strongest squad in the league, unfortunately the fates conspired against them in the end as fatigue, a
crippling injury list and missed opportunities at crucial times cost them. Nevertheless, with the managerial team of Roy Soule and Paul Armstrong at the helm, season 2013/14 promises to be another exciting one for the Church Lane faithful.
Team - David Stevenson, Daryl Weston, David Fitzpatrick, Daniel Grimshaw (Jamie Kay), Carlos Meakin, Sam Egerton, Michael Bowler (Raducio King), Chris Young, Chris Luby, Nicky Platt, Michael Fish (Daniel Douglas-Pringle). Unused subs - James Hampson, Andy Graham