Saturday, 12 December 2015

Matchday #15: Results and Updated League Tables


Audenshaw Dynamo 0  Marine 3
Excelsior Marlow 6  Blyth Spartans 2
Gainsborough Trinity 6  Hartlepool Petrochemical 1
Hungaria 2  Stalybridge Celtic 4
Manchester Central 2  Locomotive Crewe Alexandra 0
Red Star Mossley 1  Liverpool St Helens 2
Spartak-Slavia 2  Dynamo Burnley 2
Wrexham 2  Northwich Victoria 2

Second Division

Atletico Espanol 5  Caledonia Thistle 1
Hendon Hotspur 0  Inter-Italiano 0
Manchester Newton Heath 3  South Liverpool Red Star 1
Marxist Polytechnic 2  Bradford Park Avenue 1
Merthyr Tydfil 2  Bohemians 1
Newcastle Blue Star 6  Excelsior Benelux 2
Sheffield Wednesday 3  Crystal Palace 1
Torpedo Tranmere 4  Newcastle-Gateshead Dynamo 1

So the league season reaches its halfway mark and the winter break with, as last term, somewhat surprise leaders of the Championship, this time in the form of Marine, returning after a year’s absence in the Second Division. Continuing the free- and top-scoring exploits of their promotion campaign, Crosby’s Mariners have achieved top spot largely courtesy of a ten-match unbeaten run that only a pair of recent consecutive defeats has allowed the chasing pack to gain a little ground, the highlights being a 4 - 2 victory over Gainsborough Trinity and then the astonishing 7 - 1 derby demolition of Liverpool St Helens which, followed immediately as it was by a fine comeback draw at champions Stalybridge Celtic, established them as credible challengers for the title, a welcome return to the upper reaches of the Championship after a fallow ten years - previously Marine had regularly featured around the higher placings, only once being crowned champions, back in 1992, but runners-up on a record six occasions, most recently in 2003 and finishing as high as third two seasons later.
In this most recent round of fixtures Marine, recovering winning ways after that two-game blip, negotiated what can be a tough and dangerous hurdle at Audenshaw Dynamo with an impressive 3 – 0 win that keeps them on top, whilst second-placed neighbours St Helens remain just a point behind after a fifth successive and admirable victory – a run that has coincided with the change of management following the derby debacle at Marine, the new set-up extracting significantly more from an obviously talented but previous underachieving squad – at Red Star Mossley, only the hosts’ second home reverse of a campaign that has begun to falter as the recess has approached, seemingly dashing their own hopes of mounting a viable challenge for the championship, the opening fixture fireworks of Mossley’s 5- 3 win over their next-door neighbours Stalybridge beginning to fizz out as winter has set in, with three defeats in four.

Level with the Saints are the very same Stalybridge Celtic following their thrilling 4 - 2 triumph at Hungaria, with the reigning champions’ defence of their title being competent to date, occasionally impressive but also punctuated by some surprise defeats, the four of which (including each of their Manchester derbies and then most recently and shockingly at second-bottom Burnley) at the halfway stage already equals their total for the whole of last season. However, and despite their points total being four fewer than the corresponding point of 2014-15, Stalybridge remain only that point off top spot and, should the irresistible performance at Hungaria be a portent for the second half of the season, they will be fancied to retain their crown, which is a far more positive position than most defending champions of recent seasons have found themselves in.

Two points below the top three, newcomers Spartak-Slavia dropped a point in a 2 - 2 draw at home to newly-branded Dynamo Burnley but can be satisfied with their maiden half-season in the top flight following last term’s promotion at the conclusion of their inaugural campaign at national level, the club’s progress still being very much on the up and a top-half finish well within reasonable expectations and their compass.

A further two points behind, Gainsborough Trinity’s 6 - 1 trouncing of hapless table-propper-uppers Hartlepool Petrochemical ends the first half of their season on a positive note, but Trinity would have hoped to have featured more closely among the leaders, and indeed were among the title favourites following last season’s strongly-finishing runners-up spot and subsequent Cup triumph, rather than being five points off the pace at mid-term, their challenge undermined by a flaky away record that, despite victory at St Helens, has yielded far too many defeats even though their home form has been faultless bar the early loss to Stalybridge. One thing to inspire hope in Trinity’s chances upon the resumption is a more favourable-looking fixture list on their travels, with a number of apparently eminently-winnable matches against teams in the lower half of the table in prospect, but they already seem to be left needing to win most of the reverse programme to be in the championship mix come the season’s business end - if they do and they are, it will be an impressive achievement.
Gainsborough’s most recent defeat occurred at Marlow, the first in a run of three consecutive victories for Excelsior that has culminated in the 6 - 2 pasting of Blyth Spartans and enabled the erstwhile champions to ease themselves away from another dangerous flirtation with the relegation places to the relatively heady heights of lower mid-table, a definite improvement on the last season and a half and perhaps the first signs of a recovery of their old selves, albeit in their new guise following the summer merger with Oxford.

Blyth, however, have had a hugely disappointing first half of the season after finishing last term in fourth place and as Cup runners-up, and that latest defeat leaves them only a point above Dynamo Burnley who occupy the second berth in the relegation zone but who have ended the first semester on the up with victory over Stalybridge and then the draw at Spartak-Slavia. Blyth and Burnley are separated by promoted Locomotive Crewe Alexandra, who, after a reasonable start to life back in the top flight, have sunk towards the bottom of the table with only two draws to show for the last six matches, since beating Hartlepool Petrochemical, as most teams have, with the newly-merged north-east ‘super’ club’s results being anything but - seven points from safety already, they appear doomed unless a miraculous resurrection occurs after the resumption in January. Audenshaw Dynamo head the three-club group a point clear of Burnley, the seemingly perennial brinksmen’s campaign thus far being the usual mix of unlikely victories and equally confounding defeats.
In between, there’s an air of mostly mid-table competence about Hungaria, Northwich Victoria and Manchester Central (formerly City), whilst Wrexham might well have to guard against slipping into the relegation battle if their results don’t show some general improvement (notwithstanding the defeat of Marine), particularly on their travels where they face the greater proportion of fixtures upon the new year resumption.

In the Second Division, Sheffield Wednesday, who narrowly missed out on promotion last term, have assumed pole position going into the recess, courtesy of their goal-drenched winning habit, although the second-placed Marxist Polytechnic returned to winning ways, in the process ending Bradford Park Avenue’s no-goals-conceded four-match winning sequence, after a pair of draws, the Manchester-based students’ season thus far being a model of consistency, mostly of grade-A quality - both clubs’ form suggest they are in the promotion race for the long haul and might well be the successful finishers, and whilst a first would be nice, a 2:1 would be achievement enough for the boys from the Poly.

Up to third, another newcomer in the form of Torpedo Tranmere are also enjoying a fine enough maiden campaign (with the Championship’s leading pair, Merseyside is most definitely on the up) to be considered contenders, as too are Crystal Palace despite that most recent reverse at Wednesday, whilst Bradford, Bohemians and Hendon Hotspur are sufficiently in touch with the top that should those above falter, a consistent run of victories could allow them to take advantage.
Five points adrift, Inter-Italiano, who played out a dismal goalless draw with Hendon that suggested both teams were desperate for the mid-season break and indeed had decided to take it a game early, appear as firmly ensconced in mid-table as it might be possible to be at this stage, whilst all those below, literally the bottom half of the division, are involved in a fluid relationship with the second of the relegation places and relative safety, all sufficiently inconsistent to suggest such flirtations will continue during the second half of the campaign. Atletico Espanol had appeared somewhat doomed at the foot, but this evening’s 5 - 1 pasting of Caledonia Thistle must provide a fillip and hope for better form and fortunes upon the resumption, which will be on Saturday 9th January, with a full league programme taking place that day - see you then, and best wishes to our reader(s) for the festive season in the meantime.

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Matchday #14: Results and Updated League Tables


Blyth Spartans 3  Red Star Mossley 0
Dynamo Burnley 2  Stalybridge Celtic 1
Gainsborough Trinity 2  Audenshaw Dynamo 1
Hartlepool Petrochemical 2  Excelsior Marlow 3
Liverpool St Helens 2  Hungaria 0
Locomotive Crewe Alexandra 1  Wrexham 1
Marine 1  Manchester Central 2
Northwich Victoria 5  Spartak-Slavia 3

Second Division

Bohemians 2  Torpedo Tranmere 2
Bradford Park Avenue 2  Newcastle Blue Star 0
Caledonia Thistle 5  Merthyr Tydfil 2
Crystal Palace 4  South Liverpool Red Star 0
Excelsior Benelux 2  Manchester Newton Heath 1
Hendon Hotspur 3  Atletico Espanol 2
Inter-Italiano 1  Marxist Polytechnic 1
Newcastle-Gateshead Dynamo 1  Sheffield Wednesday 5

Defeats for each of this morning’s Championship top three has enabled Liverpool St Helens to move up into second place and stake their claim as title contenders as the season approaches its mid-term break after the next round of fixtures. Saints’ fourth consecutive victory after the 7 – 1 derby humiliation at Marine that precipitated a change of management means they now sit on the leaders’ shoulder, just a point behind the Mariners, who themselves were falling to a second successive defeat, and first of the season at home, surprisingly to consistently inconsistent Manchester Central, already also conquerors of Stalybridge Celtic but whose previous outing brought abject defeat at neighbours Audenshaw, that following a 7- 1 thrashing of Wrexham, the very team who then brought Marine’s ten-game unbeaten run to end last week: uncertain times indeed.

Stalybridge meanwhile were going down equally surprisingly at struggling Burnley, their fourth defeat of the season on the road but the first outside of Greater Manchester, enabling Dynamo to gain two crucial points and, although remaining second-bottom, at least keep pace with the teams immediately above them, with Blyth Spartans also tasting victory with a comprehensive 3 – 0 win over an insipid Red Star Mossley whose recent away form has faltered badly, Locomotive Crewe Alexandra arresting a three-match losing streak with a point at home to Wrexham and Excelsior Marlow coming out on top of a five-goal thriller at hapless Hartlepool Petrochemical, now ever-more firmly entrenched at the foot of the table and appearing certainties for relegation which will be a significant blow to the aspirations of the newly-formed north-east ‘super club’.
Northwich Victoria were impressive 5 – 3 goalfest victors against Spartak-Slavia, who began the day in third but consequently slipped a place, whilst Gainsborough Trinity kept in touch with the leading group by beating Audenshaw Dynamo by the odd goal in three, which result drops the losers three places to thirteenth and very much into the relegation mix.
In the Second Division, Sheffield Wednesday’s 5 -1 demolition job at fast-fading Newcastle-Gateshead Dynamo, their fourth victory on the bounce, enabled the Owls to take flight to the summit, replacing Marxist Polytechnic after the students’ draw at Inter-Italiano, with fellow victors Crystal Palace and Bradford Park Avenue (another Yorkshire club on a four-game winning spree, with an admirably stingy no goals conceded along the way) tucked-in close behind after Bohemians and Torpedo Tranmere also fought out an ultimate stalemate, trading four goals equally between them.  Hendon Hotspur’s narrow triumph over basement dwellers Atletico Espanol makes the top seven and the promotion race very close indeed.


Saturday, 28 November 2015

Matchday #13: Results and Updated League Tables


Audenshaw Dynamo 4  Manchester Central 1
Dynamo Burnley 1  Liverpool St Helens 2
Excelsior Marlow 3  Gainsborough Trinity 2
Hungaria 3  Blyth Spartans 2
Red Star Mossley 4  Hartlepool Petrochemical 3
Spartak-Slavia 3  Locomotive Crewe Alexandra 1
Stalybridge Celtic 3  Northwich Victoria 0
Wrexham 2  Marine 0

Second Division

Atletico Espanol 1  Merthyr Tydfil 4
Crystal Palace 2  Excelsior Benelux 0
Manchester Newton Heath 0  Bradford Park Avenue 1
Marxist Polytechnic 2  Hendon Hotspur 2
Newcastle Blue Star 2  Inter-Italiano 1
Sheffield Wednesday 3  Bohemians 2
South Liverpool Red Star 2  Newcastle-Gateshead Dynamo 0
Torpedo Tranmere 1  Caledonia Thistle 0


Marine’s impressive ten-match unbeaten run ran aground at gale- and rain-lashed Wrexham, the hosts adapting to the inclement weather conditions much the better and prevailing through the storm by 2 – 0, a vast improvement on their previous 7 – 1 trouncing at Manchester Central.
Stalybridge Celtic and Spartak-Slavia, thrice-scoring victors both, consequently advance to a mere point adrift of the Mariners, with fellow winners Liverpool St Helens, Hungaria and Red Star Mossley tied two points further behind.
Central, meanwhile, were as abject in a 1 – 4 derby defeat at Audenshaw Dynamo, ultimately fortunate to get away so lightly, as they had been irresistible in thrashing Wrexham. Similarly disappointing were Gainsborough Trinity, succumbing 2 – 3 at Excelsior Marlow, who were only a point and a place outside the relegation places, already a sixth defeat in a season Trinity had hoped would see them mount a concerted challenge for the Championship after last term’s runners-up finish and Cup triumph but currently sees them lagging behind in sixth, two points behind Mossley, whose topsy-turvy 4 - 3 victory over Hartlepool Petrochemical plants the losers firmly at the bottom of the pile.

Such is the congested nature of matters towards the top of the Second Division, Bohemians’ narrow 2 – 3 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday saw them drop from second to fifth position, being replaced by their conquerors in the process, the Owls now just a point behind leaders Marxist Polytechnic after the students’ draw with Hendon Hotspur. Torpedo Tranmere and Crystal Palace are third and fourth after victories, whilst a fifth game without defeat sees Bradford Park Avenue in sixth.
In the battle of the bottom two, Merthyr Tydfil’s conclusive 4 – 1 win at Atletico Espanol enabled the Welshmen to climb a heady five places to tenth, such is the tight nature of things at the wrong end of the table too: five points separate seventh-place Hendon and Inter-Italiano in eighth, marking a distinct division between those seeking to gain promotion and those battling to remain within the national set-up.


Saturday, 21 November 2015

Matchday #12: Results and Updated League Tables


Blyth Spartans 2  Dynamo Burnley 0
Excelsior Marlow 1  Audenshaw Dynamo 3
Gainsborough Trinity 4  Red Star Mossley 1
Hartlepool Petrochemical 2  Hungaria 2
Locomotive Crewe Alexandra 0  Stalybridge Celtic 4
Manchester Central 7  Wrexham 1
Marine 3  Spartak-Slavia 2
Northwich Victoria 2  Liverpool St Helens 3

Second Division

Bohemians 4  South Liverpool Red Star 1
Bradford Park Avenue 2  Crystal Palace 0
Caledonia Thistle 1  Sheffield Wednesday 2
Hemdon Hotspur 4  Newcastle Blue Star 1
Inter-Italiano 1  Manchester Newton Heath 3
Marxist Polytechnic 6  Atletico Espanol 1
Merthyr Tydfil 1  Torpedo Tranmere 3
Newcastle-Gateshead Dynamo 2  Excelsior Benelux 3

 Another win for the 'Marine machine' maintains their position at the top of the Championship, stretching their unbeaten run to an impressive ten matches and their lead to three points, whilst only a second victory in six moves reigning champions Stalybridge Celtic up to second place, leapfrogging Spartak-Slavia, vanquished at Marine, and Red Star Mossley, hit for four by Gainsborough Trinity.
Towards the other end of the table, Manchester Central's thrashing of hapless Wrexham stands out, obviously, whilst Audenshaw Dynamo's win at Marlow enabled them to move above Excelsior and rendered Blyth Spartans' defeat of Dynamo Burnley more crucial still, plunging the latter into the relegation places with Marlow only a point clear of such a fate. A rare point for Hartlepool Petrochemical after sharing the spoils with Hungaria does little to help their plight at rock-bottom.
In the Second Division, top versus bottom went as league positions suggested it should, with the Marxist Polytechnic hitting Atletico Espanol for six, whilst good wins for Bohemians, Sheffield Wednesday and Torpedo Tranmere allowed them to move in behind, above Crystal Palace, who started the day in second place but fell to defeat at Bradford Park Avenue.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Matchday #11: Results and Updated League Tables


Audenshaw Dynamo 2  Wrexham 3
Dynamo Burnley 5  Hartlepool Petrochemical 3
Hungaria 2  Gainsborough Trinity 1
Liverpool St Helens 3  Locomotive Crewe Alexandra 1
Northwich Victoria 4  Blyth Spartans 2
Red Star Mossley 2  Excelsior Marlow 1
Spartak-Slavia 3  Manchester Central 1
Stalybridge Celtic 2  Marine 2

Second Division

Atletico Espanol 2  Torpedo Tranmere 2
Crystal Palace 5  Inter-Italiano 2
Excelsior Benelux 0  Bohemians 4
Manchester Newton Heath 1  Hendon Hotspur 2
Newcastle Blue Star 2  Marxist Polytechnic 8
Newcastle-Gateshead Dynamo 0  Bradford Park Avenue 4
Sheffield Wednesday 4  Merthyr Tydfil 2
South Liverpool Red Star 3  Caledonia Thistle 1

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Matchday #10: Results and Updated League Tables


Excelsior Marlow 3  Hungaria 3
Gainsborough Trinity 3  Dynamo Burnley 2
Hartlepool Petrochemical 2  Northwich Victoria 2
Locomotive Crewe Alexandra 1  Blyth Spartans 1
Manchester Central 1  Stalybridge Celtic 0
Marine 7  Liverpool St Helens 1
Red Star Mossley 3  Audenshaw Dynamo 0
Wrexham 2  Spartak-Slavia 3

Second Division
Bohemians 3  Bradford Park Avenue 3
Caledonia Thistle 4  Excelsior Benelux 2
Hendon Hotspur 1  Crystal Palace 4
Inter-Italiano 8  Newcastle-Gateshead Dynamo 0
Marxist Polytechnic 5  Manchester Newton Heath 4
Merthyr Tydfil 2  South Liverpool Red Star 1
Newcastle Blue Star 3  Atletico Espanol 0
Torpedo Tranmere 4  Sheffield Wednesday 3


Saturday, 31 October 2015

Matchday #9: Results and Updated League Tables


Audenshaw Dynamo 0  Spartak-Slavia 2
Blyth Spartans 0  Marine 2
Dynamo Burnley 3  Excelsior Marlow 6
Hungaria 0  Red Star Mossley 2
Liverpool St Helens 4  Manchester Central 2
Locomotive Crewe Alexandra 4  Hartlepool Petrochemical 2
Northwich Victoria 1  Gainsborough Trinity 0
Stalybridge Celtic 2  Wrexham 1

Second Division

Atletico Espanol 4  Sheffield Wednesday 2
Bohemians 2  Inter-Italiano 3
Bradford Park Avenue 5  Caledonia Thistle 1
Crystal Palace 5  Marxist Polytechnic 1
Excelsior Benelux 2  Merthyr Tydfil 1
Manchester Newton Heath 2  Newcastle Blue Star 0
Newcastle-Gateshead Dynamo 6  Hendon Hotspur 4
South Liverpool Red Star 2  Torpedo Tranmere 2


Saturday, 24 October 2015

Matchday #8: Results and Updated Tables


Excelsior Marlow 4  Northwich Victoria 2
Gainsborough Trinity 6  Locomotive Crewe Alexandra 1
Hungaria 6  Audenshaw Dynamo 3
Manchester Central 2  Blyth Spartans 4
Marine 3  Hartlepool Petrochemical 1
Red Star Mossley 2  Dynamo Burnley 0
Spartak-Slavia 3  Stalybridge Celtic 3
Wrexham 5  Liverpool St Helens 3

Second Division

Caledonia Thistle 3  Inter-Italiano 2
Hendon Hotspur 2  Bohemians 3
Manchester Newton Heath 7  Atletico Espanol 2
Marxist Polytechnic 1  Newcastle-Gateshead Dynamo 1
Merthyr Tydfil 2  Bradford Park Avenue 1
Newcastle Blue Star 4  Crystal Palace 3
Sheffield Wednesday 4  South Liverpool Red Star 1
Torpedo Tranmere 5  Excelsior Benelux 1

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Matchday #7: Results and Updated Tables


Audenshaw Dynamo 3  Stalybridge Celtic 1
Blyth Spartans 4  Wrexham 2
Dynamo Burnley 1  Hungaria 2
Hartlepool Petrochemical 1  Manchester Central 1
Liverpool St Helens 1  Spartak-Slavia 1
Locomotive Crewe Alexandra 5  Excelsior Marlow 0
Marine 4  Gainsborough Trinity 2
Northwich Victoria 1  Red Star Mossley 1

Second Division

Atletico Espanol 3  South Liverpool Red Star 2
Bohemians 3  Marxist Polytechnic 4
Bradford Park Avenue 4  Torpedo Tranmere 0
Caledonia Thistle 3  Hendon Hotspur 1
Crystal Palace 2  Manchester Newton Heath 1
Excelsior Benelux 2  Sheffield Wednesday 8
Inter-Italiano 1  Merthyr Tydfil 0
Newcastle-Gateshead Dynamo 1  Newcastle Blue Star 1

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Matchday #6: Results and Updated Tables


Dynamo Burnley 3  Audenshaw Dynamo 1
Excelsior Marlow 2  Marine 2
Hungaria 2  Northwich Victoria 0
Manchester Central 0  Gainsborough Trinity 1
Red Star Mossley 3  Locomotive Crewe Alexandra 2
Spartak-Slavia 3  Blyth Spartans 2
Stalybridge Celtic 2  Liverpool St Helens 1
Wrexham 2  Hartlepool Petrochemical 1


Second Division

Crystal Palace 2  Atletico Espanol 0
Manchester Newton Heath 5  Newcastle-Gateshead Dynamo 3
Marxist Polytechnic 6  Caledonia Thistle 2
Merthyr Tydfil 4  Hendon Hotspur 5
Newcastle Blue Star 3  Bohemians 5
Sheffield Wednesday 5  Bradford Park Avenue 4
South Liverpool Red Star 2  Excelsior Benelux 0
Torpedo Tranmere 3  Inter-Italiano 0


Saturday, 3 October 2015

Matchday #5: Results and Tables


Audenshaw Dynamo 0  Liverpool St Helens 2
Blyth Spartans 3  Stalybridge Celtic 4
Gainsborough Trinity 2  Wrexham 1
Hartlepool Petrochemical 3  Spartak-Slavia 2
Locomotive Crewe Alexandra 5  Hungaria 3
Manchester Central 5  Excelsior Marlow 3
Marine 6  Red Star Mossley 3
Northwich Victoria 3  Dynamo Burnley 2

Second Division

Atletico Espanol 1  Excelsior Benelux 2
Bohemians 3  Manchester Newton Heath 1
Bradford Park Avenue 2  South Liverpool Red Star 1
Caledonia Thistle 4  Newcastle Blue Star 3
Hendon Hotspur 4  Torpedo Tranmere 0
Inter-Italiano 1  Sheffield Wednesday 1
Merthyr Tydfil 2  Marxist Polytechnic 3
Newcastle-Gateshead Dynamo 5  Crystal Palace 2

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Matchday #4: Results


Dynamo Burnley 2  Locomotive Crewe Alexandra 0
Hungaria 0  Marine 4
Liverpool St Helens 4  Blyth Spartans 2
Northwich Victoria 4  Audenshaw Athletic 4
Red Star Mossley 3  Manchester Central 4
Spartak-Slavia 2  Gainsborough Trinity 0
Stalybridge Celtic 2  Hartlepool Petrochemical 1
Wrexham 2  Excelsior Marlow 0

Second Division

Crystal Palace 6  Bohemians 6
Excelsior Benelux 1  Bradford Park Avenue 1
Manchester Newton Heath 3  Caledonia Thistle 1
Newcastle Blue Star 4  Merthyr Tydfil 1
Newcastle-Gateshead Dynamo 3  Atletico Espanol 0
Sheffield Wednesday 6  Hendon Hotspur 3
South Liverpool Red Star 2  Inter-Italiano 0
Torpedo Tranmere 2  Marxist Polytechnic 2

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Matchday #3: Results


Audenshaw Dynamo 3  Blyth Spartans 1
Excelsior Marlow 0  Spartak-Slavia 1
Gainsborough Trinity 1  Stalybridge Celtic 2
Hartlepool Petrochemical 1  Liverpool St Helens 2
Locomotive Crewe Alexandra 2  Northwich Victoria 1
Manchester Central 2  Hungaria 2
Marine 7  Dynamo Burnley 3
Wrexham 2  Red Star Mossley 3

Second Division

Atletico Espanol 2  Bradford Park Avenue 3
Bohemians 2  Newcastle-Gateshead Dynamo 2
Caledonia Thistle 3  Crystal Palace 5
Hendon Hotspur 2  South Liverpool Red Star 1
Inter-Italiano 2  Excelsior Benelux 2
Marxist Polytechnic 4  Sheffield Wednesday 1
Merthyr Tydfil 4  Manchester Newton Heath 1
Torpedo Tranmere 6  Newcastle Blue Star 0

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Matchday #2: Results


Blyth Spartans 2  Hartlepool Petrochemical 1
Dynamo Burnley 4  Manchester Central 0
Hungaria 1  Wrexham 0
Liverpool St Helens 1  Gainsborough Trinity 2
Locomotive Crewe Alexandra 4  Audenshaw Dynamo 2
Northwich Victoria 2  Marine 1
Spartak-Slavia 2  Red Star Mossley 1
Stalybridge Celtic 6  Marlow 2

Second Division

Bohemians 4  Atletico Espanol 1
Bradford Park Avenue 1  Inter-Italiano 3
Crystal Palace 2  Merthyr Tydfil 0
Excelsior Benelux 1  Hendon Hotspur 5
Manchester Newton Heath 0  Torpedo Tranmere 2
Newcastle-Gateshead Dynamo 1  Caledonia Thistle 1
Sheffield Wednesday 6  Newcastle Blue Star 1
South Liverpool Red Star 5  Marxist Polytechnic 3

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Matchday #1 (cont.): Results


Audenshaw Dynamo 5  Hartlepool Petrochemical 1
Excelsior Marlow 3  Liverpool St Helens 1
Gainsborough Trinity 1  Blyth Spartans 0
Manchester Central 0  Northwich Victoria 2
Marine 3  Locomotive Crewe Alexandra 2
Spartak-Slavia 2  Hungaria 4
Wrexham 4  Dynamo Burnley 2

Second Division

Atletico Espanol 2  Inter-Italiano 2
Caledonia Thistle 3  Bohemians 3
Hendon Hotspur 3  Bradford Park Avenue 2
Marxist Polytechnic 2  Excelsior Benelux 1
Merthyr Tydfil 2  Newcastle-Gateshead Dynamo 0
Newcastle Blue Star 0  South Liverpool Red Star 0
Sheffield Wednesday 8  Manchester Newton Heath 0
Torpedo Tranmere 1  Crystal Palace 1

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

'Home' and Change Colours 2015-16 #32: Torpedo Tranmere

To end our visual survey of the Football Alliance's member clubs for the upcoming season, today we feature another team of newcomers to the league as such, Birkenhead's very own Torpedo Tranmere, who will begin life in the Second Division.
They take their name with reference to the submarine-building history of the shipbuilding company to whom the club is affiliated, having previously been known as Tranmere Rovers, original members of the Fourth Division of the inaugural Alliance back in 1980, before finishing bottom of the reorganized northern section of the Fourth and losing their place in 1984.

With all 32 clubs' colours now represented, all there is to do is look forward to the opening round of league fixtures for 2015-16, this coming Saturday, 5th September - see you then for the results round-up.

Monday, 31 August 2015

'Home' and Change Colours 2015-16 #31: South Liverpool Red Star

Known as Red Star from the beginning of last season, South Liverpool were founder members of the Football Alliance First Division (second level) in 1980-81, winning promotion to the Championship that season with a final second-placed finish, although their stay in the top flight was brief, for what has proved the one and only season in their history to date, as they suffered an immediate relegation, thereafter spending their time shuttling between the second and fourth tiers.

Sunday, 30 August 2015

'Home' and Change Colours 2015-16 #30: Sheffield Wednesday

Sheffield Wednesday were original members of the Football Alliance in 1980, inaugural winners of the Second Division (third level) and rising to the Championship in 1987.
In 1989, they were crowned champions, following this honour with further league titles in 1995 and 2006 - only four clubs have won more.
Wednesday were relegated from the top flight at the conclusion of 2011-12, and have finished 6th, 4th and 4th in the second tier since, narrowly missing out on a return in each of the last two seasons in particular, when, in each case, the three teams above them have been promoted. Could 2015-16 finally be their year?

Saturday, 29 August 2015

'Home' and Change Colours 2015-16 #29: Newcastle-Gateshead Dynamo

Formed during this summer from a merger between Gateshead Dynamo and Newcastle United, the latter of whom were relegated from the Second Division at the end of last season, having been controversially elected, as a then fourth tier club, to the new two-division national league structure.

Newcastle United and Gateshead United were both original members of the Football Alliance, in the Championship and First Division respectively.

Relegated from the top flight at the end of the second season, 1981-82, Newcastle United spent 20 years out of the Championship before returning in 2002, going on to win the league in 2004 and retain their championship the following season, one of only four clubs to have successfully defended their title in the Alliance's history to date. After this period of success, they were relegated from the Championship in 2010 and the First Division in 2012.

Gateshead United, who became Dynamo for last season, had a less prominent league career, but spent a total of 8 seasons in two spells in the Championship, most notably a six-term stay from 1999 to 2005, otherwise spending their time at the second and third level.

Friday, 28 August 2015

'Home' and Change Colours 2015-16 #28: Newcastle Blue Star

Original members of the Football Alliance Second Division (third tier) in 1980-81, Newcastle Blue Star have mostly been a solid second and third level club throughout their league history, although they did achieve Championship status by winning the First Division in style in 1997-98, and followed this with a runners-up finish in their debut season in the top flight, the high point of their history. Subsequently relegated the season after, Blue Star returned to the Championship in 2006, enjoying a four-season stay on this occasion before suffering relegation, along with Newcastle United, in 2010.
Relegated again in 2012-13, Blue Star were elected to take up a place in last season's restructured Second Division despite finishing 2013-14 only a point and a place above demotion to the fourth tier, at least justifying the decision with a mid-table final position, whereas United, who were similarly the beneficiaries of this election system after having ended 2013-14 in a third tier relegation berth, finished bottom and lost their national league place.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

'Home' and Change Colours 2015-16 #27: Merthyr Tydfil

Founder members of the Football Alliance First Division, Merthyr Tydfil finished bottom of the table at the end of that inaugural 1980-81 season and were relegated to the third tier, but subsequently revived to become the first team from Wales to achieve promotion to the Championship in 1992.
Although their stay was brief, suffering instant demotion back to the second level in 1993, and not having returned to the top flight since, Merthyr Tydfil remain one of only three Welsh clubs, with first Caernarfon Town and then Wrexham, to have played at Championship level.
Despite a ninth-placed finish in the third tier in 2013-14, Merthyr Tydfil were elected to take up a place in last season's reformed Football Alliance Second Division, finishing 15th, a mere place and point from relegation.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

'Home' and Change Colours 2015-16 #26: Marxist Polytechnic

Newly-elected to the Football Alliance, Marxist Polytechnic are another Manchester-based club and sure to bring a philosophical dimension to the league.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

'Home' and Change Colours 2015-16 #25: Manchester Newton Heath

Known as Harpurhey Borough until 2002, when two successive relegations had seen them decline from their league high point of six seasons' membership of the First Division (the then second tier), the club then relocated the mile or so east across Manchester to Newton Heath, by which name they subsequently became known, to begin life in the old Third Division.
Promoted as champions in 2004, Manchester Newton Heath suffered an immediate return the following season before repeating their division-winning feat in 2007-08, then climbing again to the First Division in 2011. Two top-five finishes have been followed by a couple of seasons spent struggling in the lower regions of the second level, and it will be interesting to observe whether the team can buck this most recent trend in 2015-16.

Monday, 24 August 2015

'Home' and Change Colours 2015-16 #24: Inter-Italiano

Formed by the Italian immigrant community, Inter-Italiano made a stylish debut in the Football Alliance last season, finishing in 13th place in the Second Division.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

'Home' and Change Colours 2015-16 #23: Hendon Hotspur

Founder members of the Football Alliance Championship, Hendon United achieved a highest-ever third-place finish in 1983-84 before suffering relegation two years later. Making an immediate return to the top flight in 1987, they were demoted again 1n 1992 and subsequently failed to reclaim a position in the Championship, spending the time since at the second and third levels, before merging last summer with north London neighbours Tottenham Hotspur, original members of the Second Division (the then third tier), most of whose history was spent in the lower leagues.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

'Home' and Change Colours 2015-16 #22: Excelsior Benelux

Newcomers to the Football Alliance for 2015-16, Cambridge-based Excelsior Benelux draw their players from the expat Low Countries' ethnic community, their orange and red halved shirts representing the colours of the Netherlands, and Belgium and Luxembourg, with the design on the change shirts combining the colours of the respective nations' flags.

Friday, 21 August 2015

'Home' and Change Colours 2015-16 #21:Crystal Palace

Original members of the Championship back in 1980, Crystal Palace were relegated at the conclusion of the third season, returning to the top flight in 2006-07 for a brief one-term sojourn. Most of the club's league career has been spent at the second and third levels. They finished last season one point from relegation from the Football Alliance and will be hoping for better things in 2015-16.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

'Home' and Change Colours 2015-16 #20: Caledonia Thistle

Newcomers to the Football Alliance, Newcastle-based Anglo Scots Caledonia Thistle have joined the Second Division for 2015-16. Their halved shirt colours represent the thistle and heather.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

'Home' and Change Colours 2015-16 #19: Bradford Park Avenue

Original members of the Football Alliance Championship, Bradford City merged with Fourth Division neighbours Park Avenue at the end of that first season and continued under the City name, winning the league title for the only time in their history in 1997-98. They were relegated from the top flight in 2003 and have yet to return.
This summer, the club has relocated to the renovated Park Avenue stadium and taken the name of the original tenants in recognition of this, whilst retaining Bradford City's traditional claret and amber striped shirts and black shorts.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

'Home' and Change Colours 2015-16 #18: Bohemians

Bohemians have been one of the summer's new additions to the Football Alliance Second Division and, smartly turned out as they will be, home or away, will be hoping to acquit themselves well during their first season at national league level.

Monday, 17 August 2015

'Home' and Change Colours 2015-16 #17: Atletico Espanol

Beginning the roster of Second Division clubs and their colours for the coming season with Atletico Espanol, formed with a distinct Spanish bias and representing that footballing community in the UK, joining the Football Alliance last season, at the conclusion of which they finished in 12th position.