As North West Counties sides make their final preparations for the new season, the Northern Premier League campaign is well and truly up and running. 

Here's our non-league round-up ahead of a busy weekend.


The Bolton News: Jack Marshall in action against Hindsford. Picture: James Lobley Jack Marshall in action against Hindsford. Picture: James Lobley

Atherton LR are selling new branded umbrellas on social media in preparation for the autumn – and it certainly has been raining goals in pre-season.

Mark Robinson’s side put five past Hindsford on Tuesday night, that following the four LR scored against Walshaw Sports in their previous friendly, in what is building towards an exciting season for the men from Crilly Park.

Their final warm-up game comes at home to Barnton tomorrow before the October 3 kick-off against Nelson in the North West Counties League Division One North.

Robinson was pleased with the Hindsford workout, where two goals apiece for Mark Battersby and Connor Comber and one from Jack Price earned a comfortable victory against their near neighbours from the Manchester League. 

Pepe Arguimbau also pulled off a fine save from a penalty to leave the LR boss a happy man.

“We’re not far off and by the time it comes we’ll be 100 per cent,” he said of the Nelson opener. 

“There are signs now that the extended pre-season has worked in our favour and they understand what we want from them. I was pleased with that.

“I thought we scored some good goals, and again we should have had more.

“It was a great save from Pepe to keep a clean sheet as well.

“I sensed it in the warm-up, part of it being finishing, and they were looking sharp.

“When this lot get their bit between their teeth they will be a handful for most teams.”

Said umbrellas are available from the club at the price of £20. Message the Atherton LR official Twitter account for details.


The Bolton News: Daisy Hill boss Brian Hart. Picture: Haydan RobertsDaisy Hill boss Brian Hart. Picture: Haydan Roberts

Daisy Hill continue their build up to the start of the league season, when they host fellow North West Counties League side Garstang in a friendly clash at New Sirs tomorrow.

The game will give manager Brian Hart the opportunity to give various squad members valuable game time before the league campaign begins next weekend with a double header of home games, on Saturday, October 3, against Prestwich Heys and then against Nelson on the following Monday. 

Daisy will be looking for revenge against Garstang after the last meeting between the two sides on league business ended in a 7-1 defeat for Daisy up at the Riverside, shortly before lockdown in March.

Kick-off at New Sirs is at 2pm, and spectators planning to attend are reminded that they will have to leave contact details on entry, to meet government guidelines on track and trace.


The Bolton News: Bury AFC skipper Scott Metcalfe in FA Vase action. Picture: Andy WhiteheadBury AFC skipper Scott Metcalfe in FA Vase action. Picture: Andy Whitehead

ANDY Welsh admits Bury AFC are having to play catch-up but insists they will not use it as an excuse.

The phoenix club played their first ever competitive game on Saturday as they went down 2-1 at West Didsbury and Chorlton in the FA Vase.

While Welsh says there were plenty of positives to take out of the game, he knows his side is starting behind other clubs in North West Counties Division One North.

But ahead of the season opener at home to Steeton on October 3 – at Radcliffe’s Neuven Stadium – Welsh insists his side will not be lagging behind.

“We are behind the curve, we all know that but we won’t be crying about it,” he said. “It is to be expected. We’re a new club, recruiting players all the time so these things take time.

“We know we are not where we want to be right now and we know we are not as sharp as our rivals but the main thing is I know we will catch up.”

AFC travel to Cheadle Town for a friendly tomorrow.


The Bolton News: Colls lost their league opener against Scarborough. Picture: Dave FeatherstoneColls lost their league opener against Scarborough. Picture: Dave Featherstone

ATHERTON Colls are back in league action tomorrow after progressing in the FA Cup in unusual fashion.

A Covid-19 shutdown at Bamber Bridge meant Tuesday night’s first qualifying round tie was called off at short notice with competition rules dictating that Colls are handed a bye.

They will find out their next FA Cup opponents today ahead of the trip to Grantham Town in the second game of the new Pitching In Northern Premier League Premier Division season.

A club statement read: “We wish everyone at Bamber Bridge well, and thank both them and the FA for their clear communication throughout.”

Colls will be looking for their first league points of the season tomorrow after losing 2-0 at home to one of the promotion favourites in Scarborough Athletic on Saturday.


The Bolton News: Radcliffe boss Lee FowlerRadcliffe boss Lee Fowler

Elsewhere in the Premier Division, Radcliffe boss Lee Fowler was full of praise for his captain Matty Crothers after his side produced a stunning FA Cup comeback.

The Boro were 3-1 down before roaring back to beat Workington 5-3 at the Neuven Stadium on Tuesday night, Crothers grabbing two goals for himself.

It led his manager to compare the midfielder to some big names after a talismanic performance all over the pitch.

Fowler said: “I first went to watch Matty Crothers against Bamber Bridge away and there were conversations about getting rid of him, not from myself.

“I knew what he brings to the team, he is like a Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher.

“He competes well, he passes well, he leads by example.  

“He just epitomises what I’m about in terms of sacrificing himself for the sake of the badge and the club.”

Despite the FA Cup heroics, Fowler was in a realistic mood ahead of tomorrow’s home clash with Witton Albion, Boro having lost their league opener at Buxton.

“The reality is that we lost 4-2 against Buxton, regardless of what happens in the cup the reality is we lost our last game in the league,” he said.