Aintree Races,Sunday 23rd October 2016,Old Roan Chase Day

The countryside came to town at Aintree with the usual display of hounds,ducks being herded by dogs,clay pigeon shooting and other various things that drew the attention of the much younger locals from what a distinctly more urban environment just a few miles up the road from Liverpool. 

Going quackers!

Shoot!

On the track trainer Colin Tizzard picked up where he had left off from last season as the ever durable chaser Third Intention struck Gold for Dorest to land the first graded steeplechase of the 2016-17 campaign in an enthralling renewal of the Grade Two Old Roan Chase over 2m4f as he recovered from an early race blunder to plunder the prize under Aidan Coleman, sitting behind the pace early on he made good headway and saw off the attentions of the Melling victor God’s Own with Vibrato Valtat back in third,always consistent he scored his first big win at the top level and could go to Ascot next month before a crack at the Peterborough Chase, 2m4f is his best trip over fences. 

Third Intention


God’s Own like plenty will strip much fitter,he could head to Sandown for the Tingle Creek,Vibrato Valtat had every chance leading over two out and could be set for a step up in trip soon to three miles which might be better for him. 

Smad Place came fourth and in the main this was a prep for the Hennessy which he will strip much fitter for, Three Musketeers sent off the 7/4f travelled ok but never picked up in his first race in big company,he should have learnt plenty from what a big race chaser needs to do.

The feature 2m4f hurdle had a shock result and a different race as the low sun meant the two hurdles in the straight had to be bypassed and Ireland landed a 25-1 shock as Massini’s Tap under Paul Townend saw off favourite Born Survivor in a battle up the long straight to score by five lengths. 
In the opening 2m4f maiden hurdle the Skelton team looked to have found a nice one in Robin Row who broke his duck over timber in decent style by easily beating short priced favourite No Comment quite comfortably by twelve lengths, the winner travelled much the best and jumped very well while No Comment made a few errors which cost him and he should be back being schooled after this but he remains with potential, as fort Robin Row he should make a nice hurdler and could easily follow up in novice company. 

Kerrow put in a workmanlike performance to land the 3m hurdle for Conditional Jockeys,an unlucky faller at Wetherby in the spring he beat Scottish raider Tantamount by 3.5 lengths and looks like he should kick on from here in the Trevor Hemmings colour and his workable mark of 120 was very much used here, he will be better when sent chasing but should pay his way over timber for now. 

Kerrow


Veteran chasers gave the crowd a nice race to enjoy as Shuil Royale under Noel Fehily for Harry Fry followed up from his August second at Worcester and kept Irish raider and at 13 the oldest runner in the contest Your Busy in second spot by five lengths, the 3m1f trip is the winners best and will no doubt be aimed at the final but still showed the old zest is still their. 

Trainer Katy Price whose based in Hay On Wye gained her first winner at the home of the Grand National as Minellacelebration went one better from his chasing debut at Exeter this month by landing the 3m1f novice handicap chase, always tracking the leading runners he with a circuit to go and ground out an impressive victory as he just hung on by half a length from the Pipe chasing debutant What A Moment, Minellacelebration has races mainly down in the West County and all on right handed tracks, this was his first win going left, he looks ideal for a satellite national during the season, What A Moment ran a fine race in defeat and should get a small race like this sooner. 

Finally in the concluding mares’ bumper Miss Night Owl just held on from the staying on Constante Vie by half a length to score on her first run under rules, an ex Irish pointer she could be anything like so many of the runners, favourite was the Warren Greatrex trained Ilovemints who couldn’t pick up when needed and trailed down the field, as the only previous winner she was giving away weight and a switch to hurdles is looking the best option, as for Miss Night Owl she could do no more than win but could be vulnerable under a penalty in another bumper. 
Wattspots

Buywise,9yo stayed on in the 2m4f feature hurdle and this will set him up for the big handicap chases this season

Dr Robin,6yo fourth in the 3m1f  Nov Hcap Chase ran well on his chasing debut,will land a nice race somewhere

St Helens Town v Carlisle City,HSL League First Division,Saturday 15th October 2016

“If you want a job doing properly then do it yourself” a phrase used by many people worldwide in various situations of many different industries and non more so than association football and for Carlisle City player/manager and his assistant Jonny Allen they lived up that as the only two substitutes for the depleted away side squad as both came on and both got the all important goals to take all three points back up the M6 which would have made the long journey seem that little bit quicker from this hard fought win over St Helens Town which was played at Atherton Collieires’ ground due to continued works at the home sides new place. 

St Helens began positively from the outset and were unlucky not to be two goals to the good in the opening ten minutes or so with City keeper Karl Skelton saving good attempts by Andy Gillespie and Luke Edwards. 

City got the first goal of the day in the battle of the blues on 21 minutes when Tyran Taylor met a loose ball off a free kick to safely head home for the away side to go 1-0 up. 

Celebrating the first goal


The lead didn’t last long as St Helens began to attack more,Paul Carney had a shot wide close to the half hour mark but then the scores were level as Andy Gillespie headed home from a free kick then a few minutes before the half time break Andy Webster headed home from another free kick to make it 2-1 at half time with all the goals being headers off free kicks. 


After the break St Helens all but looked to have put the game to bed as Luke Edwards lobbed over the City keeper to make it 3-1 with just over forty minutes left to play however this game was far from over. 

Just before the hour mark City captain Danny Greenslade rose up from the ground like Jacks’s beanstalk to head home a Junior Green cross to now make it 3-2 in the home sides favour, then the tide slowly began to turn for Carlisle as the boss came on. 

St Helens were still hopeful of collecting the three points and with ten minutes left it looked highly likely, Carlisle though finally drew level as Jimmy Tose netted past Gage Walsh to make it 3-3 on 83 minutes then the winning goal came for Carlilse City in the dying embers of the match as Jonny Allan chipped over a beautiful shot from outside the box to make the score 4-3 for the away side. 

Carlisle then had four minutes of injury time to hold on and the squad managed to fend off a spirited fight back to make sure the points went back up north. 

FT,St Helens Town 3  Carlisle City 4


The score was a repeat of the game between the two clubs who both met on the opening day of the season,Carlisle may have been short on players but they were not short on spirit,lots of teams in this league will not want to go their when the winter weather fully kicks in,St Helens will have been gutted to have let a lead like this slip away and things should change once they get back to their new ground back in St Helens

St Helens Town
Walsh,Pegler,Carney,Webster,Whelan,Rigby,Greene,Tserpes,Gillespie (C),McDonald,Edwards

Subs, Ball,Ashton,Korie-Butler,Donohue,Cliff

Carlisle City

Skelton,Allison,Heath,Armstrong,Taylor,Slack,Green,Graham,Balmer,Cherry,Greenslade (C)

Subs, Allan,Tose

FC Utd v Alfreton Town,Vanarama National League North,Saturday 8th October 2016

FC Utd 4-Alfreton Town 3

Luke Ashworth broke the hearts of Alfreton Town as their spirited comeback from being 3-0 down to 3-3 all proved to be in vein as Ashworth struck the winner in the 82nd minute to move FC into some much needed mid table safety with only their third league win of the season. 


Both teams came into the match played under a greyish afternoon in North Manchester with a real need for the points,FC hadn’t won a league game since a win in early against Boston,their was more than a feeling that this was a vital six pointer!

It all started so positively for Utd as Kieran Glynn scored his first club goal just two minutes in after pouncing on a save from a Utd attack then this was doubled on ten minutes as Matt Wolfenden lived up to the reputation of the fabled number seven shirt from the fans’ Old Trafford days as he went around some of the Town defenders before shooting for goal which took a slight deflection before making it 2-0. 


Utd continue to press as Alfreton struggled to get a foothold on the game,they had a few attempts that were easily covered, Kallum Mantack certainly looked to be a bit of a handful,a decent midfielder who likes to run with the ball and could be the away sides tool in the armoury for the season. 

3-0 soon came about on 37 minutes as George Thomson struck from outside the box to get his fourth of the season, Utd seemed to think it was three points in the bag but the worm slowly turned as Alfreton pulled one back just five minutes before the oranges as Adam Smith took advantage of some poor Utd defending. 


Alfreton soon came out of the traps in the second half and just four minutes in the comeback was on as Brad McGowan headed home to make it 3-2 in the hosts sides favour then on 54 minutes the scores were level as Adam Smith got his second of the match as he drove a powerful shot from an Adam Smith pass as part of a scramble in the box from a corner and now all were equal on 3-3. 

Matt Wolfenden led the Utd attack,being flagged and having a volley going just inches wide of the post to try and regain the advantage in the home sides favour as the fans in the St Mary’s Road end of Broadhurst Park were now in full voice as they tried to roar FC to the finish line. 

Utd almost regained the lead when a George Thomson free kick went over the bar but then with eight minutes of the game left Luke Ashworth got the deciding goal when Utd got a free kick just outside the Alfreton box close to the goal line, the kick came in but the Alfreton defence closed in on the Utd attackers but it fell beautifully to Ashworth just close to the d and he struck it with precision aim to fly past Fabian Speiss to make it 4-3. 


Alfreton tried to stage a late rally but by then their hearts were broken and it was FC who took the much needed three points. 

FC Utd

Carnell,Williams,Tonge,Lowe,Eckersley,Ashworth,Wolfenden,Glynn,Greaves (C),Thomson,Winter

Subs, Johnson,Gilchrist,Wright,Brown,Corbett

Alfreton Town

Speiss,Edmundson,Kennedy (C),Heaton,McGowan,Smith,Marshall,Mantack,Allan,Clayton,Westcarr

Subs, Wilson,Ottley,Smith

Hereford Races,Thursday 6th October 2016,Bet365 Opening Raceday

Sam Twiston Davies was the star of the show with three winners as jumps racing returned to Hereford since the closure in December 2016. 
The first was for his guvnor and champion trainer Paul Nichollls on Coillte Lass in the 2m5f Mares’ Novices Hurdle,a winner of an Irish point in April she jumped ok but not fluently and will be seen to full effect when she goes chasing but she made all here and looks decent enough,she finished over four lengths ahead of Lost In Lecce who should find picking up a small race no problem. 

Coillte Lass


After that Belmount for his father Nigel in the feature Silver Salver Chase over 3m1f duly obliged,sitting off the pace he went on with a couple of fences left,only a 7yo he has shown consistency over fences and could be aimed at the Southern National next month or one of the big three mile chases at Cheltenham in a couple of weeks time, after that Little Pop put in a good round of jumping to land the 2m Chase with relative ease,only his third start over fences he has plenty to offer and should pay his way 

Little Pop


All queit before it begins

The day’s opener was won by Rather Be in the EBF Novice Hurdle Qualifier over 2m for Nicky Henderson and Andrew Tinkler,always going well he won a race that he was entitled to do so on his bumper form,he should get further in time and was seven lengths clear from The Blue Bomber who ran a sound race and should do better when handicapping. 

Rather Be


Emerging Force ran out an impressive winner of the 2m5f Beginners’ Chase, a useful staying hurdler last season for Harry Whittington who was cruelly dealt the most awful post ending to a Grade One win when Arzal lost his life after winning the Manifesto at Aintree a few weeks later, Emerging Force should make into a good chaser after this and could turn up at Cheltenham for one of the novice chases at The Showcase meeting 

Handicap debutant Furiously Fast looks to have a good season ahead after scoring in the 2m handicap hurdle,going in off 110 for trainer Dai Burchell he won like a winner ahead of his mark,top weight Octagon came second after making most of the running while Satanic Beat ran another consistent race to be third.  

The finale was a 3m1f Maiden Hurdle won in easy style by the Charlie Mann stable under Noel Fehily, being moved up to this trip has been the making of him,he could go to Cheltenham for a 3m novice race unless he goes into a handicap,he is more than capable of holding his own. 

Wattspots

Roc D’Apsis,7yo trained by Tom George didn’t quite seem to stay the three miles here but is one to watch out for when dropped back to 2m4f. 

Daklondoke,4yo trained by David Pipe showed something to suggest a step up in trip when going into a handicap will be much better for this former pointer. 

Stockport County v Salford City,FA Cup 3rd Rnd Qual,Saturday 1st October 2016

Stockport County 2 Salford City 0

Cup fever came down the A6 on a grey early autumnal afternoon in Stockport and for County they rose to the challenge as 3181 fans rocked up to Edgley Park for the tie of the round in the FA Cup sponsored by the well known Middle Eastern airline whose planes could be spotted coming into land at the nearby airport providing you have a good pair of binoculars

Salford won’t be appearing on any more Match Of The Day Live this season on Friday nights but Stockport have a much better chance as they easily brushed aside the visitors to be one game away from the first round proper. 


From the off Stockport looked like a team on a mission to make up for the midweek home defeat to AFC Fylde and boy did they do manger Jim Gannon proud as they put in a solid and polished performance. 

County could have been 1 up pretty quickly as Josh Amis fired a shot wide after three minutes on what proved to be a frustrating afternoon for him in front of goal,just seven minutes later he had a header glance just over the bar from a Danny Lloyd cross. 

Ten minutes later and County got the breakthrough when Danny Lloyd easily scored from the penalty spot after being upended by the Salford defence to make it 1-0

Salford tried to get level with Scott Burton going close past the half hour with Scott Burton firing just wide. 

Twelve minutes into the second half and County doubled their lead as defender Michael Clarke got his third goal of the season as he met the ball off a corner and put it home to all but secure the win even with over half an hour to go. 


After that both teams continued to play attacking football,Josh Amis could have had a had trick had he worn Billy’s Boots but he had an afternoon that most strikers dread even when being on the winning side while Man of the Match Sam Minihan had a very assured game. 

Salford will have been disappointed but in truth they were always playing second fiddle to a quality Stockport County side and frustrated a lot of the home fans especially when Michael Nottingham took throw ins as he appeared to try and waste time like Jacob Rees-Mogg does when filibustering!


Stockport County

Hinchcliffe,Ross (Capt),Minihan,Meppen-Walters,Clarke,Smalley,Stopforth,Montrose,Amis,Ball,Lloyd

Subs, Cartwright,Ormson (GK),Carney,Marsden,Spencer,Odejayi,Downing. 

Salford City

Lynch,Nottngham,Worsley,Priestley,O’Halloran,Burton,Barnes (Capt),Hulme,Walker,Poole,Phenix

Subs, Wellens,Warburton,King,Johnston,Allen,Hine,Dootson (GK)

Next up on here it’s the return of the jumpers as we kick off the 2016-17 NH campaign at Hereford