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Sat 21st march Middlewich Town 4 Styal 0, Styal Res 9 Crewe Res 2, Knutsford 3 Styal 'A' 0
Mar 23, 2009, 8:14 am
Styal were outplayed by Middlewich Town on Saturday and succumbed 4-0. Styal Reserves enjoyed a 9-2 win against Crewe Reserves at home while Styal ‘A' went down 3-0 at Knutsford. Reports will follow.

 

Brilliant comedy night arranged by Paul Marchbank but with help from many others was a success on Saturday night.
 

Knutsford 3 Styal ‘A' 0

Knutsford are going well in the league and were stiff opposition on a windswept pitch. Alex Haigh had a great first minute chance for Styal in the opening minute but shot wide but in the main Knutsford looked the most threatening. Styal's midfield pairing of Burns and Kenny took a while to get into their stride but Teale and Moore behind them both played well and made a number of tackles to save tricky situation. Knutsford scored with half an hour gone from a penalty when Teale brought down a Knutsford forward just inside the box. Styal played some good football but struggled to make chances. Half time Knutsford 1 Styal 0

Styal played into the wind in the 2nd half and it suited them better. Chris Brown was brought off, still suffering from a clash of heads from the first half and Adkin played upfront with West. The midfield started to dominate Knutsford and some good football saw Jon Collins having 3 good chances, all hit tamely at the keeper and West finally getting sight of goal. With Giblin and Tottey shoring up the defensive flanks and playing good football it just needed Styal to take advantage of a chance. It didn't come and with 15 minutes left Knutsford wrapped the game up when a rare loose midfield pass put Moore under pressure and he fouled Knutsford's forward who then hit a fine free kick over Styal's wall into the roof of the net. Feeling deflated, Styal pushed on now looking for 2 goals and this gave Knutsford space behind to wrap up the points with a third before the end. Shooting practise again at training on Wednesday……….


Sat 14th March, Styal come back to earth losing at Lino, Styal 'A' win and climb table
Mar 16, 2009, 8:58 am
Cowell feels let down as run comes to an end

 

Linotype CHN 3 Styal 1

 

Saturday's performance away to bottom of the league Linotype was simply not acceptable according to manager Andrew Cowell, and to be honest he was spot on, it lacked everything that is required to get a win away from home in this league -quality, urgency, tempo and hard work.  It's hard to put a finger on anything or anyone specifically as to why Styal produced the performance that they did, perhaps the 9 game unbeaten run and the fact that they were playing bottom of the league went to their heads -nevertheless let us hope that the result will be enough to provide the players with a wake up call that the season isn't over yet and a respectable standing in the league come May is reliant on putting the effort in.

 

The way Styal started suggested that conceding a goal was only a matter of time and it came on the 10 minute mark, a poor clearance from stand-in keeper Ozzy, not only landed at the feet of Linotype's centre midfielder but also left him stranded outside his box, his failure to get back in his net quick enough meant that former Styal player Danny Basden had an open net to pass the ball into after receiving the pass from his team mate.  Going a goal down didn't appear to be enough to kick start Styal into life, and continued to play a long ball game that wasn't suited to the conditions or the combination of Gregory and Tommy the Russian up front - the pair becoming increasingly frustrated as service was limited.

 

Styal's only positive moment of the first half was provided by Tommy the Russian, a trademark long throw from Pownall was held up by Simmo, returning from a week's absence, who played the ball into the path of Tommy who side footed home from close range.  What should have been the catalyst for Styal to push on and apply pressure to a team low in confidence was cancelled out within seconds, a long ball from the kick off was left unchallenged and the Linotype centre forward who proved to be handful all day long was through one on one, Ozzy was able to get two hands the ball as the striker attempted to go round him but couldn't hold on to it, and even though Capel and Pownall had managed to get back on the goal line they couldn't stop the striker's blistering effort.

 

Styal were grateful to hear the half time whistle and they were given the opportunity to re-group, despite the hair dryer treatment from the gaffer, Styal failed to respond and found themselves with an even bigger mountain to climb when the third went shortly after the re-start, Marchbank unable to get behind the ball and was unfortunate to flick the ball straight to the Lino striker who lobbed the ball over a helpless Ozzy.

 

As they chased the game it's fair to say that Styal increased the work rate but became exposed on a number of occasions as they pushed to find a way back in to the game, the Lino defence held firm and Styal couldn't find that bit of quality to unlock the back four.  A strong penalty shout was the closest Styal came to scoring.  One positive to come out of Saturday's defeat was the performance of Callum who made his first team debut when he came on at half time; he looked lively and full of confidence and was the only player who caused Lino any headaches.

 

With Middlewich lying in wait this weekend, the Styal players have a few days to reflect on their performance and think about what they need to put right to get back to winning ways.

 

Styal 2 Sale Amateurs 1

 

Styal produced a hard fought win in windy conditions at the Jim Evison Stadium to take them up to the magic 20 point mark in the mini league that separates 7 teams below the runaway leaders in the ADAFL.

 

Styal started the brighter and Marcus Kenny's ‘Rory Delap' throw in's were providing a real threat. The XI on the pitch looked committed from the off, possibly due to the threat of the introduction of substitutes Punk ‘Ainsley Harriet' Takiar and former ‘A' team supremo Johnson warming up on the side lines. In the event, against the run of play Sale took the lead, 3 or 4 failed clearances and eventually the ball dropped kindly to the Sale forward who beat Giblin. However, Styal bounced back quickly when another Kenny (who's career has been rejuvenated under the Cockitt/Pochin management) throw in was flicked on by Matty Barnes and his new strike partner Loz Newman arrived at the far post to head Styal level.

 

Veteran Scotty Hawkins making a rare start at full back was being well looked after by Adie Tottie and Dan Rodgers at centre half and Craig Smith was adding some pace down the left side with Hawkins using experience rather than pace on the right. Playing against the wind second half Styal looked reasonably comfortable but unlike recent weeks chances were very rare. Chris Brown had the clearest when the best Styal move of the match ended with him missing wide of the right hand post when handily placed to score. However with ten minutes to go Will Allman.burst into the Sale box and brilliantly slid the ball into the bottom left hand corner to win the game for Styal.

 

Matty Barnes walked of the pitch thinking we had won a semi final leaving Mark Johnson to explain….

 

Linotype CHN 3 Styal 1

 

Saturday's performance away to bottom of the league Linotype was simply not acceptable according to manager Andrew Cowell, and to be honest he was spot on, it lacked everything that is required to get a win away from home in this league -quality, urgency, tempo and hard work.  It's hard to put a finger on anything or anyone specifically as to why Styal produced the performance that they did, perhaps the 9 game unbeaten run and the fact that they were playing bottom of the league went to their heads -nevertheless let us hope that the result will be enough to provide the players with a wake up call that the season isn't over yet and a respectable standing in the league come May is reliant on putting the effort in.

 

The way Styal started suggested that conceding a goal was only a matter of time and it came on the 10 minute mark, a poor clearance from stand-in keeper Ozzy, not only landed at the feet of Linotype's centre midfielder but also left him stranded outside his box, his failure to get back in his net quick enough meant that former Styal player Danny Basden had an open net to pass the ball into after receiving the pass from his team mate.  Going a goal down didn't appear to be enough to kick start Styal into life, and continued to play a long ball game that wasn't suited to the conditions or the combination of Gregory and Tommy the Russian up front - the pair becoming increasingly frustrated as service was limited.

 

Styal's only positive moment of the first half was provided by Tommy the Russian, a trademark long throw from Pownall was held up by Simmo, returning from a week's absence, who played the ball into the path of Tommy who side footed home from close range.  What should have been the catalyst for Styal to push on and apply pressure to a team low in confidence was cancelled out within seconds, a long ball from the kick off was left unchallenged and the Linotype centre forward who proved to be handful all day long was through one on one, Ozzy was able to get two hands the ball as the striker attempted to go round him but couldn't hold on to it, and even though Capel and Pownall had managed to get back on the goal line they couldn't stop the striker's blistering effort.

 

Styal were grateful to hear the half time whistle and they were given the opportunity to re-group, despite the hair dryer treatment from the gaffer, Styal failed to respond and found themselves with an even bigger mountain to climb when the third went shortly after the re-start, Marchbank unable to get behind the ball and was unfortunate to flick the ball straight to the Lino striker who lobbed the ball over a helpless Ozzy.

 

As they chased the game it's fair to say that Styal increased the work rate but became exposed on a number of occasions as they pushed to find a way back in to the game, the Lino defence held firm and Styal couldn't find that bit of quality to unlock the back four.  A strong penalty shout was the closest Styal came to scoring.  One positive to come out of Saturday's defeat was the performance of Callum who made his first team debut when he came on at half time; he looked lively and full of confidence and was the only player who caused Lino any headaches.

 

With Middlewich lying in wait this weekend, the Styal players have a few days to reflect on their performance and think about what they need to put right to get back to winning ways.

 

Styal 2 Sale Amateurs 1

 

Styal produced a hard fought win in windy conditions at the Jim Evison Stadium to take them up to the magic 20 point mark in the mini league that separates 7 teams below the runaway leaders in the ADAFL.

 

Styal started the brighter and Marcus Kenny's ‘Rory Delap' throw in's were providing a real threat. The XI on the pitch looked committed from the off, possibly due to the threat of the introduction of substitutes Punk ‘Ainsley Harriet' Takiar and former ‘A' team supremo Johnson warming up on the side lines. In the event, against the run of play Sale took the lead, 3 or 4 failed clearances and eventually the ball dropped kindly to the Sale forward who beat Giblin. However, Styal bounced back quickly when another Kenny (who's career has been rejuvenated under the Cockitt/Pochin management) throw in was flicked on by Matty Barnes and his new strike partner Loz Newman arrived at the far post to head Styal level.

 

Veteran Scotty Hawkins making a rare start at full back was being well looked after by Adie Tottie and Dan Rodgers at centre half and Craig Smith was adding some pace down the left side with Hawkins using experience rather than pace on the right. Playing against the wind second half Styal looked reasonably comfortable but unlike recent weeks chances were very rare. Chris Brown had the clearest when the best Styal move of the match ended with him missing wide of the right hand post when handily placed to score. However with ten minutes to go Will Allman.burst into the Sale box and brilliantly slid the ball into the bottom left hand corner to win the game for Styal.

 

Matty Barnes walked of the pitch thinking we had won a semi final leaving Mark Johnson to explain….


Sat 7th March, Styal win at Garswood to go 5th, Reserves win cup quarter final, 'A' team draw
Mar 8, 2009, 12:21 pm
 
 
Boys boys boys.
Time ahs come to turn the club around, get the money in, better facilities, better pitch etc etc.
To do this lads we need your help!

1. Ground - we are holding a beer festival this summer, but in order to do this we have to clear all the vegitation in the current car park right to the back.
Behind the far goal same thing.

2. Pitch - we have a load of sand ready to be collected from a local golf club to be applied to the pitch, we need vans, trailers to shift this, and once we've go it need people to barrow it and spread it onto the picth. (pre-season)

3. Beer festival - this is a biggy boys, if we get this right it could turn out to be a massive annual fund raiser for the club. To do this lads we need your help (no workers - no festival - no money - Subs go up next year)

we need volunteers on Friday 24th July, Saturday 25th, mainley to serve beer, marshal and help run the event. Small price to pay for a season of football!

More detail will come out over next couple of weeks about this but in the meantime if you can reply on this forum if your willing to help with any of the above.

Cheers lads

Rikky!

Carroll's Two Good for Garswood Garswood Utd 0 Styal 2

 

In football, sometimes the result is more important than the performance, when you are away to Garswood this is often the case and Saturday's trip down the M6 was no different.   Playing teams back to back is never easy and manager Cowell was very pleased to come out of these two clashes with a maximum of 6 points and - after losing Simpson and the Dazzler in the home game - without any more injury casualties.

 

After playing in this league for over to 10 years I have come to the conclusion that Garswood has it's own micro-climate with only one type of weather - grey, cold and windy - not the ideal conditions for playing flowing football when you chuck in a pitch that's rutted in some places, boggy in others and has an 8 : 2 gradient.   It was a case of knuckling down, dealing with the conditions, taking chances when they cropped up and grinding out a result.

 

The only spark in a rather dour first half came with 2 minutes before the interval, following on from last week Capel was keen to get forward whenever possible, it was his venture into the final third and delivery to Gregory that started the vital move, Gregory brought Marchbank into play - deputising for the injured Simpson and making his 4th start of the season and another player to be rejuvenated under the Cowell regime

- Marchbank found Tommy the Russian 12 yards out with his back to goal, strength and skill enabled him to hold the ball up just long enough for Adam Carroll - making his first start since signing in the January window - to dart past him in the box - the lay off was weighted to perfection and Carroll coolly beat the keeper at his near post.

 

The hard work of Tueart and Marchbank in the middle of the park had allowed Carroll and Thornton to utilise the width of the pitch unfortunately with little joy.   Apart from the goal the best chance fell to Marchbank who couldn't make the most of the opportunity presented to him by Thornton - his stooping header didn't trouble the keeper.   A one nil lead at half time having battled the physical Garswood side as well as the elements was an excellent position to be in, despite a few misjudgements caused by the head on wind the familiar back four of Capel, Pownall, Kemp and Swindells looked a solid unit - the headache for Cowell is finding a suitable replacement for the man mountain skipper Andy Pownall who starts his 35 day ban in two weeks time.   Most likely option is The Dazzler, also recovering from injury and another player brought back in from the cold and brought back to life by the new manager.

 

The wind and the hill behind them and a one goal cushion certainly gave Styal the advantage - Tommy the Russian was especially keen to get the game restarted.   Once again it was the conditions that got the better of the two teams and it was a 45 that saw very little flowing football - both Gregory and Tommy working hard but becoming increasingly frustrated as clear opportunities were as rare as Harrison at a salad bar.

 

In a repeat of the first half it was the Russian's hard work that created the opportunity for Carroll that led to the second goal and effectively killed off the tie.   Tommy was fouled on the touchline on the left flank and Carroll placed the ball for delivery - his perfectly flighted ball completely fooled the Garswood keeper who was left routed to the spot as the ball drifted over his head straight in to the net.

Much to the despair of the Garswood contingency and much to the delight of the travelling fans (all 4 of them).

 

The game then became a competition of who could kick the ball the furthest, I think Pownall won, and the important thing as far as Styal were concerned was keeping a clean sheet - something that has been lacking for a number of weeks and arguably nearly as important as the win itself.   The clean sheet was nearly lost and the last 10 minutes could have been a real bum-twitcher if it wasn't for the cat like reflections of Harrison - a low delivery across the face of goal looked certain to be dispatched into the visitors net, the striker - rightly so

- side footed the ball to the left of Harrison sending him back the way he had come from, he re-adjusted himself and pushed the ball wide with an outstretched boot - another one for the Harrison scrap book.

The win takes Styal to fifth and with Middlewich drawing and Woodley loosing surprisingly to Club AZ the run-in has opened up, and with the fixtures that are left a top 3 finish for Styal is their own hands.

 

Superb Styal secure semi-final spot   Greenhalls Padgate SO Res  2 Styal Res 3

 

JC talks us thru the action ..

 

Eager to bounce straight back from a missed opportunity last week Styal set out with a new found purpose as they looked to book their place in the last 4 of the cup competition. After what has since been described as 'heated' discussions between the gaffer and his right hand man on the eve of the kick-off, Styal emerged with a new look formation as they tried to add a crucial cutting edge to their final third play.

 

The lads looked comfortable with the new set-up right from the off and put together a dominant opening first 20-minute period. The midfield three of Sean, Mark and Bucko took control from the whistle as Styal knocked the ball around confidently and it wasn't long before a big chance fell Styal's way.

 

The lawnmower Barnes playing on the left-hand side of the new three-pronged attack latched onto a clever channel ball from Rico. With only the keeper to beat, Barnes opted for an audacious lob attempt that sailed just wide of the far post. Although an opportunity missed this was a signal of Styal's intent and further efforts followed forcing the Padgate keeper into action.

 

Although Padgate did begin to adjust after this dominant opening period, the Styal back four remained solid and the previously identified Padgate threats were nullified in a controlled 45 minutes. The Warrington side had only one real sight of goal with Ozzy pulling out a brave rushing block, and he was rewarded with slightly painful rear-end for his troubles!

 

As the half grew on it was only a matter of time before the deadlock was broken but the manner in which Styal took the lead could not have been foreseen. Man of the moment young Calum Gardner had looked sharp early on, pulling out some Brazilian flare with a cheeky flip-flap on the fullback, but his strike to open the scoring was something a little special. Loitering at the far left hand corner of the area, (he was playing on the right) a deep ball from the right wing found him in space 25 yards out. With one touch to set the ball Gardener stung a dipping half volley that crashed off the far stanchion and into the back of the net. You will not see many better strikes on a Saturday afternoon (and he nutmegged Rooney on the latest Clearasil advert you know!).  After taking the lead Styal continued to dominate play and went into the break pleased with their first half performance.

 

Emerging for the second half Styal, were expecting some early pressure from Padgate and knew the next goal would be crucial. The pressure indeed came but as a unit, Styal were more than up to it restricting Padgate to mere pot shots at goal. The defence not only solid, endeavored to play football from the back and this mantle was carried throughout the team.

 

After an evenly contested opening 15mins another crucial moment of individual brilliance from Rico gave Styal a deserved second goal. Strong defensive work from Collinson and Coates down the right hand-side allowed Ryan (on for Gardener) to be set free down the right. He played the ball into Rico's feet, who with a quick glance to spot the keeper off his line curled a delectable shot from outside the area over the keeper and into the roof of the net. 2-0 Styal and should have been game over.

 

Padgate however had other ideas. A splendid left footed volley from their newly introduced left-winger gave Ozzy no chance as the deficit was reduced to one with roughly 20mins remaining. The word from the touchline was for Styal to tighten things up but a moment of bad luck and controversial refereeing allowed Padgate to pull themselves back to level terms. Padgate pumped a hopeful ball forward and Jimbo looked to have this covered at the heart of defence. However as he struck the ball clear it cannoned off unaware Bucko's back and straight into the path of the Padgate centre forward. He then nodded the ball to the left-winger who was behind all the Styal defenders and therefore in an offside position. The Styal defenders claims were in vein as the referee shook his head and the ball was slotted confidently home.

 

Styal heads could easily have dropped at this point as on the run of play they certainly deserved to be ahead, but the reaction that followed was exemplary as Styal continued to exert pressure on the Padgate defence in chase of the winner. This desire was epitomised with 10mins to go as Bucko made a trademark marauding run through the midfield, only being stopped in cynical fashion by a desperate Padgate midfielder. With a free kick on the edge of the area Styal brought the big guns up from the back as they loaded the box. Rico stood over the ball with a purpose as Styal sensed the opportunity of victory. The ball fell to the unlikely hero of JC who cleverly flicked the ball over a crowded box and it bounced on the line and into the right hand corner sending the travelling support wild. With chants of "we're on the march with Jonno's army.." ringing around the Padgate Road End from the hordes (ant and ozzy's dads) of yellow and blue packed in behind Ozzy's goal the ref played about 7 minutes too long but eventually blew and Styal were into the Semi final where they meet Broadheath.

 

Styal will need to be at their best again to make the final but having knocked out the top two teams in the league they have nothing to fear.

 

Please come and support on Saturday.

Kartel 1 Styal ‘A' 1

 

This was a story of a game dominated by Styal but chances not taken. With the wind at their backs going down the slope in the first half Styal camped in Kartel's half and mounted attack after attack against a Kartel side that wanted the half to end as soon as it began. Pochin and Burns were able to dictate the central midfield and James Duncan who started his first game linked the play well with his passing game. The game should have been over after 30 minutes but numerous chances were either put wide of Kartel's goal or hit tamely at Kartel's keeper. Eventually West managed a Styal goal with a right footed shot on 30 minutes and from there the floodgates should have opened. However it was Kartel that struck back 5 minutes later when they ventured into the Styal half for the first time, the ball eventually lobbed back over a stranded keeper after he had cleared the one on one situation from the break. The last few minutes of the half saw Styal again throwing the kitchen sink at Kartel but the same results, Livingstone, West, Moore and Duncan all had further chances.

Despite going up the hill and into the wind in the second half, Styal still dominated, the front pair having the pace to get onto the balls into the channels, again the chances came and went. The last 25 minutes saw ‘supersub' Adkin added to the game for Styal but as time went on, Styal were increasingly frustrated and Teale and Moore pressed forward from the back to drive the team forward. Kartel saw chances late on themselves as the game became stretched and it could have gone either way in the end. The final kick of the game was typical, the hard working Livingstone beat Kartel's defence and with Kartel's keeper rushing out only managed to place the ball the wrong side of Kartel's post. Definitely 2 lost points from Styal's point of view.


Sat 1st March, Styal beat Garswood
Mar 1, 2009, 12:26 pm
 
Styal beat Garswood 2-1 to continue to climb up the table, Styal Res miss chances and lose by odd goal, Styal 'A' miss out on 3 points and have to settle for 1

STYAL LEAVE IT LATE BUT WIN MAKES IT EIGHT

On paper Saturday's fixture at home to Garswood looked to be an opportunity to earn a comfortable 3 points, with the visitors only having one win to their name in their last 9 games and Styal being unbeaten in 7, Andy Cowell was hoping for a less stressful than usual Saturday afternoon.  Garswood however, had decided to throw the form book out of the window and arrived in town making sure that Styal new they'd been in a game by the time the final whistle was blown.  Consistent with the last few weeks, two people once again played vital parts in securing the 3 points and getting Styal back to winning ways, Danny Gregory was on hand to pass the ball into an open net with only 5 minutes left to play and prior to that Rick Harrison had pulled out of the bag 4 or 5 first class saves to keep the home sides hopes of victory alive and well, demonstrating why some people have touted him as one of the best keepers in the league (if not the biggest).

A better start to the game was the order of the day from the manager and the Styal starting XI delivered, despite losing their talisman, Boardman, in the opening few minutes following a nasty clash of heads the home-side looked the far better of the two sides, Tommy the Russian -on for the injured Dazzler -was proving to be more than a handful, linking up with Gregory well and providing a target for the midfield to hit with the quality that was lacking against Knutsford.  Styal turned up the pressure, with the number of corners hitting double figures in the opening quarter of the game a goal seemed inevitable and when Thornton fizzed in a low driven free kick all that was required was a touch to take the lead.  Such failures to capitalise gave Garswood hope, and a misjudgement by the experienced Capel gave the young Garswood striker the perfect opportunity to open the scoring, Harrison made himself big (which wasn't hard) and in attempt to circumnavigate the Styal Stopper the striker ran the ball out of play and was lucky not to be carded for simulation after he threw himself to the ground.

Harrison was called into action again not long after, getting down low to his left to block a goal bound effort from point blank range, he was forced to pick the ball out of his net before half time but thankfully for the hosts the assistant referee had already raised his flag for offside.  And in despite of the lively start Styal finished the half with a somewhat tepid display.

Styal really needed to come out of the blocks if they were to secure the victory that the respective league positions indicated to, Simpson and Tueart worked tirelessly in the middle of the park to win the ball and use the outlets of Thornton and Marchbank who were becoming increasingly threatening as the second half progressed, unfortunately the probing runs from Thornton weren't materialising into the end product that was desperately needed to break the deadlock.  When the quality end product was finally delivered in came from the unlikely source of Neil Capel, whose previous ventures in to the oppositions half had seen him think twice before putting in the cross, on the 65 minute mark Capel showed no such hesitation and his pin point delivery was met by the man mountain Andy Simpson, rising like a tin of John West he gave the ball in the thunderous finish it deserved leaving the keeper with no chance at all, unfortunately that was to be his last contribution to the game, landing awkwardly after scoring he aggravated the ankle injury that has been the source of much frustration since his return to Styal.

Joe Ingham was introduced as his replacement in the middle of the park, along with the fresh legs of Adam Carroll - Marchbank making way for him -in the more familiar role on the right hand side of midfield -Cowell sending on the two young midfielders with the intention of putting the tie to bed, he was soon to be disappointed.  Styal couldn't keep the momentum up and Garswood once again fought back into the game and their efforts were soon rewarded when a delightful ball to the far post found Garswood's unmarked winger, even Harrison in his current form couldn't stop the fiercely struck shot from inside the 6 yard box.

Cowell looked perplexed and couldn't believe that his side was going to let another 2 points slip away, with all his substitutions made there was little he could do to effect the game and was left to pace his technical area and hope for a bit of magic.  Carroll couldn't deliver it - his first free kick in a Styal shirt was high and wide, Tueart nearly provided it his through ball was met by Thornton but the flag was up.  As Styal pressed Garswood countered, nevertheless the back four of Capel, Swindells, Pownall and Kemp held strong all four putting in excellent displays -winning tackles and distributing well -and then came the magic.  Pownall's clearance was picked up by Tommy The Russian, drawing in the defender and laying the ball to Thornton who, from inside his own half, opened his legs, Garswood couldn't halt his progress as he cut inside the visitors centre half -who despite cutting his head in the challenge with Boardman had played on heavily bandaged and put in a faultless display -and as he held off his challenger on the edge of the box with the keeper charging out Thornton cleverly slipped the ball to the unmarked Gregory -the man who doesn't miss -especially when he has an open goal at his mercy, Gregory made it 2 -1 and took his tally to 16.

The referee managed to find 4 additional minutes from somewhere, but Cowell's boys held on to a hard fought 3 points.  Garswood won't have to wait long to get their own back as the fixture is reversed next week, and Styal now know they will be in for a tough 90 minutes if they want to bring all 3 points back from their travels. The win moves them one place up into 6th, both Trafford and Staleybridge managed to get unexpected draws which kept the Champions out of the top 4 for another week.
 

Middlewich Town Res 1 Styal Res 0    Styal rue missed opportunities

Jonny Coates talks us thru it…. 

After a recent run of frustrating results styal were out to put their season back on track. With the Middlewhich pitch providing an expansive surface to play on Styal looked to get the ball down right from the off and enforce the passing football that brought them much success in the early parts of this season.

There was a high tempo right from the off with the first 15mins providing an even contest fought out primarily in the centre of the field as both sides tried to establish a foothold on the game. From then on in Styal began to dominate. Mark Collins and debutant Matt had grabbed a hold of the midfield while the tricky wide play of Barnes and Ant were stretching Middlewhich right across the pitch. A number of great chances then began to fall Styal' s way. Seffu found himself at the heart of most of these as the Middlewhich defenders struggled to cope with his and the newly famous “Megger” Callums movement. Seffu had a number (enough for a whole season!) of good opportunities saved by a Middlewhich keeper having what can only be described as the game of his life. However, he was extremely lucky to stay on the pitch as in a bizarre incident mid-way through the first half he appeared to run out of the area carrying the ball preventing an almost certain goal. Styal's protests however, fell on death ears and they then failed to capitalise on the loose ball with no keeper and just a solitary defender on the line to beat ! The pressure continued to mount as the half grew on with Styal camped in the Middlewhich half leading up to the break and notably only another brilliant point blank save from the keeper prevented Ant from making it 1-0 at half time.

The second half began with some early Middlewhich pressure as expected, but the Styal defence remained resolute with Captain IC and ‘Bucko' leading a strong line. With Coates and Craig also looking to have the numbers of the Middlewhich wide men, the home side were restricted to hopeful pot shots at goal and Ozzy had little to do. Styal continued to make chances ‘Bucko' went close with a header from 6 yards and Ant was only stopped once more by a fantastic save from the Middlewhich keeper as he struck a drive from close range. Callum and Seffu also went close again but Styal could just no t get the vital goal that would have surely sealed the victory and they paid the price. With only 10mins to play Middlewhich gained a free kick on the left-hand side of the area. A clever short free kick was played inside to a completely un-marked centre forward who slotted the ball under a helpless Ozzy from 6 yards. A moment's lack of concentration had cost Styal dearly. The towel was not thrown in however and a determined and commendable response followed as Styal pushed for an equaliser. Even the introduction of fresh legs in Loz and Rico which allowed Coates and ‘Bucko' to push on the away team could not rescue a point.

  Styal were therefore again left to rue missed chances but this was a far improved performance, and despite a disappointed and bemused dressing room the team look onwards positively, as if they continue to play like this more games will be won than lost.

Styal ‘A' 1 Atlantic 1

Styal started slowly against an Atlantic side that carried pace upfront, the early chances falling to Atlantic, the best one thwarted by some fine goalkeeping by Giblin who had an outstanding game. As the game went on Styal became more dominant and the linkup play seeing them reach the byline numerous times but crosses from Brown and Allman frustratingly never dropped for Styal.

The best chance fell to West from a pinpoint ball from Tottey. West beat the last man and was bearing down on goal when he was cynically scythed down from behind. A sure red card under normal circumstances but as referee Broadhurst hadn't turned up the refereeing duties were shared between the teams and no cards were available.

The second half was all Styal but it was Atlantic that broke the deadlock, the lousy referee missed a ‘clear offside' and Atlantic's number 10 had clear run on goal firing past Giblin.

For the last 25 minutes Styal threw everything at Atlantic and deserved more than they got. In a catalogue of chances and near misses, Allman hit the post, Brown and West had close range efforts that looked easier to score blocked, Tottey, Burns, Livingstone and Kenny peppered shot at the Atlantic goal. There was 10 minutes remaining when Dan Rodgers bundled the ball over the Atlantic line to pull it back to 1-1. In a massive effort in the last few minutes Styal failed to score the winner that would have been just reward.

Styal had good performances all round from back to front


SAT 21st February Styal 2 Knutsford 2; King George 3 Styal 'A' 2 AND UPCOMING EVENTS
Feb 21, 2009, 8:09 pm
Styal fought back with 2 second half danny Gregory goals to draw 2-2 against Knutsford.

Gregory & Harrison prove they're the KNUTS

Heroics at both ends of the pitch ensured that Styal limped away from this fixture with a point, and their seven game unbeaten run still in tact.  For the 8th game in a row Danny Gregory was the hero at the business end of the park finding the back of the net with a brace, taking his tally to 15 goals in 8 games and surely capturing the attention of Cappello for a call up to the International scene (if Carlton Cole deserves one, Gregory certainly does).  And for the 3rd time this season Harrison saved from the spot, on this occasion in the 89th minute after his poor clearance fell to the feet of the Knutsford striker whose run in to the box ended up with Harrison being judged to have brought him down.  The Styal Stopper got back to his feet and made an excellent save at full stretch to his left.

It was only this save that gave Styal any satisfaction from the result, taking 1 point out of the 3 that they should have done was a slightly bitter pill to swallow, however, based on their first half performance it was nothing more than they deserved, nevertheless with Cowell's first defeat looking inevitable when the ref pointed to the spot, 1 point is better none.

A lacklustre start allowed the visitors to make all the early running and arguably they should have been a goal ahead in the first minute, when their young striker decided to square the ball inside the box instead of taking the shot himself.  He soon made up for it when he gave his side the lead, finishing from close range after some indecisive defending enabled the Knutsford winger to wriggle through a couple of half hearted challenges and get a shot away, it deflected kindly to his team mate who lashed it home without hesitation.  The lead could have been doubled soon after if it wasn't for the outstretched size 9 of Harrison when the Knutsford skipper found himself one on one.

Going a goal down still wasn't enough to bring Styal to life, a lack of urgency, hard work and ultimately quality in the final 3rd meant that the Knutsford goalkeeper was a spectator for the majority of the half, it was only from the corners of Joe Ingham where Styal looked likely to level the tie, the height of Kemp, Simmo, Pownall and Boardman unable to make the most of the deliveries.  When Styal got the ball down and tried to play football they started to look a bit like the team who beat Curzon Ashton the week before, the midfield 4 of Tueart, Simmo, Swindells and Thornton, returning from 2 weeks absence, at times linking up nicely but still unable to deliver the killer pass to Boardman or Gregory.  It was a lapse in concentration 5 minutes before half time that allowed Knutsford to increase their lead and deservedly so, a stray pass as Styal looked to be on the counter caught the back four off guard and they were opened up by a simple through ball and Harrison was unable to beat the odds and come to the rescue again.

A furious Andy Cowell vented his anger during the half time “talk”, laying his cards on the table and letting all 11 players know that a performance like that, especially in front of the Styal faithful, was simply not acceptable -sending his players back out with clear instructions to “buck their acts up”.  His hairdryer treatment seemed to work as Styal started the second half with much more urgency and showing glimpses of the quality that has meant they have only failed to win once in their last 6 outings.  The pressure took its toll; a quick throw from Boardman enabled Thornton to venture into the box, his ball found the feet of Ingham who unleashed Styal's first shot of the game, it landed somewhat fortuitously to Gregory who once again proved what a significant addition to the first team he has been and slotted it under the oncoming keeper.

Styal's dominance was rewarded shortly after, Boardman, switched to right midfield linked well with new signing Tommy the Russian, a replacement for Ingham, his ball in to the box wasn't dealt with resulting in handball and a much needed penalty; no need to tell you who stepped up and levelled the game.

With 20 minutes left and Styal pushing for the 3rd it meant the game became wide open and Knutsford slowly came back into the game and once again started to cause Styal a few headaches.  Swindells made way for Marchbank who was immediately put under pressure but he coped well despite playing his third position in as many games.   The hardworking Capel was replaced by Adam Carroll, having just a had a run in with the Knutsford skipper, Cowell sensibly brought the Styal hot head of the pitch perhaps before he was told to leave it.  Carroll slotted in at right back incredibly well despite being an unfamiliar position and his fresh legs had him going box to box with some pace, Gregory failing to release him on one occasion that could have proved to be vital.

As time ticked away the winner just seemed out of Styal's reach, Tommy the Russian couldn't quite get enough on the ball as it dropped to him from a corner and it looked increasingly like they would have to accept the draw, Knutsford however, had other plans, a fantastic last ditch tackle from Kemp and the save from Harrison both had to be made in the minutes leading up to the final whistle ensuring Styal didn't finish up empty handed. 

Despite the disappointment of a dropping 2 points Styal jumped up to 7th spot, and Trafford's defeat against Billinge brings them even closer into range.  Back to back games against 4th from bottom Garswood does bring with it the opportunity for Styal to get back to winning ways but they will need to show much more quality and much more desire to win if that's to happen.

If you want to see how Cowell deals with a performance like that, get yourselves down to Hale train station at about 7.30 Wednesday night.

King George 3 Styal ‘A'2

Styal went to King George who are second in the league hoping to get something out of the game and narrowly failed. For a second week in succession they succumbed to dead ball situations.

After 5 minutes Kenny was penalised for a foul outside the Styal box and King George struck directly from the free kick which looped over keeper Wall in Styal's goal. Styal were quick to come back. Teale scored blasting in at the far post from a corner to draw Styal level and Styal settled into the game. Livingstone and West posed King George's defence problems with their movement and Livingstone chased down their defenders not letting them settle. Andy Giblin made 2 block tackles as Styal's opponents tried to bring the ball out of defence which set up Livingstone. His shot was beaten onto the bar by the home side's keeper and Matt West followed in heading Styal into a 2-1 lead.

It was now a case of looking for a third and keeping the home side out before half time, something Styal looked well capable of until uncharacteristically for Styal a King George long throw wasn't cleared and the home side bagged a second.

With Styal's defence competing well, Styal sought to take all 3 points by using the attacking midfield options of Adkin and Buckley who both came on with half an hour to go. However it was King George that scored the vital goal as Styal failed to deal with a corner which was delivered in right under the crossbar with 20 minutes to go.

As usual Styal never gave in and tried to drive forward a every opportunity. Adkin had the best chance to seal a point when he had a free header late on but unfortunately only managed the side netting.


FORUM
Feb 19, 2009, 10:21 pm
Rick's comments on the Forum are spot on.
'boys - we really need to make an effort after games to get money in behind the bar.

i know its not great and stuff, but at £2 a bottle how can you moan & ive got sky sports news set up now!
come on lads - clubs in a new era now and we wana make a club atmosphere, so give it some support!''
 
 
The club needs maximum support from all players, we also need to make a big effort to support the Sports and Social race night on Friday 3rd April. Please put it in your diaries now and you will all see tickets at £3 only including food available soon

Sat 14th Feb Curzon Ashton Res 0 Styal 1; Styal Res and Styal 'A' both lose narrowly
Feb 15, 2009, 5:07 pm

Danny Gregory headed the only goal of the game to take the points at Curzon Ashton

Styal Reserves had a string of chances and gave away a 2-1 lead in the last 10 minutes to go down 3-2

 

Styal ‘A' 1 Sale Rovers 3

Styal started more slowly than in recent weeks but Livingstone who was lively upfront got a deserved goal after 10 minutes firing a right foot shot past the Sale keeper after piercing the Sale back line. Sale were back into the game straight away as the referee punished Giblin for a push in the Styal penalty box on a Sale forward. The penalty was converted to level the scores. Matt West upfront was carrying an injury and after 30 minutes he was replaced by James Duncan just after Sale had taken a 2-1 lead. Teale's tackle was penalised and Sale's free kick from close to the corner flag was placed wide of Tottey in Styal's goal. Styal's players deserve credit from this point onwards as they contested everything and made more time to play football with Duncan linking some good moves together down Styal's left. Styal's long throw in routine was not as lethal as in recent games against a solid Sale defensive foursome but there were still occasions where the ball dropped in the box but unfortunately for Styal always to a Sale boot.

Styal started the second half where they had left off the first but chances were not easy to carve out. Styal had to wait until midway through the second half to celebrate their second goal when Allman cut a ball back into Livingstone's path who finished with a firm right foot shot. Unfortunately the referee decided he had seen someone offside in the move and decided to chalk it off. This was a hammer blow to Styal but a bigger one was to follow when Sale went up the pitch and pulled off their own long throw routine ending with a Sale player shooting home from the edge of the box with 20 minutes left. Styal continued to work hard but the chances were not forthcoming. A last ditch change of formation in the last 10 minutes failed to upset the Sale back line and create anything new. Credit to Styal's players who all gave 100% all over the pitch and deserved something from the game.


Sat 31 Jan, Pilkingtons 2 Styal 2; Styal Res 1 Pilkington Res 4; Styal 'A' 4 Kartel Sports 2
Jan 31, 2009, 10:03 pm
Styal fight back at Pilks
Reserves go down at Alty Rd
Styal 'A' make more progress
 
Reports to follow
 

Styal ‘A' 4 Kartel 2

 

Styal 'A' made it two wins on the trot, overcoming Kartel with an impressive display. Adi Tottey donned the gloves, Styal's 4th different stand in keeper in 4 games and proved a safe pair of hands making a number of saves during the game and having no chance with either Kartel goal.

First blood went to Kartel after 10 minutes. Styal's defenders couldn't clear a Kartel attack and when the ball dropped to a Kartel forward he placed it wide of Tottey for the opener. Styal then went on the attack; a series of Livingstone's whipped in corners and Kenny's long throw in's caused mayhem in the Kartel penalty box which Kartel miraculously escaped as Styal only needed to touch the ball home on 2 or 3 occasions. Livingstone also hit the post from an acute angle after beating defenders and rounding the keeper.

With half an hour gone Styal scored the difficult way. Gary Burns hit a left foot volley from 30 yards which screeched into the Kartel net giving the keeper no chance, a screamer of a goal. Buoyed by this Kenny headed in a corner with a bullet header and then West combined with Brown and fired a right foot shot beyond Kartel's keeper. In an open first half Styal's goal chances probably outweighed Kartel's by 5 to 1 but the half finished at 3-1 to Styal.

The second half saw a slightly tighter game but again Styal had the edge. The midfield was dominated by Kenny and Burns. The Styal left side nullified Kartel's threat, Rodgers having a faultless game at left back and Allman in front of him winning much in the air and distributing wisely. Upfront Livingstone continued to terrorise the Kartel defence before being replaced by Adkin's fresh legs with 20 minutes to go. Lee Taylor also made sure Kartel were shut out down Styal's right side, whilst Moore and Teale dominated anything down the middle.

Styal's 4th goal came with 10 minutes to go when Adkin lashed the ball home after Styal worked their way into Kartel's box, Adkin always scores when he comes on as sub, full stop....... Styal conceded again late on, which was the only disappointment as they need to develop a ruthless streak to improve their league position as they aim for a top half finish.

However, this was another solid performance by a group of players that have moulded together well. What is clear is that there are a number that should soon step up to reserve team and hopefully after that first team football in the coming week and months


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