Programme Review: 2021/22 Chadderton FC

Fixture: North West Counties Football League (NWCFL) – First Division North

Date: Saturday 09 October 2021

Teams: Chadderton v St Helens Town

Venue: The Falcon Fire Stadium

Result: Chadderton (3) – (2) St Helens Town

Programme cost: Free (On-line)

Pages: 15

As FBR has reflected in other reviews, COVID’s impact on football has seen some clubs opt for digital programmes. However, there will be other reasons for clubs going down this route. In some cases it is a lack of sales, others the financial cost (i.e. unprofitable) or it can also be down to the lack of volunteers willing to take on the task of programme editor and all that it entails.

Chadderton FC, is just over a mile west of Oldham, and are one such club who have gone down the on-line path. Their programme from the league fixture against St Helens Town was free to download from the club website. One of the advantages of digital versions, is that the number of pages doesn’t have to stick to the multiples of 4 that A5 printed versions need to be, so if content is a struggle the resulting PDF can be any number. And as it turned out Chadderton produced a 15 page edition on this occasion.

The cover is an unusual but striking image featuring one of the local cotton mills in a vintage black and white look, with the club badge and match details present but not interrupting the picture of the Grade II Listed building Chadderton mill. Of the remaining 14 pages, five are given over to adverts, with three of those mandated by the NWCFL, including one offering COVID guidelines, a shared page promoting the league website and Official Goalkeeping Partner of the NWCFL, Reusch, and finally, the league’s Charity Partner, State of Mind. The other two pages of adverts are given over to Club Sponsors.

Of the content, page 3 details all the Club Information in terms of directory of staff, social media addresses and honours. Page 4 is given over to a ‘Code of Conduct for Spectators’ as part of The FA’s Respect campaign, which covers not just first-team games, but those also of Chadderton FC Youth team. Three pages (5, 6 & 7) are then provided for the games visitors St Helens Town, printed in blue and white (a nice touch) to reflect that the Town will play in those colours today. The first of the three pages provides some basic information such as club badge, date founded, ground details, recent form and honours. This is followed by two pages on the club’s history, which is useful content for anyone not familiar with St Helens Town. Some interesting facts to emerge, include that Manchester City legendary goalkeeper Bert Trautmann, played for the club between 1948 and 1949 and in 1986-87 Town lifted the FA Vase at the old Wembley beating Warrington Town 3-2. Page 8 is a message from Committee Member Heath Ravey under the banner of ‘The Boardroom’ who welcomes the visitors and makes reference to the town’s rugby league side who were due in action that evening in the Super League Grand Final. Ravey also reflects on the teams midweek defeat in The Frank Hannah Manchester FA Premier Cup to Northern Premier League outfit Ashton United and expresses his pride at the efforts of a young Chadderton side against opposition three leagues above. Page 10 shows the league table with Chadderton just outside the promotion play-off spots, with visitors St Helens Town just off of the bottom and in one of the two relegation slots. After a page given over to iGrafix who create the programme along with Head of Media of Communications, Ryan Booth, there is a page for player sponsorship, with the back page for the team line-ups. This features both club badges, but only lists the home squad, with an image of a pitch. This highlights one of the problems with a digital version, in that with a physical copy spectators could write in the name of those playing. It may be that on the day a teamsheet is available to fans, which negates this problem. The other FBR quibble with on-line programmes is that they aren’t easy to read on a mobile phone, with them having to be viewed on a lap-top or large table to be readable.

FBR are unashamedly old school in their preference of the printed programme but does understand why clubs opt for the digital version. Overall, it has a vibrant design and decent layout, but the predominant use of capitals throughout the majority of articles does jar a little. Ultimately though Chadderton are providing a free download to anyone that wants one, which is to be applauded and provides the essentials in terms of information.


2014/15: Evo-Stik Division One North – Farsley AFC v Warrington Town

When the fixtures for the 2014/15 season were originally released, Farsley had three games in March and five in April. Now as we entered the final two months of the season, through a combination of postponements and progress in the Doodson Sport Cup, March and April would see The Villagers in action for seven fixtures in both months.

They started this busy end to the season with a home game against Warrington Town. Coming into the fixture Farsley had lost only one game in their last five league fixtures, which happened to be against their opponents today. Warrington had lost only one league fixture in 2015 against Droylsden and were unbeaten on their travels.

Given their recent form both teams were looking at continuing this in order to push for the play-off spots. With this at stake this was never going to be an open flowing game and so it proved to be.

Whilst it was blue skies over Throstle Nest, the first-half was a comparatively dull affair. Indeed what chances there were fell to the visitors. Within the opening ten minutes, Farsley keeper Tom Taylor missed a cross, but James McCarten headed over. Taylor redeemed himself on the quarter-hour though, when he did well to tip over a long-range effort from Scott Metcalfe. As the first-half neared the halfway mark, the same two players provided the next incident of note, when Taylor saved again from Metcalfe, although this time the strike on goal was from close range.

008That though was the last significant action of the first-half as Farsley struggled to get any sort of foothold in the opening forty five minutes and it was no surprise that it was 0-0 at the break.

Perhaps unexpectedly, neither side made any changes for the start of the second-half. And it was the visitors who started the better in the opening ten minutes as they dominated possession, although Warrington didn’t test Taylor in the Farsley goal.

The first substitution came on 57 minutes when the injured Warren Beattie was replaced by Stephen Tames. Just five minutes later Farsley went ahead, when after good build-up play involving Aspin and Daley, Aidan Savory superbly put in Adam Priestley, whose good first touch allowed him to slot home past Karl Wills.

Farsley buoyed by the goal at last looked to apply some pressure and were nearly gifted a second goal with twenty minutes remaining. Wire defender James McCarten and keeper Wills were simply not on the same wavelength as the central defender knocked the ball past his goalkeeper. Thankfully for the visitors the ball struck the post and was bundled away. The home side were now in the ascendency as half chances came and went for Robbie O’Brien and the hardworking Aiden Savory.

With the game entering the last ten minutes, Farsley made a substitution with Lewis Nightingale replacing Kyle Hancock. The visitors knew that a goal would salvage a draw, but instead on 83 minutes, poor defending by Warrington nearly gifted Farsley another goal. A weak back-pass put Wills under pressure and his clearance struck Savory, but luckily for the Wire keeper he was able to easily gather the rebound.

Warrington’s last throw of the dice came with a second substitution, as Ben Wharton gave way to Dean Astbury on 87 minutes. However, they couldn’t find an equaliser and Farsley won a hard-fought three points in a game best described as ugly.

With games in hand, both sides will still have play-off aspirations after today, but know that the last two months of the season will test their squad to the full.

Points in the bag or games in hand? A football conundrum that will only be answered come 25 April.