A look at how our players are getting on away from the club
Most of our loan players are over halfway through their festive fixture schedule so we have decided to take a look back on how they have got on over the last few days.
It was a weekend to remember for Chris Gallagher as he made his debut for Stalybridge Celtic, however he couldn’t impact on the result as they were beaten 2-1 by Rushall Olympic. Celtic were already 2-1 down when Gallagher came on in the 61st minute but his main impact was the pick up a yellow card. Stalybridge’s Boxing Day game with Ashton United was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch. Elsewhere in that league, Halesowen Town played out a 0-0 draw with Mickleover Sports on Boxing Day with John McAtee playing in a deeper midfield role than usual.
Callum Roberts was the only man to be involved in a victorious squad this weekend, but he didn’t manage to actually get on the pitch as TNS beat Aberystwyth Town 4-0 on Friday 22nd December thanks to a hat-trick from Ross Draper and they followed that up with a thrilling 3-2 victory over Newtown. Ryan Sears played in that game for Newtown and it looked as if he would be on the winning side when they led 2-0 at the break thanks to Jamie Reed’s brace, but Ross Draper, Blaine Hudson and Ryan Brobbel all scored in the second-half to produce a stunning comeback. Newtown had also been on the end of a heavy defeat four days earlier as they were beaten 4-0 by Gap Connah’s Quay. Those results for the Welsh sides leave Newtown in 9th place, three points above the drop zone, whilst TNS moved seven points clear at the top of the table.
Up in Scotland, AJ Letich-Smith’s Dundee side managed to pick up a point from two very difficult fixtures. Dundee said last week that they are looking to extend AJ’s spell north of the border and he started both games against Motherwell and Celtic. The Motherwell game ended 1-1 despite Dundee hitting the woodwork three times, whilst Celtic showed their quality by winning 2-0. Those results leave Dundee in 10th place.
In the National League North, Shaun Rowley enjoyed a difficult weekend as Tamworth were beaten 3-0 by Leamington on Saturday. That result led to Rowley losing his place in the side for their trip to Nuneaton, but it got even worse for the Lambs as they lost 4-1 with Dan Jezeph in goal. Meanwhile, Dom Smith’s Southport side are still without a win since early September, but they did show some fighting spirit on Boxing Day with a 0-0 draw against Chorley. Smith played the full 90-minutes in that game after only coming on as a half-time substitute in their 4-0 defeat to Bradford Park Avenue three days earlier. Tamworth are now 11th in the league, whilst Southport have dropped to 21st with only North Ferriby below them in the league.