Player And Goalkeeper Of The Month Awards
Mon 9th September 2013 | League Awards
PLAYER OF THE MONTH AWARDS
PREMIER DIVISION - MATT CROSS OF RUNCORN LINNETS
By Ian Templeman
There have been numerous factors in the excellent start to the season made by Runcorn Linnets, but the Linnets fans knew when Matt Cross made his debut last season that manager Joey Dunn had brought in a player of special quality and pedigree. Cross made an immediate impact with his work rate and some special goals, but it is in the cold light of a new season that has highlighted what an exceptional player the club have in the ranks.
With club captain Mike Tomlinson unavailable to start the campaign, Matt took on the armband to lead the team by example. He played in seven of the nine Linnets games in August, and marshalled the Linnets defence well in a tricky opening fixture at Abbey Hey and in a similar stern test days later when Linnets saw off the challenge of Bootle.
The return of skipper Mike Tomlinson against Glossop North End saw Matt return to his more familiar and arguably more comfortable role in the middle of the park, which also allowed the player to take charge at set pieces. When Linnets visited AFC Liverpool, Matt’s probing ball into the box set up the first goal, but picked up a knock that would keep him out of the next two games.
He returned for the trip to AFC Blackpool, and finally got his deserved goal with a superlative free kick from 25 yards out that gave the ‘keeper no chance. He almost repeated the feat three days later, when a similar strike struck the Alsager Town post, and he was denied once again moments later.
After his goal scoring exploits, Cross’s role as a provider returned to the fore at Ossett Albion, with his pass into the path of Antony Hickey setting the Linnets on their way to a fine victory. Matt was again dominant in midfield despite higher-league opposition, and his quality of vision and passing dominated a fine display.
In all the games he has played in August, Matt has been the heartbeat of the Linnets intentions, and an essential and central figure in the thoughts of manger Joey Dunn.
In a month when so many players have had an exceptional claim to the “Player Of The Month” award for Runcorn Linnets, Matt has proved without doubt what a valuable and appreciated asset he has become at the club, and he fully deserves his award.
DIVISION ONE - DANNY THOMAS OF 1874 NORTHWICH
There has obviously been a great deal of interest in the new club, which has enjoyed a good level of support, both home and away. This interest has placed a significant amount of pressure on the players.
However Danny took it all in his stride and has consistently put in match winning performances in the centre of the defence. Danny is one of the youngest players in the squad, but he showed great maturity throughout the month in what is proving a very strong, competitive League.
He is a very dependable young man, calm on the ball, but is strong and confident when under pressure. His contribution, in terms of solid defending and supporting moves forward has enabled the team to get off to a good set of results in their inaugural season.
Danny's attitude in matches and in training has been first class and he has become a firm favourite of our supporters and his team mates, as well earning praise from Manager Ian Street for his performances in all of the team's game in August.
GOALKEEPER OF THE MONTH AWARDS SPONSORED BY REUSCH
PREMIER DIVISION - BEN PROCTOR OF GLOSSOP NORTH END
Although they have not had the best of starts to the 2013-14 season, Glossop North End are proving hard to beat and the form of goalkeeper Ben Proctor has been a significant factor in this.
A glance at the Premier League table at the end of August showed Glossop North End with the joint best defensive record with only five goals conceded in seven matches. Where games are tight then goalkeepers have an opportunity to come into their own and make their contribution to the overall result.
In August, the GNE supporters saw Ben pull off some great saves at crucial times as the side finished the month with four consecutive clean sheets. Included amongst these was a save down to his left in the first half of the drawn match at Stockport Sports, an example of keeping his concentration even when seemingly having little to do.
Ben is also very vocal in organising his defence which gives a level of confidence which runs through the whole side. August was a very good month for Ben and there will undoubtedly be more to come from him as the season progresses.
DIVISION ONE - GARETH FLEMING OF OLDHAM BORO
Gareth showed consistently good form during August, and turned in three man of the match performances in the draw at 1874 Northwich on the opening day of the season, the narrow defeat against Formby two days later and a win over Leek CSOB.
Gareth has made huge strides this season since claiming the number 1 spot for the team. He is a goalkeeper that has great distribution, superb handling and is dominant on crosses and winning the August award is fitting recognition for the form he has shown so far this season.