MACRON PLAYER OF THE MONTH AWARDS
PREMIER DIVISION – RYAN COX OF BOOTLE
With 10 goals in 8 games in the month of October, Ryan Cox has returned to the sort of form that has made him one of the most renowned forwards in the league.
The forward, who started October with Runcorn Town before moving to Bootle, now sits second in the list of top goal scorers for the division with 15 goals. He kicked off the month with Runcorn Town’s second goal in a 3-1 win over Congleton Town - before just three days later Cox once again netted his side’s second - this time in a 3-0 win at Silsden.
Ryan’s penultimate game for Town came against his current side Bootle. Despite falling to a disappointing 4-2 defeat, Cox produced two trademark finishes to fire his side into a 2-0 lead inside the opening 15 minutes. Ryan concluded his time with Town with yet another brace - this time in the FA Vase against Guisborough Town in a 3-3 draw at Pavilions.
Monday 15th October saw Cox complete his move back to Bootle - and just 24 hours later the frontman opened his account for the club. With the Bucks already leading 3-0 against Padiham, Cox shrugged off his marker before heading home Ste Jones’ pin-point cross.
Three days later and Cox would once again be on the scoresheet. With his side trailing 2-0 at home to Vauxhall Motors in the Macron Cup - the forward coolly controlled Karl Noon’s cross before firing into the bottom corner of the net. The goal turned out to be a massive turning point for the Bucks who equalised with two minutes remaining before winning the tie on penalties.
Next up for Cox and Bootle was Barnoldswick Town - and it was yet another win and goal for the former AFC Liverpool man and his side. Cox fired his side ahead when some neat play between Ste Jones and Carl Peers saw the latter pull the ball back to the forward who coolly finished side footed into the net.
The Bucks concluded the month of October with a hard-fought 2-0 win over Silsden. After a goalless first half and a tight opening to the second period, Cox was on hand to pounce on a mistake by a Silsden defender to fire his side ahead.
With 69 minutes played, a long ball forward was headed back to his goalkeeper by Joe Gaughan - but when the header fell short Cox was on hand to calmly loop the ball over the onrushing keeper and into the net.
All in all it was a fine month for Cox, who will no doubt be looking to continue his impressive form in November.
FIRST DIVISION NORTH - RITCHIE ALLEN OF LONGRIDGE TOWN
Ritchie played seven games in October, and was on the winning side on six occasions, scoring eight goals during the month, and winning two man of the match nominations from opposing teams.
He began the month in excellent form, scoring twice in the first league game of the month at Atherton LR, and was also on target in the 1-1 draw at home to Garstang in the First Division Cup.
There then followed two man of the match performances, with Ritchie scoring a hat trick in the 3-0 win at Bacup Borough, and another goal in the 7-2 home win over Ashton Town four days later.
He then rounded off the month with an important opening goal at Carlisle City, in a game that Town eventually won 2-0 to extend their lead at the top of the Division One North table.
As well as his goalscoring ability, Ritchie has also been instrumental in providing knowledge and experience of Step 6 football to the rest of the squad.
He has supported the younger and less experienced players in their mental attitude and commitment to playing a high standard of football, which has seen Longridge Town achieving top spot in Division One North.
Ritchie is very popular with the club members and supporters alike, has demonstrated an enthusiastic and respected relationship with the club, and is a worthy winner of the League award.
FIRST DIVISION SOUTH – JAMES KIRBY OF SANDBACH UNITED
After picking up last month’s Player of the Month award, James has shown no signs in taking his foot off the gas as he has bagged himself 9 goals in the 6 games he played during October.
The month started off with a 5-0 victory over Cheadle Town, a game in which he bagged a brace. Next up for United was a home game against Ellesmere Rangers, where James went one better and scored a hat trick in 16 minutes, helping his side win 3-0.
Sandbach then played Squires Gate in the first round of the FA Vase, and unfortunately for Kirby and his team they lost 2-1, and given his goalscoring form coming into the game it was perhaps surprising James didn’t find the net in this game.
Three days later, however, it was business as usual as Sandbach travelled to local rivals Alsager Town and despite going a goal down early in the game, fought back and won the game 2-1 thanks to two more goals from James.
United rounded off the month by firstly facing New Mills at home, which ended in a 2-2 draw with James scoring from the penalty spot on the stroke of half time, and then on the final day of the month Sandbach travelled to Eccleshall.
They went a goal down early on but ended up winning the game 4-1, with James levelling the scores in the game to begin Sandbach’s comeback.
Overall, it was another fantastic month for the league’s top scorer, in which his fine performances helped Sandbach pick up 16 points out of a possible 21.
REUSCH GOALKEEPER OF THE MONTH AWARDS
PREMIER DIVISION – CRAIG ELLISON OF CONGLETON TOWN
A mark of Craig's attitude was shown during the month when, having dislocated a shoulder the month before at Charnock Richard, he rested for just one of the Bears’ completed games in October.
In the opening game of the month at Runcorn Town, Craig had no chance with any of the goals, and had he not been in excellent form, the score could have been worse.
Against 1874 Northwich in the next game, he remained cool and relaxed, tipping over a couple of dangerous shots before finally being beaten by the only goal of the match after Scott McGowan was allowed to make almost unchallenged progress.
A clean sheet followed at West Didsbury and Chorlton, and was achieved with a couple of good saves from Saul Henderson's efforts and one excellent reaction save when the ball was not cleared cleanly.
It was a similar story in the next game at Litherland REMYCA, where two outstanding saves at critical times preserved the Bears’ clean sheet. The first was an acrobatic reaction after a corner bobbed about in the box before the ball was prodded toward the inside of the post but Craig got a hand to it to keep it out. The second save was a low dive to his left to keep out a goal-bound effort with the score 2-0.
The Bears rounded off the month by facing tough opposition in a derby clash at Northwich Victoria, and Craig was again on top form, tipping over a close range header from a corner and tipping round a low drive in the second half.
The only down side was that he had no chance when a header hit team mate Matthews Jamieson to deflect just inside the post for a harsh own goal.
In summary, two clean sheets, two matches with just one goal conceded and three conceded in the opening game of the month reflects a consistent performer who runs the defence with timely guidance. Regular saves are complemented by a dominance from crosses that help reduce opposition threats, and have played a major part in the Bears early season successes.
FIRST DIVISION NORTH – JOSHUA MOLLOY OF LOWER BRECK
Josh was in fine form during October, stepping in to captain the team and leading impressively from the back during a good month for the club.
An expert in marshalling his defence, Josh is a motivator and as well as being vocal he is a great distributor of the ball. He has grown into his position since joining the Club over four years ago, and is reliable and consistent in his approach to each game.
Conceding just 12 goals in 13 League games up to the end of October, Club Vice-Captain Josh has been instrumental in building a fine defensive record, pulling off some outstanding saves whilst also creating many attacking opportunities with his quick and effective distribution.
During the month of October, Josh played five times and conceded only 6 goals, keeping two clean sheets in the process, and earning one Man of the Match nomination in an 8-2 victory over Atherton LR.
His fine form has helped consolidate the Breck's position in the table, as they push on towards the New Year with the leaders in sight.
FIRST DIVISION SOUTH – GRAEME McCALL OF RYLANDS
Graeme has been brilliant all season for Rylands, but played particularly well during the month of October, which saw Rylands remain undefeated in their rise to the top of the First Division South table, and also progress in two cup competitions.
Despite the team conceding four goals in the month, it would and could have been much more if it wasn't for some exceptional saves from Graeme at key moments in the games played.
He was the hero in the penalty shoot out in the First Division Challenge Cup away to Abbey Hulton United, saving two of the five penalties faced as well as making a number of important saves during the game.
Graeme's best performance of the month came in the game away to Vauxhall Motors, where a number of world class saves within the first 30 minutes kept us in the game and allowed his team to go on and win a very close game 1-0. Club officials watching the game claimed there’s no doubt that two of the saves Graeme made in this game were as good as goals.
In addition to his performances during the month, Graeme is a born leader and is a key part of the squad. He helps the younger players both on and off the field, is a great person to have within the squad, and a deserving winner of a League award.