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NCEL news at at 12th November 2005
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RETFORD UNITED have pulled off an astonishing coup by re-signing their former striker Vill Powell.

In a move which signals the First Division outfits determination to mount a serious challenge for promotion this season, United president Dean Vivean has persuaded Powell to return to the club where he set scoring records galore in his previous stay.

Powell, 26, began his career at Sheffield Wednesday but was surprisingly released before having the opportunity to make much of an impact at Hillsborough. A spell with Derry City in the Irish League followed before short stays at Worksop Town, Denaby United and Stocksbridge Park Steels.

But it was when Powell was snapped up by then Unibond Division One side North Ferriby in September, 2001, that he began to make a name for himself in non-league football. In two years at Church Road Powell topped the clubs scoring charts but, in August 2003, surprised everyone by turning down a new contract and instead moving to Retford, then a Central Midlands League side.

The centre-forward had in fact turned out for United at the end of the previous season, scoring a hat-trick on his debut, but his permanent move to Cannon Park was the catalyst for a record-breaking campaign, both for the player and his new club.

Powell scored an incredible 72 goals in 56 games as he helped the Badgers to a league and cup treble and promotion to the Northern Counties East League. United had hoped to cling on to their prize asset as they began life in the pyramid but Powell was snapped up by Conference South outfit Grays Athletic after scoring twice for them in a friendly against Swindon Town.

Despite scoring regularly and helping his new club to win the FA Trophy last season, Powell left Grays for brief spells at Stafford Rangers and Havant & Waterlooville.

Now, Powell is back at Cannon Park and everyone at Retford will be hoping the prolific striker can make a similar impact to the one he made in his previous stay at the club.

MALTBY MAIN have welcomed a trio of new faces to Lees Lane with striker Andrew Jones, midfielder Liam Kay and defender Gareth Clayton all arriving at the club.

All three made their home debuts in Main’s recent 2-2 draw with Sheffield with Jones notching one of the goals.

SHIREBROOK TOWN have added to their squad by signing teenage Hucknall Town defender Craig Mellors on a month’s loan.

Town manager Graham Howarth moved for Mellors as first-choice central-defender Matt Roper has started a three-week suspension.

Mellors is the second Hucknali player to join Shirebrook following Eugene Francis’ loan spell at Langwith Road last season.

“We have a good relationship with Hucknall Town,” said Howarth.

GLASSHOUGHTON WELFARE’S former winger Martyn Woolford has been making the headlines following his summer departure from Leeds Road.

Signing for Frickley Athletic, the 20-year-old Woolford has so impressed the UniBond Premier high-fliers that he has been awarded a contract until the end of the season, with an option for another year.

Frickley boss Gary Marrow said: “The contract is a reward for Martyn’s efforts. We were also aware that League clubs and sides higher up the non-league pyramid were showing an interest in him.”

CARLTON TOWN have picked up striker Drew Hatton from First Division rivals South Normanton Athletic. Hatton had started the season with a bang and was the top-scorer at the Exchem Sports Ground prior to his move to Town.

HARROGATE RAILWAY manager Martin Haresign is hoping for a long run in the FA Vase after seeing his side dispose of North West Counties Division Two outfit Darwen in the First Round.

Haresign said: “You tend to find that someone in either the North West Counties or North East Counties tends to have a really good run, so why can it be us?

“I’d rank us amongst the top 25 clubs in the competition so we must be in with a shout.

“If we get that bit of luck then I see no reason why we can’t make the last 16.”

MICKLEOVER SPORTS boss Martin Rowe is looking for his players to fulfil their potential and propel themselves into the Premier Division promotion race.

Sports may have made a sluggish start to the campaign but Rowe said: “The thing is, I know we have the ability in the squad but I’m not so sure about our approach.

“We have simply got to be more ruthless on the pitch.”

Meanwhile, Mickleover striker Dave Middleditch has returned to first-team duties after a spell on the sidelines through injury.

SOUTH NORMANTON ATHLETIC chairman Peter Kane is standing down after 18 months at the helm of the NCEL First Division club.

Kane was one of the founding members of the club in 1980 and has seen it develop on and off the pitch progressing from local football to the NCEL. Having decided to spend more time with his family, Kane is hoping his decision will serve to attract some new blood to the Nottinghamshire club.

He said: “As chairman, I feel that the current committee have done their bit, most have been here for over twenty years, but what this club needs is a new start.

“The potential is great, with the club having its own social club, car parking, floodlights, and major ground improvements in the pipeline. We have just negotiated a further twenty-five-year lease on top of the five years left to run on our current one.

“We appeal to anyone out there with views on running a club at this level to get in touch with your proposals. The time is right for ‘new blood’ to take the reins here at South Normanton.

“It’s not a weekend job for any committee so if people are serious about organising a new committee to take over, they must think long and hard about the amount of time running a club at this level takes.

“The current lads on our committee are mostly in their retirement ages and are feeling that maybe it’s time to step down.

“Having said that, we are all behind our current managers Chris Nicholson and Brian Franks, who had a mammoth task to turn the footballing side of things round. That is still ongoing and, whilst things on the pitch are way from being perfect, we feel that the guys are taking us in the right direction.”

PARKGATE have boosted their strike force with the acquisition of Caine Cheetham from Premier Division Sheffield.

Cheetham has been a prolific scorer in NCEL football and in 2002/03 was the league’s second-top marksmen with 30 goals for Buxton. The much travelled striker has also played Northern Counties East League football for Maltby Main and Hatfield Main.

In 2003/04 Cheetham was nominated as one of three candidates for the Football Associations Player of the Round for his two goals in Buxton’s win over Radcliffe Borough in the FA Cup Third Qualifying Round.

GARFORTH TOWN have forged a partnership with local primary school Strawberry Fields with pupils helping to promote the clubs recent home fixture with Armthorpe Welfare.

A radio advert was recorded by pupils and on the day of the game a 5 a side event was held for children from years 5 and 6, cheerleaders from years 3 - 6 performed at half time, face painting was available, a relay event took place at half time and two children won the chance to be mascot for the day.

As well as having an enjoyable day at the Marston’s Stadium the school also helped the club by selling 180 tickets to boost the attendance at the match to a figure of over 400.

SUTTON TOWN welcomed back inspirational midfielder Gary Patterson for his first game of the season in their recent encounter with Maltby Main but, unhappily, the former England national eleven skipper was forced off after struggling with a back injury.

Town won the match but manager Les McJannet insisted his side should have netted more goals.

“We missed plenty of chances, but at least we are creating them,” he said.

ECCLESHILL UNITED’S former striker Ben Jones has joined Nationwide North club Harrogate Town. Jones has had a nomadic career after signing for Eccleshill following his release by Sheffield United in the summer of 2002.

Since leaving Plumpton Park Jones has had brief spells at Farsley Celtic, Gainsborough Trinity, Aberystwyth Town, Bradford Park Avenue, Wakefield-Emley, Leigh RMI and Witton Albion.

BUXTON'S powerful start to the season, with 12 victories and 2 draws in their first 15 competitive matches, is their best such post-war performance - surpassing that of 2 years ago which had equalled the start of the 1946/47 campaign in the Cheshire League when 10 games were won and 3 were drawn.

What's more, the Bucks' output of 44 goals is their most productive since the 50 that were scored in the first 15 fixtures of the 1958/59 season! The 11 goals conceded is also a post-war record low.

Meanwhile, the rise of Wigan Athletic to the upper echelons of the Premiership is the talk of the soccer world, but 39 years ago on Saturday 5th November, Buxton toppled a 'Latics' side in one of the biggest surprises of that non-league season.

Athletic arrived that Guy Fawkes Day with a proud record of 52 games unbeaten in the Cheshire League, dating back to September 1965 whilst Buxton stood 18th in the table. Two second-half goals produced a 2-0 upset but Wigan's feat remains a record that survives in pro and semi-pro soccer that even the mighty Arsenal could not overcome.

 "The Blues"