Five Things We Learned 2023/24 - Gameweek 39

Wed 24th April 2024 | Five Things
By Jay Cooper

1. Wythenshawe FC go 2-for-2!

Congratulations to the winners of the NWCFL Premier Division for the 2023/24 season, Wythenshawe FC! It wasn't even 12 months ago that the club were neck and neck with Stockport Town in a race for the First Division South title, and called "Wythenshawe Amateurs". Well, here they are again having bested local rivals Wythenshawe Town and Bury FC in the quest for gold.

Going into the final day, they were level on points with Wythy Town, but with a far superior goal difference, and all they had to do was win away at Squires Gate. Despite Town piling on the pressure with a 3-0 victory of their own against Burscough, the Ammies did the job, beating Gate 2-0 and securing their second successive automatic promotion. Town and Bury (who, for completionists, drew 0-0 with Ramsbottom United on the final day) will enter the play-offs in an attempt to join in the celebrations with Wythenshawe FC.


2. Over to you, Charnock Richard...

To call the events of the weekend in the NWCFL Premier Division the "final day" is true for most teams, but not for Charnock Richard. Owing to cup competitions, match postponements and whatever else has stopped games happening over the course of 2023/24, here we are at the initially scheduled finish line and Charnock still have 2 games to play at the time of writing.

That might not matter if Ryan Donnellan and his players weren't capable of amassing a points total of 81, which would see them jump all the way to 4th and be involved in the play-offs, which are meant to begin this coming weekend. They most recently won last night against Barnoldswick Town and are scheduled to face Colne and Pilkington between now and Saturday. If they're able to take maximum points from those fixtures, they'd push Kendal Town out of the top 5 on goal difference.


3. First Division North Final is decided!

These next three list entries are going to sound repetitive, but they're all certainly newsworthy. On Saturday, we saw the play-offs for the First Divisions North and South get underway, and, in the North, both Atherton LR and Ashton Town held the home advantage because of seeding, over South Liverpool and Euxton Villa respectively.

Ashton Town made the most of their terrain in a back-and-forth encounter with Euxton Villa where it seemed that the visitors were always able to reply to whatever was thrown at them. In the end, Ashton won 4-3 with both teams scoring very late on, but they will advance to the final and play South Liverpool there. Atherton LR bowed out of an impressive season with a 1-0 home defeat thanks to an Elliot Owen penalty. 


4. First Division South Final is decided!

On Saturday, we saw the play-offs for the First Divisions North and South get underway, and, in the South, both Sandbach United and Stockport Town held the home advantage because of seeding, over Abbey Hey and Droylsden respectively. Droylsden were looking to add play-off finalists to their accolade of also being Macron Cup finalists.

Unfortunately for them, that wasn't to be, as a 96th minute Dan McLaughlin winner was the difference between Stockport Town and Droylsden, and Paul Turnbull and his players will hope to avenge last seasons' semi-final bow-out when they go toe to toe with Abbey Hey in the final. In a defiant performance away at Sandbach United, Abbey hey raced into a 3-0 lead before conceding 1 to their hosts in the second half. That goal proved to be little more than a consolation for Sandbach, and the away side advanced.


5. The Macron Cup Final is decided!

As I mentioned last week (and in the last entry), Droylsden confirmed their place in the 2024 Macron Cup Final with a win over Premier Division Chadderton before the latest round of fixtures. In amongst those latest fixtures, it was decided who their opponents would be on May 11th - Premier Division Barnoldswick Town, or First Division South Alsager Town.

In the end, despite a valiant effort from the on-paper underdogs Alsager, it was Barlick who picked up the win by 4 goals to 2. Despite Alsager going into the break 2-0 up thanks to Thomas Stanton and Jack Woolley, the hosts responded in kind via Jack Foster, Ryan Moore and an Andrew Hill brace. Place your bets - who will win the 2024 Macron Cup? Barnoldswick Town, or Droylsden?

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