Lancaster City have today confirmed the signing of strike Nialle Rodney ahead of a trip to Scarborough Athletic this weekend. The 6ft2, versatile forward is mainly utilised in wide areas and has an impressive pedigree with appearances for Bradford City, Nottingham Forest and Hartlepool United.
Rodney, started the season with FC United of Manchester after a bad injury last season, he’s since been training with Vanarama National League club Curzon Ashton and joined up with his new Lancaster City team mates at training on Thursday night.
Speaking about the new signing manager Mark Fell said, “Nialle is an excellent player, we’ve been looking for something a bit different in terms of adding pace and he fits the bill. We’ve tracked his progress for a while and he’s hungry to get back playing again. It gives us a really exciting options going forward. Hopefully we can get Brad Carsley back to full fitness in a week or two and Jason after Christmas, then we’ve really a forward line to rival any others in the league.”
Former Clarets youth team boss Michael Jolley has today been sacked by Grimsby Town after a run of seven games without a win. Jolley who was appointed manager at Blundell Park in March 2018, subsequently led the club to seventeenth place finish and safety in Sky Bet League Two.
Jolley leaves with the club eighteenth in Sky Bet League Two, just six points above bottom placed Morecambe. Having worked in investment banking before moving into football coaching roles with clubs including Crystal Palace, Nottingham Forest, Crewe Alexandra and Burnley. He then joined Swedish top-flight side Eskilstuna as manager in June 2017 with the club winless and bottom of the table, he left after failing to keep them up.
Grimsby Town are the third Sky Bet League Two team to change manager in three days after Carlisle United sacked Steven Pressley on Wednesday and Leyton Orient parted with Carl Fletcher on Thursday. After being dismissed Michael Jolley said, “It has been a genuine privilege to work for such a fantastic club over the past eighteen months”.
Burnley Football Club have today confirmed the death of former long serving director Bob Blakeborough at the age of seventy-five. Having served the club as a board member for eighteen years following his appointment alongside current director Clive Holt in 1986.
The Burnley based businessman helped the Clarets come through one of the most testing times in the club’s history before establishing the foundations for their climb back up the divisions by inviting Barry Kilby to take over as chairman.
Paying tribute to his former colleague, Mr Holt said: “On behalf of the board I would like to express our sadness at the news of Bob’s death. He came to the club when its existence was at threat and after coming through that period, he was then instrumental, along with myself, in Barry agreeing to join us and getting Barry Kilby onto the board. That got the club moving back in the right direction with him having played an important part in club’s history prior to standing down in 2004.”
Mr Blakeborough’s election to the board came at the start of the fateful 1986/87 season when the Clarets only avoided relegation from the Football League on the final day of the season. Board members were regularly required to pay the weekly wage bill and even after a period of greater stability it took the appointment of Mr Kilby to the board in October 1998 and as chairman two months later to provide the backing for a period of playing success prompted by promotion back to the Sky Bet Championship under Stan Ternent.
Dickson Etuhu Found Guilty of Attempted Match Fixing
Ex-Lancashire footballer Dickson Etuhu has today appeared in court in Stockholm accused of attempting to fix a match in Sweden’s top division in 2017. The Swedish appeals court listened to the evidence and then found Etuhu guilty of the charges.
Etuhu, who played for a number of English clubs including Manchester City, Sunderland, Preston North End, Blackburn Rovers and Fulham escaped a jail sentence but was fined and sentenced to serve probation without further details being made public.
The Court of Appeal in Stockholm said in a statement on Wednesday that it was clear that Etuhu and an unnamed former player tried to influence AIK Solna goalkeeper Kyriakos “Kenny” Stamatopoulos to fix a match in Sweden’s top division in 2017.
Etuhu, who left AIK Solna in 2016, says he will be appealing the ruling at the Supreme Court. The court responded by saying “the content of what the two men submitted to the player (Stamatopoulos) was so clear that it should be considered a criminal offer of bribe.”
Etuhu had intially been acquitted by a court last year but that was appealed by prosecutor Johan Lindmark, who told local Swedish newspaper Expressen that he was satisfied with Wednesday’s outcome. Lindmark said, “It was with satisfaction that I received the verdict today. I had appealed on the grounds that I thought the court of law would change and was not surprised when I saw the verdict.”
Burnley U23 3 v 1 AFC Fylde U23 (Lancashire FA Senior Cup)
Burnley U23 squad returned to action this afternoon at Barnfield Training Centre in the Lancashire FA Senior Cup Quater-Finals match against AFC Fylde. Clarets loanee Danny Drinkwater completed his first full match since his debut for the club in the Carabao Cup defeat to Sunderland at the end of August.
While Drinkwater brought the experience of over three hundred senior games and three England caps to the Clarets stide. AFC Fylde weren’t short of experience either with the Vanarama National League side included ex-Clarets defender Alex Whitmore and former Sheffield United, Watford & Bradford City midfielder Mark Yeates in their starting line-up.
Speaking about his return to first time action Danny Drinkwater said, “It was good to be back out there to help the lads win. It was nice to play the full game and get ninety minutes of competitive action under my belt. I need to keep pushing up my fitness levels now and see what the next few weeks bring.”
The visitors started well on three minutes when they had the first real effort of the match as midfielder Mark Yeates clipped the outside of Jensen’s post with a curling free-kick which the Clarets keeper could only watch as it went out of the post for a goal kick.
AFC Fylde then had another excellent chance to take the lead from a corner which found James Craigen free in the Clarets area, but he could only steer his header just wide of the post. However the Clarets gradually found their stride with Josh Benson, Mace Goodridge and Danny Drinkwater forcing the issue from midfield.
On thirty-seven minutes, Joel Mumbongo cut inside the AFC Flyde penalty area from the righ-hand side before he curled his effort just over the visitors crossbar with the keeper Sam Hornby well beaten.
Mace Goodridge perfectly delivered pass found Joe McGlynn who’s first touch was superb and the seventeen year old Scottish Youth International took his chance with a clinical finish to make the half-time score 1-0 to the Clarets.
The Clarets started the second-half well and after just five minutes following an excellent floated pass from Danny Drinkwater was headed down by Mumbongo for Joe McGlynn to collect and chip home a left-footed finish. Joe McGlynn has stepped up from youth level in impressive fashion in recent weeks and has took his chance in the U23’s well.
Just eight minutes later the Clarets extended their lead as right-back Ryan Cooney unlocked the AFC Fylde defence with a lovely ball through for Ne-Jai Tucker to cross to the near post for Joel Mumbongo to neatly flick home his first goal as a Burnley player to make the score 3-0.
AFC Fylde led by recently appointed manager Jim Bentley weren’t quite finished and with twenty minutes to go missed a penalty when Yeates, having been tripped by Scott Wilson saw his penalty well saved by Clarets keeper Lukas Jensen.
Jensen then kept out an effort from Nick Haughton with another fine stop before Haughton’s first-time strike into the top corner twelve minutes from time gave the Coasters some reward.
The Clarets have now gone sixteen games unbeaten from the start of the season and will now join holders Blackburn Rovers and Preston North End in the semi-finals of the competition with either Morecambe or Wigan Athletic to join them.
According to reports in the national press, Burnley Football Club are lining up a cut price one million pound deal for Celtic midfielder Nir Bitton. The Clarets boss Sean Dyche is a keen admirer of the versatile midfielder who can operate in centre midfield or centre back.
Bitton’s contract is set to expire in the summer and no new deal has been put on the table by the Scottish Premier League Champions. The Clarets are confident they can secure his services for just £1Million in the January transfer widow.
Sean Dyche is keen to increase his options in midfield after Jack Cork and Ashley Westwood have played almost every game after Danny Drinkwater has failed to make any kind impression at Turf Moor so far this season on loan from Chelsea.
Lancaster City 2 v 2 Hyde United (Bet Victor Northern Premier League)
Following last weekends win on the road at South Shields the Dolly Blues had the chance to go top of the Bet Victor Northern Premier League with a victory at the Giant Axe against Hyde United. Lancaster City like all football clubs across the country paid their respects to the service men and women who lost their lives whilst fighting for their county with the playing of the “Last Post” and a minutes silence.
Lancaster City started the stronger of the two sides and were on top for the opening ten minutes of the match, the first effort of the half fell to the home side on two minutes when Paul Dawson shot from the edge of the area went just over Luke Mewitt’s crossbar.
Hyde United started to get back into the game with some excellent runs by Dan Turner which were causing the home side a few issue, on twelve minutes a great bit of defending from Ben Hudson denied Turner a goal scoring opportunity. From the resulting corner Tongue and Turner linked up well, but Jordan Fagbola’s header was cleared by Ashton.
On seventeen minutes, the Dolly Blues were awarded a free-kick at the edge of the visitors area following an excellent run by Paul Dawson who beat three defenders before being brought down. Rob Wilson took the resulting free-kick which was saved by Luke Mewitt.
Four minutes later, referee Stuart Morland issued the first booking of the game as Kyle Brownhill was booked for a foul on Sam Bailey just outside the visitors area, the resulting free-kick from Rob Wilson tested Mewitt who tipped the ball around the post for a corner.
On thirty-two minutes, the home side took the lead following a long ball from the halfway line by Lewis Fensome. The ball was flicked on by Matty Blinkhorn at the edge of the area and after being missed by the Hyde defence fell to David Norris, who controlled the ball inside the box before slotting the ball under Mewitt to make it 1-0.
The home side should have extended their lead with five minutes left in the half, as David Norris found himself unmarked at the back post just six yards out. However Luke Mewitt in the visitors goal pulled off a world class save deny the City striker.
Lancaster City started the second-half looking to extend their lead and on fifty minutes had a great chance, as David Norris found himself free inside the box on the right-hand side of the area only to see him drag his shot wide of the far post.
Just five minutes later and the home side should have added a second following another excellent chance, when Lewis Fensome take a long range shot which the Hyde United keeper Luke Mewitt managed to palms away for a corner.
The visitors then had a great chance to draw level when the ball sat up for Liam Tongue, which forced Sam Ashton into a fantastic acrobatic save to stop the ball from finding the top corner of the goal.
City then had yet another chance to extend their lead on fifty-sox minutes and again the ball fell to David Norris just inside the visitors area on the right side. However Norris again dragged his shot passed Mewitt and wide of the far post.
Hyde United drew level on fifty-seven minutes following a long throw which was flicked on by Chris Sharp, the ball fell to Dan Turner who poked home at the near post giving Ashton no chance to make the score 1-1.
The home side took the lead on eighty-three minutes following a deep corner which was headed towards goal by Lewis Fensome before hitting the visiting keeper Luke Mewitt on the chest and going into the goal to make the score 2-1.
As the game entered three minutes of injury time it looked like the Dolly Blues were heading for the top of the Northern Premier League. Then with just moments left the ball found its way to Liam Tongue who drilled the ball into the bottom corner of the goal, passed the diving Sam Ashton to make the full-time score 2-2.