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  • "
    Genuine fan wrote:
    You obviously have no idea how an industrial and provident society works then do you WHS? One level below Vics, two below Witton and on the front foot. Lets see where all three are in five years time shall we?
    So in summary:

    Promotion by default.

    2 levels below Witton...but a milion miles away in terms of the quality of players you can attract.

    As for Northwich Vics...don't ge me going on that shower.

    That being said...good luck for next season.
    I think Teller of Tales and WHS are fishing for a bite from an 1874 follower!!!

    In terms of the quality on show next season for 1874 at Step 5;

    Two of Wittons best performers over the last couple of seasons have been Ben Harrison (who was literally a Sunday League player for Rudheath prior to being picked up by Paul Ogden) and Josh Hancock (who was in and out of the Congleton Town team in the NWC Prem 4/5 seasons ago). We've also seen Rob Hopley progress from Winsford (when they were at step 6) to Colwyn Bay via Leek Town and more recently Lois Maynard from Winsford United to the Halifax first team this season.

    Witton have also suffered defeats against a team from Step 5 (Congleton) and a team who were then at Step 6 and consisting of players who were not paid and could all be seen playing at Moss Farm or Knights Grange on a Sunday morning (Winsford) from recent memory in the FA Cup.

    I believe the top 3 sides in NWC 1 and the top 5 sides in the NWC Prem (possibly the top 8 at a push) all had the quality of players at their disposal to finish above the bottom 4 in the Evostik Prem over a 46 game season last year.

    The difference in quality, in my opinion, is shown in the other teams in those two leagues versus the Evostik Prem where there are only 5/6 teams who you would say were poor (in the NWC Prem there are probably 10+ who are really poor; but still not Sunday League standard!). The quality of pitches at Step 5 and 6 is also drastically reduced from Step 3 which obviously also affects the quality and standard of football on display. But in terms of players, the top sides in the NWC are all full of players who have plenty of experience at evostik level or above but for whatever reason (personal preference, work commitments, laziness, trophy hunting, money, being the star man) decide to play at NWC level.

    The problem 1874 will now have is that Step 5 is notoriously difficult to get out of, all across the country, with only the Champion side being promoted from leagues at this level in most areas. Both Runcorn Town and Runcorn Linnets have had teams that would easily cope at Step 4 and 3 over the last 3 seasons but there has been Ramsbottom, Padiham and now Norton who have been better. There is little or no margin for error with the Champions usually only losing a handful of games so no losing 15 games and sneaking into the playoffs and getting up that way!

    I think 1874 can take heart from their performances at Cammell Laird and Tranmere in the Cheshire Cup and in a competitive friendly at Altrincham which all showed that they have the quality of players (which will now surely be added to as well) who are comfortable at a much higher level and will be up amongst the top teams again this season.

    Also I think they can take heart from the likes of Fleetwood, Fylde, Nantwich and more recently Ramsbottom who have all progressed from Step 5 (and were much smaller clubs in terms of support and stature than 1874 when they were at that level) and gone on to have success and find the quality at higher levels.

    I'd expect the average attendance at 1874 to pass that of Witton this year, and with no return in sight for Vics, that would establish them as the best supported club in the area. An FA Vase run would also help bring in and retain a lot of the sleeping or undecided 1874/Vics fans so I think that needs to be a big aim for the club this year (one only needs to look at the increase in support at Nantwich and Glossop to see the impact of a successful run in this competition). Medium term; a return to the town and not the outskirts (i.e. Wincham) must be non-negotiable with the council and the installation of a 4G or i-pitch for a playing surface which could be used by all the local schools and junior football clubs to strengthen their ties with the community and bring in further/new support is essential and would surely see 1874 return to the level and quality of football that their fans enjoyed before messrs Connett and Rushe arrived on the scene."
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1874 Northwich to be promoted to North West Counties League top flight after rival club resigns

Mike Brandon and 1874 Northwich will line up in the North West Counties League's Premier Division from next season. Picture: ANNIE HILDITCH

Mike Brandon and 1874 Northwich will line up in the North West Counties League's Premier Division from next season. Picture: ANNIE HILDITCH

First published in Football
Last updated
Northwich Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Sports Writer

1874 NORTHWICH will play at a higher level next season after Formby, who had beaten them to a promotion place on goal difference, resigned from the North West Counties League.

The fans-run club, who finished third in Division One with the same points tally as the Squirrels behind champions Nelson, were offered a place in the Premier Division during a phone call from league secretary John Deal to chairman Paul Stockton on Saturday.

He accepted.

“We didn’t see it coming,” admitted Brian Edge, vice chairman at 1874 Northwich.

“Paul asked if I was sitting down when I answered the phone, so I immediately thought he was about to deliver bad news. I wasn’t expecting to hear what he said next.”

The league confirmed Formby’s situation in a statement.

But the Merseyside club, Division One champions in 2013, have yet to comment beyond a brief remark on one of their online social media accounts.

“We’re exhausting all our final options before we confirm anything 100 per cent,” it read.

“Expect a statement from us on Monday.”

Bacup and Rossendale Borough, who occupied the first relegation position in the Premier Division, have already been reprieved from the drop by the FA’s Leagues Committee following a reshuffle further up the non-league pyramid.

However league rules prevent a side finishing bottom of the table, in this case Wigan Robin Park, from benefitting in the same way.

As a result, 1874 Northwich will fill the vacancy made by Formby’s exit.

Stockton said: “The league secretary doesn’t call out of season just for a chat, so I knew it was something significant after he left a message asking me to ring him.

“I wasn’t prepared for what he did say, mind!

“We were an own goal away from being promoted on the final day of the season, so had gone as close as we possibly could without going up.

“It’s what [manager] Ian [Street] and the players had worked so hard from the start to achieve.”

He told the Guardian that the club’s board would meet shortly to discuss in detail how being promoted will impact on their preparation for next season.

An open meeting for supporters, scheduled before today’s news, takes place at Lostock Social Club on Tuesday from 8pm.

What do you think? How will the team fare in the Premier Division next season? Add a comment below.

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