Curzon Ashton have confirmed the signing of striker Alex Samizadeh.
The young Iranian forward, 19, joins the Nash having left Kilmarnock in the summer after spending last season in Scotland.
Samizadeh will be a familiar face for Nash fans having played for the club’s youth team during the 2014/15 season. He also made a sole first team appearance in a pre-season friendly away at Mossley in 2015, where he found the target, before attracting the attention of professional clubs.
After impressing in his time at Curzon, Alex signed for Championship side Bolton Wanderers in 2015 and made his professional debut the following year, coming on as a substitute away at Brentford.
Alex has previous experience of the National League North, having spent two months on loan at Chorley in 2016, scoring on his debut.
On the signing of Alex, manager John Flanagan commented: “We are delighted that we have finally managed to secure the signing of Alex. It appears he’s not had much luck with his move to Kilmarnock but it’s clear that the lad is desperate to play and score goals. His energy and appetite are a breath of fresh air.
“He is different to what we have got at present. He has a very low centre of gravity, he’s tenacious and doesn’t give defenders an opportunity to relax. I’m sure once he finds some match fitness he’ll have an excellent season.”
Oldham boss Scott Naylor has been suspended for four matches by an independent operational rules tribunal of the RFL.
He got one match on a grade B charge for questioning a referee’s decision in Oldham’s 50-6 win against North Wales Crusaders plus three more matches, suspended from a previous case.
The hearing was adjourned a fortnight ago because match officials weren’t in attendance and resumed last night (Tues) when Oldham chairman Chris Hamilton was there to represent his club’s head coach.
The four-match ban means Naylor can’t be part of the Roughyeds’ game-day operation in crucial clashes with Newcastle Thunder, Coventry Bears, York City Knights and Bradford Bulls.
Naylor’s assistant coach Pete Carey will be in charge, starting with Sunday’s trip to Newcastle Thunder (3pm kick-off).
In terms of play-off qualification it’s another ‘must win’ game for Roughyeds, who will move up to third in Betfred League 1 if they make it a league double and Workington Town go down at leaders Bradford Bulls.
Naylor’s men won 28-12 when Thunder played at the Vestacare Stadium in May.
Said the Roughyeds boss: “They’re a good side. We had to play very well indeed to beat them at our place and up there we expect another tough battle.
“They’re experienced, dangerous, they like to play quick, expansive rugby and they like playing at home.
“It’s a very important game for us and, like Whitehaven last Sunday, it’s one we have to win.
“We’ll be looking for other results to go our way, but we have no control over those and the one thing we must do is look after our own backyard.
“It’s a game that’s just as important to us as the Whitehaven game last Sunday.”
He said Roughyeds came unscathed through that 20-0 win and that he will again be picking from 23 available players, including on-loan winger Lee Kershaw.
Whitehaven player-coach Carl Forster, meanwhile, has given a fascinating insight into how opponents view Oldham’s experienced stand-off and goalkicker Paul Crook.
Crook helped the Cumbrians to get to last year’s Promotion Final and then figured prominently in the Roughyeds’ impressive win against his former club last Sunday.
Forster has since gone public with this assessment of his ex team mate:
“You know you’re going to get that (game management) when you play against Crooky.
“I think he was really under-appreciated last season.
“You don’t really get Crooky until you play with him or watch him closely and then when you do come up against him he crucifies you for it.
“He’s that experienced head that we probably lack. He’s a great player.
“If you give him the chance to organise and to kick his goals he’ll put you to the sword.”
It was the first time in the history of Oldham RLFC (1997) Ltd that Roughyeds have beaten opponents home and away without conceding a single point.
Grimsby Town v Lincoln City, Bury v Forest Green Rovers, Cheltenham Town v Carlisle United, Crewe Alexandra v MK Dons, Exeter City v Newport County, Mansfield Town v Colchester United, Northampton Town v Cambridge United, Oldham Athletic v Macclesfield Town, Port Vale v Crawley Town, Stevenage v Morecambe, Swindon Town v Tranmere Rovers
NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH:
Alfreton Town v Blyth Spartans, Altrincham v Boston United, Ashton United v Brackley Town, Bradford Park Avenue v Stockport County, Chester v FC united, Chorley v Hereford, Kidderminster Harriers v Darlington, Leamington v Guiseley, Nuneaton Borough v Southport, Spennymoor Town v AFC Telford Utd, York City v Curzon Ashton
EVO-STIK PREMIER DIVISION:
Grantham Town v Bamber Bridge, Hednesford Town v Scarborough Athletic, Hyde United v Basford United, Marine v North Ferriby United, Matlock Town v Lancaster City, Nantwich Town v Gainsborough Trinity, South Shields v Witton Albion, Stalybridge Celtic v Mickleover Sports, Warrington Town v Farsley Celtic, Whitby Town v Buxton, Workington v Stafford Rangers
Chasetown v Mossley, Clitheroe v Kidsgrove Athletic, Colwyn Bay v Kendal Town, Droylsden v Runcorn Linnets, Glossop v Atherton Collieries, Newcastle Town v Colne, Ramsbottom United v Market Drayton Town, Skelmersdale United v Leek Town, Trafford v Prescot Cables, Widnes v Radcliffe FC
NORTH WEST COUNTIES FIRST DIVISION NORTH:
Ashton Town v AFC Liverpool, Atherton LR v Chadderton, Carlisle City v Bacup Borough, Daisy Hill v Avro, Holker Old Boys v Nelson, Longridge Town v Prestwich Heys, Lower Breck v Garstang, Shelley v Cleator Moor Celtic, St Helens Town v AFC Darwen, Steeton v AFC Blackpool
NORTH WEST COUNTIES FIRST DIVISION SOUTH:
Cammell Laird 1907 v Abbey Hulton United, Cheadle heath Nomads v Vauxhall Motors, Eccleshall v Barnton, Ellesmere Rangers v Wythenshawe Amateurs, FC Oswestry Town v Alsager Town, Maine Road v New Mills, Rylands v Wythenshawe Town, Sandbach United v Stone Dominoes, Stockport Town v St Martins, Stone Old Alleynians v Cheadle Town
MANCHESTER PREMIER LEAGUE:
Chadderton Reserves v Walshaw Sports, Dukinfield Town v Royton Town, East Manchester v Rochdale Sacred Heart, Hindsford v Beechfield United, Manchester Central v Bolton County, Manchester Gregorians v AFC Monton, Old Altrinchamians v Springhead, Stockport Georgians v Heyside
Following the opening three fixtures of the 2018/19 season, Oldham Athletic owner Abdallah Lemsagam has provided clarity on the club’s current situation.
In a statement uploaded to the club’s official website, he said:
I would like to start by thanking the loyal supporters who have again surpassed my expectations and have backed the team in such a devoted way.
We have more season ticket holders now than we did last season and I am optimistic that we will all have plenty to cheer about. I hope you all enjoy the scarves. The scarves are just a small token of my gratitude for your ever-present loyalty, particularly last season.
I have been in control of the football club for over six months now and I admit it has not been easy at times. When I first came in a lot of creditors who had not been paid by the previous regime issued court proceedings and winding up orders.
After a long process, there are now no remaining winding up procedures and we are working hard to clear the final old debts that the club is responsible for. In particular, there are no longer any debts owing to HMRC.
It became clear to me quite quickly that the club could not continue the way it had been running: borrowing money from one person to pay another and selling off future assets, leaving a black hole for the future. If we continued in that way there was a very serious risk of losing Oldham Athletic. I have personally spent over £3,000,000 to get us to a sustainable platform now and I will continue to invest in this club.
In order to comply with Football League rules, we have to live within our means. As a result of our relegation to Sky Bet League Two we have had to reduce the playing staff wage bill as well as the staff wage bill to ensure that the club can sign players and move forward in the league.
Not only this, but to comply with the financial fair play regulations of the EFL we have to operate on a smaller budget than last season. However we are working tirelessly to make sure we have a squad strong enough to be competitive.
We are now on a firm footing and can build for the long term future. We have a new management team in place who have a young, hungry squad full of potential at their disposal. Our ambition is to create a successful and sustainable football club that will represent the town for many years and decades to come.
It has been well documented in media reports that a number of players who have left the club were unhappy. I want to say it again: the club is bigger than any one person. It is bigger than me, and any one of the staff or the players. I have been very disappointed to see media reports from one particular player that came to me in January wanting to leave for their own personal gain. At the time I had to remind him of his obligations to the club as an Oldham Athletic player. However this did not seem to have any effect, especially when we look back at some of the performances from the second half of the season.
I am pleased that our dressing room is now totally behind our management team; the players give total respect and dedication to Frankie Bunn and Andy Rhodes and, more importantly, Oldham Athletic.
Ultimately, who plays in the team is down to the manager and his staff. If a player is not loyal, shows no discipline or shows a total lack of professionalism towards the club or any of their colleagues then I am 100% behind our manager to make the correct decision on them. Any player that isn’t committed to this club will not feature for Oldham Athletic.
Me and my family have been fully committed to this club and we will continue to back the team, manager and staff however way we can. I look at teams in the Premier League like Brighton and Hove Albion, Bournemouth and Huddersfield Town who not long ago were in a similar position to us in the Football League. I think about how important a strong foundation has been to help them get to where they are today.
We are now in a position where we can only build the club back up to where it should be, but it can not be done without the backing and support of everyone.
We all need to come together and get behind our young, talented and driven squad.
There may only be 11 players on the pitch, but together as a club we are thousands.
Mottram Cricket Club is celebrating after its 2nd XI won the Hawke Trophy last weekend.
Captained by Stephen Scott, the Derbyshire and Cheshire Division Four leaders beat Birch Vale & Thornsett by five wickets in a tense finale at Woodley Cricket Club on Sunday.
Stephen, 23, said he was overjoyed and incredibly proud to have led his team to prestigious silverware. Speaking to Reporter Sport, he said: “The way they have conducted themselves throughout this cup run has been incredible and they are a credit to the club.
“On a personal note, I think if you’d have said at the start of the season that we’d win the cup and be top of the league table I’d have laughed.”
Despite the one division gulf between the two sides, Stephen expected a tough game and wasn’t surprised by the quality on offer.
And he reserved praise for one player in particular, who stole the show with figures of 4-33. “Birch Vale were a tough opposition and it was a really evenly contested game” said Stephen.
“We won quite comfortably in the end but they put us under pressure both with bat and ball.
“I was really impressed with Benn McGreggor as he came on to bowl when there were two set batsmen at the crease and we needed to break the partnership quickly.
“Ben or “Bones” as we call him has a knack of picking up key wickets for us.
“He broke the partnership in the semi-final which triggered a collapse, and his spell on Sunday was no different and really impressive, so he changed the game for us and gave us the momentum and belief to bowl them out”.
After such a morale boosting victory, and with the Division Four title within their sights, Mottram are now on course for a league and cup double this season.
Stephen credits the success to hard work and perseverance, plus a strong team mentality which, if left unbroken, will carry them to the title in September. “We have a great team spirit at the moment and also lots of momentum having gone unbeaten since the quarter finals of the cup” he said.
“As with the cup we need to remain grounded and just keeping winning and not change what we do. That’s all I can ask of the lads, keep winning and see what happens”.
Ironically, Mottram make the journey to Woodley again this weekend – this time in league competition.
When the two sides met at the start of May, Woodley won by 103 runs.
Stephen wants revenge but knows it won’t be easy against a side which, only two weeks ago, beat second place Newton by 71 runs. He said: “It’s nice to go back to Woodley as we won their last week, but they’re a good side and so we shouldn’t overlook them.
“As a side note I’d like to thank Woodley for the excellent job they did in hosting the final.
“I’d like to extend a personal thanks to James Dadge who has been our reliable opening bat all year and travelled all the way from Devon to play both the league game on Saturday and cup game final on Sunday. He has battled through serious health issues over the last three years so for him to be in a winning cup final team is outstanding. He is a real credit to our Club.
“I’d also like to thank all the travelling support that game to watch, especially our 1st team who were in fine voice singing songs and really helping us through some difficult parts of the game”.
It was last gasp delight for Curzon, as Joe Guest’s 90th minute strike earnt the Nash a dramatic 1-0 win at the Impact Arena over Alfreton Town.
The hosts had a number of second half chances to clinch the win through Tom Denton, however Guest made them pay as his deflected effort from 20 yards beat Sam Ramsbottom in the Town goal to make sure all three points were heading back to the Tameside Stadium.
Despite the Nash starting the brighter of the two sides it was the home side who had the first real chance through Richard Peniket. The Alfreton number 10 latched onto a header from Denton and then scrambled an effort from five yards into the grateful hands of Cameron Mason.
The Nash number one was then called into action again shortly after, first denying a looping header from Denton, and then a point-blank effort from Tom Allan.
In spite of the home team’s pressure it was John Flanagan’s men who arguably had the best chance of the half, just before the half time whistle. A cross from the right from Connor Hughes was met by the oncoming run of James Baillie, who hit a first time effort agonisingly wide of the post from 10 yards out.
The sides went in all square at the break.
After the restart the second half started in a similar fashion to the first with Curzon dominating the early stages, and the early pressure nearly paid off as Baillie came close twice in the first ten minutes as the Curzon right-back forced two good saves out of Ramsbottom.
As the game entered the latter stages the home team began to pile on the pressure in search of the winner, with Denton being their main target.
As a result, the Town number nine had two golden opportunities to win the game- both headers of course, but fortunately for Curzon the target man missed both, to the despair of the Alfreton faithful behind the goal.
Both Denton and Alfreton would live to rue the missed chances as Guest punished the hosts late on.
The Curzon winger cut in from the right and let fly from 25 yards, and with the help of a fortunate deflection found the bottom left corner, sparking a jubilant team celebration in the dugout showing just how much the late winner meant to the whole squad.
John Flanagan will be hoping his side continue their 100% away form this Saturday as they make the trip to Bootham Crescent to face York City.