Avon Calling - Clubs involved in various cup competitions

Last updated : 20 December 2002 By Peter Heywood

Darren Garner - scored one of the Rotherham goals against Oldham
However this didn’t mean that our opponents remained inactive as many of them were involved in reserve cup competitions.

Huddersfield, Tranmere, Rotherham and Oldham all had games in the group stage of the Avon Insurance League Cup, with varying degrees of success. At the Don Valley Stadium on Thursday night, Rotherham’s second string comprehensively disposed of Oldham 5-1, with goals from Mark Robins (2), Darren Byfield, Chris Sedgwick and Darren Garner. In fairness, Oldham had already played on Monday evening, beating Bury 3-0 away in the Manchester Senior Cup; so this time round manager Iain Dowie elected to field a youthful team. 19 year-old Lourenco, on loan from Sporting Lisbon, scored the Latics’ consolation.

Tranmere returned to Vauxhall Motors’ Rivacre Park to easily dispose of Mansfield 3-0. Second half goals from Andy Robinson, Paul Brown and Steven Jennings put the Rovers in a strong position for qualifying for the quarter-final stage of the competition. League leaders Huddersfield were not so fortunate however, as Hull City celebrated saying farewell to Boothferry Park by winning 1-0 at the McAlpine. Tigers’ coach Colin Murphy showed that time has not withered his linguistic prowess when he described the match as "a classic game of two halves".

Further south, Walsall advanced to the next round of the Birmingham Senior Cup by beating Solihull Borough 4-0 at Borough’s Damson Park. Gary Birch (2), Matt Carbon and Nick Smith were on target for the Saddlers.

The weather thwarted two of our other Avon rivals. A frozen Saltergate led to the postponement of Sheffield United’s League Cup tie with Doncaster; and a similar fate befell Wolves in their attempts to play a friendly with Shrewsbury at their Compton Park training ground. The Wolves players weren’t too bothered however, as they were able to escape the icy conditions for the comfort of their recently-opened Academy Indoor Arena, built at a cost of £700,000. (Let’s hope Stan can sell lots of books!!)

Back to the Clarets, and as Stan has already announced, Earl Davis is to extend his loan period at Stalybridge Celtic for a further month, much to the delight of Celtic’s fans. They’ve now gone six wins out of six since his arrival, the latest 2-0 against local rivals Altrincham. Celtic have risen to second in the Unibond Premier, but remain nine points behind Accrington Stanley and have played two games more.

The reserves now take their winter break, returning to action in the New Year.

Forthcoming fixtures:

Thursday, January 2nd:

Tranmere v Oldham

Wednesday, January 8th:

Bury v Preston
Huddersfield v Burnley (2pm)
Rotherham v Barnsley
Sheffield United v Tranmere

Leading league goalscorers:

6 Gareth Seddon (Bury)
6 Griff Jones (Barnsley)
5 Paul Macari (Huddersfield)
5 Scott Vernon (Oldham)
4 Laurens Ten Heuvel (Sheffield Utd)
4 Stuart Barlow (Tranmere)
4 David Zdrilic (Walsall)
4 Moreira Herivelto (Walsall)
4 Jimmi Lee Jones (Wolves)
4 Mark Robins (Rotherham)
4 Joe O’Neill (Preston)