New boss Hook seeks early boost

James Peavoy has a key role to play in midfield
James Peavoy has a key role to play in midfield

New Todmorden United boss Steve Hook will be hoping for a winning start in the opening West Lancashire League match of the season at home to Barrow Wanderers on Saturday (3.0).

Hook has taken over from long-time manager John Gilford, who will remain a key figure for the Division Two side.

The fixture is a repeat of last season’s opener, which Borough won 6-0 en route to a 10th place finish in Division Two.

Barrow have only been in the league for two seasons and finished bottom on both occasions but did beat Borough in the north west late in the last campaign.

That should mean Borough are on their guard and Gilford said: “Barrow are not a bad side and do pick up points.

“They are not whipping boys by any stretch of the imagination.”

Gilford reports the Bellholme pitch which he looks after to be in fine fettle.

“There is thick grass from end to end - it will be as good a playing surface as any in Calderdale,” he said.

Borough were playing Rossendale Amateurs away in a friendly last night, having already lost 5-3 away to Manchester and North Cheshire League outfit Rochdalians.

“We had 18 players for the first friendly and mixed it up a bit,” said Gilford.

“It was 3-3 but they had already played a couple of games and they scored twice at the death.”

Borough are only running one team this season, having folded their reserves mid-way through the last campaign.

They are in talks with Walsden C & FC about a possible link-up to ensure all squad members get a regular game.

Walsden youngsters Joe Gale and Cameron Hanson are likely to play for Borough once free of cricket commitments.

Gilford reports only a couple of changes to last season’s squad.

Pete Goldsmith, a Todmorden lad, is the new goalkeeper with Lee McGrath heading to Australia for a spell travelling in September.

James Peavoy should be a regular feature again, following a spell away at university, and Borough will be hoping this quality performer will help to run the show from central midfield.