New Mills in confident mood ahead of home play-off semi-final with Abbey Hey

New Mills joint-manager Dave Birch is in confident mood as his team prepares to go into a NWCL Division One South play-off semi-final at home to Abbey Hey on Saturday.

By Mark Duffy
Wednesday, 6th April 2022, 11:56 am
Updated Wednesday, 6th April 2022, 11:56 am
New Mills FC joint managers Dave Birch (left) and Mike Norton.
New Mills FC joint managers Dave Birch (left) and Mike Norton.

Birch and Mike Norton’s side cemented a third-place finish with a 4-0 win over Alsager Town last weekend, meaning a home tie with fourth-placed Abbey Hey now awaits.

And Birch knows it’ll be a tough challenge with their visitors having taken four points from New Mills already this season.

He said: “They’re a good side with lots of experience and players who could play at a higher level, much like ourselves.

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"We had two close games with them – the 1-0 defeat there I felt we deserved more from and likewise the 1-1 draw at home where I felt we were the better side. We finished the season on the same points which shows there’s not much between us.

"But we go into the game in good form and have scored a lot of goals in the last few games, without conceding many, so have some good momentum and all the players are back from injury and suspension too, so there can be no excuses.”

Should the Millers progress, they will play the winner of second-placed FC Isle of Man and fifth-placed Wythenshawe Amateurs, the highest-ranked finalist having home advantage.

Meanwhile, New Mills’ League Cup semi-final at Cheadle Heath Nomads on Tuesday night was abandoned after 79 minutes, with the young Millers side 2-1 down, due to serious injury to Nomads goalkeeper Dimeji Willan.

A decision is yet to be made as to whether the game will be replayed.