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Halford Set For Return - 22 December

niall halford hellenic league footballLydney Town striker Niall Halford has been given the all-clear by a specialist to resume light training after suffering a reoccurrence of an ankle injury. Halford had broke his ankle back in January, before injuring the same ankle again in a 1-1 draw with Woodley United in November.

Manager Mark Lee is hoping Halford will be able to return to the pitch shortly, and will have Pete Macklin and Owen Williams in his squad for tomorrow's Premier Division clash with Thatcham Town. Thatcham sit second in the league table and have scored 24 goals in their last five matches.

Town will also travel to Longlevens on Boxing Day, and Lee says these are the kind of games his side want to be involved in. "If you look at it on paper, they are unbeaten in their last five and have scored six and seven in their last two games, we have a mountain to climb," said Lee in the Gloucesterhire press. "We are at home and I am always confident that we can pull out a performance and our overall general play hasn't been bad, it's just been a lack of finishing. It's a tough month with Thatcham and Longlevens on Boxing Day and then Windsor and Wantage, so it is tough but these are the games you want to be playing in. We will be pitching ourselves against the best and we are raring to go."

Midfielder Jack Rutter is unavailable for the game.


Injury Doubts For Cup Clash - 15 December

Pete Macklin and Owen Williams are both injury doubts for Lydney Town's Bluefin Sport Challenge Cup clash with Abingdon United tomorrow, writes Johnny Morton on Gloucestershire Live.

Macklin has recently enjoyed a positional change from striker to centre-back, but is likely to miss a couple of weeks with a calf injury. Williams, who is on-loan from Cheltenham Town, has injured ankle ligaments and is a doubt for the match.The Challenge Cup represents the last cup competition that Town are in, and manager Mark Lee is determined to progress to the next round.

"It's one at a time," said Lee. "It's an old cliché, but you just can't look past the next one. The first one is a cup game so we have to concentrate on that because it's a cup game we want to do well in. It's the last one we are left in and it's a home tie, so we want to get past that and then concentrate on the next game and three points."

Lydney have five league games in hand over the two teams directly above them, and Lee is looking forward to getting back to league action and trying to climb the table. "The three points against Fairford were well earned and we just want to catch these games up. No one likes having games in hand and thinking about 'what if's' and 'maybes', but you have to go out and get the points on the board and try to steadily climb up the table."


Key Players Missing - 8 December

Lydney Town will be without club captain Sam Elliott and Pete Macklin in tomorrow's Premier Division clash with Flackwell Heath.

Town are coming off a 2-1 win over Gloucestershire rivals Fairford Town on Tuesday night, with goals from Lewis Halford and Ross Gabriel.

The Gloucestershire Live reports that manager Mark Lee says for his side to be successful, players all over the pitch will have to contribute goals to the team. "We've emphasised the importance of the front three and the midfield to help weigh in with goals," said Lee. "The last two seasons we were overly dependent on Declan (Morley-Lyne) to get us goals and in order to be successful they have to come all areas, including defence."

Lydney have games in hand on teams above them due to a spell of postponed games earlier this season.They have produced their best performances on home turf, having picked up three wins and two draws from seven games at the Rec, and Lee believes playing at home gives his side an edge over their opposition.

"Home form is important to every side, but I think we have an edge because of the distances teams have to travel to get to us," he added. "It's not a place sides enjoy coming to, which is fine by me!"


First Game In Two Weeks - 10 November

After suffering two postponements Lydney Town travel to Woodley United tomorrow for a Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division fixture.

Town are currently on a four match unbeaten run, but have seen their last two games postponed, leaving them without a game since October 28. They have four games in hand on the majority of teams in the league, but manager Mark Lee doesn't necessarily see that as a positive thing."What you want to do is play week in, week out, whether that's Tuesday-Tuesday or Saturday-Saturday," said Lee in the Gloucester press. "No one likes having games in hand. People start looking at them and counting games 'if we win this, if we win that', but the games build up. It's nice to play week in, week out.

"We approach the Woodley game knowing if we win we go above them. It's one game at a time now as we try to claw these matches back."

Lee, who has James Morse available for selection this weekend, says it's all about putting a string of positive results together as they try to climb the table. "It's a difficult league, so if you can put runs together you soon shoot up the table," he added. "Obviously no one is going to stay unbeaten, as we seen with Highworth, but if you can get a run going like Brimscombe have done, you've seen them fly up the table. It is about getting these runs. If you lose a game, you go on another run."

Jack Rutter will miss the game due to work commitments.


mark lee lydney town  hellenic leagueMaking The Most Of Home Games - 3 November

Lydney Town host Abingdon United tomorrow, the home side will be looking to extend their four game unbeaten run.

Manager Mark Lee (pictured) says his side have to make the most of their home games in a tough league. "We are four unbeaten now and you gain confidence from that and look to build on it, especially at home. You want to make the most of your home games and pick up as many points as you can. It's a tough league so you have to do as well as you can at home and hope to pick up points away from home. Hopefully we can extend the run and get points this weekend."

Picking up a point at Highmoor-Ibis last weekend, they had Kyle Knott on dual-registration from Cinderford Town. Lee says he was impressed with the performance put in by the defender. "Cinderford had no game and Kyle needed minutes, so we dual-registered to get minutes under his belt," said Lee. "He played centre-half and was great for us. He was comfortable, talked and did really well. He's Cinderford's player and he goes back there to join up with them this weekend."


sam elliott hellenic league lydney townElliott Next In Succession? - 27 October

Now that Jamie Addis has left the club, it looks likely that Sam Elliott (pictured) will be named the new Lydney Town captain.

Addis left Town to pursue a career in management, and left manager Mark Lee needing to appoint a new skipper. Speaking to the Gloucester press Lee says it isn't definite yet, but is looking like the defender will lead the side from now on, starting with tomorrow's Uhlsport Hellenic Premier Division clash against Highmoor-Ibis.

"We still have a couple of people to speak to," said Lee. "Sam Elliott has been captain on the last two occasions. Rich Thomas was vice-captain, but he had a suspension and was out of the side. With Jamie going, it fell on the shoulders of Sam. Sam has been Lydney through and through and is a one club man. He's been brilliant, so it is looking like it will be Sam."

Lydney's last two games have been postponed due to an unplayable pitch through bad weather, and it comes just as they had started to build momentum. Town are three unbeaten in all competitions, and while Lee says it is 'frustrating', he wants his side to pick up where they left off. "We started to put a bit of a run together, get a few clean sheets and got some momentum going," he added. "With Saturday's game being called off and then the Tuffley game, it is frustrating but we have to get on with it. We will train tonight and go again on Saturday."

Highmoor are currently struggling in the league, sitting in 17th and yet to win a league game at home this season. Lee will be hoping to extend that run, but says it is always a tough place to travel to. "It's a tough place to go," he said. "We went there in the cup last year and it's difficult. I'm not sure what it'll be like this time round, if they have made any changes, but they are difficult opponents. Every week is a difficult, different challenge. It would be nice to keep the run going, but it's not going to be easy."

Jack Rutter will miss the game through suspension, while Lewis Halford is also unavailable. Defender Owen Williams is set to return to the squad after recovering from a groin injury.


Addis & Pendry Leave Lyndey - 26 October

Lydney Town's captain Jamie Addis and defender Ryan Pendry have decided to leave the club, to undertake team management.

james addis hellenic league lydney townryan pendry lydney town  hellenic leagueThey have taken up an offer from Northern Senior League Division 1 side Harrow Hill to become first team managers.

Jamie (left) has been with the club several years and was both club and team captain at one stage. He had also won the coveted player of the year award. He recently sustained a fracture of the jaw against Highworth that had sidelined him for at least 3 months, giving him plenty of time to ponder his future. With a change of commitments due to a new baby to think of he decided a change of tack was the way to go.

Ryan (right) had also been a popular member of the club and never gave anything less than 100%. He had been a first team regular when he first signed but over the last couple of seasons had played quite a few times for the Reserves. His knowledge of the game would have been a massive help to the youngsters in that side and he will prove a big loss.

The club would like to wish both lads the best of luck with their new venture, and thank them for the efforts they put in to our successes during their time here.


rich thomas lydney town  hellenic leagueInteresting Time - 20 October

It was an interesting 24 hours for Lydney Town goalkeeper Rich Thomas (pictured) earlier in the week, writes Johnny Morton in the Gloucester Echo.

On Monday evening he was cleared of all charges against him at a Gloucestershire FA hearing after receiving a red card against Brimscombe & Thrupp on August 26. He was named on the bench for Tuesday's 2-0 cup win over Cheltenham Saracens, but after Alex Harris, who was due to play his second game on dual-registration from Hereford, got stuck in traffic, Thomas was called into the starting line-up.

Manager Mark Lee, who is preparing his side for Premier Division action against Brackley Town Saints tomoorow, says it is good to have Thomas back and available for selection. "It was a bizarre scenario," said Lee. "Alex was due to start in goal again, but got stuck in traffic so it was a last minute call for Rich to start the game. He started and did well, and it's good to have him back."

Saturday's opponents, Brackley, sit 11th in the league table, one position higher than Lydney. Lee says if he wasn't in his current role and had the choice to watch any team in the league on a regular basis, it would be this weekend's opposition.

"If I wasn't around managing Lydney and had the chance to watch a Hellenic Premier side, and it was possible geographically, it would be Brackley," he said. "They do everything right with the way they set up and play. It can catch you out if you aren't on guard. The way they approach games is a credit to them. This year they have progressed a little bit further. I'm not sure if they still have the same bunch of kids together, but they are a very useful side. We have to be on it on Saturday."

James Morse is on holiday so will miss the game, while Josh Bennai returns to the squad.


james addis hellenic league lydney townAddis Out For 3 Months - 10 October

Lydney Town club captain Jamie Addis (pictured) has been ruled out for around 12 weeks after breaking his jaw in the recent game with Highworth Town. The news comes as big blow for Town boss Mark Lee as he has been unable to to field a settled side for weeks due to injuries and unavailability.

The return of Niall Halford after 9 months out certainly softens the blow and the big striker scored twice on Saturday to help knock Faringdon Town out of the League Cup.

England man Jack Rutter was also back at the weekend and should be available for this week too, but his other commitments will see him miss a few future games. Town defender Tom Shaw has been offered a job at Forest Green Rovers that will include working on Saturdays, so he is another that will only be available for midweek games.

Two additions to the squad have been Owen Williams and Josh Bennai, both signed from Cheltenham youth. Owen has hit the ground running having scored twice in two games after coming off the bench twice, while Josh is still waiting for his first strike.

With regular keeper Richard Thomas waiting on an FA hearing over a recent red card, Town's new goalkeeper George Burton is now facing a 1 game ban following a very harsh red card he received in Saturday's cup match with Faringdon Town.

Lady luck has certainly deserted Lydney for the moment, as it does for all sides at some stage. The squad has been stretched to it's limits for some games. Youngsters Keelan Hamblett and Frankie Johnson have seen more game time than they would probably have expected after breaking into the first team squad this season.


bluefin insurersExperienced Players Return - 6 October

Lydney Town manager Mark Lee is hoping the return of experienced duo Niall Halford and Jack Rutter will help break his side's run of five games without a win.

Halford recently returned from a lengthy spell on the sidelines, while Rutter will make his return in the Bluefin Sport Challenge Cup against Faringdon Town on Saturday. Rutter has been captaining England Cerebral Palsy team at the World Championships in Argentina, and Lee is hoping that extra experience will result in a cup win this weekend.

"It's good to have Niall back on board," said Lee in the Cheltenham Echo. "He adds something different up front, and he can still do a job at centre half. It's good to have players coming back, with Jack available on Saturday as well. The young lads have done really well, but to have the experience back, the older heads, can only help you really. It will be great to have them back in the fold and it's just hard work now. I'm absolutely confident the results will turn around."

Town have faced three of the top seven sides on the road in recent weeks, but now have a run of five games at home. Lee is hoping that could be the catalyst and is aiming to pick up as many wins as possible. "It has been a difficult run," he added."I don't like to make excuses because you would like to think whoever you come up against that you'll be competitive and take points anywhere on the day. It has been a tough run, and with five at home, you would like to pick up as many points as close to maximum as possible. We have a good chance to do that now."

Sometimes a cup competition can be viewed as a welcome distraction from the pressures of league action, but not for Lee. If he had his way, they would be fighting for three points this week rather than cup progression. "From the coaches perspective, we would love it to be a league game," he said. "You sort of get rolling and think you're getting somewhere, and then the cup is a bit of a distraction and not in a good way. We would like to be playing a league game and battling for three points, but it is what it is."On paper, we are expected to win the game I suppose, but in a one off cup game you only have to drop your levels a little bit and they raise their standards and you're in for a bit of an upset."

Faringdon sit fourth in Hellenic Division Two West, and Lee doesn't know much more than that, instead focusing solely on his side's preparation. "I don't take much notice," he added. "I know the division they play in, but we always focus on ourselves first and foremost - maintaining our standards and if we do, then we can only do as well as we can from our perspective."

Captain Jamie Addis and Rich Thomas will miss the game, while James Morse is struggling with injury and is a doubt.


Josh Bennai uhlsport hellenic leagueLoan Signing - 22 September

Cheltenham Town youth player Josh Bennai has signed for Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division club Lydney Town on loan.

The 17-year-old (pictured right) made his FA Cup debut for Tuffley Rovers earlier this season and will now link up with Mark Lee's Lydney, who play Wantage Town away in the FA Vase second qualifying round tomorrow.

Bennai is in his second season with the Robins' BTEC Development squad and after being hampered by injuries last year, he knows he needs regular football to catch up and impress. Bennai, whose family are from France, grew up in the Ladbroke Grove area of West London.

jack rutter hellenic league captain England's cerebral palsy teamWhile Lydney Town continue their preparations for Saturday's FA Vase second round qualifying tie at Wantage Town, their midfielder Jack Rutter (left) has been captaining England's cerebral palsy team at the World Championships in Argentina, writes Johnny Morton in the Cheltenham Excho. Rutter's side went down 3-1 to Iran in the semi-final, and will now face either Ukraine or Russia in a third place play-off on Saturday.

Lydney manager Mark Lee says it is great to see Rutter's team making progress through the competition."It's fantastic for Jack using his ability to come back, which has been well documented, to lead his side out there," said Lee. "It's great for the club and it will be great to have him back."

Town will have had 10 days off since their 1-0 loss to Royal Wootton Basset Town, prior to which they had gone three unbeaten. Lee is hoping a win on Saturday can start them on another run, with three games in the space of seven days, with league games against Highworth Town and Tuffley Rovers to follow this weekend's fixture.

"We were disappointed we got nothing from the Wootton Bassett game," he added. "At half-time I said to the players that the difference would be who made the first mistake, and unfortunately it was us. It was the only thing that separated the two sides and we will go again on Saturday and try to put another run together."

Lydney will be looking to reach the first round proper of the competition, as they did last season before being eliminated by Canterbury City. It will be the third time they have faced the Alfredians this season, with the matches being shared one apiece.

Lee is embracing the role of underdog, with Wantage sitting fourth in the Hellenic Premier Division table after winning their last four games."It would be nice to win a couple more games," he said. "We know them really well with it being the third time we've played them - they beat us once and we beat them in the league. They are on a decent run winning their last four, so we go there as underdogs which suits us fine - we are happy with that."

James Morse returns from injury, while Lewis Halford is also available after returning from holiday.


keelan hamblett hellenic leagueBright Start For Midfielder - 8 September

After a bright start to the season, Lydney Town manager Mark Lee is hoping Keelan Hamblett can keep progressing at his current rate.

The young midfielder pictured) scored in Town's 2-1 win over Fairford Town on Tuesday evening, and Lee says Hamblett is 'older than his years'. "For a lad of his age, people talk a lot about his ability, but it's also his mental awareness," said Lee speaking with Jon Palmer of the Gloucestershire Echo. "He's older than his years really. He took his goal really well and he's coming along nicely. I hope he keeps progressing the way he is because he's got ability."

Lydney consigned Fairford to their seventh straight Hellenic Premier Division game without a win, and given how depleted his squad was, Lee was delighted with how his side performed. "I was really happy with the performance," he added. "I thought in the first half we controlled things, didn't put ourselves under too much pressure and scored a really good goal. I was a bit disappointed with the penalty we gave away. The second half got a little bit more scrappy, and at times the game got a little bit stretched. Overall, I was pleased with the performance."

buildbase fa vase logoLydney are in FA Vase action tomorrow, hosting Spartan South Midlands Division One side Winslow United in the first qualifying round.They won two games in the competition last year, against Chertsey Town and AFC Portchester, before being eliminated in the first round proper by Canterbury City.

Lee is hoping his side can make an improvement upon that against a side with a familiar profile to his own this season."Last year we won two vase games, so it would nice to put a run together and win a couple of games," he said."I noticed they are seventh in their league and have won three away from home, so not too dissimilar to ourselves. We are looking forward to the game and hopefully we can progress and get a little further this time."

Lydney welcome captain Jamie Addis back into the side for the cup tie. Pete Macklin, James Morse, Niall Halford, Lewis Halford, Jack Rutter and Richard Thomas are all still unavailable.


Defensive Improvement Required For FA Cup - 4 August

After an opening day 4-2 defeat against Highworth Town, Lydney Town manager Mark Lee is looking his side to improve defensively ahead of Saturday's Emirates FA Cup clash with Wantage Town, writes Johnny Morton in the Gloucestershire Echo.

Lee sees Saturday as a 'nice distraction' from league action, but would love to progress in the competition for the supporters and backroom staff.

"I think it's more for the supporters and the people behind the scenes," he added. "Obviously the players look forward to it but from our point of view it's just another game. It's not a competition we are going to win! We want to go as far as we can and win a couple of games if possible. It's a nice distraction and the whole club is looking forward to it."

They face a Wantage side that were relegated from Division One South and West of the Southern League last season.

The Alfredians kicked their campaign off with a 2-0 win over Binfield, and Lee is expecting a tough test this weekend."They beat Binfield in their first game at home, and on paper that looks like a very good result," he said."I know they've had a few changes in personnel and behind the scenes, so it's a bit of an unknown with them coming down from the Southern League last year. I think it's going to be a tough game regardless who we play in the FA Cup."


New Chairman For Lydney - 4 July

dean voss lydney hellenic leagueLydney Town have announced that Dean Voss,(pictured) currently the club Sponsorship manager is stepping up to replace outgoing Chairman Ashley Handcock for the coming season.

Ashley, who has been with the club five years, of which four of those were as Chairman, has decided he needs a break from the massive commitment the job entails. Since Ashley has been in the position the club has gone from strength to strength, with the first team securing level 5 football thanks to the new fence and two magnificent new stands in which he played a major part helping the club achieve.

Dean has also been with the club several years. In his role of Sponsorship manager, Dean also played a massive part helping the club reach the Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division. He secured many vital sponsors who all contributed to funding the amount of work done.

All involved at the club are excited that Dean will carry on the great job done by his predecessor and help keep the club going in the right direction.

Town kick off their pre-season with their first friendly on Tuesday night when local side Ruardean Hill, newly promoted to the Gloucestershire County League visit The Rec at 7.30pm. Then on Saturday 8th July, Southern League neighbours Cinderford Town provide the opposition and will feature Town's leading scorer from last season Declan Morley-Lyne along side former defender Josh Nelmes.


declan morley-lyne hellenic leagueLydney Lose Top Scorer - 9 June

Lydney Town's Golden Boot winner for the last two seasons Declan Morley-Lyne(pictured) has been signed by Southern League neighbours Cinderford Town.

Cinderford Manager Paul Michael is building his side for the new season and sees Dec as a great addition to his squad, having captured two other top players in the last week.

Michael said of Morley-Lyne, "Declan has been prolific in the league below for a sustained period of time. He’s over 6ft 4in tall, quick and I believe he can prove himself at this level.

“He's a local Forest of Dean lad based in Lydney, which is important for us as a club moving forward.

Obviously Lydney are sad to see their talisman move on but on the other hand wish him all the very best at the higher level.

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