billsportsmaps.com

October 4, 2018

2018-19 Football League Two (4th division England, incl Wales): map w/ 17/18-crowds-&-finish + titles-&-seasons-in-1st-division./+ 2 promoted clubs for the 2018-19 4th division (Macclesfield Town, Tranmere Rovers).

2018-19_football-league-two_map_w-2018-crowds_titles_seasons-in-1st-division_post_b_.gif"
2018-19 Football League Two (4th division England, incl Wales): map w/ 17/18-crowds-&-finish + titles-&-seasons-in-1st-division



By Bill Turianski on 4 October 2018; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.

Links…
-2018-19 EFL League Two (en.wikipedia.org).
-Table, fixtures, results, attendance, stats…LEAGUE TWO [Summary] (soccerway.com).
-Sky Bet League Two 2018 – 2019 [kits] (historicalkits.co.uk).


A brief re-cap of 2017-18 League Two [the 4th division]…
Promoted to the 3rd division…Accrington Stanley, Luton Town, Wycombe Wanderers, Coventry City {see this post: http://billsportsmaps.com/?p=45230}.
Relegated from the 3rd division down to the 4th division are…Oldham Athletic, Northampton Town, Milton Keynes, Bury.
Relegated from the 4th division down to the non-League 5th division are…Barnet, Chesterfield.
Promoted up from the 5th division [non-League], and into the 4th division are the two clubs profiled below…

    Below: the 2 promoted clubs for the 2017-18 fourth division (Macclesfield Town, Tranmere Rovers)…
    •Macclesfield Town FC.

Est. 1876 (as Macclesfield FC). Nickname: the Silkmen. Colours: Blue-and-White. Location: Macclesfield, Cheshire. Population of Macclesfield: around 52,000 {2011 figure}. Macclesfield is situated (by road) 21 miles (30 km) S of Manchester. Macclesfield is situated (by road) 181 miles (290 km) NW of London.

Manager of Macclesfield Town, Mark Yates (age 48; b. Birmingham, West Midlands). Yates, the former Kidderminster, Cheltenham, Crawley, and Solihull manager, was hired by Macclesfield in June 2018. He replaced longtime former Macclesfield player and manager John Askey {see photos and captions below}. Askey had just unexpectadly guided Macclesfield back into the Football League, so his stock was up. And he took the opportunity to take on the manager’s role at a larger club, so he signed on with 3rd-division-side Shrewsbury Town. Askey replaced Paul Hurst at Shrewsbury (Hurst is now manager of 2nd-tier side Ipswich Town). As John Brewin tweeted earlier this week…‘Summer EFL managerial moves: Paul Hurst from Shrewsbury to Ipswich, John Askey from Macclesfield to Shrewsbury, Mark Yates to Macclesfield. The three clubs have one win between them all season.’ {twitter.com/JohnBrewin_/status/1047384525179895808.}

A key player in Macclesfield Town’s unlikely 5th division title was 37-year-old MF Danny Whitaker, who was born only a few miles from Macclesfield, in Wimslow, Cheshire {see photos and captions below}. Whitaker was one of three Macclesfield players who made the 2018 National League Team of the Year. The other two were the Kurdish Iraqi-born-/-Hastings-E Sussex-raised GK Shwan Jalal (age 35), and Shrewsbury-born MF/RW Elliott Durrell {Silkmen Trio In National League Team Of The Year (starlaneend.com)}. Jalal has moved on, remaining in the 5th division, now as GK for the just-relegated Chesterfield. Durrell and Whitaker are still with Macclesfield, and Whitaker has scored twice this season, but Durrell has not been playing and is battling a groin injury.

As of the 4th of October, Macclesfield Town, now under Mark Yates, have had a tough time of it back in the 4th division, and are currently without a win, and are at the foot of the table. Although in Macclesfield’s last two matches, they drew against two teams that are currently in the play-off places (1-1 v Forest Green Rovers, and 3-3 away v Newport County). Macclesfield are drawing 2.1 K (22nd-highest in the 4th tier; Crawley Town and Morecambe are drawing lower).

Below: Macclesfield Town makes a surprise return to the Football League, after a 6-season spell in non-League…
macclesfield-town_promoted-2018_moss-rose_john-askey_scott-wilson_tyrone-marsh_mitch-hancox_danny-whitaker_shwan-jalal_elliott-durrell_t_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Macclesfield 17/18 jersey, photo from umbro.co.uk/macclesfield-town. Macclesfield Borough coat of arms, photo by Bernt Rostad at File:Macclesfield Borough coat of arms.jpg (commons.wikimedia.org). Macclesfield town centre, photo by Daniel Case at File:View of Macclesfield from Macclesfield train station 2014.jpg (commons.wikimedia.org). Aerial image of Moss Rose, from bing.com/maps [Bird's Eye View]. Main Stand at Moss Rose, photo by John Campion at allroadsleadsomewhere.blogspot.com. John Askey as manager of Macclesfield [photo from 2014], photo by Dave Thompson/PA Images via gettyimages.com. John Askey as a player for Macclesfield [photo circa 2001], photo unattributed at thenonleaguefootballpaper.com. Shwan Jalal, photo by Chelsie Wilson via starlaneend.com. Elliott Durrell, photo by Chelsie Wilson via starlaneend.com. Danny Whitaker, photo from mtfc.co.uk. Scott Wilson, photo from Macclesfield Town at twitter.com/@thesilkmen [27 Oct 2017]. Some of the 494 traveling Macclesfield fans celebrate, after Tyrone Marsh scores v Eastleigh, photo by Warren Little/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com. 17/18 Macclesfield Town away jersey, photo from mtfcdirect.co.uk. Tyrone Marsh celebrates goal v Eastleigh, photo by Warren Little/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com. Mitch Hancox scores 2nd goal v Eastleigh, photo by Action Images via thes*n.co.uk. Danny Whittaker is carried off the field by Macclesfield fans after the promotion-clinching win, photo by Warren Little/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.

    •Tranmere Rovers FC.

Est. 1884 (as Belmont FC). Nicknames: Super White Army; Rovers. Colours: White with Blue trim. Location: Tranmere, Birkenhead, Wirral Peninsula, Merseyside [along the west bank of the River Mersey, opposite the city of Liverpool]. Population of Birkenhead: around 88,000 {2011 figure}. Birkenhead is situated (by road) 2 miles (3 km) W of Liverpool. Birkenhead is situated (by road) 219 miles (352 km) NW of London.

Manager of Tranmere Rovers, Micky Mellon (age 46; b. Paisley, Scotland). Micky Mellon was a DMF  who made 173 league appearances for Tranmere Rovers (1997-99; 2001-04); Mellon also made 125 appearances for Blackpool, and 85 appearances for Burnley. After retiring from the playing field in 2006, Mellon got into coaching: first with Northern League side Lancaster City, then with Burnley as an assistant. Then in 2009, Mellon became the coastal Lancashire-based Fleetwood Town’s first full-time manager. Fleetwood, now a 3rd division side, were back then a well-funded 6th-tier-team that was on the rise. Mellon led Fleetwood to promotion to the Conference [the 5th division], by winning the 2010 Conference North play-off final over Alfreton Town. Two seasons later, in 2011-12, Mellon led Fleetwood to promotion again, by winning the Conference title (beating out 2nd-place Wrexham by 5 points), thus sending Fleetwood Town up to the Football League for the first time. But a bad run of form half a year later, in December 2012, saw Mellon sacked. Mellon was then caretaker manager of then-2nd-division-side Barnsley, from Nov 2013 to March 2014.

After that, Micky Mellon was hired by then-4th-division-side (and just-relegated) Shrewsbury Town, in May 2014. Mellon led Shrewsbury to an immediate return to the 3rd tier, by winning the 2014-15 League Two title. But, a year-and-a-half later, a run of  just 2 wins in the first 11 matches of the 2016-17 season led to Mellon’s dismissal from Shrewsbury, on 6 October 2016. That same day, Mellon, as manager, returned to the club he had played for the longest – Tranmere Rovers.

Tranmere Rovers were a longtime Football League club (with a 86-consecutive-season stint in the League). But the Merseyside-based club had fallen into the bottleneck that is the non-League Wilderness the previous season, and had become the highest-drawing club in non-League football (drawing 5.1 K). That Tranmere were a rather large club to be stuck in non-League was shown by the fact that, despite their diminished standing, the Rovers were still drawing better than over two-dozen Football League clubs {source: european-football-statistics.co.uk/attn}. Mellon almost got Tranmere back to the League in 2016-17, finishing in 2nd place, 4 points behind Lincoln City, but then lost in the 2017 National League play-off final to Forest Green Rovers, 3-1.

In 2017-18, Tranmere Rovers again finished in 2nd place in the 5th division, this time ending up 10 points behind the surprise team of the season, Macclesfield Town. But the second time around, Mellon’s Tranmere navigated the tricky 5th tier play-offs successfully. Tranmere beat Ebbsfleet 4-2 (aet) in the semifinals, then beat Boreham Wood 2-1 in the 2018 National League play-off final, despite being a man down for 89 minutes; the winning goal was scored by James Norwood in the 81st minute, on a header from a deftly chipped cross from substitute AMF Connor Jennings {see illustration below}.

So once again, Mickey Mellon got a team promoted. That makes 4 teams that Mellon has gotten promoted as manager. The English record for most teams led to promotion as a manager is 8, by Cardiff City’s Neil Warnock {see this post [2018-19 Premier League map/post], in the Cardiff section there}.

The 4 teams that manager Mickey Mellon has led to promotion:
Fleetwood Town promoted to the 5th Div (2010).
Fleetwood Town promoted to the 4th Div (2012).
Shrewsbury Town promoted to the 3rd Div (2015).
Tranmere Rovers promoted to the 4th Div (2018).

Two Tranmere Rovers players made the 2018 National League Team of the Year: the Liverpool-born 35-year-old DF Steve McNulty [captain], and FW Andy Cook (age 28) {see photos and captions below}. Andy Cook scored 27 for Tranmere last season, and the County Durham-born Cook was top-scorer in the 5th division. Cook has moved on (to 3rd-tier side Walsall), but the solid rock that is Steve McNulty remains, as does crowd-favourite James Norwood (who netted 23 last season, including that promotion-winner at Wembley). This is the 4th team that Steve McNulty has played on which has won promotion (McNulty has won promotion with Barrow in 2008 as captain; with Fleetwood Town in 2010 as captain; with Luton Town in 2014; and now with Tranmere Rovers in 2018 as captain).

Tranmere Rovers’ return to the 4th division has gone well so far.…as of 4th October they sit 10th and, on Tuesday the 2nd of October, Tranmere beat League Two leaders Lincoln City 1-0, on a goal by current league top scorer James Norwood (with 8 goals). Tranmere Rovers are drawing 6.0 K so far this season, which is 5th-highest in the 4th division. (Lincoln City are drawing best in League two, at 8.6 K {source: us.soccerway.com/national/england/league-two/20182019}.)

-The story of Tranmere Rovers: How one club survive and prosper in the shadow of such powerful neighbours (by Simon Hughes at independent.co.uk/sport/football).

Below: Tranmere Rovers return to the Football League after a 3-season spell in non-League…
tranmere-rovers_promoted-2018_2018-national-league-playoff-final_prenton-park_mickey-mellon_andy-cook_steve-mcnulty_james-norwood_n_.gif
Photo and Image credits above – 17/18 Tranmere jersey, from trfcshop.co.uk. Aerial shot of Prenton Park, photo from liverpoolecho.co.uk/football . Steve NcNulty, photo unattributed at roversrearguard.com. Andy Cook, photo unattributed at leaderlive.co.uk/sport. Tranmere supporters with informative banner, outside Wembley [2018 National League playoff Final], photo by Lorna Hughes at twitter.com/@lorna-hughes via liverpoolecho.co.uk/sport/tranmere-rovers-v-boreham-wood. Liam Ridehalge tackle/red card (1′), screenshot from Captura/BT Sport via besoccer.com; photo by Richard Ault/talru.com via roversrearguard.com. Andy Cook scores (6′), photo by PA via sport.net. Andy Cook celebrates his goal, screenshot from video uploaded by Tranmere Fan TV at youtube.com. (45+8′), Bruno Andrade’s goal evens the score, photo by PA via dailymail.co.uk. (81′), James Norwood scores on a far-post header from a chipped cross by substitute AMF Connor Jennings, screenshot from video uploaded by Official Tranmere Rovers at youtube.com. Norwood’s goal, photo unattributed at sport.bt.com. James Norwood, photo unattributed at pinterest.com. Tranmere players celebrate winning goal with fans, screenshot from video uploaded by Official Tranmere Rovers at youtube.com. Mickey Mellon celebrating right after final whistle, photo from twitter.com/[@TranmereRovers].

___
Thanks to the following…
-Blank map of UK historic counties, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:United Kingdom police areas map.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
-Blank relief map of Greater London, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:Greater London UK relief location map.jpg.

-Attendances from E-F-S site, european-football-statistics.co.uk/attn.htm.
-5th division attendances from us.soccerway.com.
-Thanks to the contributors at en.wikipedia, at 2018-19 EFL League Two.

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