Rob Duffy scored goals aplenty at Oxford United and Mansfield Town, as well as pitching in with 9 at Grimsby Town. An injury at the start of the 2011/12 season for The Imps, saw him him needing an operation for Rob to have any chance of continuing to earn a living from the game. When he left City the pay-off was understood to see the caring Imps foot the bill for the operation. STMI takes a look at the career of another quality player that saw the fates deny him a chance to prove his undeniable ability…. or have they?.
No they haven’t it seems for Rob Duffy has overcome that career threatening injury and rewarded Ilkeston manager Kevin Wilson’s faith on two counts so far this season. Not only has he rammed home eight goals in eight games, but, he has also rejected an offer to join Goole AFC. Lincoln City were good enough to stretch to an operation on an ankle injury, allowing the 31-year-old to make a slow but sure comeback at Kings Lynn last season before Wilson signed him for NPL rivals Ilkeston at the start of the season.
In two seasons he cracked 25 goals in 60 appearances for Oxford despite two months out with a broken arm. The Stags almost missed him, trialling him before The Exiles stepped in. However in the January of that season they came to their senses and brother Dean Holdsworth allowed David to take him on an eighteen month deal. David gave him a two year deal where he bagged 28 League goals in 81 BSP appearances, that effectively saved the Stags who were hanging on by their antlers that year. Grimsby, awash with money as ever, came in with an undisclosed fee in the winter window and offered terms that the Stags were unable to match at the time. The deal was completed three days before the January window closed.
Rob – a hero at Oxford United and Mansfield has had some tough knocks in the last couple of years. Mariners’ chairman John Fenty even tagged him as a ‘mistake’ – the Mariners are looking for a striker too after all up front have reported to sick bay. But David Holdsworth always rated him as a lad with ability, who had the track record and hunger to prove the doubters wrong. His strike rate – 9 goals in all competitions or 1 every 140 mins – as a bit part-player a The Mariners, suggested Rob was indeed the landmark signing in 2011/12 for Lincoln along with miss-firing mercurial Adam Smith.
Under Holdsworth at Mansfield Town, the striker had duly helped to steer them away from relegation at a time when the club had no cash. Rob certainly looked to have the pedigree and the prowess we needed at 6′ 2″ and 13 stone 10lb. The former Wales U21 may have a laid back style but he is still the composed and quiet battler. He failed to dislodge hit-man-Hearn and Elding at Grimsby, despite 9 goals from his 19 starts and 20 substitute appearances. Alas just 3 games in after a decent start next to Taylor, he was forced off with an ankle injury just 44 minutes into an away game at Newport. Rob, one of the highest earners at the club, was destined to become a financial albatross during a frustrating season as that early doors ankle injury in the 2011/12 season appeared to end his career.
|Full name||Robert Duffy|
|Date of birth||2 December 1982|
|Place of birth||Swansea, Wales|
|Height||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|2001–2005||Rushden & Diamonds||30||(1)|
|2005||→ Stamford (loan)||2||(2)|
|2008||→ Wrexham (loan)||6||(0)|
|2013-2014||King’s Lynn Town||7||(6)|
Southport FC’s new addition from Blackburn Rovers, striker Osayamen Osawe, will pose another test for Tom Miller tonight. Miller too has Rangers FC, Norwich City and Newport County credentials on his CV but the 20-year old wonder-kid has already impressed at Southport and is blessed with electric pace and an eye for an early but lethal strike with either foot. Then again Miller has recovered from the cruciate injury that wrecked his Rangers dream.
Tuesday 17th September KO 19.45
Osawe rose through the youth ranks at Blackburn and had been loaned to Hyde and Accrington before making the switch to Southport on August 8th this year. He was 20 last Friday the 13th but his shot accurasy suggests he is anthing but lucky or a flash in the pan. So far he has scored two, got 7 more on target with just two misses. Tom needs to get in early because it will be an interesting duel down their left and our right, tonight, with Osawe scoring the winner against Aldershot, then getting one against Tamworth coming from the left. he also had a stormer in the 2-2 draw with Welling.
But Miller is not one for names and reputations. In his post match interview on Saturday he, like the rest of the Imps squad feels Lincoln should fear no one, as long as we keep it tight. The counter-attacking style might frustrate some but 574 happy punters, who made the long trip to North London, appreciate that patience is a virtue.
He may have a point. Nuneaton beat The Sandgrounders with two long throws, Tom’s speciality, suggesting he could have a pivotal part to play tonight. Tamworth hurt them with set-pieces in another 4-1 defeat on the road. If Tom and co can keep Osawe and Fitzpatrick quiet down our right, to starve Hattersley, we could be in for three points tonight.
Newport lead Macclesfield, Forest Green Rovers, Wrexham and Luton, with Dartford now just outside the play-offs and Mansfield climbing fast. Hereford United have conceded 9 goals in two games at part-time opposition suggesting all is not well at the Bulls.
Welcome to the BSP results, table, average crowds, creative influences and leading scorers. Thank you for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs
Newport beat Barrow, thanks to goals from Evans (44) and a brace from Crow (70 & 77),to move above Barrow to the BSP summit. Hopefully their Euromillions chairman will keep the faith as the new consortium have decided to pull out. The spend,spend,spend Silkmen had to come from 3-1 down to draw with new boys Nuneaton. Brown (6) and an Armson (Pen 13) put the Boro 2-up. Murtagh (70) pulled one back before Sleath (77) made it 3-1. Barnes-Homer (90) and Mendy (91) completed a late fight back to get a point. Will Macc sign Heskey or will the financial wheels in fact fall off the cart for a club that seems to be operating well beyond its means?
Cambridge also spent big in the summer to celebrate their centenary. Alas just 1962 turned up to see them draw 2-2 with Telford and drop to 17th. Shaw (10) put the amber gamblers ahead before Jones (57) replied. Pugh (70) and Gash (75) seemed to have put things beyond doubt for the hosts, before Davies (83) and Spray (87) proved the underdogs point. Big spending Forest Green were also held at home by part-time Alfreton. Klukowski (10) gave FGR an early lead but the reds never gave up and got a Bradley penalty at the death (92).
Two of the BSP’s big-boys, Luton and Wrexham shared a stalemate to remain 5th and 4th respectively. Dartford are just two points behind after inflicting a second humiliation for Hereford. Hayes (6), Rogers (47),Harris (76) and Wallis (89) completed the 4-0 rout. The Bulls have conceded 9 goals to part-time opposition in the last two games. High spending Mansfield bucked the BSP giant killing trend, by burying high-flying Braintree 2-0, through Stevenson (42) and Speight (86).
There seems plenty of proof that anyone can beat anyone in this league, but that beggars a question or two. Are the smaller sides playing up or are the footballing sides being dragged down? It is certainly too early to question whether the divisional average of 1904 is markedly down, but Luton, Cambridge, Mansfield and Lincoln are all down on last season’s average gates. The loss of Hayes who were lucky to beak 300 last season is also perhaps masking the trend.
|Cambridge Utd||3||–||3||AFC Telford|
Pugh (70)Gash (75)
Crow (70 & 77)
|Forest Green||1||–||1||Alfreton Town|
|Klukowski (10)||Bradley (Pen 92)||1,072|
|Marwood (74)||Cunnington (Pen 36)
|Larkin (pen 43 pen 67)
|Spencer (pen 64)
Armson (Pen 13)
|Lever (pen 92)||Ada (89)||872|
BSP Table 17/9/21
|1||Newport County AFC||9||6||1||2||18||9||9||19|
|3||Forest Green Rovers||9||5||3||1||16||8||8||18|
|10||AFC Telford United||9||3||4||2||15||11||4||13|
Blue Square Goal Machines
|1st||Aaron O’Connor||Newport County||7|
|Stuart Fleetwood||Luton Town||7|
|4th||Matthew Barnes-Homer||Macclesfield Town||6|
|Adam Walker||Nuneaton Town||6|
|7th||Tom Elliott||Cambridge United||5|
|Andy Brown||Nuneaton Town||5|
|Jake Speight||Mansfield Town||4|
|Chris Holroyd||Macclesfield Town||4|
|Matthew Green||Mansfield Town||4|
|Kieron St Aimie||AFC Telford United||4|
|Paul Clayton||Alfreton Town||4|
|Danny Whitehead||Stockport County||4|
|Dan Holman||Braintree Town||4|
|19th||14 players||are on following||3|
|1st||Steven Leslie||AFC Telford United||5|
|3rd||Danny Crow||Newport County||4|
|Nathan Arnold||Alfreton Town||4|
|James Norwood||Forest Green Rovers||4|
|7th||Scott Rendell||Luton Town||3|
|Joe Howe||Ebbsfleet United||3|
|Matthew Barnes-Homer||Macclesfield Town||3|
|John Kissock||Macclesfield Town||3|
|Kyle Perry||Nuneaton Town||3|
|Daniel Sparkes||Braintree Town||3|
|Jake Thomson||Newport County||3|
|Danny Rowe||Stockport County||3|
|Andre Gray||Luton Town||3|
|19th||28 players||are on following||2|
The Average Crowds & Total Turnstile Clicks
|12||AFC Telford United||6,979||1,744|
|19||Forest Green Rovers||4,861||972|
Newport, Hereford, Tamworth, Macclesfield Town and Gateshead occupy the top five although Cambridge and Forest Green are also very much in the play-off groove. Telford defeated Luton at home 1-0 to take 8th. Mansfield are on the move but Stockport were gouged by the Bucks.
Welcome to the BSP results, table, average crowds and leading scorers half-way through the Bank Holiday double date extravaganza. Thank you for reading Prof Albeanz-Present
Newport boast the divisions only 100% record after coming from behind at Braintree. Quinton (53) put the anything but pub side from Essex ahead, before Porter (69) and Yakubu (84) maintained the BSP status quo. Hereford beet the Fleet in a 4-2 thriller. Watkins (27) and Canham (37) put them two up
before Bellamy saw red to make a comeback look impossible. Carruthers (49) made it 3-0 before Ashikodi (50) pulled one back. Bowman (89) settled any doubts before Howe (93) restored a little pride.
Tamworth also remain unbeaten after a 3-0 win at Southport. A Cunnington penalty (36) got them under-way, Collins (45+3) finished things in injury time and Wright (49) rounded off the rout. Super Macc, inspired by Kissock beat the Imps 3-2 to go fourth. Fairhurst gave the Silkmen the lead (12) before BSP hotshot Taylor (31) replied. Barnes-Homer (77) finally finished off a penalty before Holroyd (87) appeared to put the matter beyond doubt. Boyce (89) blasted home a bullet but the Imps now sit 18th with just one win against calamity club Kidderminster.
Gateshead will have to play the Imps without Donaldson after he saw red with eight minutes to go. In Fridays TV game Connor (34) gave Stockport the lead to the joy of the Pop side but second half goals from Donaldson (55) and Cummins (66). The Heed are now fifth. Cambridge shared a 2-2 at Nuneaton. Elliott (52) put the visitos ahead before Walker (53) got a quick reply. Armson (92) got what appeared to be a last gasp penalty but Jennings (94) grabbed a point.
The Forest Green fantastic forward four are getting into gear. Visitors Woking went ahead through a Betsy penalty on 43, but Vieira (62) and a brace from Taylor (92 & 94) saw them comfortably through in the end. Telford defeated Luton at home 1-0 to take 8th, thanks to St Aimie (42) in a game that saw three reds in a fiery last 10 minutes. Two for the Bucks Preston (79) and Reid (83) sandwiched Henry (82).
The Stags kept a clean sheet against a tough Hyde thanks to good old Green (07) settling the nerves early doors. Wrexham and Grimsby shared a 0-0 stalemate in the late one. Grimsby have only lost one and drawn three but without hit-man-Hearn they languish in 17th. New boys Dartford beat hapless Kidderminster 1-0 thanks to Burns (36). Barrow lost at home to Alfreton 1-3. Town went three up thanks to Clayton (28 & 71) and Tomlinson (51) before Boyes (77) got a late consolation.
Alfreton jump seven places illustrating the fragility of tables four games in. Mind you try saying that to Grimsby, Hyde, Barrow, Nuneaton, Southport and Kidderminster, who still have yet to win. A worrying trend indeed.
Saturday 25 th August K.O at 3 pm
|Saturday’s Games 25/8/12|
|Boyes (77)||Clayton (28 & 71)
|Braintree Town||1||–||2||Newport County|
|Quinton (53)||Porter (69)
Taylor (92 & 94)
|Betsy (Pen 43)||979|
| Bellamy (45+2)
| Fairhurst (12)
|Henry (82)|| St Aimie (42)
Armson (Pen 92)
|Cunnington (Pen 36)
|Friday’s TV game|
|Connor (34)||Donaldson (55)
BSP Table Sunday 26/8/12
|7||Forest Green Rovers||4||2||2||0||7||4||3||8|
|8||AFC Telford United||4||2||1||1||5||2||3||7|
|Elliott (Cambridge United)||5||0||5|
|O’Connor (Newport County)||5||0||5|
|Clayton (Alfreton Town)||4||0||4|
|Fleetwood (Luton Town)||4||0||4|
|Canham (Hereford United)||3||0||3|
|Green (Mansfield Town)||3||0||3|
|Taylor (Lincoln City)||3||0||3|
|Watkins (Hereford United)||3||0||3|
Average Home Crowds
(League Ave so far 1924)
|Home data only|
|13||AFC Telford United||3,106||1,553|
|18||Forest Green Rovers||2,107||1,053|
Newport crushed Nuneaton 4-0, Stockport County won 2-1 at Grimsby. Luton Town won 2-0 at Kidderminster. Mansfield crashed again 1-4 at Gateshead, with Beevers seeing red. Hereford United and Tamworth shared a 2-2 thriller to peep the Bulls well and truly up and amongst the BSP best china shop window.
Vic Erzantarz brings you the STMI synopsis, goals and stats.
Newport, our opponents Saturday ravaved new boys Nuneaton. An O’Connor (13 & 52) brace sandwiched Jefferson Louis’ (20) second in as many games before Evans (86) wrapped things up. Stockport are in second on goal difference. Pond (69) put the Mariners in a great position before Rowe (81)
Whitehead (92) took the points in front of the highest crowd of the night (3670). Mansfield’s nightmare start continues as they lost 1-4 at Gateshead who move third. Hatch (11) gave Heed the lead, but Jones equalised (18). The defence gave way again second half with a brace from Fisher (56 & 86) split by Bush (71) with the Stags down to 10 after Beevers saw red for a second yellow. Angry Cox is set to ring the changes as an embarrassment of riches continues to under-perform.
Luton beat contenders or should that be pretenders, Kidderminster in their own back yard thanks to a stylish brace from Fleetwood (22 & 30). Route one saw Watkins (09) give the Bulls and early lead before Jackson was sent off on 24 for a rtaliatory kick. Despite this they doubled their lead through a Pell penalty (35). The Lambs capitalised on their numerical superiority with an early second-half Wright(48) but left it late as Cunnington (88) made it 3 goals from 2. Braintree move seventh after Davis (70) got a late one at Ebbsfleet in a fiery contest. Ada saw red on 51 for a professional foul on Marks, who joined him in the showers after a second yellow on 92.
Cambridge move to eighth after two great goals from Elliott (03) and Moke (81) either side of a Boyce equaliser (43) from the resilient Imps who had one cleared off the line at one each. Macclesfield are up to ninth, Fairhurst (10) gave them the lead before Mendy (76), who has been the target of a 30k Orient bid, wrapped things up. Woking got off the mark against ten man Dartford thanks to a late Sole penalty (82). A moral boosting 1,846 saw their BSP debut. Noble saw two yellows within 5 minutes to hit the showers by the 35th minute.
Southport drew 3-3 at Alfreton in a thriller. Clayton (06) put Town ahead before Whalley (31) equalised for the visitors. Tomlinson (Pen 61) restored the lead then Almond (68) ensured parity. Clayton (85) completed his brace but Tames (91) clawed Port back for a third time. Hyde and Barrow shared a 0-0 draw.
|AFC Telford||1||–||2||Forest Green|
|Blackburn (40 og )
|Clayton (06 & 85)
Tomlinson (Pen 61)
|Cambridge Utd||2||–||1||Lincoln City|
|Ebbsfleet United||0||–||1||Braintree Town|
|Ada (off 51)||Davis (70)
Marks (off 92)
Fisher (56 & 86)
Beevers (off 84)
|Pond (69)||Rowe (81)
|Fleetwood (22 & 30)||2,275|
|O’Connor (13 & 52)
| Jackson (off 24)
Pell (Pen 35)
|Sole (pen 82)||Noble (off 35)||1,846|
|1st||Aaron O’Connor||Newport County||3|
|Stuart Fleetwood||Luton Town||3|
|Jefferson Louis||Newport County||2|
|Jake Speight||Mansfield Town||2|
|Tom Elliott||Cambridge United||2|
|Paul Clayton||Alfreton Town||2|
|Andy Brown||Nuneaton Town||2|
|Tom Phipp||Ebbsfleet United||2|
|13||47 players||inc Taylor & Boyce||1|
All of 1 game each giving a League average of 2068
|AUGUST 14, 2012|
|14||AFC Telford United||1,582||1,582|
|17||Forest Green Rovers||1,128||1,128|
Table (surely you jest)
|9||Forest Green Rovers||2||1||1||0||3||2||1||4|
|20||AFC Telford United||2||0||1||1||1||2||-1||1|
Tom Miller the former Norwich City, Rangers and Newport County midfielder come defender has been pivotal in the Imps battle to beat the drop. His award for away player of the season 2012/13 is therefore well deserved. STMI gives a brief bio on the lad’s career and season.
A brief bio then………….
Tom was spotted in the local Cambridgeshire Sunday minor Leagues via the legendary Canaries scouting network (club legend and former Imp coach John Deehan has long been recommending lads to a veritable conveyor belt of talent). Tom joined at 14 and progressed through the ranks at the Colney Training centre to become Norwich City Academy player of the season, in 2008. But it was not to be, in then manager Glenn Roeder’s eyes. as a first year pro deal failed to materialise.
Jim Duffy, the then assistant manager, contacted Rangers when it was evident that Tom would not get what many felt should have been a deserved opportunity in the game. He was flown up to Ibrox and had an outstanding trial game, making a telling contribution all over the pitch in a 5-1 win. Rangers gave him a two year contract to the delight of his proud father Ray. The Rangers side of the time was still a tough nut to crack, suffering financially, after the Souness overspend.
With big changes imminent, he was paid up in February 2010, moving across the water to Dundalk. Irish football is a tough baptism to say the least, but Tom got one goal and, cards and accreditations in equal measure, in 32 appearances before Newport signed him in January 2011 before being released a year later with the Imps waiting in the wings.
Tom is a true utility man. He has played at full-back and centre-back this season even though he is a defensive midfielder by trade. His one goal two assists and 9 yellow cards show the tenacity and none shall pass mantra that has been evident since inspirational desplays in the wins against Hayes (2-1 click4report) and Tamworth (4-0 click4report) last season. How fitting that his award came before the Lambs game on Saturday (see GREAT ESCAPE 2012/13). As ever he was brilliant making 3 last ditch must win challenges that ensure we are still in with a fighting chance this week, instead of down and into the BSN abyss.
Brilliant Tom, take a bow son
|Tom Miller’s Imp stats 2012/13|
|Tom Miller’s Imp stats 2011/12|
|Tom Miller’s Exiles stats 2011/12|
|FULL NAME||Thomas William Miller|
|DATE OF BIRTH||29 June 1990 (age 21)|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Ely,|
|HEIGHT||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|WEIGHT||11 st 8 lb 75.54 KG|
|PLAYING POSITION DEFENDER / MIDFIELDER|
|CURRENT CLUB||Lincoln City|
Rob Duffy scored goals aplenty at Oxford United and Mansfield Town, as well as pitching in with 9 at Grimsby Town. Brother Dean let David have him after a poor time at Newport County, back in his native Wales. He may have a relaxed style on him but this lad can be our number 9. He is strong, good in the air and has a nose for goal on him that should a realistic tarket of 15 breached. No one fancied Simon Yeo, yet he was the last Imp to knock on the 20 goal club door. If Adam Smith and Mills can supply him with the bullets his accuracy is excellent for our level.
In two seasons he cracked 25 goals in 60 appearances for Oxford despite two months out with a broken arm. The Stags almost missed him, trialling him before The Exiles stepped in. However in the January of that season they came to their senses and brother Dean allowed David to take him on an eighteen month deal. David Holdsworth gave him a two year deal where he bagged 28 League goals in 81 BSP appearances, that effectively saved the Stags who were hanging on by their antlers that year. Grimsby came in with an undisclosed fee in the winter window and offered terms that the Stags were unable to match at the time. The deal was completed three days before the January window closed.
When we ran the story that rivals Grimsby Town and Lincoln City had failed to agree terms over out of favour Robert Duffy back on Jan 27th this year we got some abuse. That was mild compared to the swipe from Mariners’ chairman John Fenty, who Tagged him as a mistake. So we not only have a lad with ability, but one who is eager to prove people wrong. His strike rate – 9 goals in all competitions or 1 every 140 mins – as a bit part-player, suggests the bar is already somewhat higher than we have come to expect from a Sincil striker for some time.
David Holdsworth has however always remained a big fan and vowed to go back for him at the end of the season after we failed to get him in the January window. This lad has the ability we need and has to be seen as a marque signing
Under Holdsworth at Mansfield Town, the striker duly helped to steer them away from relegation at a time when the club had no cash. He can certainly do the job we need at 6′ 2″ and 13 stone 10lb. The former Wales U21 is a real battler but still failed to dislodge hit-man-Hearn and Elding, despite 9 goals from his 19 starts and 20 substitute appearances. He certainly has a pedigree at this level as his stats below show,
2011/12 stats (all as a Mariner)
|Sq no||Player name||Starts||on as sub||Mins||Goals||Shots||Shots on||Assists||YC||RC|
Paul Robson, the former Newport County, Charlton Athletic, Crystal Palace Baltimore and Doncaster Rovers youth product will continue as our right back next season after signing a 44 week deal until next May.
|Paul Robson’s Imp stats 2011/12|
|Right back||BSP & cup||18||0||0||1||6||11||6||1617||2||0|
Post early bird, Luton Town, Macclesfield Town, Cambridge United, Newport County, Grimsby Town and Lincoln City have the highest full priced BSP adult season tickets. AFC Telford are the cheapest, followed by Kidderminster Harriers, although it has to be said that Macc are the cheapest when it comes to pay on the day terrace entrance fees.
Clearly the proximity to London will have an affect on Luton, not to mention the quality and depth of their squad. The two Lincolnshire clubs however, are only £30 behind despite the fact that the earning capacity is amongst the lowest in the UK and, in Lincoln’s case the playing budget is amongst the lowest in the League. Newport Fans (4th highest) are in uproar at the price rises this season following a move to Rodney Parade that sees a rumoured 2,000 break even figure, now that bar sales and even much of the advertising revenue, are out of their hands.
Telford are the cheapest at £266 for seating, although nine clubs come in at £280 or under, with Hyde a fiver behind. Fourteen clubs are £300 and over although you can get to every game at 7 of the BSP sides for £250 or less if you go for terracing or lower category seating.
The figures certainly suggest the clubs are eager to test the fans loyalty, given the recession. As to whether the gates will hold up is anyone’s guess. Form of course is the key determinant of value for money.
|Forest Green Rovers||325/280||225/180||130/60|
Luton Town, Grimsby Town, Stockport County, Hereford United, Mansfield Town, Lincoln and Wrexham will take loads to Alfreton, Telford, Barrow, Braintree, Cambridge, Dartford, Ebbsfleet, Forest Green, Gateshead, Hyde, Kidderminster, Macclesfield Town, Newport Co, Nuneaton, Southport, Tamworth and Woking next season. But how to get there to make those vital turnstile clicks and what is it like when you pays your money and takes your chance.
Hat’s off to Duncan Adams guide to our neighbours and their grounds complete with contact details, capacities, pubs & grub, pitch dimensions and even a picture of the away end.
Thanks Duncan, even Lincoln City Banter is not always the place to be on match days.