The riches of lower league rags

From the Hartlepool Mail to the Exeter Express & Echo, Up the Football League we go scribe Mike Holden rounds up the big stories being reported in the local newspapers of lower league clubs...The biggest scandal in the basement over the past seven days is the news that Chester striker Paul Taylor has tested positive for drug use.The 21-year-old former Manchester City trainee was at the Deva Stadium on a six-month loan deal from Vauxhall Motors but now faces a lengthy ban from the game after providing a wrong ‘un to FA officials at the club’s training ground on October 6.Taylor’s future with the Blues was already in doubt after he failed to board the coach to Gillingham a few weeks back, which was his third ‘no show’ of the season.

Brought your boots son? Taylor's gone AWOL again... 

It’s always sad to see a young footballer go off the rails in this way with such a promising career ahead of him but it’s a situation that also presents a bit of a dilemma: do you try throw the book at the lad or try to show a bit of compassion and rehabilitate him? I guess we’d all react in different ways, although managing director Bob Gray left us in no doubt about the club’s stance on the matter.“We’ve given him more chances than a dog on a Monopoly board,” quipped Gray in an official statement to the Chester Chronicle, proving that no situation can ever be too delicate for a decent one-liner.Reports that Frankie Boyle is set to take over as the club’s head of youth development are, as yet, unconfirmed.Elsewhere, Morecambe goalkeeper Barry Roche was keen to explain in the Lancashire Evening Post how persistent hard work can pay dividends following his weekend penalty heroics against Aldershot.Roche denied striker John Grant from 12 yards just before half-time, which proved to be the catalyst for a rare Shrimps victory, and he then revealed how the moment had been reward for all his graft behind closed doors.“I watch videos of every penalty in this league on a Monday night," he said. "I’ve got a big list at home that I study. I knew Aldershot’s regular taker wasn’t in their line-up, so John Grant was taking the spot kicks.”

Bazza putting his Monday night homework to good use 

And what exactly had he picked up about Grant’s technique?“Well, I’d never seen Grant take a penalty, so it was pure guesswork. I got lucky I guess.”Meanwhile, it was also a good weekend for the legend otherwise known as Peter Jackson.The Lincoln boss still has unresolved contract issues with the Sincil Bank club but he appears to have struck upon a unique strategy for taking his undoubted managerial talent to the highest possible level.It started with a surprise defeat at home to Port Vale on Saturday, ending an eight-match unbeaten run for the Imps.

Step aside Fergie... Man United here I come

He explained the secret to the Lincolnshire Echo only last week: “Look at Bondy [Kevin Bond], he gets sacked at Bournemouth and gets the assistant manager’s job at Tottenham. Terry Butcher gets sacked at Brentford and ends up being assistant manager for Scotland. So it just goes to prove how this division breeds good managers!”Next up for Jacko is an FA Cup banana skin at Kettering, so he should be expecting a call from Sir Alex Ferguson any day soon.

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