an unofficial website
31 January 2010
SNOWED OFFUnforecast snow has caused the postponement of today's Altrincham FC Youth team's league match at home to FC United of Manchester. Whilst some parts of Greater Manchester have escaped with no snow, up to an inch has fallen in the Altrincham area.
ESCAPE FROM THE WEATHERThis afternoon there will be live football broadcast in the bar at Moss Lane as follows:
ALTY'S FORTUNES IN PERSPECTIVE
Above: In front of a packed away end at Moss Lane, a Wrexham freekick clears the bar in the first half on Saturday.
Alty's next game is on Saturday, 6th February, at home to Salisbury City. As well as being the 52nd anniversary of Manchester United's Munich air disaster, 6th February is also a date that Altrincham will want to forget as our last game on that date, in 2001 with Alty in the UniBond Premier, was an ignominious 1-3 defeat at home to Stocksbridge Park Steels of the UniBond First. This took place in front of a crowd of just 176 in a league cup match. In the preceding fortnight Altrincham FC had almost been wound-up and had sold their best player (Kevin Ellison to Leicester City) and their captain (Gary Talbot to Northwich).
All that puts the disappointment of this Saturday's 1-3 Conference defeat by Wrexham into perspective as in 2010, in contrast to 2001, more than 1,800 people came to Moss Lane to witness Alty go down to a full-time club which is currently managed by Wales's international assistant manager and has just splashed out £30,000 on a striker. In 2001 Wrexham were to finish tenth in what is now League One.
For full details of Alty games on 6th February, see Howard Watts's Through the Years for 6 February.
SATURDAY VERDICTSAfter defeat by Wrexham, Alty captain Robbie Lawton told the NL Paper, "We were rocked by the first goal and, frankly, we were cut open. We came up against a good Wrexham side that stopped us from playing. Strangely the lads feel more upbeat today than after last week's lucky win. We feel that we tried to play a passing game and had some good spells of play", he said.
Wrexham report that "Despite scoring three goals away from home, the boss was still not totally happy with the afternoon at Altrincham. I thought we played well, but how many open goals did we miss and Wes crashing one onto the bar', said Dean. 'At the end, even though we were 3-0 up, I didn't feel 100% safe'.
'We got a call to say the referee was not totally happy with the surface, but that he had decided it was good enough to go ahead', he said. 'Before the game I had a walk onto the grass and it was very hard in front of the main stand, so I wasn't too happy about the decision - but now I'm glad it went on! My biggest disappointment today, was that we should have had another clean sheet... We had those chances to go 4-0 up, but didn't and football has a habit of coming back an biting you. We gave away that penalty and then Sam Russell has tipped another effort onto the crossbar. I thought it was going to be one of them when they scored three goals in five minutes.
Altrincham had changed from their usual formation [to] three at the back and I thought they were getting a little too much of the ball in midfield. So I switched Wes up front to see if we could stop that further up the park'.
PONTOON WINChelsea's goals at the weekend secured the winning 21 goals for Ian Cox in the Altrincham FC Pontoon competition. Congratulations to him. But second and third place remain up for grabs. The Club thanks all who took part in this fundraising competition.
THANK YOUThe TASC bucket collection at yesterday's game at Moss Lane raised £61.12. Thanks go to all the donors and the collectors.
OLD BOYFormer Alty trialist Gavin Salmon has moved from Woodley Sports to Warrington Town.
PETER AVAILABLEWith Welshpool Town having played yesterday, their former player Peter Doran is now available to play for Altrincham as that game completed the two-match ban he brought with him from his former club.
BSP NEWSWrexham's Daily Post reports that "Wrexham FC and Super League outfit Crusaders have secured a three-year sponsorship deal worth more than £100,000 annually which will be shared equally by both Racecourse clubs. What is a record investment in either club has been made by Suffolk-based brewery Greene King, who have been named as the Super League club’s main shirt sponsor and whose products will be sold at the Racecourse.
The three-year, with an option for a further two years, has been welcomed by Paul Retout, chief executive of the two clubs which are owned by parent company, Wrexham Village... Retout confirmed that the sponsorship package would be shared equally by both rugby and football clubs and added: 'We would not have been able to secure the deal with Greene King had it not been for the fact that Crusaders have relocated to Wrexham. In addition to the sponsorship package, the brewery has spent around £70,000 on the installation of new bar fittings throughout the stadium. It’s a huge investment by Greene King, so we are very pleased and it is a fantastic deal for both clubs'".
NL Daily says that "Striker Chris Holroyd has completed his move from Cambridge United to Brighton. United's top scorer agreed personal terms and passed a medical... Holroyd has initially signed loan terms. But the England `C` international will put pen-to-paper on an eighteen-month deal on Monday with United receiving an undisclosed fee - understood to be £60,000 plus add-ons... Matters came to a head today when, with the closure of the transfer window looming at 5pm on Monday, Brighton gave Holroyd a deadline to accept their non-negotiable offer".
The Luton & Dunstable Express reports that "Refreshingly honest and brutally candid, Luton Town manager Richard Money pulled no punches when it came to summing up his side's performance against Ebbsfleet United. 'I've been involved as a player, coach and manager in the game since I was 16 – I'm now 54 – and I can't remember a moment when I've felt more disappointed, angry and embarrassed in the whole of my football career', was his damning assessment of Hatters' fourth home defeat of the season. 'Normally I'm very positive after games and I will always try to defend my players but that performance was... indefensible. When the third goal went in and 'what a load of rubbish' came from the stands I can tell you I was leading that chorus'..
Lacklustre Luton... were the masters of their own undoing with some truly atrocious defending... 'You could see the mentality of both sets of players', Money said. 'We were coming off the back of two good away wins, we'd won three in a row. The opposition were fighting for their lives, won two of the last three, had a big lift playing in front of a big crowd and know full well all they have to do is frustrate us and make everybody more tense and angry. That's the only way I can describe what happened. Even then, Liam Hatch, who played the opposition virtually on his own, put us in front. We then concede two goals – the like of which I've never seen in my life...
You wouldn't have wanted to be in our dressing room at half time. I left the dugout when the second goal went in and waited for them. It's a long while since I've been as angry as I am today. It's unacceptable and the only thing I can promise the supporters is however long it takes me I WILL sort it out. I'm not having it and neither should they. It appears to be more difficult for us at home than away at the minute. For me, 7,000 people here should be the icing on the cake. Instead it appears to be the monkey on our back...
Beating Ebbsfleet would make everyone look over their shoulders. All we've done is allow the [play-off placed clubs] to sit above us laughing their socks off'... The game's other low point was the first half injury to on-loan keeper Kevin Pilkington. 'He's pulled his thigh and I would think he'll go back to Notts County now. It's not good', bemoaned the boss...
The transfer window closes on Monday but barring a Saudi oil baron taking a sudden interest in matters at Kenilworth Road – Money doesn't expect any more comings or goings. He joked: 'If I could get rid of a dozen and bring a dozen in on Monday then maybe I'd do some business but I don't think that's going to happen'".
Another club beaten at home is the subject of a report in the Uxbridge Gazette which says that "Hayes & Yeading United were tonight (Saturday) awaiting news on stricken Steve Basham after the striker was rushed to hospital with a neck injury following Saturday's 6-1 home defeat to Rushden & Diamonds. The experienced forward, on loan until the end of the season from Luton Town, collapsed in a heap after an innocuous challenge with Rushden captain Jamie Stewart. He appeared to be unconscious and play was stopped for several minutes late on in the game as United's club doctor and physiotherapist tended to the player. Basham lay prone while a neck brace was fitted and he was stretchered off the pitch to applause from the concerned crowd".
Manager Garry Haylock said, 'He's got pins and needles in his hands and his feet which is a sign of a spinal injury... He seems okay and very conscious but we will see how he is when we get down there (hospital)... We don't have a lot and players cost money. If Bash is out injured for the rest of the season then it will be a big blow but we're strong enough to cope... We were second best from one to 11 – we were well off it', fumed the manager. 'We couldn't get out of our own half, we couldn't pass the ball, we couldn't defend properly and as a team and group we're culpable. We were frighteningly second best'".
Basham was one of two Hayes players to concede an own goal in the defeat. Hayes, who should have beaten Alty last week "have now equalled their worse league run of four successive league from earlier in the season, with an alarming 16 goals conceded in that sequence".
30 January 2010
GATESHEAD GAME OFFTuesday's game for Altrincham at Gateshead has been postponed after today's FA Trophy clash between Barrow and Gateshead was postponed. FA matches take precedence over league games so Alty will now travel to Gateshead on Tuesday 9th February - assuming Barrow and Gateshead both manage to play and do not draw in their rearranged game this Tuesday.
This means that after next Saturday, six of our next eight games are away from home.
ALTRINCHAM 1 WREXHAM 3
Left: Adam Carden made his debut as a sub for Alty today; here he is seen with Chris Denham, John McAliskey and Chris Senior.
Wrexham deservedly took the points but a late Alty revival might have pushed the Dragons further had it come a bit earlier in the game.
Right: As he was suspended when we signed him, Peter Doran won't feature today against Wrexham so I am grateful to Andrew Lincoln for providing the adjacent photo of the Liverpool-born midfielder.
Saturday 30 Jan.
FA Trophy 2
FA Trophy 3
SATURDAY GAMESIt is intended to provide the usual live updates from Moss Lane during Saturday's game with Wrexham. These can be found from around 2.30pm on the Matchday Update page.
With the departures of Andrews Pearson and Owens, as well as the season-long injury to Dale Johnson, Alty are left with 22 players with first-team squad numbers. However both Richard Acton and Rod Thornley are emergency cover, whilst Michael Welch has just gone to Bamber Bridge to regain match fitness. Of the remaining 19, John Bennett and James Smart are youth team members who have yet to start a first-team match and both of the new signings, Adam Carden and Peter Doran, have also yet to start a game. So that leaves just 15 players with first-team experience for Altrincham to choose from today.
On the eve of their match with Altrincham, the Football Conference reports that Wrexham "have signed winger Luke Holden from Principality Welsh Premier side Rhyl on loan until the end of the season. Highly-rated Holden recently finished a loan spell at Charlton Athletic but made just one appearance for The Valley club in a 2-1 Football League Trophy defeat to Southampton.
Holden joined Rhyl in January 2009 and is a former Liverpool and Tranmere youth player. He also had a stint at The New Saints, Cammell Laird and Bradford Park Avenue. The left-sided midfielder helped Rhyl win the Welsh Premier title last season... FIFA rules state a player cannot play for three clubs in one season but Wrexham were permitted to sign the 21-year-old on an emergency loan deal".
Wrexham also report that they are "likely to still be missing striker Gareth Taylor, who is showing signs of improvement over his ankle injury, but maybe not quick enough for this weekend... 'I'm desperate to get back in the action', said Gareth. 'But the ankle still not right. It's certainly frustrating, especially with Andy Mangan having just arrived at the club. It would be nice to see if we could get a partnership going, but that might have to wait a few more days'....
Another blow followed when fellow forward Marc Williams appeared on crutches, after twisting his ankle during a practice match... Having returned from an injury picked up at Altrincham in mid-December, Marc was getting back up to speed...
It will be interesting to see what formation Dean Saunders selects at Moss Lane tomorrow, especially after switching things round at half time during the 0-0 draw at Rushden & Diamonds on Tuesday evening. 'We head to Altrincham full of confidence after this week's games and results', he said. 'If we could finally beat them on Saturday that would give us seven points for the week and some momentum'".
BSP NEWS"Oxford United have announced the re-signing of midfielder Chris Hargreaves" reports the Football Conference. "Hargreaves will, of course, need little introduction to most United fans, having worn his heart on his sleeve throughout the two seasons he spent with the club from 2005. He has signed a deal until the end of the season".
And "AFC Wimbledon have signed striker Josh Parker on loan from Queens Park Rangers for the rest of the season. Dons' manager Terry Brown has brought in the 19-year-old to cover an injury to Ross Montague. 'Josh is a very talented young player who as a forward can play either on the left or right-hand side', Brown told the club`s official website. Parker, who has been a regular in QPR's reserves this term... 'He possesses bundles of energy and blistering pace and his record at QPR suggests that he can finish as well', Brown said. 'I think his pace will add a great deal to the squad and will give me the opportunity to play three up front on a regular basis'.
From NL Daily we learn that "Defender Alan O'Hare has rejoined Gainsborough Trinity on loan until the end of the season from York City. The Northern Irishman has been unable to force his way into the first-team reckoning".
Also, "Michael Frew could have played his last game for Histon after beginning negotiations over a move to Corby Town. The striker has failed to make an impact... following his arrival from near-neighbours Cambridge City in pre-season...'We’ve had an enquiry from Corby and they’re offering him terms for this season and next season', said manager Alan Lewer. 'It would be a loan with a view to a permanent move... It would save us some money in wages and could give us a chance to strengthen in other areas'" he told Cambridge News.
NW NEWS"Fleetwood Town chief executive Steve Curwood was frustrated with the outcome of Friday’s FA tribunal in Manchester concerning last summer’s transfer of Jamie Mullan" reports the Football Conference. "Rivals Northwich Victoria were awarded £5,000 compensation, and a 20% future sell on clause, for the transfer of 21-year-old winger. Mullan joined Town after his contract expired with Northwich at the end of last season. The player’s age meant an FA ruling was used to decide if any compensation should be made to the previous club and the value if awarded...
Curwood was disappointed with the outcome: 'While Northwich had requested £25,000 compensation, I pointed out that Northwich had not followed the laid down guidelines, by failing to offer Jamie a new contract on the same terms as his original contract. This step was necessary to protect their compensation rights. The FA did not take this matter into account and decided on the £5,000 award.
While we have to accept the award, I am very disappointed the clearly laid down procedures in the FA rules have not been followed on this occasion. Even discounting this fact, I feel £5,000 is excessive for a player who only started eighteen games for his previous club, scoring just once, in the Conference National last season. We are in an age when fees for players at this level of the game are becoming increasingly rare. However the result could have been much worse, if the FA had accepted the Northwich argument for £25,000. That would have been outrageous'.
Crosby-based "Marine have taken extreme steps in their quest for a change in fortunes – by asking a priest to banish demons from their stadium. The Mariners have lost their last five games and been knocked out of two cup competitions since victory against Whitby Town was scrubbed out due to a freak floodlight failure. Coupled with an horrific injury list that has seen THREE players sidelined with broken legs – one of whom faces the agony of his leg being re-broken by doctors – Marine manager Kevin Lynch is convinced all is not right at the Arriva. A parishioner at St Aloysius Roman Catholic Church in Roby, the Mariners' boss, 34, this week asked his priest to bless the pitch in a bid to drive off evil.
Lynch, in his first full season in charge of Marine, said: 'I just feel that since I have been here we have not been getting the rub of the green, whether that means the ball has taken a bobble or we’ve been on the end of a bad refereeing decision. Our form has not been great at home and we have had an horrendous injury list – I just feel that there are a couple of demons out there we need to get rid of. I have known Father Ealey a long time, and for me personally, I will feel better that the pitch has had the blessing of God. It makes me feel a lot better in terms of my own faith'.
The College Road side, whose ground was built on what was formerly farmland, have lost nine times at home this season in all competitions... Marine chairman Paul Leary said: 'We have had no joy in the FA Cup or the FA Trophy for sometime but now I can see the Wembley Arch on the horizon!'... Fr Ealey blessed the pitch by conducting a short prayer before sprinkling holy water in the goalmouths and across the playing surface. He explained: 'I have blessed the pitch calling on God to make it a place where people can come and relax and enjoy themselves'".
29 January 2010
...AND ANDY GOES, TOOAs well as Andrew Pearson leaving Moss Lane (see below), Andy Owens has also left. Andy, the son of former Alty player, John Owens, made just two substitute appearances for the Robins.
PETER JOINS, AS ANDREW LEAVESAltrincham FC confirms that international clearance has now been obtained for Peter Doran. He will assume number 21 in the squad, which has now been vacated by Andrew Pearson. It is believed that Andrew may be joining Rhyl and Altrincham FC wishes him well for the future. Peter is currently serving a two-game ban incurred whilst playing for Welshpool Town. That ban expires after the Welsh club has played two first-team fixtures rather than when Altrincham have played two fixtures. Welshpool have already played one game since his ban started, so let's hope there is no bad weather in Wales in the next week or so! As previously reported (see below), Peter is a midfielder who joins from Welshpool Town.
TV IN BARThe following matches will be shown live in the bar at Moss Lane this Sunday; everyone is welcome. And, of course, a good attendance helps the club's finances!
"LADS WITH GREAT CHARACTER"John Edwards, Aly's joint Press Officer writes in the Sale and Altrincham Mesenger, "Graham Heathcote admitted fatigue had caught up with his Altrincham side but saluted their grit and determination after they extended their 100 per cent start to 2010 in the Blue Square Conference.
Alty added another three points to an outstanding campaign as they fought back from 2-0 arrears to beat Hayes and Yeading 3-2 at Moss Lane on Saturday. Fortune may have favoured them, but there were extenuating circumstances, as Heathcote explained: 'It was our third game in a week, and we had clocked up over 1,000 miles in travelling to Ebbsfleet and Wimbledon. I had concerns beforehand about weariness taking its toll. There were signs of it at Wimbledon on Tuesday night, and it didn't help that some of the lads only got home at about three in the morning.
That's why I left Tom Kearney and Matt Doughty on the bench against Hayes. They had looked a bit leggy, along with one or two others, but it soon became clear about 90 per cent of the team were feeling the effects. With that in mind, I thought the players showed tremendous character and desire to come back from 2-0 down and hold on for the points. I told them afterwards: "I take my hat off to you for grinding out a result like that". Hayes may have been the better side on the day, but there have been enough times when we have deserved something and got nothing, so I'm not going to worry about that.
Stuart Coburn (right) was outstanding again. He is part of the team, and it's his job to make saves, but he kept us in it with a stunning double stop and showed once more that he is an exceptional keeper'.
The Alty boss has made allowances for his team's workload, ahead of Saturday's home game with Wrexham, saying: 'We would normally train for a couple of hours on Tuesday night and an hour on Thursday, but not this week. We'll do an hour tomorrow (Thurs) but otherwise rest up. Keeping everyone as fresh as possible is the main aim now, but it will be no easy task'".
And Blue Square Football has an audio interview with Graham Heathcote in which the Altrincham manager describes Wrexham as "a very good side" who are now even better for having "spent a lot of money on Andy Mangan". Graham admitted that Alty "didn't deserve to beat Hayes and Yeading last week" but explained how the players had played long-distance away games at Ebbsfleet and Wimbledon in the preceding week. As a result Altrincham had been "very leggy" in their manager's opinion". Graham admitted he would like to "have more firepower" but that funds would not permit him to strengthen. Nevertheless he was pleased to have "a bunch of lads with great character".
IF...If Gateshead draw with Barrow this Saturday in the FA Trophy, a replay would be next Tuesday, 2nd February, which would cause a postponement of Altrincham's BSP fixture at the International Stadium, scheduled for that evening.
CHESHIRE NEWSThe Unibond League reports that "Keith Clayton has now published volume one [1880 to 1915] on the history of the Cheshire Senior Cup. In a very comprehensive 220 page volume containing all the results in the Cheshire Senior Cup from 1880 to 1915 with match reports on all finals and semi-finals with attendances and goal scorers from other rounds... Match reports have retained the contemporary words used by the original reporters which give a flavour of the times.
In the early days some players had several different spellings of their name and the name could change several times in the same match report. The identity of the goal scorer can be different depending on which newspaper you read, and even the mode of scoring... One result is missing in 1883/1884 season when Hurdsfield beat Birkenhead in the 1st Round. There was no match report or result... The next volume will take the history from 1918 to 1939. All the profits from this book will go to the Cheshire Football Association...
The book is available from:- Keith Clayton, 10, Casita Grove, Kenilworth, Warwickshire CV8 2QA, price £14 post free - cheques payable to Keith Clayton".
BSP NEWSThis season Altrincham have not made any overnight stays for their away games and have emerged with their best away record in years- seven league wins on the road so far. But NL Daily reports that "Garry Haylock insists more overnight stays for Hayes & Yeading United on away days would have put them in the top ten by now. As a result, the manager is even considering whether he should let a squad member go at the cash-strapped club to pay a few more hotel bills. Haylock was quietly seething after last Saturday’s 3-2 defeat at Altrincham. Not just because Hayes & Yeading surrendered a 2-0 lead to lose 3-2, but also because the team was forced into an 8am start from west London on the day.
The manager knows one of the tightest budgets in the division dictates affairs at Church Road – but questioned the decision to award a hotel stop for the upcoming fixture at Chester City next month – and not for Alty. He said: "It’s 191 miles from Hayes, and Chester is 195. We’re staying over for that but didn’t at Altrincham, and it was a long day.
'If you prepare well, you get the right kind of results. We’re a small squad, so losing a player to pay for hotels would be a question of swings and roundabouts. But no one else would touch some of our players before they came here – and yet we’ve created the right environment and they’ve excelled. The more professional you are, the better it is, and if we could have stayed over we’d have done so – no shadow of a doubt'", he told the Uxbridge Gazette.
From the Surrey Herald we learn that "AFC Wimbledon will target another striker if Ross Montague's injury is as bad as first feared. The youngster, who suffered a cruciate injury to his left knee last season, had a scan yesterday to show the extent of the damage to the opposite knee sustained this week. Dons' assistant Stuart Cash has his fingers crossed it's just a cartilage problem, which could see the former Brentford forward return in his just six weeks. However, AFC will be back in the market for another hitman if Monty becomes the FIFTH player in two seasons to suffer the Kingsmeadow cruciate curse, following long-term injuries to Lewis Taylor, Luke Garrard, Andy Little and Alan Inns. Cash said: "'If it's bad then we'll want a fourth senior striker'".
The Liverpol Daily Post confirms that "Chester City received a stay of execution yesterday, when the High Court in London adjourned a winding up petition from HM Revenue and Customs for 42 days. The petition was brought after City failed to pay in excess of £26,000 to the tax authorities. Recorder Ms Derrett ruled that Chester had until March 10 to sort out the matter, following submissions from their legal representative. In a surprising development in the short hearing, the court was told that Chester City were considering entering a CVA route to ease their financial debt, unconfirmed reports last night suggested that the club were contemplating an arrangement that paid creditors 92 pence in the £.
Yesterday’s adjournment means that any potential purchasers of the Deva Stadium outfit now have a period of grace to enter a due diligence process. City were put up for sale on Monday for £1, however any prospective suitor must pay all the clubs debts, which are thought to be an amount that reaches into six figures... Many of the club’s players and staff haven’t been paid for over two months...
Chester’s supporters group City Fans United issued a statement last night saying: “No one wanted Chester City Football Club to die. But the stay of execution given to the club in the High Court is of little comfort to Chester supporters. 'The way our club has been run is indefensible and has led to a catastrophic loss of confidence by supporters, businesses, the football authorities, and the wide community. The only way forward is a swift and decisive change of ownership'”.
On the same theme the Chester Chronicle says that "City were given until March 10 to finalise proposals for a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) aimed at enabling the club to clear its debts – £26,125 of which is owed to the taxman... Registrar Derrett’s decision to give City... 42 more days went against the wishes of HMRC, whose lawyers argued: 'This is the successor company to the previous incarnation of the football club which previously went into administration with large debts outstanding. It seems that second time around it is failing'.
The hearing, which lasted about four minutes, came two days after the Blues were put up for sale for £1... Former Chester director Paul Baker is one of a group of local businessmen to have shown an interest in entering the due diligence process, while official supporters' group, City Fans United (CFU), have been approached via a text message... A CFU statement, released on Monday, read: 'City Fans United can confirm that earlier this afternoon we received a text message from Stephen Vaughan Snr’s mobile phone as follows: ‘£1 for 100% shareholding. u pay all outstanding creditors. Stephen Vaughan junior’.”
The Football Conference is keen to arrange a meeting with Chester’s powers-that-be after the club snubbed their request to send senior decision-making officials to the league’s scheduled EGM at Hinckley United FC last Thursday... Said Conference general manager Dennis Strudwick, 'Now that the hearing has passed, we will be suggesting another meeting to find out how they are going to proceed from here'”. Our friends at Bullsnews summarize the recent spate of winding-up orders. "Currently nine football clubs are facing possible winding-up orders. Taking recent adjournments into account, here is the revised schedule of winding-up petitions to be heard, as published by Dr John Beech of Coventry University.
Both Crystal Palace and Southend can be added to the list. Dates for any possible proceedings are yet to be announced".
"Jefferson Louis's future at Crawley Town was in doubt last night as it emerged the striker did not want to return to the club", according to This is Sussex. "The forward's loan deal at Rushden & Diamonds was extended until the end of the season on Tuesday... He said: 'I'm loving it and I don't want to go back to Crawley. I want to stay here for the rest of the season... I have felt like one of the lads'.
It is understood Crawley manager Steve Evans would have liked to have brought Louis back to boost his attacking options, but the high wages meant it was always unlikely the player would return to Town in this window, with several other clubs linked with the striker in recent weeks. After this season Louis has one more year on his contract at Crawley, but Evans may decide to let the player go in the summer.
He said: 'As a manager I would love to have got the big fella back here for the rest of the season but financially it made sense for the club to allow the deal to be agreed. Financially it helps our club reach its target of being debt free at the end of the season. Rushden might want to make it permanent but we'll see how he gets on over the next few weeks'.
The Louis situation may have implications for fellow forward Calum Willock, whose contract is up at the Broadfield at the end of the month... With Charlie Ademeno still being linked with a host of football league clubs it seems inconceivable the club would let Willock leave as well as it would leave them with Danny Forrest and teenager Ben King as their only recognised forwards. Despite no clubs having matched Crawley's valuation of Ademeno yet it is likely a deal will happen before the end of the month due to the sheer number of sides tracking the 21-year-old".
Meanwhile, "Susan Carter says she wants Crawley Town to take a leaf out of Oxford United and AFC Wimbledon's book and get more help from their supporters... Oxford United have a 12th man fund which has already allowed manager Chris Wilder to bring in at least one extra player this season while the Dons rely heavily on a number of people who work at Kingsmeadow for free on a Saturday. And Carter thinks there is no reason why Crawley cannot follow their example and benefit from a similar arrangement.
She said: 'It isn't just about money, it is about harnessing the skills of our supporters and getting them to do what they are good at to help the club... It enables us to use our money on making the team better, and not doing running repairs on the stadium for instance', she added. The club have appealed for help in replacing the existing fixtures board and are looking for electricians, a flooring specialist and an audio visual engineer to work on improving the Redz venue. The club are also hoping to get a new portakabin...
Carter is also keen to maximise off the field income for Crawley... This weekend sees one of the first live music events at the bar".
On the pitch "Bruce Winfield says Crawley Town can still make the playoffs this season... The Devils co-owner has prioritised reducing the club's debt this season... But Winfield thinks manager Steve Evans has assembled a team capable of competing on the pitch and thinks a late surge for promotion is still possible. He said: 'We all know that if the manager did not have to sell the likes of Pittman, Cook, Fletcher, Wright and the two young lads to Peterborough United, he would have more of a chance to deliver a playoff place but he had no choice in that matter. This season has always been about the club being debt free on the last day of the season. We are on schedule to achieve that target but it would be fair to say that managing our cash flow recently has been a problem given the lack of home matches because of the weather but, once again, the shareholders injected some funds to ensure it was "business as normal"...
He said: 'With six Conference Premier matches out of nine at home then we have every chance to put ourselves right into the playoff mix; I know for sure it will be what we do in those home games that counts... We have no right to be anywhere near the playoffs this season given the resources Steve Evans has to work with and it is remarkable we are. If anyone can drive us up there it's Steve Evans'".
NW NEWS"Tameside neighbours Ashton United have come to Mossley’s rescue by agreeing to let the Lilywhites play night games at the club's Hurst Cross ground" says NL Daily. "They had been unable to play fixtures at Seel Park after the collapse of two floodlight pylons led to the remaining six being declared as unsafe last week. However, the condemned structures have now been removed and Saturday matches can be played, albeit at an earlier kick-off time. The question of staging night matches has been answered by the Robins, leaving Mossley trying to find the £40,000 required for the total costing of the new lights as rumours that Droylsden had old floodlights to donate were incorrect.
A club statement read: 'The gate money means we will have some income, though considerably less than normal as we will not gain from social club and catering income, as we would at home'. Tameside Council has verbally offered to contribute 50 per cent of the cost towards new lights, although written confirmation was yet to be received. More than £1,000 was raised last weekend as the club seeks to generate £20,000".
28 January 2010
DATE CHANGED AGAINAlty's away match at Wrexham has again been changed. This has been done to facilitate the Welsh team in their difficult task of rearranging a big backlog of postponed games. So, Wrexham v Alty at the Racecourse will revert to Tuesday, March 9th at 7.45 instead of Wednesday, February 24th.
News of Saturday's opponents comes from the Daily Post which says that "Young Wrexham striker Obi Anoruo came within a whisker of snatching victory over Rushden & Diamonds... The teenager, who replaced a tired Andy Mangan with 13 minutes to go, had two efforts on goal beaten away by home keeper Dale Roberts, the second of which was solely down to the youngster’s skill and pace in the penalty box...
The bad news for Wrexham last night was that leading goalscorer Gareth Taylor was missing after picking up an ankle injury... In his place, manager Dean Saunders pushed Lamine Sakho forward to partner Mangan, and Curtis Obeng came in on the right flank with Wes Baynes switching to the opposite side... A frustrated Mangan, who had been given little opportunity to worry the home defenders, made way for Anoruo with 13 minutes left".
Wrexham report that "The 105 Wrexham fans who made the long midweek trip to Nene Park will have left reasonably satisfied that the team is continuing to improve... 'I'm disappointed we haven't won', said Dean Saunders... 'We battled and looked solid at the back... In the second half I thought we dominated the game. We changed it round a little bit, Jamie McCluskey came on and we kept getting the ball to him... Andy Mangan's done well enough, but after you haven't played for six months you have to ease him back in...
We did miss Gareth Taylor... He is a presence, who can just nick something at a set piece, but we're hoping he'll be fit again for this coming Saturday at Altrincham... With 16 cleansheets at this stage of the season, you would normally expect to be in the top three of any league... Seven points from this week would be a decent return... At least we can go into Saturday's game full of confidence and try to take three points off Altrincham. We had a few of them out there who looked a little bit leggy towards the end, but Frank Sinclair, at 37, was different class'".
NEXT TUESDAYAlty travel to the International Stadium next Tuesday where the Chronicle reports that "Ian Bogie has insisted he is no quitter and is more determined than ever to steer Gateshead to safety after [a] 2-0 home defeat against Kettering Town. The struggling Tynesiders have picked up just one point from the last 18 and failed to score in their last three Blue Square Premier games...
Gateshead were booed off at half-time and at the final whistle, a rare occurrence in recent years, but Bogie is determined to lead from the front. He said: 'There will be plenty of critics and some of the supporters are restless, but I have worked far too hard over the last three years to throw it all away... We were overrun in midfield in the first half and the defence was torn apart... Too often the final ball was lacking, and at times we just lumped the ball into the box... Too many players are low on confidence'...
Gateshead handed debuts to both of their new signings, striker Brian Wake from Morton and former Bolton Wanderers wide man James Sinclair... Gateshead could easily have shipped four or five goals in the first half... The decision to keep faith with goalkeeper Paul Farman was vindicated when the youngster made two one-on-one saves and blocked a close-range Jean-Paul Marna effort... The Tynesiders are close to bringing in several more players before Monday’s transfer deadline – and on this evidence they will need to".
WORLD CUP HEROES IN ALTRINCHAM
During this World Cup year Altrincham Football Club are pleased to announce a “World Cup Heroes” evening with special guests Nobby Stiles MBE and George Cohen MBE, two members of the famous 1966 cup winning side. ]
The event will take place on Thursday 25th March at the Cresta Court , Church Road , Altrincham starting at 7.30pm. Dress code is lounge suits.
Ticket prices for this prestigious event are £400+VAT for a table of 10 with individual tickets available for £40.
The evening will consist of a 4-course meal, a Questions and Answers session, followed by a raffle and auction. The compere for the evening will be our very own Mr. Graham Heathcote so the evening is guaranteed to be an entertaining affair.
A booking form is attached and an early response is requested as numbers are strictly limited.
Yours, in sport
Karen & Sarah Rowley
MICHAEL GETS FITAlty defender Michael Welch (right) is lined up to play three games, under dual registration arrangements, for Bamber Bridge as part of his rehabilitation after his major operation last summer. Michael has been in the Alty squad for the last 13 league games but has only started one game this season, a Cheshire Senior Cup match. Brig have games this Saturday, next Tuesday and the following Saturday in which Michael will hope to be involved.
PONTOONGrahame Rowley writes, "After the midweek fixtures the race continues to reach the target of 21 goals with Colin Mitchell and his Swindon Town team being the biggest gainers at the top of the leaders board with 3 goals in midweek and a total of 17 goals to date giving him 2nd place. In equal 3rd place with 16 goals are Karen Rowley's MK Dons, Mike Ray's Cardiff City and Ian Cox's Chelsea but still out in front is Alex Bayliss and Manchester City with 19 goals - however they dont play till Sunday so the rest have a chance to pinch the 1st prize of £100 on Saturday.
Watch this space for updates................... The latest Pontoon Table is here.
OLD BOYS"FC United of Manchester have re-signed Macclesfield Town striker Kyle Wilson on loan... Wilson, who scored twenty-four goals in thirty-two appearances for the Reds last season, has initially joined for a month but the deal may be extended if United can agree further terms with the Silkmen".
Welsh Premier reports that "Bangor City stalwart Kieran Killackey has left Farrar Road to join Ashton United. The 24-year-old made 59 Welsh Premier appearances for the Citizens over four years after signing from Altrincham [Reserves] in January 2006 following previous experience as a pro with Accrington Stanley".
CHESHIRE NEWSCSC Semi-Finals
The Northwich Guardian says that "Northwich Victoria may start legal proceedings against its own league in an effort to avoid being kicked out of the competition. The town’s biggest club has been told by the Football Conference it must pay back every penny of its outstanding debt or risk being refused entry next season. 'We might end up in a court room to settle this',” admitted owner Jim Rushe. 'I’m prepared to go that far to fight for the club’s future and I think we have a very strong case against them'...
The company that pays the players’ wages, Northwich Victoria Football Club (2004) Ltd, ran out of money to pay its bills last May, prompting Rushe to apply for administration... He agreed terms in principle for a Creditors’ Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) – a binding legal agreement about how much of the money will be repaid over the next five years – on Christmas Eve. The Guardian understands that agreement will not now be finalised until Rushe decides what to do next. The Conference has so far refused to comment, except to say no decisions on its future membership will be made until the end of the season.
Rushe added: 'We face a dilemma. Do we continue to pay the players and our creditors when there is chance it might be for nothing, or do we try to sort out the problem now?'. Conference rules make clear that insolvent clubs cannot play in either of non-league’s top two divisions if they exit administration without paying their creditors in full...
Now Vics [are] considering whether to ask a judge to decide if league officials should be allowed to insist on a full settlement, even if creditors say they will accept a smaller amount. 'I agree that everybody should be paid, from the top goalscorer right through to the guy who delivers the pies on match day', said Rushe. 'But sometimes that is not possible; look at Northwich Victoria. When I bought the club it already owed a lot of money to a lot of people. It became clear there would be no way we could ever clear all of the debt, so I felt I had no choice but to apply for administration. Now those same businesses have said they will accept us paying back half of that money over the next five years, but the Conference’s rules say that is not enough'".
BSP NEWS"Gareth Baldwin spoke to Cambridge United about his return to football and his excitment at the challenge of being part of Cambridge United, his early days as a U's fan and reflected fondly on his 17 Years and 9 months overseeing Histon's rise through the Non-League pyramid...
At Cambridge "I was lucky enough to get involved with the Club assisting in fund raising and sponsorship from 1988 to 1991. I was then priviliged to have Roy Johnson and John Beck as friends and they got me on the team coach to Highbury and Wembley which was very special... when John BEck left the Club I lost touch with things and then the opportunity at Histon arrived. I know U's fans may find it hard to understand how after 16 years you can just drift away but thats what happened...
The turning point for everything was the arrival of U's legend Steve Fallon... So after 18 years away it has been a bit strange coming back to the Abbey but the welcome that people have given me has been exceptional'".
At Mansfield Town "Boss David Holdsworth has made midfielder Gary Mills available for loan. The 28 year old midfielder has been out of the team since late October... Mills, who was named team captain after his signing last summer, boasts three Championship medals in the last ten years, He was also part of the Stevenage team which claimed the FA Trophy last season".
NL Daily says that "Fleetwood Town have completed the signing of Anthony Barry having received international clearance from the FA of Wales. The midfielder left Chester City earlier this month following contractual issues at the troubled Cheshire club and signed for Wrexham. Barry, 23, then made a u-turn and opted to join Fleetwood...
Town are on target to turn full-time this summer but manager Micky Mellon realises he must keep an edge to the growing rank of full-time professionals he already has at the club. 'The youth team are full-time [!] and we may start to integrate some sessions over the coming weeks for first-team players. Daytime training is available with the youngsters and the likes of Gareth Seddon already take advantage and join them'".
NW NEWSThe UniBond League says that "Leigh Genesis Football Club regrets to announce that it is again seeking sponsorship following the withdrawal of funds from its main sponsor. The Club was given a lifeline at the end of last season by Manager Garry Flitcroft backed by a financial company whose intention it was to involve a number of investors. Funds were not forthcoming in sufficient measures to maintain the ongoing expenses therefore the Club will need to find additional funding as a matter of urgency to secure its survival
With a former Premiership Manager, Premiership player [Matt Jansen] and a real chance of promotion it would be tragic if this historic club was to fold; the board is remaining optimistic that there are people out there who will come forward to inject much needed cash to see the club not only through this season but into the future.
Spokesperson for the Club, Mary Croasdale says, ‘We have faced issues in the past and have always overcome them; this new stadium should have been the making of the club but instead it has achieved the opposite. Finances at non-league level are tight and a club needs to have either a huge supporter base, healthy money-generating social clubs or wealthy backers; this club can offer an amazing opportunity for someone wishing to get involved in non-league football and take a journey up the leagues, we have everything in place to achieve this... The bottom line is that this club will, with the loyalty of its player and coaches, see this season through but without serious help will not be able to continue after that'".
According to The Argus, Brighton and Hove "Albion have not given up hope of completing the capture of Cambridge United striker Chris Holroyd... Albion agreed a fee with Cambridge at the end of last week, which The Argus understands is a £60,000 down-payment with additional appearance-related clauses. Holroyd has yet to agree personal terms... Albion boss Gus Poyet said: 'It has to be sorted out one way or another in another 24 hours or 48 hours maximum... I am a little bit disappointed it hasn’t happened but it is something we cannot control. We have an agreement with the club and now it is up to the player'".
Salisbury, like Northwich, must comply with the Conference requirement to pay 100% of their debts by mid-May but the Salisbury Journal says that "With the club’s embargo on registering new players now lifted, Salisbury City boss Tommy Widdrington is looking to bolster his squad before the transfer window closes on Monday... Widdrington has less than a week to conclude any deals, but remains confident that as many as three new players could be signed in time... Said the City boss, 'I'm hopeful we will see two or possibly three new faces before the window closes on Monday'. Widdrington also confirmed that Chris Flood and Jamie Turley have already put pen to paper, agreeing deals that commit them to the club until the end of the 2010/11 season, while negotiations are underway with other first team regulars, who Widdrington views essential to the club’s future development".
27 January 2009
ALTY SIGNINGAltrincham FC are awaiting international clearance before making a formal signing but Welsh Premier reports that "Peter Doran has turned down the chance to remain in the Principality Welsh Premier League to join Altrincham in the Blue Square Premier.
The midfielder who had been linked with moves to Rhyl and Port Talbot in this window, has left Welshpool after 19 games and one goal to try his luck at Moss Lane, with former TNS boss Ken McKenna, who is the assistant at the Conference club. They are currently eleventh in the Blue Square Premier and former Welsh Premier League duo Rob Williams (former TNS, Newtown, Caersws) and Richard Acton (former TNS/Bangor) are on their books also.
Doran - whose twin brother plays for Rhyl - joined Welshpool from Burscough in August 2009, although he spent the majority of last season with GAP Connah's Quay. He spent just under a year on Deeside, having arrived in August 2008 from Caernarfon Town. He was only at the Oval for seven days in his second spell, but after he played against Caersws in the opening game of the 2008/09 season, he was told by boss Dave Rowe he could leave the club.
Previously, he re-joined his twin brother Phil for a second spell at Caernarfon Town in August 2008, having initially left the club at the end of the 2007/08 campaign to join Vauxhall Motors. He has also played for Walsall, Leigh RMI and Worcester City".
Right: Robbie Lawton and Greg Young in action against Hayes; photo courtesy of Gavin Rathbone of GR Photography.
Tuesday 26 Jan.
FA Trophy 2
CHESHIRE SENIOR CUPCSC semifinals, Tuesday 26 January:
ATTENTION! ARMED FORCES DAY AT MOSS LANEAltrincham Football Club are offering serving members of the Armed Forces and a family member or friend, the opportunity to see their Blue Square Premier game with Salisbury City on Saturday, February 6th, for just £5 each.
'The idea came from one of our supporters and we feel that this is a good way for Altrincham Football Club to show its support for the men and women that do such a fantastic and courageous job for our country throughout the world', said Vice Chairman, Grahame Rowley.
Entry on the day will be via turnstiles 5 and 6 and proof of identity, such as a military ID card, will need to be shown at the turnstile. The kick off time of the match is 3.00pm.
Moss Lane has some important military connections of its own; Korean War VC Bill Speakman lived for many years at the town-centre end of the road.
DECISION DAYToday (Wednesday) sees three current or former rivals of Altrincham FC facing High Court winding-up orders. The clubs involved are Chester City, Burscough and Hinckley United. Should Chester not survive, Alty would lose four points but would remain eleventh. However, they and several other clubs who have played Chester twice would end up having to play 46 league games whilst others such as Kettering and Crawley, who have yet to play Chester, would only play 44 times. This is because the Conference fixtures for the last couple of seasons have not paired each team against every other team in the first half of the season.
TASC NEW YEAR DRAWThe Altrincham Supporters' Club, TASC, is "pleased to advise that two further prizes have been donated for the TASC New Year Draw, which takes place in the Noel White Suite on Saturday February 6th after the game against Salisbury City.
TASC would like to thank Eric Robinson and Jo and Glyn Vayro for donating these excellent prizes".
TASC MINUTESThe latest TASC minutes from the meeting of 19th December are available here.
NW NEWSAfter their floodlights collapsed, there is more bad news at Mossley where "Chris Willcock has formally handed in his resignation as manager... with immediate effect. Willcock has been offered the number two spot at Stalybridge Celtic by caretaker-manager Benny Phillips and feels it is an opportunity that he cannot turn down". The Football Conference also reports that "Stalybridge Celtic have re-signed much-travelled striker Jody Banim from Salford City".
BSP NEWSSalisbury City issued a statement on Monday. "The new investors promised to update the fans as and when more information became available relating to the takeover of the club.... There is so much work going on behind the scenes that cannot be commented on until we are sure of the outcome...
It was clear from the outset that SCFC had very many issues that would need a great deal of time and effort, and ran much more deeply than just injecting money. The new directors took the view then, and do now, that in order to solve these issues permanently we needed a long term reconstruction of the club...
We have stopped the club from going out of existence, clarified and stabilised the financial situation, injected working capital, paid all new creditors and salaries on time including HMRC, negotiated and had approved a complex CVA with HMRC and creditors, and finally resolved issues relating to football creditors with the Conference...
On February 3 the club will come out of administration... The issue of Appendix E in the Conference Rules that has been raised in the football press recently has been known about by the new directors and everyone else in the league for some time. The rule is clear for all to see that any club could be relegated if the creditors are not dealt with in the prescribed way. The new directors when finalising the takeover were faced with a choice – let Appendix E overwhelm the CVA and walk away from the club, or complete a CVA and fight for the right of the club to be in the Conference Premier. We chose the latter.
The Conference have just proposed a new version of Appendix E, which may or may not apply to SCFC, but the current CVA has been constructed to comply with this. We and many other clubs are in dialogue with the Conference regarding Appendix E and its ramifications... Whilst the rule does clearly exist there are many constructive ways in which the club can deal with the situation... and with the help all concerned we will find the right answer for Salisbury City FC and be playing Conference Premier football next year".
l More signings at our opponents next Tuesday are reported by the Football Conference which says that "Gateshead have made a double swoop in the transfer market, with more signings a distinct possibility before the end of the transfer window. Striker Brian Wake has joined the Tynesiders from Scottish first division club Greenock Morton while attacking wide right player James Sinclair has signed on non-contract terms.
Gateshead also have bids in for three other players while a defender with experience in England, Ireland and Australia is also on the club's radar. Wake, 27... moved into the professional game with Carlisle United in 2002... The Teessider then moved into Scottish football spending the 2004-5 season at Gretna... His next move was to Scarborough and then back across the border to Hamilton Academical before he switched to Morton...
Said Gateshead manager Ian Bogie, 'He is a hard working target man who can hold the ball up and who will give us a physical presence up front'... Sinclair, 22, spent there years at Bolton Wanderers where he made two substitute appearances... After a recent trial at a top flight club in Norway, he has returned to his native North East... Said Bogie, "He is a real flying machine... He can play in a number of positions, including right midfield'".
According to the Football Conference "Luton Town have signed Janos Kovacs after the defender was released by Lincoln City. The 24-year-old Hungarian's contract was cancelled by mutual consent... He made sixty-six appearances for City and scored four goals".
Blue Square Football says that "Chester City FC have been put up for sale this week with the club's current owners setting an asking price of just £1. Chester City are scheduled to hear a winding up petition by the HM Revenue and Customs for an unpaid £26,000 tax bill on Wednesday and the Vaughan family have decided to relinquish their control of the club.
An official statement from the club reads: 'Stephen Vaughan Junior is prepared to sell 100% control of Chester City Football Club for one pound. Stephen Vaughan Junior is offering control of the club to City Fans United, any other consortium, or any individual who wants to buy the club. The new owners will take on all existing creditors and will need to guarantee to pay existing creditors of the new company. The Vaughan family are putting the club first by putting their shareholding in Chester City Football Club up for sale'".
As rumoured last week, "Former Histon chairman Gareth Baldwin is set to join rivals Cambridge United as a director. U's chairman Paul Barry has said Baldwin, who left the club, will take up his post as soon as he has resolved shareholding issues with the Stutes...
Barry told Cambridge officials: 'I find Gareth to be a very enigmatic [?] and positive personality and he's been a life-long fan of this club... We've invited him to join the board. He'll be working very closely with us, looking to generate income and to increase our off-field activities... I'm a great admirer of his... We've put a brake on spending and commercial revenue is up this year and we've got to push it further next year. Having Gareth Baldwin should help kick-start that'" reports Cambridge United.
Meanwhile, "Cambridge United have swooped to sign defender David Partridge on a deal to run until June 2011. The 31-year-old former Welsh International joins the U's following the departure of Wayne Hatswell to Irish side Dundalk at the weekend... Partridge started his career as an apprentice at West Ham, before joining Dundee United for £40,000 in March 1999. He made 7 full appearances for Wales during the 2005/6 season. With clubs including Motherwell, Bristol City, Brentford and most recently St Patrick's Athletic, David has also had loan spells with MK Dons and under Martin Ling at Leyton Orient in 2006.
David told cambridgeunited.com, 'I'm here to help get Cambridge United back into the Football League. I've played under Martin Ling before and know what a good manager he is'... Martin Ling added, 'He's a full international, experienced and a great talker... He's the left sided centre half that I've been looking for... He will do a good job for the next 18 months'".
26 January 2010
TV IN BARThe following matches will be shown live in the bar at Moss Lane. Everyone is welcome.
FIRST SATURDAY WINAn interesting article by Mike Garnett will appear in Saturday's programme, which points out that the win against Hayes and Yeading was Alty's first home win on a Saturday this season. So if you only watch Alty home games on a Saturday, the previous victory would have been on 18 April 2009 when Alty defeated Grays! Mike goes on to look at previous seasons when a home win has not arrived till well into the season - get the Robins' Review to see if the Hayes match set an unwanted Alty record!
Left: Robbie Williams in action; photo courtesy of Gavin Rathbone of GR Photography
ALTY PONTOONThe latest Altincham FC Pontoon Table is now on the website. Grahame Rowley writes, "Four teams have now gone bust in the Pontoon Competition and the new leader is now Alex Bayliss with Manchester City on 19 goals. In joint 2nd place are Ian Cox with Chelsea and Karen Rowley with MK Dons, both on 16 goals. There are then 5 teams on 14 goals apiece as the race to 21 hots up. Watch this space for further developments".
GOALS & CLEAN SHEETSGrahame Rowley writes, "With over half the games completed this season TASC thought it would be a good idea to collect the goal / clean sheet sponsorships in to the end of December games. Can we please request anyone who has sponsored goals or clean sheets to work out what they owe to date and send their payment to the club? As of December 31st 2009 we had:-
Many thanks for your support - much appreciated as always".
JENNYThere can't be many people who visit Moss Lane who don't know Jenny Heslop. Jenny runs the club bar, the club shop, the Saturday Yankee, washes all the kit for the first and youth teams, works in the club offices and, most onerous of all, puts up with husband George's dreadful jokes from morning till night! In last week's Robins' Review, Jenny was the subject of the latest in the "A Day in the Life..." series. The article is reproduced below...
Right: Jenny with George, courtesy of Gavin Rathbone.
Who would have thought when I met George 30 years ago I would also end up married to Altrincham FC for 28 years. I was slowly introduced into “The Robins” world by attending the odd S.A.F.E. [supporters' association] meeting and functions, such as discos at Chequers.
I went to my first game at the end of the 1980-81 season. When the new season started, I was persuaded by the Head Gateman (guess who!) to become a voluntary gate person. Occasionally I helped out Keith Davey in the snack bar, which was where Derek Wilshaw’s office is now situated. Then I joined Terry Surridge, Dave Thorpe and Ian Boardman in the old Club Shop, now used as a storage hut at the away end.
In 1985, in the Bernard Taylor era, I started to help out behind the bar as a volunteer on match days and as a part time employee at outside functions. Eventually I took over as working licensee on the same basis. Then, in 1999, I was invited to become manageress of the Yankee Lottery and moved into the offices as a regular part time employee, just having Monday and Wednesday afternoons off and still being involved with the Club Shop and Bar.
As the Club eventually became financially prudent, I was asked to wash all the first-team kit including tracksuits, t-shirts, hats, wet-weather gear and underpants. Therefore, after a fixture, I was given Monday and Wednesday mornings off to complete this task. However, I have had plenty of practice in preparation because I have been washing the Youth Team kit for 13 seasons.
In my spare time I occupy myself cleaning the Bar, Boardroom, Offices and everywhere else that wants cleaning. Pre-season includes the issuing of season tickets, ordering for the Club Shop and of course all year round ordering stock from the brewery.
Of course, the Yankee is also an all round the year operation. Obviously on match days it is very busy when I arrive at Moss Lane at around 12 noon and, if there are no televised matches in the bar, I finish about 7:45pm. But if we are showing a match, it can be as late as 8:30pm. Also, Fridays and Sundays are function nights for events such as christenings, Weddings, birthday parties, retirement parties and funerals. Some of these also take place other days of the week.
To sum up, at times I find my life very tiring but there are a lot of good people at the Club – both staff and spectators. However, if more home fans were to use the bar on a match day it would help the Club push further forward.
Finally, I would like to say a big thank you to Helen who helps behind the bar, and also to Steve Murray, always the last one to leave, who justifies himself by removing all the empties and the rubbish.
MEN IN BLACKThe referee on Saturday is Mr Ross Joyce.Amongst his previous Alty matches are:
For the Gateshead v Alty game on Tuesday, February 2nd, the referee is Mr J Simpson. He has reffed:
BSP NEWSBlue Square Football says that "The Football Association have confirmed that Histon have been expelled from the FA Trophy for fielding an ineligible player. A statement on the FA website reads: 'An FA Trophy Protest Sub Committee was held on Monday 25 January 2010 to consider a protest from Maidstone United on the inclusion of Jack Werndly, for Histon, in the above tie and after considering all of the facts, the Sub Committee decided that Histon were guilty, by their own admission, of breaching FA Trophy Rule 15 (e) by playing a player that was not registered by the player qualification date for the original tie, therefore ineligible. "The Sub Committee decided, in accordance with its discretionary powers that the protest is upheld and, therefore, Histon are removed from the competition and Maidstone United reinstated...
The prize fund payment of £5,000 is now awarded to Maidstone United and adjusted costs were awarded against Histon. In the Second Round Proper, Maidstone United will now play at Salisbury City". The Maidstone v Histon tie had been delayed by numerous postponements before being actually played.
"Rushden & Diamonds and Crawley Town have agreed to extend Jefferson Louis's loan spell, so that he stays at Nene Park until the end of the season. The Striker joined Rushden & Diamonds on loan in November, however unfortunately got injured in his first game for the Diamonds... Jefferson has scored 3 times, in 6 starts and 1 substitute appearance.
Rushden & Diamonds Manager Justin Edinburgh commented on Saturday's two-goal performance: 'Before the game we knew we were pretty thin on the ground with Aaron and Cliff injured so we were looking to extend the loan anyway, if you see a player putting in that kind of performance, you want to keep him'" reports Blue Square Football.
"Brighton & Hove Albion boss Gus Poyet's move for highly-rated Cambridge United striker Chris Holroyd has stalled over personal terms... 'Things are a little bit complicated at the moment, but it's still the transfer window so we have to wait and see'," said Poyet".
From NL24 we read that "Chasetown striker Reece Styche is set to move on loan to Forest Green Rovers. The Scholars’ top goalscorer this season was allowed to train with the Rovers earlier in the season, and will join the Gloucestershire club initially on loan until the end of February while Chasetown will retain his UniBond League registration".
"Andy Pilley, chairman of Fleetwood Town, has spoken to end media speculation linking former Chester City player Anthony Barry with the Highbury outfit" reports the Football Conference. "The midfielder left the Deva Stadium earlier this month following contractual issues at the troubled Cheshire club. Pilley said 'Fleetwood Town are poised to sign Anthony Barry once international clearance is received from the FA of Wales. Barry signed for Wrexham but decided, for his own reasons, his future lays at Highbury. There is nothing further to add at this stage except that online and newspaper stories reporting four-figure salaries for Fleetwood Town players are factually incorrect'". But...
The Daily Post claims that "Anthony Barry, who quit Wrexham after just a week to join Fleetwood Town, has admitted that financial considerations were the key factor in his decision... Speaking yesterday, Barry did not dispute Saunders’ claims that he had been offered three times his Racecourse salary by the current Blue Square North leaders and agreed the move represented a backward step in his career – in the short term at least.
He said: 'My decision was entirely based on contractual matters because I was not unhappy at Wrexham... Maybe in the short term dropping down another division is a backward step for me but the Fleetwood chairman is very ambitious and has laid out a long-term strategy to get the club into the Football League within five years. I want to be part of that and I have signed a three-year deal so if I’m taking a step back now it is so that we can take two steps forward in the future'...
The Racecourse boss said: 'This is the honest truth. Anthony phoned me and said he wanted to come and play for us and obviously he’s a good player. I felt he was the type we needed but I told him I had to sign Andy Mangan before I could sign him. I was trying to get Mangan in the bag first and then see how much money I had left to offer him. I couldn’t offer him what he was earning at Chester and he said Fleetwood were trying to sign him. But he came in, we did a deal, he shook hands on it but he didn’t realise he’d signed... He got a call from the Fleetwood manager who heard the deal was subject to a medical and offered him a two and a half year contract on three times the amount of money we could offer him'".
25 January 2010
YORK DATEAltrincham's postponed game at home to York City will now take place on Tuesday, 20 April at 7.45pm. Our only outstanding match to rearrange is now the home match against Stevenage Borough.
TWO GREAT EVENTSThere has been a great early uptake of tickets for the New Recruits Evening (February 6th) but there are still a few tickets left, so act quickly to secure yours! The guests will be Tom Kearney, John McAliskey, Nicky Clee and Russell Saunders. As usual the questions and answers are accompanied by a hot meal; all for just £15. Please do support this event which, as well as providing great entertainment, will help the club regain its lost revenue from the recent weeks of inactivity. Graham Heathcote will, as usual, be the compere so the panel of players can expect plenty of banter at their expense - though some will give as good as they get!
To book your tickets please contact Grahame, Karen or Sarah Rowley as soon as possible by phone on 07720 606897 or by e-mail.
And Grahame Rowley advises that "We have also booked a 'World Cup Heroes' evening at the Cresta Court, Altrincham on Thursday 25th March with the guest speakers being two members of the England 1966 World Cup winning team, George Cohen MBE and Nobby Stiles MBE. In World Cup year this will certainly be a night not to be missed!! Further details to follow early next week. Please contact me, Karen or the office (as above) for details".
YOUTH TEAM WINAfter leading 3-0 at the interval, Altrincham FC Youth won 3-2 at Prescot Cables on Sunday, with two goals from Kieran Madden and one from Ryan Shawcross. Next Sunday they host FC United at Wythenshawe Town FC (2pm). Alty now lie third in the table, three points off the lead with four games in hand.
Afsshaz's Channel has six minutes of video of Alty v Hayes on Saturday.
In their own match report Hayes & Yeading United conclude that "Defensive indecision proved costly for Hayes & Yeading United as they ended up losing a game they’d deserved to win at Altrincham on Saturday... An even first half with the score at 2-2 suggested a close but open battle for the second half, but in fact the remainder of the match was dominated by Hayes & Yeading... Altrincham manager Graham Heathcote saw the need for radical change and made a triple substitution, but it didn’t really have much effect on United who continued to dominate with some sublime passages of passing play...
But against the run of play, Altrincham were to claim all three points thanks to confusion in the United defence. A long ball over the United back line tempted Overland off his line but before it reached him, Sami El-Abd was put under pressure and hurried his clearance which landed at Senior’s feet. Although the striker was a good 30 yards from goal, Overland had vacated his area and the striker was able to roll the ball into the empty net... Despite this setback, United resumed control".
And on the HYU Forum come some friendly words from "Chairman Lee"... "This wasn't one point tossed away this afternoon, it was three... Plus points - some of our passing was exquisite this afternoon, and it was a very easy game to watch, the match flew by. Good clean game (no cards at all) and you didn't notice the ref who just simply let the game flow. And for those of you who have been there before, Altrincham are still a friendly welcoming Club".
Meanwhile the local paper, the Uxbridge Gazette states that "It all went horribly wrong for Hayes & Yeading in chilly Cheshire... Joy had turned to despair for the 31 travellers after United squandered a two-goal lead".
Right: Adam Carden joined Altrincham from FC United of Manchester just as the bad weather began so he has not yet featured in a matchday squad. However, he was involved in the pre-match warm-up on Saturday and is seen here (on the left) with Nicky Clee.
Some of this coming Saturday's games may be postponed after the Trophy matches are played on Tuesday night. Also, Histon face an FA hearing on Monday about allegedly fielding an ineligible player, so the BSP fixtures below are likely to change, though Alty's match with Wrexham is not affected by the Trophy.
OLD BOYAlty "old boy" Peter Band played for New Mills as they won 2-1 v Witney United in the FA Vase 4R.
BSP NEWSWrexham, our next opponents, report that "In a very unusual move, midfielder Anthony Barry approached manager Dean Saunders and asked to be released... only days after signing an 18-month contract. Following several days of negotiations, it was clear to Dean and the directors that Anthony was not going to be an asset to the club and in these exceptional circumstances they would release him from his obligations. 'When we initially spoke to Anthony, following his release by Chester City, we were well aware that he had already received a substantial offer from another club', said Dean. 'It was a very big deal and not one we could think of matching, therefore it was a little surprising when he came back and said he was willing to sign for us... A contract was worked out to reward him in future seasons, when are playing budget was less committed to the numbers we presently have in the squad. He seemed happy with this and duly signed...
So it was therefore, extremely disappointing that he came knocking on my door this week saying he had reconsidered the matter and wanted to cancel his contract... I could have been awkward with him, but I don't want to keep someone here who obviously would not be putting his heart 100% into the team... The contract that had previously been offered was something well and above virtually anything that could be matched in this division'".
The BBC adds that "Anthony Barry has... joined lower league Fleetwood Town on a two-and-a-half year deal... 'He knows he has let me down', said Wrexham manager Dean Saunders... I'm not so sure it's good career move for him football wise', said Saunders... 'I couldn't offer what he was earning at Chester... We put his contract through but then he got a phone call from the Fleetwood manager who offered him a two-and-a-half year contract and offered him three-times the money we could offer him... I am not here to bankrupt the club, I'm here to guide the club out of this league and do it sensibly'".
Meanwhile at Barry's former club NL News 24 "Controversial director of football at Chester City, Morell Maison, is 'confident' the crisis-stricken club will survive their showdown in the High Court... on Wednesday after being served by HM Revenue & Customs with a winding-up order.
Maison tells the Chester Chronicle: 'I’m as confident as I can be without being in control of the situation. Assurances have been given, and negotiations and discussions are going on with HMRC. I’m very confident they will get to the place both sides need to be'...
Maison was asked how close he was to bringing investment into the Vaughan family-owned Blues. He said: 'We’re quite a way down the road. We’re at that tricky part where Mr Vaughan’s family have to make some decisions. They’ve rejected one offer out of hand, and they’re mulling over another... We can bring as many potential investors to the table as we like, but they still have to make a decision'”.
24 January 2010
GOOD CAUSEJulie Brady, a regular volunteer on the Moss Lane turnstiles, invites everyone to help a good cause on behalf of her daughter, Laura Barnett...
Football kits wanted, please!"
"Laura Barnett is going to Uganda on 14 February on Mission work and is appealing to folks to donate any old team or individual football kits (children's or adult sizes). If you can help, please contact 928-8103 and ask for Laura or Julie".
The kits will benefit underprivileged children and adults in the East African country, so please do help if you can.
In Dave Stringer's match report in the NL Paper on the Hayes game, the visitors' manager Gary Haylock says, "We should have got something from the game... The Altrincham management were really magnanimous in victory. We played well but lacked that bit of sharpness, and tiredness probably caused us to sit back after our second goal". Robbie Lawton agreed that "We scraped a win after a dismal performance and came back from two down so you have to give credit to the character of the side. We generally play better away from home".
On that theme, Graham Heathcote wrote in the matchday programme, "Our results have been disappointing here [at Moss Lane]... We have to carry a greater threat going forward as we look to unlock other teams and the players must grab their chances. We have a system of playing away that has worked well but it does inhibit us in how many players we actually get forward. So we have to be flexible and often players are suited to either playing at home or away. They would never admit it, but it's true. We have to find the right formula for our home games".
Before yesterday's match with Hayes, Alty club chaplain, Rev Andy Barclay Watts read the annual roll of remembrance, which commemorates the sadly long list of people who were connected with Altrincham FC who died during the past twelve months. Following the reading, there was a minute's silence. Those commemorated were:
Right: Alty's players pictured just before the start of the minute's silence.
PROGRAMME NEWSYou miss a great deal if you don't buy a matchday programme as the following selection shows...
Alty fans yesterday were able to acquire copies of the matchday programme for our postponed game against York City on December 28, as well as for the match against Hayes and Yeading. This was because a new uptodate programme will be issued once our game is rearranged with York. In that original programme, Graham Heathcote wrote, "I believe that our players have done a tremendous job, so far this season, with a maximum of three hours training in a week. The mental toughness that you have to display and the physical condition that you have to get yourself into involves a lot of self-discipline... three games in six days against strong full-time outfits is a big ask" over Christmas. Graham adds that "You, the supporters, have really got behind the lads and it's really appreciated".
In the programme for the Hayes game, Graham complemented HYU for being, like us, "a genuine part-time team who have readjusted very well to this league; I can tell them it gets no easier and will get even more frustrating as you watch other clubs paying out big money. They can't all win it. Let's just sit back and see who the next one is to go belly up. At least we know it won't be us".
In the same Robins' Review, vice chairman Grahame Rowley underlines that, because of the "Big Freeze", the club has faced "plenty of money being paid out and very little coming in" and appeals for all supporters to support the club's fundraising ventures. These include the Meet the New Recruits event on February 6th. The guests will be Tom Kearney, John McAliskey, Nicky Clee and Russell Saunders. As usual the questions and answers are accompanied by a hot meal; all for just 15 pounds. Please do support this event which, as well as providing great entertainment, will help the club regain its lost revenue from the recent weeks of inactivity. Graham Heathcote will, as usual, be the compere so the panel of players can expect plenty of banter at their expense - though some will give as good as they get!
To book your tickets please contact Grahame, Karen or Sarah Rowley as soon as possible by phone on 07720 606897 or by e-mail.
When you read Robbie Lawton's "Captain's Log" weekly column in the programme, you can appreciate why he is a good choice as captain. He mixes honesty about the team's performances with intelligent analysis and genuine appreciation for team mates' good displays. He also invariably aims some well-chosen banter at one or more of his colleagues. This time it is Greg Young's turn as Robbie writes, "A word finally on Greg Young, after he went off to have a head wound bandaged at Wimbledon. He's 6ft 3in and built like a brick and a bit of pain doesn't bother him. But he was absolutely gutted that he might have spoiled his good looks. He should be all right for today but, for once, he won't be looking in the mirror on his way out of the dressing room!"
Robbie also has praise for goalkeeper Russell Saunders, who made his debut last week. After explaining how Stuart Coburn injured his elbow when struck by a Chris Denham shot in the warm-up at Ebbsfleet, Robbie says that "Russell Saunders suddenly found himself thrown into the fray with barely a couple of minutes notice... He responded exactly as I knew he would. He deserves a lot of credit for stepping in like that and performing so well... We are fortunate to have two top keepers on our books".
Also in the Robins' Review, physio Sean Riley confirms that Stuart Coburn suffered "some slight ligament damage around his elbow" and that at Wimbledon Greg Young "received a cut on his right eye. It was decided not to stitch the wound but apply steristrips. This closed the wound very well". Meanwhile, also at Wimbledon, "Chris Denham took a kick to the top of his right foot, which is bruised".
Vocal guests at Moss Lane under the Altrincham FC Featured Club scheme for local junior teams, were Broadheath Central U-9s. They are pictured here enjoying themselves before the match. Their visit is a reminder that Altrincham FC started its days in 1891 as Broadheath - which locals will know is one of the northern districts of the borough.
ALTY STATSThe NL Paper statistics show that Alty are now joint second in the form guide, with only York above them. Alty have gleaned 13 points from their last six games. Also the Robins remain the club with lowest foul count - 241. Curiously they are only seventh in the card count with the "good boys" headed by AFC Wimbledon who, nevertheless, have committed more than a third as many fouls as Altrincham.
OLD BOYSFormer Alty captain Steve Hawes has moved to Worksop Town from Stocksbridge PS. Meanwhile, playing against SPS, Carlos Roca netted FC United's equalizer yesterday. Simon Woodford scored a late leveller for Trafford against AFC Fylde. An Alty trialist last summer, Eddie Stanford, scored for Radcliffe Borough yesterday.
Another ex-Alty man on the move is James Olsen, who has joined Colwyn Bay from Marine. Colin Potts figures in the NLP Dream team chosen by Lancaster's Chris Ward. He says of Colin, he "probably [has] the most ability of a winger I have ever seen, and could create something out of nothing. Never played professionally... Should have got a move".
BSP NEWSBefore Hayes visited Moss Lane yesterday, the Uxbridge Gazette reported that "Hayes & Yeading striker Steve Basham's loan deal from Luton Town is set to be extended until the end of the season. The former Oxford United and Preston hitman's two-month loan expires after tomorrow's trip to Altrincham, but it's unlikely to be his last for the club as Hayes manager Garry Haylock agreed a deal with the Hatters. 'I would imagine that it would be sorted by Monday and hopefully I will be staying with Hayes & Yeading until the end of the season as I have enjoyed my time here', said Basham".
Sunday's NL Paper claims that Northwich Vics, Farsley Celtic and Salisbury face being evicted from the league if they do not fulfil Appendix E of the Conference rules. The NLP says that this states that "clubs must pay all creditors everything they are owed by the second Saturday in May". It adds that Vics paid their creditors 40p in the pound "but Conference rules demand 100p in the pound is paid... However, Chester City won't be affected as the rule doesn't apply to clubs who have been newly relegated from the Football League". Vics' chairman, Jim Rushe said, "We feel we are being victimised". The NLP adds that "The new issue came to light when Rushe was refused entry to the Conference general meeting on Thursday" as only two reps per club are allowed and director Gary Pettit and an insolvency lawyer were present for the Vics.
Rushe opined "It is ridiculous that we have paid a wage bill all season and tried to compete at BS North level. What is the point in us now completing the rest of the season?".
Brian Lee, the Conference chairman responded: "If they have got creditors, they have got to pay them by the second Saturday in May, 100p in the pound... The club started the season knowing what the rules were. It is not as if we have just introduced them now".
The York Press says that "York City have rejected a bid from League Two strugglers Grimsby Town for top scorer Richard Brodie. While the Minstermen’s board declined to reveal the figures involved, Sophie Hicks, the club’s communications and community director, said the offer – made in a phone call by Mariners’ chairman John Fenty – was 'nowhere near our valuation'. Fenty revealed that Grimsby, who are six points adrift of safety, had made a 'significant bid for a York City player', but did not identify his target.
Grimsby, managed by former York striker Neil Woods, are in the market for a frontman with top scorer Barry Conlon, the ex-City player, leaving Blundell Park this week... Hicks said: 'We were verbally approached by Grimsby Town for Richard Brodie. Nothing was received in writing... but their offer was nowhere near our valuation. Let’s just say some people’s idea of significant is very different to others. We would like to reiterate that we would like Richard Brodie to stay at York City and be part of the team’s efforts to gain promotion this season'... Brodie has also been linked with Peterborough, Sheffield Wednesday and Huddersfield".
From the Football Conference we learn that "Tamworth have announced the signing of 24-year-old forward Jerome Murdock... Murdock trained with the Lambs on Thursday and has had something of a rapid rise after stepping up from Aspire Midland Alliance outfit Coventry Sphinx to join Zamaretto League Division One Midlands side Bedworth United... He then followed the previous manager Liam O`Neill to UniBond League Division One South Shepshed Dynamo last month. Meanwhile, leaving The Lamb is Turkish striker Gokhan Ulker, who was informed that he was being released"
23 January 2010
ALTRINCHAM 3 HAYES AND YEADING UTD 2
Above: Colin Little (second left of the Alty players) celebrates his goal.
The better side did not win this match as Alty somehow conjured a victory despite being second best for most of the afternoon. The Robins were indebted to several magnificent saves from goalkeeper Coburn, restored to the side after injury, and to some indifferent finishing from Hayes.
Saturday 23 Jan.
SATURDAY'S GAMELive updates from the Alty v Hayes match will be on the Matchday Update page.
The BBC reports that "John McAliskey (cup tied) is set to return to Altrincham's starting line-up after missing the FA Trophy defeat by AFC Wimbledon in midweek. Winger Nicky Clee could also start after impressing as a substitute but goalkeeper Stuart Coburn (elbow) remains a doubt". For Haye, "Defender Tom Cadmore (suspension) will miss the clash with Altrincham after being sent off against York. Midfielder Justin Cochrane could return after serving a three-game ban".
"United defender Adam Green is confident Hayes will bounce back from Saturday's crushing at York against Altrincham tomorrow. Green is relishing another long journey up north and said the chief culprits in the defeat against the Minstermen had been absolved of any blame. Hayes came unstuck via errors from skipper Tom Cadmore, who was sent off in the second half, and goalkeeper Simon Overland, but Green says there was no finger pointing amongst the players", according to the Uxbridge Gazette. "'Si is big enough to accept that he could have done better (with the second goal) but he made some great saves in the game', said Green. 'Everyone makes mistakes and it's about how you react from them that matters. Before then we had only lost once in our last nine league games. Now we go to Altrincham which is a big game for us. It's another long away trip but we've got to get back on track'".
Right: Alty line up before their game at Ebbsfleet last Saturday. The Alty players seen are (l. to r.), Saunders, Williams, McAliskey, Densmore, Young, Kearney and Senior.
TRAVEL TO GATESHEADThe coach times and fares for the TASC supporters' transport to Altrincham's game at Gateshead on Tuesday, February 2nd are on the Away Travel page. Please book in the Robins' Shop on matchdays at Moss Lane or by ringing 928-0145.
TASC NEWSTASC has launched a Strengthen our Squad campaign to raise £3,000 by the end of January. Obviously, this has also been hampered by the postponements. Please donate generously, this could be the difference between Graham being able to bring in a player, or even keep his current squad! Donations can be placed in the bucket collection at half time, by cheque or by payment online.
TASC chairman Brian Flynn writes:
"Further to a suggestion from a supporter, TASC is hoping to organise a 20th anniversary reunion of the team that went 28 league games unbeaten (still a Conference record!!!!!!!!) in 1990/91 season. To make this event happen at some point during the 2010/11 season, TASC is looking for volunteers to take responsibility for organising the event and, if you feel able to do this, then please contact Brian Flynn by email or ring on 07860 561011.
The above and much more TASC news appears in the latest TASC column which Steve Foster has provided in advance of its appearance in Saturday's Robins' Review. It can be found in full here.
OLD BOYSOne old boy has recruited another as NL Daily reports that "Aaron Burns has joined Principality Welsh Premier club GAP Connah’s Quay on loan for the rest of the season from Northwich Victoria. The former Manchester United junior has made only three starts for Vics this season and spent a two-month spell on loan at neighbours Altrincham earlier in the campaign". GAPCQ are managed by Mark McGregor.
ALTY HOLIDAY CLUBThe Alty Holiday Club run in conjunction with Thomas Cook has the following offers from Manchester airport. Click on the Alty Holiday Club logo towards the top left of this page to get details of how booking through the Holiday Club gives you great value and helps the Football Club...
HELPING MOSSLEYOur former rivals Mossley FC actually won the Northern Premier League in the season before the Alliance (now Conference) was set up and were qualified for membership of the national league but elected not to apply. Today the Tameside club has been struck by some cruel luck as their announcement below explains.
Mossley AFC are currently unable to play any fixtures at their Seel Park home as a result of the club's floodlight pylons being declared as unsafe. On 31/12/09 two of the original eight pylons collapsed within a 12 hour period. As a result, the committee called in the Tameside Health & Safety advisors, to assess the safety of the remaining six.
On 20/1/10 an independent structural engineering company, recommended by TMBC, inspected the remaining pylons and declared them as unsafe. As a result, all home matches must now be played away from Seel Park, until the matter is resolved. Other local clubs have been approached to play the forthcoming UniBond League fixtures at their grounds.
The anticipated cost of replacing the lights is around £30k, which the club's officials are desperately trying to raise, through funding applications and donations. Fortunately, Tameside Council have verbally offered to contribute 50% of the cost, though this is still to be officially confirmed in writing, but we still desperately need the balance!
Mossley AFC has been run by a voluntary committee since being in financial problems in May 2009. We have, until November 2009 successfully raised sufficient funds to pay our current debts and keep to our agreements with the creditors we inherited. But now we have not played for some seven weeks due to bad weather and now this.
We urgently need your support to ensure that Mossley continues to have a football team; we consider we are an important part of the community! Any donations can be made to the club, either by cheque (Mossley AFC), direct into our bank account or via PayPal on the club's website, Mossleyweb.
Royal Bank of Scotland
Mossley AFC Ltd.
Sort code. 16-25-32
BSP NEWSFrom the Chester Chronicle we learn that "Blues' fans will officially boycott Chester City’s remaining home games this season. As reported in Thursday’s Chronicle, supporters group City Fans United has confirmed that is members will be recommended not to attend any more games at the Deva Stadium until the club is delivered into what they call ‘reputable’ hands. An overwhelming 72% of CFU members voted in favour of a boycott in a survey conducted by the group of all its members... 99.5% of members believed a change of ownership was essential to the club’s survival, and 98% backed the idea of launching a phoenix club should Chester City go out of business.
That matter is expected to become much clearer on Wednesday when Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs meet the Blues in the High Court over a winding up petition issued against the club to recover outstanding debts. In a statement the CFU said: 'We are now recommending, based on the supporters’ views, that all members of City Fans United officially boycott all remaining home games until such a point where the club has been placed into local, reputable ownership. It is also clear that the majority of CFU members want the current owners and shareholders to depart the club and sever all ties with the club'...
Meanwhile The Football Conference was yesterday forced to postpone a meeting over Chester City’s future after club officials seemingly snubbed a request to attend the Conference EGM at Hinckley United. The league asked specific, named individuals – people they told the Chronicle were ‘senior, decision-making officers’ – to attend but they did not show up. 'The club only sent one representative and he did not fit the criteria we set out', said Conference general manager Dennis Strudwick. 'As a result we were unable to have the meeting with the club and have left the matter on the agenda for a later date. It is important we meet with the club as soon as possible to see where they are going'”.
Nevertheless, the BBC claims that "Chester City are still to discuss their short-term future in the Blue Square Premier after key club officials failed to attend Thursday's planned meeting... But Chester sent along only their former managing director Rob Gray...
'We were looking to meet senior personnel in a decision-making capacity', said Conference general manager Dennis Strudwick. 'But, without wishing to sound condescending, they sent Bob Gray. Nobody else turned up. We can't deal with the club's former chairman Stephen Vaughan as he is a banned director after failing the fit and proper persons test. But his son is now the named chairman and they also have a new director of football in Morell Maison. We are trying to help the club. We have done our utmost in that respect this season, but we need to speak to them about issues such as whether they have yet paid the wages they owe for November and December and we now have to reconvene another meeting with them as soon as possible'.
There is a real fear that Chester could go to the wall as soon as next Wednesday (27 January), when they face a date at the Royal Courts of Justice over an unpaid £26,000 tax bill. And, following their disastrous collapse in gates this season - they suffered a record low crowd of just 425 for Maison's first game in charge against Salisbury on Tuesday night - they could become even worse hit... The footballing authorities are understood to be keen to see City at least reach the end of the season.
An FA spokesman told BBC Sport on Friday: 'The club is co-operating with us with regard to various outstanding issues, including the fit and proper persons test'".
Elsewhere, the BBC says that "Luton Town's managing director Gary Sweet has denied claims that the Hatters are close to administration, following a number of postponed games... Sweet told BBC Three Counties Radio that talk of administration was wide of the mark. Asked whether Luton were in financial trouble Sweet replied: 'Certainly not. We've got a tight group of investors and shareholders, who need to continue to put money into the club, while it still loses some money, which was always a part of the plan that we had when we took over the business. That's something we're proud of them for, and means the club can survive certainly through to the next year-and-a-half or so'.
On the subject of players being transfer-listed, he added: 'Being in the Conference we're certainly one of the top two payers of salaries and, in some ways, we should be because we've got the appropriate number of supporters coming to support the business too. However, we've got a new manager and he wants to make his mark, and together we've made the decision that we do feel that the club needs to have a change around a little bit. We do need to reduce the salary bill because it will, every so often, go beyond what we want it to be'".
Yet the Football Conference reports that "Craig Nelthorpe has joined Luton Town on-loan until the end of the season from York City". Nelthorpe is currently facing charges of affray and actual bodily harm after an incident in a sandwich bar in November 2009. "The 22-year-old has agreed to join the Hatters after impressing manager Richard Money... He joined Oxford United until the end of the 2008/09 campaign before signing for York last summer... 'I've known about him for a while when he was at Doncaster and I was managing Walsall and he was always one I thought 'there might be a player there'" said Money".
It's eight in and eight out in a week in Essex where "Grays Athletic have signed Gianfranco Zola's son Andrea from West Ham and ex-Colchester and Oxford United striker Jamie Guy to add to the earlier recruitment of Jack Hunt from Huddersfield. Full-back Zola has signed on loan for one month while Guy, 22, will be at the club for the rest of the season. The pair are two of eight players Grays have signed this week. Defender Hunt, goalkeeper Richard Martin, 22, midfielders Harry Baker and Jordan Wilson and strikers Wayne Gray, 29 and Alex Rhodes, 27, have also been signed by Julian Dicks. The signings follow a clear-out by Dicks, as he bids to avoid relegation.
Leaving the Essex side recently are Craig Braham-Barrett, Luke Hickie, Ryan James, Alain Lacombe, Fola Onibuje, Glenn Poole, Jake Reid and Jamie Slabber". And NL Daily says that "Kingstonian have announced the signing of midfielder Luke Hickie from Grays Athletic".
Cambridge United confirm that they "have accepted an undisclosed bid from Brighton & Hove Albion for leading scorer Chris Holroyd. The deal will also involve additional payments based on the number of appearances made for the League One side. The fee was undisclosed at the request of Brighton. The 23-year old is close to agreeing personal terms and subject to a medical over the weekend the deal is expected to go through on Monday".
At Weston-super-Mare "Another young player leaving the nest is Ben Osman. Having arrived from Salisbury City just over a month a go, Osman has now joined Forest Green Rovers".
"York City manager Martin Foyle has added Cambridge United midfielder Courtney Pitt to his squad" reports Blue Square Football. "The 29 year old has joined The Minstermen on loan until the end of the season... He has made over 100 appearances for Cambridge since joining them in 2005. As part of the deal, Simon Russell has joined Cambridge United on loan until the end of the season... In addition, loanee Kevin Gall has signed a permanent contract with the club until the end of the season following his loan spell from Darlington".
"Oxford United are set to hold talks with their former midfielder Chris Hargreaves after he recently left Torquay United. The 37-year-old made seventy-five appearances for the U's between 2005 and 2007 before moving to rivals Torquay... Torquay boss Paul Buckle said: 'I think he's gone back to Oxford. He's been absolutely fantastic during his time here. I'm somebody who has to be moving forward, and if it's not moving forward it's no good to me. Chris Hargreaves and Tim Sills can't go forever and I think it's healthy and that we're moving in the right direction'".
22 January 2010
TASC DRAWTASC chairman Brian Flynn writes: "Due to the continued lack of home games since mid December, which has severely reduced opportunities to sell tickets for the New Year Draw, this will now take place after the game against Salisbury on Saturday February 6th. We realise that this is closer to the Chinese New Year than January 1st .....but at least this gives us three home match opportunities to increase ticket sales!"
GRAHAM SILENCEDSAM reports that "Graham Heathcote was left angry and disappointed by the manner of Altrincham's FA Trophy exit as they went down to a controversial 3-1 defeat at AFC Wimbledon. Wimbledon keeper Seb Brown was fortunate to escape with a yellow card for hauling down Chris Senior, as the Alty striker burst clear, and defender Jay Conroy even luckier after stopping the same player with a rugby tackle from behind in the second half. Conroy was the last line of defence as the pacey Senior once more raced through, yet the referee and nearby linesman failed even to award Alty a free-kick.
'There is still a lot of anger in me, but I have to watch what I say', said Alty manager, Heathcote. 'There is freedom of speech in this country, but not when it comes to football. I thought we looked a lot brighter after Nicky Clee (left) and Colin Little went on, and overall we did all right. We set things out quite well, but the job came undone with one or two things not going our way. We have had some tough draws in the Cups - Mansfield, Wrexham and Wimbledon all away - but I'm still really disappointed we have not gone further'.
Heathcote reiterated his plea for supporters to rally round and turn out in numbers as Alty bid to build on their 2-1 Blue Square Conference win over Ebbsfleet against Hayes at Moss Lane on Saturday. 'The players have shown they can compete with most teams in the league, and all credit to them for that, but it shows what you are up against when you hear Wrexham have paid £30,000 for Andy Mangan from Forest Green Rovers', he said. 'We just need to get some home wins under our belt now, and I hope people will get behind the team and help us push on to as high a position as possible'.
Alty have organised another of their highly popular new recruits evenings, at Moss Lane on Saturday, February 6. Tickets at £15 each are available from the club (0161 928 1045) and include a hot meal and the chance to fire questions at Tom Kearney, Russell Saunders, Nicky Clee and John McAliskey".
EVEN DONS' BOSS FELT LUCKYEven "AFC Wimbledon boss Terry Brown admitted his side got 'lucky' in Tuesday night's 3-1 FA Trophy victory over Altrincham after goalkeeper Seb Brown controversially avoided being red-carded. The men from the North West were incensed by referee Nick Kinseley's decision to only punish Brown's challenge with a yellow after the Dons number one appeared to stop a goal-scoring opportunity for Altrincham forward Chris Senior. Though Brown felt the challenge never warranted an early bath for Brown, he admitted most referees would have sent him off and that his side were fortunate as they only led 1-0 at the time of the 43rd minute incident.
'It was the most blatant offside I have ever seen as he must have been five yards off, but the linesman could not keep up with the play', said Brown. 'He knocks it past the goalkeeper, but I felt that we had cover. However, I was surprised that he only got a yellow as most referees would have given a red card. As far as that goes we had a big slice of luck. There was not really a great deal to choose between the two sides and they probably created more, especially with their long throws and corners. I thought that took our chances well though as we did not create that many and we scored three goals against a side that does not concede a lot. The pleasing thing for me was we were able to put out a good enough side despite our injuries to beat a good side like Altrincham'" he told the Surrey Herald which does not mention the second blatant sending off incident when Senior was rugby tackled by Jay Conroy without punishment.
SATURDAYHayes's last visit, before they merged with Yeading, was in 1999-2000 season when they won 2-1. Their only other trip to Moss Lane also resulted in a win for them, 2-0. On the positive side, Alty beat HY 2-1 at Church Road earlier this season. The Hayes game is Alty's first home league game since 1 December. Alty have not scored a home league goal since 14th November - but that is only two home league games ago.
The Uxbridge Gazette which says that "Hayes hope to heap more misery on Altrincham". It continues, "Hayes & Yeading United will aim to capitalise on Altrincham's unconvincing home league form when they travel to Moss Lane on Saturday. The Greater Manchester outfit have only won two of their 11 Blue Square Premier home games so far, drawing five and losing the other four.
However, the Robins won 2-1 at Ebbsfleet United last weekend to remain in 11th place in the table on 35 points, three ahead of 15th placed United. 'If we lose the next five games then the defeat (at York) won't be a blip, we'll be amidst a poor run', said United manager Garry Haylock. 'We made mistakes and got punished... Some players were worse than others but it is a collective thing and this club got beaten up on the day... Stevenage and Oxford are the two best teams in the division and York are the next best, but we certainly gave them a nudge with the result'... However, Haylock remains confident of a top-10 finish this season".
After a disastrous start to the season HYU became one of the top form-teams in the division but recently their run has slightly tailed off to leave them 8 points from their last games compared with Alty's 11.
YOUTHS BACK ON TRACKLast Sunday, Altrincham Youth played their first match since the end of November; they won 1-0 at Nantwich Town. George Heslop's match report is in the Youth Section.
Next Sunday, Alty are at away at Prescot Cables; then on Sunday 31st, they are at home to FC United of Manchester at Wythenshawe Town FC, k.o. 2pm.
The final of the Cheshire County FA District Youth Cup, in which Altrincham are involved, will take place at Moss Lane on Sunday 7th March at 2pm. Please come along and help the lads secure some silverware.
WON £4,000 AND HELP THE CLUB!The Saturday Yankee jackpot now stands at £4,000. In last week's races, four winning tickets won £50 each. For a £1 stake, you could be a winner - and help the club funds at the same time. Contact the club for details (928-1045).
REFEREES NEEDEDThursday's Manchester Evening News has a large article on Conference referee and Football league assistant referee, Dean Mohareb, aged 27, who is aiming to be a FIFA referee. He has officiated at Alty games in the past. He is employed as a Referees' Development Officer for the Lancashire County Association, responsible for 1,500 referees and he is also manager of the County School of Excellence.
As a ref he graduated through the Hyde Sunday League. The article goes on to explain how to become a referee as the FA is now seeking 8,000 more referees by 2012.
BSP NEWS"Kidderminster Harriers have confirmed the appointment of Steve Burr as the new first-team manager on a two-and-a-half year contract" reports the Football Conference. "The 50-year-old former Macclesfield Town striking legend is one of non-League football's most respected bosses following his work at Nuneaton Borough and Northwich Victoria... Currently assistant coach to the England `C` side, Burr has, for the last two-and-a-half seasons, been manager at Stalybridge Celtic...
Harriers can confirm that they agreed a substantial compensation package with the Bower Fold outfit for Burr's services... The club can also confirm that caretaker-manager John Finnigan has been offered, and accepted, the role as player/assistant-manager to Burr".
The BBC confirms that "Kidderminster Harriers have named Stalybridge Celtic boss Steve Burr as their new manager... 'It's an honour to be managing this club. I can't wait to get started', Burr told BBC Hereford & Worcester... A statement on the Harriers club website said that they had agreed a 'substantial compensation package' with Celtic and chairman Barry Norgrove confirmed that the fee was more than they received when Yates moved to Cheltenham.
'I was determined to try and get Steve but we had to talk to the chairman [Rob Gorski] there and the discussions have dragged on for a long time', said Norgrove... Stalybridge said that they were approached by Harriers 'some weeks ago'. 'We have reluctantly formed the conclusion that keeping a manager whose ambitions lie elsewhere would not be in the interests of the club', said [Celtic chairman] Rob Gorski".
The Conference adds that "Ian Bogie has labelled Gateshead's home game against Luton Town on Saturday as the biggest since the Tynesiders lost their Football League status in 1960. The Gateshead manager regards the Hatters as the biggest scalp of his embryonic managerial career... Luton will head north with a travelling army of several hundred and Bogie wants to see more through the home turnstiles.
'In terms of the stature of the opposition Luton Town are the biggest club Gateshead has entertained in half a century', said Bogie. 'As a player I made my Newcastle United debut against Luton Town in 1986 when both clubs were in the top flight of the English game which is now the Premier League... The Hatters have average gates of 7,000 while ours is below 700 so there is a huge gap in resources and five years ago Gateshead were struggling in the lower reaches of the UniBond League while Luton were mid-table in the Championship. Both clubs fortunes have changed markedly since then and it shows just how far Gateshead has come in a short space of time and how far Luton have fallen'".
At "Crawley Town manager Steve Evans has confirmed that Swindon Town boss Danny Wilson is the latest manager to make a move for young hot-shot striker Charlie Ademeno. The Reds have already ‘rejected’ two offers for the lightning quick goal machine from two separate football league clubs... Evans said: 'Yes, I can confirm that a media report circulating in Wiltshire this morning is accurate in that Swindon Town manager Danny Wilson has been talking to me for a few days now... Danny Wilson put a proposal to me for Charlie but that was rejected after I consulted with my bosses. Danny and myself have spoken a number of times since and its now at the point that I must now be on speed dial on Danny Wilson’s mobile phone. On a serious note Danny has confirmed he will be back to me after he has had time to discuss this further with his chairman; whether this leads to an increased offer is not for me to guess... Any offer that we receive will get our full consideration'".
NL Daily adds that "Stalybridge Celtic have announced that experienced Benny Phillips will act as caretaker-manager following the departure of boss Steve Burr... Despite being under contract until May 2011, Burr was approached by Kidderminster some weeks ago and, following considerable protracted debate, an agreement was reached for him to move to Aggborough".
Further north, "Barrow have made a major swoop with the signing of striker Nick Chadwick from struggling league rivals Chester City. Chadwick, 27, has penned an eighteen-month contract... Chadwick began his career with Everton in 2001, making fourteen appearances before being sold to Plymouth Argyle for £250,000 in 2005 after loan spells with Derby and Millwall. He spent three years at Home Park before joining Hereford and then Shrewbury. He signed for Chester in August but has opted to move due the financial plight of the Deva Stadium outfit, having cancelled his contract there by mutual consent... Chadwick is a major signing for the Holker Street outfit and joins his former Chester team-mate Gregg Blundell, who made the same move recently" says NL Daily.
According to Blue Square Football "Former Histon chairman Gareth Baldwin has revealed that he is currently considering an offer from Cambridge United. Baldwin parted ways with Histon last October after a seventeen year stint at the club, and says he has already gone to watch three Cambridge games since then. However, Baldwin says he has also received offers from other clubs and will make a decision on his future at the end of January.
He told Cambridge News: 'I've been looking at a couple of clubs with a view to making a decision and obviously Cambridge United is under consideration... I'm really chuffed that Cambridge United are interested in me. If I go there, it would be like going back 18 years because that's where I really cut my teeth being a football fan and someone interested in generating commercial revenue at a club'".
The Sports Echo says that "Southend United are currently leading a three-way chase for Lincoln City defender János Kovács... The League One Shrimpers are monitoring the towering Hungarian who was placed on the transfer list... League Two side Barnet... are also believed to be keen on the 24-year-old as are Luton Town".
At an FA Regulatory Commission hearing, Mansfield Town midfielder Andrew Burgess was suspended from playing football for one month, with a further three month suspended ban, and fined £500 for breaches of FA betting rules. Burgess admitted two offences related to bets placed on matches in which he featured whilst he played for Rushden and Diamonds in the 2008-09 season. Burgess placed a £45.45 bet on Rushden and Mansfield Town on 28 February 2009 and a £5 bet on Rushden team-mate Curtis Woodhouse to be the first goalscorer in a match against Kidderminster Harriers on 15 November 2008. The one month suspension is effective from 4 February 2010. The suspended three month ban will be invoked should Burgess be found guilty of any similar offences in the future". Alty play at Mansfield on 23 March.
"Grays Athletic are chasing striker Jamie Guy after his contract with Colchester United was cancelled by mutual consent" claims NL24. "The 22-year-old, who has been on loan at Port Vale this season, is moving on after five years with the U’s... 'We’re talking to Jamie at the moment but it’s early days', Grays boss Julian Dicks tells BBC Essex. Guy has also had loan spells during his career with Ebbsfleet, Cambridge, Oxford and Dagenham & Redbridge. Dicks adds: 'He’s the kind of player I like – one who’s strong and get stuck in. I’ve had far too many players here who don’t want to work hard and don’t want to tackle and you can’t play football like that'”. The BBC adds that "Goalkeeper Richard Martin has joined Grays Athletic on a month's loan from Yeovil Town. The 22-year-old has made four appearances for the League One side this season, three of them coming in cup competitions."
Kettering Town have taken "Kwesi Appiah, a striker, on loan from Peterborough United, initially on a one month loan... Anthony Robinson, also a striker, has returned to the Club on a non-contract basis".
The BBC says that "Chester managing director Bob Gray says everyone at the Deva Stadium is working hard to make sure the club survive. City have been hit by a winding up order and are without a manager after Jim Harvey left the club. 'I think everybody is concerned about the current situation at Chester'," Gray told BBC Radio Merseyside. 'The people behind the scenes are working extremely hard to make sure that the club continues to play football at Chester'.
The club have been summoned to appear at the Royal Courts of Justice in London on Wednesday, 27 January. The Chester players have not been paid and the club have debts to footballing creditors... [Gray said] "The people behind the scenes are working tirelessly to bring people in and show them the set-up at the football club. We are trying to convince them that the future of the football club is through development and the development of the five-a-side pitches. Hopefully they will look at it and say this is a viable investment. Then they would be able to put the money in that's needed to keep the club afloat".
From The Guardian we learn that "The boxing promoter Frank Warren could be about to help rescue the troubled club Chester City, reports suggest... Chester City's former owner, Stephen Vaughan, said the boxing promoter is one of a number of people he has approached. 'I have been speaking to possible investors in the football club and one potential investor in talks has been boxing promoter Frank Warren'".
Chester First reports that Vaughan said: 'Our director of football, Morell Maison, has exercised his option to purchase the Vaughan family’s shareholding of the football club. He has agreed a price for the shares and he has now got two years to bring in prospective investors and bring investment into the football club. The football club is owed £138,000 which includes a £26,000 tax demand, plus rent and rates, wage shortfalls, and trading creditors. The football club has £125,000 outstanding from the Football League’s parachute payment, and £10,000 from central funding is also available, plus the remains of sponsorship and gate receipts from now until the end of the season.
The football club is now doing all it can to tidy up it’s problems off the field, but the football club now needs the backing and support from its fans. Meanwhile, Bob Gray today revealed the club's problems would be discussed later this week by the Football Conference. The Chester City managing director confirmed that the Blues' troubling off-field problems would be the subject of specially convened Conference Extraordinary General Meeting tomorrow [Thursday].
Gray said: 'Chester City's position will be discussed on Thursday night at a Conference EGM and every club will be represented... There are a number of concerns for the Conference as well as for the football club including unpaid wages and an unpaid tax bill which has led to a winding up petition. We've got between now and the 27th January to pay the amount that is owed and that is what will endeavour to do. The issue concerning investments in the club should be addressed to our director of football, Morell Maison, and his consortium'".
And the Liverpool Daily Post confirms that "Directors and the owners (the Vaughan Family) of troubled Chester City Football Club are expected to attend an EGM of the Football Conference in Birmingham today".
21 January 2010
AFC WIMBLEDON 3 ALTRINCHAM 1
Left: Alty warm up at Kingsmeadow.
Tuesday night's controversial referee, Mr Kinseley from the Isle of Wight, previously ran the Alty games at Crawley Town on 17 February, 2007 and at St Albans City on 7 April, 2007. After the match at Wimbledon on Tuesday he apparently justified his decision not to red-card goalkeeper Brown by claiming it was not a goalscoring opportunity even though the Alty man was running straight at goal and had only a retreating defender to shoot past, had he got past the keeper's foul challenge, which was itself a two footed lunge with his feet.
AFC Wimbledon report that "The Dons overcome an obdurate Altrincham to book a home tie with Workington... Dogged defending, great finishing and some rather generous refereeing all played significant roles in a game that, despite the scoreline, was in the balance right up the final whistle... It was only because of Altrincham’s inability to deliver a decent cross that Seb Brown had precious little to do in the opening 20 minutes...
Robbie Williams and James Smith dealt comfortably with Jon Main, Danny Kedwell having started the game in an advanced but evidently roving midfield role. The visitors’ neat interplay forced a succession of corners midway through the half, but they were either over-hit or comfortably headed clear". The Dons went ahead but "That, however, was not the defining moment of the half. Just two minutes later, Senior broke clear of the Dons defence, latching onto a pass from Smith, and as Seb Brown came haring out of his goal the striker tumbled theatrically over the keeper’s challenge, when it seemed he could easily have taken the ball round Brown and slotted it into an unguarded net from 25 yards. Cue frantic appeals for a red card from the Altrincham bench, but as both Conroy and Judge had positioned themselves between Senior and the goal, the referee quite correctly showed Brown only a yellow card. Alty boss Graham Heathcote was incensed, aiming a volley of foul-mouthed abuse in the direction of the Dons fans behind the visitors’ bench".
After going 0-2 down "Heathcote decided that a double change was needed, replacing Kearney and Matt Doughty with Nick Clee and former Crewe striker Colin Little, and for the next 20 minutes there was only one side in it. Brown made three good saves from Little, Senior and Chris Denham, the visitors forced five corners in quick succession, and for the first time for two months the Dons looked as though as they might not just concede, but cave in. On the hour Danylyk pulled a goal back when his 25-yarder found the top corner via Brown’s forearm, and it seemed only a matter of time before Altrincham would equalise. Thankfully for the Dons, and Jay Conroy in particular, the visitors failed to make the most of the space the home side were giving them on the right flank. On several occasions they were again let down by poor delivery and weak finishes, Brown comfortably collecting shots and crosses that really should have given him far more to think about".
At 1-3 "There was still time for the visitors to mount several potentially dangerous attacks, but two pieces of bad luck really summed up their night. First, Denham had a goal ruled out for offside with seven minutes to go when it appeared that Lorraine was playing him on, and then three minutes later Senior got behind the out-of-position Conroy, who then grabbed a handful of his shirt and bundled him to the ground as the striker bore down on goal. Even the most fervent Dons fan was expecting Conroy to see red for the second time this season (his first, at Ebbsfleet in September, was for a similar but far less calculated pull), but extraordinarily the referee waved play on and didn’t even award Altrincham a free-kick. That was surely one of the season’s oddest decisions, but the grateful Dons were through".
Your Local Guardian says that "Recalled Ricky Wellard inspired Wimbledon to a comfortable Trophy win over [Altrincham]... The visitors have enjoyed great success on the road this season... They made the early running and Jay Conroy, returning at right-back, had to be alert to head off the line from Greg Young...
Wimbledon seized control early into the second half when their superior attacking qualities shone through... But it wasn’t long until the visitors got back into the tie. Matt Doughty’s throw from the left wasn’t cleared and pint-sized Anthony Danylyk slammed the ball towards goal. Seb Brown’s right hand couldn’t prevent the reply". But the report has no mention of either of the fouls on Senior which should have reduced the Dons to nine men. The AFC Wimbledon video highlights do clearly show goalkeeper Brown's foul on Senior (about 2 mins 40 secs into the clip) but fail to show Conroy's rugby tackle on the same player later in the game.
Likewise, the Wimbledon Guardian succeeds in producing a match report on Tuesday's game which manages to make no reference to the scything down of Chris Senior twice during the game when he was through on goal on each occasion.
WEDNESDAY TROPHY NEWSFA Trophy Wednesday, 20 Jan.
Chaos threatens in the FA Trophy as Cambridge United reports that "Cambridge United and Eastbourne Borough FC have this afternoon been made aware by the Football Association of an official protest being received from Maidstone United in relation to the eligibility of a Histon player in last night's first round tie between the two sides. This protest will be heard by an FA Trophy sub committee on Monday 25 January which means the scheduled 2nd Round tie between Salisbury City and Histon will be postponed from its original date of 26 January. The knock on effect for either Cambridge United or Eastbourne Borough means that that the 3rd Round tie scheduled for 30 January will now be re-scheduled for Tuesday 2nd February unless there is a replay in the tie under protest".
ALTY ON THE ROADThere is an odd reference to Altrincham on the Daily Telegraph website which reviews the new Land Rover vehicle. "'One of the finest machines ever', said a friend who has owned several. Land Rover owners possess the sort of brand loyalty that makes even Altrincham FC supporters look fickle. There are specialist clubs and magazines for the various sub-tribes of owner'".
BSP NEWSAccording to the Daily Post, "Striker Andy Mangan is eager to re-ignite his career by scoring goals for Wrexham. The 23-year-old has penned an 18-month deal with the Dragons after moving from Forest Green for a fee understood to be in the region of £30,000...
Mangan said: 'Being banned [for a betting offence] gave me a big kick up the backside and I’m now hungrier than ever to play. I don’t want to waste my career... I just want to be known as Andy Mangan the goalscorer... [Wrexham,] in my mind it’s a League One club that can push for a place in the Championship... There’s no reason why Wrexham won’t go up... I won this division with Accrington (in the 2005/06 season) so I know what it takes. It takes hard work and dedication. The players at Accrington were mates on and off the pitch, which was really important, and there’s a good bunch of lads at Wrexham too... After being out for so many months I’ve stayed fit, but I’ve got to get the sharpness back. I’m not far off. It will may be take five games to get back to where I was last season'".
NL Daily says that "David Holdsworth, manager of Mansfield Town, has captured the signature of Luke Foster from league rivals Oxford United for an undisclosed fee. The 24-year-old, who stands at 6`2” in tall has put pen-to-paper on eighteen-month deal. Commanding defender Foster began his career with Sheffield Wednesday as a trainee and had loans spells at Alfreton Town and Scarborough followed. The utility man went on to sign permanently for Lincoln City, before joining York City on loan. He then had a brief stint at Stalybridge Celtic and was soon snapped up by then Oxford boss Jim Smith in May 2007... Holdsworth said: 'Luke has come here for the right reasons and sees us as potential promotion candidates. We have a great heartbeat here, directed from the chairman, and we play in front of some wonderful supporters - these factors have attracted Luke to us'".
20 January 2010
AFC WIMBLEDON 3 ALTRINCHAM 1The final score flattered Wimbledon who benefitted from two weak decisions from referee Kinseley...
FA Cup: Notts C. 2 FGR 1
Tuesday 19 Jan.
FAT 2 Monday, 18 Jan.
Tuesday, 19 Jan.
FIXTURE CHANGESFollowing our exit from the Trophy and Stevenage Borough's progress in that competition, our home game with the league leaders is postponed. These circumstances provided astute Alty Secretary Derek Wilshaw with the chance to switch our recently rearranged matches with Wrexham so as to provide Moss Lane with a Saturday fixture on 30th January.
So, the Wrexham home game will now be on Saturday 30th January (3pm) instead of Tuesday 23rd. And the away game, recently changed to Tuesday 9th March, now moves to Wednesday 24th February at 7.45pm at the Racecourse.
Also rearranged is Eastbourne Borough's visit to Altrincham; this will now take place on Tuesday, 16th February at 7.45pm.
This leaves home games with York City and Stevenage Borough to be rearranged. The updated fixture list is here.
NEIL'S UPDATENeil Brown, Alty's groundsman writes, "Just a quick update on the pitch condition, it was the right decision to leave the snow on the pitch to go naturally. By Saturday morning the snow had all gone and if we had had a home game, it would have been playable. The pitch today was in superb condition and I managed to spike the pitch to get some air into it to help it out and to help if we get a lot of rain towards weekend. The pitch will need fertilizing to give it a boost after all the cold weather and snow which will be done next week in case we get a cold snap again Wednesday/Thursday so let's look forward to some home matches now".
REFEREEThe ref. on Saturday for the Hayes match is Mr T. Harrington; last season he was the official who called off our match against Eastbourne.
PICTURESKent Online has photos of Saturday's game at Ebbsfleet.
The Times reports from AFC Wimbledon where the club's supporters "own the club, the stadium, the team. They make the rules and they make a profit...
Now they are close to reclaiming a cherished place in the Football League... The manager, Terry Brown, is another reason why AFC deserve all our goodwill. On Saturday, his programme notes were devoted to a brilliantly scathing attack on football’s leading managers and their contempt for the Respect campaign, in which he named and shamed Ferguson, Benítez, Wenger et al.
And Brown does not just talk a good game. He has taken it upon himself to educate his players, not least about the club’s unique history... 'We have an indoctrination for all the players. We give them a book, a DVD. We explain how we were cheated out of our club. We tell them that if they’re asked, they must say, "We don’t like MK Dons".
Erik Samuelson, the chief executive, admits... the hard core long for a return to Plough Lane by developing the greyhound stadium. But a new ground, wherever it is, would cost about £14 million just for the construction, never mind buying a plot in southwest London... Samuelson is paid a nominal guinea a year despite working all hours...
Already AFC have resisted a takeover attempt from Darragh MacAnthony, a property dealer who took his millions to Peterborough United instead...
It has, as Brown acknowledges, 'all been a honeymoon so far. Compared to other managers, I work without pressure because they give me time. But so far we’ve only ever been near the top of any league we’ve been in. That can’t last for ever.
To go to Kingsmeadow is to renew your vows with the game. It shows you how a club can be run, how they should be run, how they were always intended to be run. The place is full of happy fans, well-meaning staff, enthusiastic volunteers... 'I keep telling them to enjoy the journey', Brown says. 'Sometimes it’s better than the destination'."
Blue Square Football says that "Brighton and Hove Albion manager Gus Poyet has confirmed his interest in Cambridge United striker Chris Holroyd... 'He is one of the players on a list up front,' Poyet told the Argus. 'That doesn't mean he is coming or that he is not coming'".
From This is Glos comes confirmation that "Andy Mangan is to join Wrexham from Forest Green after the two clubs agreed a fee for the striker. The Welsh outfit have pursued Mangan since the end of last season... The Citizen understands a deal has been agreed with Wrexham, believed to be in the region of £50,000, with Mangan confirming his departure to the Rovers squad at training on Friday...
And "Barry Hayles has rejected a chance to rejoin former club Stevenage Borough to remain with Cheltenham Town... Hayles made his name at Stevenage, who he fired to the Conference title in 1996-97... Stevenage were believed to have made an approach for Hayles when he was a free agent last summer following his release from Leicester City, but he signed a one-year deal at Cheltenham...
'Stevenage have asked me about Barry and I spoke to him about it, but he isn't interested at the moment, so that's the end of the matter', manager Yates said. 'That's the only call I have had, which is surprising, but that's the way it is'".
The Uxbridge Gazette says that "Danny Allen-Page says he is perplexed by Hayes & Yeading United's "Jekyll and Hyde" performances... The versatile right-back is one of the first names down on manager Garry Haylock's team-sheet... 'One week we can play so well and the next we're a totally different team. It's got to come from within us, the players".
According to The Leader "Dean Saunders believes the signing of Andrew Mangan will give his Wrexham side a huge lift... [He] will pen an 18-month contract... 'It will be fantastic to have him, although you never count your chickens until it happens... Andrew has not played for a while, and he is not 100 per cent yet. But he has got the instinct to get on the end of things...
Saunders added: 'Everyone is in a rush to get out of this division, it might take me longer than I thought'... Saunders insists he will not be looking to sign another frontman this month but he has not ruled out bringing in Rhyl winger Luke Holden before the transfer window closes. Holden has returned to Rhyl after spending three months on loan at Charlton Athletic, who decided not to sign the 21-year-old... Former TNS ace Holden has been training with Wrexham and could feature in tomorrow’s friendly with Airbus at The Airfield."
19 January 2010
WIMBLEDON 'FIT & HUNGRY'AFC Wimbledon report that "After Saturday's exhilarating performance against Mansfield, the Dons turn their sights away from the league and towards the FA Trophy, as the previously postponed game against Altrincham goes ahead on Tuesday night.
Altrincham arrive with a very impressive away record, with seven of their nine league wins away from home this season - their away form would have them in a play off place, but only two wins at home has held them back into mid-table...
Terry Brown has four ineligible players - Glenn Poole, Will Hendry, Luke Garrard played in earlier rounds for [other clubs] ... [and] Nathan Elder is also unavailable because he wasn't signed before the date the game was first due to be played... Terry Brown isn't thinking beyond Tuesday night, however, as he prepares for what will no doubt be a very difficult game with several injury doubts to add to the long list of players he can't call upon.
'On the injury front, there are doubts concerning Danny Blanchett, who suffered a dead leg on Saturday and Paul Lorraine, who is suffering from a groin strain and missed Saturday's game as a result. I am hopeful that both of them will be fit and available for selection. Derek Duncan is still recovering from a virus. He trained today and I hope he will be well enough to make the bench. Steven Gregory is making good progress and will hopefully be fit and available for Saturday's game... Elliott Godfrey has resumed training since his cracked ribs and should hopefully be available again sometime between 10 and 14 days from now. Peter Rapson is recovering well from a thigh strain but he will also not be ready for Tuesday's game.
Owing to the unavailability of the four ineligible players, and the long injury list, the team will see several changes from Saturday's side. We have managed to rotate the squad successfully for most of the year, and we go into Tuesday night's game confident that we have a fit and hungry side looking to progress further in the FA Trophy, which has always been one of our major targets for the season.
The away form of our opponents suggests that we will be in for a very difficult evening and I would ask the supporters and the players to show the necessary patience if we are to get past very challenging opponents. Our performance at Altrincham in August was certainly one of our best displays of the season and we will have to recapture that form if we are to progress through into the next round'.
With season tickets not valid for the game, there will be plenty of seats available, all of them at the lower seat price of £14 for adults, £7 for concessions and £3 for under 16s".
From Blue Square Football, we learn that "Midfielder Glenn Poole says he can't wait to get back on the football pitch after signing for high-flyers AFC Wimbledon last week. The 28-year-old spent just over three months with Grays Athletic after being released by Brentford at the end of the 2008/09 season... Poole told the Wimbledon Guardian: 'I'm really excited about this move and I am massively looking forward to getting out there. Obviously my aim is to be back playing league football but if you are going to stay in non-league there are only a few clubs you would do that for, and AFC Wimbledon is definitely one of them. This move has actually been on the cards for some time - Terry Brown contacted me before Christmas. I had just left Grays as I was very unhappy there and it had got to the stage where enough was enough. I just want to be playing and enjoying my football and I think this will be the perfect place to do that'".
PONTOONGrahame Rowley writes...
"Although people who thought that by drawing a Premiership team in the Pontoon competition they were at a disadvantage, because of fewer league games being played, it has turned out to be an advantage because all Premiership clubs have under soil heating and their games haven't been postponed during the cold snap. The first team to go bust occurred this weekend when Norwich City scored 5 but took their total to 22. Neil Faulkner wont be pleased!
There are now 3 teams in equal 1st place with 19 goals - Dave Potts with Arsenal, Alex Bayliss with Manchester City and Chris Bullock with Rochdale. The race is on to reach 21".
The full table is here.
OLD BOYSThe Warrington Guardian reports that "Warrington Town have signed striker Gavin Salmon from rivals Woodley Sports. Salmon was an Alty trialist in 2005. And "Town manager Joey Dunn [ex-Alty] has no doubt that Salmon will boost the squad... Dunn is wary of the challenge, saying: 'The fixture list now is just horrendous. We’re already playing seven games in April and there are three more to be added. There is a chance that at some point soon we will have to play a Saturday, Monday, Thursday and then Saturday again. There is no way non-League footballers can contend with that'. This will be coming after a period of four-and-a-half weeks without full training...
Dunn and his team have had to rely on indoor five-a-side pitches for training. He said: 'We were supposed to do two hours at the Trafford Park Soccer Dome but I think every other non-League team were there. Trafford, Salford, Altrincham all had the same idea as there is absolutely nowhere else available'".
NL Daily says that "Salford City have brought in two vastly experienced non-League performers in defender Lincoln Adams and [ex-Alty] midfielder Steve Tobin... Tobin re-joins from Salford`s league rivals Prescot Cables. A much-travelled player, Tobin also had a couple of spells with Hyde but was more recently with Flixton, Kidsgrove and Salford. Tobin has also worn the colours of Kidsgrove Athletic, Mossley, Skelmersdale United, Chorley, Leigh RMI, Stalybridge Celtic, Altrincham, Leek Town, Macclesfield Town and Leeds United".
BSP NEWSFollowing Alty's win there on Saturday, Ebbsfleet United have reportedly signed Moses Ashikodi, whose previous clubs include Kettering Town.
From the BBC we learn that "Chester City have been made to fear for their future after being served by HM Revenue & Customs with a winding up order. Chester have been summoned to appear at the Royal Courts of Justice in London a week on Wednesday, 27 January...
'We will be taking appropriate investigative action', said Conference general manager Dennis Strudwick. 'But I can confirm we have been made aware of the latest development this morning', he told BBC Sport, ahead of a meeting with Chester officials on Thursday, 21 January...
After going into administration in May, following their relegation from the Football League in May, they were then controversially bought back by a consortium involving the family of former owner Stephen Vaughan... After initially being refused permission to play in the Conference this season by the FA, there is now a very real chance that they will not be allowed to finish the season if things do not go the club's way in The Strand on Wednesday week.
'We're still hopeful', former City managing director Gray told BBC Sport at the Deva Stadium on Monday afternoon. ,We're still looking for potential investors and hope to hear something positive by the end of the week'".
The Football Conference says that "Forest Green Rovers have changed the loan arrangement with Coca-Cola League One outfit MK Dons for the services of Danny Powell from a short loan to a long-term loan... until the end of the current season. At 18 years of age, Powell... jumped at the chance of continuing his stay at the New Lawn and of course the opportunity to continue his personal experience of the FA Cup coming up this week. Meanwhile, 19-year-old Ollie Thorne, despite having broken his thumb (although he is cup tied for Rovers) during the first half against Gateshead and being refused permission to come back out at half time, finished on a high at the end of the day, when he signed a contract with Rovers".
"Mansfield Town have been dealt a blow with news that winger Andy Burgess could be out for up to four weeks after sustaining a calf injury at the weekend... after falling awkwardly" says Blue Square Football. Stags' boss David Holdsworth told the club's official website: 'He looks like he may be out for a number of weeks. He went up for a header and landed awkwardly. He has strained his calf muscle".
18 January 2010
TUESDAYIf you can't follow Alty at AFC Wimbledon this Tuesday, then everyone, Alty fans or otherwise, is welcome to watch the live, televised Manchester derby game in the club bar.
Entry is free and your attendance helps our club's revenues so please support this venture if you can.
NEXT MATCHAlty travel to Kingsmeadow on Tuesday where AFC Wimbledon report that on Saturday "Nathan Elder made a dream debut for the Dons, scoring after just two minutes with a far post header from Will Hendry's cross, and creating the second for Lewis Taylor who swept home Elder's headed pass. After their lay-off since New Year's Day, the Dons were good value for their win as they overcame a strong Mansfield team. All three of Terry Brown's new signings started the game and looked at ease as they settled into the Dons' diamond formation...
Terry Brown was absolutely delighted with both the result and the display. 'It was a massively important win today, beating one of the teams in the top five for the first time this season. It was vital after the set back against Hayes & Yeading on New Year's Day that we returned to winning ways. Mansfield were a big, strong, physical side...
Looking forward to the FA Trophy game on Tuesday night against Altrincham, it will be a very difficult game. I have played against Graham's teams on a number of occasions and they will be dogged, have ability, and be very hard to beat. A number of [our] players who played today are not eligible for Tuesday night's game and I hope that some of the injured players will be able to return'".
Your Local Guardian reports that "Manager Terry Brown’s signing spree since the New Year’s Day defeat to Hayes paid instant dividends... The Kingsmeadow boss begun with all three new-boys Danny Blachett, Glenn Poole and Nathan Elder. And it was Elder who stole the show... as the on-loan Shrewsbury powerhouse inspired his new team to victory in the absence of Danny Kedwell...
Brown said: 'We’ve had such a long break and it was vital we got back to winning ways after we lost to Hayes on New Year’s Day'... Mansfield had their chances – this was by no means a perfect Wimbledon performance". Mansfield boss David Holdsworth opined "We’ve had a long journey down [160 miles] and we’ve not played for three weeks but Wimbledon came out of the traps faster than we did".
But both sides have players who are ineligible for the Trophy, either because they have played for other clubs in the competition this season or were signed after the deadline, which was the day before the original date of tie (9th January). For Altrincham, John McAliskey (left) played for Witton and Adam Carden played for FCUM (v Ashton Utd) in earlier rounds of the Trophy. AFC Wimbledon will be without Garrard, who apparently played in one of the qualifying rounds for Borehamwood. Glen Poole and Nathan Elder both signed after the deadline so are not qualified for Tuesday's match. However, Blanchett beat the deadline by a matter of hours so is permitted to play.
Match report here.
From Kentish Football we learn that "Ebbsfleet United boss Liam Daish was full of regret as his side failed to climb out of the relegation zone following their seventh home defeat of the season... A poor first half performance was the catalyst for finding themselves 2-0 down after 53 minutes, before an inspired double substitution lifted the Fleet... But the attendance of 873 was the eighth successive crowd under a thousand.
Writing in his programme notes, Daish revealed that due to the lack of training facilities, his squad have kept themselves ticking over during the recent wintry spell... He wrote 'The weather has tested us to the full. The players have been asked to look after their own training schedules of late because not only the lack of facilities but also simply the risk factor of getting players into their cars and travelling to the area. The lads have been going to their local gyms and working alone some days, and when possible, training indoors at Corinthians Sports Club in Fawkham'...
It was therefore unsurprising that Ebbsfleet United were rusty during a poor first half performance [against an Alty side which had not played for more than a month]. Daish... was not happy about the first 45 minutes... 'I think the first goal’s very important, that helps teams settle into it', Daish told BBC Radio Kent... 'There’s always that worry when you have a long break, we didn’t really start that well... First half we weren’t really at it, not saying not at it, both sides were poor I thought first half and it was that first goal'.
Altrincham’s preparations for the game were dealt a major blow when they were forced to draft in Russell Saunders as Stuart Coburn injured himself during the warm up... Altrincham grabbed the lead, with their first shot on target... Altrincham doubled their lead in the 53rd minute. Doughty’s corner from the right maybe should have been dealt better by Cronin and his defenders as Williams’ header bounced around inside the goalmouth and defender Greg Young headed the ball straight into the corner of the net from six-yards...
Daish was pleased with his side’s performance after his double substitution. 'It was always a game that I was a little bit worried about and the first goal can be massive. We had a right go at it second half and put them on the back foot but they've got something to hang onto... We were dropping too deep... We didn’t stretch enough'...
Daish admitted to feeling frustrated in his attempts to bring a prolific striker to the club. 'I nearly had one in yesterday', he revealed. 'I know I keep saying it but another club gets involved, an agent gets involved, but I just keep trying... It’s very frustrating at the moment'”.
NEXT LEAGUE MATCHAlty's next league game is at home to Hayes and Yeading United. From the Uxbridge Gazette we read that "Mistakes of old returned to haunt Hayes & Yeading United as they lost 4-1 to York City... It was the usually reliable pair of goalkeeper Simon Overland and skipper Tom Cadmore who were particularly culpable against Martin Foyle's side. Cadmore were caught napping in possession which led Chris Carruthers scoring the opener after 25 minutes while Overland, who... went from hero to zero with a hapless punch that landed at the feet of City's top striker, Richard Brodie, giving him the easiest of finishes. Cadmore was sent off for a professional foul on Brodie in the 51st minute... Cadmore was sent for an early bath after cynically clipping the heels of Brodie... Dale Binns was sacrificed for Sami El-Abd to shore up the gap left by Cadmore... Hayes & Yeading United: Overland, Allen-Page, Green, Cadmore, Ruby, Marwa, James, Canham, Basham (Palmer 82), Binns (El-Abd 52), Little (Fitzgerald, 73)."
Cadmore now misses the game against Altrincham next Saturday.
BSP NEWSAccording to Cambridge News "Tony Roach has backed new manager Alan Lewer to take Histon to the next level... Lewer, who was brought to the club in September by former chairman Gareth Baldwin as a replacement for coach John Beck, has been given the manager’s job until the end of the season following Steve Fallon’s shock sacking...
'I didn’t bring Alan Lewer to this club, he’s not stuck by my side like everybody thinks he is and he’s here to do a job', said Roach. 'We’ll get through to the end of the season and then discuss Alan’s future. Alan’s looking to move down here from Weymouth and I’m totally positive about him... We’ve not got the money to buy loads of players, but there are a couple of players I’m interested in and Alan’s interested in. We’re still looking to bring in a couple of 20-year-old players and we’re looking to take the club forward. But we’ve got to work to the budget'...
Lewer said there would be a particular emphasis on bringing youth players into the first team set-up, with three youngsters from the club’s Academy expected to sign professional forms by the end of the week... Lewer added that morale among the players was high...
He said: 'I went to the training ground on Monday where I met with Ian, (physio) Roy (Johnson) and (goalkeeping coach) Lance Key [ex-Alty loanee] in the changing room. We were organising the sessions. Steve had already gone on to the pitch and was with the players... I had a chat with Steve. He didn’t like that I hadn’t spoken to him since he’d been off and I said to him he didn’t ring me to say he was suspended'...
Histon have released young loanees Billy Crook and Sam Long while publicly expressing an interest in Cambridge United trio Dan Gleeson, Mark Beesley and Robbie Willmott. But Lewer remains confident in the club’s transfer policy. 'If we bring players in like the three youngsters, we might be able to bring in one experienced one along side that'".
Referring to fans' criticism, Roach added, "They'll end up with no football club as I can only take so much". And "Roach told the News on Friday that he and his fellow board members have got the club's debt, which stands at around £700,000, under control. And he is confident the club can find the £250,000 it needs by the end of the season to break even, with the directors likely to fund much of that themselves".
This is Nottingham says that "Mansfield Town's 2010 started in disappointing fashion as they were beaten by two first half goals at AFC Wimbledon... as they struggled to get to grips with the powerful Elder and tricky Jon Main".
17 January 2010
RUSSELL REWARDEDAlty's goalkeeper Russell Saunders (right) had a much longer wait than he would have wanted to complete his first game for the Robins yesterday at Ebbsfleet. Russell originally joined Alty as a loan player from Wigan Athletic, taking the place of an injured Stuart Coburn in Septmeber 2007 against Wigan Athletic. Sadly he failed to complete his debut as he had to be carried off with a damaged leg muscle an hour into that Conference game. Russell rejoined Alty this summer and has patiently sat on the bench in 22 BSP and 4 cup games this season. He was to have made his 2009-10 debut in the Cheshire Senior Cup against Witton last November but got injured in the warm up. Russell acquitted himself very well yesterday, as no less an authority than Stuart Coburn himself told supporters at the end of Saturday's game.
SUNDAY NEWSAltrincham FC groundsman, Neil Brown, writes on the Alty Fans' Forum:
"I have taken into account the comments of the fans about not knowing what was going on with the condition off the pitch prior to games when the weather is bad. I have offered to come on the Fans' Forum to keep the fans up to date with the pitch, as long as comments back are positive and helpful, and also to inform the fans if any help is needed to make the pitch playable in poor conditions as I am only one person and can only do so much myself when the conditions are really bad.
As of last Friday the 8th January, we had a coverage of at least 6 inches of snow on the pitch. By Monday it was down to 4 inches and, by today, the 15th, it was down to about one and a half inches. We have been monitoring the weather on a few different sites; as you know it changes a lot. With the view to this weekend and next week, we have taken the decision not to remove the snow from the pitch due to the fact we think the remainder will melt over the next couple of days with the warmer weather. Also the problem you face is that all the people needed to do this would be hard to get together and also the long term damage it could do to the pitch with so many people on it when frozen could cause problems later in the season.
As our next home game is a week away I feel this is the best option available to us. Yes, we will have water on the pitch when it melts but that is something we can do something about and the drains were flowing today, on being checked. The pitch is still frozen in a lot of places, but is soft in others, and places I cleared on Tuesday are still hard, so the decision does seem justified at the minute to leave the snow as the pitch would still be hard anyway - as Wrexham have found out twice. I will update on Monday as soon as I can and will answer questions, if any, the best I can. Yours, Neil Brown, groundsman".
Everyone will agree that Neil does a tremendous job to make the Moss Lane surface one of the best in the league - a view backed up by Manchester United, who elected Moss Lane as the venue for their reserve team games this season.
There will be another in the popular series of New Recruits evenings at Moss Lane on Saturday, 6th February after our game against Salisbury. The guests will be Tom Kearney, John McAliskey, Nicky Clee and Russell Saunders. As usual the questions and answers are accompanied by a hot meal; all for just 15 pounds. Please do support this event which, as well as providing great entertainment, will help the club regain its lost revenue from the recent weeks of inactivity.
To book your tickets please contact Grahame, Karen or Sarah Rowley as soon as possible by phone on 07720 606897 or by e-mail.
SATURDAY'S GAME AT EBBSFLEET
Match report here.
Right: As travelling Alty supporters applaud Chris Senior's goal at Ebbsfleet, the nearby Fleet fans are somewhat less happy.
Ebbsfleet United report that "Despite a barnstorming finish at Stonebridge Road, Fleet slipped to defeat at home to Altrincham after allowing their opponents to take a two-goal lead. Chris Senior opened the scoring on 14 minutes after Fleet twice failed to clear their lines in an even first half, and the visitors doubled that lead only six minutes into the second half when Greg Young got the final head in a goalmouth scramble that Lance Cronin twice tried to claw away. With the game looking beyond the Fleet, substitute Scott Ginty took only five minutes to haul his side back into proceedings, a well-taken goal on 62 minutes - just reward for a cool finish. The Fleet then had a succession of half-chances, the best falling to Michael West whose low drive was palmed away by the Alty goalkeeper.
OLD BOYSFormer Alty loanee Matt Bailey scored for Northwich on Saturday as did another ex-loanee, Tom Cahill, for Fleetwood, for whom Sean Clancy also played.
ALTY'S RECORDThe NL Paper makes Alty captain Robbie Lawton (left) the Man of the Match for his battling performance at Ebbsfleet on Saturday. The win there was Alty's seventh away from home in the league, which means that 24 of our 35 league points have been gathered on the road. In contrast, Alty's home record of just two league wins is the lowest tally of home victories in the league as is their total of just ten home goals. So those who only watch our home games don't know what they are missing on the away trips!
Altrincham have, according to the NLP, committed fewer fouls (232) than any other team in the BSP - 24 fewer than the second "cleanest" side, Barrow. Stevenage have the highest foul count - 385. On the current form guide over the last six games, Alty lie fifth from top, behind only York, AFC Wimbledon, Stevenage and Oxford, whilst in the card count Alty are placed seventh behind the best behaved side, AFC Wimbledon, who are the club with fewest bookings. Mansfield top the chart of offenders as regards cautions and dismissals. On the attendance front, Alty's avereage home gate this season in the BSP is 1,142 which is better than that of eight other teams. Top of the attendances are Luton (averaging 6,838) and bottom are Hayes & Yeading (546).
APOLOGIESIt proved impossible to provide the usual live updates of Alty's away game yesterday; this was because the wi-fi coverage at Stonebridge Road did not seem to be functioning in the part of the main stand where I was located. Many apologies for that. Hopefully, normal service will be resumed at AFC Wimbledon on Tuesday night.
16 January 2010
EBBSFLEET UTD 1 ALTRINCHAM 2Altrincham took an early lead when Chris Senior, tireless throughout, finished well from a Kearney feed in the 14th minute. When Young took advantage of goalkeeper Cronin's fumble to make it 2-0 after 53 minutes, the visitors seemed to have the game sewn up. But when Ginty pulled back a goal nine minutes later, Alty endured a stern test for 20 minutes or so. But Russell Saunders, making his season's debut in goal as a late replacement for Stuart Coburn, who damaged his elbow ligaments in the warm up, made a vital save to preserve Alty's lead. They move up to 11th in the table with games in hand.
Right: Russell Saunders played well on his second "debut" for Altrincham, at Ebbsfleet.
Match report here.
TODAY'S GAMEAssuming today's Ebbsfleet United v Altrincham match goes ahead, there should be live updates from Stonebridge Road on the Matchday Update page.
For the game against Alty, Ebbsfleet's "Midfielder Alex Stavrinou is available for Ebbsfleet after extending his loan from Charlton Athletic" reports the BBC. "Gavin Heeroo (whiplash) is likely to be named in the squad with Magno Vieira set to retain his place in attack. Striker Dale Johnson (knee) is Graham Heathcote's only definite absentee as Altrincham prepare to play their first game in more than four weeks. Alty will be hoping to continue their impressive away run which has seen them lose only once in eight games.
Ebbsfleet United manager Liam Daish told BBC Radio Kent: 'We have to remind ourselves about the two wins over Christmas and remember how we played and take that into Saturday's game. We haven't looked too bad at home so hopefully we'll keep that going. Everyone is back, a few need a game in the next week or so but at least they're all medically fit'".
Saturday 16 January:
Monday, 18 January
TELEVISED GAMESEveryone is welcome to watch live football on TV in the bar at Moss Lane, as follows:
Entry is free!
NORMAN'S LAST WISHESAs reported recently, longstanding Altrincham supporter Norman Brown died on 10th January at the age of 87. His funeral will be held at Altrincham Crematorium on Wednesday, 20th January at 2.30pm. The funeral announcement states "No flowers, by request; donations, if desired, for Altrincham Football Club may be sent to Arthur Gresty Funeral Homes, 305 Manchester Road, Altrincham WA15 5PH".
BSP NEWSBut the Surrey Herald claims that "Danny Kedwell and Jon Main have handed Dons boss Terry Brown a major boost ahead of tomorrow's showdown with Mansfield Town. The pair had been struggling with knocks over the Christmas period, but should start... New signings Danny Blanchett and Glenn Poole are also expected to go straight into the squad. However, the game has come too quick for Steven Gregory (groin) and Elliott Godfrey (rib), who are still sidelined through injury".
"The permanent transfer of Exodus Geohaghon to Peterborough United has been completed today", confirm Kettering Town. Also, "Danny Thomas has agreed terms to remain at the Club until the end of the season. Two new players have joined on a non contract basis: goalkeeper Nathan Abbey who was last at Rushden and Diamonds [and] Central midfielder Jordan Hadfield who was last at Stockport County [and Altrincham], but previously had played under the management of Paul Ince at both Macclesfield and M K Dons".
The Northants Evening Telegraph says that "Nathan Abbey is set to face Rushden & Diamonds tomorrow. The goalkeeper – who made 13 appearances for the Nene Park side earlier this season – will complete a shock move to Kettering Town today and go straight into the Poppies line-up for the home clash with their neighbours.
Abbey has been drafted in on a non-contract deal as cover for Poppies boss Lee Harper who will be ruled out with his long-term back problem until he has an injection to try to sort out the injury in the next couple of weeks. Harper has also signed former Macclesfield Town and MK Dons midfielder Jordan Hadfield on a similar deal while there is also set to be a shock return for striker Anthony Robinson, although he will have to serve a two-match ban before being available to play.
Peterborough United striker Kwesi Appiah is set to sign on loan next week after his move was put on hold while he rests a groin injury. Harper revealed he had suffered a number of setbacks when trying to sign players this week and he insists the cut in the playing budget is a "major" problem. He hasn't been helped by defender Greg Taylor going down with mumps but [ex-Alty man] James Jennings and Jean-Paul Marna should both return from injury against Diamonds.
The Rockingham Road pitch will still need to pass an 11am inspection before the big derby goes ahead... 'Nathan and Jordan are both coming in on non-contract terms and we will have Anthony available soon', Harper said. 'I know what I am getting with all these lads and I believe they can all come in and make an impact... The budget cut is a major problem'"
"AFC Sudbury are completing the loan signing of a prolific striker... Craig Hammond, 23, is putting pen to paper on a 28-day move from Histon".
The unofficial Chester Citysite says that "The club (Chester City 2004 Limited) have been served with a winding up petition by HMRC. The order was presented on 25 November 2009, by the Commissioners for HM Revenue and Customs, of Bush House, Strand, London WC2B 4RD, claiming to be Creditors of the Company, and it will be heard at the Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, London WC2A 2LL, on 27 January 2010, at 10:30 hours".
"Cambridge United have confirmed news that midfielder Ben Farrell has joined fellow Blue Square Premier side Grays Athletic on loan for a month" according to Blue Square Football. "Farrell joined the U's from Bedford Town in January 2008 but has not featured this season since the appointment of manager Martin Ling...Ling told the club's official website: 'Ben doesn't really figure in my future plans for the Club. I see him behind Paul Carden, Sam Ives, Jai Reason and even Rory McAuley in the pecking order. Any move had to be at the right level and this is a good opportunity for him to get some minutes under his belt and showcase himself'".
Meanwhile "Northampton Town striker Joe Benjamin has returned on loan to Eastbourne Borough for the remainder of the season. The 19 year-old spent a month at Priory Lane in November but a mounting injury list at Sixfields ruled out a loan extension and he went back to the Cobblers for the busy festive programme and made two starts for the Division Two club. 5ft 11 ins Benjamin made six appearances for Borough in his previous spell and the quick, strong striker who can also play wide became a crowd favourite for the Blue Square Premier League club".
Blue Square adds that "Stevenage Borough have confirmed the signing of striker Tim Sills from Torquay United for an undisclosed fee. The 30-year-old forward joins Graham Westley's league leaders on an 18 month contract, with the option to extend the deal at a later stage". Meanwhile "Luton Town have confirmed that defender Alan White has joined Darlington on-loan until the end of the season. The experienced defender returned to the Hatters for a second spell in June last year following his release by Darlington. However, Quakers' boss Steve Staunton...told Darlington's official website: 'It's a terrific signing for us and one that I've been keen to do since the window opened. What was very pleasing was that Alan was desperate to come back. He loves his home town'".
From Gateshead we learn that the club has "clinched the signing of Darlington central defender Rikki Bains on loan until the end of the season with the view to a permanent deal. Bains, 22 next month, has recently had a successful loan spell at Blyth Spartans having last played for Darlington in September. Bains came through the ranks at hometown club Coventry City... He made a handful of appearances in League Two for Accrington Stanley... and played the second half of the following campaign with Tamworth... The midlander is manager Ian Bogie's second signing during the transfer window with more expected during the two remaining weeks".
According to the Cambridge News "Blaine Hudson is in line to make his Cambridge United debut in Saturday’s home encounter with Eastbourne... The 17-year-old centre-half is likely to be thrown into a youthful backline, also set to feature new signing Aiden Palmer at left-back, due to Wayne Hatswell and Brian Saah both being suspended and Dan Gleeson out with a broken nose. Manager Martin Ling said it would be a good test of youth-team captain Hudson’s mettle if selected. He said: 'He’s already 6ft 5in and he has all the attributes to be a good centre-half'".
Up the road, "Tony Roach has not resigned as Histon chairman. Speculation was rife last night that Roach had stepped down from the Glass World Stadium hotseat just hours after revealing why he sacked manager Steve Fallon this week at a press conference. 'It’s just people spreading rumours around on the fans’ forum and it’s getting pathetic', said Roach. 'There’s no truth in the rumours at all'".
From the Liverpool Daily Post we learn that "Chester City’s prospective new owners have held meetings with their unpaid players over the last few days... New Director of Football Morrell Maison had discussions with the first team squad members, and the players highlighted the concerns they have. Speaking to the Daily Post last night a player who doesn’t wished to be named said: 'They were asking what we thought of the club, and if we had issues with the club. We told them that the issues regarding outstanding wages were not good enough, and were having an effect on morale... We don’t know what’s going on at the club from day to day, and the uncertainty is worrying. We still don’t know when we will get our outstanding wages which isn’t good enough. Now that the boss has gone, we don’t have any go between, and we are even more in the dark'”.
The Chronicle Live adds that "Ian Bogie has called on the Football Conference to extend the season or leave clubs facing three games a week to complete their fixtures... Tomorrow’s league clash at Forest Green Rovers seems likely to go ahead, after volunteers – including inmates from a nearby open prison – cleared around half of the estimated 280 tonnes of snow on the club’s New Lawn pitch. A local referee passed the surface as playable, providing the remaining ice is cleared by tomorrow...
However, Bogie still fears a fixture pile-up... 'We’re very fortunate that most of the games we’ve had cancelled have been at home... It’s more inconvenient for our opposition teams. The sensible decision for the Conference would be to extend the season by a week or two'”.
According to the Luton & Dunstable Express "Luton Town manager Richard Money has admitted that four senior players HAVE been put on the transfer list. In his pre-match press conference the manager confirmed the speculation that the names of Kevin Nicholls, Kevin Gallen, Keith Keane and Alan White have been circulated amongst other clubs. Explaining the decision, Money said: 'We lost two games over Christmas (to postponement) and we may lose tomorrow’s game (to Salisbury City). We have to be mindful of the purse strings and that’s part of the reason why those decisions have been made, and obviously we feel that there may be some interest... It was my recommendation to the board that it was the right thing to do'". Previously the manager had denied this was the case.
He "explained why Gallen has slipped down the pecking order. 'We’ve got Barnes-Homer, Craddock, Nwokeji and Hatch - will be available in two or three weeks - so it’s more a case of an abundance of riches up front. I’m not suggesting in anyway, shape or form that Gallen will go anywhere at all but we have circulated his name to see if there’s any interest, as much for him as for the football club'. On Nicholls he said: 'It’s the same for him. We have a lot of midfield players and we’ve just circulated his name to see if there’s any interest'...
The biggest surprise was the placing of 23-year-old vice captain Keane on the transfer list. Money said: 'We’ve offered him another contract and at the minute he’s rejected the contract that we’ve offered, so we’ve made him available for transfer... It’s quite interesting really in the way that people react. Alan White has gone to Darlington because he wants to play football. Fair play to him... Kevin Nicholls has made it perfectly clear, privately, that he doesn’t want to leave this football club and loves this football club'... Money, however, was less impressed with the reaction of 34-year-old forward Gallen, who this week chose to speak out in certain areas of the press. He said: 'Kevin Gallen has reacted in the way that he has reacted and I’m not going to comment anymore than that. Let me just say this. If Kevin Gallen’s last statement in the press, [is] that he is going to fight for his place and try and change people’s minds, then fantastic. No problem. The rest of what he said was pretty much nonsense'".
FORMER CONFERENCE CLUBSKent Online reports that "Maidstone United’s players have not been paid as club officials bid to overcome cashflow problems caused by the bad weather. Stones players and staff will not receive their January wages until the club’s revenue flow has improved, with chairman Paul Bowden-Brown saying the step was essential for securing the club’s future. Maidstone have only played five games in four months at their temporary home at Ashford due to a combination of bad weather and an unplayable surface. However, they are scheduled to play six home games in the next five weeks which would improve things dramatically. The players were last paid in December and have been asked to defer four weeks’ wages, with Mr Bowden-Brown, pictured, and joint-manager Lloyd Hume guaranteeing they will receive their January money before the end of the season.
Mr Bowden-Brown said: 'If we didn’t do something, then the future of the football club would be in doubt, so I have put plans in place to get over this... I’m not one to put my head in the sand. We held a meeting with the players on Wednesday night after training and it was not a nice feeling. There were a few stony faces but I think there was a general feeling of understanding and support for the club, which was what I expected. Anyone can see we have had no revenue coming in but they can also see that the revenue will eventually come in. The players understand it but we have said that anyone who wants to leave can do so with our blessing. I’m not expecting anyone to do that. I’m not sure things would be better anywhere else'".
And another former Conference club is also experiencing difficulties, as NL 24 reveals that "A meeting could be held today (Friday) to decide the long term future of Bromsgrove Rovers. Mike Ward, and representatives of Bromsgrove Sporting, are likely to meet with Sanderlings LLP to discuss buying the assets of the club. Administrator Andrew Fender is deciding on the next move after creditors rejected an offer by preferred bidder Ward of five pence in the pound, the Bromsgrove Advertiser is reporting. If a sale of the assets is agreed, the present company is likely to cease trading and Rovers will not be able to continue playing this season.
Under FA guidelines, if a new team or company is formed, they would have to start again two divisions below the one in which the present club is playing".
15 January 2010
REARRANGED GAMEAltrincham's postponed BSP game at Mansfield Town has been rearranged for Tuesday, 23 March at 7.45pm.
GAME ONEbbsfleet United have advised Altrincham FC that they expect tomorrow's game between the two clubs, at Stonebridge Road, to go ahead as planned. They are apparently already marking out the pitch in advance of kick off!
YOUTH TEAMSeven weeks after their last game, the Altrincham FC hope to play this Sunday. However, the planned home fixture against Nantwich Town at 2.00 p.m. has been switched to the Weaver Stadium, Water Lode, Nantwich, CW5 5BS. The home fixture will now played later in the season.
Right: It was shirtsleeve weather when Alty entertained Ebbsfleet at Moss Lane back in the opening game of the season in August; the game ended 1-1.
It is understood that work took place on Thursday to make both the pitch and the spectator areas of Stonebridge Road fit for Saturday's game to take place against Altrincham, though a final decision won't take place till today (Friday). If the game goes ahead it is hoped to provide the usual live Matchday Updates. It will be six weeks since Alty last played a league game (at Histon) and four and a half weeks since they played any game at all - having defeated Wrexham in the Trophy on 15th December.
Kent Online reports that "Ebbsfleet are set to host Altrincham on Saturday, but the fixture could depend on the goodwill of the fans. The Fleet may have to appeal for volunteers to help clear the terraces if the thaw doesn’t arrive in time. Club secretary Peter Danzey could call in a local referee if temperatures fail to rise, but intends leaving any pitch inspection until as late as possible... Ebbsfleet drew 1-1 at Altrincham on the opening day of the season and manager Liam Daish said: 'It’s a game that we are capable of winning. They are having a decent season themselves but we have got a bit about us at the moment and want to maintain our form'".
South London Today reports that "Alex Stavrinou says 'the pressure is on' after he extended his loan stay at Ebbsfleet until the end of the season. The Charlton midfielder has six months left to run on his contract at The Valley and is eager to prove to boss Phil Parkinson that he has what it takes to be a success in SE7. Playing regularly for the Blue Square Premier side has given him the opportunity to develop his game, and that was a key factor in deciding to stay at Stonebridge Road... Said Stavrinou, 'The pressure is always on because you never know who’s watching you, whether it’s someone from Charlton or a scout from another club. You constantly have to try to be at your best'".
Meanwhile the Gravesend Reporter reports that "Five new football pitches for Ebbsfleet United's community leisure scheme are to be created after the club secured a £190,000 business loan... Fleet Leisure and Sports Club, established in 2005, will house four new artificial five-a-side football pitches and a new seven-a-side football pitch at the site in Nelson Road. Brian Kilcullen, director of Fleet Leisure, said: 'This will hopefully be the first of many milestones for the business as we look to increase the leisure and health services we provide'...
Featuring floodlights and the latest 'third-generation' artificial turf...the new football pitches are already under construction. Work is due to be completed by March... The business currently employs 20 people and has an annual turnover of £500,000... The 11-acre Fleet Leisure site already includes a members' bar and function hall, a bowling green, five football pitches, changing rooms and a multi-purpose hall". According to its website, "Fleet Leisure & Sports Club is owned by Fleet Leisure Limited, a subsidiary of Ebbsfleet United Football Club" yet as recently as October 2009, the BBC reported that United's manager "Liam Daish, has said their poor training ground is one of the factors behind their bad start to the season. Daish's side... switched training venues from Fleet Leisure to the AEI sports club in Gravesend in the summer".
SATURDAYAlready, on Thursday, some Saturday games were in doubt. At Cambridge United a picture underlines that "Due to the pitch at the R Costings Abbey Stadium still being frozen, with standing water in many areas following recent heavy rain and the forecast of more to come, a pitch inspection has been called for 2pm tomorrow (Friday, 15 January) ahead of the Eastbourne Borough BSP fixture". Whilst for Kettering v Rushden, "The inspecting Football Association appointed referee has inspected the playing surface and surrounding areas of The Broadfield Stadium and has, after careful consideration, deferred a decision on the pitch being playable for Saturday's visit of Chester City until tomorrow (Friday) at 3pm." And at Barrow (v Histon) there is an inspection on Friday afternoon.
BSP NEWSIt has been an interesting news day with Histon revealing why Steve Fallon was sacked and Stephen Vaughan confirming he has no formal role at Chester City.
The Chester Chronicle says that "Stephen Vaughan – former chairman and owner of the Blues – met The Chronicle’s Paul Wheelock on Tuesday afternoon to discuss his position at the Deva Stadium and the proposed takeover of the club". Vaughan said, 'I resigned as a director of Chester City Football Club, old co, on December 12, 2007. Chester City Football Club, old co, went into administration in April 2009, so I wasn’t a director of the club. I was a 77% shareholder and people were referring to me as the owner. Chester City Football Club, new co, was formed in 2004 when Chester City won the Conference title. That vehicle was set up to try and transfer all of old co into new co, but it was turned down by the FA. So that company has been lying dormant for the last five years. Annual returns have been submitted for that company for the last four or five years, as a non-trading company.
This year it ignited, and it ignited with Bob Gray and Stephen Vaughan Jnr – my son – as the directors, and they purchased Chester City Football Club from the administrator. It was indemnified by Stephen Vaughan Snr, so it had a bit of substance and that they had a bit of money behind them to buy the club. I haven’t got a role at Chester City, and I haven’t had a role at Chester City other than loan money in – which is all unsecured – for which I have been bombarded with criticism for my controlling interest in this club... I am an outstanding creditor of this football club, new co. What I do know now is Morell Maison has exercised his option to purchase Stephen Vaughan Jnr’s share in Chester City Football Club, new co. So that’s the position that we’re in right now...
The deal that he has struck with my son is that he will buy this club, by way of instalments, over a two-year period. But the deal could be done in two months... Chester City Football Club, on handover, owes £138,000. That includes November and December’s wages; that includes HM Revenue, Customs and Excise; that includes all footballing and non-footballing creditors... and is owed £125,000 – that being the remains of the basic award money, ie parachute payment and also the number of fixtures to fulfil which will generate revenue...
He [Maison] is the frontman for part of a consortium. He is the director of football. If I can help and support the club in any way I will still do so. But I’ve got no directorship in the club, or in any other company because of my disqualification... We’ve done a deal that suits Chester City Football Club, not the Vaughan family... My last act with Chester City Football Club was when I loaned them £36,606.28 to safeguard the future of the club by paying off the footballing creditors. I’ve only been staying at this club to ensure this club stays afloat. There’s plenty out there who wanted a fire sale, but there’s no fire sale. The club has done a deal with a party, and hopefully the club will not look back".
At Histon, Steve Fallon has spoken of his utter shock and disappointment following his extraordinary sacking as Histon manager. The Stutes legend, who took charge in 1999 and led the club to four promotions, was relieved of his duties on Tuesday... Fallon, who never had a contract at the Glass World Stadium, revealed he shook hands with chairman Tony Roach on a two-year deal at Sunday's clear-the-air meeting. And he was stunned to be given his marching orders during a telephone conversation with Roach on Tuesday evening as he believed he had secured his long-term future at the club... 'I felt we'd ironed out our differences on Sunday and we'd shaken hands on a two-year deal'".
Fallon added "Getting to the Conference was the pinnacle - for Histon to get to that level of football, and to do well at that level, just shows that it's possible for clubs like that to compete. I think the part-time status can help you because it creates a team-spirit and a togetherness that you don't always get when you're full-time... I was going to work and enjoying it for 10 years, and you can't beat that". But "When contacted by the News, [chairman Tony] Roach said nobody at the club would be adding to their initial statement until a press conference is held this afternoon".
The Cambridge News has a revealing audio interview with Roach in which he says that Fallon was sacked because, 24 hours after agreeing to work with Alan Lewer, who had been acting manager during his own 'gardening leave', he unilaterally attempted to dismiss Alan Lewer, by publicly telling him to leave the training ground. Roach claimed that Fallon had previously "sacked John Beck [the former assistant manager] in the same way" and the chairman claimed that that move "cost us a considerable amount of money" in paying off Beck, costs that were still continuing to be incurred. Later, Fallon denied this version of events.
A video interview supports a story from Mansfield Town that with no matchday revenue, "Chairman Andrew Perry and co-owners Steve Middleton and Andrew Saunders have bolstered the coffers following the recent postponement at home to Luton Town". And "First team coach Gareth Holmes has said that we are looking to sign another player in time for Saturday's game with AFC Wimbledon and paid tribute to the hard work that David Holdsworth has put in this week to tie down players on permanent deals and bring in fresh blood to the squad. He said: 'The Gaffer has been working tirelessly throughout December and January to work out deals and get in players to strengthen the squad. The Gaffer is positive in bringing someone in before the weekend either today or tomorrow and is looking at a number of options'.
January has already been a busy month for us with the signings of Jon Challinor, Andy Burgess and Michael Brough on permanent deals and the capture of talented youngster Ollie Hotchkiss who joined us from Leeds only yesterday. Holmes... said that David Holdsworth would continue to look at trialist Aaron Brown".
From Rochdale we learn that "Striker Jon Shaw has left the club by mutual consent after struggling to make an impact at Spotland. Shaw signed for Dale in the summer of 2008 after an impressive season at Halifax Town but sadly the former Sheffield Wednesday trainee failed to secure a regular place... His registration has been cancelled leaving him free to sign for another club and he's expected to sign for Mansfield Town very shortly".
Bullsnews notes that "Former Accrington chairman Eric Whalley has left his role with Chester. He remains Accrington's largest shareholder with the sale of his shares still not final, and rumours persist that he will return to the club".
Luton Town "are delighted to report that Luton Borough Council have agreed to extend our lease of Kenilworth Road for a further 10 years, should we win promotion back to the Football League in the next four years. The current lease of the famous old ground, that opened in 1905 and which is owned by the Council, runs until 2018... Cllr Simmons said: 'Luton Town have aspirations to secure promotion to the Football League, a pre-requisite of which includes having an interest in their ground for at least 10 years. Luton Borough Council is delighted to be able to support the Hatters in this ambition'".
From South London Today we learn that "AFC Wimbledon could be poised to make a shock loan move for Tranmere’s former Millwall striker Bas Savage. Dons boss Terry Brown is on the hunt for new attacking options... Wandsworth-born Savage, whose family home is in Wimbledon Chase, has been out of action since April after rupturing an Achilles tendon.. 'I’ve had a chat with Kingstonian manager Alan Dowson about him', said Brown. 'He knows Bas well and recommended him very highly. But the player has had a really nasty injury this year so we’re not sure what his situation is'...
And "Andy Little’s AFC Wimbledon future could be decided in the next seven days. The long-serving goalkeeper, who joined the club in 2005, was ruled out for most of 2009 after suffering cruciate knee ligament damage... He returned to the first-team squad for the game against Ebbsfleet in November but has not featured since. The 35-year-old keeper, who has made 147 appearances for the club, has spent the intervening period building up his strength. And he and manager Terry Brown are due to discuss his future in the next week... Said Little. “'As far as I’m concerned I’m fit and available for selection... I realise that, in the long term, I’m not really a viable option because of the club’s plans to go full-time'".
But "Terry Brown is hoping to conclude a deal with Gillingham this week to keep Luis Cumbers at AFC Wimbledon until the end of the season".
The Cambridge News says that "Jez George remains confident Cambridge United will receive cash owed by Chester from Mark Beesley's recent loan deal. But the director of football did not rule out reporting the Blue Square Premier crisis club to the FA if the money owed - understood to be a substantial four-figure fee - was not forthcoming. Beesley, below, spent two months with Chester in the autumn after failing to hold down a regular place in the first team, with the struggling club agreeing to pay 80 per cent of his wages. United have yet to see a penny, but George said talks were ongoing between the two clubs.
He said: 'Wayne (Purser, secretary) is still in dialogue with Chester and they have a new finance director coming in this week, who has got a meeting with the Conference at the end of the week... With new people coming in up there, there's hope of it all being settled. But we want some money because we're in a tight financial position ourselves and don't want to lose a substantial amount of cash'. George admitted... 'We went into it knowing there could be pitfalls, but it was still good for Bees to get games. We had enough indications that we'd get our money at the time and it was a risk worth taking'...
Meanwhile, George said talks were still going on with Oxford defender Luke Foster over a move to the R Costings Abbey".
According to This is Sussex, "Jefferson Louis's future at the Broadfield should be decided next Tuesday when Steve Evans will sit down with Rushden & Diamonds' boss Justin Edinburgh. The two managers are planning to discuss the forward, who left the Reds on loan earlier this season after falling down the pecking order at the Broadfield... Said Evans, 'They have an option to extend the deal if both they and Jeff are happy but if not we have a few other options. He can come back into the squad here, or there are a couple of other Premier clubs who have phoned up to ask about his availability'.
The much-travelled 30-year-old... was out of favour behind Charlie Ademeno, Callum Willock and Danny Forrest. The outcome of the talks could have a bearing on fellow Crawley striker Willock, whose current contract expires at the end of the month and who is yet to put pen to paper and sign a new deal with the Reds. Another factor for Evans to consider is the future of Ademeno, which remains undecided. The two League Two clubs who have bid for the forward have still not met Crawley's value of the player but with 18 days left in the window Evans admits anything is possible".
NW NEWSThe Northwich Guardian says that "Danny Meadowcroft will join Colwyn Bay on loan once the weather improves.There have been other departures from the Victoria Stadium this week too. Bit part men Rico Richards [ex-Alty Youth and Reserve] and Sean Taylforth have both been released, while Mark Cadwallader – Vics’ first signing in the summer – has been told he is free to find football elsewhere once his loan stay at Witton Albion ends this week".
However, Eastwood Town confirm that "Manager Paul Cox has finally given up on his pursuit of ex-Mansfield midfielder, Jonathan D’Laryea. 'We made our final offer to Northwich but they have now turned it down, so we will move onto other targets. I did feel that they would accept a five figure bid, which is massive at this level of football between two clubs in the same division, but they have told us that the player is not for sale... Northwich are a big club and have just come down from the Conference Premier, so you can’t blame them wanting to keep one of their best players, if not their best player, or not sell to a potential rival in the same league".
14 January 2010
IMPACT OF THE FREEZEAlty Joint Press Officer, John Edwards, writes:
Graham Heathcote has appealed to Altrincham fans to rally round and help prevent the big freeze sabotaging Moss Lane's best season for years. After having five successive games wiped out by snow and ice, including lucrative Bank Holiday showdowns with Wrexham and York, Alty are hopeful of finally returning to action at Ebbsfleet on Saturday.
As he waited for news of a pitch inspection on Friday, Heathcote was already turning his sights towards an overdue resumption of Alty's home programme that could have a vital bearing on whether recent progress in the Blue Square Conference is maintained.
'York and Wrexham would have been two bumper gates, and losing those games could have a massive impact on our financial outlook,' said the Alty manager. 'We have taken a big hit, and, in the short term, it has meant that any thoughts of trying to improve or increase the squad have had to go on the back burner. Beyond that, there is a danger it could affect our planning for next season. It's difficult to imagine we can match the attendances we would have had over the Christmas holiday, but we really need people to turn out when these games are rearranged'.
'I want to keep building on what we've done so far and have as strong a squad as possible next season, but we can't spend money we haven't got. There has been no League game at Moss Lane since December 1, so it is vital people rally round and try and support the team on the pitch and any functions that are arranged off it. We've even had a burst pipe that caused some damage near the board room, and even though we are covered on insurance, there is an excess that needs paying. These things are sent to try us, but if we all stick together, we can get through it.
At least we've managed a couple of training sessions, on Saturday and last night (Tues), and we'll have another tomorrow. That has got legs moving again, and I'm hoping the players will come flying out of the traps when we finally get out on the pitch'".
NEXT GAMEAltrincham are away at Ebbsfleet United this Saturday. Blue Square Football has an audio interview with Liam Daish, manager of the Fleet. The accompanying article says "After back-to-back wins against fellow relegation threatened local rivals Grays Athletic, Ebbsfleet United continue their bid to stay in the Blue Square Premier this weekend against Altrincham. Fleet boss Liam Daish hopes the cold snap doesn't prevent his side from continuing their recent good form".
KEEPING FIT AT ALTYBritish Pathe News has made public a 1936 newsreel showing "Physical training - mass demonstration at Altrincham", in which "Large numbers of children march around a football pitch... PT / Keep fit exercises on the pitch. Pan across the pitch as they exercise in time".
BSP NEWSHiston have confirmed that "Steve Fallon has today been relieved of his duties as Manager of Histon FC. Chairman Tony Roach commented 'After resuming the role only yesterday it soon became very evident that underlying irreconcilable differences between Steve and myself and the Board would preclude the partnership ever working for the benefit of Histon FC so it was a unanimous decision of the Board of Directors to relieve him of his responsibilities with immediate effect'. Alan Lewer who has been Acting Manager for the past few weeks will now assume the role of Manager forthwith and he will be assisted by Ian Hart".
Before the above announcement the Cambridge News writes that "Histon fans could be forgiven for claiming they are confused currently. One week the club is on its last legs and pleading poverty. The most successful manager in non-league football is suspended and four of his most experienced and loyal players, plus the reserve-team assistant manager, are asked to leave.
Then, as they will have barely left the car park, an announcement is made that Histon are chasing three Cambridge United players. It is the mixed messages and the uncertainty that is upsetting the fans. Nobody enjoys being a laughing stock, and the current Histon regime will alienate the small hardcore of Histon fans at their peril. Histon may well rue the day that they showed the door to Jamie Barker, Craig Pope, Neil Andrews, Neil Kennedy and John Kennedy. All were vastly experienced, talented and committed...
Even now the fans are still in the dark about the future of manager Steve Fallon... [who is] in his testimonial year at the club... With all of this uncertainty still not cleared up, the hugely popular manager’s position still not sorted and with the spine and soul of the team recently ripped out, the directors surely cannot be too surprised if they don’t get a full house" at Histon's next home game.
The BBC says that "Former Histon midfielder Jamie Barker has admitted he is concerned for the future of the club following the sacking of manager Steve Fallon... Barker told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire: 'In losing Steve Fallon, you lose all the people down the pub, all the kids at the schools and it's a real shame. Steve has so much influence in Histon that it's bound to hit their support'. The 30-year-old was one of four players allowed to leave the club after Fallon was suspended in December... 'I'm not surprised given the way it's all carried on over the past few weeks', Barker said. 'In fact I was more surprised that Steve came back and managed to work something out with Tony'.
Roach succeeded Gareth Baldwin as Histon chairman in October and initially handed Fallon his full backing, but their relationship appeared to quickly sour... Barker says 'I've had a word with [captain] Matt Langston and he's trying to do all he can, but I would guess the players don't know which way to turn. I think they will find it difficult to hold onto some of the players who were thinking of going anyway'".
The Cambridge News has an audio interview with Steve Fallon who says of his sacking, "I didn't see it coming"., He added that he and the chairman had shook hands on a two-year contract as recently as last weekend and professed not to know why the chairman had sacked him 48 hours later.
And there are also curious goings on at Kenilworth Road where Luton Town seemed to be conducting business as usual, announcing that they were "delighted to confirm that three players have committed their immediate futures to the Club. Striker Mark Nwokeji has extended his loan deal until the end of the season, while defender Freddie Murray and striker Matthew Barnes-Homer have signed permanently following their loan spells. Nwokeji has impressed manager Richard Money since arriving from Dagenham & Redbridge in November... Murray joined the Hatters in August from Grays Athletic and Barnes-Homer... has now completed his switch from Kidderminster Harriers".
But, no less an authority than the Football Conference reports that "Experienced trio Kevin Nicholls, Kevin Gallen and Alan White have all been placed on the transfer list by Luton Town. Luton... are looking to offload the trio in a bid to boost their promotion hopes. But Gallen has admitted he has been 'gutted' by the club's decision and revealed he desperately wants to stay at the club and help them in their promotion push. The 34-year-old striker has told how he was called into manager Richard Money's office last Tuesday and informed he was no longer required".
But in the Luton & Dunstable Express "Richard Money has moved to calm speculation that a number of senior Luton players have been transfer listed. This week internet message boards have seen rumours that the days of club captain Kevin Nicholls, vicecaptain Keith Keane, top scorer Kevin Gallen and defender Alan White are numbered. Nicholls, 31, and Gallen, 34, were hauled off at half time during Town’s last game at Southampton, while Keane, 23, didn’t feature in the squad. Centre-back White, 33, has not featured in the team since a poor display in the FA Trophy loss to Cambridge United on December 12.
Asked if there was any truth to the suggestion that the players may be set for an exit, the Hatters boss said: 'There’s nothing to add from me from that point of view. Football clubs are always full of rumours and conjecture... Luton did however make their first moves in this month’s transfer window with the capture of youngsters Godfrey Poku and Jonathan O’Donnell from St Albans City last week, and Money admitted that the former will be knocking on the first team door sooner rather than later. 'Godfrey is a modern day midfielder. Full of energy, loves a tackle, can play and he might be closer to our first team than people might think... JJ will go back to St Albans to continue his game education until the rest of the season'... As yet the manager has tabled no new bids for players, nor have any offers been made for his".
And NL Daily confirms that "Matthew Barnes-Homer's transfer from Kidderminster Harriers to rivals Luton Town has been completed. Barnes-Homer signed for Wolves as a 15 year-old schoolboy but was released three years later. He has since spent time with Aldershot Town, Wycombe Wanderers and Bromsgrove Rovers and has also played in the USA for Syracuse and Virginia Beach Mariners before joining Harriers in the summer of 2007. Harriers have received an undisclosed fee for the England C international, who moved to the Hatters on loan at the end of November, thought to be in the region of £75,000".
Meanwhile, "Grays Athletic have signed winger Harry Baker on a month`s loan from Leyton Orient", the Football Conference asserts... Baker's loan will run until February 11th - a spell that takes in a potential five Blue Square Premier fixtures".
The forum at Ebbsfleet United quoted the Club Secretary, before today's snow, saying that at Stonebridge Road "The pitch is beginning to look increasingly like it it going to be ok for Saturday, the terraces and surrounds are a slightly different matter, I am looking for a few fans to volunteer to come to the ground on Thursday at 10-30am to help clear the remaining snow and ice from the terraces, a start has already been made but unless the rest is done we could have a fit pitch but the game postponed due to the terraces and surrounds".<
The "00% site has another interesting analysis of the situation at Chester City, where "Much has happened and nothing has changed. At the same time, owner Stephen Vaughan was due to have ceded all control in the club by the middle of December having been disqualified as a company director after an investigation by the Insolvency Service’s Disqualification Investigation Team over alleged carousel fraud. Casual observers may have been forgiven, however, for continuing to hold the impression that not a great deal has changed at The Deva Stadium over the last month or so. Over the last couple of weeks, however, things have started to become farcical there.
First of all came the arrival of Morell Maison, fresh from his disastrous spell at Halesowen Town, which left the Southern League club teetering on the brink of closure, banned from FA competitions this year after they failed to pay Maidstone United and Durham City gate receipts from matches against them last year in the FA Cup and the FA Trophy...
Maison didn’t seem particularly clear on what his role at the club actually was. His official title seems to be 'Director Of Football', but according to subsequent press interviews he still hasn’t met the players yet. The question of why a club would be taking on a Director of Football when the players hadn’t been paid for two months wasn’t, unsurprisingly, answered by the club itself. Maison started his time at the club with an interview on BBC London’s Non-League Show on the 4th of January. He stated – at first – that the club was still under the ownership of both Stephen Vaughan Junior and Senior (news that may have been of interest to the FA as well as the Insolvency Service) before amending this statement to say that Vaughan Senior hadn’t been involved in his appointment. He then went on to state that he wasn’t being paid for his position and that he wouldn’t be getting involved in issues on the playing side of the football club. He contradicted himself on one of these statements within the body of the interview (claiming to have signed two players on loan from Mansfield Town), and the truth behind the other started to come out in the next few days...
Reports on BBC Radio Merseyside again linked Vaughan Senior with the running of the club, stating that it was he that had told Harvey that he had no future at the club. At the same time, Cambridge United were have reported to have reported the club over non-payment for loan players that the Chester took from them during the first half of this season...
Meanwhile, it now seems likely that everything will be done in order for Chester to complete their fixtures this season... It seems scarcely credible that the club will not have the book thrown at it once 2009/10 is out of the way".
The Liverpool Daily Post adds that "Morrell Maison last night gave his first media interview since Boxing Day and indicated that he had introduced a trio of potential investors who were showing interest in purchasing the troubled Deva Stadium outfit... The former Kettering and Halesowen manager said: 'We have a group of solicitors and accountants at the club as I talk, they are undertaking a form of due diligence. They are representing a local group of businessmen, and are looking at getting involved with the club. There are three groups of investors I am introducing to the club... It would be a takeover'...
Asked about the departure of manager Jim Harvey, Maison said: “I am not so sure about that one. It wasn’t my decision. You would have to speak to the Vaughan family to get an answer to that question". Meanwhile "Maison is expected to meet the Chester City playing squad today [Wednesday] to outline his plans for the future".
And Chester City announce that they "have released James Owen by mutual consent"
A number of pitch inspections have already been announced for Saturday's games including, Crawley v Chester and FGR v Gateshead (both inspections are on Thursday afternoon at 3pm)
This is Nottingham says that "David Holdsworth is hopeful of adding a new signing to his Mansfield Town squad today – but it will not be Oxford United's Luke Foster... Mexborough-born Foster has been made available for transfer during the January window by Us' boss Chris Wilder following the arrival of Anthony Tonkin and Jake Wright. However, his next destination will not be Field Mill – because he is out of Mansfield's price range in terms of wages. [Meanwhile,] defender Aaron Brown has yet to start his trial after his car broke down. The former Burton Albion player was expected for training on Monday".
Mansfield Town add that they "are delighted to announce the signing of Ollie Hotchkiss until the end of the season. The 20 year old's contract at Leeds United has now terminated. Hotchkiss originally joined on loan from Leeds for a second loan spell at Field Mill in October".
AFC Wimbledon boss "Terry Brown acted quickly after being given the go-ahead to strengthen his squad this morning [Tuesday]. This afternoon he signed Glenn Poole, a left-sided, goalscoring midfielder... 'We signed Glenn until the end of the season. Glenn was part of the very successful Brentford side which gained promotion from League 2... having played a major part in the success of Grays Athletic under Mark Stimpson... His role will be to supply the passes necessary for our front players and also I will expect him to make a major contribution to our goals tally... We are currently in negotiations for another front man... If we continue our run in the FA Trophy [v Altrincham] it will be even more imperative that we are able to rest some important players at various intervals'" said the manager.
Kettering Town "announce that Exodus Geohaghon's permanent move to Peterborough United is expected to be completed in the next 24 hours. Within the same time period,Danny Thomas is also expected to complete the necessary paperwork to keep him at the Club until the end of the season".
NW NEWSNL24 reports that "Sub-zero temperatures and strong winds have caused two floodlight pylons to collapse at Mossley’s Seel Park. The pylons, erected in 1972, cracked and gave way due to the freezing conditions last week. The club is desperately trying to get a home match on as soon as possible to boost their coffers following a handful of recent postponements. They may have to call on their fans at some stage to remove a pylon from the pitch, if they can’t get contractors in".
13 January 2010
SAME AGAIN FOR REF
Just like last year, the referee for the Ebbsfleet United v Altrincham match this season is Ms Amy Rayner. Alty lost last year's match 1-0 and Ms Rayner is seen in the adjacent photo as the Alty players lined up before kick off after a long midweek day-return journey down to Kent.
Meanwhile, from the News Shopper we learn that "Stonebridge Road will host four consecutive home league games... Ebbsfleet will now entertain Altrincham at Stonebridge Road on Saturday, Kettering Town (January 19), Forest Green Rovers (January 23) and Maidstone in the Kent Senior Cup (January 26th). Club secretary Peter Danzey explained: 'We recognise four home games in 10 days is not an ideal situation. But it is in the best interests of Kettering, the league and ourselves to stage games whenever possible to avoid fixture congestion later in the season'".
ALTRINCHAM REF'S BIG DAYPhil Taylor informs the Alty Fans' Forum that "Anthony Taylor [no relation], whom many of you will have seen refereeing our pre-season fixtures over the past few years, has been appointed to referee his first Barclays Premiership fixture this coming Saturday. Anthony is the first Altrincham Referee to officiate in the Premiership and deserves all our congratulations. He started off in local Junior Football and has progressed by dint of hard work and support. However, those who have known him for a while will testify he's still a really nice guy. Getting a local Ref to this level will hopefully encourage others to
WSCIn an article on the demise of Chester City, the January edition of When Saturday Comes has photos taken at the Chester City v Altrincham game.
UNITED RESERVES' GAME OFFDarren Gregory advises that this Thursday's Manchester United Reserves' game at Moss Lane has been postponed due to a frozen pitch.
YANKEEWith the bad weather hitting horse racing, the Saturday Yankee used random numbers to generate winning codes last week. The jackpot was not won and now stands at £3,700. However, five Trebles were won, each entrant receiving £40.
FIXTURES - OR POSTPONEMENTSOnly two FAT matches, at Fleetwoood and Blyth, survived the icy weather on Tuesday night, whilst Wednesday's tie at Newport is already postponed.
Tuesday 12 January
FAT First Round Proper
FAT Second Round Proper
FA Cup 3R
Wednesday, 13 January
FAT Second Round Proper
OLD BOYRadcliffe Borough confirm that former Alty loanee "Forward Jody Banim has left the 'Boro' to join neighbours Salford City. Goal scoring legend Banim had joined the 'Boro' back in September ironically from Salford and he went onto score 5 goals in 12 games unfortunately both the club and player could not agree a financial way forward which has seen a parting of the ways. Chief Executive David Murgatroyd said, 'It is a shame as Jody was just beginning to settle in again and show some form, but the club has to be sensible and although we tried both sides could not come to an agreement as to the way forward... Jody has certain priorities to meet and regrettably we could not help him long term due to our own restraints which is very frustrating'".
ANOTHER MANAGER GOES?The Histon FC forum reports, from an apparently reliable source, that Steve Fallon has been sacked as manager of the Cambridgeshire club - barely 24 hours after being reinstated in that position.
BSP NEWSNL Daily says that "Strugglers Chester City have lost another player following midfielder Anthony Barry's decision to have his contract terminated by mutual consent. Barry, 23, who has also had talks with Fleetwood Town, is now expected to sign for Chester's neighbours and league rivals Wrexham... It follows reports that Chester's squad have still not been paid for the last two months...
Chester appointed a new director of football, Morell Maison, on Boxing Day. He is having to operate with depleted resources as he struggles to put together a squad for Saturday's scheduled trip to Crawley Town... Clubs are monitoring other City players including highly-rated former Wales under-17 midfielder James Owen, defender Shaun Kelly, and top scorer Nick Chadwick".
The Leader confirms that "Anthony Barry is set to sign an 18-month contract at Wrexham".
Meanwhile "Chester City captain Tim Ryan today admitted he was gutted to hear of manager Jim Harvey’s departure" states Chester First. "Ryan said: 'I am gutted that Jim Harvey has left the club... I don’t know about all the ins and outs of exactly what happened, but I do know that Morell Maison has come in with his new regime and his own staff. I’ve spoken to a few players since the gaffer contacted me and they are genuinely shocked about him deciding to go. He is such a decent bloke and I’m sure he could have done well at Chester in different circumstances. For the sake of the Chester fans and for everybody at the club I’m now hoping that Morell Maison can turn things round'.
Ryan confirmed that the Blues’ playing squad had yet to meet Morell Maison... and Ryan also revealed that Chester had still not paid players’ wages owing from November and December, and that the high-earners in the squad had been told to find new clubs. He said: 'The high-earners in the squad are all looking for new clubs. Ideally I would like to get somewhere I can get settled, but it all depends on what’s going on with Chester... None of the players has even seen Morell Maison, we’ve not heard a word from him. We don’t know what’s going on. We’ve not got a clue'. Chester can expect a backlash from the Football Conference and the Football Association if the club fails to pay players wages. Behind the scenes the PFA have been advising the Chester players, who have threatened to strike and boycott matches if the non-payment of their wages continues".
And more news on Chester comes from the Liverpol Daily Post which says that "Barry’s exit came 24 hours after manager Jim Harvey surprisingly parted company with the Blue Square Premier League outfit... With so much uncertainty at the Deva Stadium it is understood that there will be other playing departures... With a transfer embargo still hanging over the club, it is unclear how Chester will field a competitive squad next Saturday at Crawley Town, if other players decide to leave... Speculation suggests that Director of Football Morrell Maison will take over the football management role, despite an assurance from Maison in a media interview on Boxing Day that Harvey would remain in that position... It is understood that Conference club Cambridge United are poised to report Chester to the authorities. The Abbey Stadium outfit still haven’t been paid for striker Mark Beesley, who had a temporary loan spell with City at the end of last year".
And the Chester Chronicle adds that "The Chester City Exiles have reacted angrily to news of Jim Harvey’s departure... The City supporters’ group, which is for fans living outside the Chester area, yesterday issued a strongly-worded statement...
'We didn’t think things at Chester City FC could get any worse', read the statement. 'But with the news that Jim Harvey has now departed, they have... It is clear that whoever is running the club at the moment, whether it is the Vaughan family or Morell Maison, just do not want any future or success for Chester City and it would seem by telling players to go and by sacking one of the best managers since Harry McNally that they do not have the best interests of Chester City at heart'...
Exiles' chair Pauline Meakins added: '“We keep being told that the FA, the Conference and other footballing authorities are aware of the problems but what are they doing to stop this destruction of our club?... We are incredulous that the football authorities can let this happen to the club when they have banned Stephen Vaughan Senior from running the club yet Mr Maison has publicly mentioned that he was appointed by Stephen Vaughan. How does this sit with their Fit & Proper ruling?'".
"Chairman Len Smith admits Eastbourne Borough are feeling the squeeze due to a lack of home games" reports the Argus. "Borough have only staged one game at Priory Lane in the last five weeks and face the prospect of another four weeks without a home fixture... Garry Wilson’s men are due to welcome Gateshead in the league on January 30 but that game will be switched if either team progresses to the third round of the Trophy... If they lose and Gateshead go through then they will not play at home again until the visit of Wrexham on February 6. The Football Conference made an advanced payment to all teams in Blue Square Premier, South and North yesterday to ease the impact of recent cancellations but Smith admits it is not enough to cover the absence of match day takings.
Smith said: 'The lack of home games is affecting our finances drastically. We had only one home game in December and then the Crawley game so our cash flow situation is quite serious. We have got no money coming in at the moment but we have still got to pay wages and other costs. It couldn’t happen at a worse time either as we are currently trying to strengthen the squad. The money from the Conference will help and we are grateful but it is an insignificant amount compared to what we are losing. We are concerned but it is by no means a crisis yet'".
At Luton Town "It has been bought to the Club's attention that a number of banners have been positioned in the area surrounding Kenilworth Road. It is unfortunate that these have appeared and that they give the impression that an agreement has been reached on the future stadium location of Luton Town Football Club. As we have stated on previous occasions, we would like to reiterate that we are in discussions with a number of developers concerning a future stadium and at this time no agreement has been entered into by the Club for any particular location, or associating the Club to any particular development partner...
At this stage it is premature to link the Club to any particular proposal, and on that basis the content of the banners is wrong... The placement of these banners - without the Club's knowledge, cooperation or permission - has led to a number of enquiries from the local community, supporters and, most importantly, facility sponsors in relation to our recent announcement for the new Learning Centre we are building for the benefit of the community. We would like to clearly state that our plans for this excellent facility, and the funding we have gained, remain secure and unchanged - it will open this year; it will be located at Kenilworth Road; and it will be for the benefit of the local community, businesses and Hatters' supporters">
The BBC reports that one of last season's relegated sides, "Lewes, have secured their short-term future with a £47,000 payment to HM Revenue & Customs. The Blue Square South club's winding-up order at the High Court on Wednesday is now expected to be a formality. Manager Steve Ibbitson told BBC Sussex: 'It's not the end of the problems but it's a very big one to hopefully get out of the way'".
Your Local Guardian says that "Loan signing Danny Blanchett reckons he is more than capable of filling the void left by the departed Chris Hussey at AFC Wimbledon. Since left-back Hussey was snapped up by Championship side Coventry City back in late October, the Dons have experimented with the likes of Brett Johnson in the role, with mixed results... He said: 'Terry Brown was quite persistent in getting me down here and I am really looking forward to it. He told me he had been tracking me for some time and that made a big impression on me. I know all about Chris Hussey going, and the fact that he made the leap to Coventry was a big incentive. I am a left-back by trade, although in my last loan deal at Hereford they were playing me as a centre-back.. Early signs are good - the standard is very high and they are a great bunch of lads. With me being out of contract at Peterborough at the end of the season I’m looking for my next move - and Wimbledon seems a really good fit for me... I want to play at the highest level I can and if you are not playing you do not get spotted. I know Wimbledon are a club in the spotlight and that is great for me... My aim is to get back into league football as soon as I can, and with AFC Wimbledon I think I have a great chance to do that'".
The Uxbridge Gazette reports that "AFC Hayes have... moved quickly to replace goalkeeper Jarret Leach after his departure to Grays Athletic by bringing in Aaron Bufton from Northwood... [and] have also used the enforced break due to the Big Freeze to boost their outfield options with the exciting addition of Hayes & Yeading forward Jake Lovell, who has joined on loan".
From the Express & Star we learn that "Kidderminster Harriers' chairman Barry Norgrove has confirmed that former Wolves and England keeper Tim Flowers is in the running for the vacant manager’s job. The 42-year-old was among the names on a list of 50 applicants that the chairman will sift through this week... Harriers will start the interview process next week...
Flowers is a name from left-field with no experience of non-league football or as a manager, which Norgrove pinpointed as essential for the job, but has backroom pedigree at the highest level. The 11-cap international served Leicester and Manchester City as a goalkeeping coach, and was assistant boss to Iain Dowie at two Championship clubs in Coventry and QPR...
Norgrove said: “Tim is... as serious a contender as anyone else... We need to get a manager in place by the end of next week, that is the time-frame we are looking at'. Believed to be the front-runners for the job are former Harriers defender Jeff Kenna... and Jim Harvey, who... lives in Hereford, and was in touch with Harriers yesterday to re-affirm his interest in the post... Norgrove also confirmed caretaker boss John Finnigan will be at least interviewed, after coping admirably in his first managerial role since Mark Yates left for Cheltenham before Christmas. The chairman said: 'John is a serious contender'".
"Mansfield Town boss David Holdsworth met with a potential new signing today as the players began their preparations to face AFC Wimbledon next weekend. And former Burton centre half Aaron Brown joined in with training for the first time today on trial... Mansfield are to train at Derby's indoor Powerleague Centre adjacent to Pride Park for a few days this week to help them get some actual football played as well as fitness training. Holdsworth said last week he was looking at a right winger, a striker, and several centre halves ...
'The gaffer is meeting a player today and is working hard to bring the right calibre of player here on the right deal to strengthen our squad', said first team coach Gareth Holmes... 'Hopefully we may get one in for the weekend though we are always restricted by the budget. The fact we were able to attract players like Jon Challinor, Andy Burgess and Michael Brough here when other clubs were interested in them shows players come here because they know things are done right'" reports the The Chad.
12 January 2010
BURST HITS MOSS LANE
Altrincham FC officials arrived at Moss Lane yesterday to find the scene shown in the adjacent pictures from Sarah Rowley. A pipe had burst in the ceiling between the Board Room and the Sports Injury Clinic. The Club would like to thank John Skelhorn, Keith Davey, Peter Warburton, Dave Johnson, Paul Daine, Graham Heathcote and Grahame Rowley for all their hard work in helping to clear up. Sarah adds, "As you can see, we had the 'water hog', usually used to clear water from the pitch, as well as many buckets and mops".
FOLLOW THE ALTY!By this Saturday, it will be getting on for five weeks since Altrincham last kicked a ball in anger. With their next two matches away from Moss Lane, why not make use of The Altrincham Supporters' Club away-match travel to see the Robins at either Ebbsfleet or AFC Wimbledon? After all, the majority of Alty's league points this season have come on the road, so don't miss out! Details of the supporters' travel are on the Away Travel page.
NEXT OPPONENTSKent Online reports that "On-loan midfielder Alex Stavrinou is delighted to have committed himself to Ebbsfleet for the rest of the season. The 19-year-old Charlton player, who has made six appearances for Fleet, told the Addicks’ website was had enjoying his time at Stonebridge Road. 'The standard of football is good and I am pleased to have been able to play my part in the team's improvement over the past few weeks', he said. 'I believe that we can continue to improve and hopefully begin a climb up the table and out of relegation trouble'. Fleet manager Liam Daish was pleased to see Stavrinou commit himself to the club until the end of April".
NORMAN BROWNAltrincham FC is sad to report the death of long term supporter Norman Brown (right). Norman, who was in his late eighties, died in hospital after a fall. He had supported Alty both at home and away until very recently despite having mobility problems. Away from football Norman and his wife were inveterate travellers to all parts of the world and he often used to give illustrated talks on his journeys to local organizations. The Football Club's condolences go to Norman's wife and family; he will be greatly missed at Moss Lane.
OLD BOYNL Daily says that "Principality Welsh Premier marksman Marc Lloyd Williams is officially the world's most successful top division goal scorer amongst still active players. According to the International Federation of Football History and Statistics, Lloyd Williams's record of netting 313 times from 445 appearances in the domestic league tops a list which includes world-famous players such as Henrik Larsson (268 goals/478 matches), Rivaldo (261/518), Ronaldo (240/335), Thierry Henry (230/443), Raul Gonzalez (225/534), Martin Palermo (221/432), Ruud van Nistelrooy (216/316) and Mark Viduka (201/409). Second in the rankings is Juan Carlos Plata from Guatemala (299 goals), with Lisburn Distillery's Glenn Ferguson claiming third place (296)... Lloyd Williams has scored 11 goals for his current club Airbus UK Broughton, with 52 for Porthmadog, 149 at Bangor City, 18 for Aberystwyth, 60 in TNS colours, 16 for Newtown and seven at Rhyl".
FIXTURESThe FA Trophy games postponed on Saturday have been rearranged but most have been called off for a second time... However, Kent Online says that "Officials from Fleetwood Town are confident their second round match at home to Dover will go ahead. Fleetwood chairman Andy Pilley told their website: 'The pitch is thawing out at an incredible speed... Tuesday's game is almost definitely going to take place'. Fleetwood are using special defrosting equipment - a dome full of warm air - on their pitch to make it playable".
BSP NEWSBLue Square Football say that "The league's governing body has decided to lend a helping hand to all Blue Square Premier, North and South clubs who have been feeling the pinch of late. With no games played this weekend, for any the 68 member clubs of the Football Conference who make up the Blue Square Premier, North and South Divisions, some of them are feeling the pinch from a cashflow perspective as the weather forecast looks bleak for many of them going forward to next week, let alone looking back over already postponed league, FA Cup and FA Trophy fixtures".
The report continues rather incoherently, "The Board of the Football Conference has therefore released earlier than anticipated monies from central funding which it is hoped will assist albeit nothing compensates a club's finances than being able to stage home matches and the income they generate".
Chairman Brian Lee said: "It might be a small gesture but we have to do all we can during this spell of bad weather to ease the burden. Any extra income from any source at this time can only be of benefit and while the clubs would have been getting another share from central funding shortly, it was deemed a sensible action for the Board to take by releasing that element of funding now".
BSF adds "On the issue of fixtures there is no panic amongst Conference officials at this time, as there is still plenty of spare capacity in the fixture list for re-arrangements to be made for the fixtures which have been lost so far and those which it is known will be lost over the next 7 days".
Things get worse at Chester City where "Manager Jim Harvey has left the football club by mutual consent amid rumours that Director of Football Morell Maison is to take charge of team affairs; [although] he's currently serving a touchline ban until the end of the season. The likeable Harvey, who didn't have a contract, worked wonders in impossible conditions in his three month spell at the club. He was a firm fans' favourite, sticking by his task of having to work with a wafer thin squad having been unable to bring in players due to a transfer embargo....
To compound his problems Harvey's former players have now gone two months without pay. Of his departure Harvey said: 'My departure came about quite simply. I received a phone call from Stephen Vaughan who told me that Morell Maison wanted to bring in his own management team, I am obviously bitterly disappointed to leave Chester by mutual consent because I loved my time there, but life was always very difficult under the circumstances. I thoroughly enjoyed working with the players and I got on well with the Chester supporters. My family still live in that area and I'd love to think I can return and manage Chester again in better times. I'm really sorry my time at Chester has come to an end. I've only informed club captain and assistant manager Tim Ryan about my decision so far, but I'm hoping to get an opportunity soon to speak to the rest of the players. I am now obviously available for the Kidderminster Harriers' job and it is a job I would be interested in".
More on this comes from the BBC which reports that "Chester City are looking for their fourth manager in nine months following the resignation of Jim Harvey.. His position at the Deva has looked precarious since City appointed a new Director of Football, Morell Maison... 'I have been informed that the new consortium don't see me in their future plans, so the most honourable thing I can do is agree to leave', said Harvey. 'I have enjoyed my spell at Chester. Obviously, the behind-the-scenes problems haven't helped'...
It is expected that former Sunday league manager Maison, who had a successful spell in charge of Kettering Town three seasons ago and has also managed Halesowen Town, will pick the team for Saturday's trip to Crawley. But Maison would not be allowed to take his place in the dug-out as he is still serving a touchline ban, which lasts until the end of the season, following a dust-up with one of his players at Halesowen last season... And City's cash-flow problems have led to their already under-sized squad having now gone unpaid in two months".
Meanwhile in Kidderminster the Express & Star concludes that "Jim Harvey’s stock in the race to become Kidderminster Harriers' manager has risen over the weekend with the boss today a free agent after leaving Chester City... Harvey’s track record fits Harriers chairman Barry Norgrove’s profile of the new manager perfectly, with non-league experience as a boss stretching back 15 years...
[Harvey said] 'Kidderminster Harriers is a job I would be very interested in. I want to be working again as quickly as possible, and it would be nice if I could go there. I obviously live fairly local to the area, so it suits me perfectly'. But Stalybridge boss Steve Burr is all but out of the running, after chairman Rob Gorski revealed he had turned down an approach from an unnamed Blue Square Premier club to speak to their manager. Another front runner for the job, former Harriers defender Jeff Kenna, is one of the few to be confirmed as a formal applicant... He said: 'My name is certainly in there, I spoke to the chairman about the job and he told me to get my CV over, which I have done, and we will take it from there... All I do is wait, and whoever else has applied is in exactly the same boat'...
Kenna is a relative novice in the management world compared to Harvey but worked wonders under severe financial constraints in his first post at Galway United, before going to St Patrick’s... He said: 'I know what the Blue Square Premier is about, I played at that level for two years and the league hasn’t changed that much in a year and a half. I have got management experience in Ireland, I have took a team into Europe, so what may be perceived as a lack of experience is not quite what it seems'".
According to the Cambridge News, "Steve Fallon is back as Histon manager. The Stutes’ boss, who was suspended on December 7 following a disagreement with chairman Tony Roach... will resume his duties today... Fallon said: 'I’m just glad to be back. We agreed Tony wants me as the manager and I want to be the manager'..
And the manager will have to start by assessing his squad following the departures of Neil Andrews, Jamie Barker, John Kennedy and Craig Pope, who accepted severance packages and left the club during his time away. Fallon said: 'Tony has backed me and showed support towards me. He wants me here for the long term and appreciates what I do. I’ve got to appreciate what he does as he’s come in and tried to sort everything at the club out. We’ve got to work together'.
However, Fallon would not comment on the future of Alan Lewer, who was assisting the manager before his suspension and has been in temporary charge for the last month".
The Northants Evening Telegraph says that "Justin Edinburgh has set his sights on four transfer targets to strengthen the Rushden & Diamonds squad this month. The boss plans to bring in at least two new signings with a couple more being lined up in case Lee Tomlin and Curtis Osano make big-money moves away from Nene Park during the January window.
Edinburgh revealed three Football League players plus a defender currently at one of Diamonds' Blue Square Premier rivals are already on his shortlist. He said: 'We haven't had any offers for anyone at our club. But I have spoken to a couple of managers about players coming in. We've had good discussions and hopefully this week something might start to materialise. I've got a little bit left in the budget because players have gone out on loan or left us. So I've got myself into a good position where I can bring people here. I'm looking for a defender – that's certainly the priority – plus another striker depending on what happens with Jefferson Louis as well. I've got players in mind and, if Tomlin goes, will definitely need another signing'...
The Trophy tie at Workington was due to be played tomorrow [winners play Alty or AFC Wimbledon] but it has been called off again... The postponements have at least been good news for midfielder Max Porter's recovery from an ankle injury which would have ruled him out of the Oxford United home game".
Luton Today tells us that "Diminutive Peterborough United midfielder Dean Keates has reportedly turned down a loan move to the Hatters". Meanwhile "Injury-plagued left-back Lewis Emanuel has undergone another operation on his badly-broken big toe... Director Antony Brown said: 'Games are going to come thick and fast between now and the end of the season and we need as many players as possible for selection. Lewis is a quick healer, his attitude is absolutely spot on. We are looking at two months, worst case scenario'... There was also good news on on-loan target man Liam Hatch, 27, who is progressing his rehabilitation well with Luton".
The Football Conference says that "Cambridge United have swooped to sign 23-year-old former Leyton Orient left-back Aiden Palmer on a free transfer until the end of the season. Palmer, who has made fifty appearances in the League for Orient and Dagenham & Redbridge on loan, has been on non-contract terms with Blue Square South side Bishop's Stortford having recently served an seven-month jail term for violent disorder... He told the club's official website: 'I am looking forward to making a fresh start at Cambridge United.'".
11 January 2010
GAME OFF AGAINAFC Wimbledon announce that "Following a brief inspection of the pitch, tomorrow night's game has been postponed. It is now scheduled to take place, weather permitting, on Tuesday 19 January, kick off 7.45 pm". So, our league game in the Blue Square Premier due to be played that night against Mansfield Town (away) will itself be postponed.
TROPHY DRAWWhoever wins the FA Trophy game at Wimbledon, will play Workington or Rushden & Diamonds in the third round at home on Saturday 30 January.
The full draw is:
WIMBLEDON GAMEThere is to be a pitch inspection at Kingsmeadow around 1.30pm today so a decision on tomorrow's FA Trophy game against AFC Wimbledon should be known after that and will be posted here.
IF IT IS ON...The TASC supporters' transport for AFC Wimbledon on Tuesday - if the match goes ahead - will be:
SHAUN'S BORED!In Sunday's NL Paper, Shaun Densmore (right) says "We've only trained properly twice since the Wrexham game (Dec.15) because no one can get there. The little break may have done us some good but I think it's gone past that now. The games have been called off on the day so we are still preparing properly but it's getting boring. I don't know what to do with myself on a Saturday. Having two games every week will help us. We seem to do better when we get a good run. We want to get back and get into a good run of form. We reckon we are good enough to get into the play-offs. We have shown we can compete with the bigger sides and, with every one fit, we have a good team and a strong bench. At the start of the season I don't think we would have looked at the play-offs but now we have put ourselves in a good position".
SATURDAY'S GAMEThe Ebbsfleet Club Secretary has posted the following on the Ebbsfleet Forum, "Having seen the five-day forecast for Gravesend (if you can believe it) there seems to be a glimmer of hope for next Saturday [versus Altrincham]. We may get to the point where we will asking for volunteers to help clear the terraces and surrounds, anyone interested if it comes to it? I think the condition of the terraces will be more of an issue than the pitch... I will keep everyone posted of the situation as the week goes on, I have found out that Altrincham are not travelling down until Saturday, this will mean if it comes to it the most likely time for an inspection will be Friday morning".
FA TROPHYIn the FA Trophy Tuesday's match between Workington and Rushden is already postponed till the following Tuesday.
One way to reduce fixture congestion is suggested by the FA rules which allow for the playing of FA Trophy matches without a replay. The rules say of "Extra time in first matches; if a first match is drawn after 90 minutes, an extra 30 minutes may be played (15 minutes each way). The agreement for the playing of extra time shall be agreed in writing between both Clubs and confirmed in writing by the Home Club to The Association on The Match Arrangement Form which must be received by The Association within seven days of the date of the draw and notified to the referee on the official team sheet no later than 45 minutes prior to kick-off."
BSP NEWS"Following a meeting earlier today between Tony Roach and Steve Fallon an agreement was made which sees Steve Fallon resume his role as Manager of Histon FC as from tomorrow Monday 11th January. Both Chairman and Manager are pleased with this outcome and very happy to be back working together for the benefit of Histon FC".
For those aspiring to the Football League, Bullsnews reminds us that "Next Monday January 18th sees the start of BBC's new regional football programme called Late Kick Off. The idea is to look at League clubs both on and off the field"
According to the Birmingham Mail "Tamworth have told Nick Wright that his career is at a crossroads after his move to Stevenage Borough was finally declared ‘dead and buried’. The Lambs had agreed to transfer the England C international to the Blue Square Premier promotion-chasers for a five-figure fee, and the player had been for a medical but Stevenage then tried to renegotiate the terms. Wright remains on the transfer list – two Blue Square North clubs have also inquired – but he will also be part of manager Gary Mills’ immediate plans...
Says assistant boss Darron Gee, 'Nick’s at the crossroads now', said Gee. ,If he wants to leave the club and aspire to playing higher then his first task is to get back into the Tamworth team and show people he is ready for his chance. He has openly admitted he has lost a bit of form but the only way to get back into form is by working hard to get back into the team and start scoring goals. We’ve never closed the door on Nick. Sometimes, players are put on the transfer list and then become heroes again'". Meanwhile Mills has "been able to arrange a friendly today against Eastwood Town on an all-weather pitch in Nottingham".
10 January 2010
NO EXTENSIONBlue Square reports that "Dennis Strudwick, general manager of the league's governing body, says they currently have no plans to extend the current campaign beyond April 24.
A number of managers in the Blue Square Premier have already voiced their concerns over an ever-growing list of postponed fixtures... However, Strudwick was keen to point out that it would near impossible to change the season's scheduled finish. He told The Press: 'We don't have a crystal ball to see what the weather will be like in the future but I don't think a season has been extended for many years - certainly not in my working career - and it's not on the agenda yet. April 24 is the final day and, for one thing, it would not comply with players' contracts to end the season beyond that date. You also couldn't change it for some clubs and not others who manage to finish in time. That date is what we work to in order to get the play-offs in by the third week of May.
You don't start a marathon and then ask the runners to do more than 26 miles and 385 yards. That's where the finishing line is and every effort will be made to stick to the season as it stands'".
In reaction the York Press states that "The Conference have insisted that every effort will be made NOT to extend their league season... City finished last season with eight fixtures in 20 days, completing their programme with games on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday... But Strudwick does not feel alleviating that pressure by staging Trophy ties earlier in the season or during midweek is an option. He added: 'A change like that would need to be decided by the FA but, with the number of league games that we put on during the first half of the season, you have to ask where would the Trophy go? There is still ample space for midweek league fixtures now because of how we structure the start of the season'”.
NEW DATESSubject to confirmation, the following dates have been arranged for three of Altrincham's postponed games:
Here is the updated fixture list.
OLD BOYGed Murphy had joined Nantwich Town from Salford City.
BSP NEWSThe BBC quotes Barrow director Tony Keen, who "believes that increased gates at Holker Street in 2010 would provide the revenue needed to improve all aspects of the club, including personnel. 'We want to get back into the Football League', Keen told BBC Radio Cumbria. 'We can only do that with the attendance going up and 1,300 isn't enough to sustain us at that level'... And they will be looking to average '2,010 in 2010'.
In the short term, they have already banked the gate receipts (estimated at over £150,000) from their share of Saturday's 25,190 crowd for Saturday's FA Cup third round tie at Sunderland... Discussions will be had with management team Dave Bayliss and Darren Sheridan on Thursday regarding all aspects of the club. 'We're going to talk about where the budget is, what their aspirations are, which players they're looking at, who we're moving in and who we're moving out', said Keen. 'It's important that, as a club, we keep using this word sustainability, that we don't overstretch ourselves with a big boost like we've had at the weekend... We've got to start looking at what we need from a ground and a club as well. There's no point having the best team in the North West when the ground it's playing in isn't up to scratch'".
From the Football Conference we leran that "The Directors of Kettering Town have issued a statement following the decision of Imraan Ladak to stand down as chairman.
The Directors of Kettering Town Football Club welcome the statement released by Imraan Ladak, which defines his position in relation to the club. As volunteer Directors, we have, with the considerable help of the paid staff, and other volunteers, been effectively running the club for some time, recognising the fact that Imraan had been concluding a major business deal at DRC Locums Ltd...
The Directors are united in their resolve to run the Football Club in the best way possible, and within the finances that continue to be available. There is no need for undue concern. The club’s affairs are being conducted properly in Imraan’s absence... Our manager, Lee Harper, is currently recruiting players to boost his squad for the second part of the season, and signings will be announced when concluded... We hope to be able to run the club now more privately and perhaps a little less in the media spotlight...
We have made the necessary application to the Football League, which a Blue Square Premier club in the top ten of the division in December would be expected to do. This was done whilst recognising that our ground tenure at present would prevent the Conference allowing us to play in the play offs if we were to finish in the top five in the league. Should the ground situation be suddenly resolved in the next few weeks in our favour, then there remains every merit in pursuing a play off place and Lee Harper is very keen to achieve this objective".
The Conference also reports that "Dean Saunders, manager of Wrexham, has released two youngsters, loaned another out and seen Simon Brown return following his loan spell... with league rivals Tamworth... Commented Saunders, 'We might be able to get him another loan move or otherwise it’s up to Simon to get his head down and work hard'... Wrexham have also decided to release youngsters Matty Hurdman and Luke Carding... 'If I can strengthen the squad I will', Saunders added. 'I’ve enquired about a lot of players covering all positions, but there is nothing definite to report yet'”
Meanwhile, "Stevenage Borough have signed experienced defender Darragh Ryan from Irish side St Patrick's Athletic. Ryan began his career with Brighton, for whom he played nine league games".
According to South London Today "Luke Garrard knows he has six months to save his AFC Wimbledon career and to prove he has a future at the club. The 24-year-old, the Dons' longest-serving player along with keeper Andy Little, returned to Kingsmeadow over Christmas after a three-month loan period at Ryman Premier Division outfit Boreham Wood... after missing the second half of last season with cruciate knee ligament damage..
'I’ve got six months to earn a deal' Garrard told the South London Press. 'I’ll fight for my life at the club. For me it was a massive achievement just to start the season after the injury I had'".
This is Nottingham says that "Angry Mansfield Town manager David Holdsworth today claimed wantaway striker Daryl Clare had 'let the club down' by leaving for Gateshead. The man who signed from Rushden and Diamonds amid much fanfare ninth months ago was yesterday granted his request to join the north-east club after a successful loan spell. Clare made his feelings clear in a meeting at Field Mill on Monday. And despite Holdsworth's best efforts to convince the 31-year-old to stay, the player's mind was made up.
It is a stance that has annoyed the Stags' boss... 'We have invested a lot of hard work into getting Daryl here in the first place and have then worked hard to get him fit. We have also been understanding when he has had personal problems, so for him to decide he doesn't want to play for us is disappointing. I feel he has let the club and the chairman down. I could have refused Gateshead and kept him here, but having a player, who was our highest paid, sitting and sulking in the stands or in the dressing room would not be good'...
Holdsworth already has his eyes on replacements for Clare and is hopeful of bringing in another front man before the close of the January transfer window".
9 January 2010
PONTOON UPDATEGraham Rowley writes: "Although there has been little football to report on recently the Pontoon Competition is continuing - albeit goals being accumulated at a much slower rate. However, Rochdale have amassed 19 goals to date and lead the way making Chris Bullock favourite to collect first prize. In joint second place is Arsenal (Dave Potts) and Manchester United (Gareth Thomas) with 15 goals apiece and in joint fourth place are Manchester City (Alex Bayliss) and Norwich City (Neil Faulkner) with 14 goals apiece. Watch this space for further updates - when football recommences!!!".
DOUBLE ACTAlty manager Graham Heathcote and groundsman, Neil Brown, were interviewed on Friday evening's Channel M TV's sports programme. Neil explained that undersoil heating was not viable at our level as it costs £3,000 to £4,000 a day to operate and does not work effectively at temperatures as low as we are currently experiencing. Graham was filmed with secretary Derek Wilshaw receiving the phone call from Wimbledon to confirm today's postponement. The Alty boss pointed out that the club was financially prudent and could survive the current white-out of fixtures, though the loss of revenue was a serious matter.
BLANK...There are no games on in the BSP or Trophy. But Howard Watts's Through the Years reminds us of past years when we played on this date...
Saturday, 9 January
BSP NEWSAt AFC Wimbledon manager "Terry Brown has this morning completed the signing of Danny Blanchett from Peterborough United until the end of the season. 22 year-old Danny is an attack-minded, left-sided full-back who started his career in non-League football playing for Hendon, Harrow Borough and Cambridge City. In March 2007 he signed for Peterborough United... In all Danny made seven appearances for Peterborough, scoring one goal. In August 2009 he joined Stevenage Borough on loan for a short period before moving to Hereford United in September, where he made 15 appearances. Danny will be eligible to play in the FA Trophy game against Altrincham."
Kettering Town quote Imraan Ladak as saying "I can confirm that I will remain owner, but stand down as Chairman of Kettering Town Football Club. Despite the challenges, I have greatly enjoyed my time as Chairman and appreciate the fifty months of support, encouragement and assistance that I have received from the club's supporters, volunteers and officials. Our success on the field has been incredible and there is no doubt that we have over achieved for three consecutive seasons. Unfortunately, I have often been unable to dedicate the time required to fulfil the role of Chairman and the club has been unable to progress at the same pace off the field. Due to my business commitments for the medium term, I now find myself with even less time to offer the club.
I cannot express just how disheartened I am by the manner in which our new stadium plans have dissolved and have made public my frustrations at the actions and position of individuals within our local council. I have repeatedly asked for a public meeting to discuss these issues... but the requests have been refused...
I am of the belief that there is no possibility of relocating to a new site under the present political leadership... As it stands, the lease on our current site will run out and the club will have nowhere to play. I have run out of ideas to keep the club in the Borough of Kettering and do not want to instigate or be held responsible for taking us outside the Borough or merging with another club... A great injustice has taken place. As a result, there is no sense in continuing to pour the substantial sums we have into the playing squad and all attention needs to be diverted to trying to find a long term future for the club. The playing budget will be cut to a level the club estimates is self-sustainable between now and the summer. This move is in line with the strategy of around half the clubs in our division over the present or coming season.
Although it is a very difficult decision to stand down, I know it is the right one for the football club. For now, my attendance will be as a supporter of the club and not as an official. There is no plan or wish to put the club up for sale or not keep any of our current financial commitments and there is no agenda to get involved at any other club. However the club will need to appoint a suitable Executive Chairman or Chief Executive".
The BBC adds that Ladak "told BBC Radio Northampton: ';There's not going to be a Kettering in three or four years. Something needs to change... Economically, [a merger makes sense] under the club's circumstances, but I don't want to consider doing it to people and their club'. A ground share is another potential option for the Poppies but Ladak admits it is also undesirable. 'We would lose income anyway, and a lot of fans wouldn't go, so financially and logically, a groundshare is a bad idea' he added".
Further views come from the Northants Evening Telegraph, which says that "Kettering Town has been plunged into a new crisis after chairman Imraan Ladak announced he is stepping down.... He has claimed that despite efforts to find a new ground for the Poppies, there will not be a football club in three years as things stand. But Kettering Council leader Jim Hakewill and town MP Philip Hollobone say there are ways for the club to remain in the town.
Mr Ladak criticised Kettering Council after he set up a deal with a supermarket which would have seen a new stadium built alongside a store on the outskirts of town. But the council said it was against planning guidelines and another out-of-town supermarket would be the killer blow for the town centre...
Talking exclusively to the Evening Telegraph, Mr Ladak said: 'As it stands there is no football club in three years. If it is not the responsibility of a 70,000 population in Kettering then why should it be the responsibility of one man who lives in Milton Keynes? We have been told the club is a business and that's how we will run it, with a budget which will be stuck to'.
But Mr Hollobone said: 'I think that's defeatist talk that is over-dramatic, unnecessary and unhelpful. Kettering has a strong and loyal fan-base and this kind of talk won't go down at all well'. Cllr Hakewill said... 'I'm convinced that between the club owners and the supporters' trust, there will be a way for Kettering to successfully remain in the borough. I think the council has done all it can to be fair to the club'".
At another club in crisis, the BBC says that "Chester City manager Jim Harvey is advocating a switch to summer football as a way to help beat the big freeze for hard-up non-league clubs. City have not played since Boxing Day after the postponement of successive matches - with the likelihood of more to come. But Harvey said: 'Playing football in the current conditions that we're experiencing is nonsense. Summer football is the obvious way to go. The pluses it brings are immense'.
The obvious flaw in Harvey's idea is the issue of promotion and relegation to the Football League, which would still be operating between August and May... 'The whole experience would be a much more pleasant affair', said the 51-year-old Irishman. 'Pitches are immaculate and supporters can watch games in shirt sleeves. Pitches at our level aren't up to standard at this time of the year and players and supporters alike are freezing, which isn't conducive to what we are trying to achieve. Another major benefit for clubs at our level would mean bigger crowds and greater revenue, which has to be attractive. I don't think a three or four week mid-season break at this time of the year is the answer'...
Chester's players, who threatened strike action over non-payment of wages before Christmas, are reported to have still not been paid. And... the players that are left have been told that they can leave the Deva Stadium if they can find new clubs. Top scorer Nick Chadwick, defender Shaun Kelly, as well as midfielders Anthony Barry and teenager James Owen, are top of the assets now being lined up by other clubs. And veteran striker Gregg Blundell has completed his move to rivals Barrow".
"Salisbury City manager Tommy Widdrington has opened talks with some of his existing players in a bid to keep them at the club. Several Whites players are out of contract at the end of the season, including top-scorer Matt Tubbs... Widdrington [also] told BBC Wiltshire... 'I've got pictures in my head of players that I'd like to bring in, I know where I want to strengthen," Widdrington continued. I want to make it so players have to look over their shoulders and not just expect to be picked every week'... The manager is known to be keen to bring Torquay defender Chris Todd back to the club whilst bolstering his forward line is an option too.
Widdrington has had to make do with a small squad in recent weeks because of the transfer embargo which was placed on Salisbury after going into administration. He believes the new owners, headed by chairman William Harrison-Allan, are a breath of fresh air around the club... He said 'They guaranteed the players would get paid on time and in full which was something that hadn't happened for, in some of our cases, 12 months'".
From Kent Online we learn that "Maidstone's FA Trophy clash with Histon could end up being played at the Cambridgeshire club’s ground or at a neutral venue. The Stones’ fifth attempt to get their first round tie against the Blue Square Premier side on tomorrow (Saturday) is certain to be scuppered by the big freeze... The tie was originally scheduled for December 12... Walker said the club were hesitant to agree to give up their home advantage".
According to the Football Conference "Daryl Clare’s loan from Mansfield Town to rivals Gateshead was made a permanent move on Friday morning". Recently, Stags' manager David Holdsworth was adamant that Clare was returning to Field Mill; something has obviously changed his mind. No fee has been quoted.
The Conference adds that "Barrow have signed former Blackpool, Macclesfield and Dunfermline winger Simon Wiles in time for FA Trophy eligibility. Wiles, 24, began his career with Blackpool before moving to Moss Rose under Paul Ince. Having joined Dunfermline in August 2008, he suffered an injury while in Scotland and was released in August 2009. He has also recently had trials in the United States. Barrow`s joint-manager Dave Bayliss described Wiles as the ideal replacement for Marc Goodfellow, who has rejoined Burton Albion after his successful loan spell".
"Tony Roach has ruled out the possibility of Histon and Cambridge City striking a groundshare deal" according to the Cambridge News. "The Stutes’ chairman revealed his predecessor Gareth Baldwin was keen on the idea and put it to his fellow directors. But Roach is adamant the Lilywhites, who will be forced to leave Milton Road in the summer when their lease expires, will not be playing at the Glass World Stadium next season. 'There’s no way, under any circumstances, that Cambridge City will be playing at our ground', said Roach... 'It won’t be happening under my regime... That will never happen, 100 per cent'.
Roach wants the Stutes’ reserves, who ply their trade in the Ridgeons League, Premier Division...to flourish and give their young players a springboard into the first team. And the chairman thinks the youngsters’ development would be hindered if City moved to Bridge Road as the reserves would have to find a new home of their own... Meanwhile, yesterday’s rescheduled meeting between Roach and Steve Fallon to decide the suspended manager’s future was put back to the original date of January 14".
From the Oxford Mail we learn that "Luke Foster has had talks with Cambridge United, it’s understood, following United’s decision to let him speak to other clubs during the January transfer window. The move has surprised some U’s fans, because Foster has been very consistent at the back...
Manager Wilder says he is not under any pressure to let someone go, as a result of bringing in Jake Wright and Anthony Tonkin... 'If you ask me, is my squad stronger now than it was at the start of the season, I’d say yes'" he added.
York Press says that "York City manager Martin Foyle is calling on the Conference to extend the league season after seeing another match fall foul of the weather... The end of the Conference season is currently set for April 24 even though the Football League concludes a week later and the Premier League a fortnight afterwards despite this summer’s World Cup... City have already had to rearrange their league trip to Histon due to a clash with the Trophy and future home games against Salisbury (January 30), Luton (February 20) and Wimbledon (March 20) are under threat for the same reason, as well as the March 13 visit to Kidderminster...
A frustrated Foyle said: 'I’m a bit fed up with the number of midweek away games we are going to have to play and, whether you are going for promotion or relegation, you shouldn’t be playing all those games at the end of the season... It’s absolutely embarrassing really, especially when clubs are told to operate with smaller squads and budgets and it’s ridiculous ending on April 24. Why can’t we go into the first week of May? If you do well in the FA Trophy, you end up playing midweek right up to the end of the season'.
Foyle added that he is also in no rush to strengthen his in-form squad during the transfer window, which will close on January 31, citing excessive personal terms as another reason. He said: 'I’ve spoken to one or two people to see who’s available but, when we discuss wages, that’s usually when the phone call ends. You are always on the lookout but I don’t want to unsettle my players because they are doing well'".
CHESHIRE NEWSThe reports on BS North. where "Eastwood Town hope a third bid for league rivals Northwich Victoria midfielder Jonathan D’Laryea will be a lucky one. Vics have already rejected two bids from the Badgers for the former Mansfield Town midfielder, who only completed a permanent move to the Victoria Stadium at the end of November. 'They still haven’t offered what we feel Jon is worth', said chairman Jim Rushe. 'In any case he’s not a player we are looking to sell as he’s only just come here following a successful loan spell'... Said Badgers' boss Paul Cox, 'It’s just a case of the two clubs matching their valuation of the player although, as I’ve said before, we won’t pay over the odds'. Eastwood’s first offer was for £5,000. Their second was little improvement, according to Rushe. Cox made his move following an announcement earlier last month that the Wincham outfit would listen to offers for any of their players in order to reduce their weekly wage bill. He described the Badgers’ first bid as ‘sizeable’. But Northwich said it was too small, the same rebuttal they gave to Fleetwood Town after they said they would pay £10,000 for captain Simon Grand".
8 January 2010
ALTY ON CHANNEL MBrian Flynn writes that "The effects of the extreme weather on Altrincham Football Club will be featured in Channel M's Today programme tonight (Friday) between 4-7pm. Channel M were at Moss Lane this morning and the feature will include interviews with manager Graham Heathcote and groundsman Neil Brown........there are also rumours of a possible cameo appearance by [club secretary] Derek Wilshaw!!! Tune in to watch around 4.05pm, 5.05pm or 6.05pm!! Channel M is on Sky, channel 203, Virgin 878 and Free to Air 39 as well as online".
Neil was also briefly interviewed this morning on Radio Manchester where he pointed out that that there was half an inch of compacted ice on the Moss Lane pitch before the latest snowfall, so thawing will be a long job.
GAME OFFThe pitch inspection at Kingsmeadow has predictably produced the decision that Saturday's match between AFC Wimbledon and Altrincham has been postponed. This game is now rescheduled for Tuesday, 12th January at 7.45pm. This, in turn, means that the Altrincham v Kettering Town league match scheduled for that date is now postponed because FA Trophy games take precedence over BSP Conference matches.
AFC Wimbledon state that "Following a pitch inspection at 11.50 am, tomorrow's FA Trophy game has been postponed. The game is now scheduled to be played on Tuesday 12 January. However, the weather forecast is not encouraging and we will be keeping in touch with the FA about the need for a further inspection on Monday".
Altrincham's next scheduled league match is on Saturday 16 January at Ebbsfleet United. Five league matches now await rearranged dates in Alty's league fixture list.
IT'S SNOW JOKE...Prospects are grim for most if not all matches on Saturday... The loss of Alty's FA Trophy tie at Kingsmeadow will be our club's sixth successive postponement, following:
In addition the Kettering Town home match was postponed on 28.11.09 due to the Poppies involvement in the FA Cup. That has been rescheduled for next Tuesday (12th) but is now likely to be displaced by a rearranged game at Wimbledon as FA matches take precedence over BSP games.
Right: Sarah Rowley's photo of the sign outside Moss Lane summarises the weather situation perfectly.
BSP NEWSKettering Town report that "Damian Spencer is today completing [=starting] a further month's loan at Kidderminster Harriers to expire on 9th February".
And Rushden & Diamonds say that "The paperwork has been finalised today, and midfielder Mark Byrne's loan to Rushden & Diamonds from Nottingham Forest has been extended until the end of the season. The 21 year old Midfielder has started 17 games and made three substitute appearances in the Blue Square Premier for Rushden & Diamonds since joining on loan in July 2009. Jamie McGuinness's loan deal from Rushden & Diamonds to Weymouth has also been extended until the end of the season."
From the Liverpool Daily Post we learn that "TWO of Chester City’s unpaid players are edging towards moves away from the struggling Blue Square Premier League basement club, whilst last night the club’s new Director of Football agreed to meet members of City’s largest supporters' group.
A Football League Championship outfit yesterday made enquiries about central defender Shaun Kelly, and City’s neighbours Wrexham appear to have moved a step closer to making an official approach for former Wales Youth international midfielder James Owen. City’s senior players, who haven’t been paid for the last two months, have been informed that they can leave the Deva if they can find new clubs.
Last night one of Chester’s senior squad who doesn’t wish to be named, again spoke to the Daily Post: “We are still in the dark about what is going on at the club. Our outstanding money still isn’t forthcoming and, more worryingly, nobody is telling us when it will be received. 'As I said earlier this week we have been told to stay at home. All the lads I speak to are frustrated and annoyed with the situation'.
Chester’s financial situation would appear to be in a greater parlous state than a couple of weeks ago, after the current freezing weather led to the cancellation of two potentially lucrative home Bank Holiday fixtures against Barrow and Kidderminster Harriers.
Meanwhile, Chester’s new director of football Morrell Maison has agreed to meet certain members of City Fans United in the next few days. A statement from the group last night revealed details of the meeting, it is understood that two or three representatives of the group will meet Maison to pose concerns they and fans have about current events at the Deva Stadium. Members of the Vaughan family, who currently own the ailing Football Conference club have not been invited to the meeting".
The Daily Post says that "Wrexham yesterday submitted a third and final bid to buy the striker who tops the wanted list drawn up by manager Dean Saunders... 'We have made another improved offer for the player who is my first choice', said Saunders after finalising the details of the renewed bid. 'But I have got other irons in the fire and if this does not come off, we will be moving on. I’m not in a position to make firm offers for other potential signings at the moment because this first player is still on my agenda, but the back-up plans are in place and if we are knocked back a third time they will come into play'".
7 January 2010
A FORMALITYThere will be a pitch inspection at Kingsmeadow at noon tomorrow (Friday) but it seems almost certain that the outcome will be the postponement of the AFC Wimbledon versus Altrincham FA trophy match due to be played this Saturday. Confirmation of the decision will be posted when known. Had the game been at Moss Lane it would also have been postponed; temperatures in the Altrincham area dipped to almost minus 12 this morning and are already (at 8pm) minus 9 centigrade. The Sale weather station has the current, past and forecast weather for our locality.
IDEAS4ALTYWith the club facing a lack of revenue from the recent sequence of postponed games, Ian Rosendaal writes that he "has made some important changes to the Ideas4Alty website, in particular to the paypal donation page. During this difficult time for the club I felt it was essential to try and do something to assist financially and the Paypal page has been adapted from the "playoff fund" to a general appeal for donations".
If you can help in any way, please do follow the above links to make a donation! Also, a permanent link to the Ideas4Alty site and to the Paypal site have been added to the website, above.
DESPERATE CHRISAccording to the Huddersfield Daily Examiner "Former Huddersfield Town striker Chris Senior is one frustrated footballer! The 28-year-old is currently with Altrincham, who suffered a fifth successive postponement when last night’s Blue Square Premier clash with York fell victim to the big freeze. Senior, who watched Town’s FA Cup clash with West Brom on Saturday, said: 'I’m desperate to get out onto the pitch again. The last time we played was December 15, so it’s a long time to be kicking your heels for'. Altrincham, who also have Huddersfield-based winger Nicky Clee and former Town frontman John McAliskey on the books, are next due in action away to AFC Wimbledon on Saturday".
DARREN'S EXCELLENT CAUSEOn the Alty Fans' Forum, Altrincham FC Safety Officer Darren Gregory writes that he has set up a fundraising account for the benefit of the Help for Heroes campaign. Darren is undertaking a sponsored slimming campaign, just as he has done for the benefit of Altrincham FC in the previous two New Years. Darren writes...
"For the last two years I have done this whilst fundraising for the Club. I just wanted to do something different this year. Last night I joined Slimming World because I would like to lose some weight because, when I got on the scales, they revealed an unhealthy 19st 12.5lbs (nearly 20 stones). To give me some incentive, I have decided to set up this page to help raise money for Help for Heroes, being ex-Forces myself. For every pound I lose I will donate £1 to this charity and if I lose the 3 stone I will be skint. I have a target of £200 and I want to try and lose at least three stone. I don't do exercise but I am now going to go swimming. Last time I got out the pool I looked like Pamela Anderson but I had hairs on mine! If you would like to donate feel free and thank you".
BSP NEWSCambridge United announce that "Cambridge United can confirm defender Wayne Hatswell has agreed a deal with Irish side Dundalk to join them as player-coach. The 34-year old joined the U's in January 2008 from Rushden & Diamonds and has gone on to make 96 appearances for the Club, scoring ten goals.
U's Director of Football Jez George commented, 'Wayne made us aware of the approach from Dundalk and we recognise at this stage of his career this is a fantastic opportunity for him to take the first steps into coaching and it would be wrong of us to stand in his way. Wayne has been a model professional during his time at the Club and we wish him all the best in the start of his coaching career. Dundalk have jumped the gun in announcing the deal on their website because at present he remains our player. However, we have agreed to release him from his contract to coincide with the start of his commitments in Ireland or once we have secured the services of a suitable replacement.
We have already identified a couple of targets and negotiations are ongoing in this respect. It wasn't anticipated that we would be in the position to bring any players in until the summer but due to recent circumstances it has enabled Martin to start the process of building his squad for next season".
Gateshead report that "Entrepreneurs Graham Wood and Brian Waites have a dream to create Britain's first financially sustainable Football League club in Gateshead. BY the start of the 2011-12 football season Gateshead Football Club could be playing in a new 9,000 capacity stadium near the Civic Centre. Whether these games will be in the Football League or still in the Football Conference depends upon the performance of the team over the next 18 months. However with the ambition of chairman Graham Wood and vice chairman Brian Waites there is great optimism that Gateshead will soon return to the Football League for the first time since 1960.
Graham Wood stepped in from semi-retirement in America in 2002 to help his hometown team and has so far spent £1.25m on the club he followed as a boy. His interest stepped up in 2006 when he became chairman and subsequently returned to the region. So far this is a familiar trail, trekked for over 100 years by thousands of wealthy businessman who have bankrolled the football clubs closest to their hearts...
Wood says: 'Since 2002 I've bankrolled the club to the tune of £1.25m, but what we want to do here is create something that will be financially viable and secure long term. The problem with the way football clubs are run at the present is that it's either boom or bust. We see philanthropists come along, put money in, lose interest and then the club struggles. That's not a sensible way to run a football club. I could help bring league football back to the club by continuing to be a sugar daddy, but I want to look to the long term and build something that is sustainable for the town of Gateshead. I want to help build that something while I am alive, something that will be here when I am gone'...
The plans for Gateshead's new stadium, which will be on Prince Consort Road opposite the Civic Centre on a site which previously housed North Durham cricket and rugby clubs, will be submitted to Gateshead Council next month. The club hopes to secure planning permission...in time for completion by the kick-off of the 2011-12 season...
Wood continued: 'The key to creating a self-sufficient football club at Conference and lower Football League level is to build commercial space into the stadium. Leasing this space not only assists with funding the construction of the stadium but in meeting the ongoing running costs of the club. Warrington Wolves Rugby League Club trialled this model and have shown that it works. Preston North End and Blackpool Football Clubs have since followed suit by using the same concept to finance new stands. All three have let space to the local primary care trust on leases ranging from 25 to 50 years and this is the type of tenant we'll be looking to attract. We'll be talking to potential clients in both the public and private sectors.
"The annual rental income we're looking at will be in the region of £500,000... We'll look to squeeze the asset six or seven days a week and not simply rely on matchday revenues...We're confident that there will be at least sufficient income to achieve and sustain League Two status'...
Waites, managing director and founder of Gateshead-based print and marketing firm NB Group, says: 'When Gateshead were last in the Football League they used to attract similar crowds to Darlington and Hartlepool and gates regularly exceeded 10,000." Three years ago we struggled to attract 200 people to games but we're now averaging close to 700. In League Two and with the benefit of a new purpose-built stadium in a prime location, we would hope to attract at least 2,000. In fact I think that is a conservative estimate and we should be up nearer 3,000'...
Wood, who was previously vice chairman of Sunderland Football Club, has experience of the process having had input into the creation of the Stadium of Light... 'We want to create a 6,000 all-seat stadium in the long run, which at the Stadium of Light rates of close to £600 a seat would cost us £3.5m', says Wood. 'At first stage we will only put in 2,000 seats and the rest of the ground will be standing, which will give us an initial overall capacity of 9,000 and will easily exceed the criteria for Football League membership'...
Commercial property expert Bill Naylor, managing director of Naylor's chartered surveyors of Newcastle, said... 'The maths certainly stack up. It's feasible and I wish them luck'... Wood, who made millions of pounds from the sale of his US-based boiler business over 10 years ago, believes the club can become financially sustainable in much the same way that Warrington Wolves Rugby League Club has... Wood has agreed to buy the land on which the stadium will be developed for £260,000, depending on planning permission being approved, and he is prepared to take his personal spending 'north of £2m' to progress the ambitious plans. He concluded: 'This stadium development and hopefully the return of Gateshead to the Football League will be my legacy to the club and the town'".
New faces are announced by Luton Town who "are delighted to unveil the double signing of St Albans City duo Godfrey Poku and JJ O'Donnell... on initial 18-month contracts after impressing...over the past month in which they have featured for the reserves and in a behind closed doors match against Ipswich Town. Poku, 19, is a tough-tackling, no-nonsense central midfielder who has been tracked by several Football League clubs including Paulo Sousa at Championship side Swansea City. Meanwhile 18-year-old O'Donnell is a technically-gifted attacker capable of playing on the wing or as a striker... [They] begin full-time training with the Hatters in January".
At Wrexham "Simon Brown finishes his loan spell with Tamworth today and will be returning to the Racecourse after two months at the Lamb... Meanwhile, youth striker Jordan Kane will be joining Technogroup Welshpool on loan for the rest of the season".
York City "manager Martin Foyle has moved to make two of his loan signings permanent today. Midfielder Chris Carruthers has signed an 18 month contract with The Minstermen following his succesful loan period with the club and his release from Oxford United. Defender Luke Graham has also committed himself to the club until the end of the season signing a contract with City after Mansfield Town agreed to give him a free transfer. Martin Foyle commented 'I'm absolutely delighted to get two experienced professional players with great attitudes to join the club after their loan spells'".
Meanwhile, the York Press says that "York City manager Martin Foyle is looking for a loan move for left-back Andy McWilliams. The Leeds-born defender has not started a senior game for the Minstermen this season... Foyle feels now would be the right time for the 20-year-old youth-team graduate to step up his match fitness levels. The City boss said: 'If I can get Andy a month’s football I will do because he could come back and find James Meredith on ten bookings'. Craig Nelthorpe, meanwhile, has returned from his loan spell at Barrow while fellow winger Simon Russell is expected to complete a permanent move to Tamworth as soon as Nick Wright leaves the Lambs for Stevenage as expected.
Foyle is also hoping to conclude a deal with Mansfield over centre-back Luke Graham this week and a decision on short-term signing Kevin Gall will be made at the end of the month... Foyle has fielded the same starting line up in six of the last eight matches, only making changes when Richard Brodie was suspended and when he decided to rest players for the first round clash at Hinckley...
Foyle said: 'Craig Nelthorpe’s back in the fold. He won’t be going back to Barrow but he’s got to fight for his place'... Foyle also added that Djoumin Sangare’s inclusion on the bench at Stoke on Saturday after a three-month absence due to injury will not signal a swift return to first-team duty... Foyle said: 'Jimmy is still a long way off. His fitness levels are very low... and [he] could only manage about 20 minutes at the moment'".
Team Talk tells us that "Carlisle United midfielder Gavin Rothery has returned from his loan spell with Barrow due to a groin injury".
From Your Local Guardian we learn that "Terry Brown admits Danny Kedwell’s return to fitness cannot come quickly enough as AFC Wimbledon look to maintain the pace in the play-off race... He said: 'We have the most prolific partnership in the league with Danny Kedwell and Jon Main but take Danny out of the equation and it makes a massive difference. 'Jon is a great striker and has got goals this season but he looks a different player when he is alongside Danny as they work so well together... We are still lacking goals from other areas - I thought we had that solved when Luke Moore started chipping in from midfield but with him injured we have taken a step back... This enforced break has come at a good time for us injury-wise and we need to refocus our efforts'. The Dons hope to be in FA Trophy action this weekend when they host Altrincham...
Teenage striker Peter Rapson made a late substitute appearance as the Dons looked to save the game [v. Hayes], and Brown is expecting good things from the 17-year-old as time progresses".
"Steve Fallon has been told he must wait until January 14 to find out if he has a future at Histon", the Cambridge News informs us. "The manager has been suspended since December 7 following a disagreement with chairman Tony Roach over the release of four first-team players.... The boss has received a written request from the chairman to attend a meeting a week tomorrow meaning the saga will have run for more than a month. Fallon has also been sent a list of duties he would be expected to carry out if he were to return to the Glass World Stadium hot seat, which is currently being filled by temporary manager Alan Lewer. 'I've received a job description and been asked to go to a meeting with Tony Roach on January 14', said Fallon... 'I will go to that meeting, and that's all I can really say at this moment in time'".
The Chad confirms that "Stags' loanees Michael Brough and Jon Challinor have both put pen to paper for the rest of the season. Mansfield did have to fight off late interest from elsewhere in Brough - believed to be BSP rivals Stevenage Borough - but the valuable utility player was adamant he wanted to stay with Mansfield. 'We are delighted Michael chose to stay here and wasn't attracted by a bigger package elsewhere', said boss David Holdsworth. 'He wanted to come here and wanted to play for Mansfield Town. We have an excellent relationship with his club, Torquay United, and I must thank Colin Lee and Paul Buckle for their help... And we should have the Andy Burgess deal signed next week. I am not anticipating any problems with that'. Burgess faces an FA hearing tomorrow (Thursday) over alleged infringement of betting rules, but Stags and the player are not expecting any bans arising from the inquiry.
Holdsworth has already announced that 6ft 4ins former Burton defender Aaron Brown will come in on trial and he revealed today that he also has made an enquiry over another centre half from 'a leading club in the Blue Square Premier' and is awaiting a response'".
6 January 2010
GAME IN DOUBTAFC Wimbledon say that "There is over an inch of snow on the pitch and the exposed terraces. Even if that isn't a lot compared to some parts of the country, there is more snow falling heavily now, and underneath the snow the pitch is already frozen. Therefore, we have suspended ticket sales for Saturday's game against Altrincham.
The FA is understandably keen that every game is given the maximum possible chance of going ahead and so pitch inspections cannot take place before Friday morning - and even then only under 'extreme weather' conditions. Nonetheless, we will be in regular contact with the FA so that we can keep fans up to date.
If Saturday's game is called off, it can be played the following Tuesday, 12 January. If the weather prevents any postponed game being played on that date, then we understand that Trophy ties take precedence over midweek league games (but not Saturday league games) - so if the extreme weather persists we might find that the home game against Grays is displaced by this Trophy tie".
As things stand, Altrincham are at home to Kettering Town next Tuesday (12th) and Mansfield Town (away) the following Tuesday (19th).
INACTIVITYThe website is very grateful to Sarah Rowley for the adjacent picture of a snowbound Moss Lane, taken on Tuesday...
Altrincham supporter Barry Pikesley has pointed out on the Alty Fans' Forum that "21 days have now elapsed since our FA Trophy replay victory over Wrexham at Moss Lane. Previous periods of inactivity due to inclement weather:
Chester First says that "Chester City's perilous position today reached an intolerable situation... I understand that Blues boss Jim Harvey and his squad of players gathered at the Deva Stadium yesterday where they expected to meet newly appointed director of football, Morell Maison. But Maison, who was formerly in charge at Kettering and Halesowen Town, failed to show up apparently because he was told he wouldn’t receive his requested expenses to cover his journey to and from Birmingham.
I also understand that Chester’s players, who haven’t been paid for the last two months, have now been told to stay away from the club and if they can find a new club they are then free to leave the Blues... Jim Harvey and his squad have been left totally in the dark about recent developments behind the scenes at the club and nobody seems to be certain whether Chester will be able to fulfill the remainder of their fixtures... City’s next game isn’t until Saturday, January 16, when they have a league fixture at Crawley Town.
Harvey said: 'I can’t plan anything because of the bad weather conditions... I haven’t had chance to speak to Morell Maison since I first met him at our last match on Boxing Day... I’m aware he has come to the club as Chester’s director of football, but I don’t know any more than that'...
Meanwhile, several Chester players including John Danby, Nick Chadwick, James Owen and Anthony Barry, are being linked with moves away from the club. Harvey, who is without a contract at Chester, is continually being linked with the managerial vacancy at Kidderminster Harriers... [where] it has been reported that interested candidates include Harvey, and ex-Chester players Gary Brabin and Carl Heggs".
In Sussex, The Argus reports that "Crawley boss Steve Evans has turned down a second offer for striker Charlie Ademeno. The [unnamed] League One club made what Evans described as a 'derogatory' bid... It came just days after another League One outfit had seen their offer for Ademeno rejected after Evans consulted with co-owners Bruce Winfield and Susan Carter. Evans said: '"One League One manager made what I would describe as a derogatory offer and I told him that in a professional way'...
But for the second transfer window running Evans faces the prospect of losing his top scorer. A year ago Reds sold Jon-Paul Pittman to Wycombe and several clubs, including Southampton, Gillingham and Millwall, had representatives at Priory Lane last week".
The Argus adds that "Chairman Len Smith has dismissed calls to sack manager Garry Wilson... [following Eastbourne] Borough’s winless run [of] 14 league games... A handful of fans have emailed Smith directly to argue their point while others are planning a demonstration at the next home game to highlight their dissatisfaction with the current regime. Smith, who appointed Wilson in 1989, said: 'They have got us all this way and I am content that they are still the right men for the job. I’m not going to panic. We’ve had blips like this before where people have been shouting for heads to roll and I have ignored them before'".
In Wales, the Leader says that "Dean Saunders admitted he might have to concede defeat in his pursuit of the striker he is trying to sign... Saunders has failed with a second offer which included various add-on clauses... While he considers making a third offer for the player, Saunders stressed 'There are other players I want to move on to... There are other targets waiting on me'. Saunders has been linked with a number of strikers including Forest Green Rovers frontman Andrew Mangan...
'We are trying our best but the player we are trying to sign, his contract is up in the summer. But there is only so much money I can offer before it becomes uneconomical'" added the manager. After their fifth successive postponed game, Saunders said "It is disastrous. I have never seen anything like it... I am getting quite dispirited actually not having a game. I am trying to keep my own spirits up, never mind the players. It also stops me watching games and players I want to bring in because a few of them have been called off... We are looking at getting covers for our pitch but three of the games postponed are away from home and we can’t do anything about this... I don’t mind playing games on a Tuesday if the team we are playing has also played on the Saturday. It is when you have played three in a week and the other team once that it becomes a problem".
There is plenty of player movement at Kettering Town with news that "The loans of Exodus Geohaghon to Peterborough United and Francis Green to Oxford United are both to be made permanent deals this week. Kithson Bain and Craig Dobson have completed their loans at Kettering and have returned to Tranmere Rovers and Mansfield respectively. Kidderminster Harriers have requested a continuance of the short term loan of Damian Spencer, and a second Club have also requested a loan for the remainder of the season. A deal is likely to be completed one way of the other, this week.
We expect to complete the permanent signing of Marcus Kelly from Oxford United in the next day or so. Anthony Elding was made an offer to remain at the Club following his release from Crewe. However he is travelling to Hungary with a view to signing for Ferencvaros and we understand that this deal is likely to go through. We would like to extend Simon Heslop's stay at the Elgoods until the end of the season, and await confirmation from Barnsley that this will be possible. Similarly the extended loans of both Ritchie Partridge and Sol Davis have been requested from MK Dons - and we await confirmation from their manager, Paul Ince, as to whether this will be possible.
Danny Thomas's deal with the Club is up next week and we are in discussion with him to extend the arrangement.
Later it was confimed that "The transfer of Francis Green to Oxford United has now been completed" as has "the transfer of Marcus Kelly to Kettering Town from Oxford United... with the player completing a contract to the end of the season and the Club having an option for next season". However, Kettering had to postpone a "behind closed doors friendly" with Peterborough which was designed "to allow Lee Harper and Marvin Johnson to run the rule over a number of players, with a view to increasing the numbers in the squad". Nevertheless, "manager Lee Harper has a number players visiting the Club this week to discuss signing for the Club".
Oxford United say of the arrival of Anthony Tonkin that "The last three years have seen him starring at Grays Athletic, Forest Green Rovers and Cambridge. Chairman Kelvin Thomas was delighted with the new arrival: 'Since Stevie Kinniburgh suffered his injury we have only had one recognised left back in the squad so Anthony offers us great competition in that role... Anthony's arrival is once again part funded by the 12th Man fund which has seen fans give financial support to the club at vital moments this season, and Kelvin was keen to praise their efforts: 'What makes the 12th Man scheme so great is situations like this. We knew we had to bring in a left back and if you want to bring the best players in the league in to the club then you have to spend money. We could not have brought a player of Anthony's calibre into the club without the 12th Man Fund paying for any fee. I see other clubs saying that we are 'awash with cash' but that's not true; we are simply utilising all the resources available to try and make this squad as strong as it can possibly be...
Chris Davis, spokesman for the 12th Man fund commented: 'We'd like to thank all the supporters who have contributed £25,000 to the fund since its inception, a sum massively in advance of what was originally envisaged by the organisers. Anthony's purchase is now the third squad addition the supporters have helped to fund'".
Meanwhile, "Following a recent enquiry from another conference club, Luke Foster and Manager Chris Wilder have had discussions about the player's future and as a result of those discussions, the club can confirm that Luke Foster has been given permission to speak with other clubs during the January transfer window. Meanwhile the club can also confirm that Chris Carruthers and Marcus Kelly have left the club by mutual consent. Left back Carruthers and midfielder Kelly have spent recent months on loan at York City and Kettering Town respectively".
"Administrators for Salisbury City have confirmed that a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) has been accepted". The Salisbury Journal adds that "Salisbury City Football Club are officially under new ownership after investors William Harrison-Allan, Chris Bramall and Jeff Hooper agreed a deal to begin the process of moving the club out of administration. The deal represents a major breakthrough for the consortium, which has been keeping the club afloat this season, and means City can now look forward after months of uncertainty.
However, there is still a 28-day period before the club can officially be declared to be out of administration and negotiations with the Blue Square Conference over player transfers are still ongoing, but the deal is undoubtedly a major step forward for the club...
Harrison-Allan, the club’s new chairman, said: 'It is good to know that we are almost there... I know as well as anyone how frustrating this process has been – and I can now reassure them [the supporters] that we can all move forward together, both on and off the field'. Salisbury were put up for sale in April 2009 for just £1 by former chairman Neville Beale and, after no immediate investment, the club went into administration in September 2009 with debts estimated to be over £200,000. As a result of this action, the club were docked 10 points by the Blue Square Conference and given a transfer embargo"...
Harrison-Allan added, "we need to take stock of what we have and make sure we stay up this season. The management team of Nick Holmes and Tommy Widdrington will stay as it is and we are in negotiations with the Blue Square Conference about lifting the transfer embargo to give Nick and Tommy the help they need to strengthen the squad".
From Blue Square Football we learn that "Peterborough have confirmed the signing of Josh Simpson from Histon for an undisclosed fee. The 22-year-old has spent the last two months on loan at Posh but has found opportunities hard to come by, having to make do with three substitute appearances... The former Cambridge ace has been rewarded with a three-and-a-half year contract and seems to be held in high regard by manager Mark Cooper".
The News Shopper reports that "Members of the MyFootballClub website head into 2010 with a new model which they hope will float Ebbsfleet United up the league. Three recent votes have seen MYFC take over total control of the website and society, meaning the entire membership fee can now be used to fund the club. Pick the team has also been modified to suggest the team... The third and, possibly, most important vote brought change to the membership pricing structure and now this is priced at either £50 or £100 dependant on the supporting features members may wish to take up.
With Ebbsfleet being a global club, it is also hoped MyFC will mature and the project will be looked upon more seriously as less gimmick-loaded and instead as a genuine attempt to show fans worldwide can still make a difference without needing to find millions of pounds. Three members of the MyFC membership have recently taken up positions within the Ebbsfleet United club board... Members continue to travel from their homes around the world to visit Stonebridge Road, the home of Ebbsfleet United". Cambridge United confirm that "Anthony Tonkin has left Cambridge United Football Club for an undisclosed fee to join title favourites Oxford United. The former England C international joined the U's in July 2008 and has made 70 appearances for the U's... U's Director of Football Jez George explains, 'Anthony Tonkin is desperate to get back playing in the football league as soon as possible. Being out of contract at the end of the season he could have left for no fee during the summer. At 30 years of age he felt this was an opportunity too good to turn down at this stage of his career".
"Cambridge United last night moved to distance themselves from Histon's extraordinary bid for three of their players" states the Cambridge News. "The Stutes' temporary manager Alan Lewer told the News on Monday he wanted to sign Dan Gleeson, Robbie Willmott and Mark Beesley on loan with a view to a permanent move. But, in a terse statement, the U's director of football Jez George said: 'We deal with all matters concerning any players on a club-to-club basis and not via the media. The three players mentioned are all contracted to Cambridge United Football Club. Regardless of what any other clubs or individuals may think of our players, they will only leave if it's in the best interests of Cambridge United'.
Histon chairman Tony Roach, however, insisted... 'It's a serious offer. I'm looking to sign three or four players this month and we've not got time to waste, so we're not trying to wind Cambridge United up. We're just asking the question to see if these players are available and whether they want to come to Histon'... Gleeson is seen by the Stutes as an ideal replacement for Lanre Oyebanjo, who wants to play in the Football League. But Roach revealed the club had not received any recent offers for the defender... Goalkeeper Joe Welch is also staying at Histon for the time being after his loan move to Corby fell through, while striker Craig Hammond has rejected the chance to join St Neots on loan".
The FA Trophy First Round match netween Maidstone United and Histon has been postponed for the fourth time. It should have been played on Tuesday night but is now provisionally rearranged for Saturday (9th).
CHESHIRE NEWSRuncorn Linnets announce that "The Football Stadia Improvement Fund, supporters of the Football Foundation, and the largest funder of non league football in the country, today announced a grant of £93,331 to Runcorn Linnets FC. This award will enable Runcorn Linnets FC to build a new ground at Halton Sports in Murdishaw, enabling the club to return to Runcorn for the 2010/2011 season... Runcorn Linnets’ Chairman, Derek Greenwood, said: 'We are delighted that the Football Stadia Improvement Fund has supported our Return to Runcorn project... We are still thoroughly committed to having the project complete in time for it to be graded for use in the 2010/2011 season'”.
5 January 2010
CONDOLENCESAltrincham FC sends its condolences to former midfielder/winger, Les Campbell, whose wife has sadly died recently. A former Wigan Athletic and Preston North End player, Les spent seven seasons at Deepdale playing 64 league games and scoring 6 goals before spending a season with Blackpool, followed by a move to Tranmere Rovers for three more League seasons. Les was at Altrincham from 1965 to 1968 when he provided the ammunition for Jack Swindells in the successful Altrincham side of that period.
2010 - A BIG YEAR FOR ALTY AND ITS MANAGERAlthough Altrincham FC's longest serving manager since World War II is John King, with a total of nine years and three months in the post, this total was spread over three separate periods. The longest unbroken period as manager currently belongs to Tony Sanders with a spell from 10 April 1976 till his resignation in January 1984, a total of seven years and nine months. But sometime in July 2010, our current manager, Graham Heathcote (right) will become Altrincham FC's longest serving "one-term" manager, having been appointed on 14 October 2002. Graham must also be unique in being a football manager at national level for almost five seasons without having ever spent a penny on a transfer. For more details on Altrincham FC's managers, click here.
Then, on 3 September 2010, we celebrate the centenary of Altrincham FC's Moss Lane ground - coincidentally it is also the 100th anniversary year of the Old Trafford stadium of that other club from the Borough of Trafford, Manchester United. Bomb damage in World War II at Old Trafford means that Moss Lane actually has a longer record of continuous use as a football stadium.
The first game ever played at Moss Lane was against Macclesfield Town in the Manchester League on 3 September 1910. Altrincham lost 3-1, with former player Dickie Best [not George's father of the same name!] scoring all three goals for Macclesfield. Before 1910, Altrincham played at Pollitt's Field. Writing in the Robins Review of 21 November 1987, Terry Surridge wrote:
"Pollitt's Field was developed into an adequate ground with a small stand and banking on three sides. It had, however, a poor surface and the teams had to change at the Woolpack [a pub in Altrincham town centre]. After many meetings with the Urban District Council, a new ground was developed on Hale Moss and the club moved into Moss Lane for the start of the 1910-11 season". In fact, the chairman of the Council actually kicked off the inaugural match.
On the adjacent map, Pollitt's Field is shown as "Old Ground" and Moss Lane as "Current Ground".
TUESDAY'S REFThe referee for Altrincham v Kettering Town next Tuesday (12th) is Mr S. A. J. Duncan. He officated at the goalless draw between Alty and Tamworth 0 on September 22, 2009.
FIXTURESAlty's next opponents. AFC Wimbledon, have called off their match tonight (Tuesday) at home to Wrexham, because of a frozen pitch.
Tuesday, 5 January
BSP NEWSEarlier this season both Histon and Weymouth were seemingly in acute financial difficulty yet now the two clubs are seeking to lure a number of Cambridge United players from the former League club as the Cambridge News reports... "Cambridge United have rejected a bid from Blue Square South strugglers Weymouth for striker Danny Crow. Former Cambridge United chairman George Rolls, now at the helm of the Terras, admitted he had made a cash offer for Crow. Rolls would not comment on how much Weymouth had bid for the striker, but despite the rumoured four-figure offer being turned down by United, he claimed he may make an improved offer and had other Abbey Stadium-based players on his hit list. Rolls said: 'It helps knowing a few of the lads at Cambridge and I’m sure we’ll be looking to bring in some of them on loan during the window'. While Crow is not leaving for now, midfielder Jon Challinor is set to join league rivals Mansfield Town on a permanent basis, having initially left United on loan in November".
The News adds that "Alan Lewer, caretaker-manager at Histon, has made an audacious bid to sign Dan Gleeson, Robbie Willmott and Mark Beesley from league rivals and close neighbours Cambridge United. Lewer said he spoke to a U’s director at the weekend to declare his interest in securing the trio on loan with a view to a permanent move and is hopeful a deal may be completed. 'I’ve always been a big admirer of Beesley, Gleeson and Willmott', he said. 'I’ve spoken to a director at Cambridge and made my interest known to him. I’ve tried to get hold of United assistant-manager Paul Carden and director of football Jez George, so now I’m waiting for them to get back to me'.
The plan to lure some of United’s best players to the Glassworld Stadium is another bold move from Stutes` chairman Tony Roach, who last week described Histon as 'the biggest club in Cambridge'. And Lewer, who worked with Gleeson and Willmott while assistant-manager at the Abbey, and with Beesley when he was manager of Forest Green Rovers, certainly believes players of their calibre will be needed if Histon are to fulfil Roach’s stated ambition of Coca-Cola League football.
'We want to try to move on', Lewer said. 'There are other targets out there as well, but we want to wait to see what United come back with'. The club have decided not to extend Sam Long’s loan spell from Grays Athletic, and, with Billy Crook having already returned to Peterborough, Histon appear to be looking for players with more experience at Conference level. 'It gives us a chance to get other players in, quality players, who have gone to the play-offs', Lewer added".
Mansfield Town says that "Anthony Peters will not be joining Mansfield Town after all, boss David Holdsworth confirmed today. The American central defender cum midfielder was expected to join the Stags once the January transfer window opened. But Holdsworth has had a change of heart... 'I won't be signing Anthony. I have to be pragmatic and things have to be right," she [i.e. he] said. 'The financial structure we have in place here must remain stable. We have to manage it in a sensible fashion. When you are dealing with agents, sometimes things do not go as you want'.
Steven Istead and Scott Gardner are to be loaned to fellow Blue Square side Chester City for the rest of the season. Istead will join on January 10 when his current loan at Alfreton Town expires. Gardner is set to move to the Deva Stadium with immediate effect. Holdsworth said: 'It is a good move for us and a good move for the boys... 'They will be on 24-hour recall after the first month'. Holdsworth has also today contacted Leeds United to see if he can extend Ollie Hotchkiss's loan until the end of the season... He said 'We also want to sign him for next season... Ollie is a young man who was not as fit as he needed to be when he first came back and he has had a couple of private matters'".
At Oxford United "Franny Green has completed his transfer to the club after his loan deal from Kettering was made permanent. The speedy forward player has started all but one of United's games since signing in mid-November... Meanwhile, fellow loanees Ross Perry and Onome Sodje have now returned to their parent clubs.... Comments United manager Chris Wilder, "Sodje made the decision to go back himself. We were looking to extend it for a month and he's decided to go back to Barnsley to try and force his way into their first team".
Susan Carter, board member at Crawley Town states "There has been recent press speculation regarding Charlie Ademeno; this is not surprising due to the fact he is a very, very talented player and there is no doubt, according to many who have watched Charlie recently, he is capable of playing at a higher level. I can confirm Crawley Town FC has received interest from several clubs and this week has rejected an offer from a Coca Cola Football League 1 club... Financially times are tough and with effectively only one home game in December it is very difficult to turn down serious offers...
The football club has had to rely not only on the generosity of the shareholders for its survival and financial rehabilitation but also a huge debt of gratitude is owed to our manager Steve Evans and his assistant Paul Raynor. Both have agreed to extend their salary holiday beyond December to help the club get through the season. I cannot think of many managers or assistants - if any, who would offer to do that! They offered and we gratefully accepted. So, next time you see Steve or Paul please take the time to shake their hands and thank them for their generous gesture".
"Eastbourne Borough boss Garry Wilson is keen to take full advantage of the January transfer window" reports the BBC. "Borough are just one point clear of the Blue Square Premier bottom four and are without a league win in 14 attempts, the last victory coming in September. 'I think we really need to boost the side and make some changes as well', Wilson told BBC Sussex. 'We might have to be active [in the transfer window] with sending some players out and bringing some in... We've got some players here that need games. What level they've got to go down to get those games will be another matter. I know we can get players in. That's the easier part than putting players out. I think we can get two or three in, and send two or three out maybe, to give us that boost we need'. Borough have never been relegated in their history and Wilson is confident he can avoid bucking that trend".
The Sussex newspaper, the The Argus adds that "Garry Wilson admits his hopes of bringing in fresh faces are being hampered by a lack of funds... Chairman Len Smith has told Wilson there is no extra money for reinforcements so he must offload players before he can make any signings. Borough have had no takers for winger Dan Smith, who has been on the transfer list for more than two months, while Michael Jordan, Matt Smart, Nathan Crabb and James Fraser are also available for loan.
Wilson said: 'We know we have got to change the playing staff but we cannot afford to bring players in on top of what we have got. We’ve got to move players out first to balance the books... You can set up deals but the players have got to agree to go... I am hopeful by the time of the next league game we will have some fresh faces though'...
Assistant manager Nick Greenwood said: 'If you haven’t won for 14 games you would say we needed major surgery but I think it only requires tinkering in key areas. We have let in too many poor goals so that is definitely an area that needs adresssing'. Borough could raise some funds this Saturday when they take on Cambridge United in the FA Trophy second round with £6,000 up for grabs for the winners".
"Ebbsfleet United boss Liam Daish says he still intends to add to his squad during the January transfer window, despite their upturn in form. The Fleet are now just a point from safety in the Blue Square Premier after beating Grays Athletic twice over the Christmas period. 'We've got a window that we've got to use', Daish told BBC Radio Kent. 'Hopefully there'll be some funds to bring one or two players in and extend young Alex Stavrinou (from Charlton)'. Daish added: 'This doesn't change anything. A swallow doesn't make a summer so we've got to keep our feet on the ground'"
According to the Crewe Chronicle Crewe "Alex striker Anthony Elding looks set for a move to Hungarian club Ferencvaros. His loan spell with non-league Kettering ended on Sunday but he is not expected back at Crewe. Boss Dario Gradi said: 'With Elding there are things that are being done but it’s a bit complicated. I am not expecting him back here'. Tempted by his outstanding goalscoring record, the Alex paid Leeds United around £180,000 for Elding in summer 2008. But he never did the business and hit just one goal in 14 league starts. He was loaned to Lincoln last season and scored three goals in seven starts for Kettering. Now Ferencvaros boss Craig Short has lined up an unexpected swoop. The club is owned by Sheffield United chairman Kevin McCabe".
The Chronicle Live confirms that "Gateshead manager Ian Bogie has targeted four signings in the first week of the transfer window – including coveted strike pair Daryl Clare and Jon Shaw. The Tynesiders have offered both players initial one-and-a-half-year contracts, and are also interested in bringing Rochdale winger Adam Rundle home. Durham-born Rundle, 25, has clocked up almost 250 Football League appearances during spells at Rochdale, Mansfield, Carlisle and Darlington. The wide man, who had been linked with a move to Motherwell before Jim Gannon’s sacking, has recently returned to Spotland after a loan spell at Rotherham, and is also on Luton Town’s radar.
Gateshead have also enquired about a midfield player and defender as they look to boost their squad during the January transfer window. Bogie said: 'If all goes to plan we will have four new signings ahead of Saturday’s FA Trophy game at home to Chippenham Town. Clare will speak with Mansfield manager David Holdsworth this week. We have spoken to his agent and made him an offer, but the Stags hold the aces as he is their player'.
Worryingly, Holdsworth has indicated he will bow to fans’ pressure and bring back Clare for the second half of the season... Shaw, a £50,000 signing for Rochdale in July 2008, meanwhile, is being tracked by other clubs including Barrow... Said Shaw 'Rochdale are willing to let me go on a free, and coming to Gateshead undoubtedly has its appeal, but there are still things to iron out'...
Gateshead, meanwhile, could stage their FA Trophy tie against Chippenham on Saturday on Durham City’s plastic pitch if the International Stadium is again unplayable".
From the Uxbridge Gazette we learn that "Hayes boss Garry Haylock hailed Marc Canham after he set up Ram Marwa to bag the winner against AFC Wimbledon on Saturday... While the former Team Bath midfielder has had some stick from the terraces, his boss hopes his display will silence the boo-boys. He said: 'He hasn't had the best support from the supporters. He's not the kind of midfielder fans take to because he doesn't go around kicking people. He's a proper footballer, and I'm really pleased for him. When he plays well he makes us tick'".
"Harriers will step up their search for a new manager this week as they try to whittle down the list of applicants" reports the Kidderminster Shuttle claims. "Chairman Barry Norgrove is set to sit down with his board on Tuesday evening and work out a short-list... The club have received over 50 applications for the job... Chester City boss Jim Harvey has been linked heavily with the job, while Steve Burr, Tim Flowers and Jeff Kenna are thought to have also applied for it. However, the chairman has said management experience in the Football Conference and in League Two is a requirement...
'We will make a shortlist of between four and six and go from there', commented the chairman. 'We've had over 50 applicants and some are assistant managers from higher divisions... Experience in League Two or in the Blue Square Premier is a vital requirement. I have to talk to [caretaker] John [Finnigan], he's got another game to impress on Saturday and we'll have to see if he's still interested in the job'.
Harriers are also eager to try and extend the loan deals of defender Daniel Andrew (Peterborough) and striker Damian Spencer (Kettering)".
But "Former Harriers manager Mark Yates looks set to make his first raid on his former club after left-back Daniel Andrew was recalled from Aggborough by parent club Peterborough... The youngster is also expected to be signed by Cheltenham this week on loan".
The Northants Evening Telegraph says that "Lee Harper insists he is thoroughly enjoying being manager of Kettering Town – despite enduring a 'baptism of fire' in his first two months at the helm. The goalkeeper took over as the boss at Rockingham Road after Mark Cooper departed for Peterborough United in the middle of November. It has been a real rollercoaster ride since then with two FA Cup ties against Leeds United, the second of which ended with Harper's assistant John Deehan being controversially sacked.
The Poppies' form in the Blue Square Premier suffered as they focused on those FA Cup matches and the recent cold snap has made it hard for the manager and his new number two, Marvin Johnson, to work with the players on the training ground... 'I have said it to the chairman (Imraan Ladak) and a few other people but this has been a baptism of fire for me', Harper said. 'After Mark left we needed players and we probably went too far with the number of loan players we brought in. But I am still learning the job and everything that goes with it. The fans seem to be behind me'... Harper plans on having his squad in all this week ahead of Saturday's trip to Ebbsfleet United.
He added: 'It will be great to finally get a full week on the training ground. We have work to do in training and in making sure we bring a couple of new faces in'".
4 January 2010
ANOTHER POSTPONEMENTTomorrow night's match between Altrincham, and York City has been postponed due to the recent heavy frost. This morning it was minus seven degrees in Altrincham. The next scheduled match is this Saturday, away to AFC Wimbledon in the FA Trophy.
TROPHY GAMEAltrincham are away at AFC Wimbledon on Saturday (9th). TASC is running supporters' transport to the game and details are in the Away Travel section.
Dons' manager Terry Brown is seeking to extend the loan of Luis Cumbers from Gillingham, reports the NL Paper. His loan expires on January 5th but Brown wishes to keep the young striker till the end of the season. However, midfielder Steven Gregory is out for "at least three weeks" with a groin strain. Brown is reportedly close to signing an experienced Football League and Conference left back.
AFC Wimbledon have sent Altrincham information about tickets for the FA Trophy match at Kimgsmeadow on Saturday, 9 January. "The match is not all ticket and visiting fans will be located at the Kingston Road End of the ground and entry should be via turnstile 3. Terrace prices are Adults £12, Concessions £6 and Under-16s £2. Tickets can also be purchased in advance as follows:
On-line: Up to four tickets per application can be bought on line by clicking on the 'Buy tickets online here' button on the left of the home page on our official site below the 'next fixtures' list. There is a transaction charge of £1.50 for each purchase (not each ticket). Personal Callers can visit the club office to buy tickets between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm on weekdays.
By post: Postal applications can be made to the club and fans should enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope and a contact telephone number.
There are also a few seats available in the main stand and visiting fans should apply by post stating they are away fans. Prices are Adults £14, Concessions £7 and Under-16s £3".
The club also indicates "How to get to Kingsmeadow.
The AFC Wimbledon site adds that posted "tickets will be sent at the risk of the applicant – in other words we cannot issue replacement tickets for any that are lost in the post. Fans who want secure delivery of the tickets should not stamp the self-addressed envelope but instead add a payment of £2 for a recorded delivery service. Alternatively, applicants can request that the tickets are kept at the office for collection. Applicants must enclose a daytime phone contact number.
Terrace tickets may be bought online by going to the “Buy tickets” online tab on the front page of the official website. There is a maximum of 4 tickets per applicant. Tickets will not be sold by phone. However, personal callers may visit the club between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm during office hours".
OLD BOYSIan Craney is named in the Non-League Paper's "team of the decade".
NL Daily reports that "Bamber Bridge threw new signing Peter Wright (right) into Saturday`s UniBond League Division One North top-of-the-table clash at Lancaster City. However, he could do little to prevent a 4-1 hammering... Wright, an FA Trophy winner with Burscough in 2003, has linked up with Brig for a second spell.
Irongate manager Tony Greenwood said: 'Peter is a super signing. He is a vastly-experienced striker'... In Wright's first spell at Irongate, four years ago, he netted ten goals in nineteen starts before joining Chorley... Wright also had stints at Southport, Northwich Victoria and Altrincham. Meanwhile, Greenwood has released [ex-Alty reserves'] centre half Colin McAllister... McAllister has joined Witton Albion after the UniBond South outfit put seven days notice in for the Warrington-based defender. 'I couldn't guarantee Colin McAllister first-team football and Witton can, so that's why the deal was done', added Greenwood. 'He was down the pecking order'" he told the Lanacashire Evening Post.
And "Bangor City boss Nev Powell has suffered another injury blow with the news that defender Dave Swanick’s season could be over. The right-back suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon in last Sunday’s 2-0 victory over Porthmadog and Powell told the Daily Post: 'He’s in a bad way and it looks like his season could be over. It’s such a great shame as he’d only just got back to full fitness and he’s been playing so well. He’s also become more involved on the coaching side this season so he’s such an important figure at the club'".
BSP NEWSWrexham say that "The one (and probably only) good thing to come out of this recent spate of postponements, is that we won't have any more players suspended for reaching five cautions. A change to the rules this season, sees the deadline for accumulating five yellow cards being brought forward to 1st January. We have already seen the likes of Mansour Assoumani, Curtis Obeng, Andy Fleming, Hedi Taboubi and Christian Smith all miss out for one game, but it will save another three who are currently sitting on four bookings. Wes Baynes, Gareth Taylor and Ashley Westwood were all on the brink, but can now breath a little easier... Any player who reaches 10 cautions by the second Sunday in April, which is only two weeks short of the end of the season, will be suspended for two-matches".
At Chester City "Bob Gray has told the Non-League Paper that he hasn't resigned from his post as managing Director following last week's board meeting. He said: 'Morrell Maison and his colleagues have met all the staff at the football club and put forward their goals and objectives to save the club. They've got some very good ideas and they are going to look for investment in the community. We need to stop the backbiting and get behind them. Unless someone else comes in and offers Stephen Vaughan the money he wants and deserves for the club, we've got to give Morell a good go or we won't have a club. I intend to stay put to make sure the transitional period with the new people goes smoothly, but if they don't want me to stay involved I'll walk away".
According to NL24 "York City marksman Richard Brodie wants to be the club’s record goalscorer, but he is refusing to pressurise himself for the rest of the season. Brodie, who has already broken City legend Arthur Bottom’s club record for scoring the quickest 20 goals in a season, would love to beat Bottom’s 39 goals during the 1954/5 campaign, which has never been matched in the club’s history. 'The lads are challenging me to get to 40 goals and that’s not out of the question, but I don’t want to put any pressure on myself by setting targets because I might go through a spell when I don’t score', Brodie tells Dave Flett at The Press, York... Brodie adds: 'It was a real privilege to beat Arthur Bottom’s record and I would like to break as many records as I can because that’s what you look at as a striker. I still need another 14 goals so I’m a long way away at the moment'".
Meanwhile The Leader says that "wrexham FC have made a second bid for an un-named striker after having a first offer rejected... Linked with Forest Green Rovers frontman Andrew Mangan... Saunders would not reveal the player’s identity but admits to having a number of potential targets... 'The club has come back to us and turned it down', said Saunders today. 'So I have gone back with a different proposal and I am keeping my fingers crossed... That is what I want to do, get players in that their club don’t want to let go... I have a list of players, it is [a matter of] being able to afford them... I am trying to build a team and I am learning as I go along. I am learning about the players all the time. Some settle in and do well, others take time to find their feet... You have to keep improving all the time, and I hope to receive calls for some of our players'...
Wrexham – who have played less matches than any other team in the division – have five games in hand on some clubs. And they face a gruelling schedule this month with the Wimbledon clash the first of seven matches due to take place in January. February is also a hectic month with six games in the fixture list so far, while the home and away matches with Altrincham – both postponed over the festive period – have yet to be given a new date".
Altrincham also have seven scheduled games in 26 days in January, six in the BSP and one in the Trophy.
3 January 2010
FA CUPSunday 3rd January
FA Cup 3
BSP NEWSBlue Square Football says that "Coventry FC have announced the signing of defender Chris Hussey from AFC Wimbledon for an undisclosed fee. Hussey has put pen-to-paper on a three-and-a-half-year deal at the Ricoh Arena after initially joining the Sky Blues on a loan agreement. Coventry boss Chris Coleman told the club's official website: 'We brought Chris Hussey as one for the future because he is, in my opinion, the best left-back in the Conference. In the short time he has been here we have already had three or four enquiries from other clubs asking if we will let him out on loan and we have told them no'".
According to the Birmingham Mail Kidderminster chairman "Barry Norgrove says Kidderminster Harriers directors will consider the claims of caretaker-manager John Finnigan as they draw up a list of would-be bosses. Midfielder Finnigan was handed the first-team reins, assisted by fellow senior pro Chris McPhee and Dean Bennett, following Mark Yates’s decision to end five successful years at Harriers and join Cheltenham Town.
Finnigan has yet to rule himself in or out of the running for the post permanently and Norgrove says he will be speaking to him next week. The deadline for applications is 5pm on Monday and Norgrove admits there has already been a plethora of applicants... Chester City manager Jim Harvey is already a leading contender... But former Blues and Harriers full-back Jeff Kenna, Stalybridge Celtic’s ex-Nuneaton boss Steve Burr and ex-Wolves goalkeeper Tim Flowers have been linked.
Norgrove says the directors will sit down on Tuesday to assess the candidates and start interviews... Yates admits leaving Harriers was 'bitter-sweet' but the chance to test himself in the League, and with the club he led to the Conference title, was irresistible".
Meanwhile, "Gavin Hurren looks set to exit Tamworth in the transfer window after being told his future lies elsewhere. The former Kidderminster and Mansfield Town midfielder returned to the Lambs after a loan stint at AFC Telford United... Hurren is keen to stay in the Blue Square Premier. Assistant manager Darron Gee said: 'We have been honest with Gavin and told him there’s no future for him at the club'... Nick Wright’s move to Stevenage Borough is still to be finalised but the Lambs, having been told they won’t be able to spend any transfer money, hope to use any extra wages to bolster their squad during the window.
Finding a goalscorer is the priority after they ended 2009 with a run of six league games without a goal. They have filed a seven-day approach for young prospect Jerome Murdoch, who has impressed with his performances at Bedworth. He has followed former boss Liam O’Neill to Shepshed Dynamo but the Lambs will follow up their interest".
2 January 2010
FA CUPSaturday 2nd January
FA Cup 3
OLD BOYAshton United have signed former Alty Youth goalkeeper Lewis Bishop, whose previous club was Scottsdale (Arizona).
BSP NEWSOur opponents next Saturday, AFC Wimbledon announce that "The New Year got off to a great start for manager Terry Brown and goalkeeper Seb Brown as they were named as the Blue Square Premier Manager and Player of the Month for December".
But they add that "Wimbledon's unbeaten run of six league games ended when they conceded thir first goal in the league since 21 November, and went down to a 1-0 defeat. With Danny Kedwell and Steven Gregory both injured, Terry Brown started with three changes from the team that demolished Hayes in the equivalent fixture on Boxing Day. In came Ross Montague and Kenedy Adjei, with Sam Hatton stepping in for Jay Conroy at right back... Terry Brown was disappointed with the performance on his return to the club where he played and managed for many years. He said 'we were poor today, on a difficult pitch. I didn't have a problem with the defence... but none of the forwards threatened today and we weren't able to hold the ball up at all'".
Speaking to Your Local Guardian "Terry Brown refused to blame the injury crisis for comfortably his side’s worst display of the season so far.. The manner of the lacklustre defeat [at Hayes] left the manager questioning his attackers. Ram Marwa’s well-placed header just before the hour made it seven wins from their last nine Blue Square Premier fixtures for Garry Haylock’s men.
Brown said: 'It wasn’t down to the injuries. Yes, we had problems and they are well publicised but the team I put out was good enough to win this match...We didn’t perform well enough... We were toothless frankly. I thought we were ineffective as an attacking force and that frustrates me... We missed Danny Kedwell. The defence wasn’t the problem... We were playing off of Keds last time and we didn’t have that outlet today. It was going up and coming straight back again'... United manager Haylock said: 'I think we stopped them from playing and we did well against a top five team'".
Barrow "have clinched the permanent signing of Gregg Blundell following his loan spell at Holker Street. This was part of the agreement with Chester and the player when the forward came to Holker Street just prior to the closure of the emergency loan window... Blundell has penned an eighteen month deal at Holker Street".
The Holker Street Newsletter reports that "It looks like 7200 Barrow supporters will be at the Stadium of Light, making their way by bus, coach, mini-bus, plane, train and automobile. The club have organised around 30 coaches, and the majority of these will travel en masse, joining up with the other 40-odd coaches at Washington services for a police escort into Sunderland".
Rushden & Diamonds has an interview with manager Justin Edinburgh. He says, "I'm pretty settled with my squad as it's got more to offer, it's still gelling... I've got nothing in my mind of bringing in someone... Sam Smith's out on loan now playing games and scoring goals, so he'll be like a new signing when comes back with Wolly coming back into the frame too... [Mark Byrne's] loan will be extended, so he will be staying until the end of the season. Cliff Akurang's loan is until the end of the season and obviously we've got Jefferson Louis until the January 24th when the loan will be reviewed. Jack Ainsley? He's gone back to Ipswich now. We've recalled Lewis Hilliard who is now back at the club from his spell at Hemel Hempstead".
From Gateshead we learn that the club "without a game over New Year, are sweating on the future of leading scorer Daryl Clare. The 31-year-old is due to return to parent club Mansfield Town tomorrow - though Gateshead are determined to hold on to their prize asset... Clare has scored nine goals in the last nine games, including a hat-trick ... Gateshead would like to extend Clare's three-month loan until the end of the season with a view to a permanent deal, but may yet be scuppered by the Stags.
Manager Ian Bogie said: 'It depends upon Mansfield's stance'. The much-travelled Clare signed for Mansfield in the summer for a reported £6,500 fee, but struggled to make the starting line-up and joined Gateshead on loan in October... Mansfield manager David Holdsworth... said last week: 'Daryl will be coming back. He needed games and has had a couple of very good days at Gateshead'...
Gateshead are closing in on Rochdale striker Jon Shaw, who made an impressive full debut in the Boxing Day draw at Barrow. Promotion-chasing Dale are willing to offload the fomer Sheffield Wednesday front man, and Gateshead could land the 26-year-old on an initial year-and-a-half deal. Gateshead are also set to offer Darlington central defender Rikki Bains, recently on loan at Blyth Spartans, the chance to impress. Talks involving two midfield players are continuing, while Conference North high-fliers Alfreton Town have expressed an interest in taking winger Jamie Harwood on loan.... 'I'm looking to bring in three or four players during the transfer window, and if we can keep Clare on board that will be a real bonus'," said Bogie."
"Gateshead will play a friendly against Spennymoor Town at Durham City's Arnott Stadium on Tuesday 5th January 2010".
Meanwhile, The Chad says that "As Daryl Clare returns to fight for a place at Field Mill this week, Stags boss David Holdsworth is planning a meeting with chairman Andy Perry to discuss bolstering his squad in the January transfer window... Clare's return in one of several ins and outs that need sorting out... Holdsworth also wants to strengthen the defensive department and has his eye on three players right now.
'I don't need new players, I am very happy with my squad', he said. 'But if I can improve the squad then I will do and I will be sitting down with Mr Perry when he returns from holiday to have a chat about where we are regarding a player or players... The sole reason Daryl went to Gateshead was to play games, get confidence and score goals. Some people questioned the merit of the loan but the decision has been proved to be the correct one. With Gateshead hovering dangerously above the drop zone I know they are very keen to continue their relationship with Daryl. But I brought him here for a reason and now he has the confidence and sharpness in front of goal that I wanted. He can play a massive part in our season. He was only kept out by the emergence of Rob Duffy and Kyle Perry who have both scored double figures... It was very ambitious of me to have that many strikers and Daryl will now provide me with another option. I would be stupid not to consider that'...
It seems midfielder Stevie Istead will stay out on loan, either at Alfreton Town or elsewhere... Kettering Town have decided not extend winger Craig Dobson's loan but, with his loan spell at Stags already up, the player is now a free agent with Holdsworth disappointed with his impact during his brief time at the Mill. Young defender Scott Gardner has also been told he can leave the club...
After a disappointing month on loan... Lee Morris will return to Hereford... Of the other loanees already at the club, Challinor and Brough will sign until the end of the season while Andy Burgess has a deal until the end of next season. Holdsworth is also hoping to keep Leeds midfielder Ollie Hotchkiss until at least the end of the season and maybe the end of next season if possible... American 6ft 4ins utility player Anthony Peters is '99 per cent certain' to sign for the remainder of the season... Peters can play as a central defender, a holding midfield player or up front".
1 January 2010
STEVENAGE GO TOP
Friday 1st January, 3pm
NEW YEAR'S DAY MATCH POSTPONEDToday's match against Wrexham at Moss Lane has been postponed; temperatures of minus six last night made the pitch unplayable. Annoyingly, yesterday the pitch was perfectly playable. The next scheduled match is on Tuesday (5th, 7.45pm) against York City. Then, on Saturday (9th) Alty travel to AFC Wimbeledon in the FA Trophy. As soon as TASC travel arrangements for that match are known, they will be posted here.
This is the fourth consecutive game involving Altrincham to be postponed through bad weather (likewise for the Dragons). With the Kettering game also having to be moved (to Jan. 12) because of their cup involvement, Alty now have a five-game league backlog. The dates for the rearranged games with Eastbourne (Home) and Wrexham (Home and Away) have yet to be decided.
Right: Gavin Rathbone's image shows Greg Young after he had scored the winner in the FA Trophy replay against Wrexham on 15th December - the last game in which either side kicked a ball in anger.
Before the planned game at Moss Lane, "Wrexham manager Dean Saunders has a number of injury concerns ahead of the New Year’s Day visit to Altrincham" reports the Daily Post. "Defenders Frank Sinclair and Sam Williamson, plus midfielder Jamie McCluskey are struggling to be fit for the trip to Moss Lane, reported Saunders after yesterday’s training session on the Racecourse. The Dragons will be out for revenge in their first outing since suffering a 1-0 defeat at Altrincham in an FA Trophy first round replay just over a fortnight ago.
'We played well in both games but just couldn’t put our chances away', said Saunders. 'It’s been a problem all season. Defensively we’ve done very well – we’ve kept 14 clean sheets – but at the other end we’re not scoring enough goals. It may mean bringing in another striker to get it right, but I will get it right... It was nice to get back on grass for the first time in two weeks. The pitch was soft, but it was just good to get the players back on it. Training went well and although we’ve got a few injuries we’re confident we can do well at Altrincham'. Meanwhile, first team squad players Obi Anoruo and Adrian Cieslewicz were given a run out in yesterday’s 2-2 draw against a full-strength Liverpool Youth side. The Wrexham team was mainly made up of young pros".
TROPHY TICKETSAFC Wimbledon have sent Altrincham information about tickets for the FA Trophy match at Kimgsmeadow on Saturday, 9 January. "The match is not all ticket and visiting fans will be located at the Kingston Road End of the ground and entry should be via turnstile 3. Terrace prices are Adults £12, Concessions £6 and Under-16s £2. Tickets can also be purchased in advance as follows:
On-line: Up to four tickets per application can be bought on line by clicking on the 'Buy tickets online here' button on the left of the home page on our official site below the 'next fixtures' list. There is a transaction charge of £1.50 for each purchase (not each ticket). Personal Callers can visit the club office to buy tickets between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm on weekdays.
By post: Postal applications can be made to the club and fans should enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope and a contact telephone number.
There are also a few seats available in the main stand and visiting fans should apply by post stating they are away fans. Prices are Adults £14, Concessions £7 and Under-16s £3".
The club also indicates "How to get to Kingsmeadow.
The AFC Wimbledon site adds that posted "tickets will be sent at the risk of the applicant – in other words we cannot issue replacement tickets for any that are lost in the post. Fans who want secure delivery of the tickets should not stamp the self-addressed envelope but instead add a payment of £2 for a recorded delivery service. Alternatively, applicants can request that the tickets are kept at the office for collection. Applicants must enclose a daytime phone contact number.
Terrace tickets may be bought online by going to the “Buy tickets” online tab on the front page of the official website. There is a maximum of 4 tickets per applicant. Tickets will not be sold by phone. However, personal callers may visit the club between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm during office hours".
Meanwhile, "Facing a significant number of injuries following last weekend's two demanding games in 48 hours, Terry Brown has recalled Luke Garrard from his loan to Boreham Wood FC" report AFC Wimbledon. "Terry said 'We have recalled him slightly early because we have a number of injury doubts for Friday's game at Hayes and Yeading'".
Meanwhile "Terry Brown has signed midfielder Will Hendry on a contract... Terry said 'we originally signed Will on a short term deal until the end of this year. In the short time he has been here it is obvious that he is a quality player and I'm... hopeful that he will have recovered enough from his recent injury to allow him to take part in the game against his former club, Hayes and Yeading, on Friday'".
HAPPY NEW YEARAltrincham FC extends its best wishes to all supporters for a Happy New Year in 2010.
As reported yesterday Brian Flynn, chairman of TASC writes:
"The TASC New Year Draw will now take place on Saturday January 23rd after the home game with Hayes & Yeading, rather than after Friday's scheduled fixture with Wrexham. This decision has been taken in order to maximise ticket sales and therefore revenue for Altrincham Football Club. The postponement of three games at Moss Lane during the last five weeks has severely restricted opportunities to sell tickets and the current profit forecast for the draw is significantly lower than last year when almost £2,000 was given to the Football Club.
New Year's Day remains a vital opportunity to sell lots of tickets, but by moving the draw date, we will have three further matches to go at as well!"
BSP NEWSMansfield Town say that "The stay of loan forward Lee Morris from Hereford United is unlikely to be extended after the deal expires in January. Meanwhile, long-term trialist Anthony Peters looks set to move to Field Mill in the New Year, manager David Holdsworth revealed today. Morris, 29, has made three starts, and appeared the same number of times off the bench, since joining us on loan from League Two Hereford a month ago. 6 ft 4 in American Peters looks to sign permanently for us in January when the transfer window re-opens. The 26 year old, who can play in central defence, midfield, and attack, previously played for Cleveland City Stars in the United States and is currently in talks with manager David Holdsworth about a permanent move.
In other news, goalkeeper Ed Eley will go back to parent club Grimsby Town next month. Midfielder Steven Istead, currently on loan at Alfreton, will continue to be loaned out in the New Year. Manager David Holdsworth is actively seeking a loan club for Scott Gardner, who is lacking match practice. The transfers of Andy Burgess, Jon Challinor, and Michael Brough will be officially made next month, after successful loan spells.
Oliver Hotchkiss has expressed his desire to stay permanently at Field Mill and his loan spell looks to be renewed. Fellow midfielder Kyle Nix is expected to make a return to the squad by the end of January... Holdsworth has three-four transfer targets in mind to further bolster his squad, but says he may look to sign only one/two players, with the addition of Peters".
Also strengthening are Oxford United who "have made their second signing in less than 24 hours with Brighton & Hove Albion central defender Jake Wright joining on loan until the end of the season... Wright joined Halifax Town - then managed by current Us' boss Chris Wilder - on loan for the first three months of the 2005/2006 season... Halifax captured his signature on a permanent basis in the summer of 2006. He would go on to make more than sixty league and cup appearances for the club before moving to Crawley Town following Halifax's demise in June 2008, appearing more than forty times before moving to League One with Brighton for an undisclosed fee in August of this year... Says Wilder, 'I've always been on the look out for a left-footed centre half and Jake gives us that natural balance'".
The BBC Blogs reports on York City chairman Jason McGill "who runs a packaging company in Malton... In a turbulent 16-month spell, City's future was threatened twice; first by former chairman Douglas Craig - who formed a holding company to separate ownership of the club from that of Bootham Crescent then moved to close the club down - and then by touring car driver and team owner John Batchelor who promised investment and co-ownership with the Trust when he took over but instead only introduced a series of increasingly bizarre ideas, such as renaming the club and changing its badge and playing strip...
You probably already know about McGill selling the naming rights for Bootham Crescent to local confectionary giant Nestle in 2005, which saw it gain its current moniker of KitKat Crescent, but you might not be aware that the £100,000 the club received as part of that deal allowed them to buy back the ground from Craig's holding company for £2.1m at a crucial moment. KitKat Crescent will revert to being called Bootham Crescent at the end of January when the Nestle deal ends, but the good news for York is that they are likely to be moving on soon in any case, and this time for the right reasons. They have been working with the City of York Council to find a site for a new stadium that they will share with Rugby League side York City Knights. McGill tells me three potential locations are to be unveiled at the start of 2010, with the decision on which one will be chosen set for April...
McGill, who took 75% of ownership of the club from the Trust in 2006... [says] 'At the moment we are in a ground with high maintenance costs that was built in the 1930s... Famously, our executive boxes face the car park, not the pitch and we have only got three of them. That obviously limits what we can do commercially. The income we generate at the new stadium will not just be from every other Saturday and the odd midweek night, it will happen seven days a week...
The club posted a profit this year for the first time since 2004, thanks to their run to last season's FA Trophy and the sale of midfielder Martyn Woolford to Scunthorpe in the summer. But without that twin windfall, York's annual accounts would have been closer to those of 2008 when they made a loss of more than £400,000". City's impending FA Cup tie at Stoke is expected to bring in £75,000 which "should allow Foyle to bolster his squad for the second half of the season".
The Conference Forum has a statement from CFU ([Chester] City Fans United). It says "CFU are both surprised, disappointed and shocked at events taking place at The Deva Stadium. Whilst the players, we believe, have still to be paid from November and the current manager is working miracles in what can be some of the most difficult circumstances ever experienced by a Chester manager, Stephen Vaughan, currently banned from acting as a director by The Department of Trade, has appeared to appoint Morell Maison as Director of Football.
CFU feel that this appointment is unnecessary and can only undermine the excellent work of both the manager and the players at this very difficult time. Mr Maison's time at Halesowen was one of great turbulence for the club; being expelled from the FA Cup and FA Trophy, going into administration and reports of financial irregularities.
Maison also received a twelve-month touchline ban after clashing with one of his own players and the former Chief Executive, Guy Simpson, who arrived at the club on the invitation of Maison, was in August 2009 charged with fraudulent evasion of tax duty in the region of GBP4.5 million. Once again we call upon Vaughan and his family to make real efforts to sell the club at a reasonable price to genuine potential purchasers".
Just a few weeks back Histon were seemingly in financial crisis and offloading players but now the Cambridge News reports that "Tony Roach has announced plans to increase the Glass World Stadium’s capacity as he dreams of seeing Histon play in the Football League. The chairman wants to redevelop the home terracing at the recreation-ground end, with a mixture of seating and standing, to up the capacity by 1,200 to 5,200 to ensure the Stutes meet League Two’s long-term standards.
Roach believes temporary manager Alan Lewer and coach Ian Hart have got the players firing on all cylinders and thinks Monday’s 1-0 home success over Kettering can be a springboard to success. And the supremo, who has seen his side go above near-neighbours Cambridge United in the Blue Square Premier table, thinks some imminent new signings, coupled with the emergence of talented youngsters, can get Histon into the top five. 'We’re the biggest club in Cambridge' said Roach. 'I went into the changing room at half time on Monday and the buzz in there was second to none – there’s no other team in the league with the spirit to match our boys. Alan Lewer and Ian Hart have got the players so motivated, so I believe we have to look forward and aim to get in the play-offs...
We’re looking to bring in three players at the start of next month to strengthen the squad... The chairman is looking to organise a second meeting with Steve Fallon for early next week in a bid to resolve the suspended manager’s future at the club".
The BBC says that "Woking have signed Grays striker Jamie Slabber until the end of the season" and that "Exeter City striker Ben Watson has agreed to join Forest Green Rovers on a month-long loan deal. Injury has held back the former Grays Athletic player and he is yet to appear for the first team this season".
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