an unofficial website

August, 2014

31 August 2014


A late goal from Damian Reeves was not enough for Altrincham. Match report here.

Right: Scott Leather heads clear at Nuneaton

After the game, Lee Sinnott told the NL Paper, "We had a lot of possession but things petered out a bit in the final third today. If you're not going to ask enough questions, you're not going to get the answers that you want. We didn't show that spark.

I felt the game was there for us today. We could play fifty of these games and it would be split between wins for both teams. It's a long season and we've got 40 games left, so it's important that the players keep the right mental approach.

It's important we don't let it become like a ton of bricks on our backs.

This team is capable of scoring goals and we will get better as the season goes on. If we do that, we'll get more points".

Brian Flynn's post-match interview with the Altrincham manager is here.

And Nuneaton Town reports that "Nuneaton grabbed their first win and goals of the season with a 2-1 win over Altrincham. Brian Reid had opted to abandon his 3-5-2 formation after it had brought no goals in the previous five outings of the season, not that it seemed to matter in the opening 20 minutes.

The Boro failed to create an opening, but nor did Altrincham, in what can only be described as a stale start to the match...But, with the switch to four across the middle giving the Boro a lot more width, Brown was finally starting to get the service he has been waiting for this season.

In the 36th minute he took full advantage of that fact as the number ten rose magnificently in the area and slammed home a wonderful cross from deep by Ben Starosta... The tension visibly lifted from the Nuneaton players after the goal as the touch that had eluded one or two of them in the opening month of the season suddenly returned.

They did not create any further chances of note in the half, but they played with a fluidity that had been missing at times this season...

Boro grabbed their second goal after 67 minutes, and it came about after some lovely play by substitute Adam Walker... It was cleared by the defence, but only as far as Jack Dyer, the former Burton Albion man showing remarkable composure to side foot the ball past Parton from 20-yards out.

Boro were coasting at this point, so it was against the run of play when Damian Reeves halved the deficit with time running out. Former Boro man Kyle Perry was involved in the goal and it was his through ball that found Reeves in the box. The Altrincham frontman did the rest, slamming home past Charles-Cook with a venomous effort".


Saturday 30th August
  • Aldershot Town 2-1 Grimsby Town (Gate 1998)
  • Alfreton Town 0-2 Braintree Town (464)
  • Bristol Rovers 2-1 FC Halifax Town (5394)
  • Dartford 2-1 AFC Telford United (923)
  • Dover Athletic 0-1 Kidderminster Harriers (833)
  • Gateshead 2-1 Chester(1138)
  • Lincoln City 1-3 Torquay United (2373)
  • Macclesfield Town 2-0 Eastleigh (1284)
  • Nuneaton Town 2-1 Altrincham (774)
  • Southport 0-2 Barnet (909)
  • Welling United 1-1 Forest Green Rovers (501)
  • Wrexham 1-2 Woking (3154)


Altrincham FC Reserves of The Hallmark Security Cheshire Football League Division Two lost 0-5 at home to Congleton Vale in a cup match on Saturday.


Alty's next opponents entertain Dartford on Saturday. In the Shropshire Star says that "A second-half double sent AFC Telford to a fourth defeat of the season at fellow Conference Premier strugglers, Dartford. The Bucks had led at the break through Tony Gray's 35th minute finish but Luke Daley and Andy Pugh struck twice in 12 minutes after the break to turn the game on its head...

Telford should have gone 2-0 up soon after the re-start though when Rod McDonald headed against the bar from close range. But the hosts levelled from Daley's incisive 20-yard finish on 52 minutes... Pugh put them in front from close range on 64 minutes..

Telford had a decent penalty appeal turned down... But Farrell had to head a Lee Noble free-kick off the line at the other end and only a Hedge save prevented substitute Harry Crawford from settling the game in the final minute of normal time".

30 August 2014


You can follow the Nuneaton Town v Altrincham game on Saturday (3pm) via this website's minute by minute updates or via Radio Robins. Click on the appropriate icon below to go to your preferred means of following the game. For Twitter and Facebook links see the side panel, right.

updatesPC updatesMOBI radiorobins

On the developing Altrincham FC mobile website, as well as the Matchday Updates, you will now find an increasing number of mobile-friendly pages; the most recent additions are Sponsorship and Fundraising/Advertising pages. The Desktop version of the website has its own versions of all of the mobile-format pages.

Brian Flynn adds that "Radio Robins, sponsored by Ashley Mowers Garden Machinery, will be broadcasting full live coverage of Saturday's game at Nuneaton.

The match commentary sponsors are John Green Professional Editing Services. For all your editing and proofreading needs. Anything from novels, to essays, to football programmes. Contact John by e-mail. The commentators are Ian Watmore and Ian Wilkinson with match summaries from Brian Flynn.

Coverage starts at 2.50pm with the game kicking off at 3pm. You can listen to Radio Robins on the internet at

Leah and Simon Brotherton will be providing regular updates on Twitter (@altrinchamfc) as well as half-time & full time updates on facebook (Altrincham FC)".

Mike Garnett reminds us of previous encounters between the two sides:

  • At Altrincham: P1-W1-D0-L0-F2-A0
  • Away: P1-W0-D0-L1-F1-A2
  • Overall: P2-W1-D0-L1-F3-A2

Nuneaton Town play at Liberty Way, Nuneaton, Warks, CV11 6RR. The club advises that prices are:

  • Adults £14 (aged 17 or over),
  • Juniors £3 (16 and under)
  • Transfer to the Main Stand seats, if required, is an additional £2, which is paid within the ground.


On the eve of the match, Nuneaton Towm announced that "Boro will be hoping for their first goals, and victory, of the season on Saturday as Altrincham are the visitors to the James Parnell Stadium (kick off 3pm).

Boss Brian Reid welcomes back Andy Brown and Anton Brown, who missed Monday's defeat at Braintree, but will be without striker Ben Hutchinson, who starts his suspension following his sending off in the same match.

Reid said, 'Every match is a big game for me, it does not matter who we are playing. Four of the five sides we have faced so far are up towards the top of the table, which shows how much of a tough start we have had, but we now really need to start getting the ball in the net and points on the board. It is still very, very early in the season, and despite our poor start, I am sure we can start climbing up the table very soon'.

But it will be a case of fingers crossed and wait and see as the club face a race against time to get international clearance for their two new signings. Midfielder Lee Fowler joins from Welsh outfit Druids, while attacker Craig Curran has joined from Limerick.

Fowler, 31, has a wealth of experience in the Conference Premier, having previously played at this level for sides such as Kettering, Oxford United, Fleetwood, Kidderminster Harriers and Forest Green. Curran, 25, has around 160 Football League appearances to his name, having spent spells with Tranmere Rovers, Carlisle United and Rochdale before joining Limerick.

Reid said, '"The chairman and the chief executive have been really supportive. They knew I wanted to bring in some more quality, and they have backed me all the way. These are the calibre of players I have been working really hard to bring to the club and I am delighted they have joined. We are still waiting for clearance for both of them, but it is no secret we were looking for a striker and, when Lee became available, the board backed me to bring him in too!

We needed to boost the squad as Magno Viera is due to return to Forest Green at the end of his loan spell, and Hutchinson is suspended. We have had a few issues with fitness and injuries, and now a suspension, and we had to address that and I am pleased with the business we have done.

Curran is a player I spoke to a few weeks ago about coming on board. I am very good friends with Stuart Taylor, who was his manager at Limerick, and he urged me to have a look at him. I actually think his signing is a coup for the club. He is a strong, aggressive player and has good league experience and now, hopefully, we will see some quality finishing to put away the chances we create. He really is a great player and I think he will do very well for us'".


In the EvoStik League, Glossop North End have signed Tom Bailey, whilst Northwich Flixton Villa have acquired the services of Lewis Chalmers and Andrew Jones.


Brian Flynn advises that 'Altrincham Today' is a new website that has launched today [Friday] that will feature a weekly column by Lee Sinnott. Lee's article is here".


"The directors of Kidderminster Harriers Football Club Limited have announced that they are looking for fresh investors in the Club to support the playing budget set for 2014/15.

The Club is relatively unusual in that it has no controlling shareholder. The top eight shareholders, who control 92% of the issued shares, all own more than 5% but no individual owns more than 24%.

The Club are currently unbeaten after five matches in the Football Conference Premier division and are actively seeking to return to the Football League following the five years in Division 2 of the Football League from 2000 to 2005.

Ken Rae, the Club Chairman said 'We are looking for investors who want to share the journey with us to achieve our aim of getting promoted back into the Football League. If an investor wants an active involvement in the running of the Club the existing directors would welcome them on board, so long as their aims and aspirations are for the long term benefit of Kidderminster Harriers. If a more non–executive role was preferred, that would also be acceptable.

Four directors have resigned from the Club in 2014 and, unfortunately, that has substantially reduced new funds into the Club and monies we believed were available to us when setting this year’s budgets have not as yet materialised. The Aggborough ground is licensed for 6,444 and is well appointed. The only expense necessary, if the Club were promoted, is to change the bulbs in the floodlights to improve the lux readings and some minor alterations to the dressing room areas'.

Finance Director Joe Hancox said, 'At the present moment the Club has no substantial debt and, at today’s date, has no arrears of PAYE or VAT. However, new funds will be needed in 2014/15 if the playing squad assembled is to remain together for the remainder of the current season. The directors have known for some time of the financial challenge and are committed to continue taking whatever decisive actions are necessary to make the financial adjustments needed".

The Football Conference says that "Chris Kinnear, manager of Dover Athletic, has bolstered his defensive options with signing of Tom Bonner from Cambridge United. The 26-year-old joins on loan until January 17th. Bonner played forty-two games for Dartford in the 2012/13 season, and joined Cambridge United when his contract at Prince's Park expired.

With the 'U's he made thirteen appearances and had started all four of their matches in League Two this season".

Meanwhile, "Lincoln City have taken striker Delano Sam-Yorke back on loan until January 17th from Cambridge United. Recruited by the 'U's from Basingstoke Town on a one-year deal prior to the 2013/14 campaign, Sam-Yorke is a quick and powerful forward with an eye for goal".

Elsewhere, "Macclesfield Town and Scunthorpe United have reached an agreement to extend the loan spell of [ex-Alty loanee] Luke Waterfall for a further month. The defender has impressed fans and management alike with his sterling defensive displays at the Moss Rose so far this season as he has been a key part of the defence which has seen three clean sheets in five games with the Silkmen unbeaten in those opening five games".

The news from Forest Green Rovers is that "Rovers and Danny Wright have come to an agreement for the front man to leave The New Lawn. Wright signed a two year deal with Rovers in May 2013, after joining as a free agent from Wrexham, but has fallen down the pecking order with the arrival of Lee Hughes and Jon Parkin, and has failed to make an appearance this season.

The 29-year-old... started his career at Histon FC, helping the part-timers rise through the leagues while continuing to work as a carpenter... He switched to local rivals Cambridge United for the 2010-11 season... before a two-year stint at Wrexham brought another 24 goals".

Still at FGR, "Rovers and Al Bangura have today agreed to part ways with the midfielder’s contract being cancelled by mutual consent. Signed in July 2011, Bangura... featured 91 times in all competitions, having joined as a free agent after a spell playing in Azerbaijan with Gabala...

A couple of major knee injuries scuppered his early progress at The New Lawn, however he featured heavily in the Rovers midfield over the past two seasons. The former Sierra Leone international was yet to make an appearance this season".

29 August 2014


TASC is running a supporters' coach to the game at Nuneaton Town on Saturday. Full details are on the Away Travel page. To book your seat, please ring the club today (Friday)on 0161 928-1045 during normal office hours.


News of our next opponents comes from the Nuneaton News to the effect that "Brian Reid has admitted the start to the season for Nuneaton is the toughest time he has faced as a manager. The Boro have got off to a bad start to the 2014/15 season, drawing one game and losing four.

The five games have yielded no goals for the Boro... He said: "There is no doubt that this is my toughest spell in management. I have never experienced anything like this before. I have had bad runs and that, you know two or three games without a win, but nothing on this scale. I have certainly not gone this amount of games without seeing my team score a goal. That is obviously a concern'.

Despite seeing his team hit the back of the net in one of the eight games he has taken charge of so far at the Boro, Reid is adamant, though, that he can turn things round. He said, 'I have got a lot of belief in my own ability and what I can do here. That has not changed. I know there are reasons for this run. Things we can work on. One thing that certainly has not helped us is not having a settled team.

For one reason or another we have had to chop and change a lot since I have got here and that has not helped anyone if I am being honest. For instance take Bank Holiday Monday. We lost the two Browns and that really hit us. One was off sick and the other had to get off the coach for family reasons. We cannot do anything about that but it left us weaker. It was just bad luck'...

He said: "I think as well as a goal we also need a bit of luck this season; if we never had any bad luck we would have no luck at all in a way. Things just have not gone our way at all. Whether that is injuries, suspensions, players missing, refereeing decisions, nothing seems to be going our way... Take Saturday, for instancem against Barnet. We had the penalty really early on, which was never a penalty, and that completely turned the game. We then had the red-card on Monday which did the same thing'".

Elsewhere the Nuneaton News adds that 'Exodus Geohaghan believes his past experiences show that all is not lost for the Boro this season. Geohaghon made his debut for Brian Reid's side on Bank Holiday Monday, looking assured at the back... The towering centre-back is... adamant that a five game winless run is nothing to get carried away with.

Geohaghon said, 'I am no stranger to this division. I have played for a few clubs at this level before... That is why I am not worried by how Nuneaton have started. I was at Kidderminster a few years ago. They lost the first five games that season and then went on to finish in second place... Nothing is decided in the first games in the season...

He added, 'The boys here had a really, really good run last year. I think what they have to do is get back to that'...

Geohaghon's arrival at the Boro came as a shock to many people... He said, 'The new people upstairs knew me from my time at Kettering... I was here for a couple of weeks and the gaffer obviously liked what he saw as he offered me something'... The defender is known for being able to launch the ball into the penalty area from anywhere in the opposition half...

He said, 'It is a weapon teams have used in the past. In all honesty, though, it can be exhausting doing that all of the time. I prefer to think about my defending and what I can do on that front'". The Football Conference says that "Vanarama, sponsors of the Football Conference, is pleased to announce they will be bringing innovations into play in recognition of performances and commitments both on the field and off it during the coming season, through a number of awards to be made at various times.

There will be four named categories of awards and these are outlined with given criteria.


As in previous seasons a recipient will be selected and an announcement made at the end of every calendar month of the chosen manager from each of the three Vanarama divisions. Nomination and final selection will be vested in an independent awards panel featuring representatives from Vanarama, the media, SportQuake and the Football Conference. The award will no longer be based solely on a points system of team performance of wins.

The criterion change will enable any manager to be considered, allowing a more pragmatic approach to allow recognition of true worthiness and not just solely aligned to team performance of winning more matches than any other club. This new system permits more freedom of choice in recognition, which it is believed is much fairer.

Presentations will be made to the respective winners by a representative of the sponsors Vanarama at the first home match after the announcement of the winner. As in the past, annual awards in this category will be made at the end of the season.


In a similar approach of selection in this category, the new system wishes to move away from the recipient being a player who invariably scores most goals in a month. To aid this decision making, prior to final selection of a player every month from each division, an initial nomination list will be submitted of three players in each division, by a group of journalists who follow Vanarama Conference football week in, week out. The final decision will again be vested in the awards panel.

Once again it is felt to be a fairer representation of individual contribution to team performance rather than who just scores. It will permit consideration of an outstanding single event which might arise and allow recognition for goalkeepers, defenders and other players to be considered in the equation for nomination and final selection.

This procedure will not affect the annual selection of players nominated by divisional managers which make up the respective 'Team of the Year' in each division. Neither will the 'Golden Boot' award in each division be affected for the top goalscorer.

Presentations will be made to the respective winners by a representative of the sponsors Vanarama at the first home match after the announcement of the winner.


A new award for the best action photograph taken on a selected competition match day every month has been trialled, with the first winner for August being Matt Bradshaw of, who is the Club Photographer of Chelmsford City.

This new award caters for an important area of match contribution which previously has gone unrecognised.

A strict entry criterion is in place, though the award is open to anyone who is a licensed photographer, registered with the Football Conference.

From one photograph submitted by each entrant, eight will be chosen for publication on the Conference WebApp for a period of four weeks and from those eight Vanarama will select an overall winner, who will receive a framed certificate on velum with a copy of the photograph.

At the end of the season each member club will be invited to submit their own personal selected photograph for display, from which one will be chosen as 'Pic of the Year' by an independent and professional sports photographer.


In recognition of the sterling work carried out by clubs in their community and in particular the support of club projects funded in conjunction with the Football Conference Community Trust, nominations each quarter will be made to a selection panel from the Trust, to decide the recipient of this new award.

It is the fervent wish of Vanarama this special award will encourage even more playing personnel and management staff at clubs to give some quality time to embrace an important aspect of club engagement in their community.

An overall 'Ambassador of the Year' will be selected and this award will be presented at the Vanarama Conference Gala Awards Evening in June 2015".

According to the Football Conference, "Goalkeeper Freddy Hall has announced that he has left Chester FC. Hall, who has played in four of Chester's five league matches, spent pre-season with Steve Burr's side after being released by Burton Albion and had hoped to earn a contract after John Danby left the club last week.

But a deal has failed to materialise and Hall announced that he has decided to leave. It leaves Burr with just one recognised `keeper in Jon Worsnop, who has been forced to be content with a place on the substitutes’ bench after the 5-0 thumping by Barnet on the opening day of the season".

However, "Busy Steve Burr... has now added Jadan Hall on loan from Burnley. Manchester-born Hall, 20, spent almost ten years with Blackburn Rovers and had a season with Stoke City before moving to Turf Moor last summer... Hall, who can play up front or out wide, has joined on an initial one-month loan and will be in the squad to face Gateshead on Saturday...

He becomes the second new addition to the squad in quick succession after the arrival of former Cheltenham Town goalkeeper Connor Roberts".

From NL Daily, we learn that "Wessex League clubs have voted to reject Salisbury City's application to join their ranks. It leaves The Whites with no league to play in following their expulsion from the Football Conference. With a winding-up petition to face on September 1, their very existence is under threat.

An SWL statement issued after tonight's EGM at Totton & Eling Sports club read, '"The Sydenhams Football League (Wessex) was approached by Salisbury City, with the agreement of the Football Association, with regard to the club joining the league, despite the season having commenced, to assist the club in playing competitive football. The league has met with the club but cannot see that the club has a structure in place, on or off the pitch, to compete in the league, whilst the on-going court cases place a question mark over any long term involvement with the league. The league, along with its clubs, has therefore rejected the club's application'".

News of a summer trialist at Altrincham comes from NL Pitchero, which says that "Stalybridge Celtic have announced the signing of central midfielder Wade Joyce. Joyce, 20... joins Celtic from St Johnstone".

He played against Alty on Monday but now NL Pitchero confirms that "Gateshead`s forward Marcus Maddison has signed for Peterborough United on a permanent deal. The 20-year-old leaves the International Stadium for a club record fee, and the sizeable six-figure sum is likely to rise due to various add-ons.

The Heed also have a 20 per cent sell-on clause for Maddison, who has agreed a four-year contract with Posh.

Gateshead manager Gary Mills is sad to see the player depart but will look to sign a replacement before the transfer window closes... He said... 'Now he has sorted himself out, mentally, we're seeing the best of him... I have attacking players here but will also look to go out and maybe bring in one or two to strengthen the squad'.

Maddison joined Gateshead in August last year and went on to make thirty-eight appearances, scoring 14 times... The former Newcastle United trainee, who has also played for Blyth Spartans and St Johnstone, won Conference player of the month for January and earned England `C` honours at the end of the campaign...

The Heed boss said, 'Our two top scorers last season, Marcus, and James Marwood, are now playing in League One and the Scottish Premiership, respectively... I honestly believe if I hadn't come in to the club last September, they would be in the Northern Premier Division now'".


The EvoStik League says that "Rainworth Miners Welfare will be even more determined to make sure that they aren’t the victims of an FA Cup giant-killing this weekend after learning that they are flying the flag for the EvoStik League in a special programme on the world’s oldest cup competition.

The Football Association has commissioned media partners Input Media to produce a programme for release around the world before the First Round proper kicks-off in November and the Wrens are set to play a starring role when they kick-off on Saturday in their Preliminary Round tie against Staveley Miners.

Producers were attracted by the meeting of the two clubs originally founded by miners and as well as the action at Kirklington Road, including a brass band on the pitch before kick-off, film crews are set to record interviews with officials, supporters and feature the heritage and backgrounds of both clubs for the FA's preview show".

28 August 2014


Above, captured by Altrincham FC official Photographer at half-time on Monday, Gavin Rathbone, of GR Photography, we see, left, chairman Grahame Rowley and, right, referee Anthony Taylor, undergoing the Ice Bucket Challenge from two men who seem to be getting more pleasure from the event than perhaps they should have done! The "torturers" are former Alty captain Mark Maddox and ex-player and manager of the Club, Graham Heathcote.

Funds raised from the event are being donated to the Motor Neurone Disease Association. For more on Mark's amazing campaign for the MNDA, visit here.


Alty TV has highlights of the Altrincham v Gatehead game; see adjacent panel.

The Radio Robins' commentary on the game is here.


In each "Robins' Review" this season, joint Press and Media Officer, John Edwards, conducts a Q&A with a member of the playing or coaching staff. Today [last Monday], it’s the turn of James Lawrie (below, right), who describes how he chased Giuseppe Rossi down the tunnel at the end of his Northern Ireland debut and why the Falklands conflict has special significance for his family.

Q:Who did you support as a kid?

A: I’ve always supported Manchester United. My granddad on my mum’s side was from Manchester, as is she, and whenever we went up to see him, he always got me involved with United and how they were doing. It was the early 90s, so it was an exciting time to be a United fan. That was some team.

Q:A Favourite player?

A: Growing up, I loved Peter Schmeichel, because I used to enjoy going in nets and throwing myself around, if I had a kick-around with my mates. But I’d probably go for Eric Cantona, who was a bit special in a really outstanding team.

Q:A What do you get up to away from Alty?

A: I like walking my dog and spending time with my nephews and nieces and with my girlfriend Liberty. I’ve got a 10-month old Labrador called Ralph, who’s class. He’s lively and energetic and needs plenty of exercise, but that’s fine by me. I live in Middlewich, and I’m usually up at 5-ish so I can give him a good hour’s walk before going to work. Job-wise, I work for a firm of sports floor specialists. We work on tennis courts, doing line marking and sanding and cleaning surfaces, mostly the all-weather tarmac ones. It tends to be pretty hectic, and it can take us anywhere in the country. We keep it local as much as possible, but, the other week, we were in Milford Haven in South Wales, so it can involve a fair bit of travelling. My boss is understanding about Alty and takes into account that Tuesdays and Thursdays are training nights, and that there might be a midweek game. He tries to work jobs around that, which is good of him.

Right; Pictured by Gavin Rathbone of GR Phorography, is James Lawrie in action against Gateshead.

Q:A Best moment in football?

A: The Guiseley game was a bit special, but I’d have to say winning my first Northern Ireland cap. I was actually born in Dundonald, a suburb of Belfast, when my dad was in the Forces and based over there. When I was doing well for Port Vale, someone who knew someone at the Irish FA told them about me, and I found myself being picked for the under-17s, then under-19s and then under-21s. It was just a case of progressing through the ranks, really, and my opportunity at senior level came when a few of the senior players didn’t travel for an end-of-season friendly against Italy in Pisa. Nigel Worthington called up a few of the under- 21s, me included, and that was the first of my three caps. We lost 3-0, but being on the same pitch as players like Gennaro Gattuso and Giuseppe Rossi was an unbelievable experience. I always loved watching Rossi at United. He didn’t get that much of a chance at Old Trafford, but you could still see he was a good player. So at the final whistle, I literally ran down the tunnel after him to make sure I got his jersey. I’d forgotten he was an American-Italian and got a surprise when I asked him, and he just said: ‘Yeah, sure.’ Then I joined the rest of the lads on the pitch, applauding the fans who had travelled. I’ ll never forget it.

Q:A Worst moment?

A: Being released by Port Vale. I wasn’t really in Micky Adams’ plans, which was unfortunate, because I started at Vale at 10 years old and spent a good chunk of my life there. I enjoyed it and would loved to have spent longer there. I remember we had a Staffs Senior Cup final against Newcastle Town on the Monday. It was basically a reserve team, we got battered 6-1 and he came in and said he wanted all of us in the following day.

Simon Richman was there as well, and a good number of us got told we weren’t being kept on, when we showed up the next morning. I don’t think that one game had a bearing on his decision. He’d probably already made his mind up, but it didn’t do much for his mood! It’s not the best experience to hear you are being rejected, but I’ve bounced back from it.

Q:A Other sports?

A: All sorts, really. I dabble in tennis, golf, particularly the driving range, and snooker. I’m not exactly ready to take on Gilly (Steven Gillespie) at snooker, but I’m a reasonable all-rounder when it comes to sport.

Q:A What is your most prized possession?

A: I’d probably say my three Northern Ireland caps. They are stashed away at home and are a constant reminder that I’ve been fortunate enough to play international football, which I’m proud of.

Q:Who did you support as a kid? Q:A Favourite Song?

A: I like the Manchester band 1975, and in particular Robbers. But, as well as that, a big shout out to Kyle Perry (right) and Tom Marshall in Stubblemelt and a special mention for one of their songs, Evil Insane.

Q:A Favourite film or TV programme?

A: I absolutely loved Shawshank Redemption, when I saw it on DVD at home. I don’t watch much TV, but I’ve recently been getting into Breaking Bad on Netflix. I also love watching Gordon Ramsey. And listening! He tells it how it is.

Q:A Any good in the kitchen? If so, what is your signature dish?

A: I’m not bad. My girlfriend does most of the cooking, because she tends to be home earlier than me. But I can do a good shepherd’s pie or fajitas or an easy pasta bake. The shepherd’s pie is a special recipe, but I can’t say what the secret ingredient is!

Q:A Three guests you would invite for dinner?

A: I’d have my granddad back, Ken Bailey. He had a great impact on me, always encouraging me and taking an interest in what I was doing, especially football. Gordon Ramsey, because he would liven things up, though I wouldn’t half be under pressure to make sure the food was up to scratch! David Beckham, because he is such a cool guy and can do no wrong in anyone’s eyes.

Q:A Favourite holiday destination?

A: I enjoy going to Dubai. My auntie and uncle live out there. He is stationed there with the army, and they live in a brilliant house. I went to Florida as a kid and would like to go again, but I’d say Dubai.

Q:A Have you got a story about one of your team-mates?

A: Densy (Shaun Densmore) is close to proposing to his girlfriend. He’s always telling us how much he loves her. It’s Sian this, Sian that. It can’t be far off, just round the corner, I think.

Q:A And about yourself?

A: My dad Tom and uncle Tam both fought in the Falklands. Dad was only 17 or 18, and my uncle was 22. My uncle talks about it sometimes. My dad tends not to, but as a family, we are immensely proud of them both. We are very much an army-orientated family. My granddad was in the army, and so was my cousin, Jonathan Noble. Unfortunately, Jonathan had a serious car accident 10 years ago and is paralysed now, but he is a massive influence on my life. In fact, he is a huge influence on all our family, for how strong he is and how he has coped with tough times.


There is a match report on the Altrincham FC Reserves game against Wythenshawe Town here.

James Lobley has kindly sent the website the adjacent picture from the game. It shows Aaron Edwards rising higher than everyone to make a header. James has more images from the game here.


There's still time to register yourself as an Altrincham FC player sponsor for 2014-15. Player sponsors receive their chosen player's signed shirt at the end of the season. For just £150 you can sponsor either a home or away shirt (or both) for each player. The price is just £150 for one shirt or £250 for two! Sponsors' names are recorded in the Robins' Review matchday programme throughout the season and are also displayed under the apporpriate player's name in the Manchester Glass Sponsors' Lounge.

A list of those players sponsored to date and those still available is here.

All sponsors will be listed in the upcoming Robins' Review for the Altrincham v Dartford match.

27 August 2014


Altrincham FC would like to thank the Football Conference Media Director, Colin Peake, for his generous donation of £100 to the Ice Bucket Challenge for the Motor Neurone Disease Association. Colin's gesture was much appreciated, not least by Alty chairman Grahame Rowley, who endured his iced water shower yesterday on the pitch at the game against Gateshead. Fellow "victim" Anthony Taylor also bravely underwent the Ice Bucket Challenge. One of those mercilessly pouring the water over Grahame was MNDA campaigner and former Alty captain Mark Maddox, pictured right, with former Alty player and manager, Graham Heathcote.

Saturday's bucket collection for the Motor Neurone Disease Association raised an excellent £301.80, for which the club thanks all contributors as well as the collectors. The full amount raised for the charity will be known when all pledges have been redeemed.


Reports from Gateshead say that "manager Gary Mills has praised his players for beating Altrincham to earn a 'massive' three points...just two days after they lost 6-1 at home to Grimsby...

'It was about coming here after that defeat and getting a clean sheet and a win,' Mills said. 'We've done that, so I can't ask any more of the players. It wasn't easy for them and I don't know if this squad have ever experienced a result like Saturday's. I don't think it was one of our better performances and we looked a little nervy at times. We had to dig in against a team that gets the ball forward early and likes to use set pieces.

We're all human. Certain things happen in life and it's about how you respond, and my players have come here and got a 1-0 win away from home, which is my favourite scoreline!'

Number one 'keeper Adam Bartlett was again missing because of a back injury, so Alex Baird retained his place in goal... The Australian, who made two important saves late on in the match, was able to keep a clean sheet".


Joint Press Officer, John Edwards, writes that "Lee Sinnott (below, right) had some ‘strong words’ for his Altrincham players but still backed them to deliver a points return more in keeping with their early-season form after a frustrating Bank Holiday weekend in the Vanarama Conference.

After outplaying Southport but falling to an injury-time winner by the home team, Alty suffered more agony 48 hours later, as Tom Marshall squandered the chance of a late equaliser against Gateshead by blazing over with the goal at his mercy.

It left Alty with just a solitary win over Bristol Rovers to show for their endeavours so far, and Sinnott said: ‘It’s a strange conundrum at the moment, when you look at the five games we’ve played so far. Aldershot apart, on the opening day, you can argue we should have taken something from every game.

‘We could easily have taken a point here against Lincoln, we deservedly beat Bristol Rovers, how we didn’t win at Southport, never mind draw, is still beyond me and there is a case for saying we merited some reward against Gateshead.

‘Instead of sitting here with eight or nine points, though, we’ve got just three, and that merely underlines the importance of taking your chances when they come along and ensuring you don’t give away soft goals.

‘Gateshead did a couple of soft things but got away with them, because, in terms of the Conference, they are a more mature team who are full time and have been at this level quite a while. We are a different kind of animal. We are still finding our feet, but I have had a good chat with the players and told them we don’t want to be doing this every week, saying we played well but have nothing to show for it.

‘There are certain aspects you can’t do at any level, in particular giving the ball away cheaply and more or less being swatted aside for the other team to get possession, which is where Gateshead's goal came from.

‘The message is, we’ve got to take chances when they come along and we can’t give away soft goals. That applies at any level, but, as we are finding out, it’s more relevant than ever in this division.

‘The difference at the moment between getting it right or not is minimal, but at this level, it means everything. It is a tiny gap, but the effect is significant, so we’ve got to close it, and that means failing to convert chances and conceding soft goals has to stop now.

‘It’s fine lines, but we need to address that, because it is preventing us putting points on the board. That is the message to the players. It has to stop now.

‘We knew Gateshead’s style, and how they would have plenty of possession, and our plan of countering that with a 4-5-1 formation was working extremely well. But you switch off for a second, as we did just before half-time, and you pay.

‘Apart from the goal, we handled the first half as I wanted us to and really should have been ahead, when you consider the early chance for Damian Reeves and what looked a very strong case for a penalty for handball.

‘So it could have been 2-0 to us before they scored, but, just as at Southport, we didn’t make it count when we were on top and we ended up reflecting on a goal that shouldn’t have been conceded.

‘I gave the players a rollicking afterwards, because I saw things I don’t want to see, and I will always point it out when that happens. It doesn’t matter what league you are in, there are certain things you can’t get away with. The pedal has to be down from the first minute to the last. You can’t wait 20 minutes before getting into the game. You can’t just switch off and be weak, because it will cost you, particularly at this level, as has been proved.

‘So there were strong words to the players at the end. It needed saying, but I do believe in them, really I do. The football we are playing is good, and we will get better at it as we go along. But there are certain things you need to do at any level, and that is what I picked them up on.

‘It was a wonderful header for their goal, but it came from our possession needlessly breaking down and then one or two people getting caught a little bit out of position. You can’t give the ball away cheaply and needlessly like that. You have got to protect it better.

‘We changed the system to 3-5-2 in the second half, and, in a final roll of the dice, went 3-4-3 near the end. It so nearly paid off, with that late chance for Tom [Marshall, right], but again that’s a reminder of how we need to be more clinical, as well as that bit tighter at the back.

‘It was the same at Southport, where we put so much in but were caught out by a set-piece at the end. It was a needless free-kick, and the starting line for defending it was too deep, which automatically means it is going to go even deeper.

‘It was a quality ball in, but we didn’t deal with it. Any goal we concede is a concern and is addressed with the players. We know we’ve got to stop crosses coming in as much as we can and stop conceding needless free-kicks.

‘I would say 60 per cent of the free-kicks against us are down to our over-eagerness or fatigue and 40 per cent to the opposition being that bit cuter, which is what you get at this level. I have stressed to the players that if someone is going away from goal, just shepherd them away. Don’t give them the chance to try and win a free-kick.

‘But we’re not being outclassed or outplayed. Not a bit of it. Those fine lines are hurting us at the moment, and we know it is a big examination for any team stepping into this league. But it’s up to us collectively to deal with it. In my view, we should certainly be higher up the table. We can make that happen by heeding the lessons we’ve encountered so far.’

Sinnott handed a debut to keeper Dave Parton (left), who responded with some assured handling and a fine reflex save near the end.

‘Dave did well,’ said the Alty boss. ‘He handled everything well and pulled off a really good reflex save, when we were pushing for an equaliser and found ourselves a bit stretched.

‘There is no issue for me about the goalkeeping position, because both of them, Dave and Stuart Coburn, have a big part to play for us this season. From one to 11, I view each and every player exactly the same way. The keeper is just as important as the centre-half, centre-forward or any position you want to mention.

‘The thinking was simply that I wanted to have a look at Dave and see what he brings to the team. I know what Stuart is all about. I should do after all this time, but I thought it would be good for Dave to get a game under his belt and see how he coped.

‘He had no chance with the goal, but he can be happy with how he dealt with everything else. He took his chance well.’

Shaun Densmore is 'on course' to be fit again in three to four weeks, after breaking his toe. Mike Williams (adductor), Nicky Clee (ankle) and Ryan Crowther (shin) are all expected to be fit for Saturday's trip


The annual Non-League Day this year is on Saturday, 6 September, when Altrincham entertain Dartford (3pm). For this match, holders of valid season tickets from Premiership or Football League clubs will be admitted to the J. Davidson Stadium for just £5.


The Altrincham FC Youth Education Programme team kicks off its season on Wednesday, 3 September, with a 1.30pm kick off at Clay Lane against FC United of Manchester. The team's early fixtures are here.


Top of the table Altrincham FC Reserves suffered their first defeat of the Cheshire Football League Division Two season on Tuesday evening. They lost 3-1 at home to Wythenshawe Town, their goal being a late consolation from substitute Spencer Cunliffe. A brief report will follow on this match tomorrow...

Pictured, right, Altrincham Reserves' defender, Sam Heathcote, heads clear in the match against Wythenshawe Town.


Barry Pikesley's latest article in the 'Robins' Review', entitled 'The Gateshead Mastery Ritual', is reproduced


NL Daily reports that "Chairman Ali Shulver says a desire to ensure Haverhill Rovers quickly return to winning ways was behind the departure of manager Dean Greygoose... The decision to part company with Greygoose was made in the wake of the 4-1 defeat at Fakenham Town last Saturday...

Shulver said, 'I'm confident that Dean and his coaching team will be in another position quickly, such is their hard work and passion for the game and would hope that, given the right resources at their disposal, they will be successful'".


There's potential trouble in store for Bristol Rovers as the Bristol Post reports that "A huge question mark hangs over hopes of building a new £40 million stadium for Bristol Rovers due to a legal dispute between the club and Sainsbury's over building a new store at the Memorial Stadium.

The Bristol Post can reveal that the club has issued a writ against the supermarket chain for what it claims to be breaches of contract over the planned redevelopment of its current ground in Horfield.

Rovers claim they are out of pocket to the tune of nearly £340,000 as a result of legal fees and soaring building costs, due to Sainsbury's allegedly dragging its feet over the scheme.

Despite the relationship between the parties obviously going sour, the Post understands that the club insists Sainsbury's is legally obliged to build the new store, which is crucial to funding the new stadium at the University of the West of England's Frenchay campus.

The 16-page writ, lodged with the High Court in London, alleges that Sainsbury's does not 'sincerely wish' to go ahead with the new store... The club's concerns were first raised last November, the same month that the pressure group TRASHorfield started a legal challenge to the city council's decision to allow the new store to be built... What also gave rise for concern was that Sainsbury's was not actively supporting the city council in fighting the legal challenge by TRASHorfield...

According to the writ, the supermarket chain's position is that unless the planning condition over lorry deliveries could be changed, then the planning consent was not acceptable. The council refused permission for the planning condition to be changed because of the detrimental effect on local residents. Sainsbury's allegedly told the club that as a result, they were entitled to terminate the contract...

In June, the club repeated its offer to pay for an appeal and any extra measures that might be needed to prevent any noise outbreak as a result of lorries making deliveries to the new store. After more legal wrangling, the two sides agreed in July that Sainsbury's would lodge an appeal, while the club would submit its own application for varying the planning permission. These matters are still outstanding but even if they are resolved, it still begs the question whether the new store or stadium will ever be built".

NL Daily says that "Liam Watson, manager of AFC Telford United, accused midfielder Godfrey Poku of letting down the club after he was sent off for the second time in four games.

The former Mansfield Town player, who joined the Bucks in pre-season, was shown a straight red card yesterday after he lashed out at striker Richard Brodie during their 3-3 draw at home to Southport. That dismissal, just before half-time with his team 2-1 down, came less than three weeks after he was sent off at Welling United for two bookable offences in the opening game of the season.

And Watson said. 'Godfrey Poku has let me down and the club down massively. Brodie's wound him up and he has bit. There is no defence for it whatsoever and he is going to be out for four games now'".

The BBC reports that "Striker Mike Phenix says AFC Telford United are finding it hard to bridge the fitness gap on full-time clubs in the Conference Premier. Telford have remained a part-time outfit since being promoted back to the top flight of English non-league football in April, in contrast to the majority of Conference Premier clubs.

'We're only training twice a week', Phenix told BBC Radio Shropshire. 'But we're up against teams who train three or four times a week. They're doing probably double the fitness work we do, perhaps more. For us, it's just about using the time wisely and getting in your fitness when you can'.

Phenix hit eight goals from midfield last season despite having to cope with the effects of colitis, the same bowel condition which forced Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher to miss nearly 12 months of football. The 25-year-old said regular medication has helped him, although he has also had to contend with some unwelcome side effects. "

And the BBC adds that 'Chester boss Steve Burr is still keen to bring in new players ahead of the close of the August transfer window'. City, reprieved from relegation in June, have made a faltering start to the new Conference campaign. But, although Burr has been told that funds are limited, he told BBC Radio Merseyside, 'We need to strengthen. I've asked the question and I'm waiting to hear what can be done'...

Burr has already made 10 summer signings, highlighted by the capture of veteran duo Chris Iwelumo and Gareth Roberts.. The City boss feels his reshaped team are starting to knit together, having recovered from 2-0 down after nine minutes at Aggborough. Although concerned that City have conceded five goals during the opening 10 minutes in their first five matches of the season, Burr is comforted that their three defeats were against the sides who now form the top three in the fledgling table; Barnet, Forest Green and Halifax.

'We took advantage of Kiddy going down to 10 men,' added Burr. 'But, having said that, we missed a penalty and really should have won. We're not helping ourselves. We're giving goals away and giving ourselves a mountain to climb... The difference between how we played against Kiddy and Saturday's performance was huge', he added. 'And I know what players are like. They thrive on confidence'".

26 August 2014


Altrincham FC Reserves entertain Wythenshawe Town tonight in a top of the table clash in the Cheshire Football League, Division Two. The game kicks off at 6.30pm at Mersey Valley Sports Centre, Banky Lane, Ashton on Mersey. Spectators are welcome.


A goal just before half time was enough to give Gateshead the points.

Match report here.


After Monday's game, the Northern Echo reported that "Gateshead produced a positive response to Saturday’s six-goal hiding at the hands of Grimsby Town as Jamie Chandler’s first-half strike secured a 1-0 win at Altrincham... Marcus Maddison and JJ O’Donnell both wasted decent opportunities to break the deadlock, before John Oster saw his effort from the left-hand side saved.

However, Gateshead finally claimed the lead two minutes before the break as Chandler, who is formerly of Darlington, headed home Maddison’s cross. Tom Marshall went close with a second-half header for Altrincham, but despite a late injury to O’Donnell, Gateshead’s victory was never really threatened".


Half-time on Monday saw Altrincham FC chairman Grahame Rowley and Altrincham's own Premiership referee, Anthony Taylor, suffer the Ice Bucket Challenge for the benefit of the Motor Neurone Disease Association, whose campaign is led by former Altrincham FC captain, Mark Maddox. Mark, who has MND, was one of the people to pour the ice buckets over the two victims, whose bravery earned a significant sum for the MNDA. Their ordeal is captured on video, right.

You can text your pledge directly to Grahame Rowley on 07720 606897 or by e-mail.


Right: As usual Jake Moult put in a wholehearted effort against Gateshead on Monday.

Monday 25 August

  • AFC Telford Utd 3-3 Southport, gate 1421
  • Altrincham 0-1 Gateshead, 1089
  • Barnet 4-0 Dartford, 1605
  • Braintree Town 2-0 Nuneaton Town, 658
  • Eastleigh 3-1 Welling United, 953
  • FC Halifax Town 3-2 Lincoln City, 2369
  • Forest Green Rovers 1-1 Bristol Rovers, 3781
  • Grimsby Town 7-0 Alfreton Town, 3619
  • Kidderminster Harriers 2-2 Chester FC, 2304
  • Torquay United 1-1 Aldershot Town, 2135
  • Woking 6-1 Dover Athletic, 1454
  • Wrexham 2-2 Macclesfield Town, 4012
  • Through the Years from Howard Watts


Next up for Alty is a trip to Nuneaton Town who reported on Monday's defeat at Braintree. "If this defeat was a movie it would be the 'Good, the Bad and the Ugly' as Boro made it five games without a win, or a goal, at the start of the 2014/15 season.

The good was the opening 70 minutes of the game, a performance that saw the Boro look solid at the back and well organised. The perfect away day showing in a way. The bad was either the injury to skipper Gaz Dean or, of course, the result itself on a wet afternoon in Essex.

The ugly, then, can be summed up by a hideous tackle by Ben Hutchinson in the 73rd minute. A foul that saw the former Celtic man see red, a card that ultimately led to the Boro tailing off. As was the case on Saturday, Boro started well... The best Boro chance of the half came out of nowhere, and with only five minutes to go before the break, as James Armson picked the ball up fully 40-yards from goal and fired a stinging effort that Nick Hamann had to be at his best to tip past the post.

The second half saw a continuation of that pattern as the home side were on the front foot almost from the off, with the Boro seemingly happy to sit back and hit them on the break when the chance arose.

Due to the chosen tactics of both sides the first 20 minutes of the second half was a stalemate. Braintree lacking the quality to break the Boro backline down, Nuneaton lacking the numbers in advanced positions to ask their hosts any meaningful questions.

It would have been more than frustrating for Brian Reid then, when his centre-forward Ben Hutchinson saw red in the 73rd minute. The tackle was right in front of the dugouts and saw Hutchinson go in hard and late on Ryan Peters. There were no complaints from the Boro bench as the former Mansfield Town man made his way back to the dressing rooms...

Without the front man up top the threat that Nuneaton were looking to build seemed to vanish. It was no surprise then when Braintree went 1-0 up... An injury to skipper Gaz Dean saw him go off straight after the goal, compounding a miserable five minute spell for Boro boss Reid. The fight seemed to just evaporate from Nuneaton in the final ten minutes, so a second goal from Braintree was not an unexpected one...

It was a miserable end to what had looked like a promising day for Nuneaton Town. As it stands though, they are goalless, winless and in need of a massive dose of luck and spirit before Altrincham come to town next weekend".


The Football Conference reports that on Monday "FC Halifax Town carried their winning start... with 3-2 victory at home to Lincoln City...Lincoln went in front in the 10th minute through a complete fluke, when an attempted Marc Roberts clearance rebounded off Hamza Bencherif and over the head of keeper Matt Glennon... Midway through the second half, The Imps saw earlier goalscorer Bencherif sent-off for a second bookable offence after a foul on Lois Maynard...

Despite Lincoln’s best efforts they couldn’t find that equaliser as Neil Aspin’s men hung on for three points.

Lee Cook, who only came on as a substitute at the start of the second half, scored a hat-trick as Barnet saw off win-less Dartford... Wrexham were held to a 2-2 draw at the Racecourse Ground by Macclesfield Town... James Constable netted his first Eastleigh goals as the Conference South champions beat Welling United 3-1...

Grimsby Town were in stunning form, hammering point-less Alfreton Town 7-0 at Blundell Park. Following Saturday’s 6-1 victory at Gateshead, the Mariners went goal crazy again on Monday... Striker Lennell John-Lewis hit the goal trail again with another fine double... Alfreton were down to ten-men when Anthony Howell saw red for a two-footed challenge on Scott Brown...

Dover Athletic were hit for six by a rampant Woking at Kingfield. Scott Rendell scored four of the Cards' six goals with strike partner Giuseppe Sole netting the other two... Chester FC came from 2-0 down to snatch a point against Kidderminster Harriers at Aggborough. Harriers, down to ten-men for most of the second half after Chey Dunkley's red card, were two up in 9 minutes...

Nuneaton Town's winless start to the season continued as they had Ben Hutchinson sent-off before conceding two late goals at the Amlin Stadium against Braintree Town. Boro have failed to score in all five of their games so far this season and had Hutchinson dismissed in the 73rd minute for a foul on Ryan Peters. That proved to be the turning point...

Torquay United registered their third draw in a row after being held by Aldershot Town at Plainmoor... A last-gasp equaliser helped AFC Telford United avoid a fourth straight defeat at home to Southport. The Bucks had to overcome three defensive errors and a sending-off for Godfrey Poku to snatch their second point of the campaign in an entertaining 3-3 draw at the New Bucks Head".

25 August 2014


Altrincham play at Nuneaton Borough next Saturday. TASC is arranging coach transport, details of which are here. Book now to avoid disappointment!


The FA confirms that Altrincham FC Youth lost 0-2 at Warrington Town on Sunday.


Courtesy of Terry Rowley, we have another tribute to an Altrincham FC player who, sadly, did not survive World War One.


Born: Romiley 1881

Killed in Action 20 July 1916

Julius, son of a butcher and the youngest of four children, was born in Romiley, Cheshire in 1881.

He trained as an electrical engineer and started playing football at full-back with Bury side Unsworth FC. He came to the attention of First Division side, Bury, and eventually made his first-team debut on December 26th 1903 in a 0-0 draw with Wolves.

By the end of the season he had played six more games. In the 1904/05 season he played seven further first-team games before signing for Manchester City on 21st May 1905. He made his City debut on the 7th October in a 2-0 defeat at Preston North End.

Julius only played two further games that season and, at the end of the season, he was transferred to Brighton and Hove Albion, then in the Southern League and played thirty-five out of a possible thirty-eight league games in 1906/07.

In 1907/08 he played a further twenty-nine games before moving to Luton Town, (also of the Southern League), and played thirty-six games in the 1908/09 season. Moving back north saw him turning out for Sale Holmfield and then Zion in 1911.

He joined Altrincham towards the end of the 1911/12 season and played out the season at full back. After Altrincham, we can find no mention of him playing football at a senior level but he may have played local junior football.

During the Great War Julius, then living in Levenshulme, enlisted in the 20th Battalion Royal Fusiliers and was mobilised on active service in mid-1915. Private Gregory was killed in action on the 20th July 1916 at High Wood on the Somme. Over three hundred and eighty men, (two thirds of the battalion strength), were casualties. Julius, like many others who fell there, has no known grave.


Brian Flynn reports that "The second half commentary from Saturday's game at Southport, starting with John Edwards's half-time interview with Shaun Densmore, is here.

From the other side, Southport tell us that "Luke Foster scored in stoppage time to give Southport their first win of the Vanarama Conference season against Altrincham. Foster headed home the winning goal after climbing highest at the far post to convert a right-wing free-kick from debutant Johnny Gorman.

Richard Brodie had given the Sandgrounders a first-half lead before Steven Gillespie equalised for the visitors midway through the second period... Although Altrincham did most of the early running, they had been unable to capitalise...

Having been slow to settle, the goal energised Southport, who had a golden chance to extend their lead when Marsden dispossessed Gianluca Havern and exchanged passed with Brodie, only to shoot disappointingly wide. Early in the second half, Brogan was culpable of another glaring miss, placing the ball straight at keeper Coburn from point-blank range...

As Altrincham started to gain control, the Sandgrounders had Lloyd-Weston to thank for a series of fine saves... Yet the last word belonged to Foster, a commanding figure in the centre of the Southport defence throughout the game".

24 August 2014


Brian Flynn writes that, "Inspired by former club captain, Mark Maddox, who was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) in 2010, Altrincham Chairman, Grahame Rowley and Barclays Premier League referee, Anthony Taylor, will undergo the 'Ice Bucket Challenge' on the pitch, during the half-time interval of their Vanarama Conference home game against Gateshead at the J.Davidson Stadium on Bank Holiday Monday (kick Off 3pm).

'The Ice Bucket Challenge' is an important fundraiser for the Motor Neurone Disease Association. You can text your pledge directly to Grahame Rowley on 07720 606897 or by e-mail or see him before Monday's game.

Meanwhile, Altrincham FC Ladies and their management have endured the Ice Bucket Challenge for the MNDA and their ordeal is recorded for posterity in the adjacent video.


Match report here.

Brian Flynn spoke to Lee Sinnott after the Southport game. The interview is here.


You can follow the Altrincham v Gateshead game on Saturday (3pm) via this website's minute by minute updates or via Radio Robins. Click on the appropriate icon below to go to your preferred means of following the game. For Twitter and Facebook links see the side panel, right.

updatesPC updatesMOBI radiorobins


Mike Garnett reminds us of the historical record of Altrincham v Gateshead games.

  • At home: p22-w11-d5-l6-f39-a26
  • Away: p20-w9-d2-l9-f24-a27
  • All: p42-w20-d7-l15-f63-a53


Altrincham striker Max Pouncey netted for Abbey Hey as they lost 2-4 at home to Alsager Town on Saturday.


In The Hallmark Security Cheshire Football League Cup on Saturday, Altrincham Reserves won 8-0 at Egerton


Last weekend Altrincham FC Ladies played a friendly away at Merseyrail Bootle. Phil Taylor has kindly provided a match report, here.


Altrincham play at Nuneaton Borough next Saturday. TASC is arranging coach transport, details of which are here. Book now to avoid disappointment!

Nuneaton Town play at Liberty Way, Nuneaton, Warks, CV11 6RR. The club advises that prices are:

  • Adults £14 (aged 17 or over),
  • Juniors £3 (16 and under)
  • Transfer to the Main Stand seats, if required, is an additional £2, which is paid within the ground.

The club says that "Car Parking is available for £2 at the ground. Parking is also available on the adjacent industrial estate but please be careful not to block any of the business entrances.

Visitors' turnstiles: When games are segregated visiting supporters are allocated the Loans 2 Go Stand and the visitors turnstiles will be in use. As you enter the Stadium area through the main gates the visitors turnstiles are the first ones that you come to on your left".


Our next opponents, Gateshead report that their "unbeaten start to the Vanarama Conference season came crashing to an end in the most disappointing of circumstances with a 6-1 defeat to Grimsby Town at the International Stadium.

The Tynesiders had kicked off a testing fixture list with victories over Torquay United and Wrexham, and a draw at Eastleigh... The hosts, already without Jon Shaw and Michael Rankine, suffered a further blow before kick-off when goalkeeper Adam Bartlett was ruled out after picking up an injury on Friday.

That handed a Heed debut to Alex Baird but the Australian-born former Newcastle United trainee's first significant call to action was to retrieve the ball from the back of his own net... It got worse... Yet to the hosts' credit, they ended the last quarter hour of the first half commendably, and on top... Cue three half-time substitutes by Mills.

But within 45 seconds of the restart, Grimsby had extended their lead to four... Yet the Heed kept going... Gateshead are away to Altrincham on Monday afternoon (3pm).

Gateshead: Baird, Baxter, Curtis, Clark, Wilson (Allan 46), Guy (Brown 46), Turnbull, Chandler (O'Donnell 46), Maddison, Oster, Rodman".

From the other side, Grimsby Town said that they "picked up their first win of the season in style with a six-goal rout of Gateshead... The Mariners were gifted the perfect start when defender Craig Baxter’s own goal put them ahead with just six minutes on the clock".

Gates on Saturday were:

  • Alfreton Town 2-3 Wrexham 916
  • Bristol Rovers 1-0 AFC Telford Utd 5,450
  • Chester FC 0-3 FC Halifax Town 2,501
  • Dartford 0-0 Torquay United 1,163
  • Dover Athletic 2-1 Eastleigh 787
  • Gateshead 1-6 Grimsby Town 1,782
  • Lincoln City 3-2 Braintree Town 2,231
  • Macclesfield Town 0-0 Kidderminster Harriers 1,407
  • Nuneaton Town 0-2 Barnet 863
  • Southport 2-1 Altrincham 1,082
  • Welling United 1-1 Woking 634
  • Howard Watts's Through the Years.

23 August 2014


Altrincham started the game well and were the better side in the opening stages. However, it was Port who took a 20th minute lead, against the run of play...

Match report here.

Right; Gianluca Havern competes for an aerial ball with Richard Brodie, as Adam Griffin awaits the outcome in the background.


Premiership referee and Altrincham supporter, Anthony Taylor, has agreed to join Alty chairman Grahame Rowley as a victim of the Ice Bucket Challenge for the Motor Neurone Association. Both men will be subjected to the ordeal in the centre circle at half time in the Altrincham v Gateshead game this Monday. Please help them to riase vital funds for the MNDA.

If you would like to make a donation to this excellent cause, please contact Grahame by e-mail or see him before Monday's game.


Friday 22 August

  • Aldershot Town 1 Forest Green Rovers 1

Saturday 23 August

  • Alfreton Town 2-3 Wrexham
  • Bristol Rovers 1-0 AFC Telford Utd
  • Chester FC 0-3 FC Halifax Town
  • Dartford 0-0 Torquay United
  • Dover Athletic 2-1 Eastleigh
  • Gateshead 1-6 Grimsby Town
  • Lincoln City 3-2 Braintree Town
  • Macclesfield Town 0-0 Kidderminster Harriers
  • Nuneaton Town 0-2 Barnet
  • Southport 2-1 Altrincham
  • Welling United 1-1 Woking
  • Howard Watts's Through the Years.


On the eve of Alty's visit, Southport reported that their manager "Martin Foyle has signed Northern Ireland international winger Johnny Gorman before the Bank Holiday double header. The left winger, who has nine full international caps, can play anywhere across the front three.

The 22 year-old has had spells at Wolves, Plymouth and Leyton Orient... Gorman made his Premier League debut in 2011 for Wolves... Gorman, who trained at Edge Hill University [Ormskirk] on Thursday, goes straight into the squad for Saturday's Vanarama Conference fixture with Altrincham".


Altrincham FC chairman Grahame Rowley has bravely volunteered to undergo the Ice Bath Challenge to raise funds for Mark Maddox's Motor Neurone Disease Association appeal. The "ducking" will occur in the centre-circle at the J. Davidson Stadium at half-time in the Altrincham v Gateshead match this Bank Holiday Monday (25th August). The only condition that Grahame has raised is that he receives £250-worth of donors' pledges before kick-off at 3pm.

If you would like to make a donation to this excellent cause, please contact Grahame by e-mail or see him before Monday's game.


In addition to the offer (above) by Altrincham FC chairman Grahame Rowley to undergo the Ice Bucket Challenge on the pitch at half-time, during Monday's Alty v Gateshead match, for the benefit of the Motor Neurone Disease Association, Phil Taylor advises us that "The Altrincham Ladies' team (and management) did the Ice Bucket Challenge after training on Thursday night. Also, I am advised that the First Team are going to do it after Monday's game at home to Gateshead. One of our players set up a JustGiving site to try to raise money on the back of our discomfiture and, if anyone wishes to donate either for the Ladies or the First Team doing the IBC then please follow this link.


Courtesy of Terry Rowley, we have another tribute to an Altrincham FC player who, sadly, did not survive World War One.


Born: Earlestown 1887

Killed in Action 1st July 1916

Tom Farrell was born in Earlestown Wigan and raised in Stretford.

As a teenager, he played for Altrincham’s reformed reserve team in the Manchester Federation League during the 1904/05 season. He was spotted by First Division Manchester City and signed up for the 1905/06 season becoming a regular, alongside future Altrincham favourite, Walter Baldwin.

He made his first team debut the following season in a 1-0 home defeat by Sheffield Wednesday on January 5th 1907. He made two further first team appearances during the remainder of the season. In 1907/08 he was unable to break into the first team and in January 1908 he was sold to Scottish club Airdrieonians, (the previous side of that name that became defunct in 2002).

Tommy scored once in nine league games during the second half of the 1907/08 season. The following 1908/09 season he made just six league appearances before being released and heading back south to Manchester where he joined up with Lancashire Combination side, Eccles Borough. He joined the Lancashire Fusiliers in 1915.

The death of Corporal Thomas Farrell, killed in action at the Somme on 1st July 1916 was reported in the Manchester Evening News. He had been on active duty for twelve months and was twenty-nine years old, he had lived on Eltoft Street, Deansgate and left a widow and three children.


Right: Midfielders Sean Williams and Simon Richman greet each other before the game at Southport.

Monday 25 August

  • AFC Telford Utd v Southport
  • Altrincham v Gateshead
  • Barnet v Dartford
  • Braintree Town v Nuneaton Town
  • Eastleigh v Welling United
  • FC Halifax Town v Lincoln City
  • Forest Green Rovers v Bristol Rovers (k.o. 1pm - on BT Sport)
  • Grimsby Town v Alfreton Town
  • Kidderminster Harriers v Chester FC
  • Torquay United v Aldershot Town
  • Woking v Dover Athletic
  • Wrexham v Macclesfield Town


The Football Conference confirms that "Macclesfield Town have added defensive experience with the signing of former Oldham Athletic, St Mirren and Morecambe player Will Haining. The defender began his career at Boundary Park, making his debut as a late sub on Boxing Day 2001... He went on to play almost 200 matches for Oldham over six seasons...

Moving back to his native Scotland for two years, he joined St Mirren and made almost sixty appearances for the side... Returning to England the following summer, he joined Morecambe and helped them to the play-offs in his first of four seasons with the Shrimps... before leaving in the summer of 2013 to join Hyde FC".

And Macclesfield Town add that "manager John Askey has added six foot one former Bury striker Domaine Rouse to the squad... The player came through the ranks at Bury, where he made... 13 appearances... He also gained experience with loan spells at Droylsden and Fleetwood before leaving Bury and joining Hyde in 2010. He only stayed at Hyde for six months before moving back to Droylsden, where he played a part in their 2011 FA Cup run...

He went on to join Colwyn Bay before returning to Droylsden in the 2012/13 season, and remained with the Bloods until the end of last season."

The Conference reports that "Brian Reid, manager of Nuneaton Town, has been very busy in the last few days, culminating in a clutch of new signings at training on Thursday... Many Boro fans will recall Exodus Geohaghon playing against the club when he was with the likes of Redditch United, and will now get the chance to see the 6' 5" defender and midfielder wearing the blue and white stripes.

A face more familiar to Boro fans has also signed for the club. Jordon Cranston played seven times on loan for Boro at the end of last season, and has been brought back to the club following his release by Wolverhampton Wanderers at the end of the season.

And, as announced earlier, another former loanee has returned, with forward Tyrell Waite back at the James Parnell Stadium for a second loan spell from Notts County.

Reid said, 'Jordan... will give us new options on the left. He can play left back, left wing back or left midfield... Our only left-sided player before tonight was Connor Franklin. I am hoping Tyrell will come in and do well for us. He has been on the fringes of the first team at Notts County...

Exodus is an interesting character, he brings a great deal of experience, is a great size, a leader and a good talker on the park. He also gives us an extra weapon with his long throw, which can be even better than a corner. He can get the ball in the box from near the half way line. He is in good shape, but may be a little shy on match fitness, but that should be sorted out quickly...

We will be looking to get back on track this weekend, and some of the players will be disappointed not to be involved, but they will show some fight to get back into the team. We have a lot of really good characters...

Reid cleared up a few issues that arose around last Saturday's defeat at Wrexham. He said, 'I had to leave quickly after the match for part of my Pro Licence, it was not about the result or the performance'...

He added, 'I am paid to be manager and it is my job to make sure the formation suits the players... The formation was not the reason we lost on Saturday. The players were very flat and, for whatever reason, did not play to their potential. It was the worst I have seen us play... The players know in advance what tactical changes will be made if I make certain substitutions or other changes from the touchlines...

This is the first time as a manager I have played 3-5-2 and I am experienced enough, and qualified enough, to know if I really do have to change it. Different players are suited to certain systems and I am fully confident in my qualities as a manager and the quality of the players that we have. I have a great belief that we will get back on track'".

The Conference also reports that "Bristol Rovers have signed striker Adam Cunnington on loan from Cambridge United. The 6`4” target man will be with Rovers for the next three months. Cunnington, 26, began his career in 2005, and after playing for a number of non-League clubs, including Stamford, Barwell, Solihull Moors and Kettering Town, he signed a two-and-a-half year deal for Dagenham & Redbridge in January 2012.

The powerful forward is proven goalscorer at Conference level, netting 21 league goals for Tamworth during the 2012/13 season... In May 2013 he signed for then fellow Conference side Cambridge".

Meanwhile, "Woking have signed former Wycombe Wanderers defender Nick Arnold. Arnold joined the Academy at Reading in 2007... before turning professional in 2011... After signing a new contract [2013] he immediately joined Wycombe on a season-long loan and made his League debut... He returned to Reading at the end of the season and was subsequently released".

In Devon, "Torquay United have signed midfielder Josh Wakefield on a month's loan from AFC Bournemouth. Wakefield, 20, has played three times for the Cherries' senior side and also had spells out on loan in non-League football with Wimborne Town, Hamworthy United, Dagenham & Redbridge and Dorchester Town. He moved to Torquay`s new league rivals Welling United on loan last January".

According to the BBC, "Welling United have signed Dagenham striker Jon Nouble on a month's loan. The 18-year-old, who signed his first professional contract with the League Two side in April, has made just one senior appearance for the club".

Before they visit Altrincham on Monday, Gateshead "renew rivalries with Grimsby Town on Saturday...with Gateshead having claimed seven points from a possible nine...

Heed boss Gary Mills is hoping to include Marcus Maddison in his team despite the 20-year-old being the subject of a bid from Peterborough United earlier this week. However, Mills will again be without injured strikers Jon Shaw and Michael Rankine. 'I have a decision to make about about who plays there because it's not ideal having your two main frontmen out', he said. 'You never know, there might even be a new face in by the weekend because, if I feel we haven't got the right people to play in that position, the chairman will allow me to do that'".

At the other end of the country, the Dover Express reports that "Athletic manager Chris Kinnear is not fazed by Eastleigh's spending power as the Hampshire side visit Crabble on Saturday... Dover have been pretty much the reverse, with a lot of cash left in reserve...

The manager said, 'It has been well recorded that [Eastleigh] have spent big in the summer but if that's what they want to do then fair play to them, it is none of my business'...

On Bank Holiday Monday, Whites return to the Kingfield Stadium in Woking... Kinnear added, 'Woking are a well-established Conference Premier side who have been in the division for many years. In a way, that is exactly what we want to be like'".

In the Grimsby Telegraph, we learn that "Carl Magnay is planning to haunt Gateshead... The 25-year-old spent two seasons at his hometown club, after being released by Chelsea in 2012. He was near ever-present for Gary Mills's side last season... It was a shock when Magnay was released at the end of the campaign, not least to the player himself.

'Leaving the club under the circumstances that I did was unexpected and that was reflected in the fans' reaction and the messages I received when I left', he said. 'As a player, you can usually gauge when you're out of favour and your time is running out at a club. But I played almost 40 games in a number of different positions and I felt I still had a lot to give and was a good option for Gary Mills. It was a shock and I didn't see myself leaving the club....

'You could say it'll have a bit of an edge to it for me, that's for sure. At the end of the day, I respect Millsy's decision... But as soon as I had the opportunity to sign for club like Grimsby, then it made it much easier to leave... It's all worked out for the best on a personal level'...

The defender, who has represented Northern Ireland at Under-21 level added, 'I'd like to think I'd know pretty much how they'll set up tomorrow. I've already had a chat with the gaffer and given him as much insight as I possibly can. I know their system inside-out and the strengths and weaknesses of each player... The way they play will always be the same under Millsy. I've got a few tactics of mine that I've shared with the gaffer and we've got a plan of how to approach the game. I think if we do it right, it can be very effective'...

'The amount of players that we've had unavailable to us has had an impact and the manager has had to fill round holes with square pegs at times, which isn't easy... No one is panicking about the start we've made.... We're starting to get some of our attacking talent back and we know as a group that we can only get better...

Last season at Gateshead, we lost our first four games and still went on to have a great season; you have to take heart from that'".

The Telegraph adds that "Grimsby Town could stick with 'three at the back' for tomorrow's clash at Gateshead. The Mariners opted for the change in formation for last weekend's 1-1 defeat with Dover Athletic, with the returning Shaun Pearson linking up with Toto Nsiala and Andrew Boyce at the back.. Assistant boss Chris Doig says it is tempting to start with a similar formation.

'We've got the players to do it', he told the Telegraph... We looked very solid with the three boys at the back... We've got a couple of other things we can do as well'...

He added, 'Scott Neilson is back from suspension but, in terms of injuries, we're pretty much in the same position... I still think we're a week or two off with some of the lads, so certainly for these next two games I don't think there will be any changes'".

22 August 2014


The Manchester Evening News quotes Altrincham manager, Lee Sinnott (right, pictured by Gavin Rathbone), saying, after defeating Bristol Rovers, "It's about ticking boxes and it's pleasing that we're already doing that. What we have seen in our three games so far is progression and that is important because, if you are stagnating, you end up scratching your head.

Of course, it's pleasing to see points on the board but it is also important to see that continuing development.

Bristol Rovers arrived here as a big club at this level but we concentrated on what we are about and our efforts were rewarded. Deservedly so, too, because it was an outstanding team effort, so much so that I couldn't really single out any one individual.

They all played their part and, what we are seeing is we can ask questions of teams in this division, which is what I wanted at the outset".

Altrincham will be without injured captain, Shaun Densmore, who is now thought to be about four weeks from recovering from his broken toe. With two matches in 48 hours this weekened, a degree of squad rotation probably can be expected.


Altrincham FC is keen to recruit more stewards to join the hardworking group who ensure the safety of spectators at the J. Davidson Stadium on matchdays. If you would like to join them in this important role, please contact the Club as soon as pssible, either by e-mail or by phone (0161 928-1045). Alternatively, you can contact Safety Officer, Allison Lewis.


Altrincham are away at Southport in the Vanarama Conference on Saturday, 23 August at 3pm. TASC is running a supporters' coach to Haig Avenue and full details are on the Away Travel page. As usual, please book by ringing the Club on 0161 928-1045 or by visiting the Robins' Shop on match days.

As the match is on Bank Holiday weekend and experience of visiting Southport on that date means that the coach will leave a little earlier than would otherwise be the case.

Southport FC advise us that Altrincham fans will be housed in The Blowick End, which "is uncovered and reserved for away supporters, the capacity of which is 1100 standing and 200 seated in the Main Stand. Access to the away end is via turnstiles 3 - 6. Prices are: MAIN STAND - Adults: £15.00, Concessions: £11.00, GROUND - Adults: £13.50, Concessions: £10.00, 12 - 18 Years: £5.00, Up to 11 years: Free with a paying adult, and these are all pay on the day prices.

Car parking is on-street parking, with restrictions in force on match days".


Our next opponents, Southport report that "Martin Foyle has set up a loan deal defender Chris Lynch to go out on loan to FC United."

Also, "Martin Foyle's Southport have a big Bank Holiday weekend facing both the northern newly promoted clubs to the Vanarama Conference. On Saturday at the Merseyrail Community Stadium the Sandgrounders take on Altrincham. Then on Bank Holiday Monday the Port travel to Telford to take on Liam Watson's newly promoted squad. Martin Foyle and Andy Porter have a full week of preparation at Edge Hill University to build on a very encouraging point at Torquay."

Meanwhile, the Southport Visiter reports that "Martin Foyle believes the next run of fixtures provide an excellent opportunity for his side to pick up their first win of the campaign... But Foyle’s men picked up their first point of the season away to relegated Torquay United in a 0-0 stalemate on Saturday.

Southport will face newly promoted sides Altrincham and Telford over the Bank Holiday weekend and Foyle insists his side have an opportunity to pick up some vital points.

'It was a very tough game against a Torquay side who, really, are a League club because they’ve only just come down', he said.... 'It’s no surprise to see our opening two defeats were against sides who are now making headway at the top of the league. The next few games will be against sides we will have a realistic chances of picking up points against. They’re the games that are important to us and if not more important than the games against the top sides'.

He added, 'Altrincham had a fantastic result against Bristol Rovers so we know they’ll be coming to us on a high. It was a result that surprised people but that’s exactly what this league is all about. Every game is tough because four or five years ago you were guaranteed to go and beat one team home and away but there is no chance of that now. The teams have really pushed the bar up this year and spent a lot of money and I’m not quite sure how they can do that. Obviously they’re chasing the golden ticket but it’s a risky game to play'.

Foyle is working hard behind the scenes to try and bring in at least one more player and admitted the squad isn’t quite right yet... 'The squad isn’t a million miles away but we’re not right just yet. A left-sided player and maybe a frontman is where I’m looking but I know what the budget is so I will have to wheel and deal but the window doesn’t effect us too much because we can go into the loan market when it suits.

I’m looking to extract about 20% more from the players and they’ve got to switch on to what we’re trying to implement. They’re young and hungry lads who are really receptive so I know I’ll get that from them'.

Foyle said, 'I’ve been pleased across the pitch because not one player has been below par. We know we’ve not got any star players here but I’d rather have a team'".


The Bristol Post tells us that "Chairman Nick Higgs says that defeat at Altrincham on Saturday has served as a 'rude awakening' for everyone associated with Bristol Rovers. Rovers have failed to register a win in their opening three games of the Conference Premier season and were subjected to fierce criticism from travelling supporters in the aftermath of the 2-1 defeat at Moss Lane on Saturday.

Higgs remains vehemently behind manager Darrell Clarke and the pair are currently attempting to reverse the early slide by trying to sign at least one striker before Rovers entertain AFC Telford United at the Memorial Stadium on Saturday. 'We hoped to hit the ground running, but, as we suspected all along, it has been a tough start for us', Higgs said. 'The games against two experienced Conference sides in Grimsby and Barnet were always going to be difficult, but losing to Altrincham on Saturday was a rude awakening for us all. I've been under no illusion that this season would be anything other than tough and that we have to accept we are where we are. We know that every game is going to be a big game because of who we are in the context of this league.

It is good that this has happened at this stage of the season because it has given us an early reminder of how things will be when we play against the so-called smaller teams... On paper, we have a squad that should be able to cope with and challenge in this league. We have also made enquiries about three players this week and would like to sign at least one, if not two, to strengthen us even further before the weekend'.

Higgs, meanwhile, says he is considering the possibility of adding two new directors to the board following Geoff Dunford's decision to end his long-running association with the club earlier this week... 'I'd known of Geoff's wish to resign for a few months now, but the timing has surprised me a little bit. It is a decision that is based purely around Geoff's personal reasons and is nothing to do with the football club or the plight we find ourselves in at this particular time. We are actively looking to replace Geoff and maybe bring in another one as well in order to inject some new skills and new ideas to take the club forward.

That could involve seeking a director who can bring investment or alternatively looking to bring people in with the requisite skills that we need to help take the club forward'".

According to the Football Conference, "The Board of Directors at Chester FC have announced they have taken action to agree a mutual settlement with goalkeeper John Danby regarding the terms of his contract with the club. The settlement means that Danby will now leave the club with immediate effect but... on amicable terms".

NL Pitchero reports that "Newcomers Torquay United expect to pick up a windfall of around £80,000, thanks to a transfer move for former striker Billy Kee. The Gulls sold Kee, 23, to Burton Albion three years ago for £20,000 after the East Midlands-born forward had complained he was homesick.

The Torquay manager at the time, Martin Ling, negotiated a 35 per cent sell-on fee for the former Leicester City starlet. Kee had scored 10 goals from twenty-four starts (plus thirty appearances as a substitute) for Torquay and now, after hitting another 42 goals from seventy-nine starts for Burton, he has been sold to Sky Bet League One outfit Scunthorpe United. The fee has not been disclosed, but it is understood to be in the region of £250,000.

Torquay’s cut represents a timely boost for their finances. It comes after they earned £40,000, under the Elite Player Performance Plan, for Academy goalkeeper Neal Osborn’s move to Southampton."

According to the BBC, "Gateshead manager Gary Mills says Peterborough are one of several clubs interested in signing forward Marcus Maddison. Maddison, 20, has scored three goals in as many games for the Tynesiders this season, prompting discussions with Posh over a potential transfer.

He scored nine goals in 32 matches last term.... 'We've had contact with Peterborough and an offer', he told BBC Newcastle. 'But we've got other clubs that are watching him. Marcus and his agent have got to decide what happens... Whether he goes or whether he doesn't, we'll see before the deadline... As a club we can obviously say 'definitely not', but then we have the issue of a player who wants to go and play in the League and develop his career'," Mills added.

'It's not as simple as just there is a bid and they can take him. For me to replace someone like Marcus who is on fire in the Conference is virtually impossible.'".

21 August 2014


Above, Gavin Rathbone of GR Photography captures Damian Reeves's excellent goal against Bristol Rovers, last Saturday.


In the adjacent photo, taken on Monday, we see the second and final stage of the pumping of concrete for the floors of the new Community Sports Hall at the J. Davidson Stadium.


On Wednesday evening the Altrincham FC Reserves defeated Mersey Valley FC 5-0 at the Banky Lane ground, which the two clubs both use for their league fixtures. The Altrincham goals came from Louis Brown (2), Kane Hughes, Joel Swift and Ryan Goodwin.


NL Daily reports that "Forest Green Rovers FC could build a new 5,000-seater stadium at Javelin Park near Stonehouse if controversial plans for a waste incinerator at the site were to fall through, the club's chairman has said.

Ecotricity founder Dale Vince confirmed rumours that the club were eyeing Javelin Park as a potential site for a new ground and voiced his belief that it would be a 'far more popular' project than the £500 million incinerator scheme, which has aroused strong opposition from the local community.

The green energy tycoon, who took over the reins at Forest Green Rovers in 2010, revealed that Javelin Park was one of several sites under serious consideration and that the club were initially hoping to build a 5,000 capacity stadium, with scope to expand up to 10,000 seats.

Mr Vince said, 'We are considering Javelin Park as a possible location. We are looking at it as an idea and we know the appeal decision is coming at some point in the next few weeks. It is early days but I am happy to confirm rumours of our interest. In an ideal world for a lot of people in Stroud the incinerator appeal will be rejected and that's whether you're a football fan or not.

I think Javelin Park would be better off without an incinerator and I think a new football ground would probably make for a far more popular use'...

Located next to Blooms Garden Centre near junction 12 of the M5 just outside of Haresfield, Javelin Park is currently owned by several parties. Half of the former airfield belongs to Graftongate Developments and Korine Property Partners, who jointly acquired the whole site for around £6.9 million in 2006, before selling roughly half of it to the county council for £7.4 million in January 2009...

Although, the green energy entrepreneur is unlikely to pay anything like the £7.4 million GCC shelled out for the site, he would be offering GCC a get out of jail card by giving the authority an opportunity to cut its losses.... 'We are against waste incineration as a company', he said. "We have to get away from burning finite resources'".

20 August 2014


Courtesy of Terry Rowley, we have another tribute to an Altrincham FC player who, sadly, did not survive World War One.


Born: Witton, 1880. Height 5' 8".

Killed in Action the Somme 1st July 1916

In many ways George Elmore was Altrincham’s first ‘star’ player.

Born in Witton, Northwich, he started playing with local side Witton Villa and signed up for Northwich Victoria as a teenager during the 1897/98 season. He moved to Witton and quickly established a reputation for speed and agility.

In 1900/01 he was part of the side that were runners up in both the Cheshire Senior and Junior Cups but also won the Crewe and District Cup. Witton and George went one better when they won the Cheshire Senior Cup the following season (1901/02), when Witton beat Sale Holmfield, 2-1, in the final, with George scoring one and hitting the cross bar.

Broadheath’s committee had long coveted George, having been on the receiving end of his abilities on a number of occasions. They eventually landed their man in the early part of the 1902/03 season but not for long. Division One side West Bromwich Albion offered terms to George and a much needed £10 to the Broadheath committee. It should have been no surprise as George had already been on trial at Manchester in December.

George appeared destined for great things, scoring on debut for the reserves but he somehow failed to break into the first team on a regular basis, despite scoring on his League debut and he was released at the end of the season. His next port of call was Bristol Rovers, (then of the Southern League). A moderately successful season was dogged with a leg injury and, at the end of the season, George gave up professional football and returned home and re-signed for Witton Albion.

By November the Altrincham Committee had landed their man. George's signing was the spark that launched Altrincham’s first period of success. Leading from the front, Altrincham romped to a Manchester League title, (losing only once after January 7th) and Cheshire Senior Cup ‘Double’; naturally, George Elmore was top scorer.

The following season George topped the goal scorers' table yet again but won no silverware. For 1906/07, George was made captain and he led the Altrincham side into their debut FA cup campaign and reclaimed the Manchester League title again.

1907/08 started off much the same but, obviously, George was attracting attention once more from the Football League. His leg injury obviously healed, he was persuaded once more to turn professional with Second Division Glossop. George signed off for Altrincham with two goals in a 4-1 win over Salford United. The following week he was scoring on debut against his previous club, West Bromwich Albion.

After two seasons at Glossop, George then moved to Blackpool for a season before moving North into Scotland, where he first joined Scottish First Division side, Partick Thistle for two seasons and then spent two seasons at fellow Scottish First Division side, St Mirren.

This took George up to 1914 and, although still on the books at St Mirren, he briefly moved back to Witton. With the War intensifying George was one of 550 men who enlisted in the Royal Scots 15th Battalion, signing on at Northwich in December 1914, (The Battalion was sometimes referred to as ‘The Manchester Scottish’ and was first raised in September 1914).

After enlisting, George returned to Scotland and, whilst posted to the Garrison, briefly turned out for St Bernard's of the Eastern League, (playing 4 games and scoring once) before moving to fellow Eastern League side, Broxburn United in October 1915, where he played occasionally until the Battalion was eventually shipped to France, landing in La Havre in January 1916.

Sadly, Lance-Corporal George Elmore was killed in action on July 1st 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme, a day when British forces took the heaviest casualties ever, with nearly 60,000 men killed or wounded in a single day. He was 36 years old and is commemorated on the Thiepval monument in France.

George’s career will be covered in more detail in a future Altrincham Legend column.


The MBNA Northwest Football Awards that are due to take place in November and online voting has been opened and supporters are encouraged to vote for their players. For Altrincham, Shaun Densmore is nominated as "Player of the Year" and Scott Leather as a "Rising Star".

The MBNA Northwest Football Awards were launched at the Lawn Club in Manchester last week and a flavour of the evening can be experienced in the adjacent video. A press release gives full details of the event and how to vote.

19 August 2014


Altrincham are away at Southport in the Vanarama Conference on Saturday, 23 August at 3pm. TASC is running a supporters' coach to Haig Avenue and full details are on the Away Travel page. As usual, please book by ringing the Club on 0161 928-1045 or by visiting the Robins' Shop on match days.

As the match is on Bank Holiday weekend and experience of visiting Southport on that date means that the coach will leave a little earlier than would otherwise be the case.

Southport FC advise us that Altrincham fans will be housed in The Blowick End, which "is uncovered and reserved for away supporters, the capacity of which is 1100 standing and 200 seated in the Main Stand. Access to the away end is via turnstiles 3 - 6. Prices are: MAIN STAND - Adults: £15.00, Concessions: £11.00, GROUND - Adults: £13.50, Concessions: £10.00, 12 - 18 Years: £5.00, Up to 11 years: Free with a paying adult, and these are all pay on the day prices.

Car parking is on-street parking, with restrictions in force on match days".


Right: Whilst Luca Havern and Scott Leather were two of the key figures in defence against Bristol Rovers, the midfield also worked hard as is shown by Sean Williams and Peter Cavanagh getting back to help out.

Friday 22 August

  • Aldershot Town v Forest Green Rovers
  • Saturday 23 August

  • Alfreton Town v Wrexham
  • Bristol Rovers v AFC Telford Utd
  • Chester FC v FC Halifax Town
  • Dartford v Torquay United
  • Dover Athletic v Eastleigh
  • Gateshead v Grimsby Town
  • Lincoln City v Braintree Town
  • Macclesfield Town v Kidderminster Harriers
  • Nuneaton Town v Barnet
  • Southport v Altrincham
  • Welling United v Woking

    Alty TV has its highlights of the Alty v Bristol Rovers game; click on the adjacent image to see them.

    Also, Brian Flynn interviewed manager Lee Sinnott after the Bristol Rovers's game. It can be viewed here.


    As reported recently, youth team graduate David Brown, who bears a first-team squad number for this season, has signed EvoStik League forms to allow him to gain match practice at Ossett Town, who met Clitheroe on Saturday. The West Yorkshire club reports that "without five players who would likely have been in the squad at least were playing well, the side had seven players making their debut and five of the eleven were teenagers...

    With 20 minutes remaining, and the wind a 12th man for Clitheroe, they broke through and only didn't take the lead thanks to an excellent goal line clearance by David Brown"


    Altrincham FC Associate Director, Barry Pond, writes, "Join us in the Manchester Glass Sponsors' Lounge for a Family Day on August Bank Holiday Monday (25 August), when Altrincham entertain Gateshead (3pm).

    The hospitality will include a hot meal, cold buffet, complimentary drink before the game and at half-time, complimentary matchday programme and a pre-match word from a member of the club management or a player.

    Children, accompanied by an adult, go free. Adults pay £30, AFC season ticket holders pay £22.50. Please contact Karen Rowley to make your booking by e-mail or phone, 0161 928-1045".

    Barry has also compiled an updated list of Matchday Sponsors; if you would like to sponsor a game or a matchball, a player's shirt or help in any other way, please contact the club via the above links.


    The half-time bucket collection amounted to £92.52 on Saturday. The Club's thanks go to the collectors and the donors.


    The latest league table is here, along with all of Sunday's results in the NWYA Premier League.


    According to the Western Daily Press, "Manager Darrell Clarke was left shell-shocked after seeing his Bristol Rovers side fall to back-to-back defeats... Rovers lost 2-1 at Altrincham hard on the heels of a 2-0 defeat at Barnet, leaving supporters in despair at the plight of their club after relegation from the Football League last season.

    He said, 'I expect a lot better from them. I can't really recall Altrincham opening us up and we gifted them their goals and a number of other chances. Fair play to them, though, as they took their chances and we didn't'... Mental fear is certainly one of the reasons and it only gets worse when you put in performances like that... The mistakes we made and the fact we were punished for them means that we come in for a great deal of criticism and rightly so'.

    Clarke added, 'But we have to be strong, stay strong, regroup, and go again... There was a lot of anger in the dressing room and rightly so, from my staff and myself. However, there is only so much we can do. We have deserved to lose the two games we have played this week and we haven't been anywhere near the form I know we are capable of producing. There are some good players at this club, but they have to stand up, the same as myself and my staff, and make sure they believe in themselves'".

    Meanwhile, the Bristol Post tells us that "Long-serving Bristol Rovers director Geoff Dunford today stunned the club by resigning from the board. Former chairman Dunford's decision to stand down ends a 30-year association with the club his father, Denis, saved by moving from Eastville to Twerton Park in the 1980s.

    This latest move comes just a few months after Dunford denied rumours he was thinking of resigning following the Pirates' relegation out of the Football league... Dunford, who served as chairman between 2004 and 2007, made his decision to stand down following Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Altrincham, arguably one of the lowest points in the club's history.

    Dunford issued the following statement, which appeared on Bristol Rovers' official website... 'My family have been pressuring me to step down for a while. I did resign in February of this year, when the team was moving up the League 2 table, but I was persuaded to stay on by the Chairman and Toni Watola. Relegation was a great disappointment to me after nearly 30 years of service to Bristol Rovers, and I am still not over the pain of it.

    Nick Higgs and the board have my support in turning the club around. I believe they will provide a new stadium in South Gloucestershire, and return us to League 2, but they need the continued support of everyone to do this. I am sure they will succeed. The club is back in non league as it was in the early 1900's and that is totally unacceptable. The team needs solid and positive support and time to change to winning ways. It is so easy to get on their backs, but please give the players every encouragement...

    My participation over the last two years has dwindled to mostly giving financial support and I hope the board can find someone young and energetic to replace me'".

    Altrincham's next opponents are Southport, who drew with Torquay United last weekend. Highlights of that game are here.

    In the Shropshire Star, we learn that "AFC Telford United manager Liam Watson today admitted his side were 'outclassed' by Aldershot as their wait for a Conference Premier win goes on. The Bucks were defeated 2-0 by Aldershot...

    Watson’s side huffed and puffed but could find no way back and the Bucks chief had no complaints with the defeat... He said, 'I think we were outclassed and that’s the first time I have said that. It’s about the gulf [from] where we have been playing and where [we] are playing now. I am not going to kid myself, it’s been an up and down start to the Conference but that’s all it has been, the first week.

    One or two people have never played at the level and it will take them time to adapt, if they are going to adapt. I am just expecting a lot more of the players who have played at the level'.

    Watson admitted his tactics didn’t pay off as he dropped Charlie Barnett, Sean Cooke and Adam Farrell for back-from-suspension duo Mike Phenix and Godfrey Poku, along with Sean Clancy... The Bucks boss said, 'We tried to play Jordan Deacey in a position that suits him, playing in front of the two, as he did for Bradford Park Avenue when we played against them. We never got hold of the ball enough to actually do that. They were an awful lot stronger than us early on and that probably took the game away from us.

    We are trying our best to get a bit of football into the team but, when it doesn’t happen, you tend to get the ball forward and threaten. I just thought they were too clever for us'".

    18 August 2014


    Atrincham FC Youth (under-18s) suffered a 3-0 reverse in their opening league game, away to Abbey Hey, at Knutsford. There is a match report here.

    Right: Jimmy Folagbade (in blue shirt) contests possession with the Abbey Hey captain.


    A 3-0 win against Cuddington maintained Altrincham FC Reserves' unbeaten run this season. The scorers were Hughes, Swift and Goodwin. The Reserves are at home to Mersey Valley at Banky Lane on Wednesday (6.30pm).


    Brian Flynn reports that "Saturday's Radio Robins commentary link is here.

    In the Non-League Paper Bristol Rovers' manager Darrell Clarke told Dave Stringer, "I expcted to win here but we orchestrated our own downfall as there were so many individual errors... I apologise for today's performance".

    Alty counterpart, Lee Sinnott, named Manager of the Day in the NLP said, " I believe the harder you work, the luckier you get. Our industry was impressive and I could see improvements that have been made over the three games [of this season]. We felt there may be pressure on the Rovers' players and we wanted to exploit that. I think we did and it was good to get the three points on the board".

    Regarding the match, the Bristol Post told us that "Bristol Rovers’ Lee Mansell has labelled yesterday’s 2-1 defeat to Altrincham Town as an 'embarrassment of a game'. Darrell Clarke’s side, off the back of a midweek away loss to Barnet, travelled to Altrincham in the hope of clinching their first three points in the Vanarama Conference.

    However, an 18th-minute strike from Town’s[???] Damian Reeves, following a Tom Parkes defensive error, gifted the home team the opening goal. A second-half own-goal from Mark McChrystal, after a poor clearance from a corner, put the hosts 2-0 up before Mansell headed in a Jamie White cross on the 76th minute to give Rovers a glimmer of hope...

    Clarke’s men have picked up just one point from their first three fixtures, and Mansell said, 'It was an embarrassment of a game. We turned up and thought, because we were Bristol Rovers, that we were going to turn them over. Altrincham had other ideas and they got two well-deserved goals from mistakes from us. It happened again at Barnet on Tuesday where two individual errors cost us. But just because they make mistakes, we need to regroup as a team, and we didn’t do that'.

    He added, 'We came out a bit better in the second half and we created chances, but we didn’t finish them off. I mean you give yourself a mountain to climb when you go two goals down, but unfortunately for us we couldn’t get back in it. We were huffing and puffing, but it didn’t look like we were going to get the second one'.

    Meanwhile, on their poor start to the season, Mansell said, '“I wanted to win three out of three, I mean everyone in that changing room wanted to win three out of three. Unfortunately, we’ve picked up one point out of three. We know that’s not good enough and we know that’s miles away from what’s expected of us. But there won’t be anyone beating themselves up as much as us in the changing room'".

    According to the Bristol Post, "Following Bristol Rovers' 2-1 loss away to Altrincham yesterday, rumours circulating on social media suggest a number of travelling fans decided to voice their opinions towards the players as they boarded the bus outside the ground. Meanwhile, there are also rumours that a fan nearly managed to get on the bus before the person involved was removed by club officials.

    A minibus of supporters were also said to have driven past shouting 'What a load of rubbish' a number of times".


    Dave Johnson writes “Altrincham U13 Piranhas are looking to recruit players for the upcoming season. Would any interested parents or players please contact Dave Johnson a.s.a.p. by e-mail or by ringing 07717-884195”.

    Also, Altrincham U17 youth team are looking for players to bolster the existing squad for the coming season, which starts in three weeks' time. Would interested players please contact Dave via the e-mail address or phone number which are given above?


    Altrincham remain 15th in the Vanarama Conference after 1619 people saw AFC Telford United lose 0-1 at home to Aldershot Town, who have now beaten both of the Skrill North promoted teams. The Football Conference tells us that "Newly-promoted AFC Telford United are finding life back in the Vanarama Conference tough... The Shots took less than 5 minutes to take the lead when Damon Lathrope set-up Joe Oastler to fire home... It came as little surprise when the visitors went two-up a minute or so later from the penalty spot after Steve Akrigg was adjudged to have brought down Josh Scott in the box. Williams duly converted the resultant spot-kick".

    According to the Northern Echo "Gateshead boss Gary Mills is delighted with his side’s start to the Conference season despite them losing their 100 per cent record as they drew 2-2 with big-spending Eastleigh...

    'When the fixtures came out and you looked at the first four games, you could see it was tough for us', said Mills. 'We’ve started well and it’s something we need to maintain. It’s all credit to the players, but we want to make it ten points out of 12. We have a good squad who are capable of doing that, and I’m sure we can get another result next week (against Grimsby)'...

    Gateshead: Bartlett; Baxter, Curtis, Clark, Wilson; Oster (O’Donnell 46), Turnbull, Chandler, Maddison (Brown 83); Guy (Jones 60), Rodman."

    After the draw with Eastleigh, Gateshead adds that "manager Gary Mills said... 'Out of the three games so far this wasn't our best performance... We started well but conceded two goals from set pieces which was very disappointing... We definitely we need to play better than that in future games".

    In Stroud Life we read that "Forest Green defender James Jennings could miss the entire 2014/15 season after damaging his knee in an innocuous training-ground collision. A summer acquisition from Mansfield Town, left-back Jennings will undergo surgery on Monday on his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) following the accidental clash with Kurtis Guthrie.

    Rovers' boss Ady Pennock is resigned to being without the 26-year-old for a lengthy period... 'It's an absolute kick in the teeth to lose James because it was just a nothing, knee-on-knee challenge. He just rubbed his knee and carried on training, and he even had a fitness test before the Southport game because we thought it might be just bruised'...

    Forest Green made it three wins from their opening three fixtures against Alfreton Town... Pleased with another workmanlike performance, Pennock warned potential promotion rivals that his side will only get better as they gel over the coming weeks and months. Pennock said... 'I know we can play better. We've got some new signings and everyone is getting used to one another... We've only just started'.

    Pennock also explained why he and his coaching staff have switched from the left to right-hand dugout at the New Lawn this term. He said, 'I want to be in the linesman's ear and it's something I've done before when I was manager of Welling. Obviously it's not about having a go at anyone, but I think it gives us a little bit of an advantage because I'll be closer to those little decisions than I would be on the other side. That extra percentage could make all the difference, so why not? Other teams do it to us'".

    Alty's next opponents, Southport had a goalless draw with Torquay United who say that the game comprised "No goals but loads of drama, controversy and entertainment on an afternoon of blood, guts and thunder at Plainmoor... Ryan Bowman saw red for a moment of madness on 21 minutes and both sides spent the rest of the match throwing everything into the search for three points.

    Despite the numerical disadvantage, United laid siege on the Southport goal in a thrilling second-half and will spend the weekend wondering how the victory did not arrive in the end...

    After two defeats to start his season, Southport boss Martin Foyle had a slightly different approach to his team selection, making one change... Joe Connor dropped to the bench to allow a start for Micah Evans... Southport started as the brighter outfit...

    A complete moment of madness from Bowman then changed the afternoon. An innocuous tussle with Scott Kay should have been nothing more than a quick chat from the referee but when Bowman reacted by moving his head towards the opponent, it was difficult to argue with the subsequent red card...

    Southport (4-5-1): 1 Daniel Lloyd-Weston; 22 Andy Mitchell, 5 Dominic Collins, 6 Luke Foster, 3 David Fitzpatrick; 7 Micah Evans, 4 Scott Kay (10 Richard Brodie 62), 8 Luke George, 11 Stephen Brogan (capt) (20 Paul Smith 78), 18 John Marsden (12 Johnnie Lynch 73); 9 Danny Hattersley. Substitutes (not used): 15 Joe Connor, 16 Paul Rutherford".

    From their perspective, Southport report that they "came away with a hard earned point in a game that turned into quite a lively and entertaining affair.... Southport, inspired by a very promising debut frrom Micah Evans, created plenty of openings in the game but just couldn't find the finishing touch...

    Southport picked up three yellow cards... A much improved perforamce from The Sandgrounders which left the excellent travelling contingent of 63 feeling a lot happier as they embarked on the long journey home".

    17 August 2014


    Dave Johnson writes “Altrincham U13 Piranhas are looking to recruit players for the upcoming season. Would any interested parents or players please contact Dave Johnson a.s.a.p. by e-mail or by ringing 07717-884195”.

    Also, Altrincham U17 youth team are looking for players to bolster the existing squad for the coming season, which starts in three weeks' time. Would interested players please contact Dave via the e-mail address or phone number which are given above?


    Altrincham secured a deserved win against Bristol Rovers in the first-ever clash between these two sides. Above, Steven Gillespie aims a freekick at the Rovers' goal.

    Match report here.


    Brian Flynn has an interview with Saturday's 'Man of The Match', Tom Marshall, here.

    The BBC reports that "Bristol Rovers manager Darrell Clarke told BBC Radio Bristol: 'We orchestrated our own downfall. We gave goals away again and we could have given away even more... It's not good enough and there's no hiding place. We've now got to all stand up and be counted and I've got to front that up. The fans are disappointed and rightly so. I expect a lot better'".


    The next games for Altrincham FC teams are...
    • First Team: Sat. 23 Aug. SOUTHPORT (Away) 3pm
    • Youth Team: Sun. 17 Aug. ABBEY HEY (Away) 2.30pm
    • Ladies: Sun. 17 Aug. BOOTLE (Away) 2pm
    • Youth Education Programme: Wed. 10 Sep. MMU (Home) 2pm @ Hale Country Club


    The EvoStik League reports that Altrincham's young defender David Brown has signed EvoStik League forms with Ossett Town.


    Attendances on Saturday were: Right: Peter Cavanagh was named captain of Altrincham today in place of the injured Shaun Densmore. Also seen here, against Bristol Rovers, is Luca Havern.

    • Altrincham 2-1 Bristol Rovers 1463
    • Barnet 1-2 Lincoln City 1529
    • Braintree Town 1-3 Chester FC 800
    • Eastleigh 2-2 Gateshead FC 1081
    • FC Halifax Town 3-0 Welling United 1337
    • Forest Green Rovers 2-0 Alfreton Town 956
    • Grimsby Town 1-1 Dover Athletic 3548
    • Kidderminster Harriers 1-0 Dartford 1626
    • Torquay United 0-0 Southport 1997
    • Woking 0-0 Macclesfield Town 1340
    • Wrexham 1-0 Nuneaton Town 3292


    Barry Pikesley's amusing article on Altrincham connections with Bristol Rovers, entitled the The Gasman Cometh is now available.


    County Supporters reported before Saturday's match that "The Stockport County Supporters Cooperative are dismayed and not a little disgusted, to learn that the Tamworth club,have withdrawn permission for Pure FM to broadcast from the ground tomorrow.

    This is an ill thought-out move, and deprives at a stroke, disabled and house bound County supporters, who cannot get to the game the chance to listen via Pure`s excellent coverage. It also deprives local charity, The Well Spring, which was recently awarded The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, vital income from the broadcast ads, and comes hard on the heels of the equally astonishing news that the game has been designated a Category A, game which of course hoicks up the prices for admission.

    We are told Tamworth move was 'a commercial decision' and they are clearly hoping for a big gate tomorrow. We urge those supporters able to travel, to attend tomorrow`s game and roar County on to a first win. But we would urge you also to consider not purchasing anything from the hosts club as a small protest."

    Does this sound familiar to Alty fans? NL Pitchero reports that "Warrington could be charged by the Evo-Stik League for failing to fulfil a fixture after they refused to re-take the field against Darlington for 'health and safety reasons'.

    The Quakers were 2-0 up ... but on 32 minutes the referee went down in a heap, frantically blew his whistle several times, and waved to the Darlington physio for attention to a calf injury. An appeal was made for an active official to act as an assistant, and three volunteers came forward. However, Warrington objected to them on the grounds that none were independent and so manager Paul Reid called his starting eleven back into the changing room.

    Darlington officials and the match referee contacted the league, and were informed that the game could continue with two officials as per one of the rules.

    After a further delay, Reid called his substitutes into the dressing room, and then announced that they were refusing to continue the game on health and safety grounds, claiming that his players could suffer an injury without another warm-up if play was going to restart.

    Even though Darlington boss Martin Gray tried to persuade him to change his mind, Reid was adamant and the game was therefore abandoned after a 35-minute delay and to the annoyance of the near 1,000 crowd."


    The Football Conference reports that "Forest Green Rovers maintained their 100 per cent start to the Vanarama Conference season with a 2-0 win over a still point-less Alfreton Town... FC Halifax Town made it an impressive three wins from three this season after a commanding 3-0 victory against Welling United at The Shay...

    Eastleigh and Gateshead played out an entertaining encounter which saw both teams take home a point... Eastleigh finished with ten-men late on when Michael Green was sent-off for a bad foul on Rodman.

    Chester FC celebrated their first win of the season after producing a memorable second half fight back at the Amlin Stadium... after Kenny Davis had put Braintree 1-0 up... Lincoln City ended Barnet`s unbeaten start to the campaign after snatching a 2-1 success at The Hive... Wrexham got back to winning ways and made it two wins from three games as they registered a 1-0 victory over a Nuneaton Town side who have only registered one point thus far. Striker Louis Moult got the only goal at The Racecourse...

    Kyle Storer hit the winner as Kidderminster Harriers made their best start to a league campaign in nearly a quarter of a century... after this win over reprieved Dartford at Aggborough... Grimsby Town made it three draws in succession after being held to a 1-1 draw by Dover Athletic".

    16 August 2014


    Saturday, 16 August
    • Altrincham 2-1 Bristol Rovers
    • Barnet 1-2 Lincoln City FC
    • Braintree Town 1-3 Chester FC
    • Eastleigh 2-2 Gateshead FC
    • FC Halifax Town 3-0 Welling United
    • Forest Green Rovers 2-0 Alfreton Town
    • Grimsby Town 1-1 Dover Athletic
    • Kidderminster Harriers 1-0 Dartford
    • Torquay United 0-0 Southport
    • Woking 0-0 Macclesfield Town
    • Wrexham 1-0 Nuneaton Town

    Sunday, 17 August

    • AFC Telford United v Aldershot Town


    There's still time to register yourself as an Altrincham FC player sponsor for 2014-15. Player sponsors receive their chosen player's signed shirt at the end of the season. For just £150 you can sponsor either a home or away shirt (or both) for each player. The price is just £150 for one shirt or £250 for two! Sponsors' names are recorded in the Robins' Review matchday programme throughout the season and are also displayed under the apporpriate player's name in the Manchester Glass Sponsors' Lounge.

    A list of those players sposnsored to date and those still available is here


    The Western Daily Press confirms that "Bristol Rovers have pepped up their attack ahead of today's Vanarama Conference trip to Altrincham by signing Luton winger Dave Martin on loan until January...

    Martin, who is set to play wide left today, started his career at Dartford, said, 'The Conference is tough. There is not a big difference between that level and League Two, but it means a lot of hard work and determination and you need a bit of luck... Teams will look on playing Rovers as a big game and we know it will be like that at Altrincham. It will be a tough game and we will have to go there in the right frame of mind to come away with three points'...

    Meanwhile, skipper Mark McChrystal is hoping to re-inject a bit of positivity back into Bristol Rovers' season by claiming their first victory of the campaign at Altrincham. He said, '"We have to be positive at Altrincham now'".


    Click on the appropriate icon below to go to your preferred means of following Saturday's game. For Twitter and Facebook links see the side panel, right.

    updatesPC updatesMOBI radiorobins

    Brian Flynn adds that "Radio Robins, sponsored by Ashley Mowers Garden Machinery, is providing full live commentary of Saturday's Vanarama Conference encounter at the J.Davidson Stadium against Bristol Rovers.

    The match commentary sponsor is SKkits, a major independent sports brand in the North West, supplying Altrincham and a further eight leading semi-pro clubs including Buxton, Kendal Town and Lancaster City.

    SKkits is a well established company, owned and run by Ian Senior, with a reputation for supplying high class products at unbelievably low prices to sports clubs the length and breadth of the UK. Due to their unique relationship with their suppliers they guarantee that they will not be beaten on price and service.

    All products are delivered within 14 days of order FREE OF CHARGE to mainland UK.

    Have a look at their website or call Ian Senior directly on 07960 137232

    The commentators are Paul Salt and Brian Flynn with John Edwards as match summariser.

    Coverage starts at 2.50pm with the game kicking off at 3.00pm. You can listen to Radio Robins on the internet at

    Leah and Simon Brotherton will be providing regular updates on Twitter (@altrinchamfc) as well as half-time & full time updates on facebook (Altrincham FC).


    Right, are the excellent Alty TV highlights of the Lincoln City v ALtrincham game.

    Barry Pikesley's thoughts in advance of the match are recorded here in an article entitled, 'Smells Like Nineteen Spirit', reproduced from the Robins' Review of Tuesday last.


    On Friday, Bristol Rovers "signed Luton winger Dave Martin on loan. The 29-year-old will be at the Memorial Stadium until January.

    Manager Darrell Clarke said, 'I have been chasing a winger for a couple of weeks, I wanted someone quick and direct who gets at the full backs. He is an out and out winger, and somebody I have been desperate to add to the squad. I am delighted that I have got him.

    'He has been at a big football club in Luton, but he has been getting a bit frustrated there, as they have a massive squad at the minute. He wants to come here and get some games under his belt, but maybe looking to the future as well. He chips in with a few goals, he is very quick and direct and has good delivery, so he is just what we needed.

    He has played in the Championship, League One and League Two, and he knows the Conference very well. He is still very hungry and cannot wait to get started'.

    Martin began his career in non league and, whilst at Dartford, his goalscoring record caught the eye of Crystal Palace, who he joined in January 2007. In 2008 he moved across London to Millwall, helping the team to the League One Play-Off final... Martin signed on loan for Derby County until the end of the 2009/10 in February...

    He completed his permanent move in the summer of 2010, and whilst at Derby he had loan spells at Notts County and Walsall. In January 2012, he joined Southend United, joining Luton the following January... Last season he spent time on loan at Conference side Dartford.

    Chairman Nick Higgs said, 'Now I will continue to support the manager in his search for a new striker'.”

    Meanwhile the Bristol Post has a blog which says, "Claudio Ranieri used to be called the Tinkerman, but Bristol Rovers manager Darrell Clarke makes him look like Mr Predictable.

    Darrell’s fiddling before the game at Barnet on Tuesday was simply jaw-dropping, particularly on the back of an encouraging first Conference outing against Grimsby... If Rovers did have a problem it was failing to put the ball in the back of the net, which is why Darrell’s changes were so baffling to the Rovers' faithful at the Hive.

    Already without goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall for family reasons and having to draft in Will Puddy who had only joined in an emergency, it defied belief for him to then rip up the rest of a back four that at least kept a clean sheet three days earlier...

    There was no Parkes, no Leadbitter and instead a player in Neal Trotman handed a huge role at the heart of the defence against a team fresh from scoring five goals away from home at the weekend.... The changes did nothing but harm to Rovers in a first 45 minutes in which they were truly dire and lost the game.

    Puddy, another of Clarke’s former employees at Salisbury, was caught out on the one really difficult thing he had to do in the first half to present Barnet with the vital second goal. while Trotman, to my mind, looks like a player at the end of the line. His positioning and knowhow are still there but it is his fitness which can’t match up, and he moves as if in need of an imminent hip replacement...

    The changes didn’t give Rovers a chance from the start, while up front Ryan Brunt’s chance of forging a partnership with new boy Matty Taylor was immediately scuppered when the former Stoke man was left on the sidelines. Instead we had Taylor and Jamie White paired together, too players so similar in stature and appearance it was destined to fail, particularly with balls being hoofed over the top to them...

    His number one priority at the moment should be to gel the new players with old, find a system that works for them, and only resort to Plan B when things go wrong. That will only happen through repetition – picking the same players in the same roles".

    Elsewhere, NL Pitchero reports that "Alfreton Town, who have yet to pick up a point after their opening two matches, have signed young striker Joe Ironside on a month`s loan from Sheffield United.

    Twenty-year-old Ironside, who has made sixteen League appearances for United including two starts, has already been out on-loan at Conference Premier level with FC Halifax Town during last season, making ten appearances and scoring twice, and then with Harrogate Town in the Conference North later last term, playing eight times."

    Meanwhile the Football Conference reports that "Chester FC have signed former Everton and Stoke City centre-back Ben Heneghan. Heneghan, 20, started his career with the Toffees before switching to Stoke following his release in 2012.

    The Manchester-born defender spent time on loan with Droylsden...last season and trialled with Accrington Stanley in pre-season."

    15 August 2014


    Altrincham FC Matchday Secretary, George Heslop, requests that if any of last Tuesday's turnstile operators have not yet been contacted by him to confirm their availability, or otherwise, for this Saturday's match, would they please ring him on 0161 718-0624?


    Altrincham FC caterer, Richie Bentley advises that "extra catering facilities will be available at the ground on Saturday. The precise location of these within the J. Davidson Stadium will be determined after consultation with the travel coordinators.

    We will again be selling cold sandwiches, snacks, confectionary and cold drinks from the additional outlet, so I advise fans to bring plenty of extra change. We look forward to getting a big crowd and Dawn and her Team look forward to serving you all.

    Also, please, book your places in the Manchester Glass Sponsors' Lounge for Saturday's game. This is such a big game and a great opportunity to come and indulge in the "all you can eat" hot and cold buffet and free drinks package in the Lounge. Please contact Barry Pond on 0161 928 1045 to get your table. Cheers!" Richie Bentley.


    Altrincham FC captain Shaun Densmore (right), who was injured by a tackle on Tuesday night, has indicated that his injury has been confirmed as a broken toe and that he will be out for around six weeks. All at the club hope that his return is sooner!


    Stuart Coburn's next appearance for Altrincham will be the goalkeeper's 650th appearance for the Club. Stuart has been at Moss Lane since 1997/98 season, apart from a spell at the now defunct Leigh RMI in 2002-03.


    Altrincham FC Ladies' first pre-season game is this coming Sunday, 17th August, when Altrincham play away to Mersey Rail Bootle LFC at The Delta Taxis Stadium, Vesty Rd, Bootle, L30 1NY. Kick off is at 2pm. Manager Keith Edeston says that "All support is welcome to come and cheer the girls on in preparation for the new season".

    The Ladies' league fixtures for 2014 are here.


    Right: Courtesy of Gavin Rathbone of GR Photography we see Peter Cavanagh in action against Lincoln City.


    Altrincham FC thanks the collectors and donors who raised £50.11 through Tuesday's bucket collection at the J. Davidson Stadium.


    Altrincham are exempt from the Preliminary Round of the Cheshire Senior Cup, whose ties are to be played in the week commencing Monday, 3rd November 2014. The draw is:
    • Runcorn Town v Chester FC
    • Crewe Alexandra v Witton Albion
    • Stockport Sports v Congleton Town
    • Stalybridge Celtic v Nantwich Town
    • Cheadle Town v Northwich Flixton Villa
    • Barnton FC v Hyde FC
    • Warrington Town v Stockport County.

    The clubs exempt to Round 1 are Altrincham, Macclesfield Town, Northwich Victoria and Tranmere Rovers, whilst 1874 Northwich, Alsager Town, Cammell Laird, Runcorn Linnets and Winsford United have byes to the First Round.


    Thursday's televised match was settled by an injury-time winner from Ben Wright:
    • Eastleigh 1 Aldershot T. 0

    Reports from our next opponents, Bristol Rovers say that "Darrell Clarke admits his side will have to play a lot better than they did during the first half of Tuesday night’s defeat at the hands of Barnet...

    He said, 'We got beat the other night, mistakes made by all concerned, and everything becomes over scrutinised because we are Bristol Rovers, a big club in the Conference. What I have to do is manage that situation. I do hold myself a bit responsible for the first half performance.

    I am confident we will be in amongst it, we have had a couple of games and there have been a few lessons learnt. We cannot afford to concede the sloppy goals we have conceded, but we will be going for it in our away games. If we can get 12 or 13 away victories this year, which is my target, we will have a good away record, and obviously you have to win your home games to be successful. P> I won’t be overreacting, but we need to get a win to kick start our season. We are going to take some hits this season, and it is about how you recover from those hits'.

    Altrincham will be the first part-time team that Rovers come up against, but Darrell does not expect that to make too much difference at this stage in the season.

    He said, 'It doesn’t really make a big difference early in the season as the fitness levels will be pretty good, sometimes it makes a big difference after Christmas when the fatigue starts to kick in for the part-time teams... There aren’t any easy games, but we are going to be trying to win every match we play in. We are going to have to play a hell of a lot better than we did during the first half on Tuesday.

    The pitch will be decent, and we will go up there and respect Altrincham, but we are going to try and win a football match. We have to concentrate on ourselves, and for me it is about getting that first win on the board. As soon as we get that first win, we will kick on'.

    The manager is hopeful that he will have a new face in before Saturday’s game. He said, 'Touch wood, I should have a winger in by tomorrow morning. It has been agreed by the clubs verbally, I have spoken to the lad and he is delighted to be joining us.

    I will be pleased to get an out and out winger in as it gives me better options. The loan will be until January, so we will have him for a good few months. I am then still looking for another striker'...

    He said, 'We have one or two knocks, but we will assess them over the next couple of days. Tom Lockyer’s teeth got knocked to the back of his throat on Tuesday night. Tom epitomises everything about this football club, so we hope to get him back pretty sharpish.

    We are hoping [goalkeeper] Steve Mildenhall will be available, one of his close relations is very ill in hospital, but we will assess that come Saturday. Kieran Preston is available for the weekend. He is back from his three days with the Scotland under 19s'".

    More comes from the Bristol Post which says that "Manager Darrell Clarke knows that guiding Bristol Rovers to a first win of the season at Altrincham on Saturday is the only way to silence his critics... [They] were the subject of criticism from some supporters in the aftermath of a 2-0 defeat at Barnet on Tuesday night.

    'You are expecting it (criticism) whenever you lose a game', Clarke said. 'You lose a game and people get carried away, but I have no problem with that because that is all part and parcel of football these days. Mistakes get made and everything gets over scrutinised because we are a big club in the context of the league we are in'...

    The manager made three unforced changes to the side that drew 0-0 with Grimsby on the opening day...

    The club, meanwhile, has been forced to reduce the number of overnight stays for away games and Clarke, who will be making the 150-mile trip with his players on Saturday morning, said, 'We have to cut our cloth accordingly and I don’t have a problem with it. The finances of the football club are what they are and we just have to get on with it'".

    In the same newspaper... Clarke said, "We are a newish squad and a work in progress, but we have to brush ourselves down and stick together as a group and go again on Saturday...

    Striker Matt Taylor, meanwhile, says that the fact Rovers are trying to bed in a number of new players can't be used as an excuse a disappointing start to the campaign...Taylor said, 'I do know the league and it is a very tough one. Everyone knows that these days and there are always eight to ten teams who believe that they can be in and around the top of the table. We are one of them and we need to get ourselves off and running by going to Altrincham and getting a win on Saturday.'

    On the defeat at Barnet, Taylor added: "They were a strong physical side but they got two fairly lucky goals in my opinion. We played in to their hands by putting too many long balls onto their central defenders' heads during the first-half and that was disappointing".

    In the Torquay Herald Express, we learn that "Torquay United manager Chris Hargreaves says that Vanarama Conference rules which allow only five substitutes are creating a logjam of pressure for places at Plainmoor.

    The Gulls’ boss revealed that, not only will fit-again defender Krystian Pearce push for a recall at home to Southport on Saturday, but winger Jordan Chapell is poised to come off the transfer-list.

    And Chapell couldn’t even get on the bench for Tuesday’s 3-0 home win over Welling United, along with SIX other senior players. Of United’s 23 pros, only rookie midfielder Mickey Parcell (broken metatarsal) is currently sidelined. But just 16 of them can be involved in any Conference game.

    Hargreaves had insisted during the close-season that he had no problems with a subs’ bench reduced from seven in the Football League. But he revealed, 'I want Jordan Chapell to stay, and he wants to stay. We are talking about taking him off the transfer-list, and I’m sure that’s going to happen soon... But it’s difficult for him with only five subs...

    Centre-back Pearce made a surprise appearance on the bench against Welling – he’s been out with an ankle injury for a month... It seems only a matter of time before one or two more of United’s younger pros go out on loan. Even without Chapell, United still have five other players on the list – Dale Tonge, Aaron Downes, Ben Harding, Elliot Benyon and Karl Hawley...

    Said Hargreaves after the midweek win... 'I took Louis Briscoe off because he just looked a bit tired – he’s not had our type of pre-season or played these sort of games, back to back, for a while'".

    The Football Conference reports that "The Football Association `Groundsman of the Year` awards have taken place at St George's Park... Receiving special mention and bestowed with "Highly Commended" for their efforts during one of the most challenging seasons, due to extremes of weather, were...

    Mark Harrison - North Ferriby United, Jamie Otto - Barnet, Jim Hauge - Harrogate Town. Taking the top three positions... were,

    • Winner – Graham Gould - Staines Town
    • Runner-up – Stephen Batty - Gateshead
    • 3rd place – Craig Freeman - Ebbsfleet United

    News of a former Conference Premier club comes from Bulls' News which says that "Hereford United is now owned by a 'purchaser of distressed debt' according to a statement by Marc Landsman.

    A statement reads, 'In the absence of any realistic offers from anyone with links to the football club to buy his debts Mr Agombar sold them to an independent third party introduced to him as a purchaser of distressed debts and similar. As at the time of this update (midnight on Thursday 14 August) no claim or proxies had been received from the new owner (a limited company) in relation to these debts. The shares were sold to the same company'. It is not currently known who this company is".

    The BBC says that "Eastleigh manager Richard Hill says the football club is 'unrecognisable' in all aspects compared to 12 months ago. Chairman Stuart Donald has invested around £3m to improve the ground, the club's infrastructure and bolster the playing squad...

    'It's unrecognisable from last season, Hill told BBC Radio Solent. 'That's credit to owner Stuart Donald and chief executive Mark Jewell'.

    The Spitfires embark on their first season in English football's fifth tier and have recruited a number of high-profile players over the summer. James Constable, Jack Midson and Paul Reid are among those who have signed...

    'Stuart says he has put in the region of £3m into the football club', he said. 'That's the club, not the team. It has allowed the stand to be built on the other side to work on the pitch and build a stand behind the goal and I don't think it is going to end there if we can grow as a team'".

    14 August 2014


    Altrincham's FA Youth Cup 1st QR match at home to Colne will be played on Monday, 8 September at 7.45pm. The venue will be the J. Davidson Stadium, Moss Lane, Altrincham WA15 8AP.

    Altrincham FC Youth under-18s' team starts its league season in the NWYA Premier League this Sunday (17th) with an away match against Abbey Hey. Though based in Gorton, Abbey Hey play their youth games at the Egerton Boys' Club, Knutsford. Kick off is at 2.30pm.


    Altrincham Reserves's next game is a home match against Cuddington at Mersey Valley FC on Saturday (16th) at 3pm.


    Brian Flynn, Altrincham FC joint Press and Media Officer, tells us that "There is an audio interview with Assistant Manager, Neil Tolson, from Tuesday night. It can be found here.

    "WE'LL BE OK"

    Altrincham FC joint Press and Media Officer, John Edwards, has provided the following extended version of a piece which appears in the Sale & Altrincham Messenger.

    Lee Sinnott refused to be downhearted after a second successive defeat for Altrincham and defiantly declared, 'We’ll be OK.’

    Alty are finding their Vanarama Conference baptism every bit as tough as expected, with an opening-day 3-1 setback at Aldershot followed by a narrow 2-1 reversal against Lincoln City at the J.Davidson Stadium on Tuesday night.

    The theme of mixing it with full-time clubs with a Football League pedigree continues against Bristol Rovers at the J.Davidson on Saturday (3pm), but Sinnott insisted his players are showing signs of finding their feet at the new higher level.

    ‘It’s fine lines at the moment,’ said the Alty manager. ‘I thought the performance against Lincoln was better than on Saturday. There were positives at Aldershot but more in this second game.

    ‘We have played four halves now and conceded in the first 10 minutes in three of them. I mentioned that at half-time and told the players “that stops now”, and thankfully it did. We didn’t concede in the opening minutes of the second half against Lincoln, so that is a little box ticked.

    ‘It’s just as well, because you can’t keep shooting yourself in the foot by not starting a half correctly. It’s how things manifest themselves, and if you switch off and allow someone to go for a short corner, particularly someone with a wonderful delivery like their left- back Sean Newton, you are asking for trouble.

    ‘We switched off for a second, and, bang, it’s at our far post and into the net for 1-0. That’s what happens at this level.

    ‘Then Steven Gillespie produces a bit of brilliance and it hits the bar. Fine lines again, when it could so easily have been 1-1. The way we went at it in the second half, I thought it might have been us who scored the goals, but their second left us too much to do.

    ‘There is a case for saying the step-up we’ve made is as difficult and challenging as any in the game, because we’ve left behind a part-time league for one that is packed with full-time professional outfits. If we expected to come into this division and immediately start creating as much as we did in the Conference North, we’d be in cuckoo land.

    Left: Steven Gillespie

    ‘It’s just being realistic and logical to say we can’t just assume we are going to walk into the Conference and swat everyone aside. You’ve got to work at it. It is a work in progress, and that’s what we are.

    ‘There were positives at Aldershot and even more in the performance against Lincoln. All round, we were better on Tuesday night, but I don’t want to be saying that all the time and not seeing points on the board.

    ‘We need to learn the lessons quickly, and take them on board. I just thought we were a better physical presence in the second half against Lincoln than early in the first half. There are promising signs there. You can see them. But you have to deal with what this league is about, because it can find you out if you don’t step up to the plate physically, probably more so than technically.

    ‘I thought, in the second half, some of our passing was as good as anything I saw from Lincoln, but the difference was the bit of quality they showed when it came to delivering balls into the box. That’s something we should have done better, but there were positive signs, and we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact we are only two games into the season.

    ‘I dare say there will be some doom-mongers saying we are not good enough, but that is not the case. Give these lads a chance to become accustomed to the level they are playing at. You can tell them all about it, but they need to experience it for themselves to realise what it is about.

    Left: Shaun Densmore

    ‘It was very pleasing to hear such a positive response from our supporters at the end. That was important. The players have got to earn that, but I think they did. You don’t get that level of applause for nothing, but if the crowd can see you’ve given your all, they will show their appreciation.

    ‘Our fans are clever and know their stuff. We all see things a bit differently on some aspects, naturally enough, but they are astute enough to tell when we are committed, playing decent football and creating opportunities.

    ‘But we do need to cut the players some slack, because it is a real jump from the Conference North to this division. You just don’t have as much time on the ball, for one thing, because the players we are up against are so sharp mentally and physically and are pacey when the ball is in the opposition zone.

    ‘You have to recognise when you’ve got time and when you haven’t. I’ve always said you can’t play in third gear if you are being closed down in fifth gear. If you are being closed down quickly, you’ve got to execute quickly.

    ‘We are learning that aspect, but it is a question of coming to terms with the new surroundings we find ourselves in. By that, I mean grasping the fact that we won’t get the sort of chances we got in the Conference North and we will get punished if we give the ball away needlessly, especially in dangerous areas but even when there might not be any apparent sign of immediate danger.

    ‘I noticed, against Lincoln, we had a throw on the edge of their box, and the ball bounced across the body of one of our players. Within three seconds, they were in our area. That’s the speed of thought and deed we are up against. But, as I keep saying, there are some promising signs. We will be ok. ’

    Skipper Shaun Densmore will have an x-ray today (Thurs) to discover whether he suffered a broken toe in the opening minutes against Lincoln. Scott Leather is ready to step in, if need be, despite missing Tuesday night’s game, and several training sessions, after having to attend a work-related training programme in the south.

    Right: Jake Moult

    ‘Shaun took a whack on the toe, and it will be a blow if he misses games,’ added Sinnott. ‘He is having an x-ray on Thursday to see if there is a break, so we will know more then. Jake Moult stepped in for him and did really well, and we need that versatility, because it is only a small squad.

    ‘But I don’t think people should be thinking two games, two defeats, it’ s all doom and gloom. You need six to eight games to start seeing how things are developing. That’s when you can make judgements, but, in the meantime, I am looking at the players and thinking who is ahead of expectations and who is a little behind.

    ‘On Scott, the situation is that, for the first month of the season, he is undergoing training during the week for a new job. The job is up here, so that’s fine, but the training is down south, which meant he was unavailable for the Lincoln game. Also, of course, he has been unable to train with us.

    ‘When we started off the campaign at Aldershot, we hadn’t seen him for 10 days, and that was why he didn’t start. We are a part-time club, don’t forget, and we have to put up with this sort of thing, when it occurs. But if Shaun is ruled out on Saturday, Scott will be in the selection process, for sure.

    ‘The new boys deserve a word, because I think everyone can see they are settling in really well. Steven Gillespie and Peter Cavanagh have made their mark and are only going to get better. They came into the building late, so are only going to improve, as they get more game time. They are going to bring more to the table.

    ‘It’s the same with Sean Williams. He was unavailable on Saturday, due to a family problem, but that is fine now, and you could see what he offers against Lincoln. He looked very lively, very sharp-minded, and he made things happen at times.’"


    In Tuesday's "Robins' Review" was Mike Garnett's article entitled, "100 Years Ago – The Forgotten Season", which is reproduced below.

    "As we have been repeatedly reminded this year, early in August 1914 the First World War broke out. The disruption to ‘normal’ life was, of course, immediate and widespread and sport was as much affected as any other aspect of society.

    While some sports came to a halt, others decided to carry on as best they could and the various footballing authorities elected to proceed with the impending 1914-15 season. As a result Altrincham FC started their Lancashire Combination First Division fixtures a month later.

    Moss Lane was, at this point in time, a fairly new footballing venue, having opened for business just four years earlier, succeeding Pollitt’s Field (right) as the town club’s home ground, and the established fixture pattern was that the season ran from the beginning of September to the end of April, sometimes straying into May if that month began at a weekend. Midweek matches, outside of public holidays such as Christmas and Easter, were a rarity apart from very early or late in the season, and were of course largely impractical in the winter months as they were dependent on the hours of daylight.

    There were only two points for a win (and one for a draw), and substitutes were unheard of for fifty years to come!

    The Combination fixture list features some names which strike no chord 100 years on but alongside Atherton, Denton and Eccles Borough are some much more familiar adversaries. Chester unfortunately failed to complete the season, but Barrow, Chorley, Macclesfield, Northwich Victoria (sorry for swearing!), Tranmere Rovers and Witton Albion were all present and correct throughout; Hurst are still around under their post-1947 name as Ashton United, and Nelson* remain active further down the pyramid. Other members were Accrington Stanley, Fleetwood, Hyde, Rossendale United and South Liverpool, all of whom have subsequently been reformed under the same or similar names.

    Knock-out competitions also continued, and Alty entered both the FA Cup and the Cheshire Senior Cup. Opponents in these competitions included Stalybridge Celtic and Stockport County, as well as the somewhat less well-known Newton Heath Athletic.

    It has always been difficult for historians, amateur or professional, to categorise war-time football, given that teams were by no means always at anything like full strength, but as this was a ‘bona fide’ campaign in terms of League and Cup fixtures it seems appropriate to mark the centenary of what has become a forgotten season.

    The first month of the season saw just three League fixtures, a 2-0 win over South Liverpool and defeats by Atherton and Rossendale, but Alty’s FA Cup campaign began on Saturday September 26th with a Preliminary Round visit to Newton Heath Athletic, a 1-1 draw being followed by a 5-1 replay win the following Wednesday afternoon.

    October began badly with a 3-1 defeat at Chester, a reverse which didn’t count in the end as the county town club resigned from the Combination early in 1915 and their record was expunged. The Cup saw further progress, a home win over St. Helens Town being followed by a victory at Macclesfield, but between these two games a crushing 7-1 defeat at Fleetwood meant four losses in the first five League games. A win at Nelson on the last day of the month went some way to redress the balance.

    Alty exited the Cup in the 3rd Qualifying Round early in November at the hands of Eccles Borough, a goalless away draw being followed by a 1-0 replay defeat at Moss Lane. In League games a home win over Denton and a goalless draw at Barrow counterbalanced a loss at the Drill Field, Northwich.

    In December, by contrast, five League games brought five wins and a goals ratio of 19 for and one against as Fleetwood, Tranmere, Witton, Rossendale and Chorley (this last on Christmas Day) all bit the dust.

    The New Year saw mixed fortunes; of five League games in January two were won and three lost, while in the Senior Cup 1st Round Stalybridge were conquered and February began with a quarter-final victory over the Vics. League visits to Witton and Macclesfield were unproductive but the month ended with a home win over Atherton.

    Only four games were played in March – two wins and a draw in the Combination but an extra-time defeat at home to Stockport in the Senior Cup semi-final. The remaining eight games, beginning with the Easter holiday weekend at the start of April, featured crushing wins over Vics (7-1) and Barrow (7-0), a couple of draws and four defeats. In the final week Eccles Borough were crowned Combination champions after a 4-0 win over Alty, who ended the season rather limply with a 3-1 home defeat by Macclesfield on May 1st.

    Alty ended the season in seventh place, with 15 wins, 13 defeats and four draws from their 32 matches.

    Inevitably the continuing war led to substantial re-organisation of competitive sport. In football, the Cup competitions fell by the wayside for the duration; in our area, the Lancashire Combination was split into Northern and Southern sections in 1915-16 and then continued in much reduced form in 1916-17. Alty withdrew at the end of that season, preferring local football, but returned the following year, taking part in the Manchester Section, five of whose eight clubs were to be founder members of the Cheshire County League in 1919, the development which marked the beginning of post-war, peacetime football in the county.

    * Erratum. A sharp-eyed friend has pointed out an error in the first part of this survey of the “forgotten season”. The Nelson club which played in the Lancashire Combination in 1914-15 was not the present club but a predecessor thereof. I am pleased to correct this and thank Andrew for pointing it out!"


    After Tuesday's game, Lincoln City reported that "City boss Gary Simpson named an unchanged squad for this clash against Altrincham... Amongst the home squad, meanwhile, was ex-Imp Kyle Perry...

    A corner was taken short by Newton to Nolan who gave him it back; he then curled in a deep centre and there rising high at the back post was JORDAN BURROW who saw his powerful header beat Stuart Coburn for the Imps' first goal of the season...

    The hosts were forced to make a change in the 19th minute with Jake Moult coming on for a limping Shaun Densmore... The half came to a close following a couple of minutes' added time with City more than deserving of the single goal advantage.

    The first action of the second period saw [Lincoln's] Marshall take a heavy touch before felling Lawrie and earning a caution for his troubles. Tempers flared again four minutes later when Newton was taken out by Cavanagh before both players squared up to each other. Cavanagh was booked for his part in the incident.

    City had the bar to thank shortly afterwards when Gillespie cut inside from the left before curling past Townsend and against the woodwork... Power saw yellow for a foul on Gillespie...

    With 11 minutes [left] on the clock Karl Ledsham replaced Alan Power for his City debut and he was quickly in the action and part of a move which saw the Imps double their advantage. City pieced together a great move down the left and after the neat passage of play opened up the home defence, Newton fizzed in a cross and there to crash the ball into the net from six yards was Conner Robinson to make it 2-0.

    The goal seemed to take the stuffing out of Altrincham who had put in an improved shift following the break and City looked comfortable as the game approached three added minutes... There was still time for Altrincham to bag a consolation effort with substitute Damian Reeves capitalising on a rare moment of hesitation between Diagne & Townsend".

    Vital Lincoln City says that "Lincoln City maintained their unbeaten start...with a comfortable 2-1 victory against ... Altrincham... [Former Alty player] Gary Simpson kept the faith with the same eleven as Saturday... Altrincham finally came to life at the mid-way point of the half, with keeper Nick Townsend forced into a good save from Sean Williams...

    The second half began with the home side finally taking the initiative, and they should have equalised through Steve Gillespie, after his ambitious curling shot smashed back against the City crossbar with Nick Townsend beat[en]... A late mix up between Townsend and Diagne allowed Reeves in to score a consolation goal for the home side".

    In the Lincolnshire Echo, "Gary Simpson could not hide his delight at the way his side earned their first win of the season with a 2-1 victory over Altrincham... Simpson said, 'I am delighted with the win. I thought we made hard work of it to be honest. We were quite dominant at times but probably our own carelessness put us into trouble. We have gone 2-0 up and been a bit sloppy again. They have ended up pinching one at the death and it was perhaps 45 seconds we didn’t need to go through.

    It was a game we needed to win if I am perfectly honest but I knew it would be difficult. The pitch was difficult, you couldn’t run with the ball. The grass was that long it was untrue. We struggled to run with it'.

    Altrincham, beaten by Aldershot on the opening day, were no match for a City side with solidity in defence and guile in midfield".

    In its review, the Football Conference reports that "Five clubs possess 100 per cent records after Tuesday night's round of matches in the Vanarama Conference.

    Gateshead maintained their impressive start to the season with a clinical win over Wrexham on their Racecourse patch... Forest Green Rovers made it two wins out of two at the start of the campaign but were made to dig deep against Chester FC at the New Lawn... FC Halifax Town ran out 3-1 winners against Southport at The Shay and also secured another three points... Macclesfield Town and Barnet are the two other teams with two wins from their opening two matches...

    The Bees inflicted a first Conference defeat on relegated title favourites Bristol Rovers at The Hive... Charlie MacDonald, doubled their advantage just before the break after new Rovers `keeper Will Puddy had spilled Mauro Vilhete's long-range shot.

    Joining Chester and Southport in yet to record a point in 2014/15 are promoted Altrincham and Dover Athletic and Alfreton Town... Dover were comprehensively beaten 3-0 at the Amlin Stadium by Braintree Town...

    Grimsby Town were held to their second successive goalless draw of the season when Nuneaton Town blunted their attack at Blundell Park".

    Bristol Rovers are Alty's next opponents and the Bristol Post says that "A much-fancied Barnet side lived up to their billing as one of the early favourites to make a return to the Football League by handing Bristol Rovers a sharp reminder that bouncing back at the first time of asking will not be anything other than a very difficult task.

    Rovers may well have started the season as favourites with the bookmakers to land the Conference Premier title, but, based on the evidence of what happened here on the football pitch at the Hive, it is Martin Allen's men, who, look the more prepared to make a title charge...

    Perhaps Rovers boss Darrell Clarke should have known that it wasn't to be his day when a squad that is already lacking in terms of depth was depleted further still with the loss of key perfomer Steve Mildenhall after one of the goalkeeper's relatives was taken seriously ill and rushed to hospital.

    As a result, Puddy was given a debut less than 24 hours on from joining the club on non-contract terms, initially to cover the absence of second-choice stopper Kieran Preston. Wary of the threat posed by former City man Akinde, Clarke opted to replace Tom Parkes with the physically-imposing figure of debutant Neal Trotman.

    Jake Gosling has earned a starting spot on the left wing after an impressive cameo off the bench at the weekend Saturday, while White was also handed a first start up front alongside Matt Taylor to form a diminutive strike force that would trouble Barnet's less-than-mobile central defenders with clever movement...

    Puddy, however, had shown confident handling to take the heat out of any situations emanating from out wide until Rovers' early resolve was finally broken by Akinde in the 21st minute... An on-pitch post-mortem was conducted by an apoplectic Lockyer in the aftermath, but if anything, that early setback jolted Rovers into life and they went on to enjoy their best spell of the opening period in the 20 minutes that followed...

    Stack then almost presented Taylor with an open goal to shoot at by spilling Mansell's effort from distance before Puddy was guilty of a similar offence at the other end, which allowed MacDonald the opportunity to tap into an empty net to double the advantage.

    Rovers' night worsened soon after the break when Lockyer was forced to leave the pitch with blood gushing from his face".

    Meanwhile, Bristol Rovers "Manager Darrell Clarke was disappointed with his side’s first half performance... The manager changed the system after the break and saw an improved performance...

    'It was very disappointing first half, as we played a system where we needed to pass the ball and the players take responsibility... We conceded two very sloppy goals... In the second half I thought we huffed and puffed a little bit and created a number of chances, but we had given ourselves a mountain to climb. There was no point in putting long balls up to Jamie White and Matty Taylor as they need balls into their feet. We need players to take responsibility, get on the ball, and get higher up the pitch'.

    Barnet’s first goal was scored by former Rovers loanee John Akinde, whose physical presence caused Rovers quite a few problems, though the big striker was never once cautioned by the referee in spite of a number of robust challenges, one of which saw Tom Lockyer have his teeth rearranged and requiring dental treatment when the side returned to Bristol...

    'As for the second goal, Will Puddy will be disappointed with the way he dealt with the long range shot. He should have pushed it the other way but, that said, we didn’t react very well to the situation... It is a bit of a reality check and this is a very tough job at the moment, because we came into the season with high expectations and we certainly dipped way below them tonight. We shouldn’t be losing games in the manner we did tonight, and that was unacceptable...

    Things are difficult at the moment and it is a tough job, but it’s one I’m more than capable of turning around... The striker I was hoping to bring here has opted to go to Dagenham & Redbridge and the loan player I was hoping to bring in has proved to be too expensive, so it’s back to the drawing board'".

    13 August 2014


    On Tuesday night Altrincham Reserves drew 1-1, away, to a strong Irlam Town side. The scorer was Aaron Edwards, whilst goalkeeper Jamie Burrows saved a penalty.


    A strong Lincoln City side overpowered an Altrincham team which showed four changes from the opening day reverse at Aldershot. Reeves, Clee, Richman and Mike Williams were replaced by Perry, Crowther, Sean Williams and Marshall.

    Match report here.

    Right: Lincoln's opening goal enters the net.


    Tuesday, 12 August
    • Through the Years. by Howard Watts.
    • AFC Telford United 2-3 Macclesfield Town
    • Altrincham 1-2 Lincoln City
    • Barnet 2-0 Bristol Rovers (8pm)
    • Braintree Town 3-0 Dover Athletic
    • FC Halifax Town 3-1 Southport
    • Forest Green Rovers 2-1 Chester FC
    • Grimsby Town 0-0 Nuneaton Town
    • Kidderminster Harriers 3-0 Alfreton Town
    • Torquay United 3-0 Welling United
    • Woking 1-1 Dartford
    • Wrexham 0-3 Gateshead FC

    Thursday, 14 August

    • Eastleigh v Aldershot Town


    Dave Johnson writes “Altrincham U13 Piranhas are looking to recruit players for the upcoming season. Would any interested parents or players please contact Dave Johnson by e-mail or by ringing 07717-884195”.

    It is important that prospective players please contact Dave within the next seven days.


    The Altrincham FC Saturday Yankee now has a £3,750 jackpot, to be won for a £1 stake. Last week's winning combiation was 0606, which was an unissued code. However, two members each won £75 for winning trebles.

    TASC GOAL RUSH, 2014-15

    TASCs Paul salt writes, "Many thanks to all those supporters who have re-pledged their goal sponsorship in the TASC Goal Rush Scheme for the 2014-15 Season.

    We are still looking for further participants to help us achieve our target of £30 per goal scored in total.

    For those who are not sure how the scheme operates, the scheme is simple. Anyone can sponsor the mighty Robins for any amount they wish in multiples of 25p per goal for each goal they score throughout the 2014-15 season in all the Vanarama Conference League and play off matches, FA Cup, FA Trophy and Cheshire Senior Cup matches.

    For example, if Altrincham score a total of 75 goals in the 2014/15 season, for 25p sponsored per goal you would be paying £18.75 for the whole season.

    For every tenth goal scored, each sponsor will be entered into a free draw based on one entry for each 25p sponsored, i.e If you agree to donate 50p per goal, you receive 2 entries, £2.00 per goal receives 8 entries etc.

    The lucky winner of each draw for every 10th goal will have the choice of one of three prizes. These are (1) TWO FREE TICKETS for a forthcoming home league game, (2) FREE AWAY TRAVEL for one person to any away game on the TASC organised coach or (3) A SIGNED PHOTOGRAPH of the winner with their favourite Altrincham player

    In addition there will be the end of the season draw for TWO PRIZES of a signed shirt and matchball.

    Should the total amounts pledged exceed £30 and Altrincham score 100 goals in the 2014-15 season, the Chairman has again agreed to provide a free season ticket for the 2015-16 season in addition for the end of season draw.

    Application forms will be available from the TASC table located in the Noel White Suite before the home matches v. Lincoln City on Tuesday evening and Bristol Rovers on Saturday".


    Paul Salt advises that "The latest edition of the TASC Newsletter will be available for collection from the temporary TASC desk, located in the Noel White Suite before the home matches v Lincoln City on Tuesday evening and Bristol Rovers on Saturday".


    The Football Conference reports that "Neil Aspin, manager of FC Halifax Town, has agreed a new deal to stay with the Shaymen, having signed a new two-year contract. His previous contract had a year to run, but with a change in Aspin’s full-time employment and with the continued success of the team under his guidance, a new two-year contract has been agreed.

    With it, Aspin goes full-time and will be involved in more activities within the club. The Board of Directors congratulated Aspin on a very successful five seasons at the Shay Stadium, which include three promotions, two play-offs and the excitement of bringing Charlton Athletic to the Shay Stadium for a live ITV broadcast FA Cup tie".

    Meanwhile, "Martin Allen, head coach of Barnet, has signed midfielder Adam Mekki. Mekki left rivals Aldershot Town in June after failing to agree terms on a new deal. The 22-year-old came through the club's youth academy...

    Mekki, who was on the books at Aldershot for eight years, made a total of 100 appearances for the Hampshire outfit... and had loan spells with the likes of Oxford City, Carshalton Athletic, Dorchester Town and Basingstoke Town."

    The Essex Chronicle confirms that "Matt Paine is facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines after picking up a knee injury in Braintree's 1-0 defeat to Macclesfield on Saturday.

    The versatile midfielder and defender is likely to be out for six weeks, joining new-boy Charlie Strutton on the injury list. Centre-back Remy Clerima and striker Sean Marks may also miss tonight's home fixture with Dover Athletic.

    Clerima is struggling with a thigh injury, while Marks is trying to recover from a back problem. With Paine injured, Mitch Brundle is set to make his debut for the Iron as he is likely to partner Alan Massey."


    According to the Daily Express, "Manchester United have warned all supporters they will not be able to bring iPads or any other tablet devices into Old Trafford this season. There has been a tendency for fans to record matches on the Apple gadgets and the club are worried about copyright being breached.

    United have now warned fans about their new policy with an email... It read... 'Supporters cannot bring large electronic devices (bigger than 150mm x 100mm) inside the stadium. For example, iPads or other tablet devices and laptops are now prohibited. “Also please be aware that large bags, large cameras and liquids (with the exception of a small bottle of water with the top removed) are included in our list of prohibited items.”

    12 August 2014


    Joint Press & Media Officer, John Edwards, writes that "Altrincham launch their home programme against Lincoln City tonight, and there is a new-look Robins' Review to mark the occasion, packed with even more articles, features and interviews.

    On top of the usual manager's notes from Lee Sinnott and Captain's Chat with Shaun Densmore, there's a Q&A with a member of the first-team squad, beginning tonight with promotion play-off final matchwinner Greg Wilkinson, and a comprehensive round-up of all the opening-day Vanarama Conference action.

    Additionally, there is a special Roll of Honour, listing Alty players who lost their lives in the First World War, as part of a feature entitled '100 years ago - the forgotten season.'"

    The Robins' Review is on sale inside the J. Davidson Stadium at just £2.50.


    As shown above, the pitch at the J. Davidson Stadium is ready for its first competitive game, Altrincham v Lincoln City, following a summer of hard work from groundsman, Neil Brown.

    You can follow the match via minute by minute updates on this website (from as soon as the teams are named) or by tuning in to Radio Robins (see below).

    Click on the appropriate icon-link below to go to your preferred means of following the game. For Twitter and Facebook links see the side panel, right.

    updatesPC updatesMOBI radiorobins

    Radio Robins, sponsored by Ashley Mowers Garden Machinery, will be broadcasting full live coverage of Altrincham's first home Vanarama Conference fixture at the J.Davidson Stadium on Tuesday night, when Lincoln City are the visitors.

    The match commentary sponsor is Altrincham F.C. Community Sports Ltd, which is the umbrella organisation that manages the club's community activities. The main project for 2014 is the new Community Sports Hall, which is currently under construction. You can find out all about that at the Community Sports Hall website.

    The commentators are Niall Finnegan and Paul Salt, with John Edwards as match summariser.

    Coverage starts at 7.35pm ,with the game kicking off at 7.45pm. You can listen to Radio Robins on the internet at (via the above link)

    Mike Garnett kindly provides us with the statistical record between Altrincham and Lincoln City:

    • At Altrincham p2-w1-d1-l0-f3-a2
    • Away p1-w0-d0-l1-f0-a5
    • All games p3-w1-d1-l1-f3-a7


    The Lincolnshire Echo reports that "Gary Simpson says Conference Premier new boys Altrincham will be out to prove a point against his Lincoln City side tonight... However, their debut in non-league’s top flight ended with a 3-1 defeat at Aldershot Town...

    And Simpson believes they will be out to show they can cut it in the top tier when they entertain the Imps tonight (7.45pm).

    'I think things have set themselves up to make this far from straightforward,' said Simpson. 'They were beaten on Saturday and now they are playing their first home game tonight. There will be a lot of pride on the line for them. No games are easy in this division, that’s a given, but the circumstances make this one more interesting... I think we can be pleased with the point against a [Kiddermnster] team which has been talking about winning the title', said Simpson.

    'The lads did very well defensively but, if there was one criticism, it was that we didn’t probably create enough... The most important thing was that we got off the mark. Altrincham haven’t done that, so they will be ready to get up and get at us tonight'.

    Simpson has no fresh injury worries ahead of tonight’s game, but there are still concerns over a number of players. Sahr Kabba, Karl Ledsham and Todd Jordan are all still not 100 per cent ready, while Tom Miller is also stuck on the sideline with a knee injury which is set to keep him out for six weeks. Kabba, Ledham and Jordan all joined in training on Monday. However, Jordan could not complete the session.

    Simpson admitted... 'I think Kabba has about 20 minutes to half an hour in him at the moment', said Simpson... 'We need to be sensible and manage the squad that we have'.”


    The Radio Robins commentary on Aldershot Town v Altrincham is available here.

    And, Aldershot Town have video highlights of the game.

    Right: Nicky Clee and Steven Gillespie in action at Aldershot.


    Duncan Watmore was a used sub for Sunderland against Udinese at the weekend. Both Kevin Ellison and Jack Redshaw netted in Morecambe's win on Saturday.

    Former Alty Youth Stuart Cook has moved from Salford City to Northwich Victoria.


    NL Daily reports that "Nick Townsend admits Paul Farman will put him under pressure to maintain his place as Lincoln City's first-choice goalkeeper.

    Townsend was between the posts on Saturday as the Imps kept a clean sheet in their opening home to Kidderminster Harriers. However the 19-year-old, who is on a season long loan from Birmingham City, admitted... 'I have got to keep my game up. I cannot let it drop,' said Townsend. 'Things will be picked up on and Farman will be behind my back. He's going to push me and I'm going to push him... But as a goalkeeper in these situations you have got to be together with them'".

    Elsewhere, Vinny Mukendi has moved from Southport to Nantwich Town.

    The BBC tells us that "Lincoln City and Kidderminster Harriers played out an opening-day goalless draw... the first ever 0-0 draw between the two Conference teams.

    Lincoln City manager Gary Simpson told BBC Radio Lincolnshire, 'I thought we played pretty well in the first half, we just needed the goal. We had a few opportunities cleared off the line but if we'd got the goal then we'd have gone on. In the second half they got the wind, the way they play is always difficult to play against and we ran out of ideas a little, they sat back and denied us the space to pass through them and made it more difficult for us'"

    The BBC reports that "Manager Steve Burr has said Chester have to take responsibility after their 5-0 loss at home to Barnet on Saturday. Chester, who were reduced to 10 men, conceded three goals in the first half and missed a penalty.

    'In all my time in football, that 45 minutes was hard to take', Burr told BBC Radio Merseyside... 'I think everything that could go wrong in the first 45 minutes in a football match did go wrong for us', the 54-year-old continued... 'It won't be difficult to lift them because they are all disappointed at how things have gone'".

    Saturday's visitors to Altrincham, Bristol Rovers say that manager "Darrell Clarke is hoping to see a little bit more quality on the ball when Rovers travel to The Hive to take on Barnet on Tuesday night...

    He said, 'I thought Saturday’s performance was a little bit edgy, understandably, but... [it was] pleasing to get a clean sheet. I am looking for better quality on the ball'...

    He said, 'They [Barnet] have got a very experienced manager... Martin Allen knows the league very well, and he knows Barnet very well, and I think they will be right amongst it. I think they find themselves in a similar situation to ourselves, with a strong 16, but not as much strength in depth as they would probably like'...

    And the manager said, 'I have made a couple of phone calls this morning, and I am in dialogue with the Chairman at the moment. There is a striker who can play wide who I put in a loan bid for, I am still waiting on the wide player I have been after for a week or so and there is also another striker that I am attempting to get in.

    I am after a wide man and a striker, and it is moving behind the scenes. I think we will have them in by the weekend at the latest, but it is a little bit frustrating that it is taking this time'... And Rovers have signed goalkeeper Will Puddy on non-contract terms as cover while Kieran Preston is away with Scotland U19s.

    Darrell said, 'Will Puddy is a goalkeeper I know very well, I managed him for a couple of years at Salisbury'".

    Meanwhile, the Bristol Post reports that "Darrell Clarke says... 'I am happy with the squad we have, but we are always looking to strengthen', Clarke said this morning... 'If we can get those deals done I’ll be really happy with the balance of the squad because we do need a bit more in terms of numbers. The striker [for whom] I put [in] a bid last week wanted to stay at his club to see how the first week of the season went before making a decision on whether to come out on loan...

    I am prepared to wait for the right sort of player'. Clarke, however, has signed former Cheltenham Town, Bath City and Salisbury City goalkeeper Will Puddy... He will go straight into the squad for tomorrow night’s game [v Barnet]... 'It is an opportunity for Will to come in for a week or two to help us out', said Clarke. 'Martin Allen may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but he is a very experienced manager and I have a lot of respect for what he has achieved in the game.

    In the Nuneaton News "Boro boss Brian Reid has admitted his team will not be caught short defensively again. The Boro lost 3-0 to newly promoted Eastleigh on Saturday...

    The Boro boss said, 'We defended very poorly and that was a shock for me. I am not on about just the back five, the whole team didn't do the job. It was a surprise for me as we are a big, strong team, and all pre-season we have made it hard for teams to come and break us down... and then on Saturday we were the complete opposite'.

    Despite the first goal having more than a hint of offside and the third coming after an incorrectly called throw-in to Eastleigh, Reid refused to blame the officials but instead highlighted what his side could have done better.

    He said... 'You are taught from a young boy that if you let the ball bounce in the box then you are asking for trouble. That is what did us... Apart from the first ten minutes or so I would say we were the better team at times'...

    During the defeat there were five a Boro shirt... Reid admitted there might be one or two more new additions on the horizon.... 'I want us to be ready in case of anything. If that be loans needed or youngsters, I do not mind'".

    The Lancashire Evening Post tells us how "Southport were defeated 1-0 by Forest Green Rovers... With strong financial backing, Rovers are the bookies’ favourites to top the table at the end of the season and certainly The Sandgrounders were no match for a team that looked at least a league above them in class...

    Port never really got in the game, being out-muscled and crowded out by their opponents, and their only real shot at goal came in added time... But the team spirit is good and the return of the injured Richard Brodie and Micah Evans could help kick-start their season."


    welsh Premier states that 'Welsh Premier managers, players and supporters will have to come to terms with spending Monday nights without their regular fix of highlights from the league. One of the longest-running shows on Welsh language channel S4/C, the Sgorio Monday night show has been ditched after 26 years.

    Although Sgorio once scored the lowest official viewing figure in the channel's history, it has nevertheless proved hugely popular with football fans not just in Wales, but across the UK,for its excellent coverage of the domestic scene...

    Although the Monday night slot has been ended, the live coverage will continue from September 7, but will switch to Sunday afternoons with a 1.00pm or 1.30pm kick-off as part of S4/C's new sports provision, to be known as 'Clwb'...

    Confirmed live games:

    • Sunday 7 September: Rhyl FC v Aberystwyth Town (1.00)
    • Sunday 14 September: Rhyl FC v Bangor City (1.00)
    • Sunday 21 September: Airbus UK Broughton v Carmarthen Town (1.30)
    • Sunday 28 September: The New Saints v Newtown AFC (1.00)
    • Sunday 19 October: Bala Town v Port Talbot Town (1.30)
    • Sunday 26 October: Cefn Druids v Airbus UK Broughton (1.00)
    • Sunday 2 November: The New Saints v Airbus UK Broughton (1.00)
    • Sunday 9 November: Gap Connah's Quay v Prestatyn Town (1.00)

    11 August 2014


    Get Hampshire tells us that "Josh Scott scored one and made the other two as Aldershot Town kicked off their season in style with a comfortable win over Altrincham. Brett Williams may be the bookies’ favourite to be Vanarama Conference top scorer this season, but it was strike partner Josh Scott who took the plaudits as Aldershot Town swept to a comprehensive opening day victory at the ESS.

    Scott set-up the first two goals, for Williams and Jordan Roberts, and then scored the third himself as the Shots got their season off to an impressive start against newly-promoted Altrincham...

    'It’s always good to get off to a winning start and we knew this was going to be a tough game. We were going into the unknown a little bit but I thought we played some really good stuff and looked pretty comfortable'. Despite the visitors enjoying early periods of pressure, their promise was largely unfulfilled... Altrincham were allowed back into the game. Steven Gillespie and Damian Reeves were themselves a burgeoning partnership without finding the extra quality needed to beat Phil Smith...

    Gillespie’s dipping 22-yard shot was superbly tipped over by Smith and Altrincham were again made to pay... Thereafter, though, came Sinnott’s crumbs of comfort. Two half-time substitutions galvanised his team into a resurgence and the impressive Nicky Clee (right) raced onto Gillespie’s precise through ball to finish with equal precision beyond Smith. Gillespie then lifted a shot just over the bar and, albeit briefly, Altrincham had hopes of a thrilling comeback.

    Kyle Perry’s arrival provided a rambunctious focus up front but Aldershot Town were stung into a response... Ultimately, Altrincham’s fightback ran out of steam... yet both managers took encouragement from an afternoon which suggested that their mutual ambitions of progress up the pyramid have solid foundations".


    Altrincham FC Reserves won their opening fixture in the Cheshire Football League Division Two on Saturday, defeating Moore United FC, 5-0. Courtesy of Reserves' assistant manager Chris Rowley, the Reserves' line up was (in A/Z order) Ryan Barry, Daniel Brown, Louis Brown, Jamie Burrows, Matthew Christie, Aaron Edwards, Sam Heathcote, Kane Hughes, Dino Jones, Elliot Messam, Max Pouncey. The substitutes were Ashley Dobson, Milo Edwards, Edward Hilditch and Dan Jones.

    Altrincham's scorers were Kane Hughes (2), Daniel Brown, Louis Brown and Max Pouncey.

    The Reserves' next fixtures are here. Michael Ripley's excellent images from the game are here.


    For the very small minority of users who seem not to realise that, if they have a problem with this website, it might be more useful to contact the website itself rather than passing observations anonymously on a totally different site, may I explain what the current options are for accessing the Altrincham FC Official website?

    1. There is the PC-based Altrincham FC official website at Through this URL you can access everything that is on the official site, or indeed anything that has been on it for the past 15 years.

    2. There is also a new site, at, (shown, right) which is optimised for mobiles, etc., which replicates parts of the PC site. Currently this site has mobile-formatted versions of the News, Matchday Updates, First Team Fixtures, Players and Supporters' Travel information as well as Club Contact details, a Location map and various other bits of information. More will be added to the mobile site in due course.

    3. Summary:

    If you are using a PC, please go to here

    If you are using a handheld device, please either go to here or, if you go to using a mobile or handheld device, you should be automatically redirected to the mobile version of the site.

    Thank you for using the Altrincham FC website, in whichever format you prefer.


    Altrincham entertain Lincoln City at the J. Davidson Stadium this Tuesday. Mike Garnett reminds us of the outcome of previous matches between the clubs.

    • At Altrincham p2-w1-d1-l0-f3-a2
    • Away p1-w0-d0-l1-f0-a5
    • All games p3-w1-d1-l1-f3-a7

    Lincoln City have a match report on their draw, 0-0, with Kidderminster Harriers on Saturday. It starts, "With Imps' boss Gary Simpson handing debuts to Jake Caprice, Marcus Marshall and Jordan Burrow whilst Nick Townsend, Tony Diagne and Hamza Bencherif all commenced a second stint a Sincil Bank. Two more new faces, namely Sahr Kabba and Karl Ledsham were on the bench".

    The Imps' line-up was Nick TOWNSEND, Jake CAPRICE, Tony DIAGNE, Nat BROWN, Sean NEWTON, Hamza BENCHERIF, Jon NOLAN, Alan POWER, Marcus MARSHALL, Jordan BURROW, Ben TOMLINSON. Subs: Sahr KABBA, Karl LEDSHAM, Arnaud MENDY, Conner ROBINSON, Paul FARMAN".

    From the other side, the unofficial site at Kidderminster Harriers says "For the third season in a row Harriers failed to score at Sincil Bank but that record would have fallen had it not been for an excellent save by City keeper Nick Townsend to deny Craig Reid. Gary Whild handed debuts to four players in the starting line-up: Jared Hodgkiss, Kevin Nicholson, Reid, and Ahmed Obeng while Reece Styche made his first appearance later on as a substitute.

    City made the livelier start of the two teams, but they were aided by a stiff breeze at their backs... All of Harriers' best chances were falling to Reid... Five minutes from time Styche had a golden opportunity to win the game; Michael Gash's through ball created the opening for him but he curled his shot high and wide."

    And the Lincolnshire Echo adds that "Lincoln City earned a point... An impressive first half for City made way for a dour second as Kidderminster came into the game more. Jon Nolan was the Echo’s choice for man of the match, check out why below along with the rest of the players’ ratings.

    Lincoln City, 4-3-3

    GK, Nick Townsend … 7/10 - The 19-year-old has been snapped up on loan again.

    RB, Jake Caprice … 7/10

    CB, Nat Brown … 6/10

    CB, Tony Diagne … 6/10

    LB, Sean Newton … 6/10

    CM, Alan Power … 7/10

    CM, Hamza Bencherif … 6/10

    CM, Jon Nolan … 8/10

    Gary Simpson summed it up when he said Nolan ‘knitted together the play’. It was a brilliant display where he showed vision, composure and the willingness to get stuck in. It was as good as a performance we have seen from the midfielder... Often he was in and out of the side last season...

    RF, Marcus Marshall … 6/10

    He dropped in and out of the game, but when he was in it we knew about it. He showed no fear in attacking the box and taking on his man...

    CF, Jordan Burrow … 6/10

    A determined and gritty display, Burrow did all the hard work at the front. He battled the centre backs, laid the ball off and took a fair bit of a beating from the defenders. It is not a role that covers itself in glory, but it is essential and he did that well...

    LF, Ben Tomlinson … 6/10

    Substitutes: Mendy. Came on for Power in the second half, looked the strongest and fittest he has ever been for Lincoln".

    City boss Gary Simpson said, "The lads are disappointed, but I cannot be too disappointed,” said Simpson. “I read in the week that one or two of the Kidderminster players didn’t want to bother with play-offs and wanted to go straight up. They fancied themselves... If we had got the goal they would have to have come at us and that would have opened up more space... I was milling over with 15 minutes to go if it was worth a change up front. I know Sahr Kabba is not quite there and we are waiting on the results on a scan for Karl Ledsham, which should be in on Wednesday.

    We brought off Alan Power because prior to today he hasn’t played for three and four games, so I was conscious of that... If we had put Kabba on it would have been a risk. We could have got 20 minutes out of him, but there would be the danger that he would then not be fit for Tuesday’s trip to Altrincham... We’ve got a point on the board and got a clean sheet, so there is a positive".

    In the Kidderminster Shuttle, Harriers' manager "Garry Whild felt Harriers could have won their opening game... The Aggborough outfit produced a determined defensive display in the first half to keep the hosts at bay. They then had the best of the second half...

    The manager was also pleased with the performances of substitutes Michael Gash, Reece Styche and Marvin Johnson... Whild added, 'With Nathan Blissett and Craig we set out stall out to defend from the front and it is nice to be in a position to bring the likes of Michael Gash on'".


    Right: Mike Williams and Adam Griffin compete for an aerial ball at Aldershot, last Saturday.


    In the Grimsby Telegraph we read that "Paul Hurst admits that there were goal-scoring chances for both sides in Grimsby Town’s stalemate at Bristol Rovers. The Mariners opened their Conference campaign with a 0-0 draw at the Memorial Ground yesterday. And Town’s boss believes both teams had clear-cut opportunities to take all three points".

    On the same topic, the Bristol Post adds that "Bristol Rovers boss Darrell Clarke declared himself 'relatively pleased' with his players...

    'Grimsby are an established Conference Premier side and I thought it was a good test for us', Clarke said afterwards. 'It was a keenly-fought and fairly-even contest and I am relatively pleased with the outcome.... We just lacked that little bit of quality at times. We look like a side that will create chances... I think we have seen two teams who will be decent at this level over the rest of the season'...

    Clarke, meanwhile, was also full of praise for supporters after a higher than expected turnout of over 7,000 attended a game that was also broadcast live on TV... 'We got a good reaction from them after a 0-0 and that was another really positive for us, but we have to keep giving our supporters reasons to be cheerful'. Clarke is still hoping to add a winger and a striker on loan before Rovers go to Barnet on Tuesday night. On the winger he lodged a bid for over a week ago, Clarke said... 'I’d like to get the lad in on Monday if I can... They just have to agree the financial side of things with their chief executive before the deal can be done'.

    Defender Neal Trotman, who signed a short-term deal on Thursday, is also expected to be included in the squad for the first time when Rovers that make the trip to The Hive. Clarke, however, will not be following up his initial interest in Shortwood United striker Duncan Culley after taking a look at him in training last week."

    10 August 2014


    Any doubts that Altrincham may have had about the challenges of the national division of the Conference were confirmed by this defeat at Aldershot.

    Match report here

    Above: Ten of Alty's players are seen here defending their goal early in the second half at Aldershot.

    Lee Sinnott's thoughts on our opening day defeat at Aldershot can be heard here.

    Match report here

    Aldershot Town's report is here.

    100 UP

    Yesterday's game at Aldershot was James Lawrie's 100th start for the club. In all he has made 100 starts, plus 29 appearances from the bench, and has scored 29 times.

    Luca Havern reaches the same landmark in two matches' time.


    Brian Flynn advises that "Annual membership subscriptions to TASC (The Altrincham Supporters' Club) are now due for the new season.

    Membership of TASC provides the following benefits:-

    • Discounted Supporters’ Coach Travel for all away games (£2 per trip).
    • Bi-Monthly draw for a framed picture with your favourite player
    • Bi-Monthly draw for Matchday Hospitality for two people in the Sponsors' Lounge
    • Bi-Monthly Draw for FREE Supporters’ Coach travel for two people to an away game.

    Membership rates are as follows:-

    • Adults: £10.00 per year.
    • Life Member £100.00.
    • Over 65s, Under 18s and students in full time education - £5.00 per year.
    • Family membership £20.00 per year.
    • Corporate Membership £100.00 per year.

    Membership can be renewed in any of the following ways:-

    • See Anthony Wright or Mike Garnett at TASC's temporary matchday home in the Noel White Suite on home matchdays to pay by cash, cheque, or to set up a Standing Order.
    • EMail Brian Flynn for details of how to make your subscription by PayPal, BACS payment or to set up a Standing Order.
    • Call in at the Club Office (Monday-Friday from 9.30am-5.00pm) to pay by any of the methods above.
    • On the Supporters' Coach to any away game to pay by cash, cheque, or to set up a Standing Order".


    • Bristol Rovers 0-0 Grimsby Town
    • Aldershot Town 3-1 Altrincham
    • Alfreton Town 1-3 Woking
    • Chester FC 0-5 Barnet
    • Dartford 1-2 Wrexham
    • Dover Athletic 0-1 FC Halifax Town
    • Gateshead FC 3-1 Torquay United
    • Lincoln City 0-0 Kidderminster Harriers
    • Macclesfield Town 1-0 Braintree Town
    • Nuneaton Town 0-3 Eastleigh
    • Southport 0-1 Forest Green Rovers
    • Welling United 1-1 AFC Telford United


    Altrincham FC's Supporters' football team is looking for new recruits, especially strikers. If you are over 16 and would like to play, please e-mail Jack Jolly.
    9 August 2014


    Don't forget that you can also read this news in mobile-friendly format here.


    Click on the appropriate icon below to go to your preferred means of following the game. For Twitter and Facebook links see the side panel, right.
    updatesPC updatesMOBI radiorobins

    Brian Flynn writes that "Radio Robins, sponsored by Ashley Mowers Garden Machinery, will be broadcasting full live coverage of Altrincham's return to the Vanarama Conference at Aldershot Town on Saturday. The match commentary sponsors are ECS Sunbeds & Leisure, the only choice in tanning.

    Find out more about the UK's Leading Commercial Sunbed Hire Company at their website.

    The commentators are Laurence Howarth and Ian Wilkinson, with match summaries from Joe Barry. Coverage starts at 2.50pm with the game kicking off at 3pm. You can listen to Radio Robins on the internet at (via the above link)

    Leah and Simon Brotherton will be providing regular updates on Twitter (@altrinchamfc) as well as half-time and full time updates on facebook (Altrincham FC).


    Whilst 14 of Altrincham's 19-man squad (which is supplemented by four youth-team graduates who have also been assigned squad numbers) were at the Club last season, Aldershot Town retained just nine of last season's squad.

    Mike Garnett kindly provides us with the statistical record between Altrincham and Aldershot Town:

    • At Altrincham p3-w1-d1-l1-f6-a3
    • Away p4-w2-d1-l1-f5-a3
    • All games p7-w3-d2-l2-f11-a6


    In advance of Saturday's game, Get Hampshire reported that "Brett Williams said he planned to better last season's tally of 28 goals for Aldershot Town this term... Williams reckons extra competition for his place at Aldershot Town could inspire him to hitting the magic 30-goal mark this season.

    The 26-year-old front man enjoyed his best-ever return from a season after finishing third in the Conference Premier scoring charts with 28 goals last term and he is the 8/1 favourite to be the Vanarama Conference's top striker in 2014/15.

    But with the arrival of Salisbury City hitman Dan Fitchett and plenty of other striking options available to Shots boss Andy Scott, Williams knows he cannot rest on his laurels...

    Williams told the News & Mail, 'The magic mark for strikers is 20 goals and I’ll be satisfied with that as long as Aldershot enjoy a successful season too... We are certainly in a much better position that we were in last year. Dan [Fitchett] exciting player and has looked really sharp in training, so he offers the whole team a boost... alongside a good, experienced player like Josh Scott also in the mix, will certainly help keep me on my toes...

    We are definitely stronger than we were last year', he added. 'The boss has told us the aim is to push for the play-offs or be there or thereabouts'...

    Williams, however, admitted that Saturday’s opening clash at home to newly-promoted Altrincham could represent something of a banana skin for the Shots if they are not ready to hit the ground running from the off. 'We don’t know a lot about them at all to be honest', he revealed. 'All we do know is that they’ve just been promoted so they’ll come here to a big stadium and a big atmosphere full of confidence and with nothing to lose, so that makes them a threat'...

    Boss Scott, though, is looking for a response from his Shots players after defensive gremlins allowed AFC Wimbledon trio Harry Pell, Kevin Saint Luce and Sean Rigg to hit three unanswered second-half goals on Saturday, thus ending the pre-season campaign on a low note. 'We thought we could come out and be individuals, unlike the first half when we were a team', said Scott, who handed a debut to new loan signing Joseph N’Guessan...

    'We thought we’d cracked it. I’m not happy at all... second-half we got our backsides felt. Not good enough... Clearly it’s a lot easier than last year... The whole mentality of having minus-10 points and not having a team is a tough one to start with'".

    Shots' Blog has a match preview, which includes "We welcome newly promoted Altrincham to the Electrical Services Stadium... It will be Altrincham’s first season in the Conference after a three-year absence...

    Andy Scott has retained no more than nine players from the side which kept us up last season. Those that remain are top goalscorer Brett Williams, wingers Jordan Roberts and Tristan Plummer, Josh Scott, Mark Molesley, and defenders Chris Barker, Anthony Tonkin, Joe Oastler and Jaydon Gibbs. He has also bolstered his squad with a further eight signings. These include Salisbury City duo Glenn Wilson and Dan Fitchett, former Torquay midfielder Damon Lathrope, midfielder Sam Hatton (Grimsby Town), goalkeeper Phil Smith (Portsmouth), Naby Diallo (Weston-super-Mare), and loanees Kieron Forbes (Forest Green Rovers) and Joseph N’Guessan (Stevenage).

    The Shots are set to be without winger Tristan Plummer for this fixture as he is still out though a hamstring injury. Andy Scott will be sweating on the fitness of striker Dan Fitchett having picked up an injury in the game against Chelsea U21’s earlier in pre-season. If fit, he will most likely feature from the bench rather than risking his fitness with a start. Midfielder Sam Hatton will be absent through suspension...

    Chris Powell from Dorset is the man in charge for this fixture. He took charge of fourteen Conference South matches last season while featuring as an assistant referee frequently in the Football League. He last officiated in the Conference Premier in the 2010/11 season, where he showed 32 yellow cards and one red in just seven matches...

    Andy Scott’s side must start with a victory and the pressure is on, with the first game being at home. Recent news of the Shots exiting the CVA agreement will raise some supporters' expectations but let’s not forget the aim this season has always been to consolidate".


    If you cannot get to Aldershot on Saturday, why not watch the newly re-formed Altrincham FC Reserves as they kick off their season in the Cheshire League Division Two, at home to Moore United? The game is at 3pm on Saturday at Mersey Valley, Banky Lane, Ashton-on-Mersey. Spectators are very welcome.


    Courtesy of Terry Rowley, we have another tribute to an Altrincham FC player who, sadly, did not survive World War One.


    Born Warrington 1884

    Killed in Action, Vaulx Vraucourt, August 11th 1917

    Edward 'Teddy' Bullen was born in Warrington and started his playing career with Warrington Albion. He played for Altrincham’s reserves in the Manchester Federation League during the 1903/04 season but was not available due to work commitments the following season.

    In 1905/06 he returned, matured, filled out and went straight into Altrincham’s first team for the 1905/06 season. A near ever present in midfield, it was not long before Football League teams became interested.

    First Division Bury signed him up for the 1906/07 season, where he spent most of the season in the reserves. However, he did manage to make his First Division debut in a 2-2 draw with Newcastle United. In 1907/08 he managed 12 First Division games and scored his debut goal in a 2-1 defeat to Newcastle. Bury finished in seventh place but were sadly a team in decline.

    1908/09 saw Teddy established in the team, playing 26 League games, in addition to making his debut in the FA Cup. 1909/10 was patchy, with just 12 league games played, but in 1910/11 he played 34 of the 38 League games.

    1911/12 was similar; 34 out of 38 League games played but Bury were relegated to League Division Two. Injury meant he missed a large part of the 1912/13 season, registering just 14 League appearances. 1913/14 was slightly better with 23 games played. In his final season he was back to his best making 32 League appearances during 1914/15.

    In all, he made 188 League appearances scoring seven goals, in addition to 11 appearances in the FA Cup. Teddy, like so many of his comrades, joined up and enlisted in the Royal Field Artillery. When available, Teddy still turned out for Bury and occasionally for Warrington, (famously playing against Altrincham for Warrington in a wartime match of great local interest).

    His final match for Bury was a 0-4 defeat away at Liverpool on February 10th 1917. Sadly, Gunner Bullen was ‘Killed in Action’ at Vaulx on the 11th August 1917. Bury FC have a memorial to Teddy Bullen at Gigg Lane, which reads, “A playing member of this club who fell in action at Vaux [sic] on the 11th day of August 1917. Loyal to this club, loyal to his country”.

    Terry Rowley.


    According to the Football Conference, "Woking have signed striker Dean Morgan, who was released by Wycombe Wanderers at the end of last season. Morgan joined the Chairboys in September 2012, initially on a short-term deal after he had been released by Chesterfield, although he had finished the 2011/12 season on loan at Oxford United.

    He started his career with Colchester United, where he made seventy-one appearances before having spells with Reading and Luton Town, adding a further 120 appearances to his tally. A short spell with Grays Athletic followed in 2009 before he joined MK Dons... and had a loan stint with Aldershot Town before signing for Chesterfield in August 2010.

    Morgan recently returned from representing Monserrat at the Caribbean Cup."

    Also, "Jamie Day, manager of Welling United, has further increased his options by signing two more players with Football League experience. The Wings confirmed that striker Afolabi Obafemi has put pen-to-paper at Park View Road. Obafemi made more than twenty appearances for Dagenham & Redbridge last season and was previously on the books at Leyton Orient.

    The 19-year-old featured for Welling in pre-season... Day has also signed midfielder Nicky Nicolau, a former Arsenal youngster who has played in the Football League with Southend United and Swindon Town. The Cypriot-born talent, who has represented his country at international youth level... has also had spells with Barnet, Woking, Dover Athletic, Boreham Wood, Lincoln City and, most recently, Chelmsford City".

    In the Western Daily Press, "Attempts by a group of local business people to wrestle back control of Salisbury City football club from a Moroccan businessman labelled a ‘fraudster’ and a ‘charlatan’ by the city’s MP have initially failed at the High Court.

    The group, who have been effectively running the non-league side since Outail Touzar disappeared having failed to add to his initial £1 investment to take a 98 per cent stake in the club, can return to appeal next week. They went to the High court today to win an injunction which would temporarily nullify the deal which saw him buy the club for £1, but were turned down, advised to return next week to challenge that.

    But that will be after the non-league season begins, and fans now face the very real prospect that there will be no competitive football at the RayMac stadium, even if the legal ownership of the club is sorted in the coming days.

    Mr Touzar is still the legal owner of the club and on Tuesday was the only interested party recognised by the FA in an appeal hearing at Wembley into the decision by league officials to throw them out of the Football Conference. Salisbury are too late to join the next league down, the Southern League, and face a race against time to make it into the Wessex League, a full four or five tiers lower than they played earlier this year in the non-league pyramid.

    Mr Touzar has not been seen for two months in Salisbury, ever since he failed to come up with a £100,000 bond, cut to £50,000 to satisfy the Football Conference, or pay off debts approaching £150,000. He persuaded director Mark Winter he had the backing of Arab royalty when he arrived and bought the club for £1.

    Last night, the Moroccan issued a long statement slamming the consortium of five business people who have tried to take on the day-to-day running of the club, and asserted that he was still the legal owner of Salisbury City. All summer he has been issuing regular statements outlining how he had signed players, fitness trainers and a coach, and had legal advisors, assistants and officials. But he has not appeared at Salisbury City, and the five-strong consortium were the ones who paid off the debts and avoided a winding up order by paying off the HMRC’s tax bill...

    Officials still at Salisbury said they did not even know if Mr Touzar was in the country, the Moroccan himself admitted he had taken part in the FA appeal hearing at Wembley ‘partially’ by ‘conference call’ and not in person.

    The group trying to wrestle back control issued an angry denouncement of the FA and the Football Conference for allowing Mr Touzar to pass a ‘fit and proper persons’ test to take control, and then for not recognising they were the ones saving the club. The group were barred from the FA appeal on Tuesday at Wembley, despite turning up with a barrister in person...

    Mr Touzar’s statement explained to fans how the club’s appeal had failed. He had argued the Conference had no right to demand he post a £100,000 bond to allow Salisbury City to continue in the league... and added, 'I am really shocked and disappointed of the FA decision but I will not rush to comments while I am in this state of anger and will wait for my advisors to go throu the full decision... before I make any full statement”

    Mr Touzar did, however, thank the FA for its ‘brave decision’ to bar the local group of business people. He called Mr Winter and his team ‘a gang of idiots that was barking outside the FA offices and trying to force entry without invitation to an appeal hearing that they had nothing to do with and no legal authority to be part of’.

    'When it came to reality and the D-Day to face official authorities they were humiliated and put back to their original place where they belong, outside in the streets away from the official scene where they dream to be part of and again like every time they start crying and putting the blame on the FA, the Football Conference, the Arab Superman as they claim and the rest,' he added...

    It is understood none of the players Mr Touzar has signed – he has posted pictures of himself shaking their hands at a series of London hotels – turned up to a pre-season friendly held at Salisbury City’s ground, where former Premiership star Steve Claridge managed a team of triallists".

    At Grimsby Town "Former Town striker Alan Connell is back and is expected to feature for the Mariners at Bristol Rovers tomorrow, subject to clearance. Alan made a massive impact when he joined the Mariners in 2010, he scored 25 goals in just 46 appearances for the Mariners...

    He had come through the youth academy at Tottenham Hotspur but received his first professional contract from Ipswich Town... and joined Bournemouth in 2002... [followed by a] move to Torquay United in 2005 after three years with Bournemouth. A year later he moved on again to Hereford United before re-signing for Bournemouth in 2008...

    Alan signs for the Mariners on a short term contract".

    8 August 2014


    Aldershot Town have advised Altrincham FC that "As this year is the 100 years' anniversary of WWI and, on Saturday, exactly one hundred years ago, 23,000 troops were despatched from the Aldershot Garrison to fight in the War. To commemorate the centenary of WWI we would ask for your assistance in conducting a ONE minute silence prior to the start of the game against Altrincham in remembrance of the War and especially the significance of this event".


    Don't forget that you can also read this news in mobile-friendly format here.


    If you cannot get to Aldershot on Saturday, why not watch the newly re-formed Altrincham FC Reserves as they kick off their season in the Cheshire League Division Two, at home to Moore? The game is at 3pm on Saturday at Mersey Valley, Banky Lane, Ashton-on-Mersey. Spectators are very welcome.

    Courtesy of assistant manager Chris Rowley we have a list of the Reserves recruited to date...

    • Ryan Barry
    • Daniel Brown
    • Louis Brown
    • Jamie Burrows
    • Harry Cain
    • Matthew Christie
    • Thomas Clarke
    • Ashley Dobson
    • Aaron Edwards
    • Milo Edwards
    • Ryan Goodwin
    • Sam Heathcote
    • Edward Hilditch
    • Dan Jones
    • Dino Jones
    • Robert Kennerley
    • Elliot Messam
    • Christopher Rowley
    • Joel Swift


    Above, we see the new Community Sports Hall continuing to take shape at the J. Davidson Stadium. (Image courtesy of Grahame Rowley).


    Guiseley report that "The club can confirm defenders Danny Hall and Danny Lowe both suffered injuries at Farsley yesterday that will keep them out of action at the start of the season. Hall sustained a broken fibula during the 0-0 draw and was withdrawn before the half-time break. Having been taken to hospital and seen a consultant on Saturday, he will miss around three months of action". All at Moss Lane send their best wishes to the former Altrincham centre-back.

    The EvoStik League reports 12 signings at Droylsden, including former Alty Youth Ben Deegan from Nantwich Town and ex-Alty goalkeeper Russell Saunders from Mossley.

    Also, ex-Alty striker Danny Mitchley has moved from Kendal Town to Skelmersdale United.


    The Football Conference reports that "Kidderminster Harriers have confirmed the signing of vastly-experienced full-back Kevin Nicholson on non-contract terms... The 33-year-old brings a wealth of experience to the side as a former Sheffield Wednesday, Notts County and Torquay United man...

    Released by new league rivals Torquay at the end of the last campaign after making more than 300 senior appearances there during a seven-year spell, Nicholson admits to being as hungry as he’s ever been to succeed. He revealed he’s been prepared to sign here at Aggborough effectively without even earning a normal wage, such is his desire to play games and help Harriers off to a strong start...

    'The club has welcomed me in and it has given me what it can at this time, and that’s a platform to play,' he said. 'I’m not going to lose money on petrol and staying over every now and again but it is not really an issue for me. The issue at the moment is playing. I do want to stay here and if the manager had put a two-year contract in front of me today, I’d have signed it no questions asked because the set-up is right'".

    Elsewhere, "Martin Foyle, manager of Southport, has signed teenage striker Danny Whitehall... Whitehall will be part of the Port squad strike force on Saturday...

    Whitehall, the son of former early 1990s star forward Steve Whitehall, has impressed Foyle in the last fortnight. Whitehall was on Liverpool's books up to sixteen and was a scholar at Rochdale until his release from Spotland earlier this summer."

    Also in the North West, "Macclesfield Town have re-signed striker Arthur Gnahoua for the coming campaign on non-contract terms. The former Stalybridge Celtic player, who came through the youth system at Bower Fold and made thirty-two appearances for the side in the 2011/12 season, joined the Silkmen last season for an undisclosed fee...

    He spent part of the 2012/13 season out on loan at Whitehawk, who won the Ryman League Premier Division, before returning to the Moss Rose for the run-in where John Askey gave him his debut, and saw him score against Woking. Gnahoua made eleven appearances for the Silkmen last season, seven of which were as a substitute."

    The Conference also reports that "Neal Trotman has agreed a short term deal with Bristol Rovers. The central defender has been training with Rovers during pre-season... The 27-year-old was released by Burnley at the age of 18 and soon joined Oldham Athletic. In 2007 he spent time on loan at Halifax Town, picking up some experience of Conference football.

    In January 2008 he signed a three-year deal with Preston North End, and during his time there, he had loan spells at Colchester, Southampton, Huddersfield and his old club Oldham Athletic... In the summer of 2011 he joined Rochdale on a two-year deal. He went out on loan to Chesterfield in November of that year, with the deal being made permanent in January 2012.

    After being released by Chesterfield, Trotman had trials at a couple of Scottish clubs, before joining Plymouth Argyle on a short-term deal, which was later extended until the end of the season.

    Manager Darrell Clarke said, 'Neal has agreed a short term deal to earn himself a full time contract. He played a full season at Plymouth last year, but has missed a couple of weeks of pre-season with a badly infected toe'".

    The BBC confirms that "Bristol Rovers have signed defender Neal Trotman on a short-term contract... However, Jamie Turley will not be joining despite agreeing personal terms, after he failed his medical. The defender, 27, is out for up to eight weeks with a broken arm but will train with the club at his own expense. Rovers have also revealed striker Duncan Culley will remain with them on trial. "

    Our first opponents of the season, Aldershot Town "have signed two trialists on non-contract deals... Goalkeeper Dan Thomas and striker Tom Derry arrive after impressing Andy Scott in pre-season...

    22 year-old Thomas is a graduate of the AFC Bournemouth youth academy, and made four first-team appearances for The Cherries as well as enjoying loan spells at Dorchester Town, Welling United and AFC Totton, before being released in the summer of 2012. From there he joined Havant and Waterlooville, for whom he made 14 appearances in 2011-12 and 2012-13, and moved to Poole Town, where he played 27 games...

    Derry, 19, began his career at Charlton Athletic before continuing his scholarship with Gillingham’s Development Squad in August 2013. Last season, he spent a successful three-month loan period with Chelmsford City... In December, he moved to Eastbourne Borough...

    Andy Scott said, 'Both Tom and Dan have impressed me in pre-season and shown that they can work well with the squad. I wanted to give them more time to show what they can do and that they deserve to earn longer-term contracts with the Club'...

    Also "Glenn Wilson is named new Shots' skipper".

    From Get Hampshire we learn that "Brett Williams is aiming to better his 28-goal tally for Aldershot Town last season... Despite being put at 25/1 to go up, sports editor Jon Couch highlights five reasons why Shots fans can still be optimistic...

    Clean slate... Out of administration two years early and with no points deductions holding them back...

    The fans. Having the East Bank in full voice in a big game atmosphere at the Electrical Services Stadium is always like a 12th man to Andy Scott..

    The manager. Andy Scott has played at the very highest level and won league titles as a manager with Brentford, so is natural-born winner...

    Brett Williams. The boss's protege played a huge part in securing Aldershot's survival last season by finishing third in the Conference scoring charts with 28 goals. New signing Dan Fitchett has provided him with extra competition for his place this season...

    The spirit. One thing which was clearly noticeable during the club's photocall this week was the upbeat spirit in the camp. Although a little low on numbers, the squad provides a healthy mix of youth and experience and the players are clearly relaxed and confident of a breakthrough season."

    NL Pitchero reports that "Goalkeeper Freddy Hall has signed a contract with Chester FC... Hall, 29, had been on trial with the Blues throughout pre-season... Starting his career in Bermuda, Hall went on to represent Northampton Town and Toronto FC... He had been with Burton Albion last season until his contract expired and has represented Bermuda six times at senior level."

    The same source says that "Torquay United have signed 21-year-old striker Duane Ofori-Acheampong... Ofori-Acheampong, who stands 6`4”, joined Southend United after being spotted playing for Pro Touch Soccer Academy. He then had spells with the Gulls new league rivals Braintree Town and more recently Harrow Borough."

    Nuneaton Town reports that the club "now has a new chairman, shareholder and ground owner. Lee Thorn has become an equal shareholder of Boro Leisure, the company that owns Nuneaton Town, with chief executive Ian Neale, and as a result has become chairman of the football club. And the pair have also secured the ownership of the club's Liberty Way stadium, which has been placed in a separate company called Boro Stadium Ltd.

    Ian Neale said, 'I have made no secret of my desire to bring in new investors to help Nuneaton Town take the next step forward, and I am delighted Lee has joined us... Mr Thorn has previously been involved at Kettering Town and since leaving the armed forces in 1991 has spearheaded several succesful companies...

    Mr Thorn said, 'After attending all of the pre-season home games it quickly became very clear that it was a well-run club with a huge potential and ambition, much to the credit of the chief executive for placing the club in a stable and enviable position. During my time at Kettering Town, everything was (and still is) dominated by one issue; not owning the ground...

    I am pleased to confirm that ownership of the ground has been secured... I intend to improve all aspects of the football club... I do plan to invest time and funds, but have no desire to create a black hole that is dependent on unsustainable shareholder funding. Such a model has as best a short term high followed by terrible longer term consequences... My pledge to you is to do everything within my capability, to ensure that when the time eventually comes for me to depart, the football club and community is in a better position than before I joined, with marginal lows along the way'...

    Nuneaton Town will lease the ground from Boro Stadium Ltd on a rolling 10 year and one day lease".

    Gateshead report that "Following the success of last season's discount initiative for Newcastle United season ticket holders, Gateshead FC has extended the offer for a further season. Additionally, the initiative will be extended to Sunderland AFC and both Premiership clubs' season ticket holders will gain reduced entry to Gateshead home games in the Vanarama Conference...

    For the 2014/15 campaign both clubs' fans will gain admission to Gateshead's Conference home games for just £10... This represents a saving of £5 on matchday adult admission prices. Attendances are up at the International Stadium and there has been an 80% plus increase in season tickets sales ahead of the new season.

    Chief Executive and vice-chairman Brian Waites is keen for four-figure crowds to become the norm at Gateshead this season".

    7 August 2014


    John Edwards, Altrincham FC's joint Press and Media Officer, conducted an extensive interview with manager Lee Sinnott, following the friendly against Shrewsbury. A shorter version of this appeared on the weebsite eralier this week but here is the extended version...

    "Lee Sinnott (right) has sent a positive message to Altrincham’s players and captured the keen sense of anticipation among supporters by admitting he ‘can’t wait’ for Saturday’s opening fixture at Aldershot.

    Speaking an hour or so after last Friday night’s narrow defeat to Shrewsbury at the J.Davidson Stadium, the Alty boss urged his players to share his belief that they can both entertain and compete in the newly-named Vanarama Conference National.

    In a question-and-answer session that is reproduced in its entirety below, he praised his 19-man squad for making him ‘think long and hard’ about his preferred starting line-up for the launch of another campaign.

    Q: This was the final warm-up game, Lee – how are things shaping up?

    A: In a way, it felt a bit like Tuesday’s game. We did well in that one, but played a bit better, if anything, tonight, which was pleasing against Football League opposition. Stuart Coburn (left) made a couple of very good saves, but, in saying that, we could have added to our goal tally quite easily. To score goals, you have to create chances, and it was pleasing that we did that.

    Q: Stuart’s first save was something else, wasn’t it? Is that a sign he is responding to Dave Parton’s arrival?

    A: The first was brilliant, a superb save, but, to be fair, Stuart is capable of saves like that, regardless of who else is around. It is a fair point, though. Dave being here is good for Stuart, just as competition in all areas of the squad is good for other players. There is not one player out there who can say ‘I will be starting at Aldershot ‘ and be 100 per cent certain. That is what I want. It is a squad thing.

    We are going to be relying on the squad. It is a different animal this year. We are not in the Conference North, we are in the Conference National. We need players pushing each other all the way, and I think you can see we’ve got that now. The plan in pre-season is to look at the whole squad, and I explained that in a little chat with the players. I told them that if someone could guarantee me that by picking an unchanged line-up for the last three warm-up games, that same XI could absolutely guarantee me three points at Aldershot, I’d do it. But it doesn’t work like that. You can’t rely on 11 players.

    What if two cry off injured in the final week? You have neglected the other eight in your squad and would then have a problem. No, it’s about preparing the whole 19-man squad, and the 19 we’ve got here are as prepared as they can be. There are a couple of exceptions who have missed a couple of games, but the majority – I’d say 80-85 per cent – have got over 400 minutes of competitive pre-season football under their belts, which is what we want, going into the new season. It has to be about preparing the whole squad, because after playing on Saturday, who is to say there might not be changes against Lincoln on Tuesday night? We have to have everyone ready for the fray, not just 11.

    Q: So, do you know your starting X1 for Aldershot?

    A: No. At this moment (Friday night), no I don’t. I will do in due course. I’d better do by Saturday, or we’re in trouble!

    Q: A lot of people would imagine most places in the team are nailed down by now. Is that the case?

    A: It is my duty – a duty to each individual player – to sit back over the next couple of days and think to myself: ‘Right, pre-season, how has it gone? How has so-and-so done?’ There are players I have known for three years, others for two and some for one or perhaps only a week, so it is a case of looking at things, assessing everything and having a good think about it. That is a good position to be in, much better than just shutting the door on eight people and immediately deeming them not good enough to be in the side. That just ain’t the case now.

    I have got 19 players who are good enough to make the team on Saturday, and that is the biggest luxury I’ve had since I’ve been here. It is testament to the chairman and board that we have looked after our cloth, but, for me, I have assembled a 19-man squad in which every single player is capable of stepping on to the pitch and doing a job for the team. That is a pleasing position to be in. A lot of them have made it hard for me (to pick an XI), but that’s what I want.

    You look at the keepers and see two of them pushing each other for the jersey, there are four centre-halves pushing each other for two positions, and so it goes on. That is the pleasing aspect and is why I am going to step back and give some serious thought to the make-up of the side.

    I am glad the players have put me in this position, and they deserve all the respect in the world for doing it. I’m going to give them that respect by thinking long and hard over the next 48 hours about the selection for Aldershot.

    Q: It’s often said there is a clue in the selection for the final pre- season game. Should we read much into the side that started against Shrewsbury?

    A: No, not at all. I have seen that view expressed, that your last friendly team sheet should be something close to the one that starts the season, but I don’t subscribe to it. It may turn out to be something similar, but I’m not sitting here now and saying tonight’s starting XI is the one that will face Aldershot. I said that to the players beforehand and told them it’s about accumulating minutes and preparing the squad as a whole. Making sure everyone is fully prepared for the challenge ahead is absolutely vital. We did it last year and started the season really well. It is the approach you have to take into pre-season. Look at tonight’s game. I made five or six changes in the second half, but we still kept going. We were still at it, because people wanted to impress. They wanted to push their claims for a starting place next week. Never mind that, they want to be in the 16. Don’t forget, three players are going to miss out on that, so there are some tough decisions to be made.

    Q: It was a strong Shrewsbury side, so does running them so close suggest we are in decent shape?

    A: I thought we operated well. When we had to defend a few corners, I thought we defended them well. There were a lot of positive points from it. We are not the finished article, but then no team is at this stage of proceedings. It will probably take something like six weeks for things to settle into the groove. But as things stand, I am content with where we are.

    Q: It is a big step up from the Conference North, but should we be encouraged by how we’ve fared against Football League opposition?

    A: Sometimes when teams are promoted, they say the target is to finish one place above the relegation zone, but I see that as a defeatist standpoint. It reminds me of the saying about the only pressure is the pressure you put on yourself. If you pigeon-hole yourself, you are going to be pigeon-holed, aren’t you? We will roll the dice and see where it takes us. If we can take the pressure off a bit, then why not?

    In seasons gone by, maybe the pressure has been on us a bit, because people expected more of us, as a big name in the lower division. But that’s not really the case now, when you look around at all the full- time former Football League names we are up against. But, in answer to your question, yes there is cause for optimism from the way we have gone about things.

    Against a really good young Manchester United XI, and then against Accrington and Shrewsbury, our opponents started at a very high tempo and went at us. But we didn’t concede in the opening half-hour in any of those games, which is a pleasing statistic. If we can take that into the start of the season, I will be a very happy man. On top of that, as the first half wore on in each game, and particularly in the second half, things opened up and we started causing problems as an attacking force.

    We have been defending set-pieces pretty well by and large. We are not the biggest team in the world, but do you have to be? If you are competitive, that is the main thing.

    Q: Any other plus-points?

    A: Cav (Peter Cavanagh, right) got another hour under his belt. He got through 45 minutes, a couple of hours after signing for us, on Tuesday night, and he did well to manage that. I had a word with him before tonight’s game and asked how he would feel about aiming for an hour or so. Of course, he was up for it, but you have to be careful not to push too hard. That’s why we brought Steven Gillespie off at half-time tonight. His hamstrings were just a bit tight. We have thrown a lot of minutes at Steven in a short space of time, so you have to be a bit careful.

    It’s the same with Cav. You can’t throw two 90s at him, then go into the Aldershot match. It would be mad. But he knows how he is and what he is doing, and you can tell that on the pitch. That experienced authority comes through. You can hear him on the sidelines, which I love, telling players to go here or there, and his positional play is also top class. He’s just what we needed, just what we were looking for.

    He and Steven joined us a few weeks after the other lads started back, so it may be a week or two after the others hit their stride that we see the best of them. But I think they will fit in here really well, and you can see there is a lot more to come from them.

    Q: What’s the message, then, Lee, going in to the new season?

    A: We have talked to the players about the challenge ahead and what they should be aiming for. We were doing ok against Shrewsbury, but when they got into the changing room at half-time, I said to them: ‘You can play better football than that.’

    I believe in these players. When they play, I believe in them. When they play the way I think they can play, I believe in them. In a way, it’s a bit like coaching a kid when he is learning to ride a bike. The hand comes off, and you say: ‘Go on, show you can do it.’ They know what they’ve got to do without the ball, the dirty side of things, grafting and making sure we are a hard team to break down, but when we get the ball, I want us to show people how we can play football. Believe in yourselves is the message, play with confidence. If there is fear, it is going to hold you back. You are playing 11 men.

    There may be certain names and certain grounds some teams play at, but the opposition consists of 11 men. It is up to us to make sure we don’t put ourselves out of the frame by losing sight of that. We must remember we are capable of asking people questions. We have done that against Accrington and Shrewsbury. We have shown we can ask questions of teams even from a higher division.

    Bravery comes in different forms on a football pitch. You can slide into a tackle or put your head where it shouldn’t be, but bravery is also about getting on the ball and playing your football. I want my players to be brave enough to do that, and they know it.

    Q: Any message for the supporters?

    A: From the supporters’ point of view, we said three years ago that the aim was to put smiles on faces, and I hope promotion did that, particularly the way it was achieved on an afternoon none of us will forget. The other aspect to this season is that we are going in with a new product. It is a different league with a different set of opponents, but what I particularly mean by a different product is in terms of the squad.

    The aim was a 19-man group with a nice average age about them, and that is what we have achieved. There is experience in the shape of Cav and Stu, but, by and large, the age of the squad is good, so let’s roll the dice and see where it takes us. That is the message to the supporters.

    I’m not going to pigeon-hole us at all. I know what I believe in, though. I train the players and I watch them in games, and I know what they are capable of. Maybe they don’t know what they are capable of, but I will endeavour to get it out of them. That comes with time and belief. Trust as well. There are other parts of the game as well, as I've already said, where you have to be competitive in your own box and ferret around to get the ball back. But the message to them is that when they do get it back, they have my trust to go and play.

    I want to watch football I enjoy. If a mantra could be attached to me, it would be that I want to sit on that bench, alongside (physio) Alan, and enjoy what I am watching. Not least because if I am enjoying it, everyone else will be as well. We are really looking forward to it, honestly we are. It has come round quickly, but you can tell the players and everyone involved with the squad is looking forward to it. I’m sure the supporters are as well.

    It is three years since the dark day of relegation, on the final afternoon of the season, but that is a distant memory. Now it is a sense of euphoria that the first game in the Conference National is fast approaching, so the message is ‘thanks for the support you are going to give us throughout the season.’ I know we have supporters in other parts of the country, and it’s good they will have a local game to go to when we visit their area.

    To all our supporters, I can honestly say your backing is very much appreciated. It is an exciting challenge, and we feel ready. What will happen along the way? Who knows, but let’s have a go at it".


    The Altrincham FC Yankee jackpot has risen to £3,500. The winning code of 1197 had not been issued but four members of the scheme each won £37.50 for "trebles". Details of how you can join the scheme and help the Club at the same time are here.


    Alty TV has brief highlights of the Alty v Shrewsbury Town game here. Brian Flynn advises that "These highlights include the Radio Robins commentary, which is a feature that we are adding to Alty TV this season".


    Courtesy of Terry Rowley, we have the following timely tribute to an Altrincham FC player who did not survive World War One. Terry has produced some further tributes and these will be reproduced here during the coming week.


    Born, Altrincham, 1891

    Killed in Action 16th September 1918

    Frank Barnett was one of five brothers to play for Altrincham. Frank was born on Moss Lane in 1881 and was originally a stonemason by trade.

    Frank played for Altrincham during the 1900/01 season, when they played as Broadheath AFC in the Manchester League. He played mainly as an inside forward and occasionally was used as a centre forward. In 1901/02 he went on to play for Lymm and later Cheadle. In addition to football, he was also a good sprint runner. He was later employed by the Altrincham Gas Supply Company.

    Frank had a keen interest in homing pigeons and was secretary of the Altrincham Central Homing Society who would, during the War, provide messenger pigeons to the army.

    Frank enlisted early in 1915 and joined the 6th Battalion of the Cheshire Regiment. He was eventually sent to the front in autumn 1915 and was wounded four times during his service on the Front, the last time requiring 10 months in hospital before finally returning to the frontline in September 1917.

    He was reported killed in action a year later, on 16th September 1918, at the age of 37. His name can be found on the war memorial at Wulverghem-Lindhoek Road Cemetery, Belgium.

    Terry Rowley.


    Right, we see Alty Youth manager George Heslop and former Altrincham player and manager, John King, engaged in a bout of playful fisticuffs. John was an unexpected but very welcome visitor to the J. Davidson Stadium on Tuesday evening when he travelled with his nephew Jeff to the team's annual photoshoot. John and George, of course, spent many years together at Moss Lane so had plenty of memories to relive.


    Following yesterday's outburst from Saisbury City, the FA reports that "An FA Appeal Board today heard and dismissed an appeal from Salisbury City FC in respect to their expulsion from The Football Conference.

    The parties to the appeal, who were both given the full opportunity of attending the hearing at Wembley Stadium today, were Salisbury City FC Ltd under its present owners and The Football Conference. The Appeal Board decided not to allow the former owners of the Club to attend the hearing.

    The Appeal Board carefully considered a request from those former owners to take a full part in the appeal but came to the view that they had no legal standing to represent the Club. As a result of this appeal, Salisbury FC is no longer able to participate in any division of the Football Conference.

    The Club will be removed from the Football Conference fixture list for the coming season starting this Saturday, 9th August. The Appeal Board’s full written reasons will be published in due course."

    The Daily Mail reports on a former Conference manager. "Leeds United in the 21st century is synonymous with upheaval and uncertainty, but even by this once proud club’s recent standards, Massimo Cellino has ratcheted things up to another level. P> The convicted fraudster, as ruthless as he is charismatic, has swept into Elland Road and not so much taken an axe to the mess he inherited but a machine gun... Cellino sees himself as the saviour of a club losing £1 million a month...

    New manager Dave Hockaday has replaced Brian McDermott on approximately one tenth of his predecessor’s salary. But Cellino does not trust him to identify new talent and has cast doubt on his position before the season even starts.

    New signings are forbidden from staying at the Malmaison in the city centre because the hotel’s colour scheme is purple, a colour Cellino believes is bad luck...

    It is Cellino’s comments about Hockaday, plucked from obscurity having been sacked as manager of non-league Forest Green Rovers, which prove most interesting. The squad are believed to be supportive of an amiable man who is implementing a passing style that has seen steady improvement in pre-season form.

    It is clear player recruitment is out of Hockaday’s hands... Hockaday, paid between £80-90,000 compared to the £750,000 salary his predecessor McDermott had earned, wanted a 31-year-old defender available on a free, but Cellino refused.

    ‘He has asked me about five or six players,’ said the Italian before unintentionally damning his new manager: ‘Don’t forget where he came from; league five. Talking with managers of Premier League clubs, Championship clubs, is a new thing. He’s like a baby, who is in a toy shop.’...

    But there would appear to be one substantial barrier to any player signing for Cellino: a birthday on the 17th of the month. Cellino has thought the number unlucky since suffering a car accident in his twenties that came on Friday 17th and involved a vehicle with 17 in the registration plate...

    In a dark and mysterious sideshow, the former Leeds managing director David Haigh is spending his third month in a Dubai police cell without interview by investigators, having been arrested on suspicion of embezzlement...

    ‘David Hockaday, the first day he heard Ross McCormack wanted to go he said, “I don’t want him in pre- season, sell him”. I told Hockaday, “Did I ask your f****** advice? No. So shut the f*** up”.’ said Cellino."

    The Stroud News and Journal says that "Forest Green boss Ady Pennock has snapped-up Exeter City centre-back Danny Coles on a one-year deal... The 32-year-old former Hull City, Bristol City and Rovers' man was... excited to join Rovers...

    He said, 'I could have stayed at Exeter but Ady sold the club to me and the ambition of the club to get into the Football League made the difference'... With seven players over thirty, experience is going to matter...

    'You need a good blend of youth and experience and we have that in abundance'... Bristol- born, Coles was placed on the Exeter City transfer list and stripped of his captaincy following... an abusive tweet to a 14-year-old supporter who had mocked his performances for City".

    According to NL Pitchero, "Tony Burman, manager of Dartford, has strengthened his squad further with the arrival of the experienced Peter Sweeney...

    Sweeney, 29, began his career at Millwall, and has also had spells at Stoke City, Leeds United, Grimsby Town and Bury before signing for AFC Wimbledon in January 2013. He made twenty-eight appearances for the Dons last season before being released in May.

    Burman said... 'Peter is a very creative midfield player and with over 250 Football League appearances, his experience will be a valuable asset to the team'.

    In Essex, "Braintree Town have signed French defender Remy Clerima from Brackley, Clerima signed for Brackley in January 2014 from Histon".

    Reports from the BBC say that "Former Torquay United chairman Alex Rowe has left the club's board, along with two other directors. Rowe, along with Mark and Cris Boyce, have stepped down after seven years on the Plainmoor board...

    Lottery-winning supporter Paul Bristow joined the board. His widow Thea became chairman in April 2013, succeeding Simon Baker. But the club has again fallen on hard times, with relegation to the Conference... and tight financial restraints on manager Chris Hargreaves...

    In a statement Thea Bristow thanked Rowe and the Boyce brothers... 'For those of us still on the board at Plainmoor, it remains business as usual'".

    The BBC adds that "Torquay United have re-signed left-back Tom Cruise on a short-term contract. The 23-year-old's previous contract at Plainmoor expired at the end of last season... With Kevin Nicholson also being released, he is the only recognised left-back at the club.

    Cruise began his career at Arsenal before being signed by Torquay in 2012 and has played 40 games for the club. "

    Betting advice comes from Sporting Life, which reports that "Nick Hext is backing Barnet to win promotion... I strongly advise not getting involved with title favourites Bristol Rovers for an immediate return to the Football League...

    There is more to like about Grimsby and I expect them to once again be in the top five after missing out in the play-offs in both of the last two seasons...

    Barnet are back under the management of Martin Allen for his fourth - that's right, fourth - spell in charge... 'You need characters, strong centre-backs, good athletes, goalscorers and pace in your team', he told Barnet's official website...

    My other tip for the new season comes from the top goalscorer market. Damian Reeves is back in the top level of non-league football after Altrincham's victory in the Conference North play-offs last season. The 28-year-old scores goals for fun. Last season's tally of 21 is decent enough but the two previous campaigns saw him end with hauls of 44 and 41 to really state his case as a striker to be feared. P> Reeves's last turn in this division saw him score 19 goals as Altrincham were relegated at the end of the 2010/11 season so a step up class won't be a worry. Odds of 66/1 for Reeves to end this term as the Conference's top scorer are simply too tempting to be ignored. He's well worth an each-way interest."

    According to Bucks Free Press, "Gareth Ainsworth said he hasn't given a second thought to this summer's spat with Bristol Rovers. The Gas complained to the authorities that Wanderers had breached third party ownership regulations over the 2010 transfer of former player Matt Phillips to Blackpool and demanded an investigation.

    Rovers said Blues' alleged flouting of the rules handed them an unfair advantage last season and called for them to be docked points or fined.

    Wanderers stayed up on goal difference at the Bristol club's expense on a dramatic final day of last season and a points deduction would have seen Blues relegated into non-league football instead.

    The Football League and FA both said they would investigate but there is still no sign of the saga being concluded any time soon...

    The longer the affair rumbles on, the less likely it seems any action will be taken, and Ainsworth said he's been completely unconcerned at what's been happening".

    In the Bristol Post "manager Darrell Clarke believes a busy opening week of the new season will go some way towards determining how well-equipped Bristol Rovers are for life outside the Football League.

    Rovers begin their Conference Premier campaign with a tricky-looking assignment against last season's play-off semi-finalists Grimsby Town at the Memorial Stadium on Saturday, before completing road trips to Barnet and Altrincham inside the opening seven days.

    Clarke, who has rebuilt the side with seven new signings after releasing 12 players in the aftermath of relegation, believes his squad are just about ready to start the campaign... 'We are a very different Bristol Rovers side to the one we were a few months ago and we will only be able to measure exactly where we are at after we have played the three competitive games we have in the opening week of the season.

    It is important to get a decent start if we can, but we have to be mindful that it is a 46-game season. I won't be getting carried away with the first few fixtures... Clarke says he is already 'very clear' in his 'own mind' about who he will select and how his team will play against Grimsby on Saturday...

    'I have a lot of options because we have a signed players who are versatile and can play in a number of different positions. I will play my strongest team to suit each different situation. I'm not interested in other people's opinions or views because everybody is a football manager and think they know better... If it doesn't work out after that then I will fall on my own sword'".

    6 August 2014


    Above, we see an unofficial picture of the Altrincham squad for 2014-15. The official photo by Gavin Rathbone will be issued in the near future.

    Pictured, we see,..

    • Back row: Simon Richman, Greg Wilkinson, Tom Marshall, Gianluca Havern, Kyle Perry, Peter Cavanagh, Rob Gilroy.
    • Middle row: Alan Ainsley (physio), Luke Pickering (kitman), Max Pouncey, Ryan Crowther, Jake Moult, Dave Parton, Josh Samberg, Stuart Coburn, Mike Williams, Damian Reeves, James Lawrie, Steven Gillespie, Ian Senior (goalkeeping coach), Neil Tolson (assistant manager).
    • Front row: David Brown, Jeff King, Grahame Rowley (chairman), Nicky Clee, Lee Sinnott (manager), Shaun Densmore (captain), George Heslop (matchday secretary), Adam Griffin, Sean Williams.

    Missing from the picture, due to work commitments, was Scott Leather.


    Courtesy of Terry Rowley, we have the following timely tribute to an Altrincham FC player who did not survive World War One. Terry has produced some further tributes and these will be reproduced here during the coming week.

    JOHN COSTELLO (sometimes reported as Costelli)

    Born, Blackley Manchester, 1890

    Died of wounds, Dardanelles, July 24th 1915

    Height 5’8”

    John Costello, (sometimes reported as Costelli) came from the reserves' side, after signing from Longfield in Blackley and played as an amateur at left-back for Altrincham in the 1910/11 season and was a near ever-present throughout the season. The 1911 census has his occupation as labourer and living with his mother at 36 Barker Street, Harpurhey.

    Left: The Manchester Evening News of Saturday, 3rd July 1915 announces John's death.

    John was part of the side that played in the first ever game to be played at Moss Lane, on the opening day of the 1910/11 season, a 3-1 defeat at home to Macclesfield. The season was successful as it saw Altrincham as runners up in the Manchester League after a second place play off with Crewe Alexandra Reserves. In addition, they lifted the Altrincham District Cup, seeing off Northern Nomads, 3-2.

    His form at Moss Lane resulted in him moving up to Rochdale, then in the Lancashire Combination, but he played only one first-team game in a season that Rochdale took the title. He also turned out for Longfield when not required by Rochdale.

    In September 1912 he joined Second Division Glossop, initially as an amateur, but obviously showed sufficient promise to be offered professional terms in November 1912. It wasn’t until the following 1913/14 season that he made his debut at right-back in the fourth game of the season, a 1-0 defeat at home to Fulham.

    He impressed enough to hold his place for four more games. John next appeared at left back in December in a 2-1 defeat at home to Blackpool. John played only one further first team game that season, in January, again at right back; the remainder of the season was spent in the reserves.

    After two seasons at Glossop, and limited opportunities, he was prepared to join Stockport County in August 1914. Unfortunately, he never got the chance to turn out for the ‘Hatters’. On the outbreak of war he enlisted in the Royal Marine infantry, (6th Battalion) and was later shipped out to the Dardanelles. He was promoted from Corporal to Sergeant in ‘C’ Company by his commanding officer, (field promotion) on 1st June 1915 and was wounded in action on the 12th June, (reported as gunshot wound to the right ankle). Tragically, complications set in and he died of his wounds on Thursday, 24th June, 1915 on board the hospital ship, Soudan.

    Terry Rowley.


    The Sale & Altrincham Messenger carries a report from John Edwards, joint Press Officer at Altrincham FC, which says that "Lee Sinnott has urged his Altrincham players to believe in themselves, ahead of an eagerly-awaited Vanarama Conference opener at Aldershot on Saturday.

    Newly-promoted Alty are in for an early reminder of the company they are now keeping, with the Aldershot trip followed by home games against two more former Football League names, in Lincoln City next Tuesday, (7.45pm) and Bristol Rovers the Saturday after.

    But after seeing the pre-season programme rounded off with impressive performances against Accrington Stanley and Shrewsbury Town, Sinnott is adamant they should not feel out of place.

    'The players know they have to do the ugly side of things, graft and scrap for possession but, once they've got the ball, I want them to show people how they can play,' said the Alty manager. 'The message is believe in yourself and be confident in your ability because there is no doubt these players are capable of asking people questions. They did it against Accrington and Shrewsbury, and I want to see it in the Conference. Bravery comes in different forms on a football pitch.

    'You can slide into tackles or put your head down among flying boots, but it's also about getting on the ball and playing your football. I want us to be brave enough to do that, because I know these players have it in them. I train them and I watch them in games, and I know what they are capable of.

    'Maybe they don't know themselves, but I am trying to get that out of them by showing them confidence and trust. I want to watch football that I enjoy. If there's a mantra that could be attached to me, it's that I want to sit on the bench and enjoy what I'm watching because, if I am, there's every chance the people behind me in the stand, and on the terraces, will be as well.

    'The new season has come round quickly, but we are really looking forward to it. It's three years since we lost our place in the Conference National, but that's a distant memory'".

    A fuller version of John's interview with Lee will appear here later this week.


    Colin Peake, PR & Media Director has issued a "Board Statement from Vanarama Conference - Respect".

    "The Vanarama Conference has listened to supporters, especially those bringing children to matches, before embarking on the next stage of its Respect programme, designed to tackle concerns and to continue its objectives to make the match day experience enjoyable for everyone involved.

    Two Board directives, one a new initiative, are now required to be closely monitored by appointed Club Respect Directors, who will be responsible for overseeing issues that come under the Competition's scrutiny, designed to increase 'Respect & Sportsmanship' through applying consistent standards.

    Non-playing staff have been instructed not to enter the field of play at half-time or full-time. They are asked to allow match officials to return to their Dressing Room unimpeded. This will reduce the potential of confrontation, which often leads to scenes that discredit those individuals concerned and their Clubs. These unhelpful scenes frequently lead to unpleasant incidents which result in strong disciplinary sanctions being imposed by the Football Association.

    The second initiative is the reinforcement of a practice introduced by the Conference approximately six years ago. The Board has mandated Clubs to ensure that any member of its bench personnel, if dismissed from the Technical Area by the Match Referee, must be directed to a place that does not afford a view of the pitch, for the remainder of the match. The object of the exercise being to prevent continuing undesirable conduct, in full gaze of the viewing public; and to protect the participant from being the subject of similar unpleasant conduct from others.

    Chairman Brian Lee commented, 'The Conference has been showing an improvement year on year with on-field player discipline, which is a welcome trend; but we accept the actions of some individuals still raise concern. The two areas now to be focussed upon have been identified in various communications received from supporters who attend matches. Unacceptable language is also high on the agenda of dislikes pointed out by spectators, particularly those attending with children. Collectively we must recognise that 'family values' are so important, if clubs are to see long term return from their efforts to encourage and retain future generations of support'.

    'It is impossible to remove all emotion from our game, and no football lover would want to, but the lack of self control demonstrated by a few individuals needs to be addressed. Bad language and confrontation on the field with match officials is unseemly and erodes our efforts to attract more families. Quite simply, these are elements of our great game which The Vanarama Conference seeks to eradicate. Clubs have been warned to take ownership and how to do it'.

    'Individuals who misbehave will be accountable to the Football Association. Ultimately though it is down to our Members to enforce the directives on a match day. Penalties can be punitive. We want our Clubs to sit up, 'smell the coffee', and advise their Staff how to conduct themselves, thus avoiding stringent financial penalties and the unnecessary suspension of individuals for their lack of self control".


    The Football Conference confirms that there will be a "BTSport preview show ahead of the Vanarama Conference season kickoff on Wednesday 6th August, live from the BT Sport studio in London, 7.30pm for one hour on BT Sport 1. [The] Talent line up is host Mark Clemmit, John Still (Luton Manager), Steve Burr (Chester Manager), Adam Virgo (BT Sport Conference Co-Commentator) and Stuart Hammonds (Non-League Paper). Plus features: Michael Owen at Chester training; Mark Clemitt spends a day with Bristol Rovers; a feature introducing Eastleigh".

    NL Pitchero reports that "Salisbury City’s consortium Board are outraged by the actions of the FA and the Vanarama Conference after their court date was pulled at the eleventh hour.

    A statement from the club reads, 'We were due to go before an independent appeals panel at 12pm today to challenge the Conference Board`s decision to throw us out of the league. Yet, barely 24 hours before our case was due to be heard, the independent chairman objected to our appeal on the grounds we were not the legal owners and therefore had no right to appeal, even though we were due to appear in the High Court 24hrs later and claim ownership of the club unchallenged.

    The FA, who had taken the unprecedented step of hearing [an] appeal from two sets of owners because, privately, they claimed they feared being sued by a fraudulent Moroccan owner whose only contribution to the club was to walk off with £4,000 of fans' money, have now cut off all communication with the club and their legal advisers.

    This whole process is a complete farce. There is nothing independent about this process. This is about football closing ranks and conspiring because they feel they are not accountable to anyone else accept [i.e. except] themselves. The Conference board are a total disgrace governed by individuals with clear agendas against this club. Twice they entered into negotiations with us making widespread demands we met, including paying down all debts and putting up a £50,000 bond, only to pull the plug on us at the 11th hours.

    Their general manager Dennis Strudwick sent a number of emails to former players criticising the club and their failure to pay down debts, while Board member Colin Peake went out on blog sites and forums commenting on Salisbury. This is completely unacceptable and totally unprofessional.

    What these governing bodies have done is prejudice a Board of Directors whose only interest was to intervene and try and save their beloved football club. The Conference and FA can attempt to dress this up how they like but their atrocious, unaccountable actions are a disgrace, they are unfit to govern, they are a total embarrassment to the game they claim to represent. It is about time that these people were held accountable for their actions. Who the hell do they think they are?

    Because we are a small club in the greater scheme of things, do they think they have the right to walk all over us, destroy the club and carry on regardless? I wonder how Greg Dyke, the FA chairman, who lives in a small village just outside of Salisbury feels about this? Perhaps he should be holding his head in his hands in shame that he presides over an organisation that thinks they are above the law.

    Let's us not forget that while Salisbury were the unfortunate victims of a complete fraudster if the Conference and FA's pathetic and farcical fit and proper persons' test hadn't been in operation he wouldn't have been able to take control of the club in the first place. What idiots allow an individual to make up a name and only ask him to provide an email address as confirmation he is fit to own a football club? You guessed it the bungling fools at the Conference and FA.

    What they have conspired to do to Salisbury City is disgraceful and against the moral obligation they have to the teams under their charge'"

    Meanwhile, Get West London reports that "Dave Stephens hopes Gary Waddock will be another experienced head who can help Barnet back into the Football League. Former QPR, Wycombe and Aldershot boss Waddock has been helping out at The Hive since being sacked by Oxford United last month.

    Centre back Stephens believes, with Waddock and Bees' boss Martin Allen both having promotions on their CVs, Barnet have the perfect pairing for a Conference title challenge. 'I would say 100 per cent that promotion is our aim', said the former former Welsh U21 international, who has also featured for Norwich City, Lincoln City and Hibernian.

    'The gaffer done it will Gillingham, and we have also got Gary Waddock coaching us, who won promotion with Aldershot, so we have to look to replicate that. A lack of experience and know how possibly cost us last season, and is what we were lacking, but we have brought plenty of that in this summer, and hopefully it will be the finishing touch'".

    And the Conference also reports that "Barnet have announced the signing of goalkeeper Sam Cowler on a one-year deal. Having already spent a period with the club following a loan spell, Cowler is no stranger to The Hive. Having been a scholar at West Ham United before spending brief spells on loan at Wycombe Wanderers, QPR and Barnet without making an appearance, Cowler signed for the Bees in the summer of 2012 after leaving West Ham...

    Cowler would leave for pastures new at the end of the season, signing for Bishop’s Stortford in the Conference South. However, after starting the season as first choice, the 21-year-old endured a campaign that was interrupted by serious injuries".

    The Football Conference says that "Macclesfield Town have completed the signing of Luke Waterfall from Scunthorpe United on a one month`s loan. The 22 [actually 24] year-old centre-back started out at Barnsley... After his release, Waterfall signed for Tranmere Rovers in July 2008 before a loan spell with Altrincham that October where he made one substitute [league] appearance in a 2-0 defeat to Weymouth [and three cup starts].

    Waterfall left Tranmere in May 2009 where he went on to sign for Ilkeston Town... He then signed for Gainsborough Trinity in May 2010 and made more than 130 appearances in three years before he caught the eye of Scunthorpe, who signed him in the summer of 2013".

    The Football Conference tells us that "Non-League Day team[s] up with Spot Kick Millionaire for £1M Penalty Shoot-Out Competition. Spot Kick Millionaire in association with Lucozade Sport and Wings for Life are searching for Britain's top penalty taker, with huge cash prizes on offer for clubs and their supporters.

    Clubs across the country are being encouraged to host their own qualifying round of Spot Kick Millionaire, with winners progressing to regional finals and eventually the grand final in London. Up to £100,000 in prize money is on offer for participating clubs with supporters competing for the ultimate individual prize of £1M.

    With the competition closing date scheduled for September 30th and Non-League Day taking place earlier in the month, campaign manager Mike Bayly sees a genuine synergy between the two events. 'By staging a qualifying round of the competition at their ground, clubs can generate additional interest and revenue on Non-League Day, which is one of the campaign’s primary objectives'".

    From NL Pitchero we learn that "Kevin Wilkin, manager of Wrexham, has finalised a one-year deal with defender Manny Smith. The former Notts County and Walsall man has played several trial games and impressed not only the club management, but those Wrexham supporters who attended the friendlies.

    Although only 25, he is veteran of over 175 senior games after progressing through the ranks at the Bescot Stadium [Walsall] before moving to County in the summer of 2012".

    According to the Oxford Mail, "Oxford United striker Tyrone Marsh will spend the first half of the season on loan at Welling United. The 20-year-old made just one start in all competitions for the U's last season and head coach Michael Appleton is keen to see him gain experience... Marsh, who had a successful loan spell at Staines Town two seasons ago, joins up with the Wings on a youth loan until Christmas Eve, when he turns 21".

    At Lincoln City the Club is "pleased to announce that goalkeeper Nick Townsend has completed a season-long youth loan move from Birmingham City. Townsend, who played in Saturday's pre-season friendly against Stalybridge Celtic, returns to Sincil Bank having played the last 14 games of last season as replacement for the injured Paul Farman....

    [He] also gained experience during a loan spell with Oxford City towards the end of the 2012/13 campaign... Birmingham have the option to recall the stopper between January 4 and 31, 2015 if needed".

    The BBC says that "Eastleigh manager Richard Hill has defended the money the Conference new boys have spent, insisting they have been responsible with their finances... James Constable, Jack Midson and Paul Reid are among those who have signed.

    'I've been in a fortunate position where the players I've identified I've got', Hill told BBC Radio Solent... 'There was a lot of work to do because the lads I signed had one or two options', he said. 'A lot of people have said we've spent a lot of money but I've been careful with the money. Yes we have got a couple of quid but I'm mindful of how I spend it. It wasn't a case of just giving them money, they've uprooted and relocated so you have to give them a bit of respect'".

    5 August 2014


    The times and fares for the TASC supporters' executive coach to Aldershot Town for the game on Saturday, 9 August, are here. You can book by ringing the club in normal office hours on 0161 928-1045.

    Transport is by executive coach and the journey will include a "service" stop en route.


    A test version of a mobile-friendly version of this website is here. This will be developed in the near future.


    Howard Watts's Through the Years records show that Altrincham have only ever played a competitive game twice on 9th August, the opening day of this coming season.


    The Football Conference says that "BT Sport are to preview the start of the Vanarama Conference Premier season on Wednesday. Newly-promoted Eastleigh are one of the clubs to feature on the preview show at 7.30pm.

    The feature will include footage from Eastleigh`s pre-season fixture against Northampton Town as well as interviews with chairman Stewart Donald and manager Richard Hill. The show also previews the opening day`s fixtures and the arrival into the Conference of Bristol Rovers and Torquay United."

    According to NL Daily, "Shortwood United striker Duncan Culley could be set for a move to Bristol Rovers. The 25-year-old hit the headlines last season after bagging forty goals and helping the Calor Southern League Division One South & West club to the first round of the FA Cup for the first time in their history.

    He has already spent time on trial with Football League trio Cheltenham Town, Oxford United and Wolverhampton Wanderers this summer, but has failed to earn a deal. It is believed that Pirates boss Darrell Clarke is keen to add one more striker to his front line ahead of his side's league opener against Grimsby Town on Saturday.

    Clarke said, 'We need to assess his fitness levels and then we will see where we go with that. He's a big, powerful and quick lad, who had a great goal scoring record at Shortwood last season. It would be remiss of us not to at least have a look at him'".

    Also, in the Western Daily Press we learn that "Bristol Rovers' boss Darrell Clarke believes his players are just about ready for the big kick-off... Clarke watched as his side offered up an 'encouraging' performance in defeat at the hands of Coventry City and has a week remaining to fine-tune preparations...

    'We have a few bits and pieces to tidy up, but I think we are just about ready for the kick-off', Clarke said. 'We've had a good pre-season and the pleasing thing is we have got through it without suffering any major injuries. The boys have applied themselves in the right manner since they came back and they have taken on board the things I have been asking them to do.

    I think we start this season with a team that is a lot more mobile and energetic than the one we had last year, so I'm looking forward to it and I know the players are as well... We are working off a smaller squad, but I'm satisfied with where we are at the moment'.

    Clarke only has one minor injury concern in the shape of Tom Lockyer, who has a tight hamstring, but is still hopeful of starting the season with a fully-fit squad to choose from after midfield duo Lee Mansell and Ollie Clarke both featured in the game on Friday night.

    'That was a bonus', said Clarke... Clarke was pleased to see Taylor score his second goal of the pre-season campaign and remains positive about the prospects of Jamie White also weighing in with his fair share of goals after he came off the bench... 'If you look at Matt [Taylotr] and Jamie's previous records it is fair to say that both have goals in them', Clarke said. 'They are both one goal in two games strikers'...

    Clarke was disappointed to lose the game by conceding from a set-piece... but he added, 'We have changed things around at the back during games to give different players a run out and that has probably contributed to a couple of the sloppy goals we have conceded'.

    Clarke is hopeful of adding three new players to his squad before Grimsby arrive on Saturday with offers on the table for an experienced winger and a striker, while former Forest Green defender Jamie Turley, who is currently recovering from a broken arm, should join the club subject to the usual medical examination".

    NL Pitchero says that "Grimsby Town have re-signed defender Andrew Boyce on a month's loan from neighbours Scunthorpe United. Boyce joined the Mariners on a loan deal last March... He began his career as a trainee with Doncaster Rovers before moving to Gainsborough Trinity... He earned a move to Lincoln City in May 2012.

    After playing 60 matches for the Imps in the Conference Premier, Boyce moved, initially on loan, to Scunthorpe in November 2013".

    At Wrexham, "Reds' manager Kevin Wilkin has been working hard to secure a second senior goalkeeper before the season starts and has landed Stoke City’s Daniel Bachmann on loan until the January window.

    The Austrian born 20 year-old stopper was 'Trialist A' during Friday’s night’s friendly with Bolton Wanderers at the Racecourse. And the boss said, 'I’ve made no secret I’d like to take another goalkeeper and he’s come in and played very well... If we can get something sorted in the coming days I would be delighted'...

    An Austrian U21 international, he will add competition for places with Andy Coughlin. 'I’m really looking forward to the challenge and without doubt this is one of the biggest clubs at this level, so it will be good', said Daniel".

    From the Times Series we learn that "Barnet's home evening games this season will kick off at 8pm rather than 7.45pm, as originally publicised. Games against Bristol Rovers, Wrexham and Torquay United will now kick off 15 minutes later... The Bees currently only have four home midweek games scheduled for the new season".

    The Daily Post adds that "Wrexham FC fans got the chance to meet their heroes on Saturday and see first-hand the results of this summer’s £300,000 revamp of the Racecourse Stadium. The club’s annual open day proved to be a big hit with supporters who also got to see the Dragons' squad in action during an open training session and take part in a Q&A session with boss Kevin Wilkin.

    The stadium has been given a major overhaul, including a new pitch and changing rooms for players and officials. The medical and treatment facilities have been upgraded, with improved seating for disabled supporters, better floodlighting and removal of cambers at the ‘Kop’ end of the ground. The results will see the Racecourse reclassified to Category 3 level, meaning it will be able to host international football matches."

    Reports from the BBC tell us that "Kidderminster Harriers are set to complete the signing of experienced left-back Kevin Nicholson following his release by Torquay United. The 33-year-old Derby-born defender left Plainmoor in May following relegation from the Football League.

    Nicholson... made 312 appearances following his arrival from Forest Green in 2007. He is set to become Harriers boss Gary Whild's eighth summer signing. Having lost last season's first-choice full-backs Lee Vaughan and Mickey Demetriou to Cheltenham and Shrewsbury, Whild has already brought in one experienced replacement in right-back Jared Hodgkiss, following his release by rivals Forest Green.

    As well as signing young defender Jake Green and another free agent Reece Hales, Whild has also brought in two other strikers, Reece Styche and Craig Reid. He has also tapped into his knowledge of lower league football by signing winger Ahmed Obeng from Rushall Olympic and re-signed keeper Jasbir Singh. Nicholson, who began his career with Sheffield Wednesday, also played for Northampton Town, Scarborough and Notts County."

    4 August 2014


    Sunday's NL Paper had a double-page spread featuring an interview with Altrincham manager Lee Sinnott. He said, "You hear a lot of people saying 'Fifth from bottom would be a great season'... but, to me, setting targets like 50 points is too negative. The way I look at it, we'll roll the dice, express ourselves, and see if we can't surprise a few people". However, the NLP points out that Alty are "fourth favourites to return whence they came".

    Referring to his arrival at Moss Lane in 2011, Lee says, "We had to turn things around, playing-wise. About a third of the players wanted to stay with us. Another third didn't want to play in Conference North... and, with all due respect, another third left because I didn't feel they were good enough.

    The first season was all about gaining momentum... Most clubs have to build slowly and, over the last three seasons, that is what we've tried to do at Altrincham".

    The NLP points that in the national division "with almost half the division back to part-time status, [Alty] have a fighting chance".

    The NLP also says that "Just four players, skipper Shaun Densmore, Damian Reeves, Nicky Clee and Stuart Coburn, remain from the side that went down. And, ironically, that traditional two nights a week [training] is now helping to attract players who would normally be out of Alty's range, namely ex-Colchester striker Steven Gillespie and... Peter Cavanagh (right), promoted from League Two with Rochdale last season. ... Said Sinnott, 'They're both good players with a lot of ability and experience... Both Steven and Peter are at an age where they're starting to look down that road [beyond football] and being just two nights a week means you can have a normal full-time job'".

    Alluding to Cavanagh, Lee continued, "There are a few young players in there, a lot of them playing in the Conference for the first time. Peter's experience and his ability will stand the other players in good stead as well...

    At a club like Altrincham, you can't afford to run with a squad of 25-26. So, when we sat down in pre-season to discuss it, 19 was the number we settled on. That's what we've got now, so I'm very happy... Our budget is bottom eight not top eight. We're expected to struggle. Everything about the club has been turned upside down. That should give the players a freedom to go and express themselves and they're certainly very capable. A lot of them are a good age, 21 to 25...

    At the end of the day it's eleven players against eleven players and you're in the same division because you deserve to be".


    Elsewhere in the NL Paper, Peter Cavanagh explains how he arrived at Altrincham after being released at Rochdale. He was offered the chance to help coaching at Liverpool. "It was something I couldn't really turn down and, when Alty showed an interest as well, it just seemed like fate. I won't be taking my eye off the ball playing-wise. I haven't got a relegation on my CV and I don't want one now. But, to be honest, I looked at the squad this week and we look like we've got a strong bunch of lads. I'm very optimistic about how we'll fare under a very good manager in Lee Sinnott.

    It's a young side and the gaffer basically wants me to help with a bit of leadership and game management and, with my advancing years, it'll be great to have all these young whippersnappers running around for me!".


    Alty TV's Mark Bennett has produced some excellent DVDs which cover Altrincham's promotion season in 2013-14. They include the Season Highlights DVD and Promotion Semi-Final & Final (full match) DVD. Information about the DVDs is on the adjacent screen shots.

    You can order your copies from Mark's website, or on eBay via the links below, or from the club, on 0161 928-1045.


    Alty's first Saturday visitors to Moss Lane are Bristol Rovers who tell us that "Following recent media speculation surrounding Sainsbury’s and the sale of the Memorial Stadium, I [the chairman] wanted to issue a short update. As I stated at the recent Supporter's Club EGM and the Fans' Forum, we have a contract in place with Sainsbury’s for the purchase of the Memorial Stadium site. There is daily dialogue between both sets of lawyers, and they are working to conclude the final contract conditions.

    Once these have been completed we will be able to move forward with our plans, and we hope to be able to make an announcement in the near future. I understand that you are all extremely frustrated with the delays, but we all have to remain patient for a little while longer."

    The Bristol Post adds that "Bristol Rovers' chairman Nick Higgs says the club is still working with Sainsbury's to move forward with the sale of the Memorial Stadium site to the supermarket. That sale is necessary to fund the club's new all-seater stadium at the UWE Frenchay campus".

    News of Alty's first opponents comes from Aldershot Town whose latest friendly was "a match which became the classic game of two halves. AFC Wimbledon ran out far more comfortable winners than they would have expected at half-time. The first-half had ended goalless but with The Shots enjoying a degree of ascendancy for long periods. Confident and progressive in possession, the hosts began by far the better side...

    AFC Wimbledon roused themselves back into the game... On 67 minutes it was 2-0 [to Wimbledon]... Any hopes of a comeback were crushed on 75 minutes. Tonkin fouled the tricky Sainte Luce on the edge of the box and, with Akinfenwa a large and troublesome brick in the Shots’ wall, Rigg was able to arrow the ball into the far corner... Despite the ultimately comprehensive defeat, Andy Scott still found plenty to be positive about...

    ATFC: Smith; Gibbs, Oastler, Barker, Tonkin (Gerrard 87); Molesley (N’Guessan 67), Lathrope (Hatton 67), Forbes, Roberts (Derry 80); Williams, Scott. Subs not used: Thomas, Derry, Gerrard, Diallo, Jupp".

    Before the visit from Rovers, Lincoln City are the guests at the J. Davidson Stadium a week on Tuesday. The Lincolnshire Echo reports "Stalybridge Celtic 1 Lincoln City 0... Lincoln City boss Gary Simpson believes his team were given a reality check as they fell to a 1-0 defeat to Stalybridge Celtic in their final pre-season friendly at Bower Fold on Saturday.

    Simpson was forced to name a patched-up side as his squad continues to struggle with injuries. Tom Miller, Todd Jordan, Jon Nolan, Alan Power were joined on the sick list by Nat Brown, who travelled with the team but did not start. New signings Jake Caprice, Hamza Bencherif, Marcus Marshall and goalkeeper Nick Townsend all started after signing their contracts on Friday.

    However, the Imps were beaten as Liam Dickinson struck a well-taken penalty, after Caprice had brought down Ben McKenna on 50 minutes.

    Townsend in the Imps goal had to be at his best to stop another couple of chances from Stalybridge later in the game as a miss-match City side struggled to impress.

    'It might bring everyone down to earth a bit, on and off the pitch', said Simpson... 'I have always said, you can be the best players in the world but, if you don’t work hard enough, you are not going to get anywhere. We need to get back to finding that work ethic and we will do that a lot better if we get everybody fit... We took Sahr Kabba and Karl Ledsham off at half-time and towards the end some of the other lads started to run out of legs a bit as well.

    We need the five or six that are injured and we need them back. We can only seem to get 45 minutes out of Ledsham and Kabba at the minute. Nolan will hopefully train on Monday and Alan Power will hopefully train next week. I know they have missed a fair bit, but we might be able to mix them up for an hour at a time. We certainly need that bit of know-how. We had Arnaud Mendy, Kegan Everington and Conner Robinson in the midfield at the end. There was not much experience there to go and stamp any authority on the game.

    Mendy can break it up and the young boys are fine on their feet, but it is not the same. To be fair, Jordan Burrow and Ben Tomlinson are going through a bit of a tough spell. I thought Marcus Marshall has done well playing off the front for the first half an hour and it is the first time he has played with the lads. He did not do too badly to start with. But we’ve got too many missing or not playing major roles for us at the minute...

    I think Stalybridge deserved the win. They got on us in the second half, kept the ball and did very well... Lincoln (4-3-3): Townsend; Caprice, Bencherif, Diagne, Newton; Mendy, Ledsham (45, Everington), Marshall (80, Simmons); Kabba (45, Robinson), Burrow, Tomlinson. Subs not used: Farman."

    Meanwhile, Chester FC report that "Lincoln City's mid-table finish last term has left them with plenty to think about... The Imps finished the campaign in 14th place and have brought in a number of changes to personnel to try and improve upon their standing next season...

    During the summer break Imps boss Gary Simpson has wasted no time in reshuffling his pack. Midfielder Karl Ledsham joins on a twelve month contract from Southport along with striker Jordan Burrow who moves from Stevenage Borough on a two-year deal. Defender Tony Diagne joins from Morecambe while Arnaud Mendy, Todd Jordan and Nat Brown agree new deals to remain at the club.

    Meanwhile midfielder Jake Sheridan leaves Sincil Bank, signing a one year deal with Alfreton Town following his release from the Lincolnshire club... No team has played as many seasons in the Football League (Lincoln spent 104 seasons in the League) without ever reaching the top tier".

    The Football Conference confirms that "Striker Ben Hutchinson has signed for Nuneaton Town on a one-year deal... He becomes the second striker to agree a deal in 24 hours following the capture of Magno Vieria on a month’s loan from Forest Green Rovers".


    BT Sport has announced some further Conference matches which will be transmitted live by them. The full list is...
    • Saturday 9 August: Bristol Rovers v Grimsby Town - 12.45pm
    • Thursday 14 August: Eastleigh v Aldershot Town - 7.45pm
    • Monday 25 August: Forest Green Rovers v Bristol Rovers - midday
    • Wednesday 10 September: Dover Athletic v Barnet - 7.45pm
    • Monday 22 September: Chester v Wrexham - 8pm
    • Wednesday 9 October: Kidderminster Harriers v Welling United - 7.45pm
    • Saturday 11 October: Alfreton Town v Torquay United - 5.30pm

    3 August 2014


    Non-League Review has an audio interview with Lee Sinnott after the match on Friday against Shrewsbury Town. Lee was pleased with the performance and glad to have the problem of selecting his first starting eleven of the new season from such a strong nineteen-man squad.

    Alty kick off their fourth return to the national division of the Conference with a trip to Aldershot Town. On Altrincham's second return to the Conference in 2005, the Robins won their August game at Aldershot 2-0. In that match, above, we see Alty (in blue) defending their goal. Stuart Coburn is the only member of that team still on Altrincham's books.


    Neil Faulkner informs us that the charity donation website, Just Giving, has announced that "To celebrate the launch of the Care button, and to help you get your first 100 Cares, we’ve created the 100 Cares Challenge.

    It’s simple. Get 100 people to support Altrincham Football Club Community Sports on JustGiving by clicking the Care button and you could win £1,000 [for the cause]. We’ll be giving away £1,000 each week until the end of August, so hit #100Cares as soon as you can to get more chances to win!"

    Neil adds that "We have set up a new page for justgiving to raise money for the Hall, here.

    Meanwhile, Altrincham FC season-ticket holder James Cram is running the Chicago Marathon in October on behalf of the Altrincham FC Community Sports Hall and he has a Just Giving page for the purpose. James advises the Club that he works for Legal & General who kindly do matched sponsorship up to £500, so "My target is £1,000 (hopefully I'll get more). So far my training is, erm... building up slowly but with a crash diet and smoking patches I'm hoping I'll get a PB for the distance which would be under 4hrs 28 mins".


    From the "Robins' Review", Barry Pikesley's entertaining tale of previous Alty and Shrewsbury encounters, as well as of his own domestic conflict, is here, courtesy of the author.


    Right, we see the new Vanarama board which has been installed on Moss Lane at the away end. (Photo courtesy of Karen Rowley).

    The Football Conference report that "Following confirmation Micah Evans and Paul Rutherford have signed for the season, Martin Foyle, manager of Southport, has completed the signings of experienced central defender Joe Connor and exciting striker John Marsden.

    Connor signs after a spell with league rivals Macclesfield Town and 21-year-old Marsden's previous club was Shrewsbury Town having been a highly-rated youth player at Liverpool and signing professional as a teenager for Celtic. Evans was also confirmed as a Southport player. The highly-rated forward was released by Burnley in the summer...

    Rutherford, 26, played at Barrow for four seasons, having spent time as a youngster with Liverpool and Chester City... Meanwhile, defender Chris Lynch has been made available for a loan or transfer".

    Elsewhere, "Jay McFadzean has signed non-contract terms with Alfreton Town. The 22-year-old has signed with the Reds for a second season... The son of former Reds' star John, Jay is a midfield player with bags of potential who can also slot in behind the front two and has come highly recommended to the club by his brother Kyle, another former Alfreton legend who has recently moved from Crawley Town to MK Dons."

    The Football Conference tells us that "Another friendly took place at Edgeley Park where Stockport County entertained Macclesfield Town. And goals from trialists Malachi Lavelle-Moore and Joe Mwasile weren't enough for the Silkmen... Mwasile raced onto a through-ball and saw his initial chance tipped onto the crossbar before scoring the follow-up, despite the protests of the County 'keeper who claimed that he had kept it from crossing the line".

    News of our next opponents comes from NL Pitchero which says that "Aldershot Town have signed winger Joseph N’Guessan on loan from Stevenage until January 2nd 2015. The Lewisham-born 19-year-old began his career with Bromley before progressing into the Stevenage Academy.

    During 2012/13 he enjoyed short loan spells at Farnborough, Biggleswade Town, Banbury United and Corby Town... and last season was also loaned to St Neots Town and Arlesey Town".

    According to the BBC "Nuneaton have signed former Middlesbrough and Celtic striker Ben Hutchinson on a one-year deal. The 26-year-old was released by Mansfield this summer... He joined Middlesbrough from Arnold Town in January 2006 but played just nine times before going on to have spells with Celtic and Kilmarnock".

    Meanwhile, the Times Series tells us that "Barnet have signed midfielder Sam Togwell... after impressing on trial. The 29-year-old spent last season on loan at Wycombe Wanderers from Chesterfield and boasts more than 300 matches in the Football League with a number of clubs".

    At Macclesfield Town, "midfielder JP Kissock has left the Moss Rose by mutual consent. The player joined, initially on loan, from Luton in the summer of 2012 before making the move permanent later that season. In all the player made almost 60 appearances for the club as well as spending time on loan with Oldham."

    In the Lincolnshire Echo we read that "Gary Simpson has said Nick Townsend will be his first choice goalkeeper for Lincoln City this season after the teenager signed a season-long loan deal from Birmingham City. Townsend had been on loan at the Imps at the end of last season and play[ed] 14 games after regular stopper Paul Farman saw his season come to a premature end with a knee injury...

    'Townsend will be starting, he hasn’t come over to sit on the bench', said Simpson. 'How Farman reacts to that is down to him. I think Farman has been a great goalkeeper and as good as anything in the Conference. What he does now is up to him and I will support him fully in what option he takes. I would be happy for him to stay and challenge Townsend and hope he throws the gauntlet down. It would be good to have people pushing for positions. Nick will be first choice, but he will have to keep his shirt like anyone else in the side.

    It is a bit of a luxury at this level, but you want to keep improving. Townsend impressed the board of directors enough for the chairman to make funds available to do the deal... I know he had been at other clubs, and Birmingham were keen for him to take that next step on', said Simpson. 'I don’t know why that didn’t happen, but he told Birmingham that if he was going to be playing in the Conference then he wanted to be with Lincoln City'".

    And Red Imps adds that for Lincoln City "The pre-season campaign came to a close on Saturday with hosts Stalybridge Celtic edging a close game courtesy of a penalty. Celtic's winning goal came five minutes into the second half with Liam Dickinson netting past Nick Townsend from the spot after Jake Caprice had tripped his man in the box.

    Birmingham City had given the Club permission to play Townsend in the goal with the youngster... looking as assured as ever between the sticks.

    New loan signing Marcus Marshall was also given a run out, starting in an attacking midfield role before switching to a wide left position... City: Townsend, Caprice, Bencherif, Diagne, Newton, Mendy, Ledsham (Everington h/t), Marshall (Simmons 78), Burrow, Tomlinson, Kabba (Robinson h/t). Sub not used: Farman.".

    2 August 2014


    Above: Alty's goal came from a penalty converted by Nicky Clee.

    Although Shrewsbury deserved their win, Altrincham put up a good performance to underline manager Lee Sinnott's contention that this is the strongest squad he has had in his three years at the helm.

  • Match report here.

    Shrewsbury Town report that it was "A good workout and win for Town who came back from going a goal down... The chances kept coming for Town but Coburn in the Altrincham goal was in good form, a great quick move from Town ended with the ball coming to Clark on the edge of the box and he drilled in a great low shot but Coburn was down quickly to pull off a great save.

    It was the home side who took the lead after a ball over the top found Alty in on Jayson Leuwiler’s goal, he came to head the ball but couldn’t clear and this allowed the Alty to get goal side, Jayson pulled him back outside the area but as play had carried on the ref pointed to the spot. Nicky Clee stepped up to take the kick and made no mistakes to give Alty the lead on 30 minutes..

    Town were finally back on level terms after Jordan Clark found the space in the box, he skipped past a challenge and drove in a lot shot but Coburn was once again there to save, this time he could only parry it and Clark kept his composure to drive a low shot under the Altrincham keeper and make it 1-1.

    Altrincham looked a lot better after the restart and were really putting the pressure on Town and asking questions of the visitors. Jayson Leutwiler was the busier of the keepers and had to make a couple of smart saves to keep the home side at bay...

    Town edged into the lead... James Collins flicked on the ball and there was Scott Vernon to turn the ball home from close range... Altrincham were still showing as an attacking force and after they found the space to skip through the Town defence Jayson Leutwiler had to be at his best to turn the ball wide with his foot after being left exposed by his defence."

    A more partisan report that is harsh on Alty comes from the Shropshire Star which says that "Controlled and composed Micky Mellon’s men go into the new League Two season with promising purpose.... The visitors dominated the opening 30 minutes with Jason Leutwiler a virtual spectator as Town’s fluidity caused ragged Altrincham problems...

    But the hosts lead when Leutwiler hauled down Gillespie after the striker had beaten him to a bouncing ball. The initial challenge looked outside the box but Clee fired high into the net, sending Leutwiler the wrong way... The goal had breathed life into previously suppressed Altrincham who began to find space in the Shrewsbury defence where, previously, there was none.

    Vernon was the pick of the bunch for Shrewsbury though and his quick turn and shot deflected wide before Town deservedly levelled. A deep cross fell to Clark and, despite his first effort being brilliantly saved by Coburn, the winger followed up to roll under the keeper.

    It was rewards for a half which, aside for five minutes following Clee’s goal, Town bossed, although they nearly went into the break behind. Gillespie latched onto a favourable bounce of the ball to arrow towards goal but Leutwiler tipped his 18-yard drive wide.

    Altrincham emerged with renewed purpose and Leutwiler pushed Kyle Perry’s header wide after the former Chasetown striker replaced Gillespie at the interval. Town were still the more controlled but the Conference side were more robust before a raft of changes upset their rhythm.

    And Vernon cashed in on 63 minutes when he netted from close range after Collins flicked on James Caton’s cross... Shrewsbury were in cruise control but allowed Ryan Crowther to swap passes with Damian Reeves and shoot wide in a reminder the Robins were still in touching distance... Shrewsbury kept allowing Altrincham chances and only a smart low stop from Leutwiler denied Reeves the equaliser with 10 minutes left".


    The Football Conference says that "Forest Green Rovers striker Magno Vieira is moving on a one month loan to rivals Nuneaton Town. The 29-year-old has fallen down the pecking order at Rovers following the arrivals of Jon Parkin, Lee Hughes and Luke Rodgers over the past seven months.

    Vieira made only three league starts last season".

    NL Pitchero says that "Rhys Taylor has signed on for the coming season with Macclesfield Town on non-contract terms. The former Chelsea trainee came through the ranks at Stamford Bridge to a level where he featured for the youth side...

    He has gained senior experience with loan spells, first at QPR as cover in 2009/10 before joining Crewe Alexandra for the 2010/11 season...The second half of the 2011/12 season saw him on loan at Rotherham United... MP> He began last season at Preston but was released and joined the Silkmen on deadline day in January... He then signed permanently for the season and has since established himself in the first-team."

    Elsewhere, "AFC Telford United have signed tenacious midfielder Godfrey Poku on a season-long deal. The 24-year-old former St Albans City and Luton Town player, who also had loan spells at Southport and Alfreton Town, joins from Mansfield Town".

    According to Bulls' News, "The new betting rules have today been put in force by the FA. The new rules cover the top eight divisions in England - from the Premier League down to the Southern League Division 1...

    The rules prevent players, managers, club staff, and match officials from betting on any football related activity worldwide, from actual games to managerial appointments. The ban doesn't just include football staff but anyone classed as a club employee, from cleaners to bar staff, and matchday staff who receive any payment.

    Darren Bailey, The FA’s Director of Football Governance and Regulation, said... 'This betting rule change to encompass all aspects of world football provides a simple, clear and straightforward message to all participants concerned, on where the line is drawn'".

    And Bulls' News also tells us that "Former Bulls' loanee Micah Evans is the fourth member of last season's squad to join Southport this summer. Evans joins the Sandgrounders alongside Dom Collins, Daniel Lloyd-Weston, and Richard Brodie after being released by Burnley".

    1 August 2014


    Before Friday's match, Shrewsbury Town reported that "We have our last pre-season friendly match to play and this time it's away against Conference North play-off winners Altrincham F.C.... They are well known for beating league sides in the F.A. Cup which they have done on no less than 16 occasions...

    Recently though, Alty have been a little down on their luck, suffering relegation to the Conference North in 2010/11, spending three seasons there until last season’s promotion... Altrincham kept clean sheets in 31% of their games and averaged nearly 3.5 goals per game. The coming season will no doubt be a tougher test though and I for one would like to see them beat at least one of the teams promoted with them.

    Damian Reeves is the highest goalscorer left from last season... Reeves looks to be an excellent non-league striker and at 28 years of age, he's at the peak of his powers... From what I saw, he likes to attack with his back to the goal and has an awareness that enables him to hit a ball accurately on the turn...

    It is pay on the gate at the J. Davidson Stadium and will cost £7 adults, £4 for concessions and U12s get in for free".

    Also, The Shrews report that "Defender Nathaniel Knight-Percival sees Shrewsbury Town's trip to Altrincham on Friday night as another difficult test... Knight-Percival believes Altrincham, like Kidderminster, will pose similar problems for Town despite being a lower-league side.

    'It's going to be a tough game, similar to the one on Tuesday (against Kidderminster)', said Knight-Percival... 'We've had a short session the day before the game to get in a few tactical things, but we're looking good'.. And being one of manager Micky Mellon's early signings this summer, Knight-Percival says all of Town's new players are settling well together. 'It's a very new team here and we're all still getting used to each other but, over the last month in pre-season, we've all really gelled as a team and a squad', he said".


    This website will be providing minute by minute Matchday Updates fom Friday's match against Shrewsbury Town. They are available as follows:
    • For PC users: here. This page auto-updates every two minutes but can be updated at will by pressing the F5 function key or the "refresh" button on your browser.
    • For mobile phone and handheld devices: via the Matchday Updates link here. Reload/refresh to get the updates.

    Brian Flynn says that "Radio Robins, sponsored by Ashley Mowers Garden Machinery, will be broadcasting full live coverage of Friday night's pre-season friendly against Shrewsbury Town at The J.Davidson Stadium. The commentators are Paul Salt and Joe Barry with match summaries from Stewart James.

    Coverage starts at 7.40pm with the game kicking off at 7.45pm. You can listen to Radio Robins on the internet here.

    Leah & Simon Brotherton will be providing regular updates on Twitter (@altrinchamfc) as well as half-time & full time updates on facebook (Altrincham FC).


    Alty entertain Shrewsbury Town tonight (Friday, 7.45pm). Their "assistant manager, Mike Jackson, believes Shrewsbury Town's trip to Altrincham on Friday night will be another difficult friendly...

    Town were held to a 1-1 draw against Kiddy at Aggborough on Tuesday and Jackson feels Altrincham will also want to show how good they are against League Two opposition.

    'We've got another good test at Altrincham before going into the league season', said Jackson. 'They'll go into their season soon as well. They will want to beat League Two players so they can say they're better than them and deserve to be where we are. That's what they'll be looking to do against us, so we have to make sure we get out of the traps quickly.

    It's the last game before the start of the season and there's still places up for grabs, so people have got to make sure they take their opportunity when they get it'.

    Jackson feels Town's pre-season has gone well... 'The game against Kidderminster (on Tuesday) was a great test for us and more like a League Two game that we're going to encounter. We got to grips with their style and, in the second half, we started to move the ball around in the way we know we can. I thought there was a great tempo to the match. The tempo they played at in the first half, we've not come up against that so far, with the ball going in behind us a lot straight from the goalkeeper's kicks'.

    And Jackson feels the Town players will be fit and ready for the big kick-off... Said Jackson, 'We're doing a bit of work behind the scenes with the analyst and looking at how we can improve everybody. We're pretty pleased with how the minutes have been shared around... It's a brand new squad and, as a player, you've got to think that I want to be in that starting eleven'".

    In the game with Kidderminster, "James Collins's second-half equaliser earned Shrewsbury Town a draw... After manager Micky Mellon made changes in the second half, Collins coolly converted past Jasbir Singh with less than 20 minutes to go... Town, donning their new yellow and black away strip for the first time, had to deal with a number of aerial balls from the home side in the first half...

    Town attacked their travelling supporters[!] in the second period...

    Line-up: Leutwiler, Gayle, Demetriou, Lawrence (c), Grandison, Knight-Percival, Clark, Wildig, Collins, Robinson, Caton. Subs: Burton, Goldson, Mangan, Ellis, Vincent, Smith, Ginnelly, Woods".


    In Sunday's NL Paper there is an article which is described as follows, "We catch up with Lee Sinnott, the manager of the North play-off winners Altrincham, and new signing Peter Cavanagh ahead of their own Conference comeback". THe NLP is on sale every Sunday for £1.50.


    Michael Ripley has images of the Alty v Accrington Stanley game on his website.


    Former Alty "super sub", Richard Landon, now kitman at Stockport County, is the subject of a testimonial between County and Macclesfield Town this Saturday, 3pm. More on this can be read here.


    The Football Conference announces that ", the market disrupting van leasing business is the new title sponsor of the Football Conference. The partnership was launched today in the presence of member clubs and will see the commercial vehicle specialists take the naming rights for all 1,476 games a season across the three divisions in 2014/15.

    To mark the launch of the partnership, Vanarama will bring back the competition's traditional name after a seven-year absence. From the start of the new season the league shall be known as the Vanarama Conference, Vanarama Conference North and Vanarama Conference South.

    The deal is a statement of intent for Vanarama, joining Barclays Bank plc and Sky Bet as one of only three title partners of the top tier of English football. Vanarama will use the Vanarama Conference platform to further build rapid UK-wide awareness and understanding of the Vanarama business via the League’s established national, regional and social media platforms. is part of the Autorama Group of companies. Vanarama are specialists in van, pickup truck and car leasing, where customers lease their vehicles instead of buying them.

    A company of football fans, Vanarama will support the sponsorship with a series of fan-based initiatives. The first of these initiatives is for each club’s community scheme to earn from every car or van leased from Vanarama, or one of its sister companies through a special Club offer.

    The partnership was negotiated by sports marketing agency SportQuake who will also assist in managing and delivering the national sponsorship campaign. SportQuake specialise in helping consumer brands and rights' owners to deliver commercial and cultural value through sport. This year SportQuake has already completed over 100 football partnership deals including major transactions with all 20 English Premier League clubs.

    The first game in the new Vanarama Conference will take place on Saturday 9th August 2014 seeing Bristol Rovers FC host Grimsby Town FC at 12.45pm live on BT Sport.

    Andy Alderson,’s Managing Director, said, 'With the Construction sector predicted to play a major role in the growth of the UK economy over the next few years, Britain’s van drivers, our customers, will be at their busiest since the peak of 2007. Our research shows a clear fit between our customers and football fans UK-wide and, as soon as I became aware of this unique opportunity to become such an important part of the national game, I just had to get involved.'

    Brian Lee, Chairman of the Football Conference said, 'I am sure I speak for the whole of the Football Conference family in welcoming such a competitive and innovative brand as Vanarama to become our new Title Sponsor. We all look forward to working with Andy, and his first-class, committed team, to establish a partnership going forward which will be of major benefit to both over the next few years. Branding is a key element in this sponsorship for Vanarama, who will now be able to link their rapidly growing name, allied to our national sport through our position in it, backed with vibrant media coverage".

    According to NL Daily, "At the pre season meeting of clubs in membership of the Vanarama Conference for season 2014-15, an update was issued on the use of ATP's (Artificial Turf Pitches) in the competition.

    Following recent dialogue with the Football Association and Football League the Football Conference's Board intends to allow competition matches to be played on ATPs in all three divisions from the start of the 2015-16 season. Such approval will only to be given where surfaces meet the standards of installation and criterion for use, which are to be agreed by the respective authorities.

    Further statements will be made, as and when the standards and criteria are agreed with all our football partners, ensuring a pragmatic and practical approach is made when considering applications for their use at Levels 1 & 2 of the National League System and associated cup and trophy competitions."

    News of Alty's first opponents of the season comes from the Conference which says that "The Board of Directors of Conference Premier club Aldershot Town are delighted to confirm to shareholders and supporters that the Club's administrators, Quantuma Restructuring, have signed the completion papers formally exiting the club from administration, and have disbursed funds to settle all creditors. This has been completed two years ahead of the required date.

    The Board took the decision to clear the old club's debts at the earliest opportunity, believing it was the right thing to do for our creditors, many of whom we recognise are long-term supporters of the club. This brings to a close what has been a challenging Administration process, with a need to satisfy Conference rules to ensure probity in the game.

    We can also report that, as forecast in January, we have also delivered a modest profit in our first full year of trading. We hope these positive developments provide reassurance for staff, supporters and sponsors as we aim to steer our club towards long-term sustainability. The club will hold its Shareholders AGM in September to review this result. The continued support of our fans remains critical to our progress, but we can now look forward positively to the new season in the knowledge that our club is in a stronger financial position than it has been for many years."

    Wrexham confirm that "The use of e-cigarettes will be banned within the Glyndŵr University Racecourse Stadium from the start of the 2014-15 football season.

    Stadium owners Glyndŵr University have updated ground regulations to bring e-cigarettes in line with tobacco products... The ban will apply to all events and sports fixtures, including Wrexham FC and North Wales Crusaders games.

    E-cigarettes have already been banned across the remainder of the Glyndŵr University campus in Wrexham and stadium manager Anna-Marie Brown said... 'The university extended its prohibition on smoking within five metres of university buildings to include e-cigarettes from January 2014'".

    Eastleigh report that they are "delighted to announce the signing of Jack Smith, Harrison Weeks and Tony Lee on permanent deals. All three players joined the club’s scholarship scheme last year".

    Dartford Online tells us that "Tony Burman has signed 22 year old striker Harry Crawford, who has been at Barnet FC since leaving Dartford in January 2013. Tony... said 'I have been talking with Harry for a number of weeks and wanted him to come back to strengthen the squad'".