an unofficial website

October, 2014

31 October 2014


Following training on Thursday, manager Lee Sinnott reported that, for Saturday's game at home to Alfreton Town, he will be without the same three players who missed last week's match at Barwell. They are Adam Griffin, who is suspended, Ryan Crowther (back problem) and Mike Williams who will be on loan at Stalybridge on Saturday, as he completes his loan period at The Bower Fold.


Blyth Spartans have confirmed that the "FA Cup First Round tie with Conference side Altrincham will now take place on Sunday 9th November. Kick off at Croft Park will be at 2pm and tickets are priced as follows:
  • Adults: £10.00 (£1.00 extra in ‘Port of Blyth’ Stand)
  • Concessions = £5.00 (£1.00 extra in ‘Port of Blyth’ Stand)"

    The BBC adds that "Warrington Town's FA Cup first-round tie against Exeter City is to be televised live on BBC Two. Dan Walker will host Match of the Day Live from Warrington's Cantilever Park on Friday, 7 November from 19:30 GMT. Non-league Warrington, who play in the eighth tier and are entirely semi-professional, have reached the first round for the first time ever.

    League Two Exeter City have lost in the first round of the FA Cup in each of the last four seasons. The tie will be the first to be broadcast live on BBC TV since 2008. Warrington Town are managed by Shaun Reid - brother of former Everton and England midfielder Peter Reid.

    Three-time FA Cup winner Phil Neville made the draw along with Derbyshire FA's Community Coach of the Year Tammy Snape before a 300-strong audience at the National Football Centre at St George's Park. As part of the BBC's weekend of first round coverage, Football Focus will come live from Weston-super-Mare AFC on the Saturday ahead of the Conference South side's home tie against League One Doncaster Rovers.

    Mark Chapman will introduce live coverage of the second round draw on BBC Two at 19:00 GMT on Monday from the National Football Museum in Manchester. Other programmes to look out for include Jason Mohammad presenting a new FA Cup edition of Final Score on BBC One between 13:55 and 16:20 GMT on Sunday, 9 November as eight first-round matches take place. Manish Bhasin will then wrap up all the weekend's action later the same day on BBC Two with a full FA Cup highlights programme between 18:30 and 20:00 GMT.

    BT Sport will also televise two first-round ties. The first from midday on Sunday, 9 November will be the Yorkshire derby between non-league FC Halifax and League One Bradford City. The second on Monday, 10 November at 20:00 GMT, sees Havant & Waterlooville of Conference South take on two-time FA Cup winners Preston North End, also of League One."

    Woking announce that their "FA Cup tie away to Wrexham has been moved to Sunday 9th November, with a 2pm kick off. The match will be shown live on S4C. S4C can be viewed on Sky channel 134 / Virgin channel 166."


    In the NWYA Premier League, Altrincham FC Youth have risen to second after Abbey Hey were stripped of the three points they gained against Alty and the points were awarded to Altrincham as an "Away walkover". This was due to Abbey Hey fielding ineligible players.


    The Football COnference says that "BT Sport have added another fixture to their list of live screenings from the Vanarama Conference. Top-of-the-table Barnet will welcome Torquay United to The Hive on Tuesday, 11th November with a kick off at 8pm... The match will be shown on BT Sport 1."

    The BBC says that "Gateshead have signed Preston North End full-back Nick Anderton on a one-month loan deal. The 18-year-old agreed his first professional contract at Deepdale in May, but is yet to make his debut for the League One promotion-chasers. He spent much of last season on loan at Chorley, helping them win promotion to the Conference North".

    Elsewhere, the BBC reports that "AFC Telford boss Liam Watson is hoping the Bucks' return to the FA Cup first round can help their poor league form.... Tuesday night's 3-0 fourth qualifying round replay win against Spennymoor set up a trip to Basingstoke Town on Saturday, 8 November. But Watson is concerned only with this Saturday's visit of Bristol Rovers, admitting, 'We should now go into the Rovers game with a lot of confidence'...

    Watson's side remain seven points adrift in the relegation places, having won just twice in 17 matches. But coming on top of their 3-1 away league win at Woking a fortnight ago, the two games with Spennymoor, both following the sale of top scorer Mike Phenix to Barnsley, mean that they are now unbeaten in three matches".

    In the South West, "Boss Chris Hargreaves says Torquay United do not currently have the budget to offer Durrell Berry a contract. The 22-year-old defender has been training with the Gulls... He was released by Plymouth Argyle in the summer...

    When asked if the Gulls had the budget for another player Hargreaves told BBC Sport, 'No, we'd have to do some sorting around to make that happen but there's an opportunity for him there to earn himself a contract. I've got to create that contract for him, but at the moment we're at the first phase, which is coming in and training with us'...

    Berry spent three years at Argyle after signing as a free agent in the summer of 2011 and played 107 games, scoring one goal. 'I think he's a good athlete, a good player, he's a winner and whatever's gone on there (at Argyle) is unfortunate for him as he's now without a club', added Hargreaves".

    Altrincham now have three games (all away, at Lincoln, Blyth and Telford) between 4 and 11 November and in the Lincolnshire Echo, we learn that at "Lincoln City boss Gary Simpson says a gruelling schedule of travelling 1,408 miles in 15 days will force him to make some surprising team selections. The Imps kick off their adventures on the road with a 330-mile round trip on Saturday to take on Forest Green Rovers.

    There is a brief respite the following Tuesday with a home game against Altrincham, but an unkind FA Cup draw has seen them landed with a first round tie in Hampshire to face Eastleigh. That fixture will be the start of an eye-watering eight days of travelling which will see them head to Gateshead the following Tuesday and then back down to Eastleigh for a league fixture the following weekend.

    And Simpson said the only way he can make sure his side are able to overcome such a tall order is to rotate his squad for the five fixtures. 'There might be a few surprises with the side that we pick on Saturday,' said Simpson. 'With a run of two games in a week and with a lot of travelling involved it can take it out of them. We have to manage that situation. One or two supporters might not be happy if their favourite players are not playing. There are some tough games coming up and there is no point in just keeping with the same ones all the time. If we did that we would just run them into the ground'.

    Dr Mark Smith, Principal Lecturer in School of Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Lincoln warns that repeated long journeys present challenges for sportsmen... 'When you undergo a tough match muscles can become disrupted due to the demands placed on them,' said Dr Smith. 'The body will begin a state of repair soon after and the first stage of this is an inflammatory response; this manifests itself often in an achy feeling we get. How well conditioned, or fit, one is, as well as adherence to sound post-activity strategies will dictate how quickly one can recover.

    Getting back on a bus after a game could be seen to hinder the administration of strategies. However, if viewed as an opportunity to embed recovery approaches into the journey [it?] can be of benefit. I know Lincoln City are not able to call upon Premier League facilities so, therefore, introducing different post-match massage techniques and stretching routines, combined with sound nutritional recovery, can ensure any impact a coach journey may have is reduced or even eliminated'.

    Simpson has already started to manage his squad and has rested players in recent weeks. Striker Delano Sam-Yorke was a notable absentee on Saturday for the FA Cup tie against Alfreton. He remained on the bench during the 1-1 draw and was not brought into action until the second half of Tuesday night’s subsequent replay. When he was brought out to replace Jordan Burrow he stormed out of the blocks to net two quick-fire goals and earn the Imps a 5-1 win.

    'It’s great Delano Sam-Yorke has scored a couple', said Simpson. 'He was out of sorts. He needed a breather. We saw this week in training that he was looking sharper and he’s come on and shown some great running'".

    30 October 2014


    The FA Cup First Round tie between Blyth Spartans and Altrincham will now take place on Sunday, 9 November at 2pm.

    This is because the FA "are pleased to announce confirmation of the following ties selected for live TV.

    FRIDAY 7 NOVEMBER 2014 – 7.55pm: Warrington Town v Exeter City – Live on BBC2

    SUNDAY 9 NOVEMBER 2014 – 12.00pm: FC Halifax Town v Bradford City – Live on BT Sports

    MONDAY 10 NOVEMBER 2014 – 8.00pm: Havant & Waterlooville v Preston North End – Live on BT Sports

    The FA live broadcast fee is £67,500 per club.

    The FA can confirm the following ties have been selected by our broadcast partners for highlights/clips domestically and/or live overseas:-

    SATURDAY 8 NOVEMBER 2014 – 3.00pm: Weston Super Mare v Doncaster Rovers and Barnet v Wycombe Wanderers. The FA fee for the above is £6,750 per club.

    SUNDAY 9 NOVEMBER 2014 – 2.00pm. The ties that will feature in the BBC's FA Cup Final Score with Jason Mohammed on Sunday 9 November will be:

    • Gosport Borough v Colchester United
    • Braintree Town v Chesterfield
    • Portsmouth v Aldershot Town
    • Stevenage v Maidstone United
    • Coventry City v Worcester City
    • Blyth Spartans v ALTRINCHAM
    • Forest Green Rovers v Scunthorpe United
    • Norton United v Gateshead

    The FA fee for the above is £12,500 per club.


    TASC is running a supporters' coach to Lincoln City on Tuesday, 4 November. Details of times and fares are here.

    Meanwhile, Lincoln City have kindly sent details of the arrangements for visiting supporters to Sincil Bank Stadium. Away supporters will be housed in Stacey West Stand, which is located at the north end of the stadium.

    Prices are :

    • Adults £16 (Early Bird) or £18 (Match Day)
    • Concessionaries (60+ / disabled) £12 (Early Bird) or £13 (Match Day)
    • Junior (under 18) £6 (Early Bird) or £7 (Match Day)
    • Students (18-21 with valid photo ID) £6 (Early Bird) or £7 (Match Day)
    The Club says that "Early Bird prices will be in operation until 4.00pm on the last working day before the day of the game (12 noon for Internet purchases). If you have any queries regarding ticket information please contact Dawn Cussens, Ticket Office Manager, on 01522 563781 or email her.

    Car Park Access

    Access to the Stadium/Stacey West car park is via South Park Avenue. Sat Nav use postcode LN5 8EL.

    Match Day Programmes.

    These cost £3.00 each; orders may be taken by calling Dawn Cussens on 01522 563781 or email her. Payment will be required on collection".


    Brian Flynn reports that an Altrincham "Ladies' man competes in Freestyle Karate World Championships. John McManus (right) will be taking a break from his duties as Assistant Manager for Altrincham FC Ladies, when he heads off next week to compete in the Freestyle Karate World Championships in Portugal.

    John, who is a black belt 1st Dan in Freestyle Karate, has represented England three times against Italy, Portugal & Ireland and has also been to the US Open Championships where he was a medal winner.

    In the last 15 months, he has won numerous medals, including gold, in regional and national tournaments. John travels to Portugal as the WKC British and European title holder and everyone at Altrincham Football Club wishes him well in achieving further success on the Iberian peninsula".


    News of our next league opponents comes from Alfreton Town, who say that their "manager Nicky Law was a bitterly disappointed man after seeing his side turn in an abject display in a 5-1 FA Cup fourth qualifying replay defeat at Lincoln City on Tuesday evening.

    Despite his squad being hit by injuries and having no recognised goalkeeper for the tie, Law was aggrieved at an unacceptable level of performance, particularly in a game where there was £12,500 prize money on offer and a place in the first round proper of the competiton for the victors.

    'If I am honest, we went to Lincoln with a problem of having no goalkeeper but, when you come away having been beaten 5-1 and not having the excuse that it was your goalkeeper's fault, there is something badly wrong', reflected Law. '

    'We didn’t turn up, didn’t fancy it, never got near anything. It was not just the lack of desire to want to win, there was no desire to go and get on the ball and pass it. Give Lincoln their due, they were the better team on the night, we have no complaints, but, without being disrespectful, we have made them look better than they are. We were totally inept and things have got to change.

    Anthony Howell did well in goal, he was probably our best player. He kicked well, came and punched a few and could do nothing about the goals. It was nothing he did, it was the ten in front of him. We spoke of the importance of not giving silly free kicks away. The one for the first goal was 20 yards out, the second goal was another free kick in a good area for them, the third goal was a penalty and for the fourth, we put a free kick into their box and ended up conceding from it. I can’t defend what’s not defendable and I cannot defend that performance.

    Don’t get me wrong, we are struggling but we have got to face up to facts that, at the minute, we are not good enough. Everyone can be better and everyone has got to man up. That tonight was not good enough and we can’t perform one game in four. We have got to do something about it, we will either sink or swim and I am certainly not going to sink.

    Supporters have come and paid good money to come and support us but seen the team go down 5-1, if you go down, go down with a fight. There wasn’t much of it tonight'...

    'I have not said much after the game tonight because it was the wrong time to say it. We will have a clear the air meeting on Thursday and people will have to know what is expected from them because at the minute we are not getting it', ended the Reds' boss."

    And things got no better for Alfreton Town with the news that "striker Karl Hawley has been suspended for three games following his sending off at Lincoln City on Tuesday night. He will miss the following games: v Altrincham... Bristol Rovers... Dover Athletic".


    News from our FA Cup opponents, Blyth Spartans tells us that "Spartans’ home game against Ashton United which is scheduled for Tuesday 4th November has been postponed due to our FA Cup commitments. This decision came after an offer from the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League to postpone the game to allow Tom Wade’s side to have a free week ahead of the FA Cup First Round tie against Altrincham.

    The club would like to express its gratitude to the league for their offer and this has been gratefully accepted. However, the club can confirm that should we draw at Farsley on Saturday the replay would take place on Tuesday night".

    In contrast, Altrincham travel to Lincoln City on Tuesday, 4 October.

    Blyth also report that "In one of the most hostile environments the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League has to offer, Spartans' manager Tom Wade was delighted to see his younger players 'grow up' as they took a point from FC United of Manchester. With several changes made from Saturday’s FA Cup win at Leek Town the Spartans' boss paid tribute to his side and described the spirit in the dressing room as 'fantastic'.

    'The team spirit is fantastic. Colin and myself didn’t say much at half time because we simply didn’t need to. We have asked young lads to grow up and the likes of Buddle, Wade and Hutchinson did that at half time by getting amongst the lads and pretty much taking the team talk for us. We had a young side out today, a very young side in fact, and they have stood up and been counted'.

    The point was the first Spartans have won against Karl Marginson’s side in six attempts... 'I thought we thoroughly deserved it to be honest. I was really impressed with the way the lads who came in performed. We showed a lot of bottle and we had fight and I have to say I thought [captain] Nathan Buddle was superb in the defence'.

    Another player who came in for praise from Wade was Joel Dixon, a player who is becoming a more than useful addition to the Spartans' squad. The former Tadcaster Albion and Frickley Athletic man... 'Joel Dixon is a bit of a find to be honest. He has come in and although he hasn’t been at the club long he has played in three different positions already. He played in the middle tonight and him and Matthew Wade worked hard to give our attacking players a chance to get time on the ball'".

    In addition, Blyth report that "After missing Saturday’s FA Cup win at Leek Town Spartans defender Nathan Buddle returned from suspension to play his part in his side taking their first ever point from FC United of Manchester. The former Hartlepool United man was a rock at the heart of the Spartans' back four...

    'They are well organised so normally we can’t break them down. Taking the positives from tonight we kept a good clean sheet and took a deserved point'... There were changes in the lineup after the heroics of Saturday with five changes made in total. [Captain, Nathan] Buddle felt that the point shows that Tom Wade and Colin Myers have a stronger squad than many think. He praised two of the replacements, Arran Wearmouth and Joel Dixon, and felt they had given the Spartans management team something to think about as they travel to Farsley for the FA Trophy clash on Saturday.

    'I think it shows we have a strong squad. We have made changes but we have done everything that was asked of us. There were lads who have waited for a chance to prove themselves like Arran Wearmouth and Joel Dixon and they were fantastic'... Buddle was handed the captain’s armband for the night in the absence of Robbie Dale and he described it as 'a real honour'... 'I’ve been waiting for it really. Seriously though it’s a real honour and with Robbie Dale not here and Danny Parker on the bench I was over the moon to have been given the armband'... and Tom Wade’s side made it one defeat in eleven games in all competitions...

    Six minutes before the break there was a long stoppage in play for a nasty looking injury to Rebels' striker Norton. A ball over the top saw Norton and Spartans' keeper Jeffries challenge for the ball. The Reds' striker came off worse and he was stretchered off and taken to hospital with referee Hodskinson deeming Jeffries challenge to be fair, a decision that incurred the wrath of the home fans. Sadly that wrath overspilled into some rather unsavoury and unnecessary chants aimed at the Spartans' number one...

    There was a half time change for Spartans as Neal Hooks replaced Turnbull in midfield...

    Spartans: Jeffries, Nicholson, Watson, Buddle, Hutchinson, Rivers, Dixon, Turnbull (Hooks 45), Quinn (Maguire 83), Wade, Wearmouth Subs: Perez, Bell, Parker".


    NL Daily reports that "Chester FC striker Chris Iwelumo has announced his immediate retirement from football. The 36-year-old has enjoyed a professional career that has spanned nineteen years".

    According to NL Pitchero, "Grimsby Town have signed midfielder Harry Pell on an initial one-month loan deal from AFC Wimbledon. Mariners` boss Paul Hurst has been looking to bolster his squad after Scott Brown picked up an ankle ligament injury at Torquay United and Danny Parslow's return to his parent club York City.

    Pell had joined the Dons from Hereford United at the end of the January 2013 transfer window... A youth player with Charlton Athletic... he rose through the ranks... but failed to break into the first-team. After spending time on loan at Hastings United, Pell was released by the Addicks and joined Bristol Rovers in 2010, moving to Hereford a year later after a loan spell at Edgar Street.

    The tall midfielder was loaned to Cambridge United at the end of the 2012/13 season and made twenty-nine starts for the Dons last season".

    Arab Emirates' paper, The National reports...

    "Picture the scene. You are sitting in the cinema room at a well-appointed family home in Jumeirah [UAE], watching the television as West Ham United play Arsenal, when your mobile phone rings... Edgar Davids is calling... and he is calling because he has hand-picked you to join his staff for his first job as a football manager...

    Davids was ringing Omar to tell him he was on the verge of being named manager of the English club Barnet, at the time a League Two team, the fourth division in England, and he wanted him to be his first-team performance analyst and head of recruitment. Omar, 25, had an offer on the table to join the German side 1860 Munich, but he had formed such a bond with Davids while they were together at Crystal Palace that joining Barnet was an easy decision...

    [Omar had] pursued his passion for football by studying for three years to earn a Sports Science and Football degree at Liverpool John Moores University... From university, he joined the London side Crystal Palace, albeit with a little help from his father. 'Dubai Contract Company sponsored Crystal Palace and that’s how I got in,' Omar says... Omar joined the analysis department and began two seasons working with Davids and manager Dougie Freedman. He left in July 2012 but still speaks to Freedman...

    Manager of Barnet, Martin Allen [said], 'Omar has been absolutely fantastic. He’s got great knowledge, great energy and a great work ethic. He’s been a revelation and a fantastic asset. I have no doubt he’ll be working at a much higher level one day.' Even more impressive is that Omar’s dedication to carving out a career in English football is so strong that he offered to work unpaid for Barnet when the club slashed expenses after being relegated from the Football League...

    '[Allen] is very appreciative. There is not one day when he doesn’t say thank you for what I’ve tried to do'" said Omar. "He lives in Ennismore Gardens, near to Knightsbridge, where properties range from £1 million (Dh5.9m) to £12m, and manages rental and refurbished properties in the area with his brothers Hasan and Faisal. He is chauffeured to work and back in a silver Mercedes by a driver who wears a hat. No wonder Allen once described him as 'the richest scout in world football'...

    'There is always banter,' Omar says. 'They know exactly who I am, and how down to earth I am and how passionate I am about what I do'... In addition to his encyclopaedic knowledge of the game, he has access to dossiers on more than 250,000 players... 'I was in the top 200 in the world at [the FIFA 15 video game] three years ago,' he says... 'I won an Xbox 360 when I was 17 in a Fifa competition at the Virgin store at the Mall of the Emirates'...

    He is only the second Emirati to work in English football, following Khaldoon Al Mubarak, chairman of Manchester City.. 'I hope, one day, I can take my country to the World Cup as manager,' he says... 'I know with time, with my personality, enthusiasm and knowledge, I’ll be successful and be a role model to other Emiratis.'

    Factfile: Born: October 20, 1989, Sharjah... Football experience: 2010: Accrington Stanley FC, internship. 2010-12: Crystal Palace, peformance analyst... 2010-present: Barnet FC, first-team performance analyst and head of recruitment".


    In Wednesday's FAC4QR replay, Shildon lost 1-2 at home to Norton United.
    29 October 2014


    Phil Taylor's report on the exciting 4-4 draw between Altrincham FC Ladies and Vauxhall Motors Ladies is here.


    Right: Alty supporters display their flags at Croft Park during the FA Trophy game in January 2011.

    Our FA Cup opponents, Blyth Spartans report that "After seeing his side drawn at home for the first time in this season’s FA Cup Spartans manager Tom Wade issued a rallying call to the Green Army. Conference side Altrincham will make the trip to Croft Park on the weekend of Saturday 8th November [date yet to be confirmed] and Wade wants to make sure that the Cheshire outfit know that they aren’t preparing to face just eleven players, but will [face] a town thirsty for FA Cup success.

    'This isn’t just about the eleven lads in green and white who are on the pitch, or even the squad and the management. This cup tie gives us a chance to get the Green Army to Croft Park in their numbers and show Altrincham that they aren’t only having to beat the players. They have to get past a town and a noisy set of supporters who will help us give everything they have. This has been a good Cup run but we aren’t ready to finish it yet and, as a club, we have to work together as players, as a club and as supporters, to give our town the cup run they deserve'.

    A run of four consecutive away draws [compared with Alty's seventh successive away draw!] has finally been broken as Spartans came out of the bag alongside the Robins and Wade is delighted to finally return to Croft Park after a tough run. 'Obviously every non-league club in the draw wanted a Football League club and we were no different. However, if that doesn’t happen, they you want to get a home draw, which we have. It’s up to us but we know it won’t be easy. It’s two famous giantkillers battling it out and it should be a great game'.

    Altrincham currently sit in nineteenth place in the Conference table, just two point and two places above the relegation positions. However Wade pointed to a recent upturn in form as a sign that they won’t just rollover when they come to Northumberland. 'Any Conference side would have been a tough draw. Their position in the league doesn’t tell the full story and we aren’t being fooled by it. They’ve beaten Braintree, Halifax and Macclesfield recently and obviously we can see they beat Barwell in the last round. It’ll be tough but we will make it just as tough for them too'".

    Blyth Spartans "have produced an audio review of the whole day [at Leek Town in FAC4QR]. Produced in association with Leading Link you can listen to interviews with the likes of management duo Tom Wade and Colin Myers, Media Manager Phil Castiaux and support Anth Seghini and relive another memorable day in the FA Cup history of the club...

    Elsewhere, Blyth Spartans report that "Saturday’s dramatic win over Leek Town saw Spartans into the FA Cup First Round proper and it’s safe to say it hasn’t been an easy path...

    Here we look back at how Tom Wade’s side got through to the First Round proper, the 31st time the club has achieved this feat.

    • First Qualifying Round: Darlington 0-0 Blyth Spartans... Total Journey Distance: 98 miles...
    • First Qualifying Round replay: Blyth Spartans 3-0 Darlington
    • Second Qualifying Round: Skelmersdale United 1-4 Blyth Spartans... Total Journey Distance: 348 miles... In reality Spartans couldn’t have been handed a sterner test after beating the Quakers. Skelmersdale United were riding high at the top of the Evo-Stik NPL and had beaten Spartans in the league two weeks before the cup tie. A test was expected but it was one that was passed with flying colours as Spartans smashed the Lancashire outfit. Goals from Jarrett Rivers, Matthew Wade, Robbie Dale and Dan Maguire...
    • Third Qualifying Round: Mickleover Sports 1-2 Blyth Spartans... Total Journey Distance: 362 miles...
    • ,
    • Fourth Qualifying Round: Leek Town 3-4 Blyth Spartans... Total Journey Distance: 376 miles... with twelve minutes left striker Andrew Kinsey scored from the spot to cut Spartans lead to one. With six minutes of injury time signalled the striker had another penalty but sent it well over the bar to send the Green Army wild and Spartans into the First Round proper once again.


    • 4- Robbie Dale
    • 3- Dan Maguire and Jarrett Rivers
    • 1- Neal Hooks, Matthew Wade and Stephen Turnbull
    • Miles travelled: 1,184 miles

    From the opposition side, the Stoke Sentinel reports that "Leek Town manager Lee Casswell admitted he was 'gutted' after his team lost 4-3 to Blyth Spartans ... but a last-minute penalty miss from Andy Kinsey means it's the north east side who go into Monday's draw.

    Leek had taken a 2-0 lead into half-time with goals from Matt Bell and Jordan Johnson... Casswell said he was disappointed to have conceded so early in the second half, 'I told the lads in the dressing room to keep it tight for the first 15 minutes of the second half, but we go and concede two in three minutes and that got their heads up. It was the start they needed and we didn't. I feel gutted really.'

    The manager however, did have words of comfort for Kinsey who missed the last-gasp spot-kick. 'He's sitting in the changing rooms devastated. All the lads are, but Blyth are a good side, I've said that all along'".

    FA CUP

    Winners in the FA CUp First Round ties will gain prize money of £18,000.

    The BBC NW Tonight programme includes a brief interview with chairman Grahame Rowley and a clip of Damian Reeves's goal in the FA Cup at Barwell last Saturday, some 20 minutes into the programme.

    Brian Flynn reports that the Radio Robins commentary from the Barwell game is here.


    SKkits owner, Ian Senior, informs thos who have had problems with the logo coming off their replica shirts to come to The Manchester Glass Ltd Sponsors' Lounge at the J. Davidson Stadium between 5pm and 9pm on Wednesday 12th November for a replacement of the logo.


    Tuesday 28 October, Fourth Round Qualifying

    • AFC Telford United 3-0 Spennymoor Town
    • Lincoln City 5-1 Alfreton Town
    • Wrexham 5-2 Macclesfield Town
    • FC Halifax Town 5-0 Chorley
    • Southport v Tamworth aet, 1-1 after 90 mins, Southport won 4-2 on penalties
    • Dover Athletic 1-0 Eastbourne Borough
    • Braintree Town 5-3 Weymouth aet, 3-3 after 90 mins
    • Havant & Waterlooville 3-0 Canvey Island
    • Harrow Borough 1-4 Basingstoke Town aet, 1-1 after 90 mins
    • Hemel Hempstead Town 2-0 Nuneaton Town
    • Barnet 4-1 Chelmsford City

    Wednesday 29 October, Fourth Round Qualifying

    • Shildon v Norton United

    For revised draw see below...


    Details of the times and fares for the TASC supporters' transport to Lincoln City on Tuesday, 4 November, are here. Bookings should be made by ringing the club during normal weekday office hours or in the bar on matchdays.


    Alfreton Town report before Tuesday's FA Cup match. "Injury-hit Alfreton Town are down to the absolute bare bones for Tuesday evening’s FA Cup fourth qualifying round replay at Lincoln City. The Reds will travel with just fourteen available players, three of whom are not fully fit as they are in various stages of returning from injury, but the biggest blow of all is that manager Nicky Law has no recognised goalkeeper and an outfield player will have to play in goal.

    Alfreton lost on-loan debutant keeper James Severn on Saturday with a ruptured thigh muscle which will keep the Scunthorpe United man out for around eight weeks. And with Sheffield Wednesday keeper Cameron Dawson also carrying a slight thigh strain and being ineligible, anyway, as he was not fit for last Saturday’s game, the Reds had a Monday morning appeal to the FA to bring in an emergency goalkeeper turned down under the jurisdiction of FA Cup Rule 15, Provisions Concerning Players.

    Reds' manager Nicky Law said, '“We have just 11 fit players, one of whom is going to have to play in goal. We are not complaining, and we have already checked with the FA that we will not be fined for fielding a weakened side. It also comes at a cost, as we will also now have to pay for James Severn’s wages for a month. It is an extraordinary set of circumstances we find ourselves in. We sought dispensation from the Football Association first thing this morning but they have turned it down.

    Regardless of who we draw in the first round, we just need to come out of the replay with our pride and credibility intact. But, the pressure will be on Lincoln City to win the game and win it comfortably which every outsider will probably feel they should given the circumstances. I am not sure what’s worse, being me with just eleven fit players and no goalkeeper or being Lincoln manager Gary Simpson with the players, home advantage and the fear of not winning that game playing against a team with eleven fit players and no recognised goalkeeper. This is a game that Lincoln should not or could not lose really', ended Law.

    Goalkeeper Severn and right-back Bradley Wood, who picked up a knee injury which will keep him out for several weeks last Saturday, join an injury list which already includes former Imp, Dan Gray (groin), Andi Thanoj (broken ankle), Chris Smith (broken finger) as well as Cameron Dawson. Only players who were registered for the tie at 12 noon last Friday are eligible for the replay."

    The Football Conference says that "Promising young defender James Pearson has joined Wrexham on a month'`s loan deal from Leicester City. As well as captaining Leicester City’s under-21s on a number of occasions this term, the 21-year-old right-back made his full first-team debut in the Capital One Cup against Shrewsbury Town at King Power Stadium earlier this season.

    The move builds on a useful spell on loan with Carlisle United in the second half of the 2013/14 campaign, during which Pearson made his League debut away at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane. The all-action full back played a key role for the Development Squad last term".

    28 October 2014


    In the First Round of the FA Cup, to be played over the weekend of 7-10 November, Altrincham have been drawn to play Blyth Spartans away. In 2010-11 the sides were drawn together at Croft Park in the FA Trophy, a game which Spartans won 2-1.

    "Lee Sinnott spoke to joint press and media officer John Edwards moments after tonight’s FA Cup draw. Here are the Alty manager’s thoughts on what seemed an eternity before our number came out of the hat and on yet another away tie, this time against Blyth Spartans.

    ‘It was a long wait, and I was beginning to wonder whether our number was ever coming out. I caught a glimpse of it about 10 draws before our tie, but the hand went over it and picked another one out. It’s not so long ago that we played Blyth, so we know all about their ground and pitch and what they are all about. We know what kind of tie it is going to be, and there’s no doubt it is going to be a difficult one.

    We mustn’t lose sight of the fact that we’ve got two very important league games before heading to Blyth, but, equally, we will make arrangements to have them watched in the meantime, to try and ensure we are thoroughly prepared for what lies in store.

    I’m under no illusions. It’s the first round proper of the FA Cup, so you can rest assured there will be a good few people inside the ground and they will have it rocking for their team. It’s not one we can’t win. Of course we can, but we have to approach it the right way and be ready for a testing tie.

    We know what comes with the Cup. You always get teams raising their standards, and it is essential we make sure we are one of those. Without going overboard, we will be fully aware of what we are walking into and will be giving Blyth 100 per cent respect.

    Cup ties are one-offs, and that is why everyone loves this competition so much. We will be fully prepared. We will make sure that when the tie arrives, we know exactly what we are walking into and what we need to do. We will instil our game plan on Blyth.

    I must say I do feel quite sorry for our supporters that we have been drawn away yet again. It’s a long time since we’ve been drawn at home - my first season at the club, in fact. That is a long time without a home draw, but I’m sure they will travel in numbers, as ever, and be in good voice, as they always are. We all appreciate that".

    Mike Garnett has provided Altrincham's full record against Blyth...

    • Home p.7 w.5 d.1 l.1 f.14 a.7
    • Away p.9 w.2 d.5 l.2 f.13 a.11
    • Overall p.16 w.7 d.6 l.3 f.27 a.18

    In knock-out competitions (FA Trophy)

    • Away p.2 w.0 d.0 l.2 f.1 a.4

    First meeting: 26.2.1983 A FAT3 0-2. Last meeting 18.2.2012 H BSBN 2-1


    In the above photos of the Community Sports Hall development, courtesy of Grahame Rowley, we see (left to right) the ceiling structure, the start of work on the terrace steps in front of the Hall and caterer Richie Bentley inside the new facilities. Click on each image for enlargement.

    Progress in the auction of an exciting range of sporting memorabilia to raise funds for the Community Sports Hall is reported, right, by Peter Foster. As shown in the poster, bids can be placed by e-mail... so get your bids in now!


    Altrincham FC Youth lost on penalties in the NWYA Open Cup on Sunday at Daisy Hill. Altrincham were without Cole McGrath, Laurence Taylor, Sam Heathcote, James Campion, Joe Coffey, all of whome were injured. Also unavailable were Treyvon Simpson (at a christening) and Jake Foy who had another committment.

    Youth defender James Farrington has kindly provided a match report.


    News of Altrincham's next two league opponents comes from NL Pitchero which tells us that "Nicky Law, manager of Alfreton Town, praised his side for turning things around during Saturday's 1-1 FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round draw at home to Lincoln City. The Reds trailed 1-0 at half-time to a 10th minute penalty but turned in a much better display in the second half to gain a replay on Tuesday evening.

    'I think we were disappointing [in] first half, we never got going', said Law. 'I think we, certainly not intentionally, ended up getting involved in a brawl. We always know with the size of them, and the size of us, that there was only going to be one winner of that. As I said at half-time, we haven't got got going, we haven't started. We haven't passed the ball, we haven't worked them. But we knew, if we could get the ball down and get to two or three passes, that we would dominate the game and I think we did that second half.

    It was a scrappy first half. Unfortunately, young Tom Davies, who I thought was magnificent, lost his footing for the penalty at the top end to be fair, and we come in 1-0 down. He is a young lad and you can't make those tackles in the box. You have just got to stand up and stay on your feet. So long as you learn from it, we all make mistakes, and so long as you learn from it... I am sure Tom will. He certainly did not let it affect him because I thought second half him and Luke Graham and the back four were magnificent.

    At the end, we were really down to eight men. Bradley Wood's hobbling about, he has potentially broke[n] his knee cap I think, maybe. Tom Shaw had come off, Paul Clayton was on his last legs, debutant keeper James Severn has pulled his thigh. Having said that, he has got injured on ten minutes and I don't think he has had a shot to save and it is credit to the players for that. We all know when you are down, you are down and things go against you and they are certainly going against us at the minute. We have just got to keep going and take it head on and come out the other side'".

    Barnet "confirm that Sam Hoskins’s loan deal from Yeovil Town will not be extended after the striker’s initial month-long deal with the club came to an end on Saturday. Sam arrived at The Hive on September 19th, and scored two goals during seven appearances for the Bees. He made an immediate impact by scoring with his first touch in a Barnet shirt after coming off the bench to hit the fifth in a 5-0 win over Altrincham...

    Martin Allen said, 'I’ve had a good chat with Sam. He has obviously picked up that little injury a couple of weeks back. He has scored some good goals for us and he has played his part in helping us during Charlie MacDonald’s injury. We needed a centre forward and he has had a fantastic attitude. He is a first-class professional but we are not going to be taking Sam for another month. He has done a good job while he has been here but I have decided to look now in another direction'",

    27 October 2014


    Altrincham FC chairman Grahame Rowley was interviewed this lunchtime by BBC's NW Tonight programme. The interview, on the subject of the FA Cup, will be broadcast on NW Tonight on BBC1 between 6.30pm and 7pm this evening.


    In advance of Monday's draw, the BBC announced that "Final preparations are under way for the FA Cup first-round draw at the National Football Centre at St George's Park which will be live on the BBC. The ties will take place across the weekend of 7-10 November.

    The FA Cup first round will receive special treatment across BBC TV, radio and online, with one match to be shown live on BBC Two on Friday, 7 November. Former Manchester United and England defender Phil Neville will make the draw in Burton along with Derbyshire FA's Community Coach of the Year Tammy Snape.

    This season, BBC Sport will take the FA Cup draws live on the road from different venues across the country throughout the season, including a few surprise locations. Forty ties will be drawn in this first round, as 48 clubs from League One and League Two join the non-league teams who have battled their way through qualifying.

    In a first for FA Cup coverage, the BBC will be giving extra prominence to the early rounds of the competition, placing lower league clubs in the spotlight.

    Audiences will be able to watch up to 16 live matches on BBC TV along with highlights and listen to all the action on BBC Radio 5 live. In addition, every FA Cup goal will be available online at across every device.

    BBC Sport has a four-year FA Cup rights contract running until 2018 in partnership with BT Sport".

    The BBC Media Centre adds that "The FA Cup returns to BBC Television for the 2014/15 season, after a six-year absence, with 16 live matches and comprehensive highlights of every round of the competition. Exciting plans are in place, including access all areas coverage, interactive Final Score programmes, Football Focus roadshows and a new Monday night cup draw, which is also being taken around the country...

    In the first and second rounds there will be eight matches moved to a new Sunday slot at 2pm, as part of an interactive Final Score, with goals and key moments shown to the BBC One audience as they happen. Fans will be able to enjoy every twist and turn: if there’s a goal in any of the eight games, Final Score will show it; if there’s a penalty, the programme will go live to see it being taken; and if a match is reaching an exciting conclusion, the audience will be able to witness the exciting conclusion. Supporters will also be able to enjoy enhanced coverage and live video text commentary via the BBC Sport website.

    The extensive BBC digital offering will include a total of 16 games streamed live on the BBC Sport website, via the online Match Centre and there will be a special FA Cup Catch Up service providing downloadable highlights at every stage of the competition.

    The FA Cup has a longstanding relationship with BBC Radio and 5 Live will continue to provide all the news, goals and analysis from the start. There will be live commentary of selected first and second round matches on 5 live sports extra and 5 live will pick up fully from the third round onwards.

    In addition, local BBC regional radio will chart the route to the first round proper, as hundreds of amateur clubs aim to earn a match with a league team.

    As part of their FA Cup coverage, the BBC , along with BT Sport, will also turn the competition's key month of January in to ‘FA Cup month’, which will see both broadcasters give enhanced prominence to the tournament on their channels".


    Altrincham's number to look out for in the FA Cup First Round draw will be 57. The BBC annopunces that " The FA Cup returns to the BBC on Monday night when the draw for the first round takes place at the National Football Centre at St George's Park in Burton. Mark Chapman hosts the draw from 19:00 GMT on BBC Two, BBC 5 live and online, in front of a live audience of 300... The ties will take place across the weekend of 7-10 November... Draws for subsequent rounds will be held at different venues around the country.

    FA Cup first-round weekend will be given special treatment across television, radio and online, with a selected match being screened live on BBC Two on Friday, 7 November".

    In Sunday's FA Cup 4QR tie the result was Worcester City 2 Greenwich Borough 1.


    Report here.

    Mike Ripley has images of the game here. Right, his image shows Jake Moult in action.


    Phil Taylor reports that Altrincham FC "Ladies drew 4-4 with Vauxhall on Sunday. Having twice fallen behind in the first half, we were level at the interval before taking a 4-2 lead in the second half. The concession of a third goal increased the pressure and the equaliser came in the second minute of stoppage time, which was frustrating and annoying in equal measure. Alty Goalscorers were Aimee Gibson (2) Charlotte Dudley and Emma Booth. There will be a report in the near future".

    In the Hallmark Security Cheshire Football League, League 2, on Saturday, the result was FC Woodford 1 Altrincham FC Reserves 0.The league table is here

    In the NWYA Open Cup Second Round, Altrincham Youth lost 4-3 in a penalty shoot out at Daisy Hill after the match had ended 1-1 after extra time.

    Next fixtures are:

    • First Team: Sat. 1 Nov. (Home) ALFRETON TOWN (Vanarama Conference) 3pm
    • Reserves' Team: Sat. 1 Nov. (Home) CHEADLE TOWN 3pm
    • Youth Team: Sun. 2 Nov. (Away) PRESCOT CABLES
    • Ladies' Team: Sun. 2 Nov. (Away) STOCKPORT COUNTY

    26 October 2014


    Goals from Lawrie, in first-half added time, from Perry early in the second half and from Reeves earned Alty a place in the First Round as Barwell finished with nine men.

    Report here.


    Right: Kyle Perry is congratulated on his goal.

    Saturday, 25 October

    • Through the Years by Howard Watts
    • Aldershot Town 2-0 Torquay United att. 1,690
    • Alfreton Town 1-1 Lincoln City 886
    • Barwell 0-3 Altrincham 523
    • Basingstoke Town 1-1 Harrow Borough 728
    • Canvey Island 0-0 Havant & Waterlooville 642
    • Chelmsford City 0-0 Barnet 1844
    • Chorley 0-0 FC Halifax Town
    • Dartford 3-1 Burgess Hill Town 929
    • Dorchester Town 1-7 Bristol Rovers 1909
    • East Thurrock United 7-1 Bath City
    • Eastbourne Borough 0-0 Dover Athletic 911
    • Evesham United 1-2 Bromley 811
    • Gateshead 4-0 Gainsborough Trinity 824
    • Gloucester City 1-4 Forest Green Rovers 2,067
    • Grimsby Town 3-0 Guiseley 1,761
    • Kidderminster Harriers 0-1 Eastleigh 1,489
    • King's Lynn Town 3-4 AFC Fylde 1,403
    • Leek Town 3-4 Blyth Spartans 1,047
    • Macclesfield Town 1-1 Wrexham (played Friday night)
    • Maidstone United 2-1 Welling United
    • Norton United 1-1 Shildon
    • Nuneaton Town 0-0 Hemel Hempstead Town
    • Spennymoor Town 2-2 AFC Telford Utd 863
    • St Albans City 0-1 Concord Rangers 953
    • Stockport County 2-4 Chester FC 4,612
    • Tamworth 1-1 Southport 814
    • Warrington Town 1-0 North Ferriby United 691
    • Weymouth 0-0 Braintree Town 989
    • Willand Rovers 1-3 Gosport Borough 892
    • Witham Town 1-2 Weston-Super-Mare
    • Woking 2-1 Boreham Wood 1,107
    • Worcester City 2-0 Greenwich Borough (Sunday)


    Saturday, 1 November 2014
    • AFC Telford Utd v Bristol Rovers
    • Aldershot Town v Gateshead FC
    • Altrincham v Alfreton Town
    • Braintree Town v Woking
    • Eastleigh v Chester FC
    • Forest Green Rovers v Lincoln City FC
    • Grimsby Town v Dartford
    • Kidderminster Harriers v Torquay United
    • Nuneaton Town v Macclesfield Town
    • Southport v Dover Athletic
    • Welling United v Barnet
    • Wrexham v FC Halifax Town

    25 October 2014


    You can follow the Barwell v Altrincham FA Cup 4QR 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 icons on the side panel, right.

    updatesPC updatesMOBI radiorobins

    Brian Flynn adds that "Radio Robins, sponsored by Ashley Mowers Garden Machinery, will be broadcasting full live coverage of Saturday's game at Barwell. 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 nearing completion. You can find out all about that at the Community Sports Hall website.

    The commentators are Ian Wilkinson and Laurence Howarth, with John Edwards as match summariser. 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)".


    Details of the Fun Week organised by Altrincham FC for next week are on the Community Coaching page.


    For the winners on Saturday, Barwell or Altrincham, the number to look out for in the First Round draw will be 57. The BBC annopunces that " The FA Cup returns to the BBC on Monday night when the draw for the first round takes place at the National Football Centre at St George's Park in Burton. Mark Chapman hosts the draw from 19:00 GMT on BBC Two, BBC 5 live and online, in front of a live audience of 300... The ties will take place on the weekend of 8 and 9 November... Draws for subsequent rounds will be held at different venues around the country.

    FA Cup first-round weekend will be given special treatment across television, radio and online, with a selected match being screened live on BBC Two on Friday, 7 November".


    The Football Conference reports that "Aldershot Town have signed Colchester United striker Dan Holman on a loan deal until November 22nd. The 24-year-old, who joined the U’s from Braintree Town in the summer, has just completed another month-long loan with Wrexham, for whom he made four substitute appearances.

    Holman has made five appearances for Colchester this season, having been the Iron’s top scorer with 13 goals in the Conference in 2013/14. The Northampton-born striker played for local sides ON Chenecks, Long Buckby and Moulton Magpies as a youth team player, before joining Cogenhoe United and, in 2009, returning to Long Buckby... He moved to Conference North side Histon in 2012, where 29 goals again made him the club’s leading scorer.

    This record inspired Braintree to pay an undisclosed fee for Holman, who scored a total of 25 goals in seventy-seven appearances at Cressing Road. 'We were looking to get Dan is before he went to Wrexham,' revealed Shots' manager Andy Scott. 'He’s got a proven goalscoring record at this level. He works extremely hard and is desperate to play football. He wanted this opportunity. He knows there’s no divine right to play but if he does well he will play games... I think that this will give everyone a lift, and show the rest of the squad that we’re making efforts to improve all the time. We have to work hard to make sure that things turn around. You sometimes have to make tough decisions but, as a manager, I am prepared to do that'.

    'I’m just looking to impress the gaffer and play some games,' explained Holman... 'This is a big club'".

    Further south, "Torquay United have extended the youth loan agreement with AFC Bournemouth midfielder Josh Wakefield by a further two weeks. The deal now runs to November 5th, the day before he turns 21 when he would no longer be eligible for a youth loan, but the two clubs have agreed to discuss a further extension beyond this point".

    According to NL Pitchero "Dover Athletic have signed former Hartlepool United midfielder or forward Greg Rutherford. Rutherford was born in North Shields. He started his career in the youth team of Hartlepool United... He signed a short-term deal in the summer of 2012 which was later extended in early January 2013... and totalled nine appearances for the senior side before being released at the end of last season. He trialled with Dover`s league rivals Bristol Rovers in pre-season after re-locating south".

    24 October 2014


    On Thursday evening, manager Lee Sinnot confirmed that for Saturday's FA Cup game at Barwell, Altrincham would again be without the suspended Adam Griffin and that, otherwise, Ryan Crowther was the only doubt, provided there were no unforeseen after effects from training.

    Meanwhile, Barwell tell us that manager "Jimmy Ginnelly speaks out on Saturday’s FA Cup encounter with Altrincham. 'Just a few words about our fantastic FA Cup Fourth qualifying round tie against one of the non-league’s absolute giants, Altrincham FC. This club has been involved in some amazing giant killing ties over the years and I’m chuffed to bits that they’re visiting our little Kirkby Road ground. I just hope we give a good account of ourselves and give them at least a bit of a game.

    Everyone at Barwell is amazed we’ve reached this far but we’re here now and may as well give it our best shot.

    On Lee Sinnott’s Alty, they’ve got a 'man mountain' at the back in Tom Marshall, a left-wing wizard in Nicky Clee, who’s got a left foot to die for, his shots and crosses are something we really need to stop, and then up front the goal machine Damian Reeves (Mr Goals!). He always seems to score so again we need to try and keep him quiet. Hey, that’s just three players so as you all at Barwell know they’ve got eight other Conference players coming at our little team, so it’s going to be very interesting for all. One thing’s for sure we know we’re in for a very tough afternoon.

    I believe this is the furthest we’ve ever been in the FA Cup. I was assistant to Paul O’Brien four years ago in the Fourth Qualifying Round, when we were beaten at Droylsden, and we got spanked that day, albeit it was away and this time we’re at home, so I’m looking to be the man that takes this little village club into the First Round Proper. I couldn’t have been handed any harder a task, I don’t think but one thing’s for sure, we’ll enjoy the day whatever happens.

    I’d like to thank the groundsmen, Terry Fisher, Geoff Hines and Nick Gilks for their efforts in giving us a lovely pitch to play on. I’m expecting Alty to bring their 200 + supporters so I’m sure they’ll take over our little ground. I hope they enjoy their day but hope they don’t enjoy the journey home, (ha, ha – only kidding).

    Guy, Ricks and I will be doing our best to make sure we’ve given the lads as much info as possible and have them ready for our biggest game of the season. I’m sure the game and result will look after itself. Once again thanks for your support and hopefully we’ve all got something to have a nice pint of beer in our little clubhouse. All the best, Jimmy Ginnelly”.

    Of interest to Alty and Barwell, and reproduced as "tweeted", the Football Conference says "The draw for the 1st Round Proper of the FA Cup will be LIVE on Monday on BBC2 TV at 7pm". and "FAC 1st Round Proper to be played Friday - Sunday 7th - 9th November to cater for 3 LIVE TV matches screened this season by BBC and BTSPORT".


    Altrincham FC chairman Grahame Rowley writes that "Following incidents at the Macclesfield Town game on Tuesday 30th September the Club were asked for their views by the FA with regards to the fan who ran onto the pitch and the throwing of a smoke canister onto the pitch - with possible sanctions/fines to follow.

    I am happy to say that, following our representations to the FA, they considered that we took appropriate action on the night and adequate planning had taken place beforehand to avoid such incidents and, therefore, we were not sanctioned. We have also made assurances that the Football Club will do their utmost to ensure that repeat incidences do not take place.

    Although spectators may think that running on the pitch during a game or throwing smoke canisters during goal celebrations is entertaining, they can have significant repercussions for the Football Club. Those responsible for these acts should take note of the possible effects on their Football Club".


    Colin Peake of the Football Conference writes "You will no doubt recall the efforts being made in early September to promote Non-League Day, through the 'Thumbs Up' campaign, orchestrated by our sponsor Vanarama in conjunction with the organisers of this annual event". Mr Peake has issued the following press release:

    "Thumbs up for Non League Day’s success as Vanarama donates thousands to Prostate Cancer UK.

    Commercial vehicle leasing business Vanarama (, sponsor of the Vanarama Conference, together with Prostate Cancer UK are thanking football fans for their support, after raising thousands of pounds for the charity on Non League Day 2014. Vanarama linked with former Southampton FC and England legend Matt Le Tissier to champion the day, and pledged to make a donation to the charity on behalf of every fan attending a Vanarama Conference fixture on Non-League Day.

    After a hugely successful broadcast and social media campaign, a total of 38,675 fans attended Vanarama Conference fixtures, resulting in £7735 being donated to the charity – certainly one in the back of the net for Non-League Day and Prostate Cancer UK!

    Non League Day started in 2010. Always scheduled to coincide with an international break, it provides a platform for clubs to promote the importance of affordable volunteer led community football while giving fans across the country the chance to show support for their local non-league side.

    To raise the profile of the day Vanarama launched a five day broadcast and social media campaign, #thumbsup4nld. Football celebrities and grass roots fans alike were asked to tweet a picture of themselves putting their ‘thumbs up’ for Non-League Day and encouraging others to get down to their local club to watch the match.

    'We are delighted with the success of Non-League Day 2014,' explains Vanarama’s Managing Director, Andy Alderson. 'As well as raising vital funds for Prostate Cancer UK, we were overwhelmed with the way the fans engaged with the thumbs up campaign. More than 4,600 unique hashtag tweets and in excess of 30 million timeline deliveries were made for, #thumbsup4nld. Importantly, behind the stats the real warmth, humour and depth of feeling for the Vanarama Conference, evident in the tweets, was heart-warming.

    Encouraging growth in grass roots football is vital to our nation’s game. We were just shy of the all time attendance record for Non-League Day. This is our first year of sponsorship of the Conference, so from a standing start we’re really proud of that. Raising thousands for charity to boot makes it even more worthwhile.'

    Mark Bishop, Director of Fundraising, Prostate Cancer UK, said, 'Using football as a way of talking to men about a disease that kills one man every hour has proved incredibly powerful. Reaching out through the grassroots game has helped us spread our net further through clubs and supporters. We’re so grateful to the fantastic backing from Vanarama, over a hugely successful weekend. By so generously doubling their donation they are helping us in our quest to save men’s lives.'

    The photograph (right) shows left, Steve Mark (Brand Director) of Vanarama presenting the cheque to Mark Bishop of Prostate Cancer UK".


    The Halesowen News tells us that "Furious Kidderminster Harriers supporters are threatening to boycott games and withdraw sponsorship after the club allowed a UKIP advert to be put up in the ground. The club has come under fire after hiring out a hoarding, at the ‘Town End’ of Aggborough stadium, to the right-wing political party for its campaign purposes.

    Long-time fan Karl Davies immediately cancelled his player sponsorship of Harriers’ winger Ahmed Obeng and stepped down from his role as Press officer for the Kidderminster Harriers Independent Supporters’ Trust (KHIST)... Mr Davies told The Shuttle, 'I’m gobsmacked that it has come to this. The club has brought politics into football and, for me, this is an appalling decision. Football should be apolitical. The club has told me they stand by their decision and if they want to accept UKIP’s money, then fine. But I think this is the wrong decision. I will continue to go to games but I am not prepared to support the club commercially so have cancelled my sponsorship of Ahmed Obeng. This is not a decision I have taken lightly and I have nothing against the player. I will contact him to explain my decision.

    I have also stepped down from my role with KHIST so I don’t compromise their work with my views on this'.

    Councillor Sewell added, 'I find the club’s decision astonishing and very short-sighted. It is unheard of for a football club to accept political advertising at their ground. The club argues that it is no different to MP Mark Garnier having a regular advert in the programme but that is not the same as he is providing contact details for constituents to get in touch with their elected MP'...

    But Councillor Michael Wrench, leader of Wyre Forest UKIP, said, 'This is a business transaction in which we are simply supporting the local community we have been democratically elected to serve... They are saying football should be apolitical but they are the ones trying to make a political point because we are the new kid on the block and the landscape is changing. Other parties already advertise at the club, through player sponsorship and in the programme so how is this different?...

    In a response to complainants, the club said, 'The offer is open to all. UKIP contacted the club, not vice versa, and a deal was agreed. We are completely impartial and treat all the same'"

    According to NL Pitchero, "Alfreton Town have taken goalkeeper James Severn on a month's loan from Scunthorpe United. United signed Severn following his release from Derby County in June 2012. The 22-year-old had a spell on trial at Glanford Park towards the end of the 2011/12 season and impressed the coaching staff during his time at the club.

    He rose through the ranks at Derby but made just one appearance for the club and had loan spells with Tamworth and Eastwood Town... He spent time out on loan at Tamworth for the second time in his career towards the end of 2012, making three appearances... Severn has recently penned a new one-year deal to extend his stay in North Lincolnshire. The Nottingham born shot stopper has represented England at under-17, under-19 and under-20 level so far in his career".

    Meanwhile, "Jamie Day, player-manager of Welling United, has brought in three players to strengthen his squad ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup match at Maidstone United. Goalkeeper Lee Butcher has been signed on a non-contract basis. Former Spurs and Leyton Orient keeper Butcher needs no introduction to Wings fans as he won the player of the season award last season for his performances for the Wings before work commitments prevented him re-signing for this season until now.

    Day has signed another keeper in Ben Buchel on loan from AFC Bournemouth until January 1st 2015. Buchel played club football in Liechtenstein before signing a six-month contract with the Cherries in August 2012. The move made him only the second player from Liechtenstein to make headway in English football... While with the Cherries he has enjoyed loan spells with Dorchester Town, Poole Town and Havant & Waterlooville. He is a Liechtenstein international with seven caps to his name to date.

    They follow earlier recruit Michael Chambers, who has joined on a month`s loan from Crystal Palace. The 6` 5” centre-back joined the Eagles from Dulwich Hamlet."

    Also from NL Pitchero we learn that "Having fended off an approach from rivals FC Halifax Town for forward Mike Phenix, AFC Telford United subsequently received an approach from Barnsley. The Board of Directors and manager Liam Watson were reluctant to let the player go but, as in all cases, the offer was put to the player and his wishes, to make the progression into the full-time game, were fully taken into account.

    With this in mind the club reluctantly agreed to the 25-year-old`s transfer to Barnsley. A statement from the club reads, 'We have agreed a deal with cash up front and staged payments at various intervals thereafter which would make Mike the joint highest player sale in the club`s history. We have also negotiated a sell on clause and a pre-season friendly with Barnsley... The manager has again been given the full backing and encouragement of the club`s Board to bring in players as he sees fit in order to ensure we build upon the win at Woking.

    We are absolutely focussed on ensuring the club remains in the Vanarama Conference and progresses as far as possible in every competition. We are working harder than ever to ensure that happens and urge as many fans as possible to positively get behind the club as we seek to re-energise ourselves on and off the pitch'".

    ALso "Lincoln City have recalled goalkeeper Paul Farman from his loan spell with Boston United. The 24-year-old, who made four appearances for the Pilgrims, is heading back to Sincil Bank after Gary Simpson exercised his 24-hour recall option on the keeper".

    The Lincolnshire Echo tells us that "Lincoln City are looking to the FA Cup for a financial lifeline after revealing they are projecting a possible loss of up to £150,000 this year. The Imps travel to Alfreton on Saturday for an FA Cup fourth qualifying round clash which could net them £12,500 in prize money... The funds will be vital, with club chairman Bob Dorrian insisting the cash on offer is their last hope to boost the club's coffers this season.

    'We rely on three areas for increasing revenue; gates, investment and cup competitions', said Dorrian. 'There have been no fresh offers of investment and a disappointing run of results has seen our gate revenue drop below a sustainable level. It means that a run in the FA Cup is vital to keep the club operating on an even keel.'

    Dorrian has undertaken a ruthless cost-cutting programme since the club was relegated from the Football League in 20... 'They would only equate to savings of £5,000 to £10,000... That is not going to make a big difference when we are making a loss of around £3,000 a week, which would make it around £150,000 for the year.... The biggest outgoing is the playing budget and we want to make as much money available to that as possible to the management team. We have already stretched that budget further than intended with the ambition of pulling together a squad which can get us into the play-off places...

    It is clear that we need to start thinking outside of the box and look at other ways of raising cash, beyond seeking investors and sponsorship'".


    There is a curious tale in the Manchester Evening News to the effect that "Bacup and Rossendale Borough FC will revert to its former name after a series of ghostly occurrences convinced staff that a phantom presence was protesting to the name change. Spooked football club bosses say they will be forced to change their name following objections from the spirit world.

    Bacup and Rossendale Borough FC said a series of ghostly occurrences convinced staff that the club was being haunted by a phantom presence. Club bosses called in paranormal investigators... The club was known as Bacup Borough FC until 2013 when it took on its current title.

    Club PA Debra O’Connor said Droylsden-based spiritualists Shadow Seekers tried to contact the spirits via some ghouline technology to ask whether discontent over a recent name change was the cause of the problem. She said, 'The investigators asked the spirit about the name change, to which the twin-pronged machine indicated that there were spirits not happy. Then all of a sudden, the machine flew off the physio bed and smashed on the floor'.

    The club will now revert to its original name of Bacup Borough for the start of next season. Club manager Brent Peters said players and staff became convinced the spirits were protesting at the change - and said it was even hampering the players’ ability to score. He said, 'The demons have been out there since we took the name of Rossendale... freak instances have occurred which have ultimately cost us games. We have had instances where a light bulb has shot out of its socket and narrowly missed a player as he was sitting on the toilet, our phone ringing a number in Ramsbottom in the early hours that has nothing to do with the club and the alarm system sounding when the mains say otherwise.

    The other week, one of the players went through on goal but as he was about to shoot he felt a weight holding back his kicking foot! Just last week, I had a text from a player to say he was fine for Saturday’s game late on Friday evening, only to be taken to A&E the following morning'".

    23 October 2014


    Joint Press and Media Officer John Edwards supplied articles to The Messenger and The Advertiser this week, based on quotes from an interview he conducted with manager Lee Sinnott at the conclusion of Saturday’s 1-0 win over Braintree. Here is the interview in full, with Lee reflecting on the Braintree game before turning his attention to this coming Saturday’s FA Cup tie at Barwell.

    On Braintree, Lee said, '‘I thought the first half had little echoes of last Saturday against Woking, in the way that either team could maybe have laid claim to going in ahead but, overall, I was delighted with the players.

    We played our football in pockets, maybe not as much as we would have liked, but you can’t fault them for effort, desire, commitment, all those big words you come out with.

    We took a 1-0 lead with a very well executed goal, and then, without sitting back, because we are not a team who sit back and defend a lead, we defended well. What I mean is, we defended well when we had to, and that was pleasing.

    (On the defensive shake-up to cover Adam Griffin’s suspension) I thought Scott Leather did really well at left-back, and Tom Marshall stepped in and did the job required in the middle, alongside Luca Havern. In fact, if you look across the back four, I don’t think we missed many headers all day. I was very pleased with them.

    In midfield, Jake Moult (left) keeps putting in performances. I had a word with him beforehand, and you have to say he has come a long way since the opening game of the season at Aldershot, when he didn’t figure in the 16. That is what you want from your players in situations like that. You want a reaction. He has made it difficult to be left out, and that is what you are looking for when a player gets his chance.

    He has the qualities needed to be an all-round midfield player, and over the last six or seven matches, he has added a good consistency to his game.

    I still think we are a little bit leggy, and it will do us good to have a clear week, so we can prepare accordingly for the Cup tie. But, in saying that, to win 1-0 is always pleasing for a manager. Of course you want to win 6-0 every week but, in the real world, that doesn’t happen, so to carve out a 1-0 is pleasing.

    Right: Lee Sinnott

    We are a smallish squad and we need versatility from our players to adapt to whatever is put before them. Scott epitomises that. He has switched position to accommodate Tom at the back, and we’ve kept a clean sheet. I’ve got to be happy with that.

    Hopefully, come next Saturday, the batteries will be topped up again after another clear week. We came under pressure near the end, but sometimes it’s human nature to protect what you’ve got, going into the last five or 10 minutes, so you are not as committed.

    I thought Kyle Perry did really well, coming on and putting himself about on his own up front for the last 10 minutes. But, when you are not as committed, it is hard getting forward and supporting him, so I can understand how the pressure was on at the end. But we stood up to it really well.

    I have had a word with James Lawrie about the role he is playing at the moment, because it comes with responsibilities. I just pointed out the options to him, if he is being looked on closely. Don’t forget, people do their scouting. They study reports and look closely at who they are up against each week, and it’s up to James to think his way round the problem, if he is singled out for close attention.

    Do you drop off a bit? If one or two are sitting in front of the back four, where is your space to operate? He is having to start thinking about that. Do you go a bit deeper or look for room a bit further forward. We have discussed all that, because it is important he keeps contributing the way he has been.

    (On the possible penalty in the second half, when Damian Reeves looked to be body-checked) I asked Reevesie about it when he came off, and he said it was inside the box, which may have contributed to the pushing and shoving that followed. I would have to have another look. My only question is, would the ref have given a free-kick if it had happened outside the box? Who knows, but if the answer is yes, then it had to be a penalty.

    One thing I found mind-boggling was when their keeper went down injured, as Nicky Clee cut in from the left along the goalline. The ref was absolutely right to stop play, but what was all that about when he restarted it by dropping the ball and telling Jake to kick it out for their throw-in? We are in a dangerous position one minute and are then having to surrender possession the next. That infuriates me.

    I just think referees are too protected. It’s like they are an endangered species. Maybe the fourth official should have a meeting with the managers after the game, and he can take our thoughts into the referee’s room. I fully appreciate it’s a hard job, but there are times when I’m just baffled by what I see.’

    On the FA Cup tie at Barwell, Lee added:

    ‘I don’t know whether I would class it as a determination to put things right (after last season’s Cup defeat at Trafford), because we want to win every game, regardless of who we are up against and what the competition is. Throughout my time here, and throughout my career in management, I have treated every opponent with exactly the same respect, whether it be Barnet, Barwell or whoever. It doesn’t matter if they are three divisions below us, they get my full respect.

    The players were reminded of that before they went out against Trafford. I have been in the game long enough to be on the good side and bad side of Cup killings. I have been around too long to walk into a tie and be blasé about it. It’s ridiculous to think that. If people think that could happen, they don’t know me. Barwell will be given our full respect. I don’t do 110 per cent or 150 per cent. You can only give 100 per cent, but, believe me, that’s the respect we will be giving our opponents on Saturday. It will be no different to any team I have come up against before.

    They are clearly on a very good run in the FA Cup. The appeal of this competition is that someone always does that, so we know it is going to be a difficult game. We know we have got to be right, end of story, and we will prepare accordingly. A Cup run can be good for the club, the supporters, the finances, everything. We are fully aware of all that, so it goes without saying we will be ready for the challenge.

    I don’t see it as a release from the league campaign. That would be disrespectful to Barwell, and I’m not going down that road. We have had them watched more than once since the draw was made, and we know they are going to be up for it. We have to cope with that.

    In my mind, it could be Barnet or Barwell, it makes no difference to our approach. We have to make sure our desire to win is greater than theirs. That is paramount. On the injury front, Nicky Clee was taken off as a precaution, but there are no other new injury problems.'"


    Arthur Gale, who played wartime football for Altrincham, is one of Terry Rowley's latest Alty Legends, while Andrew Limond is subject of another of Terry's profiles. Andrew Limond played for Alty in 1911 and emigrated to Canada, where he died in 1943.
    22 October 2014


    Altrincham FC have acquired the services of Robbie Savage and Darren Fletcher [right] from Radio 5 Live's "606" programme for a Sportsman's Dinner on Friday 14th November at the Cresta Court Hotel, Church Road, Altrincham with a 7.30pm start. The duo will be holding their usual entertaining debate, live in the Belgrave Suite at the Cresta Court.

    This event will consist of a four-course meal followed by an auction and raffle. The price is £400 + VAT for a table of 10 or £40 per ticket. Please complete the attached booking form now and return to Karen Rowley at the club, Moss Lane, Altrincham, Cheshire WA15 8AP, or by e-mail. Book soon to avoid disappointment!


    Thanks go to Phil Taylor, who has kindly provided a match report on last Sunday's Altrincham FC Ladies' game against Warrington Wolverines.


    TASC is running a supporters' coach to Barwell on 25 October for the FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round match. Details of times and fares are on the Away Travel page. As usual, supporters need to book in advance by ringing the Club during normal office hours.

    However, there will be no supporters' coach to the Woking match, which has been conveniently scheduled for Tuesday, 2 December at 7.45pm. This is because it would not be economic to operate the vehicle for such a long distance in midweek, given the likely number of travellers.

    Alty will be wearing their normal red and white striped kit on Saturday. Admission prices at Barwell are £10 for adults, £6 for concessionaries and £3 for under-16s. Under-11s accompanied by an adult are free.

    Barwell won 1-0 against Stamford in the league on Tuesday night.

    From NL Daily we learn that "Richard Sneekes, manager of Rushall Olympic, has signed striker Luke Barlone... on a month-long loan deal from league neighbours Barwell... The 26-year-old striker is available for the short trip to Halesowen Town".

    Following their defeat at Barwell last Saturday, Blyth Spartans' supporters have a blog which describes their experience.


    James Farrington's report on Alty Youth's narrow defeat at league leaders Chester FC is here


    This week's winning Altrincham FC Saturday Yankee code was 6084. Two members won £75 each for winning trebles whilst the main jackpot rose to £2,500 as the winning code was unissued.


    Barnet 3 Braintree Town 0. The Iron had Marks sent off just before the half-hour mark when Barnet led 1-0.


    The BBC says that "The chairman of Lincoln City Football Club is calling for League Two and the Conference Premier to be regionalised to reduce travel costs and improve player wellbeing. Bob Dorrian said it costs the club upwards of £20,000 a year for travel and accommodation.

    He said many clubs in the Conference struggle to make ends meet. However, Football Conference officials said teams wanted to be part of a national competition. Mr Dorrian said, 'With six overnight stays and another 17 away games we are looking at a figure of about £21,000'. The extreme would be a trip to Torquay, costing about £2,500, with £1,500 spent on staying in a hotel.

    He said, 'There is also a little bit of an unwritten law that anything over three hours a player spends on a coach is detrimental to his wellbeing. It's a real battle trying to get the money together to survive in these leagues. If we could get to a situation where League Two and the Conference Premier were regionalised I think that would be an excellent result for everybody'...

    Lincoln City fans Fans travelling to each of Lincoln's away league games will cover more than 6,200 miles during the season. However, Colin Peake, who is a director of the Football Conference, said it was unlikely there would be 'a break-up of the top division'. He said, 'The 24 clubs are national, and they are national for a reason. Most of the clubs want to be part of a national competition.'

    Alfreton Town's chairman Wayne Bradley said it was hard to see how regionalisation could work. On the subject of travel, he added some teams, including Torquay, do not stay overnight unless absolutely necessary".

    According to the Football Conference, "Alfreton Town have received a boost ahead of this weekend's FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round tie against rivals Lincoln City. Fleetwood Town have granted permission for on-loan central defender Tom Davies to play in the competition...

    Meanwhile, left-sided midfield player David Mellor has returned to parent club Oldham Athletic at the end of a month-long loan spell".

    Elsewhere, "Welling United have taken young defender Michael Chambers on a month's loan from Crystal Palace. Chambers, 20, was signed by Palace from Dulwich Hamlet for a fee of around £80,000 as a 17-year-old in January 2012. At the time, several other clubs were interested in the big, 6ft 5ins defender, including Manchester United. However, Chambers was riddled with injuries during last season but possesses a wonderful left foot and stature and has plenty of potential. He is now a regular in Palace's under-21 side."

    21 October 2014


    Click on the button, right, for the Alty TV higlights from the Altrincham v Braintree Town game last Saturday. Meanwhile, the Radio Robins commentary is here

    After the game, Brian Flynn interviewed James Lawrie and Jake Moult for Alty TV

    According to the Essex Chronicle, "Braintree Town have now gone six games without a win after suffering their second successive Saturday defeat on the road, on their first ever visit to Moss Lane. It was the same old story for the Iron with the side creating a host of chances and not taking them before paying the price and losing by the odd goal.

    Iron manager Alan Devonshire... will be hoping prolific striker Charlie Strutton, out since the end of last season with a broken leg, is fit to return to lead the attack within a few days... This match was a repeat of the previous Saturday’s defeat against Southport where they dominated the early stages, created chances, failed to take them and then fell behind to a poor goal and never really recovered.

    'It’s disappointing because we played much better, bossed the game early on had chances to score and, overall, we were the better side but again conceded a poor goal', he explained... The one bright spot for Devonshire was the debut of 6ft 5in central defender Omar Sowunmi, signed on Friday on a month’s loan from Ipswich Town... This has been a problem position for Devonshire since the summer departure of Dean Wells to Stevenage...

    'We have been hit by the worst injury list I’ve known but we are now getting players back and we’ll still be aiming to achieve my target of 50 points for the season', he added... The Iron were hit by a real sucker punch on 27 minutes when the home side snatched the lead through rather fortunate circumstances. Iron keeper Nick Hamann had saved an initial effort from Shaun Densmore, but Nicky Clee was quicker to react and pounced on the loose ball to slot the ball into the net for what was an undeserved lead...

    The Iron should have equalised as they forced the home side on the defensive late on particularly after Devonshire brought on fresh legs in Sean Marks and Dan Sparkes off from the bench".

    And the half-time bucket collection raised £46.23, for which the Club thanks all concerned.


    The new Community Sports Hall at the J. Davidson Stadium is reaching completion as can be seen in this view from Moss Lane. The sign outside forbids fouling - and it's banned inside the ground too!


    • Alty Youth went down 2-1 at league leaders Chester on Sunday. There is more on this on the Youth page
    • Altrincham FC Reserves beat Egerton 4-0 in the Cheshire Football League Cup on Saturday.
    • Phil Taylor reports that "Altrincham FC Ladies were defeated 4-0 by League Leaders Warrington Wolverines, who maintained their 100% record on Sunday. Despite the score, the Ladies more than held their own and, on balance, arguably played the better football at times". Phil's match report will follow shortly.


    Grimsby Town tell us that "Danny Parslow has been recalled by his parent club York City. Town boss Paul Hurst was hoping to extend the deal to keep the player at Blundell Park for a further period. Rhys Oates has also returned to his parent club Barnsley after completing his loan with the club."

    Still in Lincolnshire, Red Imps confirm that "Tom Anderson has returned to Burnley following the completion of his month-long loan spell".

    At Southport, "Gary Brabin has agreed with Blackburn Rovers to extend goalkeeper David Raya Martin's loan spell until January. With three clean sheets in seven appearances the young Spanish keeper has made an impressive start at Vanarama Conference level." Also, "Striker Danny Hattersley returned to training at Edge Hill University this morning following a successful loan spell at FC Halifax Town that included three Vanarama Conference goals. The loan agreement which saw Ross Dyer join the Port from the Shaymen was drawn up before Gary Brabin took over as Southport manager".

    There is food for thought in the Gloucester Citizen which tells su that "Forest Green Rovers are going vegan for the day. On World Vegan Day, November 1, Forest Green Rovers are hosting an entire Conference league match dedicated to The Vegan Society, with only vegan food on sale. Vegan Society members and staff will join the crowds to cheer on Forest Green Rovers as they take on Lincoln City. Earlier this year club chairman, Dale Vince, suggested that Rovers host a match in aid of The Vegan Society for its 70th Anniversary, with all the food served at the match being vegan.

    Forest Green Rovers have been promoting sustainability since they were taken over by Ecotricity in 2010. They hit the news when they switched from hot dogs and meat pies to a completely vegetarian menu. The players have been following a vegetarian diet as part of their training plan.

    Dane Vince, stadium manager said, '“Here at Forest Green Rovers we are looking forward to celebrating with The Vegan Society for their 70th birthday. We are introducing a special menu for the day to raise awareness. It's about promoting the football and welcoming Vegan Society members'.

    The world’s first professional vegan footballer will also be appearing at the event to give a half time talk to gathered fans. Neil Robinson was born close to Everton’s ground in Liverpool in 1957 and was already vegetarian when he joined the Goodison Park club at 16. His move to Swansea City in 1980 coincided with switching to a vegan lifestyle. The 5th September 1981 is a key date in vegan sporting history as Neil scored for Swansea against West Bromwich Albion; the first goal scored by a vegan in a top-flight match, and only four miles from the current home of The Vegan Society...

    The pitch on which Neil will stand to give his half-time talk is the world’s first organic pitch and it is kept in perfect condition thanks to a special compost tea feed and the club’s rainwater harvesting system. The office lighting is powered by solar panels and the floodlights use electricity from Ecotricity. The grass is cut by a robotic mower, also powered by solar panels. Rovers have plans to replace their current floodlights with arrays of LED bulbs that will reduce energy consumption by as much as 60%.

    The Vegan Society 70th celebration cake will be made by Leicester cake company ‘The Vegan Cakery’. The Vegan Cakery has been Vegan Society Trademark holders for over two years and donate all their income to rescue and animal advocate organisations. Vegan Society CEO, Jasmijn de Boo said... 'I’m looking forward to cheering on Forest Green Rovers and hope that they have a extremely successful season leading to a much-deserved promotion to The Football League in 2015'".

    20 October 2014


    Match report here.

    Mike Ripley has images of the Braintree game at the J. Davidson Stadium on his website.

    Braintree Town report that "A scrappy affair at the J. Davidson stadium saw Altrincham win by a single goal in a performance that Iron will be keen to put behind them in the North West. Ipswich Town loanee Omar Sowunmi made his debut in a Braintree Town shirt after signing a month long deal yesterday, but Devonshire's problems looked to be at the other end of the pitch as Iron created little against a side that has shipped goals in the past few games in this division. Devonshire said after the match that 'The sharpness doesn't look right further up the pitch'.

    A slow start to the game in Greater Manchester saw little more than a sliced Kenny Davis effort in the opening stages. However, Iron began to build some momentum as they got into the groove".

    After Nicky Clee had scored, "Iron had chances to reply, but failed to make possession count with little more than half chances in the first 45 minutes. Alan Devonshire was left with some work to do at half time, trailing 1-0 at the whistle. It was the hosts that came out the quickest, with Damian Reeves through on goal in the opening five minutes of the second half, firing over from close range. Hamann did well to claw out a header down to his left on the hour mark...

    With both sides creating little, Davis looked most likely to equalise in the second half. Davis received the ball just outside the Altrincham box, brought the ball across his body with his right, and struck the underside of the woodwork with the resulting shot bouncing the wrong way for the Iron faithful...

    Alan Devonshire reflected on the performance stating that 'In the first 20-25 minutes we bossed the game, seeing probably too much of the ball. We were camped in their half really, then we got done with a sucker punch, poor, poor goal. I felt we deserved something out of the game but we haven't and we have to move on...

    (Omar Sownumi) was available and Remy's out for a couple of weeks. We're a small side, but with getting him in, all of a sudden we look a big side. He done OK, he's helping us through this period... We're a bit worried at the moment because we haven't created as much as we did earlier on the season'".


    Above, courtesy of James Surridge, Altrincham supporter and regular programme seller at the J. Davidson Stadium, we have some images that he took last week of Barwell FC, where Altrincham play next Saturday. You can click on the images to enlarge them.


    Trafford repprt that "Ten men Trafford produced a tremendously brave second half performance but gifted Curzon two goals to present them with the points... In the 14th minute... a weak back header by Steve Mason fell short of keeper Andy Robertson and Ryan Brooke nipped in to slot the ball home.

    Five minutes later another disaster befell the boys from Shawe View when another sloppy pass deep in defence failed to find Steve Mason and his mistimed tackle on Brooke led to a red card [his second in a week] and a free kick just outside the penalty area...

    There was little goalmouth action for the remainder of the first half with the makeshift centre back partnership of Lewis Chalmers and Martyn Andrews coping admirably with the Curzon attacks...

    Their tale of woe continued when influential midfielder [and ex-Alty trialist] Tom Schofield was stretchered off with a serious hamstring injury".

    Elsewhere, Kevin Ellison was again on the scoresheet for Morecambe.

    19 October 2014


    Match report here.

    Below, Tom Marshall deals with a Braintree attack.

    After the game, manager Lee Sinnott told the NL Paper, "It's pleasing to get three points although we know we can play better. What pleases me most is the character the lads showed, especially once we got our noses in front. We managed the game well, standing up when they were on top for a while and then controlling the game to ensure we kept a clean sheet.

    We have picked up ten points from fifteen, which is great for a club of our size and stature. If we carry on at that rate we will be in a very healthy position".


  • Through the Years by Howard Watts
  • Altrincham 1-0 Braintree Town (att. 894)
  • Bristol Rovers 0-1 Forest Green Rovers (7,014)
  • Chester FC 2-1 Alfreton Town (2,084)
  • Dartford 1-1 Aldershot Town (1,310)
  • Eastleigh 2-1 Nuneaton Town (1,009)
  • FC Halifax Town 2-0 Kidderminster Harriers (1,437)
  • Gateshead 0-2 Barnet (1,747)
  • Lincoln City 2-1 Wrexham (2,360)
  • Macclesfield Town 1-0 Dover Athletic (1,439)
  • Southport 1-0 Welling United (1,007)
  • Torquay United 2-3 Grimsby Town (2,353)
  • Woking 1-3 AFC Telford Utd (1,817)

    Tuesday, 21 October: Vanarama Conference
    • Barnet v Braintree Town

    FA CUP 4QR

    Alty's FA Cup opponents, Barwell, won on Saturday, 2-1 at home to Blyth Spartans in front of 161 spectators. Anthony Carney netted both of The Canaries' goals and was Man of the MAtch.

    Barwell: Castle, Lower, Nisevic, Jenno, Hood, Lavery, Julian, Woodward (Tomkinson 45), Towers (Murphy 81), Stevenson (Brehen 86), Carney. Subs: Brooks, Hadland".


    Barry Pikesley's latest article from The Robins' Review, this time on the theme of Braintree, is entitled "Devonshire Knows I'm Miserable Now" and can be found here.
    18 October 2014


    Saturday, 18 October 2014
    • Through the Years by Howard Watts
    • Altrincham 1-0 Braintree Town
    • Bristol Rovers 0-1 Forest Green Rovers
    • Chester FC 2-1 Alfreton Town
    • Dartford 1-1 Aldershot Town
    • Eastleigh 2-1 Nuneaton Town
    • FC Halifax Town 2-0 Kidderminster Harriers
    • Gateshead 0-2 Barnet
    • Lincoln City 2-1 Wrexham
    • Macclesfield Town 1-0 Dover Athletic
    • Southport 1-0 Welling United
    • Torquay United 2-3 Grimsby Town
    • Woking 1-3 AFC Telford Utd


    Altrincham Forward reports that "On Saturday 18 October 2014 Altrincham FC will be hosting a fun-filled day of football in the Stamford Quarter in Altrincham, between WH Smith and Wilkinsons.

    Following their recent promotion to the Conference Premier League, Altrincham FC will be bringing the Conference North Play Off Trophy to the Stamford Quarter, as well as their popular mascot Rocky Robin and some fun football skills and games to try.

    Events programme as follows:

    • Throughout the day from 10.30am-2pm: Children's football games - join in 3 v 3 and 4 v 4 football games in the mini-arena.
    • 11am-1pm: Have your photo taken with the Cup! We will have the Conference North Play Off Trophy shiny and ready for photo opportunities with Altrincham fans young and old!
    • 11am, 12pm and 1pm: Penalty shoot-out v Rocky Robin. Can you beat the bird and hit the back of the net?
    • 11.30am, 12.30pm, 1.30pm: Keepy-uppy challenge - how long can you keep the ball in the air?
    • Rocky Robin will also be around throughout the day for photos, and you will have the opportunity to bag reduced and even free match tickets too!

    There will also be information about forthcoming first team matches at Moss Lane in October, November and December, details about the club's Junior Section and Girls' and Ladies' Sections. You can also find out about Altrincham FC's October Half-Term Holiday Football Fun Week 27th - 31st October (with special discounts on offer). You can also learn more about the Altrincham F.C. Community Sports Hall at Moss Lane".


    Braintree Town report that a "Braintree Town manager Alan Devonshire has strengthened his squad ahead on Saturday's trip to Altrincham by taking 19-year old centre-half Omas Sowunmi on loan from Championship neighbours Ipswich Town, initially until mid-November. The 6'5" defender signed a season-long contract at Portman Road in May this year and Devs [Alan Devonshire] has confirmed that he will be included in the squad for the trip North tomorrow".

    Braintree add that "Up next for Iron is a trip to Moss Lane to take on Altrincham. The Greater Manchester side will be looking to pull themselves away from the bottom, with Braintree looking to bounce back from a disappointing defeat at home to Southport last weekend. Conference newcomers Altrincham finished last season in 3rd position in the Conference North, and have had a tough test so far which sees them sit in 21st position currently. The Robins have been struggling for goals after failing to hit the back of the net in their past two games.

    Conceding 14 goals in their past six would suggest that the Iron have a great opportunity to get the goals needed to end a run of five winless games. The club's top scorer Damian Reeves will be looking to add to his already impressive goal-scoring tally of seven, but the fans can be expecting a physical game with three of Altrincham's players being sent off this season. Perhaps not a statistic that Iron manager Alan Devonshire will be pleased to hear having seen his squad already plagued by injuries early this season."

    The Football Conference says that "Alfreton Town have signed defender Tom Davies on a month`s loan from Fleetwood Town. The 22-year-old former Blackburn Rovers trainee signed an eighteen-month contract with the Cod Army in March 2014. Davies, who spent two years playing for Team Northumbria while completing a university degree in Newcastle, joined FC United of Manchester at the start of the last campaign. Upon signing for Fleetwood, Davies was immediately sent back to the [FCUM]... on loan for the remainder of the 2013/14 season."

    Also from the Football Conference we learn that BT Sport will televise FC Halifax Town v Woking on Sunday, 16 November at 2pm.

    From NL Pitchero we learn that "Gary Brabin, manager of Southport, has added to his squad with 23-year-old winger Mitchell Austin joining from League Two [Cambridge United] on a loan until January 4th 2015. Austin left Stalybridge Celtic for United during the summer of 2013. Australian-born, Austin [played] his youth football with Sydney outfit Manly United before relocating to the UK with Rotherham United, who had offered him a scholarship.

    A regular in Millers reserves, he was later released and spent time in the Swedish lower leagues, before joining Stalybridge in October 2010... During last season, Austin spent time on loan with Lincoln City and the latter end of the campaign with Brackley Town, where he has recently spent a second loan spell. Brabin said, 'Mitchell will add to our attacking options, I want to play entertaining football and to do that you need pace and width'".

    The Football Conference "confirms Forest Green Rovers FC has lodged an Appeal with the Football Association against the Competition’s decision to deduct 3 points from the Club’s League Table score for fielding an ineligible Player on 9 August 2014. No adjustment to the League Table should be effected until the Appeal procedure is exhausted."

    17 October 2014


    Following Thursday night training, manager Lee Sinnott confirmed that three of the squad were unavailable for Saturday's home match against Braintree Town. They are the suspended Adam Griffin, who starts a three-match ban following his dismissal last week, Ryan Crowther (rib injury) and Mike Williams, who is on loan at Stalybridge Celtic.


    News of Alty's next opponents comes from The Gazette which says that ex-Histon and current "Braintree Town midfielder Dan Sparkes feels the Iron can have a stronger push for the Vanarama Conference Premier play-off places this year.

    Despite heading to Altrincham Town [it's not just the BBC that invents this name!] tomorrow on the back of a five-game run without a win, Braintree are still only eight points off the play-off places with a game in hand over most of the sides above them.

    They still have some long-running injury problems, with Charlie Strutton and Matt Paine unlikely to return for the trip to Altrincham, but Sparkes feels the squad has enough depth in it this year to push for a top-five finish and better last season’s highest-ever sixth spot.

    He said, 'We have bundles of talent in this team and the gaffer has brought in some great players. Going forward we are frightening, as we are quick and sharp, and there will be goals while we’re solid at the back. (Alan) Massey and Mitch (Brundle) have been brilliant and the two full-backs have been so consistent.

    We’re still going for the play-offs and I believe we have a better squad this year. We’ve had players out, as they’ve had no choice with injuries, but you wouldn’t think it'".


    The winning Yankee code this week was 0014. As this sequence had not been issued, the jackpot has now risen to £2,250. However, there were four winners of Trebles, each netting £37.50.


    The Altrincham Youth Education Programme team lost their League Cup tie at home to Macclesfield Town by two goals to one. The starting eleven comprised (alphabetially) Joe Conway, Jimi Folagbade, Matthew Johnson, Aaron Longley, Cole McGrath, Alex Owen, Jude Oyibo, Ben Reid, Alex Robbins, Ioannis Stouppis and Dylan Wagster, with substitutes Charlie Das, Daniel Gadsby and Adam Bond.


    In Tuesday's CSC Preliminary Round, Stalybridge Celtic lost 0-2 at home to Nantwich Town with Aaron Burns netting the Dabbers' second goal.


    Aldershot Town "have added two key players to their squad ahead of this weekend’s trip to Dartford. Prolific Kingstonian striker Andre McCollin joins on a deal until 2 May 2015, whilst Brentford midfielder Manny Oyeleke returns for a third loan spell.

    Lambeth-born McCollin, 29, has already scored 10 goals in 16 appearances this season, in a total of 58 goals in 109 games for the Ryman Premier Division side. Known as both a predatory goal poacher and flamboyantly creative striker, McCollin began his career at Corinthian Casuals, before moving to Fisher and securing a move to Yeovil Town. Two broken legs halted his progress but short spells at Dorchester, Grays and Farnborough saw him prove his fitness before joining Tooting and Mitcham and then Kingstonian.

    Oyeleke, who has joined until January, made 40 appearances and scored six goals for The Shots in two loan spells last season. Initially signing from August 2013 until January 2014, he returned in March and his dynamic displays in midfield were crucial as Aldershot Town secured their place in the Conference.

    Manager Andy Scott said, 'We tried to get Manny back in pre-season but there were a few other clubs interested. He knows us and he’s desperate to play, and he’s available for the FA Cup, which is key for us. We hope that he’ll be a seamless introduction into the side.

    We also feel that Andre can fit into the team really well. He’s got a good goalscoring record, plenty of energy, he’s quick, strong and holds the ball up well. He wants his chance at this level again and we think that he’ll give us that little spark up front that we need. We’ve been watching him since pre-season and he’s been outstanding on every occasion'"

    Dover Athletic tell us that "Luton Town have recalled Ricky Miller from his loan spell with the club. The striker [has] scored five goals in ten appearances for Whites, since joining at the start of September.

    Miller was brought in by Chris Kinnear before the loan window closed last month, and made an immediate impact by scoring on his debut....

    The club are still confident in the ability of our forward options, with Christian Nanetti, Stefan Payne, Nathan Elder, Tom Murphy and Jake Reid all having scored this season".

    Southport report that "It's free entry for Southport's Vanarama Conference fixture versus Dover Athletic on Saturday November 1st for everyone who attends Southport's next home match against Welling United on Saturday October 18th.

    Chairman Charlie Clapham said 'With the launch of Gary Brabin's management reign I felt it important to say thank you to all our supporters. It's been a difficult start to the season. Now, with Gary Brabin in charge, we want everyone behind him and are looking to say thank you to our regular supporters and encourage two big gates against Welling and Dover".

    According to the Lincolnshire Echo, "Lincoln City are aiming to announce a new defensive signing... The Imps have also extended the loan of Tom Anderson from Premier League side Burnley. City have been looking to strengthen at the back having conceded 27 goals in their 16 games so far this season.

    They are also looking likely to be without the services of Tony Diagne, who limped off with an injury in the 2-1 defeat to Grimsby Town in the Lincolnshire Cup final on Tuesday night...

    Said Simpson, 'We’ve conceded a few goals, but we have got an injury problem with Tony Diagne. He has a stomach problem, which could be a hernia. That could mean an operation and four to eight weeks out. We agreed Tom Anderson extending his loan, we want to make sure we cover all bases'. The length of Anderson’s loan is yet to be finalised, but the club hope to make it a significant length of time."

    16 October 2014


    Alty TV has an interview (right) with Altrincham assistant manager, Neil Tolson, following the defeat by Woking.


    Altrincham FC Matchday Secretary George Heslop is hoping to boost his pool of turnstile operators for the coming weeks. If you would like to help the Club in this way, whilst gaining access to the matches, please contact George a.s.a.p. either by phone 0793 9890503 or e-mail.


    Altrincham FC featured on BBC News throughout Wednesday as part of a BBC report on the "pricing of football". Reporter Dan Roan was at the Altrincham v Woking game and the feature included interviews with Altrincham supporters.


    News of Altrincham's FA Cup opponents, Barwell, comes from Belper Town which says that "The Nailers earned their first point of the month and stopped a run of four consecutive defeats with this 2-2 draw against Barwell, writes Joe Malone... The game began in the worst possible start for Belper, conceding a penalty in the 3rd minute... Unusually, goalkeeper Liam Castle stepped up to take the penalty for the visitors, and made no mistake after smashing the ball in to the bottom left corner, sending Scott Low the wrong way...

    The Nailers got back on level terms on the half hour mark, after a wonderful individual goal by Evan Garnett... Belper took the lead after 63 minutes through Bruno Holden... However, after sustained pressure Barwell secured their equaliser after the 70 minutes.

    A cross from the left hand side resulted in a poor defensive headed clearance that saw the ball run kindly for Callum Woodward 20 yards from goal, whose side footed strike took a harsh deflection to leave Scott Low flat-footed".

    Barwell: Liam Castle, Scott Lower, Edward Nisevic, Danny Jenno, Jamie Hood, Richard Lavery, Alex Tomlinson (Brendan Murphy 60), Callum Woodward, Jon Stevenson (Luke Barlone 68), Kieron Brehon (Nigel Julian 60), Anthony Carney. Subs: Sam Brooks, Guy Hadland".

    From Barwell, we learn that, "This was an action packed encounter that entertained both sets of fans with the result uncertain from the first to last minutes. A point was a fair result after what was a very even game.

    Team: Liam Castle, Scott Lower, Eddie Nisevic, Danny Jenno, Jamie Hood, Richard Lavery, Alex Tomkinson (Brendan Murphy 60), Jon Stevenson (Luke Barlone 68), Kieron Brehon (Nigel Julien 60) , Ant Carney. Subs not used: Sam Brooks, Guy Hadland... Man of the Match: Ant Carney".


    The Cheshire FA reports that "Cheshire FA progressed to the Second Round of the FA County Youth Cup with a hard fought 3-2 victory over West Riding FA... West Riding opened the scoring when Cheshire failed to clear their lines and having scored they became a different team, playing with much more conviction.

    In the 50th minute Cheshire equalised through Masterson. Within a minute West Riding retook the lead with a low hard drive into the bottom right hand corner... In the 80th minute Ryan Masterson equalised for Cheshire. From then on it was all Cheshire, dictating play with nonstop pressure in an attempt to score the winner... In the 85th minute, a neat combination between Jacob Evans and Jonathan Jones led to the ball being played wide to [Altrincham's] Harry Cain who drove in a low hard cross to the back post for Masterson to slide the ball home to claim his hat-trick and victory for Cheshire.

    Following on from their previous victory away at Manchester FA in the Northern Counties Youth Competition, it was another good all round squad performance from Cheshire... Cheshire FA now play Northumberland FA at home in the Second Round of the FA County Youth Cup on 1st November 2014 at Vauxhall Motors."

    The Cheshire FA Youth squad list includes Altrincham's James Campion, Harry Cain and Sam Heathcote.

    Meanwhile, the Independent Schools' FA reports that "Following the U18 North matches on Sunday 12th October, a squad has been selected to face Lancashire Schools on Sunday 16th November." It includes Alty Youth's Aaron Goldman, of Manchester Grammar School. Last Sunday the ISFA North beat Cheshire Schools 2-1 at The King's School, Chester.

    1-0 up, "The lead was doubled in the second half when fine work down the right by Ike Alexian ended with a cross for Aaron Goldman to score".


    The Daily Post reports that "Wrexham FC's FA Cup fourth qualifying round tie against Macclesfield Town has been switched to a Friday night kick off. The match was originally due to be played on Saturday October 25. However after discussions with police it has been changed to the night before, due to their rivals, Chester, playing in nearby Stockport on the same day.

    A statement on the club's official website said 'As a result of discussions with both Cheshire and Greater Manchester police forces, the decision was made to alter our game'".

    Also from the Daily News, we learn that "Wrexham manager Kevin Wilkin makes no apology for his sparing use of striker Dan Holman, who was on target in a reserve-team match yesterday just four days before his month-long loan from Colchester United comes to an end.

    The 24-year-old, who has completed only 31 minutes of first-team action in six matches, scored his first goal in a Dragons shirt as Joey Jones’ second string won 2-1 at League Two Morecambe, but the Racecourse boss admits the striker is unlikely to start at Lincoln City this Saturday, even though leading goal-scorer Louis Moult misses out through suspension.

    'Daniel will be frustrated because he wanted to come here and play,' said Wilkin. 'But, by and large, the front two we play with in Louis and Connor (Jennings) have maintained their form and I think Dan is a different sort of player and we haven’t found ourselves in too many situations where I’ve been comfortable to throw him on. Dan prefers to play facing the opposition goal whereas I think Louis and Connor, with their backs to the opposition, want to come in and play a little bit shorter and play in pockets. I just feel we haven’t been in the position in games to offer him any more time on the pitch.'

    Conceding that Holman’s involvement had been extremely limited, the Dragons’ boss added, 'I’m doing what I think is best and I appreciate he’s been thrown on late in games so he’s only had a small window of opportunity in fairness. But Moult has been scoring, Connor has been complementing him and Andy Bishop has come in. He’s got off the bench and scored and in some ways, in the way we set up and play, we need players to hold up the ball and allow us to develop. Andy, with his back to goal, is probably the most attritional of the three we’ve got, he’ll win his top-hat headers, he’ll keep the ball with back to goal and that’s where we find ourselves at the moment.'

    Wilkin said he would discuss the situation with his Colchester counterpart Tony Humes before deciding whether to push for an extended stay, given the three-match ban for Moult following his sending-off during last weekend’s 1-0 defeat by Grimsby Town. He said, 'It’s frustrating for Dan and whether that changes we’ll have to wait and see. We sat down and spoke at length yesterday and to move things forward I’ll speak to Tony (Humes) at Colchester and seek his view. I’ll tell him my reasons why he hasn’t had too much game time and sometimes these situations can be difficult but the biggest thing in my mind is winning games and getting three points.

    Every call I make is off the back of trying to get three points and, while I’m not saying I always get it right, that’s how it is. Dan will play in the reserves today which is another opportunity for him to gain 90 minutes, then we’ll sit down and have a discussion. In any team that’s doing okay to well you’ll find some disappointed people because they are not playing. Connor and Bishop are the two that will probably get the nod for Saturday and then it’s about them taking their chance.'

    Wilkin is also keeping an open mind about a potential goalkeeping target who trained with Wrexham on Monday as a possible replacement for the injured Daniel Bachmann, who has returned to Stoke City after suffering a cruciate ligament injury. The Dragons' boss said, 'He’ll work with his club today and then we’ll have him back for a look again tomorrow and Friday and see where he’s at. No deal has been agreed because at this stage we need to have a look at him and try to gauge whether he is at the level that we need him to be. If we then feel that he is, we will try to move it on from there. We may not get the luxury of seeing him in games, given the rules that apply, but it would be a loan deal and we’ll see over the next day or two if it moves on any further'.

    An England C team with Louis Moult in the starting line-up were beaten 2-0 by Turkey yesterday in Istanbul, ending their hopes of further progress in the International Challenge Trophy. Moult was substituted after 64 minutes while team-mate Andy Coughlin was on the bench as a brace from Emre Colak secured victory for the home side."

    According to Bristol Rovers, "Chairman Nick Higgs says manager Darrell Clarke will reaffirm Bristol Rovers' position among the Vanarama Conference promotion-chasing pack by adding one or two new faces to his squad before the deadline for loan transfers at the end of next month.

    Clarke has been casting his eyes over some trialists over the last few days and confirmed he had 'one or two' irons in the fire as regards the possibility of adding new faces to a squad that extended an unbeaten run to nine games with a 2-2 draw at Aldershot on Saturday.

    .. Said Higgs,'We want to continue this good run up until Christmas and then reassess what we might need to do (in the January transfer window) to help us with that final push towards the end of the season. Darrell has scope within the budget to bring players in and we will try to improve that budget if we need to. He has a list of players he is looking at, but we have a very good team spirit going at the moment and we have to make sure anyone we bring here is able to fit in with that.'

    Clarke is believed to be toying with the option of adding further defensive cover and is almost certain to look at the possibility of bolstering a strikeforce that has found goals hard to come by. Of the top ten in the Vanarama Conference, only Macclesfield Town have scored fewer goals than the 20 Rovers have managed.

    Higgs said, 'Everybody is craving a few more goals and that is what we are looking to try to add, but the team is unbeaten in nine and that is a good position to be in. I think it has been quite noticeable that the players have a bit more resilience this season because when we went a goal behind last year we often crumbled at times. The players have shown that they can grind out a result as well as get victories in a more expansive fashion. The only disappointment for me is that I feel we could have taken nine points instead of the five we have taken from the last three games'"

    15 October 2014


    The Sale & Altrincham Messenger tells us that "Lee Sinnott took it on the chin after seeing Altrincham’s three-game unbeaten run ‘unravel’ in a second-half that included three Woking goals, two injuries and a sending-off at the J.Davidson Stadium on Saturday.

    Alty were left reflecting on the questionable justice of a 3-0 scoreline after matching promotion contenders Woking for 45 minutes and hitting the bar with a dipping long-range volley from midfielder Jake Moult. Sinnott’s side finished with nine men, after injuries to Simon Richman and Ryan Crowther and a straight red card for left-back Adam Griffin, and the Alty boss summed up the second-half turnaround by saying, 'It was like a thread was picked, and the stitching slowly came away. We put a lot of effort in but it unravelled for us after a really good, evenly-fought first half.

    You could have flipped a coin in that first period, it was so close. They are a dangerous animal, very sharp and strong up front and could easily have scored. But, then again, so could we. And if we had, with that wonderful piece of control and instant volley from Jake, we would have been looking at another goal of the season contender, along with those earlier strikes by Adam Griffin and James Lawrie.

    You could say one or two key decisions went against us but I’m not going to question the referee. There were calls for a red card when Damian Reeves was fouled on the edge of the area, but a covering defender was ready to mop up, and I’ve no qualms about it being a yellow. Equally, you can argue that Griff hasn’t got a bad bone in his body and is honest as the day’s long. But if you career into someone, it’s judged on that, rather than what sort of character you are. Griff said he slipped on the wet surface, and that’s why it happened. It was just one of those things.’

    Sinnott hopes Richman will recover from a bang on his knee for Saturday’'s home game with Braintree (3pm), but Crowther is likely to be out with a suspected cracked rib."


    Manager George Heslop had eight of his 21-man squad unavailable for the match on Sunday at Barrow. Two players had transport difficulties and could not meet the players' minibus, whilst Marc Bellingham, Jake Foy and James Campion all have fractures of, respectively, the wrist, toe and hand. Out injured, as well, was Ben Gerrard, whilst Harry Cain was involved in the Cheshire Schools trial match and Aaron Goldman was likewise playing in the North of England Independent Schools team who were playing the South of England as a trial for the England Independent Schools squad.

    To make matters worse, late in this game, centre-back Sam Heathcote picked up an injury, which is likely to keep him out for several weeks.

    James Farrington, who played at left-back for the Alty team, has kindly provided a match report on the game which Alty won 3-0.


    Altrincham supporter James Cram completed the Chicago marathon at the weekend in a personal best of 4hrs 16mins. James has raised significant funds for the Community Sports Hall and you can make a donation on the Just Giving site.


    A number of ex-Alty faces were involved as Trafford suffered an unlucky 1-0 defeat at home to Buxton on Tuesday night. Buxton had Greg Young in central defence while Trafford fielded Andy Smart and had Lewis Chalmers as an unused sub.


    • Stourbridge 0 Shildon 2 - winners away at Norton United
    • Warrington Town 1 Colwyn Bay 0 - winners at home to NFU

    Meanwhile, Alty's opponents in the FAC4QR, Barwell, drew 2-2 at Belper Town in the EvoStik Premier Division.


    Barry Pikesley's latest article from the Robins' Review, entitled, "That's Entertainment", is here.


    The BBC tells us that "Wrexham winger Theo Bailey-Jones is likely to be out of action for up to four months after breaking a metatarsal. Jones sustained the foot injury in training on Friday and now joins goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann on the long term injury list. The 20-year-old has featured as a substitute in seven Conference games this season.

    'I'm disappointed for the lad,' Wrexham manager Kevin Wilkin said. 'It's a bit of a set back and a knock back to him. Theo's one of those players that adds a little bit to us. But he's a great lad with a great approach to the game so he'll let that settle down and get right first then worry about the rest of the season thereafter'. Bailey-Jones signed a one-year contract extension in May having originally joined on a six-month deal in June 2013 following a trial at the Racecourse. The 20-year-old signed a further short term deal until the end of the season in January before spending a brief spell on loan at Colwyn Bay".

    Elsewhere, "Alfreton Town manager Nicky Law says their fourth season is the Conference has been their most difficult to date. While the Reds ended a four-game losing run by beating Torquay 4-2 on Saturday, they remain second from bottom...

    'This season, for us, has been our toughest one,' he told BBC Radio Derby. 'We did ever so well last season and, the better you do, the more people expect. When you keep doing it against the odds, as we have done, sometimes it is a difficult act to live up to'...

    Law admits the six-game ban with which he started the season, having been hit with an improper conduct charge for an incident last term, is one of a number of factors which has contributed to their troubled start to the season. The club, which struggles to attract home crowds of more than 700, was put up for sale in April.

    'We've come in this year, we've had financial cuts, and my ban hasn't helped', Law said. But Saturday's win against a Gulls side that is among the favourites for promotion has boosted confidence. 'We have not reached the heights of that performance so far this season; the finishing was of the highest order'," continued Law. 'The win shows that when we are at out best we can compete with the top teams. It's competing like that, week in and week out, that is the crucial and key thing'".

    The BBC also tells us that "Aldershot chairman Shahid Azeem has given his backing to boss Andy Scott. The Shots are five points above the Conference relegation zone, having won just two of their last 10 games. 'Andy has a proven track record and has been around the block. The answer is not always to get another manager in', Azeem told BBC Surrey... 'We just need confidence again and that's what Andy needs to deal with'.

    Scott was appointed Aldershot manager in February 2013 but was unable to save the club from relegation from League Two that year... The former Brentford and Rotherham boss signed a new three-year contract last year...

    Azeem said, 'Let's be blunt about it, we have not been scoring a lot of goals... We had a spell last year, where we had a number [of] games where it was a real bad period. We will come strong'".

    In the Western Daily Press we read that "Bristol Rovers are believed to be considering an appeal against the Football League's decision to let Wycombe Wanderers off with a warning following a recent investigation into third-party ownership rules. Rovers claimed a deal by Wycombe to use sell-on clause money to pay a debt to former owner Steve Hayes last season constituted a breach of rules and gave them a an unfair competitive advantage as a result.

    The Football League carried out an investigation into the matter over the four months that have elapsed since Rovers officially made their complaint after Wycombe avoided relegation at their expense, courtesy of goal difference, in May. Wycombe were found not guilty of a breach of third-party ownership rules, but the Football League 'reprimanded' the club, who had already admitted the charge, for failing to disclose the details of the payments made to Hayes.

    The payments to Hayes became apparent during a separate legal case, in which Wycombe were found guilty of agreeing to pay an agent through a future sell-on clause in the contract of midfielder Matt Phillips.

    When handing down the punishment earlier this month, the Football League said in a statement, 'It is our view that the financial transaction in question did not amount to third party investment or influence over players. Instead, it was a reorganisation of Wycombe's corporate structure that saw the club reduce its debt to its previous owner. Nonetheless, League regulations require such agreements to be disclosed and approved by The Football League Board before they are concluded. It is clear this did not happen, although it is equally clear the board would have approved this particular arrangement had it been given the opportunity to consider it'.

    Rovers, who were officially notified of the ruling by the Football League last week, are believed to be angered by the leniency of the punishment and have instructed their lawyers to investigate the legitimacy of launching a legal challenge to get the ruling overturned."

    14 October 2014


    Whilst Macclesfield Town have now been drawn at home for the seventh successive time in the FA Cup, Altrincham got a sixth successive away draw on Monday, as they were selected to travel to Barwell.

    ALtrincham have never met Barwell before. They were formed in 1992 by a merger of Barwell Athletic and Hinckley FC and compete in the EvoStik (Northern) Premier League, alongside our neighbours, Trafford FC. Ironically, had they not been in the FA Cup, Barwell would have been at Shawe View on FAC4QR day. They currently lie 16th in the table. Their geographical location in Leicestershire means that they enjoyed three seasons in the Southern League Premier before moving to the NPL this season. In the previous round of the FA Cup this season they defeated Curzon Ashton 2-1, having lost to the Tameside club 4-1 in the league just a week earlier.

    On the earlier game the Hinckley Times said "Although the Canaries [Barwell play in yellow and green] had plenty of possession, it was the home side who converted their attacks into goals and came out easy winners... and were given a lesson in finishing... Curzon doubled their lead after 14 minutes when a Scott Lower header back to Castle fell short and [ex-Alty striker, Ryan] Brooke had the simplest of jobs to steer the ball past the keeper...

    Team: Liam Castle, Scott Lower, Eddie Nisevic, Danny Jenno, Jamie Hood, Richard Lavery (Kieron Brehon 62), Alex Tomkinson, Callum Woodward (Nigel Julien 62), Sam Brooks (Brendan Murphy (62), Jon Stevenson, Ant Carney. Subs not used: Aiden Kirby, Guy Hadland. Goal: Castle (pen) 64 (assist Carney). Attendance: 276. Man of the Match: Eddie Nisevic."

    The Hinckley Times added, before last Saturday's Cup round, that "Jimmy Ginnelly has urged his Barwell side to make club history when they face Curzon Ashton in the FA Cup... Victory would be only the second time the Canaries have flown as high as the final qualifying round. But it will be a tough task following the 4-1 league defeat at Ashton last Saturday. 'I’m hoping that was a one-off performance from us', said Ginnelly. 'They were undoubtedly the best team we have played this season and to be fair to them they out-footballed us on Saturday. But we have learned a few things from that defeat. They will be full of confidence and I’m hoping they take us lightly. But it’s fair to say if we do beat them it will be an upset'.

    One plus for Ginnelly is a squad which is well steeped in cup tradition. Jon Stevenson went as far as the fifth round with Leicester City while Rich Lavery featured in the competition proper with the now defunct Hinckley United. 'A good cup run could really put the club on the map as it did for the likes of Stourbridge and Chasetown in recent years', [he added].

    And "Barwell pulled off an excellent 2-1 victory against a well organised Ilkeston side on Tuesday... A penalty from Liam Castle and a well placed header by Luke Barlone gave the Canaries a hard fought win... Barwell: Castle, Lower, Nisevic, Jenno, Hood, Lavery, Tomkinson, Woodward ( Brehon 83), Barlone (Stevenson 72), Murphy (Brooks 77), Carney. Subs not used: Julien, Hadland".


    As reported yesterday, Altrincham Reserves suffered a 5-0 defeat at league leaders, Wythenshawe Town, on Saturday. Here, courtesy of James Lobley, we see keeper Jamie Burrows in action. Jamie also keeps goal for the Alty Youth side. More of James's images from the game are here.


    Courtesy of Phil Taylor, we have a match report on Alty Ladies 3-2 comeback win against AFC Stockport Ladies last Sunday.


    The prize money for the winners of the FA Cup 4QR this season is £12,500. The matches will be played on the weekend of the 25th October. The Northern section of the draw is:
    • Barwell v ALTRINCHAM
    • Spennymoor T v AFC Telford Utd
    • Kings Lynn T v AFC Fylde
    • Grimsby T. v Guiseley
    • Norton U. v Shildon/Stourbridge
    • Colwyn Bay/Warrington T. v N. Ferriby U
    • Alfreton T. v Lincoln C.
    • Macclesfield T. v Wrexham
    • Chorley v FC Halifax Town
    • Leek T v Blyth S
    • Stockport C v Chester
    • Gateshead v Gainsborough T
    • Tamworth v Southport

    The southern section of the draw is:

    • Dorchester Town v Bristol Rovers
    • East Thurrock United v Bath City or Shortwood United
    • Staines Town or Gloucester City v Forest Green Rovers
    • Dartford v Burgess Hill Town
    • Maidstone United v Welling United
    • Willand Rovers v Maidenhead United or Gosport Borough
    • Witham Town v Weston-Super-Mare
    • Eastbourne Borough v Dover Athletic
    • Weymouth v Braintree Town
    • Leamington or Worcester City v Greenwich Borough
    • Canvey Island v Havant and Waterlooville
    • St Albans City v Concord Rangers
    • Basingstoke Town v Harrow Borough
    • Aldershot Town v Torquay United
    • Kidderminster Harriers v Eastleigh
    • Evesham United v Grays Athletic or Bromley
    • Whitehawk or Chelmsford City v Barnet
    • Nuneaton Town v Hemel Hempstead Town
    • Woking v Frome Town or Boreham Wood


    Wed. 15 October, Cheshire Senior Cup Preliminary Round: Stalybridge Celtic v Nantwich Town


    According to the Essex Chronicle, "Braintree Town will start their FA Cup campaign with a trip to Weymouth on October 25. In a repeat of last year’s fourth qualifying round fixture, the Iron will be looking to re-create the 2-1 victory... Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Southport on Saturday mean that the Iron have now not won in five games in the Conference Premier."

    Indeed "Braintree Town were made to pay for several wasted chances as they were beaten 2-0 by Southport at Cressing Road. The Iron were guilty of several missed opportunities, especially from striker Jordan Cox... Dan Sparkes made his return to the starting line-up after recovering from an ankle injury. However, Simeon Akinola was out of the squad with an ankle injury of his own, which he picked up in the 3-1 defeat to Gateshead...

    Braintree Town: Hamann, Peters, Habergham, Brindle, Massey, Mulley, Davis, Isaac, Sparkes (Marks 68’), Walker, Cox (Case 85’). Subs not used: Smith, Pentney"

    The Shropshire Star tells us that "AFC Telford United managing director Lee Carter has declared it’s time for a debate about the club’s ‘future direction’ in light of the team’s poor start to the season. The club, which was formed out of the ashes of Telford United in 2004, saw their first run in the Conference Premier end in relegation in 2013. And the current team, who lost 2-0 to Lincoln on Saturday, are eight points from safety at the foot of the table just 16 games into their second stint there.

    The part-time Bucks are one of very few fan-owned clubs operating in this country and they are running with one of the smallest playing budgets, in a league dominated by bigger full-time sides. And Carter took to Twitter on Saturday night to suggest it could be time for a change of ownership model to make the team more competitive at this level.

    He wrote, 'It’s time for a big heart 2 heart about our future. We’ve got a vision but perhaps need a different way of delivering it'. And he has since told the Shropshire Star, 'Ultimately, I feel that it is absolutely the right time now to revisit what we are about as a club. We made commitments to the fans 10 years ago to run it on a sustainable basis, fan involvement being at the heart of everything we do. But it also may be time, as part of that debate, to consider other options; not totally relinquishing fan ownership but saying "Are there other options, other models elsewhere we should be considering?"'

    He also added that changing the manager was unlikely to remedy the situation in the long term saying, '“I don’t think it is the old cynical football case of ‘let’s sack the manager. You can guarantee that a new guy might win a couple of games but, before too long, he will get into the same pattern'”.

    The Grimsby Telegraph reports that "Paul Hurst hopes to utilise his relationship with Mark Robins after the former Manchester United striker was unveiled as Scunthorpe United boss. Robins has been confirmed as the Iron’s new manager today, replacing Russ Wilcox who was sacked last week.

    Grimsby Town’s boss is pleased to see his former Rotherham team-mate at the helm, but admits he was also sad to see Wilcox lose his job. 'I get on really well with Mark and I’m sure that once he’s settled in I will speak to him', remarked Hurst... 'Although I knew Mark previous to knowing Russ, I wouldn’t say that relationship would necessarily be any better in terms of getting players in. But it’s certainly an obvious link and Mark knows that if he did want to send anyone our way and it fitted, then the players will get looked after'".

    13 October 2014


    The draw for the FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round (on weekend of 25 October) includes...

    • Barwell v ALTRINCHAM
    • Spennymoor T v AFC Telford Utd
    • Kings Lynn T v AFC Fylde
    • Grimsby T. v Guiseley
    • Norton U. v Shildon
    • Warrington T. v N. Ferriby U
    • Alfreton T. v Lincoln C.
    • Macclesfield T. v Wrexham
    • Chorley v FC Halifax Town
    • Leek T v Blyth S
    • Stockport C v Chester
    • Gateshead v Gainsborough T
    • Tamworth v Southport

    Barwell is near Hinckley in Leicestershire.

    Altrincham may have the best record of any existing non-League club interms of FA Cup giant-killing (16 League victims) but their recent record is lamentable. This has not been helped by receiving just two home draws in their inaugural round of the FA Cup over the past nine years. Indeed, they have failed to score in their last four home Cup ties; Chris Senior's goal against Millwall in 2007-08 was the last such success. Ironically, Alty's last home win in any round of the competition was against Lee Sinnott's former club, Farsley Celtic, in 2004-05 season.


    Other Altrincham FC scores this weekend were:
    • Altrincham Youth (u-18s) won 3-0 away at Barrow on Sunday.
    • Altrincham FC Ladies won 3-2. Phil Taylor reports that "The Ladies turned around a two goal deficit to register a 3-2 win versus AFC Stockport. Tracey Blanchard-Webb (2) and Elina Parker were the scorers. Report to follow in the next few days".
    • Altrincham Reserves lost 5-0 at league leaders Wythenshawe Town on Saturday.


    Gates on Saturday were:
    • Aldershot Town 2-2 Bristol Rovers (Att 3466)
    • Alfreton Town 4-2 Torquay United (736)
    • Altrincham 0-3 Woking (1218)
    • Barnet 3-3 Kidderminster Harriers (1689)
    • Braintree Town 0-2 Southport (810)
    • Dartford 1-1 Macclesfield Town (1063)
    • Dover Athletic 2-0 1-1 Gateshead (1009)
    • Lincoln City 2-0 AFC Telford United (2529)
    • Welling U 0-1 Grimsby Town (614)


    Alty's next opponents Braintree Town make their first ever visit to Altrincham next Saturday. Known as The Iron, the Essex club reports on their defeat at home by Southport last Saturday, saying "If a team doesn't take its chances and score goals then it simply won't win matches which, in reality, is now a clear wake-up call for Iron players after this disappointing defeat... They had more than enough goal scoring chances to have had the game and points wrapped up by the interval but some glaring misses proved fatal before just past the hour when the visitors scored, against the run of play, after which it was clear they would run out winners as the Iron capitulated.

    Unfortunately the main culprit for missing gilt-edged chances was young striker Jordan Cox who had a game he will probably want to forget... He wasn't the only culprit though because Walker missed a comparatively easy chance early in the first half, Chez Isaac fired over on the half hour when he should have scored and four minutes before the break the returning from injury Sparkes also drove the ball over the bar when clean through down the left and running into the area with only keeper David Raya Martin to beat.

    It was much the same sad scenario in the early part of the second half... The Iron certainly missed the pace and shooting too of the injured Simeon Akinola up front but there was some hope for the home fans in the 810 crowd when fit again striker Sean Marks emerged off the bench on 68 minutes replacing Sparkes...

    They fell behind when what appeared to be an innocuous attack from the visitors' Luke George sent a first time low shot goal ward that picked up an unfortunate ricochet on the way and the ball flew into the bottom corner of Nick Hamann's goal. As when conceding their first goal at Gateshead the previous week the Iron game plan then appeared to collapse with players lacking spirit and commitment for the final 20 minutes of the game as if going behind had again really knocked the wind out of their sails...

    In the end it was a deserved win for the visitors and the Iron can have no complaints really because it was all down to them not taking some of the chances they had created early on. Little wonder Iron fans are eagerly awaiting the return of long time injured striker Charlie Strutton in about two weeks to add some clinical finishing in their attack which is sadly missing at present. Braintree Town: Hamann; Peters, Habergham, Massey, Brundle; Mulley, Davis, Isaac, Sparkes (Marks 68); Cox (Case 86), Walker. Unused subs: Pentney, Smith.

    Iron manager Alan Devonshire said afterwards, 'Goals change games and we should have done so before half time with the chances we had and the game would have been over. I'm worried that as in the Gateshead game we dominated for so long but once we concede a goal we seem to collapse like a pack of cards and we have quickly to sort that one out', he continued... 'So no excuses from me, we lost and we now have a week to work at things and get us up to Altrincham next week and start winning'.

    He went on, 'I think with all the recent injuries we got away with it when doing well against the top three sides but it's now caught up with us although, hopefully, within the next two weeks we should get all the players back from injury. It's very difficult at this level running with such a small squad when you get injuries and we are on one of the smallest budgets in the league so I would say to the supporters moaning to me today to take a reality check and see where we have come from', he continued. 'We've come a long way in a short time and we'll continue the way we have done so far; - we've already 20 points on the board and our basic target remains 50 points for the season and I'm confident we will do it again'.

    Chairman Lee Harding agreed, 'After such a disappointing result, it is always easy to blame a lack of players or money. Yes, we have a small squad at the moment, but the Club gives Alan full delegated authority to bring in who he chooses - he alone decides who and how many players we have. As to the playing budget, it may not be the highest in the division, but it is certainly the biggest we have ever allowed a manager at this Club. We must never forget that it is all too easy for a club to spend money it does not have (as the supporters of both Hereford and Salisbury found out last season) but we in the board room remain convinced that it is competitive. It is certainly more than last season ... and the two seasons before'."


    Match report here.

    Highlights of the Altrincham v Woking match are now available from Alty TV right.

    Alty manager, Lee Sinnott, told the NL Paper, "The red card came at a really bad time for us as we had just conceded and then we found ourselves two down. It was 50-50 in the first half, where either side could have scored but, after the red card, we seemed to unravel and the combination of a flu bug in the camp, on top of a long midweek trip, meant we were never bouncy".

    Saturday's commentary from Radio Robins is here.

    After Saturday's match, Woking report that "A masterful second-half performance ensured Garry Hill’s Woking climbed four places in the league... Altrincham gave as good as they got for large periods of the opening period at Moss Lane, but the 18th-placed hosts were overwhelmed from there...

    Alty came into this match on the back of encouraging victories over Macclesfield and Halifax followed by a midweek draw at Grimsby, and were soon at their visitors...

    Lee Sinnott’s hosts looked sharp again after the break, Densmore running unopposed on goal until Clarke reacted, while Rendell was back to head to safety as Alty came once more... The opening goal followed, a 52nd minute close-quarters finish from 12-goal Rendell after great work by Goddard opened up the home defence. It then went from bad to worse for the hosts as a poor challenge on Lewis led to a straight red for Griffin...

    The Robins' problems were compounded by the departure of injured Simon Richman... But on 66 minutes Woking put the game to bed, a neat one-two between Morgan and Rendell leading to the former timing his finish perfectly, hesitating momentarily before lobbing Coburn.... Alty weren't finished yet, and Clarke had to clear from sub Tom Marshall[?!], while Payne struck over at the other end...

    A few home fans drifted away, and for the final minutes the Robins were down to nine after sub Ryan Crowther limped off. But there was still time for a clinical finish from Payne, exchanging passes with Sole on the right flank before firing home with aplomb".

    12 October 2014


    Match report here.

    Right: Adam Griffin makes his way off after being shown a red card by referee Robert Jones.


    If you want to get an insight into the Altrincham FC dressing room, the New Recruits events are an excellent way to get it. What follows is just a brief summary of Saturday evening's event in the Manchester Glass Ltd Sponsors' Lounge - to get the real flavour, you need to be there!

    Normally the New Recruits events have followed a win on the pitch but today was an exception as Alty reflected on 1 3-0 reverse against Woking. But there was still plenty of banter from the four guests. The fifth invitee, Ryan Crowther, was sadly unable to be present as he had gone to hospital with breathing problems after being injured i9n the Woking game.

    An excellent two-course meal was provided by Richie Bentley, with the Vayro brothers, Dan Jones and Mike Ford providing table and bar service. Thanks also go to Jenny Heslop who was providing the liquid refreshment from the Noel White Suite and to all those who helped in selling raffle tickets, clearing tables, washing up, etc.

    Compere, Brian Flynn, first asked the players to outline their careers. Peter and Steven had both been released from Liverpool as 19 year-olds, whilst Dave had been let go by Stoke City at 18 years of age. Sean had been with Stockport County, where he ruefully admitted he had endured "back to back relegations". The big question of how to pronounce Peter's surname was resolved as the midfielder confirmed that the stress is on the second "a" and not the first of his surname.

    Asked about their best managers, excluding Lee Sinnott, Sean plumped for Gary Ablett at County, whilst for Steven, it was John Ward who had signed him no fewer than four times in the Football League (for the two Bristol clubs, Cheltenham Town and Colchester United)! Dave opted for Noel Blake, the Academy manager at Stoke City, and "Cav" selected Keith Hill of Rochdale, for his tactical nous, and John Coleman, for his man management.

    Outside football, Sean runs his own football coaching company, which has found a niche in one-to-one rather than group coaching. Steven is pursuing his UEFA "B" coaching badges, alongside assistant boss, Neil Tolson, who was in the audience at this event. Dave is a sports coach in the Crewe and Stoke area and this involves him going into schools where he may be involved in anything from volleyball to hockey, as well as football. Peter, meanwhile, coaches the under-11s at Liverpool FC.

    All the players expressed pleasure at being at Altrincham, with Sean, as well as playing against us for Colwyn Bay, having come to watch us once as a spectator last season and being impressed by the atmosphere created by the supporters.

    Above: The four New Recruits (l. to r. Peter Cavanagh, Dave Parton, Steven Gillespie and Sean Williams).

    There was then a priceless interjection from one of the guests, Alty's best-known supporter, Kenny "Zigger Zagger" Pailin. In a lull in conversation Kenny asked loudly, "Who is that player with the bald head?". As Peter Cavanagh regained his composure, with inimitable timing, Kenny added "How old is he?" Brian Flynn then prompted a round of applause for Kenny and the collective best wishes of everyone for him as he is going into hospital for an overnight stay, this week, to have a small growth removed from his lip.

    It was then learnt that Kyle Perry and other Alty players were on their way to the Sponsors' Lounge, which prompted a discussion about Kyle's "lively" character. Stuart Coburn was also mentioned with Peter Cavanagh admitting that Stu had once saved two of his penalties in one game.

    Further discussion ranged over topics which included the atmosphere in large but empty stadiums compared with that in the more compact venues and, also, players' and management superstitions. Dave Parton revealed that he always wears two pairs of socks, whilst Steven told us how he had once had salmon for his lunch on a Friday and hone on a ten-game scoring run. So, he had felt obliged to have salmon before each of the games to keep the sequence going; he now hates salmon!

    Had they not been footballers, Steven said he would have liked to have been a golfer; otherwise, he would probably have ended up working in the Ford motor works with his father. Dave thought he might have followed his family tradition and joined the army or navy, whilst Sean wanted to be a singer even though he was "rubbish at it". Peter raised a laugh by saying he thought he might have become a teacher, "but I don't like kids much".

    The bulk of the remainder of the Alty squad now arrived, en route to a night out. They included Mike Williams, who was pleased to have got two full matches under his belt for Stalybridge Celtic, where he is on loan. Jake Moult and James Lawrie were asked about their respective long-range shots against Macclesfield and Woking, and Kyle Perry was requested to round the evening off with a song. But, with uncharacteristic bashfulness, Kyle opted instead to accompany assistant manager in a rap routine.

    Thanks go to the guests, the organisers, the catering team and all who supported this event with their attendance. In the meantime we all wish Ryan Crowther well after his injury today.

    Above: Kyle Perry provides the accompaniment to assistant manager Neil Tolson's rap.


    The NL Paper has an article on the Bury office of Aspire Education Academy which boasts five non-League players, including three with Altrincham links. The office works to get young people into work and apprenticeships. The employees include Gianluca Havern (right), former Alty youth and reserves' defender Alex Frost and ex-Alty trialist Chris Baguley. The other non-League employees are Danny Caldecott (New Mills), Terry Smith (Ashton United) and Matty Kosylo (ex-Droylsden)


    Sunday’s NL Paper has an interview with Kyle Perry in which he is asked to describe his team-mates. We discover that his best mate is, not surprsingly his fellow Stubblemelt member, Tom Marshall. "Our relationship is like Marmite. We get on like a house on fire one minute, then we hate each other the next", stated Kyle.

    The tightest with his money is said to be Damian Reeves, who is also claimed to be the worst dressed. "He's a scruff. He wears 80s-style, rough as anything jeans", claims Kyle. The dressing room DJ is Simon Richman while the most skilful player is Greg Wilkinson. It is Kyle himself who is "teacher's pet", i.e. the manager's favourite. Whenever Kyle is dropped by Lee Sinnott, James Lawrie says to him "Have you fallen out with your dad?" We also learn that "Ryan Crowther likes a sun bed", whilst Tom Marshall’s Arabic image of his parents' names on his ankle is the worst tattoo in the squad.

    Stuart Coburn is ribbed as the oldest player. "I'm not sure exactly how old he is", says Kyle, "But he definitely played football when it originally started". The striker's tips to become good managers are Peter Cavanagh and... himself!


    Saturday 11 October
    • Aldershot Town 2-2 Bristol Rovers
    • Alfreton Town v Torquay United 5.30pm (BT Sport)
    • Altrincham 0-3 Woking
    • Barnet 3-3 Kidderminster Harriers
    • Braintree Town 0-2 Southport
    • Dartford 1-1 Macclesfield Town
    • Dover Athletic 2-0 1-1 Gateshead
    • Lincoln City 2-0 AFC Telford United
    • Welling U 0-1 Grimsby Town
    • Howard Watts's Through the Years

    11 October 2014


    Mike Garnett's records give the complete statistical history....

    • At Altrincham: P10-W3-D3-L4-F11-A15
    • At Woking: P10-W3-D1-L6-F8-A22
    • All games: P20-W6-D4-L10-F19-A37


    Brian Flynn writes, "Recently appointed BBC Sports Editor, Dan Roan, will be at the J.Davidson Stadium on Saturday as part of their major look at 'The Price of Football' and will be investigating why fans are increasingly coming to clubs like Altrincham as an antidote to the over-priced Premier League experience. Roan is keen to interview fans on the terraces ahead of the game against Woking. Dan Roan is an Altrincham resident and was the subject of a recent feature on the 'Altrincham Today' site.


    Brian Flynn's latest 'Sinnott Speaks' article is available on Altrincham Today.

    In the article, Lee says, "In taking four points from two very difficult away trips to Halifax and Grimsby, I’m really proud of what my players have achieved this week. We went to The Shay Stadium last Saturday in good heart, after the crucial and dramatic victory over Macclesfield, but very few people will have given us much of a chance as Neil Aspin’s side were sitting second in the league and had only dropped points at home in a draw against Grimsby, whilst our away record to that point had been very disappointing with just a single point gained at Alfreton.

    I told the players beforehand that if they were on their mettle, like they were against Macclesfield, they would stand a chance against anyone. Halifax are always going to ask you questions, especially at their place, and you have to answer them defensively.

    Not only did we do that, we got the ball down and played whenever possible and scored three clinical goals in a fully deserved 3-1 victory. Different squads have different attributes, and we know what ours are. We get the ball down, move it around the park and create opportunities, and we did all that to great effect, as well as defending resolutely. The victory is even more impressive when you consider that four of the starting 11 were under the weather with a bug. The goals were really well taken... Four of the starting 11 were under the weather with a bug that seems to have spread through the squad during the last week.

    James Lawrie (right), who had scored against both Macclesfield and Halifax, succumbed to that for Tuesday night’s trip to Grimsby when we put in an incredibly spirited display, despite not having a large share of possession or using the ball as well as we can when we did get it, to come away with a very pleasing 0-0 draw. We could have buckled under the exertions of the previous week, but we didn’t. To a man, they stuck to the cause".


    Current Alty squad member Joshua Samberg has signed forms for Oldham Borough who report that "Goalkeeper Josh Samberg joins the side on a six-week loan move from Altrincham FC".

    Boro beat Salford City 2-1 in the Manchester Premier Cup 1st Round. "It did seem to be only a matter of time until Salford got onto the scoresheet and in the 8th minute [ex-Alty striker] Dale Johnson muscled his way to the edge of the box, right of centre. A powerful shot was pushed away by Oldham keeper Josh Samberg (left) and when Simon Wiles whipped the loose ball back into the middle from the right Danny Browne got up to direct a header wide of the keeper’s right-hand post.

    A couple of minutes later... Samberg was being jostled on his line but managed to palm clear only for an old-fashioned melee to develop inside the 6-yard box. Johnson’s close-range was blocked and Oldham managed to clear their lines again... [Later,] Johnson tucked home the rebound from close range to record his first Salford City goal...

    [With the score 1-1], Salford manager Phil Power introduced Sam Madeley within 6 minutes of the restart... Possession fell to Neville a few yards outside the right-hand angle of the box and his wicked, dipping effort was excellently tipped over the bar by Samberg...

    Priestley’s long punt forward actually unlocked the home defence with Madeley and Johnson chasing the extravagantly bouncing ball towards the penalty area. Unfortunately for Salford the two forwards seemed to impede each-other and the subsequent headed attempt on goal dropped harmlessly wide of Samberg’s right-hand post... FT Oldham Boro FC 2 v 1 Salford City FC. Many thanks to Salford City FC for providing the match report for this game."

    Some other Altrincham FC Youth graduates have signed forms to play in the NW Counties Football League. Derryn Offori has moved from Abbey Hey to Stockport Sports and Spencer Cunliffe has signed forms for Stockport Sports, where former Alty trialist Aaron Chalmers has also signed. Cunliffe netted in Sports 8-2 away win at Runcorn Linnets recently.


    NL Pitchero reports that "Nuneaton Town have taken young striker Dane Griffiths on a month`s loan from Cardiff City. A strong and pacey forward, 19-year-old Griffiths was plagued by injuries in earlier years of his development. However, he proved that he had the ability to compete at Academy level after having done so, competently, last season. He's now moved into his second year in the Development set-up as a junior professional". "

    From NL Daily, we learn that "Macclesfield Town have brought Matthew Barnes-Homer back to the club on loan from Conference South side Whitehawk. The striker is a familiar face to Silkmen supporters, having scored twenty goals in the 2012-13 campaign... After a youth career at Wolves, the player moved to the United States where he represented Rochester Raging Rhinos, Syracuse Salty Dogs and Virginia Beach Mariners.

    Upon his return to the United Kingdom, he spent time with Aldershot Town before a short spell with Wycombe Wanderers. After this, he joined Kidderminster Harriers where the striker spent three years... His fine record sparked a move to Luton Town... Leaving Kenilworth Road in 2012, he joined Nuneaton Town briefly before heading back abroad to join Ostersunds FK in Sweden.

    It was from here he joined The Silkmen, where he remained for a year before moving on to join Forest Green Rovers. After half a season at the New Lawn, he moved to help Cambridge United to promotion last season."

    The Grimsby Telegraph reports that "It must be so, so tedious being a Grimsby Town fan and reading interview after interview, from player after player, saying 'This time we'll get it right'. Instead of trotting out excuses or promises, Carl Magnay has given a refreshingly honest assessment of the Mariners' current predicament... Three games that Town would have been expected to win have yielded just two points, with Tuesday's frustrating 0-0 draw with Altrincham the latest in an alarming run of results for Paul Hurst's under-performing side...

    'The simple fact is it hasn't been good enough,' he said, 'As players, we've got to admit that. When you're playing for a club like Grimsby Town, no disrespect to Southport, Dartford or Altrincham, but we have to be looking to win those games if we are going to achieve what we want to achieve this season... The time for coming out with excuses is over... We've got to look ourselves in the mirror and ask ourselves if we're doing enough. I think, to a man, the lads will tell you that we haven't been doing. I think a lot of the lads need to take the shackles off; some are taking the pressure in the wrong way and letting it get to them and playing within themselves. They need to be confident, realise that they're at a great club and thrive on that...

    There's nobody in this league that we are scared of', he said. 'I think you can class Wrexham as a 'better' game for us because it's the sort of game where you usually get more out of us as a team; it's against the likes of Dartford, Southport and Altrincham where we've slipped up. When you're tested, you start to rise to the occasion and the lads have got to do that tomorrow.... There have been too many times this season where the games have been there for the taking, but we haven't acted on initiative and let the games pass by...

    Now's the time to be honest, start picking ourselves up off the floor because otherwise we're going to end up mid-table and that's not good enough for a club like Grimsby Town'"

    FA CUP

    Although the draw for the FA Cup 4QR is expected to be carried live on TalkSPort radio on Monday from 10am, subsequent Rounds are being drawn on MOnday evenings. The BBC reports that "FA Cup draws will return to Mondays in a new evening slot on the BBC for the 2014-15 season. The First Round draw will come from the National Football Centre at St George's Park in front of a live audience on Monday, 27 October.

    'We're delighted to bring back the tradition of the FA Cup draw on Mondays', said BBC Sport's Mark Cole. 'We hope the new early evening show will generate a great interest for our audiences on TV, radio and online'.

    Mark Chapman will present the coverage from 19-19:30 GMT on BBC Two and Radio 5 Live, and you can also follow the draw on the BBC Sport website. The new Monday evening draw is set to evoke memories of families huddled around the radio to listen to those all-important fixtures being announced.

    FA Cup draws used to be very formal until about 15 years ago. Two men in blazers would pick the teams from a pot at Lancaster Gate, the FA's old headquarters in central London on Monday lunch-time and former FA chief executive Graham Kelly would announce the ties in his distinctive high-pitched tone, live on radio. This season, BBC Sport will take the FA Cup draws live on the road from different venues across the country throughout the season, including a few surprise locations.

    Forty ties will be drawn in this first round, as 48 clubs from League One and League Two join the non-league teams who have battled their way through qualifying. The Football Association's FA Cup media officer, Matt Phillips, said, 'The draw at St George's Park is going to be a very special occasion and totally different to anything we've done before with a studio audience that will represent all levels of our national game. The FA Cup is a real adventure and we're delighted that the BBC will be there to tell the story to football fans across the globe'.

    Audiences will be able to watch up to 16 live matches on BBC TV along with highlights and listen to all the action on Radio 5 Live. In addition, every FA Cup goal will be available online at across every device. BBC Sport has a four-year FA Cup rights contract running until 2018 in partnership with BT Sport".


    The Non-League Paper announces that in Sunday's issue, "We take the FA Trophy to a recruitment company in Bury where six semi-pros from Droylsden, New Mills, Nantwich, Altrincham and Ashton United all work".
    10 October 2014


    Right, we see, Gavin Rathbone's photo of Greg Wilkinson battling with Macclesfield defender George Pilkington in last week's match at the J. Davidson Stadium.

    Woking "travel north again on Saturday, hoping to notch their third win in a row. Altrincham, though, have shown some improved form recently and are likely to prove tougher opponents than Southport, whom Garry Hill’s side defeated 5-2 last weekend. So, Garry will be looking for greater defensive solidity to complement the Cards' attacking prowess.

    Unlike most other sides, the Cards did not have a midweek league game and consequently slipped to 6th place in the table but they are only five points behind leaders Barnet with a game in hand. Instead, they played a training match against a Stevenage XI, which ended 2-2, with Dean Morgan and Jack Marriott scoring. The good news from that game was that Kevin Betsy played a full 90 minutes and that James Clarke and Jake Cole also re-appeared after their injuries. The bad news was that Mark Ricketts returned, only to leave the field injured again.

    Mark Ricketts’s continuing absence, assuming that he is unfit for Saturday, is a blow but it says much about the strength of Garry Hill’s squad this season that he can call on players of the calibre of Joey Jones to replace Mark.

    The Robins were promoted back to the Conference Premier at the end of last season after an absence of three years. Not surprisingly, given that they are one of the least well-supported teams in the league, they have found life tough so far. They lost five out of their opening six games... But recent form has been much improved with a 1-0 home win over local rivals Macclesfield Town, and an amazing 3-1 away win at FC Halifax Town, the Shaymen’s first defeat since the Cards’ victory there last season and, midweek, a very creditable 0-0 draw at Grimsby Town, where, by all accounts, they showed great spirit to survive a second-half Mariners’ onslaught...

    The two sides last met in the season in which the Cards were eventually relegated from the Conference Premier".


    Brian Flynn advises us that the Radio Robins commentary on Tuesday's match at Grimsby is available here


    We're Another League, a new lower league football website writes that "A couple of months ago we posted a story about Alty striker Kyle Perry (right) and his varied hobbies outside of football. As I'm sure most of you know, Kyle is a big character and he gives us a great interview about his musical, aviation and even wrestling exploits".

    FA CUP

    The draw for the Fourth Qualifying Round of the FA Cup, in which Altrincham participate, will be broadcast live on Talk Sport on Monday, 13 October from 10am.


    The Football Conference reports on a player who turned out for Walsall Youth against Alty Youth last season and who may now play against our first team, as "Gary Brabin, the new manager of Vanarama Conference has signed 18-year-old striker Amadou Bakayoko on a month's loan from Walsall.

    A tall and powerful front-man, he has developed well whilst coming through the Banks’s Stadium ranks and signed his first professional deal during the course of the 2013/14 campaign. The leading goalscorer for the youth team, he also impressed at reserve team level and was handed his first senior outing as a second half substitute at Port Vale in April 2014. The teenager, who was born in Sierra Leone but grew up in Holland, has since gone on to make nine senior appearances for the Saddlers, including three this season".

    According to the Grimsby Telegraph, "John Fenty says there have been no discussions with Paul Hurst over his future as Grimsby Town manager and called on fans to back the boss. The club's director and former chairman acknowledged the club's current position is 'extremely disappointing', but says that replacing Hurst as boss, at what he terms a 'critical' stage in the season, would not be an 'appropriate or sensible action'.

    Speaking to the Telegraph following Tuesday's disappointing draw with strugglers Altrincham, Fenty instead pleaded with fans to rally behind the club, insisting that the season is not a lost cause just yet. When asked if there had been any discussions with Hurst over his future as boss, Fenty replied, 'Not at all; what we've been focusing on is how we turn our fortunes around together. As disappointing as it's been, I'd ask the fans to understand that replacing the manager at such a critical stage in the season doesn't seem an appropriate or sensible action. That sort of unrest would not necessarily serve our plight.

    The position that we're at in the table is extremely disappointing; we'd all like to be further up the league but I think we have to put things into context, we're six points off the play-offs and there is no out-and-out leader as yet. Clearly the players are playing for the manager, but things aren't looking as well as we'd all want to see them. When you look at the start of the season and the issues we had with suspensions and injuries, I'm not surprised that we haven't amassed the points that we otherwise may have done.

    However, all is not lost and there's no reason at all why we can't get right back into the mix over the next three, four or five games... The board are actively working with Paul to assist him in every way in an effort to get our fortunes back on track'".

    Elsewhere in the same newspaper, "Grimsby Town director John Fenty acknowledges the recent drop in attendances at Blundell Park is a sign of the current 'disenchantment' among Mariners' fans. A crowd of just 2,535 supporters watched Tuesday's 0-0 draw with Altrincham; 818 less than had witnessed Town's 1-0 defeat to Southport the week before.

    Fenty admits... 'The drop in attendances tells us that there is a lot of disenchantment at the moment. It's hugely important that we get those supporters back to Blundell Park; our budgets are predicated on higher attendances than we saw against Altrincham. But the facts are that we're not winning enough home games...

    The performance against Altrincham was a very good performance, but one that didn't result in three points, which is ultimately what drives attendances... Attendances do have an impact on our finances... I believe there are mitigating circumstances as to why we haven't got off to a better start'".

    Torquay United, "manager Chris Hargreaves has been left baffled and somewhat irritated by a fixture system that left the Gulls without a game in midweek, while most of our Conference rivals were in action. The late kick-off in Saturday’s televised fixture at Alfreton means we could have potentially been 11 points behind leaders Barnet before our game had started...

    The fixtures have thrown up some strange scenarios, not least the fact we play some teams twice in the early stages of the season. 'I am still baffled as to why we could have possibly entered Saturday’s game 11 points behind Barnet,' said Chris. 'I just can’t work it out. Everybody else plays when we don’t in midweek and then everyone else plays before us on Saturday. Unless someone can tell me that every other team will face the same scenario by the end of the season, it is 100% wrong.

    We all have to be in the same boat at some point because we should not be playing catch-up. We’ve worked hard to get in a good position and we’ve not been helped by the Conference fixture structure this week. I would always prefer to have points in the bag than games in hand because that just heaps up the pressure. It is also strange that we’re playing some teams twice before we’ve played other sides once, especially if the fixture system is computerised'".

    By way of a footnote, Altrincham, after two away trips, last Saturday and Tuesday, entertain another team which, like Torquay, did not play in midweek, Woking.

    to the Shropshire Star, "AFC Telford United boss Liam Watson played down the prospect of more new signings as he looks to drag his side off the foot of the Conference Premier. The Buck's Head boss added Bermuda international goalkeeper Freddy Hall to his squad on Tuesday, after handing a debut to on-loan Luton Town centre-back Andy Parry...

    He has also snapped up former Birmingham City defender Ryan Higgins on non-contract forms last month...

    Watson, who is waiting for news of defender Neill Byrne’s knee injury, said, 'I think sometimes you just have to step back and let it settle, because the more players you bring in the more unsettled it becomes... At this time of year, when you’re looking around, no one is going to come from levels below, so you’re looking at people moving down from levels above. Nine times out of ten, the ones you can from above are kids from League clubs and I don’t really think it’s a kids’ league, especially in our present status.

    We’re a young squad with people like Neill Byrne and Rod McDonald, but they’ve got 100-odd games at non-league level. It’s important that they have got that little bit of experience with their youth. The ones you’re getting from academies of League clubs haven’t played anything apart from tippy-tappy academy football, so breaking them in at this level is probably asking too much'.

    Watson added, 'If Neill Byrne is injured, the centre of defence is going to become a bit of an issue again and up front we just want people scoring'”.


    In the Cheshire Senior Cup Preliminary Round...
    • Crewe Alexandra 2 Witton Albion 1, att. 220.

    9 October 2014


    After the match at Grimsby, the Sale & Altrincham Messenger reports that "Lee Sinnott saluted Altrincham’s ‘incredible spirit’ after they made it three unbeaten games in a row with a hard-fought goalless draw at Blundell Park on Tuesday night. Following up back-to-back wins over Macclesfield and FC Halifax, Alty made light of a demanding schedule and a sickness bug to stand firm in the face of a second-half onslaught and frustrate promotion hopefuls Grimsby.

    'Any neutral would point out Grimsby had the lion’s share of possession and I have to admit that, when we had the ball, we didn’t use it as well as we can,’ said Alty boss Sinnott. 'But those are the only negatives I am going to say because, when you look at how the players have been to the well three times in such quick succession, it was an incredible show of spirit.

    'We could have buckled, after all our exertions over the past week, but we didn’t. To a man, they stuck to the cause and put their bodies on the line, and you can’t ask for more than that. The boys were tired by the end but I was really proud of them for sticking at it and getting their just rewards at a place that is going to be a difficult venue for any visiting team'.

    Reflecting on an exceptional 3-1 win at high-riding Halifax last Saturday, Sinnott added, 'People might not have seen that coming but I told the players that, if they are on their mettle, as they were against Macclesfield, they can be a match for anyone. Halifax are always going to ask you questions, and you have to answer them. Not only did we do that, we got the ball down and played and scored three clinical goals. I was delighted with the players, especially after all the effort they put in against Macc the previous Tuesday.'

    Sinnott cancelled [this] Thursday night's training session, ahead of this Saturday's home game with Woking (3pm), to stop the spread of a bug that prevented James Lawrie taking any part at Grimsby and has so far affected eight Alty players. 'It seems sensible to try and isolate it and we wouldn't have done that much anyway after a long journey to and from Grimsby,' added the Alty manager."


    Above Paul Burgess of Grimsby Town has kindly provided this excellent image showing Stuart Coburn in action. Brian Flynn, Joint Press and Media Oficer at Altrincham FC tells us that his "interview with Stuart Coburn after last night's game [at Grimsby] can be heard here.

    From the BBC we read that "Grimsby's winless run stretched to three games as Altrincham goalkeeper Stuart Coburn kept them at bay. Coburn made a good save from Patrick McLaughlin just after the half-hour before he tipped a left-foot shot from Aswad Thomas around the post.

    Top scorer Damian Reeves almost won it for the visitors late on but James McKeown kept out his header...

    Grimsby manager Paul Hurst told BBC Radio Humberside, 'Obviously the simple thing is we didn't get the ball in the net, but I can't fault the players in terms of the effort to try and win the game. We couldn't find the goal, which I felt the players deserved, and ultimately it's two points dropped at home. The only thing I can knock them for is at times we're a little bit static in the box, from the second phase of a cross where it's maybe headed back across the or it's a defender who moves and we react to things rather than gambling on them'"

    Meanwhile the Grimsby Telegraph tells us that "Grimsby Town had enough possession to win two games of football last night, but a lack of cutting edge ensured they were held to a desperately frustrating draw by Altrincham. Paul Hurst's side dominated proceedings virtually from start to finish, but they couldn't make that count as Lee Sinnott's side clung on for a result that will do little to lift the mood around Blundell Park.

    After over eight weeks out of the side with a fractured fibula, Aswad Thomas made his return to the Town back four in place of the suspended Toto Nsiala. Danny Parslow replaced the Congolese defender as Shaun Pearson's partner at the heart of Town's back four with Carl Magnay slotting in at right-back. Elsewhere, there were recalls for Scott Neilson and Craig Clay following his return from illness, with the injured Craig Disley left out the matchday squad.

    Paddy McLaughlin, operating on the left of a midfield three, turned and dragged wide with the game's first effort from the edge of the box before Scott Brown lifted over seconds later... It had been an opening ten minutes of dominance for the hosts, with Greg Wilkinson's hopeful and wayward looping volley Altrincham's sole effort of that spell.

    But as the impressive pace of Town's start slowed a little, the visitors enjoyed a sustained spell of possession that resulted in Wilkinson[?] powering a header over from 10 yards. The Robins frontman[?] was in action again in the 18th minute when he engineered himself a yard near to the byline and flashed in a low cross that James McKeown turned behind for his first action of the evening...

    Town were forcing the issue much more than in recent weeks, and as a result, were winning the ball higher up the field, drawing applause from a sparse home crowd... Few could disagree Town had been by far the better team, but the hosts just couldn't provide that killer touch in the final third...

    Eight minutes before the break, only the offside flag prevented the lively Damian Reeves from tapping home after rounding McKeown... Kyle Perry replaced the lively Wilkinson to jeers from the home crowd as Town's gathering momentum was halted...

    Town were camped in their visitors' half, but poor final balls or wrong decisions were frustrating them at almost every occasion. Thomas' drive earned Town their ninth corner... At the other end, Reeves was left unmarked to head straight at McKeown... and it wasn't long before Joyce called time to a strange mix of boos and applause."

    Also, the Grimsby Telegraph reports that Paul Hurst said, "I thought we put some good deliveries against Altrincham. There was a great ball in from Scott Brown for one of our best chances of the game with Paddy McLaughlin’s header. Paddy also had the best chance of the first half with a great right-footed shot that I have to say the keeper made a great save from; he couldn’t do any more".

    However, "Paul Hurst hopes to step up his search for a new striker in the next 24 hours after Grimsby Town were held to a frustrating 0-0 draw with strugglers Altrincham last night... He said, 'We started the game extremely well and were squeezing the ball all over the pitch, so much so I don't think they got out of their half for a spell. I thought we played really well and we were pushing...

    They were out on their feet at the end and they desperately wanted to win the game and the performance deserved that... There were enough moments in the game where a real goal-sniffer maybe would have gambled and got a tap-in, although I'm not knocking the efforts of Lenell John-Lewis, Ross Hannah or Rhys Oates. I'm hoping to watch a game today and there's also a couple of calls to follow up on to see if anything has changed and anything can moved forward on those. I'm not silly, there's frustration with everyone connected with the football club that we haven't been able to bring in that extra striker'".

    More comes from The Fishy which says that "The Mariners dominated the game against Altrincham, but could not create enough chances to win the game... Grimsby, though, created worrying few chances for all their possession and they desperately need a new striker to put some of the chances away. If they fail to start winning soon manager Paul Hurst will pay the ultimate price for failing to match fans' expectations.

    The Mariners have already failed to beat Dover, Nuneaton, Altrincham and Southport at home. all of which were home 'bankers'.


    Altrincham FC goalkeeping coach and owner of SKkits, Ian Senior writes that "I am now aware of an issue with sponsor logos on all Altrincham FC shirts supplied for this season and have made the shirt manufacturer aware of the problem. They are in the process of sending me replacement logos to attach to the shirts and I will do this to any shirts returned to the club or me direct, should the logos require attention. All postage costs will be refunded and shirts will be returned to supporter's free of charge. I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused, as I am keen to retain my reputation for customer care and satisfaction".

    £2,000 TO BE WON

    9018 was the winning code for the Altrincham FC Saturday Yankee lottery last week. As that sequence had been unissued, the jackpot has now risen to £2,000. There were, however, four winners of "Trebles" who each won £37.50.


    Barry Pond's latest Matchday Sponsorship chart is here


    Courtesy of Grahame Rowley we have an image, taken a few days ago, of the advances made in building the new Community Sports Hall at the J. Davidson Stadium.


    According to the BBC "Accrington Stanley have signed Forest Green Rovers midfielder Anthony Barry on a three-month loan deal. The 28-year-old started his senior career with Stanley before joining Yeovil in 2008... 'He's a better player since the last time he was here, a steady player, and you know exactly what you are going to get out of him,' boss John Coleman told the club website".

    NL Pitchero reports that "AFC Telford United have signed Bermuda international goalkeeper Freddy Hall. The 6`2”, 29-year-old keeper joins the Bucks after a short spell with Oxford City. Hall had signed for City after leaving Chester FC at the end of August.

    He played in four of Chester`s five league matches in August after being released by Burton Albion and had hoped to earn a contract after John Danby left the club. But a deal failed to materialise and Hall announced that he had decided to leave. After starting out with Bermuda Hogges, Hall came over to England in 2011 and signed for Northampton Town, making a couple of senior appearances for the Cobblers.

    A spell with Toronto in Canada was followed by a stint at Burton Albion before he joined Chester."

    A report from Kent Online tells us that "Dartford keeper Jason Brown has spoken out about the racial abuse he was subjected to at Bristol Rovers. Brown was taunted by a supporter behind the goal at the Memorial Stadium on Tuesday night.

    He said, 'It was late in the second half. I was having a bit of banter with the supporters, having a laugh, and it was all in jest. Then I heard some guy racially abusing me and I thought "That’s not right". Play stopped, there was a foul in the corner of the pitch and I went over to the linesman and said "I’ve been racially abused by a supporter behind the goal." He said "OK, I’ll put it in my report."

    But the abuse carried on for 10 minutes and, when I turned round, I could see the steward standing right next to the guy. I knew who it was and I thought "That’s not right’. I stopped the game and I said to the ref "That guy right there is racially abusing me". The ref said "OK, I’ll put it in my report" but I said "No, I want you to do something about it right now".

    I was looking at this guy, eye-to-eye, and the steward was standing there, doing nothing. I said "I want something done about it because this is a joke". There’s a protocol they’re supposed to follow. They’re supposed to stop the game, let the fourth official know, and the fourth official lets the head steward know and they go and apprehend the guy. But he either walked out by himself or he was escorted out.

    Racial abuse is a criminal offence and they should have handed him over to the police. When I was hearing the racial abuse, I tried to stay focused, I tried to stay professional, but it got to a point where I thought "I’m not putting up with this any more" so I stopped the game. I feel let down because the protocol was not followed."

    We learn from the Southport Visiter that "It was ten minutes past ten on Tuesday night and the Merseyrail Community Stadium was covered in darkness by the time Gary Brabin headed back inside the tunnel having completed his post-match duties.

    Brabin has been a man in demand this week, admitting he has received more text messages than he can keep up with and, after sharing his thoughts as the dust settled on his first game back in charge, it was only then that a whirlwind 36 hours for the new Southport manager came to an end...

    By Tuesday night he was orchestrating a spirited fightback, taking the acclaim of the home fans as the Sandgrounders came from behind to secure a dramatic draw against Lincoln City. As the Southport team left the pitch to a standing ovation, the manager made his way to the Jack Carr Stand to acknowledge the home support.

    He was met by chants of 'Brabinator'!, the nickname that defined his time as a Southport player... It was in 2006 that Brabin first made an impression on the Southport crowd with a series of inspired performances as the Sandgrounders avoided relegation in memorable fashion... Trailing... 3-1 with half-time approaching, Southport completed an eventful turnaround and they did it in style, John Marsden equalising four minutes from time with a 25-yard blockbuster.

    As he discussed the performance of his new team, Brabin said he believed that Southport should have won... Southport fans know that if Brabin instils anything in a team it is a fighting spirit".

    Stoke City Club Call tells us that "Stoke keeper Daniel Bachmann is facing up to three months on the sidelines after picking up an injury while on loan at Wrexham. The 20-year-old has torn his medial collateral ligament after colliding with a post during Wrexham's 2-1 Conference Premier defeat at Torquay at the weekend".

    An unhappy manager told Get Hampshire "'I'm not having it anymore'... after another wasteful night in front of goal for Shots. Andy Scott promised to be ruthless in his quest for goals and threatened major changes after his Aldershot Town side again fired blanks in their 1-0 defeat at Chester on Tuesday night.

    The Shots boss repeated his warning that nobody’s future at the club was safe... Fleetwood striker Matty Hughes only joined Chester on the morning of the game but immediately showed shot-shy Shots the way, leaving Scott to fume, 'It’s driving me mad. Something’s got to change. We’re probably going to have to get people out to bring people in. I’m not having it anymore. Everyone’s had their chance and people can’t live on their past glories. If they’re not doing it, I’ll get someone else in. If you can’t score goals you don’t deserve anything,' Scott observed...

    'I’ll be speaking to the board. If it means getting people out and people not being happy with it, I don’t care. We brought Mark Phillips in and he’s been fantastic for us, and I think that’s what we need to do at the top end of the pitch as well'. Statistics will prove that Scott has a point. While Brett Williams leads the scoring charts with six, the two men brought in as support, Josh Scott and Dan Fitchett, have netted just one goal between them all season...

    Two wins in nine games does not represent the form of a team maximising its potential. Reinforcements are expected to arrive before the visit of Bristol Rovers on Saturday (October 11), to bolster a team in dire need of the kind of hard-nosed and merciless streak which its manager showed in analysing this hugely disappointing defeat".

    8 October 2014


    Altrincham supporters enjoyed a very pleasant welcome from Grimsby on Tuesday night. After a long journey in wet conditions, to meet such friendliness in the Away Bar from both the staff and the stewards was a pleasure and a far cry from our reception from a certain other club in our league this season. The ticket office staff were also very helpful.

    Grimsby Town has taken the trouble to deck out its Away Bar with memorabilia from visiting clubs, as well as comfortable armchairs, sofas and TV for away fans. The Club is also installing excellent hand-painted football murals of famous players who have played at Blundell Park. As the picture above shows, the Away Bar will now also be adorned with an Alty scarf, kindly donated by Bryan Ford (second from right).

    We look forward to seeing the completed decoration on our next visit, though our ex-Football League hosts will, no doubt, hope that such a match is in a cup competition and not in the Conference next season!

    Thanks go to Paul Burgess for the image.


    Match report here.

    Right: Courtesy of Paul Burgess of Grimsby Town, we see Adam Griffin in action at Blundell Park.

    Tuesday, 7 October

    • AFC Telford Utd 0-1 Forest Green Rovers
    • Bristol Rovers 1-0 Dartford
    • Chester FC 1-0 Aldershot Town
    • FC Halifax Town 2-2 Wrexham
    • Gateshead 2-0 Alfreton Town
    • Grimsby Town 0-0 Altrincham
    • Macclesfield Town 2-1 Barnet
    • Nuneaton Town 3-2 Dover Athletic
    • Southport 3-3 Lincoln City

    Wednesday, 7 October

    • Kidderminster Harriers v Welling United (BT Sport)


    The race amongst Altrincham players to enjoy the most pitch time this season is a close one. No one has spent the entire season (1350 minutes) on the pitch but the current leaders are:
    1. 1260 mins: HAVERN, Gianluca
    2. 1231 mins: REEVES, Damian
    3. 1227 mins: GRIFFIN, Adam
    4. 1215 mins: LEATHER, Scott

    The full chart is here.

    Nineteen players have appeared for the club this season so far.


    Phil Taylor has kindly provided a match report on the Ladies' 4-1 win over Chester City, last Sunday. Courtesy of Michael Ripley (right) we have an excellent photograph of Charlotte Dudley scoring her second and the team's fourth goal.


    George Forrester is the latest profile in Terry Rowley's series of Altrincham FC player legends. It can be found here


    Barry Pikesley's latest article is "First We Take Macclesfield", which appeared in the Robins' Review of 30 September.
    7 October 2014


    As Altrincham head off on a 254 mile evening/early morning round trip to Grimsby today (Tuesday), it is timely to look in a bit more detail at the imbalance that we reported earlier this week in the assignment of midweek fixtures.

    Whilst all the Vanarama Conference teams were assigned eight midweek evening kick-offs in their fixtures for 2014-15, Altrincham emerged with just two home matches in midweek and six games away on Tuesday nights, including a gargantuan 400 mile return trip to Woking on a Tuesday night. This situation is especially hard for part-time clubs, such as ours where, for such trips, players generally have to work on the morning of the game, arrange time off work and arrive back home in the early hours of the next working day.

    Further analysis shows that only one other club has got as rough a deal as Altrincham; Nuneaton Town also have six away trips in midweek and just two matches at home. On the other hand, two teams have six home matches in midweek and just two games away (Alfreton Town and Kidderminster Harriers). The Harriers midweek away games in total add up to less mileage than Alty's trip to Woking alone as they only travel to Southport [118 miles each way] and Wrexham [66 miles], whilst Alfreton travel just a little further than the Harriers to, coincidentally, Kidderminster [70 miles] and Gateshead [149 miles].

    Four clubs have been assigned three home games and five away, namely Aldershot Town, Torquay United, Welling United and Wrexham. Meanwhile, four other clubs have five matches at home and three away in midweek, these being AFC Telford United, Dover Athletic, Grimsby Town and Macclesfield Town.

    So, just twelve of the 24 clubs have a balance of four home and four away games on midweek evenings.


    You can follow the Grimsby Town v Altrincham game on Tuesday (7.45pm) 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 icons on 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 Tuesday night's Vanarama Conference encounter at Blundell Park. 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 and, due to its unique relationship with their suppliers, it guarantees that it will not be beaten on price and service.

    All products 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 John Helm and Paul Salt, with Mike Reeves 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

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


    John Edwards, joint Press and Media Officer, writes that "Lee Sinnott was beaming with pride after Altrincham pulled off the outstanding result of the Vanarama Conference season so far at second- placed FC Halifax Town on Saturday.

    Hot on the heels of a memorable derby triumph over Macclesfield last Tuesday night, Alty stunned Neil Aspin’s promotion hopefuls by scoring three times before conceding a last-minute consolation goal in an exceptional 3-1 win.

    ‘People might not have seen that coming, but I told the players beforehand that if they are on their mettle, like they were against Macclesfield, they will stand a chance against anyone.

    ‘Halifax are always going to ask you questions, especially at their place, and you have to answer them defensively. Not only did we do that, we got the ball down and played whenever possible and scored three clinical goals.

    ‘I’m really delighted with the players, because after the draining effect of all the effort they put in on Tuesday, it was always going to be a big ask, expecting them to come here and do the same again just four days later.

    ‘Different squads have different attributes, and we know what ours are. We get the ball down, move it around the park and create opportunities, and we did all that to great effect, as well as defending resolutely.

    ‘The goals were really well taken. I’m always stressing to the players that if they are 22 yards out and have space to shoot, then pull the trigger. Do that, and there will never, ever be any complaints from me.

    ‘So when Nicky Clee (left) was advancing towards their area in the first half, I was shouting “Go on, Nicky, go on, pull it.” He did, and what a great strike it was for the first goal.

    ‘The second was a wonderful finish from a tight angle by James Lawrie, and you have to take your hat off to Kyle Perry for keeping his composure for the third after running from the halfway line. I always think those must be the hardest for a striker, because you know someone is chasing you and you have to decide how long to leave it before shooting. He stayed calm and timed it to perfection, and it rounded off a great day.’


    Howard Watts's Through the Years tells us of previous Alty games on Tuesday's date, 7 October.

    Tuesday, 7 October

    • AFC Telford Utd v Forest Green Rovers
    • Bristol Rovers v Dartford
    • Chester FC v Aldershot Town
    • FC Halifax Town v Wrexham
    • Gateshead FC v Alfreton Town
    • Grimsby Town v Altrincham
    • Macclesfield Town v Barnet
    • Nuneaton Town v Dover Athletic
    • Southport v Lincoln City

    Wednesday, 7 October

    • Kidderminster Harriers v Welling United (BT Sport)


    Grimsby Town report that "Toto Nsiala will miss Tuesday's clash with Altrincham after picking up a fifth yellow card against Dartford at the weekend... Defender Shaun Pearson is currently on 4 bookings.

    Meanwhile, defender Aswad Thomas is hoping to come in to Paul Hurst's thoughts over the coming days. Aswad has been sidelined with a broken fibula but has now returned to full training. Speaking to Mariners' Player, Aswad said: "It's good to be back training with the boys and stuff. I think it is a case of training and trying to build up my fitness. Hopefully I will get some minutes and get to build my fitness back up."

    And Aswad admits... 'It's been massively frustrating. I've never really been out for seven weeks where you can't do any exercise'".

    Meanwhile "Skipper Craig Disley is rated as 50/50 ahead of Tuesday's clash against Altrincham. Craig picked up a calf injury at Dartford on Saturday and was forced to sit out training today. Craig Clay, who was forced to miss that 1-1 draw at Princes Park because of illness, is now fit and will be included in the 16-man squad to face the Robins.

    Aswad Thomas may be involved in the squad too. Aswad hasn't featured since the Nuneaton fixture after fracturing his fibula in the opening game at Bristol Rovers. Nathan Arnold is a doubt with a calf problem. Paul Hurst is hoping to see Jon-Paul Pittman back in training next week. The striker has been sidelined with a hamstring injury."

    The BBC has an audio intervew with Grimsby manager, Paul Hurst.

    The Grimsby Telegraph says that manager "Paul Hurst would not elaborate on his decision to drop Scott Neilson to the bench for Saturday's draw at Dartford. The Mariners grabbed a point from their trip to Kent thanks to Lenell John-Lewis' late spot-kick.... The decision to leave Neilson on the bench until 24 minutes from time infuriated some Town fans at Princes Park...

    Hurst remarked, 'I'm not going to justify team selections every time I come out after games... If you're telling me those two aren't good enough, then I'd like you to go and tell them. Making decisions is what I'm paid to do, I'm the manager of the football club, so I'll pick the team that I think can do a job... Realistically, they're all good enough players...

    I think we had more than enough of the game, but going a goal behind, it looked like it wasn't going to be our day', he added... 'Even when it was 11v11, we were pushing them back and seemed to be picking up a lot of the ball, particularly after they scored. We were pushing and the only danger was on the counter- attack or a set-play that's thrown up there, because they were a very big team'"


    FC Halifax Town have "Paul Marshall's Views... 'The game against Altrincham was just a one off hopefully and we know that as a team we need to put it right against Wrexham. I thought we were off the pace against Altrincham, I thought overall it was a poor performance by us all, especially off the back of two decent results away from home, we were expected to win that game. I think that maybe the lads went into the game not giving Altrincham enough respect and it ended up costing us.

    They didn’t play like a team in the bottom half of the table but I thought that we played into their hands a little bit, we just lashed everything and I thought that we tried to play it long too much, whereas I think they played a much more simple game and just passed out and I think that is what we needed to be more like.. If we had of [sic] won against Altrincham, it would have put us in a great position'".


    Two more of Terry Rowley's excellent "Alty Legends" articles have been added to the website. They feature two mens who had Football League careers as well as playing for Altrincham...


    Michael Ripley has images on his website from the Alty Ladies' game with Chester City.


    Southport "have appointed Gary Brabin as new manager. Gray Brabin has taken training at Edge Hill University alongside his assistant Paul Carden, with both appointed on a full time basis...

    'I’m delighted to be back here at Southport FC and am very impressed with the fantastic training facilities on offer at Edge Hill. I know all the people here at the club, especially Chairman Charlie Clapham, and am looking forward to meeting the supporters again'".

    Bulls News reports that "Bristol Rovers have applied to the local council to extend delivery times for the proposed new store on their current Memorial Ground home. The current planning permission sees Sainsburys only allowed deliveries for 17 hours a day six days a week, and 11 hours on Sundays but a new application wants to increase to 19 hours a day every day, with local residents in opposition to the move. Sainsburys have indicated that they will pull out of the project if the new hours are not agreed, with the club having launched legal action against the supermarket over the inaction over the site".

    The Daily Post says that "Goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann looks set to miss Wrexham’s trip to FC Halifax Town after sustaining a knee injury towards the end of Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Torquay United. P> The Austrian under-21 international, on loan with the Dragons from Stoke, collided with the frame of the goal 12 minutes from time but, in the absence of a replacement on the bench, had to soldier on and was visibly limping as he walked off the pitch at the final whistle.

    Manager Kevin Wilkin said, 'He might have damaged his medial ligaments but we’ll know a bit more when it’s settled down a bit over the next 24 hours'... Even though the home side’s winning goal came after the injury to Bachmann, the Dragons’ boss insisted it had not affected the outcome and he stated his case for not including Racecourse No 2 Andy Coughlin in the 16-man squad at Plainmoor.

    'It’s always a bit of guesswork, but I generally like five outfield players on the bench,' he added. 'You are more likely to use them, but today the keeper got injured, although I don’t think that’s the reason we lost. If we had seven substitutes I’d put a keeper on the bench but,as it is, I have to cover bases with a defender, a midfielder, a striker and a winger because over the course of a season they will more likely figure than a goalkeeper'...

    Wilkin admitted... 'If you’re going to be successful, you have to come to places like this or Halifax and pick up points... We needed a second goal to kill off any hope Torquay might have had and, if we had, I think it would have been a very different outcome'.”

    According to the Shropshire Star, "AFC Telford United's search for defensive recruits has been cranked up a further notch to cover a fresh wave of injuries...

    Telford lost full-back Rod McDonald to an ankle injury in the warm-up on Saturday and captain Steve Akrigg to a hamstring injury in the second-half. Assistant boss Dominic Morley said, 'Liam has been working his socks off to get people in. Obviously, now that he has lost two defenders that could make it more urgent, but he has been trying for the last two weeks... The people who we are looking at are obviously going to be loanees from League Two or Conference team players that are not getting in their teams...

    He is on the phone all the time... You can’t be bottom of the league and not be looking for players. That wouldn’t be right but the immediate target could be a centre-half because of the injuries'...

    Fortunately, they have plenty of firepower at the other end of the pitch and they could be boosted by the return of joint-top scorer Mike Phenix. He was laid low with a sickness bug for the weekend but could be back for tomorrow’s home clash with Forest Green Rovers. Fellow hitman Sam Smith is also expected to be back in contention. The former Hereford United forward has been on a month’s loan at Brackley, but Morley said, 'I think Sam Smith is back from his loan. If I am correct, that ended on Saturday, so that is another body in'".

    6 October 2014


    Courtesy of Mark Bennett 's superb Alty TV service, are the highlights (below) from the Alty v Macclesfield Town game played last week.


    Match report here.

    The Radio Robins commentary from Halifax on Saturday is here.

    Right: After their third goal, Altrincham indulged in a bizarre celebration as the scorer, Kyle Perry, first stood alone with his back to his team-mates, saluting the totally empty terrace behind the goal, before his team-mates arrived and joined in the salute to the empty part of the ground, as seen above from the Altrincham section of The Shay..

    FC Halifax Town report that they "suffered only their second home league defeat since their return to the top flight of non-league football in August 2013, thanks to a clinical display by Altrincham. Goals from Nicky Clee, James Lawrie and Kyle Perry were the visitors’ only three shots on target throughout and although the Shaymen tried to stage a late, miraculous fight-back, it wasn’t enough to appease Neil Aspin, who told Shaymen Player after the 3-1 defeat...

    'You’re always disappointed when you lose, especially at home where we haven’t had many defeats over the past two years. But today proved that if we are not at our best then we are not going to win matches. You can always moan about your own team without giving the opposition credit but you have to give them credit. They came here on the back of some disappointing away performances but they did well today. They took the lead and then defended well. We were very poor but I don’t want to take away the credit from Altrincham, who deserved the victory. They didn’t need to throw men forward because they were winning the game. They took their chances when they came along. We huffed and puffed but I’m not going to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes – it was a poor performance at any level of football. We were poor in defence, poor in midfield and poor upfront. If you’re going to be poor in all departments then you are certainly not going to win any games'.

    A key moment in the game arrived on the half-hour mark when Matty Pearson streaked through on goal only for the England C international to spurn the guilt-edged chance by firing wide. It proved to be a costly miss as Clee put Alty in front just four minutes later with a thunderous long-range drive. On those decisive few minutes, Aspin reflect, ': “If you take the lead then you obviously get the momentum and it is then a different game. We have had chances missed in the past where we haven’t collapsed, like we have done today with the goals we have given away. It was just one of those things. We didn’t take the chance and then we gave away a goal at the other end. That happens in football but we’ve normally been able to respond. Certainly we didn’t respond today because we were very poor. I know as manager that we need to be better and the players know that they have let themselves down because they are better than that. We need to ensure that we are better'.

    The result ensured Town’s first home league defeat of the season and only their second Shay loss in their previous 30 Football Conference outings, with Aspin adamant it was the worst performance from his side in that time. 'I have been proud of the performances that the players have put in over the last 18 months at home', the Town boss revealed. 'In that time, we have played some great football and had some tremendous games here but, today, was probably the worst we have played at home in the last 30 games. And that’s the result you get'. For the full ten minute interview with Neil Aspin, log onto Shaymen Player"

    And HAlifax captain Lois Maynard adds, 'The result speaks for itself, we didn’t turn up today, I’d say from the first minute to the end really we didn’t turn up, we didn’t do what we do best we just didn’t do it... It is just one of them, those types of games come along and in a long season the best thing you can do is react, react to it in the right way'...

    "We spoke to full-back Kevin Roberts... 'It wasn’t good enough, simple as that really. Altrincham didn’t start too well but we didn’t either, no one on the pitch today can come away thinking they’ve done well, to put it simple we weren’t good enough really. I thought that they outplayed us and outworked us to be honest, we didn’t get playing how we normally did, and they deserved the 3 points in the end... It doesn’t give you an excuse for not working, getting out-worked and not winning second balls'".


    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".


    Phil Taylor informs us that "Despite conceding a very early goal, the Ladies fought back to register a 4-1 win against Chester City Ladies with two goals each for Aimee Gibson and Charlotte Dudley". Phil's report will follow in the near future.


    Altrincham Reserves won 3-1 against West Didsbury & Chorlton on Saturday, with goals from Max Pouncey, Ryan Barry and Joel Swift. Next Saturday, the Reserves are away at Wythenshawe Town.


    Altrincham bowed out of the Neil Thomason Trophy with a 2-1 home defeat to Abbey Hey, in a game in which they twice struck the woodwork. There is a match report here.

    Interestingly, one of the linesmen for this game, Mr Jordan Crossley, was a spectator at the Altrincham v North Ferriby United match last season in Conference North. He was watching the game with local Premiership referee, Anthony Taylor. When the match referee went lame, Jordan, on Anthony Taylor's recommendation, stepped in to act as assistant referee and performed excellently.

    Sunday's other results in the Neil Thomason Trophy were:


    The Altrincham FC Youth fixtures into 2015 are now here


    Andrew Nash, a.k.a. Rocky Robin announces that "Since Rocky has now got this season's shirt, I have got him to sign the old shirt and decided to put it up for auction. All funds for this will go to the Community Sports Hall fund. You can place a bid by e-mail. The auction will end on Thursday 23rd October and the winning bidder can receive the shirt from Rocky at the FA Cup game on 25th October if we are at home, or otherwise at the Alfreton Town game on 1st November".


    Until last Saturday at Halifax, Alty's 1-0 win at Grimsby in April 2011 was their last away win in the national level of the Conference.

    In Alty's previous visit to Grimsby (right) we see Carl Piergianni, Ryan Brown and Nicky Clee in action for Altrincham.

    The referee this Tuesday night for Grimsby Town v Altrincham is Mr Ross Joyce, who officiated the Altrincham win over Bristol Rovers earlier this season.

    Mike Garnett's record of games between the clubs shows the following:

      At Altrincham: P1-W0-D1-L0-F2-A2
    • At Grimsby P1-W1-D0-L0-F1-A0
    • All: P2-W1-D1-L0-F3-A2

    Our next opponents, Grimsby Town, drew at Dartford on Saturday. Kent Online reports that "Dartford had to settle for a point after Grimsby scored late to snatch a draw at Princes Park. Tom Bradbrook headed the Darts in front on 60 minutes but the home side were reduced to 10 men when Nathan Collier was sent-off for giving away a penalty which Lenell John-Lewis scored with seven minutes remaining....

    Ross Hannah had two early efforts for the visitors. His first was a free-kick which drifted harmlessly wide but the second, an outrageous volley from 35 yards out, had goalkeeper Jason Brown beaten as it kissed the post and flashed behind. The home side were forced into a reshuffle midway through the first half when Burns was caught late by Carl Magnay as both players slid in to win a loose ball. Magnay's foot went into Burns' chest and although he tried to continue, he couldn't, having only just recovered from a rib injury.

    Ryan Hayes came on for Burns and the Darts switched to a 4-3-1-2 shape... The first half had been a tight affair and things continued in a similar vein after the restart. Grimsby were becoming increasingly frustrated and then, on the hour, they fell behind. Hayes swung over a terrific deep cross from the right and Tom Bradbrook's excellent downward header found the net despite Town's desperate attempts to clear on the line...

    A poor clearance let John-Lewis race into the box and when Collier brought him down, referee Chris Powell pulled out the red card. John-Lewis took the penalty himself, firing the ball into the top corner as Brown dived the wrong way...

    Grimsby: McKeown, Brown, Pearson, Magnay, Mackreth (Neilson 62mins), Disley, Hannah (Oates 77mins), John-Lewis, Parslow, Nsiala, McLaughlin. Subs not used: Bignot, Clay, Walker".

    However, "Dartford boss Tony Burman... said, 'I think we should have kept the three points. We went a goal up and we’ve been punished for a mistake... Burman also felt Ryan Hayes was fortunate to stay on the pitch after kicking out at Grimsby's Carl Magnay... 'I’m not sure why he did it', Burman said. 'You’d have to ask Ryan. I think he was really, really lucky with the way the referee was pulling cards out. I thought it could have been a red'".


    The next visitors to Moss Lane are Woking who report that "A revitalised Woking side rediscovered their shooting boots on the Lancashire coast [at Southport] on Saturday, in a game where the first-half performance appeared to tell a familiar story. The Cards might have been out of sight at that point, Martin Foyle’s hosts showing little of the spirit that saw them to a commendable midweek victory at Grimsby.

    But all that stood between the sides at the turnaround was a perfectly executed Scott Rendell header, and there was a fear that Garry Hill’s visitors might soon rue all those other missed chances. Woking got there in the end, however, and in emphatic style, moving up to fourth place... Yet the game was fairly open up to the 80-minute mark.

    In the end, though, Rendell took his season’s tally to a table-topping 11, while the away faithful witnessed yet another bit of set-piece magic from Giuseppe Sole... [A goal] pulled Port back to 3-2 with 10 minutes remaining... before Rendell added his second on 82 minutes from close range... A defender pulled down Sole just inside the penalty area, two minutes from time, and Rendell stepped up to complete the scoring, stuttering his run-up in customary fashion before sending the keeper the wrong way...

    Woking: Ross Worner, Mike Cestor (Adam Newton 77), Joe McNerney (c), Josh Payne, Keiran Murtagh, Scott Rendell, Theo Lewis, Jack Marriott (Giuseppe Sole 64), Joey Jones, John Goddard (Kevin Betsy 77), Chris Arthur Unused subs: Jake Cole, Dean Morgan".


    Southport report that manager "Martin Foyle leaves Southport today [Sunday] along with his assistant Andy Porter. We had a discussion earlier today and we feel it is in both parties' interest that we part company. A board statement says 'The Club would like to thank Martin and Andy for their efforts, but on this occasion it has not worked out and we both have to move on'."
    5 October 2014


    After the Halifax game, Lee Sinnott told the NL Paper, "It was really pleasing. Halifax is such a difficult place to come to. They're doing well in the league after a succssful last year. I'm delighted with my players. We played our football and we took our goals very well".

    Opposite number Neil Aspin was generous in defeat, saying "You have to give them credit. They came here on the back of some disappointing away performances but they did well today. They took the lead then defended superbly. We were very poor but I don't want to take the credit away from Altrincham, who deserved the victory".


    Where is everyone? A long-distance view of Kyle Perry's goal shows no other Alty player for yards around as Perry slots home despite the attentions of two defenders and the grounded keeper..

    Altrincham upset the form book with a deserved win over a lacklustre Halifax.

    Match report here.

    Right: James Lawrie is congratulated on his goal.


    Altrincham FC Youth are at home (Clay Lane) to Abbey Hey in the Neil Thomason Trophy today (2pm).


    Altrincham are away again on Tuesday (7th), at Grimsby Town. Of Altrincham's eight evening kick-offs in their fixtures this season, no fewer than six are away from home; Alfreton (132 miles round-trip), Kidderminster (176), Grimsby (254), Lincoln (190), Telford (132) and Woking (398), which does not make it easy for part-time players or for the supporters to get to games.

    Details of the TASC supporters' transport to Grimsby are here.


    Following Saturday's match, FC Halifax Town report that they "suffered their first home defeat of the campaign as Altrincham stunned the hosts 3-1. The Shaymen went into the game unbeaten in 4 games, meanwhile the visitors were also full of confidence following a 1-0 win over rivals Macclesfield Town in mid-week.

    Town had previously kept 7 clean sheets from the first 13 games so far this season meanwhile Altrincham had only picked up a point on their travels so far. The result is one very few people will have seen coming.

    >Paul Marshall had the game’s first shot on 5 minutes, neither team came out of the traps with great impetus and the game’s first effort reflected this as he scuffed his volley and just wide of the post...

    Altrincham’s goal came on 35 minutes. Nicholas Clee stunned the home crowd with a sweetly-struck shot into the bottom corner. Clee had found space on the edge of the area, he had continuously found space in the half and on this occasion he unleashed a shot to the surprise of everyone, including goalkeeper Matt Glennon who was rooted to the spot as the shot flew past him.

    The Shaymen were unlucky not go into the break on even terms however after Danny Hattersley’s header crashed against the post... The home side struggled to create chances in the second-half just as they had in the first...

    Altrincham doubled their lead in the 75th minute as they again stunned the hosts. Some static Town defending created the opportunity for James Lawrie to extend his side’s lead, he found space in the area as he ‘chested’ and then volleyed the ball into the bottom side of the goal.

    Substitute Kyle Perry extended his side’s lead just minutes later. They Shaymen were pressing hard in the opponents half when the away side caught them on the counter-attack. Altrincham cleared the ball down the field, Marc Roberts missed the ball and Perry raced through on goal and placed a shot that despite Glennon getting a hand to, found the back of the net.

    The home side hit back in the 87th minute, a lofted corner was met by Marc Roberts at the back post who headed into the centre, where Scott Boden rose well and nodded the ball in for his 7th goal of the season. Altrincham goal-keeper Stuart Coburn denied The Shaymen a second goal in the space of a couple of minutes".


    Manchester United report that their Under-18s beat Wolves 2-0 at Altrincham last week. The Club adds that "The Reds have arranged two other fixtures at the Moss Lane venue, against Newcastle United and Liverpool, and there were plenty of positives to take from the night's work...
    • 21 Nov Newcastle (H) 19:00, Altrincham FC
    • 5 Dec Liverpool (H) 19:00, Altrincham FC


    Attendances on Saturday:
      1476 Aldershot Town v Alfreton Town
    • 1610 Barnet v Eastleigh
    • 6162 Bristol Rovers v Dover Athletic
    • 1997 Chester FC v Welling United
    • 1285 Dartford v Grimsby Town
    • 1727 FC Halifax Town v Altrincham
    • 1244 Gateshead v Braintree Town
    • 2117 Kidderminster Harriers v AFC Telford Utd
    • 1329 Macclesfield Town v Forest Green Rovers
    • 920 Nuneaton Town v Lincoln City
    • 730 Southport v Woking
    • 2350 Torquay United v Wrexham


    Saturday, 11 October
    • Aldershot Town v Bristol Rovers
    • Alfreton Town v Torquay United (5.30pm BT Sport)
    • Altrincham v Woking
    • Barnet v Kidderminster Harriers
    • Braintree Town v Southport
    • Dartford v Macclesfield Town
    • Dover Athletic v Chester FC
    • Eastleigh v FC Halifax Town
    • Forest Green Rovers v Gateshead
    • Lincoln City v AFC Telford Utd
    • Welling United v Nuneaton Town
    • Wrexham v Grimsby Town


    The Football Conference say that "Vanarama are delighted to announce that the winner of the Vanarama Conference manager of the month award for September is Darrell Clarke of Bristol Rovers."

    And "Vanarama are delighted to announce that the winner of the Vanarama Conference player of the month award for September is Danny Wright of Gateshead."

    According to NL Pitchero "Nigerian striker Onome Sodje has become Liam Daish's latest signing as boss of Nuneaton Town. Sodje, who played for Daish at Ebbsfleet United, had last played for Albanian outfit Partizani Tirana and has a wealth of experience both in England and further afield.

    Among his other former English clubs are Charlton Athletic, Welling United, York City, Barnsley and Oxford United. It was while at York City that the striker, 26, scored 17 goals in the 2007/08 season in the Conference Premier".


    NL Pitchero says that "Newcastle Town have announced that striker Ben Mills has left the club due to work commitments. Mills joined the club at the beginning of the season from Leek Town for his second spell with Castle".
    4 October 2014


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


    Mark Eckersall, who has arranged the TASC supporters' coach to Halifax on Saturday advises supporters that Altrincham fans "are allocated that quarter of the main stand like on our last visit there". He adds, that for those supporters travelling by car, the "Car park will be open at the top of the hill but the turnstiles obviously are not" as access will be on the Main Stand side of the ground.

    Mark reminds supporters that there is still time to book on the coach by contacting him by e-mail. Details of the coach to Halifax and, on Tuesday, to Grimsby, are here.


    Mike Garnett's data on previous clashes between Alty and FC Halifax Town shows...
    • At Altrincham: P2-W1-D1-L0-F3-A1
    • At Halifax: P3-W2-D0-L1-F10-A10
    • Overall: P5-W3-D1-L1-F13-A11

    The Halifax Courier says that "Neil Aspin is warning his FC Halifax Town side not to take Altrincham lightly at the Shay tomorrow (3.0) after tough back-to-back games on the road. Town took four points and kept two clean sheets from trips to Braintree and Alfreton and face an Altrincham side who have collected just one point away from home.

    But Aspin isn’t expecting an easier ride against the Robins, despite Lee Sinnott’s men winning just three of their first 13 matches. Aspin said, 'Every time we play at home everybody has an expectation we can do well. But we’ve got to treat every game the same. Altrincham will be just as hard as Braintree and Alfreton. We need to be focused and we need to be ready if we want to get the victory'.

    Altrincham striker Damian Reeves has scored twice on his last two games at the Shay and is already on seven goals so far this campaign. Only Woking’s Scott Rendell has scored more in the Conference Premier and Aspin says his watertight defence need to be on their guard against Reeves. He said, 'He’s an obvious threat. Anybody who has scored the amount of goals he’s scored is an obvious threat. He’ll be a test for our centre-halves and they’ve got to be concentrating and be alert'.

    Captain Lois Maynard trained before Wednesday’s 3-0 defeat at Guiseley and could be in contention to play after missing the last three games with a hip injury...

    Aspin said, 'They got a good win against Macclesfield that will do their confidence the power of good, especially scoring in the last minute. That will give them a lift going into the game. It’s a while since we’ve played them but I think they beat us twice in the season we went up, so it’d be nice to put that right'. Altrincham have conceded more away goals than any other side in the division, while their 1-0 win over Macclesfield on Tuesday was their first clean sheet of the campaign.

    Former Town winger Ryan Crowther is among the ranks at Altrincham and has made six appearances for them so far this term. No team has scored more goals or won more games at home in the Conference than Halifax, who could go top of the table if they win and Barnet lose at home to Eastleigh."


    Witton Albion "are pleased to announce that Tony Sullivan has been appointed as First Team manager following Anthony Sheehan’s departure at the weekend. Sullivan joins us from a 4 year stint at Cammell Laird where in 2013 he took them to a NPL First Division North play off final, which they lost on penalties.

    Chairman Mark Harris said, 'I am delighted that Tony has agreed to join us. His brief is simple, to bring stability to the club. This may require a complete overhaul of the playing staff, and will also include ensuring a better flow of talent from our reserve and youth teams into the senior squad'.”


    In advance of Tuesday's match at Grimsby Town, the Lincolnshire club has advised Altrincham that "our concessionary rates offered to senior citizens and junior supporters apply to supporters of a visiting club. Proof of concession must be provided on a Matchday, failure to provide proof will result in the full adult rate of £18 being charged.

    Away supporters will predominantly be accommodated in the covered corner of the Osmond Stand. The club reserves the right to change the seating allocation for away supporters and their location depending on the home support ticket demand. Safety steward directions must be obeyed at all times regardless of the allocation seat number on the Matchday ticket. Away supporter ticket numbers will remain in line with the league regulations with regards to the overall percentage of the stadium’s capacity.

    Visiting Supporters: The all seated Osmond Stand is reserved for away supporters, the capacity of which is 1,954. Adult admission is by payment at turnstiles 5-18 inclusive unless otherwise advised. Concessions must be purchased from the ticket office.

    Matchday Admission:

    • Adults £18.00
    • Juveniles (1-14) £4 (NO EARLYBIRD OFFER)
    • Student (15-21) £12
    • Senior Citizens (65+) £12.00
    Pre-Match Early Bird Admission: Tickets can be purchased from the GTFC Ticket Office at an Early Bird price of £2 off per ticket if purchased by 5.00 pm the day prior to the game. Credit Card bookings are accepted on (01472) 605050

    Wheelchairs/helpers will be charged £18.00 per pair. Applications for wheelchair passes must be made to the ticket Office on (01472) 608026 prior to the day of the game. Disabled supporters will be charged the full admission price. However, those in receipt of DLA (Disability Living Allowance) at the HIGH RATE can have their carer enter for free. Main Stand & Osmond Stand only. Proof of receipt of DLA must be provided at all times. *Please note that a Blue Badge is not classed as proof of receipt of DLA at the Higher Rate*...

    Grimsby Town Football Club has a zero tolerance for supporters discharging pyrotechnic devices. Any supporter found with (used or unused) or caught discharging a pyrotechnic device will be detained by safety stewards and subsequently arrested by Humberside Police. Custodial sentences have been issued to supporters found with these devices by local Crown Courts.

    Supporters' Car and Coach Parking

    Street parking is available within close proximity to the ground.

    Route to Blundell Park: Follow the M180 onto the A180 towards Grimsby. At first roundabout go straight on then follow signs for Cleethorpes (A180) onto Grimsby Road. Blundell Park is situated behind the Drive-Thru McDonalds.

    Our matchday programme is priced at £3.00 and is 68 pages... We have no objection to you bringing your club mascot with you on the day of the game, however, please advise if you will be doing so".


    Joint Press and Media Officer, Brian Flynn, informs us that "BBC Radio Five Live were welcome guests at the J.Davidson Stadium on Tuesday night for the game against Macclesfield Town. Sarah Brett, who will be co-hosting a new show 'Afternoon Edition' with BBC Sport presenter Dan Walker from Monday October 8th (13:00-16:00), interviewed Altrincham Chairman, Grahame Rowley, as well as a number of fans, gathering audio material for an outside broadcast programme from the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday, October 15th.

    Pictured, right is Sarah Brett, who has just joined BBC Radio Five Live, from BBC Radio Foyle in Northern Ireland, with Grahame Rowley in the Boardroom at The J.Davidson Stadium".

    Also, Brian advises us that "The latest 'Sinnott Speaks' article for 'Altrincham Today' is here.


    The Football Conference reports that "Nuneaton Town have agreed a month-long loan deal to bring winger Adam Dawson to the James Parnell Stadium from Leicester City. The 22-year-old midfielder, who can play on either flank, started this season on loan at Notts County. Boro boss Liam Daish hopes Dawson will help address one of the problems he has identified and add a bit of width to Boro's midfield.

    Meanwhile, midfielder Lee Fowler has been rewarded for his fine showings since joining Nuneaton with a contract until the end of the season. He had joined Boro from Welsh Premier outfit Cefn Druids in September after agreeing non-contract terms, but player and club have decided to make the deal more secure, ruling out Fowler, 31, being able to leave if a club made an approach for him."

    The Football League "has concluded its investigation into a complaint made by Bristol Rovers in May relating to an alleged infringement by Wycombe Wanderers of League regulations prohibiting third-party interests in players.

    A Football League spokesman said, 'Having fully investigated the matter, it is our view that the financial transaction in question did not amount to third-party investment or influence over players. Instead, it was a re-organisation of Wycombe’s corporate structure that saw the club reduce its debt to its previous owner. Nonetheless, League regulations require such agreements to be disclosed and approved by The Football League Board before they are concluded. It is clear that this did not happen, although it is equally clear that the Board would have approved this particular arrangement had it been given the opportunity to consider it.

    Having co-operated fully with the investigation throughout, Wycombe Wanderers have admitted this breach of League regulations. The club has been issued with a reprimand that will remain on file for two years, as well as a warning as to its future conduct.”

    According to NL Daily, "Defender Luke Waterfall will remain with Conference club Macclesfield Town for another month after his parent club, Scunthorpe United, agreed to extend his loan. The left-back[?], who has been an immediate favourite at the Moss Rose has played a key part in the club's six clean sheets in the twelve matches so far this season, as well as weighing in with two goals in the 3-0 win over Southport."

    NL Pitchero confirms that "Gateshead have announced the signing of South African midfielder Matty Pattison, subject to international clearance. Pattison, 27, was on the books at Newcastle United as a youngster, making ten senior appearances for the Magpies before switching to Norwich City in 2008. There, he netted three times in forty-one appearances, before returning to his homeland after a solitary season at Carrow Road.

    Since then, Pattison has enjoyed spells with Mamelodi Sundowns, Engen Santos and Bidvest Wits, and has also featured for his country on five occasions. Back in the North East after a six-year absence, Pattison is relishing the chance to play an integral part in the Heed’s promotion push. He said, 'I’ve missed English football. I’ve missed the banter you get. Over in South Africa, it’s not really the same, it’s a different culture there. But I know a few of the lads here, and I should have no problem settling in. I grew up here, and I know what Gateshead are all about'...

    After Carl Finnigan’s move last month, Pattison becomes the second player to arrive at the International Stadium from South Africa... Manager Gary Mills... said, '“There’s no two ways about i, – Matty is the kind of player who will improve us. He’s my type of player. He has great vision, and is technically very, very good. And as a left-footed player, he’ll also bring something a little bit different to the table'".

    "Aldershot Town have signed AFC Wimbledon defender Mark Phillips on a one-month loan deal" according to the BBC. "The 32-year-old centre-back, who has made four appearances since joining the Dons this summer, had a loan spell with the Shots last season. 'Following an injury in pre-season, it was imperative that Mark got a run of competitive games to force his way into the team'," Dons boss Neal Ardley said"

    3 October 2014


    Altrincham FC caterer Richie Bentley reminds spectators that there is free entry for the Manchester United v Wolves under-18 fixture tonight and that you'll be able to buy your refreshments from Richie's outlet inside the J. Davidson Stadium.


    Following training on Thursday, manager Lee Sinnott hopes to have everyone fit for selection. The main doubt, however, concerns a calf problem for striker Steven Gillespie, which forced him to miss last Saturday's game. Both midfielder Peter Cavanagh and defender Tom Marshall are available again, following suspension.


    Phil Taylor has kindly provided a match report on the latest Altrincham FC Ladies' game, a lively encounter with Crewe Alexandra. Next game for the Ladies is this coming Sunday (October 5th) when Chester City are the visitors to Mersey Valley. Admission is free and all support is welcomed.


    Altrincham defender Mike Williams (right) has gone on a one-month loan to Stalybridge Celtic. Mike has had an unfortunate time with injuries since arriving at Alty in summer 2013. A cruciate ligament injury sidelined him in just his sixth league appearance and he missed the rest of the 2013-14 campaign. After working hard on his rehabilitation, Mike started 2014-15 as a first choice defender but was subbed after 45 minutes in the opening match, at Aldershot, and injury has prevented his reappearance on the pitch since then, though he has three times been named as an unused substitute this season.

    Mike arrived at Moss Lane from Kidderminster Harriers, where he had spent the three seasons prior to joining The Robins. After starting his career at Wrexham, where he made 60 league appearances, he was released by the Dragons at the end of 2009–10 season and then signed on at Aggbrough.

    Hopefully a spell at the Bower Fold will be mutually beneficial both to Stalybridge and to Altrincham in allowing Mike to gain competitive match time.


    TASC is running a supporters' coach to Halifax on Saturday, so spare yourself the driving and sign up by ringing the club on 0161 928-1045 (office hours) or, at other times, e-mail Mark Eckersall. Details of the coach to Halifax and, on Tuesday, to Grimsby, are here.


    The Radio Robins commentary on Altrincham v Macclesfield Town is here. After his heroic performance in the closing minutes of the game on Tuesday night, Radio Robins maestro Brian Flynn faces a late fitness test on his vocal chords before the match at Halifax on Saturday.


    Altrincham travel to The Shay on Saturday. Mike Garnett's record of previous clashes between Alty and FC Halifax Town is, as follows:
    • At Altrincham: P2-W1-D1-L0-F3-A1
    • At Halifax: P3-W2-D0-L1-F10-A10
    • Overall: P5-W3-D1-L1-F13-A11

    Meanwhile, FC Halifax Town say that their defender "Marc Roberts is hoping for another good performance against Altrincham on Saturday. 'It won’t be an easy game for us; every team in the league has got good players and on their day can cause problems. We know that we have got to give them a little bit of respect but I expect us to attack from the start and go and put them under pressure and hopefully grab a few goals'.

    ” The Shaymen currently sit second in the Vanarama Conference table, whilst Saturday’s visitors to the Shay sit in the bottom half of the table, in 21st, after just three wins so far this season. Town remain unbeaten on home soil so far this season... Defender Roberts [added], 'We have a good record at home and we have picked up our away form this year and so we know that Altrincham are struggling a little bit and so we will be hoping to put a few goals past them and get another three points'.

    Roberts was part of the defence on Tuesday night that kept a third successive clean sheet in the league... 'If we can give a basis to the strikers, by keeping clean sheets, then I always have confidence that we will score at the other end.. I think we put in a good shift and defended well, we got another clean sheet and with two tough away games, it is always hard to go to Alfreton, so overall it was a good result... Everybody has been putting a shift in so far this season'".

    Halifax add that "The two sides played each other in a pre-season friendly before the start of last season at Altrincham, where Town won 2-0 thanks to Josh Wilson and Lee Gregory. But it has been nearly two years since the Shaymen faced Alty in a competitive encounter,... a first round FA Trophy match. Halifax ran out impressive winners, 5-2...

    Before Halifax got promoted into the Conference Premier, Altrincham was a familiar fixture [for Halifax Town]... Altrincham were a bogey side for Town in the league".


    Peter Fister writes, "As a part of the fundraising programme we are running a Sportsman’s Dinner on Nov 14th at the Cresta Court featuring Robbie Savage and Darren Fletcher of Radio 5’s 606 programme. In the run-up to the dinner, we are also running a ‘Silent Auction’, which will be publicised via the website and forum.

    Auction items available are listed below – we think there’s something for everyone. If you have any item that you would like to donate that can be added to the list, please e-mail or ring the Club on 0161 928-1045.

    If you would like to bid for an item please email via the link above. Bids will close on Friday, November, 14th, and winners will be announced on the Website and forum. We will publish information re bids on a weekly basis.

    1. Premiership referee's shirt signed by all Premiership referees (kindly donated by Anthony Taylor)
    2. AFC signed shirt and hospitality package for up to 8 people at a league match of your choice (subject to space in the Sponsors' Lounge for that game at the time of booking)
    3. Manchester City shirt signed by Sergio Aguera (kindly donated by Paul Salt)
    4. 5 x horse riding lessons at Cheshire Riding School, Comberbach, Northwich (kindly donated by Ian Foden)
    5. Altrincham no. 7 shirt (large, short sleeved, last season) signed by Duncan Watmore.
    6. Boxing glove signed by John Conteh
    7. Hospitality for 4 people at a Stoke City match, including food and drink (kindly donated by Wright’s Pies)
    8. Boxing glove Signed by Ricky Hatton
    9. Hospitality package for 2 people at a Manchester United match of your choice (kindly donated by Manchester United Football Club). Package not available for games v Arsenal, Chelsea, Man City, or Liverpool unless the winner is willing to pay to upgrade the package. Package includes match tickets, champagne on arriva, complimentary bar, three-course meal, stadium car parking, match day programme and gift".


    Torquay United reported that on Tuesday, a "horrible night in Gloucestershire saw United lose 2-1 at Forest Green Rovers but the performance of referee Robert Whitton was in the post-match spotlight. United took the lead through Duane Ofori-Acheampong but a questionable equaliser led to manager Chris Hargreaves asking for an explanation at half-time, a request that led to him being banned from the technical area in the second-half.

    Things got worse when Courtney Richards was shown a second yellow card and a gloomy night was completed by a late winner for the home team. '“It [refereeing] is a difficult job and I can’t really comment on it',” said Chris. 'I am very, very, very, very disappointed and surprised, but that’s life. I will keep my thoughts to myself... I am very surprised that I wasn’t out for the second half, let’s put it that way. I think they were very, very light bookings, to say the least, for Courtney but it’s a steep learning curve for us all, with the league we are in, we have to deal with that. I am proud of the players’ efforts... A couple of decisions, that I don’t want to comment on, led to their goal, but we still have to deal with the ball into the box'".

    Southport "pulled off a stunning away performance and confounded all the critics with a hard fought but thoroughly deserved 1-0 win at Blundell Park. Having not won away for 28 games and 413 long days and going into the game without a goal in 425 minutes you could see why the Grimsby fans were asking how many before kick off.

    Southport lined up with three across the back and were solid throughout with Grimsby creating few openings whilst Southport had a few opportunities to open the scoring. Richard Brodie, who suffered abuse all evening, missed a good first half chance screwing the ball wide after great work and Stephen Brogan also spurned a good opportunity... A short corner was whipped in and not dealt with by the keeper and the villain of the night prodded home on cue to send the travelling fans into raptures and the home supporters into a rage.... but Southport hung on for a well deserved victory and three vital points. There was a bit of argy bargy after the whistle but soon sorted out by the stewards and order was soon restored.

    A word of thanks to the travelling supporters who made the long midweek journey. There is debate about the actual number. The official announcement was 15".

    And Grimsby Town confirm that "Former Mariner, Richard Brodie, scored against his old club as Southport snatched all three points against Grimsby Town...

    John-Lewis replaced Rhys Oates in attack as Town boss Paul Hurst made just one change to the starting XI after Saturday’s win against Chester. Otherwise, it was as you were, with James McKeown in goal behind a defence of Danny Parslow, Toto Nsiala, Shaun Pearson and Carl Magnay. The midfielders were Jack Mackreth, Craig Clay, Scott Brown and Scott Neilson, with John-Lewis partnered by Ross Hannah up front. The Grimsby subs were Oates, Paul Bignot, Craig Disley, Paul Walker and Patrick McLaughlin...

    Grimsby were looking to make it three wins out of three, while their visitors were hoping to stop a poor run of defeats and claim their first away victory in 28 attempts... The Mariners will aim for better things when they travel to Dartford on Saturday." before entertaining Alty next Tuesday.

    At Alfreton Town, "manager Nicky Law cut a frustrated figure following Tuesday night’s 2-0 home defeat against FC Halifax Town. The Reds boss saw his side turn in a very good performance, which just lacked goals, but also saw two more conceded from headers, an affliction which has been affecting results from day one of the season.

    'I am disappointed with the result obviously, especially as I thought we murdered them, played them to death with some good football and were far and away the better team', reflected Law. 'We could have been 2-0 up, but then, when we have had to defend, we have conceded from a long throw and from a cross into the box. We are okay, they are second in the league and we have bossed them. But, when it has come to it, we have not been able to defend in central defence. That’s the difference between the two teams. We have got full backs forward, wide men forward, put together some really top drawer football'...

    Law will now spend the next few days searching for an additional central defender.. 'They (Halifax) have come here and they have defended better than we have. We were the better team but we have lost again. All we want is someone who can head it, stop any potential danger in the first instance, but you try finding one', ended Law. Alfreton are back in action on Saturday when they travel to Aldershot Town. That trip is followed by another lengthy away game at Gateshead next Tuesday. Coupled with last Saturday’s away game at Dover Athletic, the part-time Reds will have travelled over 1,060 miles in ten days by the time they get back from the North East early next Wednesday morning."

    NL Daily tells us that "Michael Bakare, who is a striker for Braintree Town, is expected to be out for up to ten weeks after suffering a broken leg in a road accident. The 27-year-old was a passenger in a car when the accident happened on Monday.

    The forward, who lists Macclesfield Town and Tonbridge Angels amongst his former clubs, joined The Iron in the summer and has scored once in eleven games. Manager Alan Devonshire said, 'He was in a car crash and has a hairline fracture of his leg. I feel sorry for the kid. I've got to really try and get somebody else in if I can'".

    The Grimsby Telegraph tells us that "Grimsby Town boss Paul Hurst is in no doubt that recalling Lenell John-Lewis for the defeat to Southport was the right thing to do... Hurst came under fire by some sections of supporters for changing [a] winning side...

    But Hurst was defiant in his belief that bringing back John-Lewis, at the expense of teenage striker Rhys Oates, was the correct decision. 'Against Chester, Lenny came on and looked really good and strong', he explained. 'Added to that, Rhys Oates had run himself into the ground and almost came to a halt. With him being a young lad, I just wasn't sure what he'd have in the tank if I started him against Southport. Lenny enjoys playing with Ross and has a good partnership with him and I thought that was the best way to go... I had no qualms about bringing him back in.

    I've faced questions about changing one player but, if I'd have changed three or four, I might still have got the same result from them and I'd be even more scrutinised for making even more changes to a winning team'... Hurst hinted that he may be forced to shuffle his pack more often for midweek matches. He added, 'You get performances that were good and you get performances that were bad... However, the reality is that with these midweek games after a Saturday game, I might have consider making more changes'".

    Kidderminster Harriers FC "is pleased to announce that for some weeks there has been positive dialogue with Ernie and Kath Lane. The outcome of these discussions is that Ernie and Kath have decided to continue their financial support to the Club in an effort to retain the current playing squad, in the hope that promotion to the Football League can be achieved this season. Costs and budgets will continue to be closely monitored, and any cost savings made, where appropriate, to ensure the long-term financial sustainability of the Club."

    More comes from the Kidderminster Shuttle which says that "Chairman Ken Rae hopes Kidderminster Harriers’ financial woes have been eased after wealthy husband and wife duo Kath and Ernie Lane pledged to back the club for the ‘foreseeable future’... This week’s events are a remarkable turn around in the relationship between the Aggborough outfit and the Lanes.

    Harriers had originally taken legal action against them in the summer... The benefactors paid the wages for September and are expected to do the same this month. Rae said, 'We’ve had several talks with Kath and Ernie and we’ve buried the hatchet, not that there was a hatchet to be buried. They will continue to support the club financially for the foreseeable future'.

    The chairman also confirmed the board and main shareholders Barry Norgorve, Neil Savery and Jane Murrant, who own 52 per cent of the shares, turned down an offer from businessman Stephen Cleeve several weeks ago. The trio will have the deciding say on any proposed takeover of Kidderminster. Cleeve, who was banned for eight years as a company director, had previously been linked with a move for Wrexham in 2011".

    2 October 2014


    Alty’s joint press and media officer John Edwards spoke to manager Lee Sinnott half-an-hour after Tuesday night’s rousing 1-0 derby win over Macclesfield at the J.Davidson Stadium. Here is the interview in full.

    Q: You wanted a positive response to the Welling defeat, Lee? You couldn’t have hoped for much better, could you?

    A: A lot of boxes were ticked tonight, most notably our first clean sheet of the campaign and putting on a show in a local derby that means a hell of a lot to our supporters. I read that the last time this fixture was played, it ended with Macclesfield being promoted and Altrincham relegated. We have waited an awful long time for the chance to put that right, and it’s pleasing that we took it in such convincing style. As manager, you have to detach yourself from that a little bit and just concentrate on the here and now. And the fact is, the performance on Saturday (against Welling) hurt me personally, because of the belief I have in these players. I said to them a few moments ago that, just as you will get criticism when it is due, you will be praised when it is deserved. I’ve nothing but praise for them after that. Everything I asked them to do on Saturday, they didn’t do, but everything I asked from them tonight, they delivered, and full credit to them for that. Right from the first whistle, they were at it. Sometimes, local derbies can be a letdown and a bit boring, but this one was on a knife-edge for the whole 90 minutes. Both teams had opportunities, with one falling Reevesie’s way in the first half and Stuart Coburn making a great save not long before we scored. And, of course, the goal that settled it was a wonderful strike from James Lawrie. I keep on telling my lads, James (left), Simon Richman, Nicky Clee, all of them, that if they pull the trigger, I will never have a go at them. It’s when a shooting opportunity is passed up that I get annoyed. Full credit to James, he caught it so sweetly on the volley, and it was a goal that deserved to win any game. It was a tight encounter that could have gone either way, but I don’t think anyone can question our right to the points.

    Q: It wasn’t James’s first attempt on goal. One or two failed to trouble the keeper, but he kept persevering. Credit to him for that?

    A: If you keep knocking on the door, it is going to open. I will be honest with you, I do find James infuriating at times, because I see him getting into great positions in training and getting shots away, but we don’t always see that in games. When we do, there you go, it’s in the back of the net, and everyone is rightly hailing it as a wonder goal. Sometimes, I think he has to be a bit more selfish. There were four or five times tonight when he had a pop at goal, and quite right, too. That’s what I want to see. It can be difficult for the keeper when a bit of rain is making the ball zip off the surface. When it’s greasy on top and the ball is coming at him quickly from 20-odd yards, it’s hard, so go on, have a go.

    Q: So is that his best position, do you think, just behind the striker?

    A: Ask any creative player where they would like to operate, and the answer would be in the middle of the park, just behind the centre- forward, where they can get on the ball. It’s their favourite position, but with that comes responsibility. He has played it before, of course, just before Duncan Watmore got swopped from the right wing into the centre. It would have been December nearly two years ago, and James had started that season just behind Reevesie. It was the role he played tonight, and he was doing really well. Then he got injured, and the way Duncan moved across and just took off playing through the middle is something few of us will ever forget. As a consequence, James’ opportunities there became a bit more limited, but it’s a position I know he can play, and I thought he grew into the game tonight as it wore on. It’s all about belief, and I believe in him, as I do in all of them. If I didn’t, I’d have culled them in the summer. But I decided on evolution, rather than revolution, and I explained that to them before the game. In a way, I suppose I wanted a bit of payback, and they certainly paid me back.

    Q: Clearly then, the players still here from last season were kept on because you believed they could perform at this level?

    A: Yes, I firmly believe they can, and I also believe there is more to come from them, because they can pass the ball better than that and also execute better. But, after Saturday, the performance they put in tonight was a big plus, a massive plus.

    Q: We have already shown this season that we can pass the ball and play nice football, but tonight it seemed like the lads were playing as if their lives depended on it? Did you see it that way?

    A: Well, that was the sort of message we put to them after Saturday’s game, and even before kick-off tonight. You could perhaps class it as a semi-rollicking, compared to Saturday. On Saturday, in this changing room, our thoughts were being expressed very vociferously. Seventy-two hours later, they were being expressed not quite so vociferously. But they were still delivered with a hard edge, knowing that, 45 minutes later, the players had to go out and perform in a huge derby that was being staged for the first time in nearly 20 years. It was the perfect time to give that speech, because you hope they will react to it straightaway. Fair play to them, they did. I just reminded them what had happened against Welling and what was said in the aftermath, how they had got a rollicking from myself and Neil Tolson at half-time and again at full-time. It would probably be classed as a tough love conversation, and it finished with a reminder that I believed in them but they needed to show me why. It needs stark truths sometimes. We are not playing at it in the Conference. This league is damned hard. We know it’s hard, and it certainly is when it smacks you in the face. So we either front it up, or we shy away and cower in a corner. No team in my name will ever cower in a corner.

    Q: The boys put such a lot into the 90 minutes, but it’s got to be more of the same at Halifax on Saturday, hasn’t it?

    A: That’s what this league is all about. We can’t just stroll around. We’re not a team who would normally do that anyway, but I’ve just told the players that no matter where this season takes us, just remember two things .. Welling and tonight. Within 72 hours of each other, we have had two complete polar opposites of what I want, and what they want as well. Sometimes you have to deliver clear messages, and I made it crystal clear to them that Saturday was the epitome of what I don’t want from them – strolling around and not putting tackles in – while tonight was the epitome of what I do want. We looked a defeated unit on Saturday, whereas tonight I saw real spirit. We will not be defeated boomed out of every one of them. I worked for a great manager in Neil Warnock, and you would run through a brick wall for him and only ask why afterwards. You would just go straight through it. That’s what I want from these players, because it is a hard league, a demanding league, and you have to have that about you.

    Q: There did seem to be another side to the players tonight. It was just a phenomenal effort, wasn’t it?

    A: Yes it was, but that is another message we have put up on the board for them, that supporters won’t tolerate any lack of commitment or desire. I was watching them tonight, flying around the pitch and putting tackles in they had no right to. Just when it looked like the ball had gone, they’d stretch and get a foot to it. Supporters love to see that, and so do I. The commitment was there for all to see, but that’s not something I hope for. It’s something I expect.

    Q: On that point, what about Jake Moult (right)? He didn’t lose a single aerial challenge all night, did he?

    A: No. I don’t think he did. He and Ringo (Simon Richman) were outstanding in midfield, Sean Williams never stopped and Nicky Clee caused problems, as ever. The lads at the back were outstanding as well. In fact, everyone was, from one to 11.

    Q: The clean sheet must count as a bonus after three heavy defeats?

    A: If you’re looking at goals against, you would have to include Eastleigh, because, well as we played, we let three in, meaning it was 16 goals conceded in four games, going into tonight. Before that, our goals against record was not too bad, compared to those around us. But then you get into a sequence of 3, 4, 5, 4, and it knocks you a bit. There’s no doubt about it, a clean sheet is very welcome.

    Q: Stuart Coburn (left) seemed to struggle with a couple of balls into the box in the second half but then pulled off a save that was right out of the top drawer?

    A: Well, I don’t know if the lights caused a problem with handling, because those balls were driven in head high, rather than the usual elevation. But I know one thing. That save was absolutely magnificent. The shot was hit hard and low and from fairly close range, and to get down like that and keep it out with such a strong hand was exceptional.

    It just underlined what I keep saying – we’ve got two number one keepers. They’ve both got strengths and weaknesses. Stuart’s experience shone through with that save, the way he reacted and got down so swiftly to his right, exactly where he thought the shot was going. When you consider how firmly it was struck and how important it was at that late stage, it was outstanding from Stuart. It could have been the difference between the game finishing 1-0 and 0-1.

    Q: How pleased were you for our supporters, considering how much this game meant to them after so long?

    A: They helped make it a great night, reminiscent of Brackley in the play-offs a couple of years ago and Guiseley at the end of last season. Turning up in such numbers, getting behind the team and creating such a vibrant atmosphere and, finally, celebrating a late winning goal like that made it a memorable night. No-one likes being beaten four or five nil, but they have been patient, and I’m so pleased we gave them something more like it tonight. People will have read in the papers about recent results, but anyone turning up tonight will surely feel they would want to come again. I know about the rivalry and what happened last time this derby took place, so I’m delighted it went our way this time. It’s a long time to wait to get your own back, but hopefully it was worth it.

    I thought it was such an exciting game, and, of course, it was rounded off by a wonderful goal. I said to the players afterwards that praise was as fitting tonight as criticism was on Saturday, but we move on to the Halifax game now and make sure we focus on that. That is important, because this league is split into four. There is a top group pushing for the title, another aiming for the play-offs, another in the comfort zone and a fourth in the battle zone, fighting to avoid the drop. Our aim is not merely to survive in the battle zone. We want to get out of it and move up, but you need certain attributes to do that. We showed them in abundance tonight, and that’s why I’ve told the players Welling and Macclesfield are two names we must remember for the rest of the season.

    One hopefully will act as a safeguard against any repeat of last Saturday, while the other is a reminder of what we are capable of. It’s a reminder of the siege mentality you need sometimes, a willingness to run through that brick wall. I know they have the talent, otherwise I would have shoved them out in the summer and gone for revolution, rather than evolution. I do believe in them, and if they show the fight that was evident tonight, the talent will shine through. We are up against full-time teams, whereas my lads are up in the morning for work.

    The physical and mental requirements are a lot greater than last season. It is a big step up, but we know what is needed and have formulated a plan to meet the challenge head-on. If we focus on that, we will move forward and progress. We were playing so well just three weeks ago at Alfreton, where we deserved a four or five goal winning margin, but suddenly we took an uppercut on the chin and wobbled a bit. Tonight was the chance to land a blow of our own and get back on course, and we grabbed it with both hands.

    Q: Finally, any injury news?

    A: Steven Gillespie felt a bit of tightness in his calf, and that’s why he wasn’t involved tonight. We’ll monitor him over the next few days.


    Altrincham FC's Youth Education Programme team travelled to Harrogate on Wednesday and emerged with a fine 4-1 win. The starting eleven were Joe Conway, Jimi Folagbade, Sam Heathcote, Matthew Johnson, Abner Kiba-Bolama, Aaron Longley, Cole McGrath, Jude Oyibo, Kyle Ross, Ioannis Stouppis, Callum Walker. Substitutes: Ben Reid, Alex Robbins, Will Smith-Cunnington


    The Altrincham FC Saturday Yankee produced three Treble winners last wek, with code 2712. The jackpot now stands at £1,750, which can be won for a £1 stake.


    Macclesfield Town report that the "Silkmen [were] beaten by last-minute wondergoal... The Silkmen went close as the game approached half time as a trademark Gnahoua run saw a low shot which was parried by Coburn in the Alty goal, but he recovered to gather under pressure from Fairhurst. Arthur had another good chance as a loose ball in the box fell to him, but he hit the ball over the bar as the game entered an uneventful minute of added time.

    The second half was a slow burner with a long range effort from Moult a rare moment of action before Taylor was forced into his first serious action of the game when a drive from Clee needed to be palmed wide for a corner which was headed clear... But it was Altrincham who found the net as a throw in to Lawrie was hit on the turn and looped over Taylor. A last throw of the dice for the Silkmen as Chris Holroyd was replaced by Malachi Lavelle-Moore, but there was no time for him to have an impact".


    The Football Conference reports "BT Sports' selection for LIVE screening of a further Vanarama Conference match to take place on Sunday, 16th November when FC Halifax Town will host Woking FC at The Shay. The match kicks off at 2pm and will be broadcast via BTSport2... This particular fixture was originally scheduled for Saturday, 15th November."

    According to NL Pitchero, "Barrow AFC have confirmed the signing of left-sided player Andy Owens from AFC Telford United on a month's loan. Owens joined the Bucks in June 2013 from Mansfield Town, re-uniting with manager Liam Watson, who signed him on loan from the Stags when in charge at Southport. The 24-year-old, who was transfer-listed by Watson last week after scoring just once in nine games, will be drafted straight into the squad".

    Bulls' News reports that "Kidderminster say that former Directors Ernie and Kath Lane have agreed to continue their funding of the club after negotiations. The pair left the board in the summer with the Harriers launching legal action to recover sums that the pair had agreed to hand over. However, that action has now been dropped after a settlement."

    Telford say they will need to generate another £300,000 a season, the equivalent of 650 extra fans to each game, to become competitive in the Conference Premier. The Bucks have turnover of £850,000 but are competing against sides with two or three times the sum available".

    Alty travel to Lincolnshire on Tuesday, from where the Grimsby Telegraph tells us that "Former Grimsby Town joint-boss Rob Scott has labelled Grimsby Town's owner as a ‘clown’ during a Twitter tirade. As reported, Scott was involved in a lengthy discussion with Town fans following the club’s disappointing 1-0 defeat to Southport last night and appeared to take a swipe at director John Fenty, the club's former chairman.

    Scott was suspended after just six games of last season before eventually being sacked with a club statement citing 'circumstances relating to gross misconduct'. Seemingly commenting on his departure, Scott posted, 'Chairmen don’t like honesty, they think they can fool the fans'. Asked by one supporter for the full story behind his exit, he replied, 'Unfortunately, I can’t but, believe me it’s not half as interesting as some of the rumours I’ve heard'.

    Another of Scott's tweets read, 'Wouldn’t go back to the clown who owns the club, that’s the problem for GTFC'".

    Meanwhile the Grimsby Telegraph reports that "Martin Foyle was surprised Grimsby Town didn’t pose his Southport side more problems last night. The lowly Sandgrounders left Blundell Park with their first away victory in 28 matches and an incredible 413 days.

    And the man who was once heavily linked with the Mariners hot seat believes his side were well worth their win, even with only 16 fit players to choose from. The former Southampton and Port Vale striker remarked, 'Was it backs to the wall? No. I thought it was a very even game. We played some fantastic stuff at the right times, defended wholeheartedly as a unit and to come away with a 1-0 win from a place like Blundell Park is just a fantastic achievement. I was actually quite pleased to see us get past the 15-minute mark without conceding. But what problems did they cause us in the first half?

    They just had that one chance in about the 45th minute when John-Lewis got down the side of Clayton McDonald, but other than that they didn’t hurt us... Tthere were a few dodgy decisions from the referee... We only had 16 fit players, but they all got on with it and their attitudes from day one have never been a problem. I thought Matthew Challoner and David Fitzpatrick did great jobs on two very tricky and exciting wingers... We played that formation for a reason; to try and keep ourselves in it'"

    FA CUP

    FA Cup 2QR replay results on Tuesday included:
    • AFC Fylde 2 - 1 Bradford (Park Avenue) AET (0 - 0 at the end of normal time)
    • Sheffield 1 - 3 Warrington Town
    • Salford City 0 - 1 Ashton United
    • Mickleover Sports 3 - 0 Bedworth United
    • Norwich United 0 - 2 Barwell
    • Stourbridge 4 - 1 Blaby & Whetstone Athletic
    • Lowestoft Town 5 - 0 Coalville Town

    1 October 2014


    A superb 90th minute 35-yard Lawrie volley from a Densmore throw won the game... See the goal here with Brian Flynn's inimitable commentary!

    Match report here

    Tuesday 30 September

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


    Barry Pikesley's article from the Robins' Review for the match against Welling last Saturday is inspired by Kate Bush. See if you can spot the 21 allusions to the Welling chanteuse in his article.

    The Radio Robins recording of the Alty v Welling United game is here.


    Macclesfield Town report that "defender Andy Halls has been brought in to the England C squad to face Turkey in the International Challenge Trophy Group A clash against Turkey U23 on October 14th. England have lost 1-0 to Slovakia U23 so far in the group after reaching the semi-final of the last competition before losing 1-0 to this month's opposition, Turkey."

    Before Tuesday's game, Macc also says "Macclesfield Town take on Altrincham this evening. The first league meeting for 17 years, it’s the longest gap between meetings in the 110 year history of Cheshire derbies.

    The first came in the Manchester League on February 13th 1904, and it was unlucky for Alty as the Silkmen won that first ever meeting 6-1 with Silkmen goals from Clews (1+pen), Williams (2), Reece and Barnett. The result in the away match is lost in the mists of time, but Alty enjoyed their own 6-1 win a year after. (If anyone does know the missing result, please let our friends over at Silkmen Archives know)".

    Alty historian Mike Garnett's record of the many clashes between Altrincham and Macclesfield is here and differs from the above.

    Macc continue "The Manchester League years between 1904 and 1911 saw the sides meeting on 18 occasions with the 17 known results seeing seven wins for the Silkmen, eight for the Robins and two draws. The two defeats in 1906/7 particularly key as Alty on the League one point ahead of the Silkmen, before the Silkmen beat Altrincham twice in 1910/11 as Macc lifted the trophy ahead of the Robins in second.

    Moving into the Lancashire Combination until the start of the First World War, there were another five meetings with the Silkmen narrowly edging the league clashes, winning two and drawing one, whilst Alty also enjoyed victory in the FA Cup Second Qualifying Round in 1914 shortly before the sport was suspended.

    It was 1919 when organised football returned and it was in the shape of the Cheshire League for both clubs where they would share a division for half a century. In total, the sides faced off 109 times, with the Robins just shading an even five decades. But it didn’t start out even as the Silkmen won just one of the first 14 meetings, albeit with a memorable 6-3 victory at Moss Lane.

    Despite the poor start, the Silkmen went on to win 37 matches, with Alty notching a total of 42 wins alongside 30 draws. There were highlights for both sides, such as Alty’s 8-2 win at Moss Lane in 1926, a 6-1 Macc win in 1931 in a season when the Silkmen lifted the title just three points ahead of the Robins, Albert Valentine’s haul of six goals in a 7-2 win in 1934, or a thrilling Cheshire Senior Cup semi-final, played at Stalybridge, which the Silkmen won 5-4 in 1960 on the way to winning the trophy. Macc signed off from the Cheshire League Cheshire Derbies with 2-0 wins home and away on the way to their Cheshire League title as well as a 3-2 aggregate victory in the North West Floodlit Cup final. There had been more key tussles in

    Both clubs then went on to become founder members of the Northern Premier League the following season and cup draws conspired for the clubs to meet 16 times in the first three seasons with the Silkmen winning seven of the clashes in the NPL, Floodlit Cup, FA Cup, League Cup and Cheshire Senior Cup with Alty picking up four victories between the summers of 1968 and 1971.

    The sides would only be in the same division for 11 seasons before Alty became founder members of the Football Alliance, but they managed to meet 40 times, with Macc taking the win on 12 occasions and Alty 17 with 11 draws. The biggest wins were less spectacular meanwhile, with the Silkmen’s 3-0 win in 1970 and Alty’s 5-1 on Boxing Day 1978 the most comprehensive.

    It took Macc until 1987 to reach the top table of Non-League Football, and after losing 1-0 in the General Motors Acceptance Corporation Challenge Cup Round Two, they were welcomed to League action by home and away wins in their first season. A Steve Burr hat-trick sealing a 3-1 win at Moss Lane before John Askey scored the winner in a 1-0 victory at the Moss Rose.

    After Altrincham had enjoyed the upper hand in previous competitions, the Silkmen were finally on top in Conference football. After those opening victories, Macc’s successful 90’s saw a run of just two defeats in the last 15 meetings, winning ten. This included the memorable 4-0 win at Moss Lane in 1995 which was Macc’s biggest winning margin in the fixture. Alty had, however, also enjoyed some big wins, 4-0 in the FA Cup Q4 replay in 1988 and 5-3 in the Conference in 1991, both at Moss Lane. In all the Silkmen won 18 to Alty’s 10 during the first set of Conference years.

    The Silkmen ended the meetings strongly, but the final meeting, at the Moss Rose towards the end of the promotion season, saw Alty snatch a point at the Moss.

    Full head to head record: P208 W76 D52 L79 (+ One ‘Unknown’)...

    There have of course been numerous players to have represented both sides. There are two in the Silkmen’s current squad as Paul Turnbull spent time at Moss Lane on loan in 2008 with Luke Waterfall also playing once for the club in the same year"


    The Football Conference confirms that "On Tuesday, 14th October 2014 at Basaksehir Fatih Terim Stadium, Istanbul (4pm) England `C` will take on Turkey in Group A of the International Challenge Trophy. Manager Paul Fairclough has announced his main squad.

    Jordan Roberts (Aldershot Town), Andy Yiadom (Barnet), Lee Brown & Tom Parkes (Bristol Rovers), Jamie Butler (Concord Rangers), Marc Roberts & Matthew Pearson (FC Halifax Town), James Norwood & Elliott Frear (Forest Green Rovers), Callum Kitscha (Hayes & Yeading United), Cheyenne Dunkley (Kidderminster Harriers), Andy Halls (Macclesfield Town), James Comley (St Albans City), Jake Gallagher (Welling United), Josh Payne (Woking), Louis Moult (Wrexham) "

    According to the Football Conference, "As Liam Daish, the new manager of Nuneaton Town, looks to shuffle the pack to free up much-needed funds in a bid to bring in his own style of players, he has released big defender Exodus Geohaghon with immediate effect... Daish has arranged a game for players looking for a club in a bid to push for a first-team place in the side and in doing so impress the manager".

    NL Daily tells us that "Plans for Conference North club Gloucester City's new stadium at Meadow Park have been recommended for approval by city council planning officers. But The Tigers will have to pay the Environment Agency £75,000 towards flood resilience measures in Gloucester in order to get the thumbs up to progress.

    The outline plans for the 4,183 capacity stadium will go before the city council's planning committee on October 7th at 6pm...

    The £75,000 fee was placed by the Environment Agency as the building work will slightly reduce the overall flood storage capacity on the land where the stadium will sit. The plans would also be subject to an extensive list of forty-five conditions that will need to be met.. Planning officer Caroline Townley said that the decision to recommend the plans was 'a finely balanced one'".

    Still in the West Country, "Bristol Rovers striker Ryan Brunt will sign for York City tomorrow on a one-month emergency loan deal. Ryan joined the Conference club from Stoke City in January 2013 on a two-and-a-half year deal... and went on to score five goals in eighteen league appearances before the end of the season.

    Injury restricted his appearances to fourteen in all competitions last season... However he has found it difficult to break into the side, and has made just four appearances to date. Manager Darrell Clarke commented, 'Ryan has been to see me on a couple of occasions regarding the possibility of going out on loan and, at our last meeting, we agreed that it would be beneficial for him. I am unable to offer him regular football here at the moment, something he will get with York'".

    In the Daily Post, we learn that "Wrexham manager Kevin Wilkin has rubbished speculation linking him with struggling Tranmere Rovers, insisting he has plenty of unfinished business at the Racecourse...

    'All I would say is that I love it here and the job I am trying to do', he said... 'And I’ve no interest in anything outside of that at the moment'...

    The Racecourse boss added, 'We probably had more clear-cut chances against Chester (than on Saturday) and we’re wondering how we lost that game, but that’s football. We need to realise that when opportunities present themselves it’s about being greedy and taking them...

    Club skipper Dean Keates was named man of the match on Saturday after his first 90-minute outing of the season, but Wilkin believes it’s still early days for the veteran midfielder. 'The measure of whether Dean Keates had the effect that myself and people say he can have on us will depend on what happens on Tuesday and on the following Saturday', he said. 'His organisation and game management coming to the fore is something we’ve missed from day one but other players have come in and done very well'...

    Kidderminster manager Gary Whild was in positive mood following his side’s win at the weekend and hoped to carry the momentum into tonight’s clash... Whild hinted defender Jamie Grimes could be in contention to return this evening".

    We learn from the Grimsby Telegraph that "Assistant boss Chris Doig hopes Grimsby Town's early-season injury hell is now behind them... Saturday's clash against Chester saw the return of both Lenell John-Lewis and Nathan Arnold from his long-term lay-off. Jon-Paul Pittman is still a few weeks away after tearing his hamstring.

    But with Aswad Thomas steadily recovering from his fractured fibula, Doig hopes the prospect of having a near fully-fit squad isn't too far away. He told the Telegraph, 'I don't think we've had two games back-to-back where we've been able to say "that's our first-team squad"... once we do that, I think we'll be a match for anyone in the league'...

    Arnold marked his return by thumping home the third goal against the Blues. And Doig tentatively hopes that means that the on-loan Cambridge winger has overcome those setbacks".

    The NW Evening Mail says that "Darren Edmondson is confident [ex-Alty man] Andy Owens will inject further strength into Barrow AFC’s forward line if his proposed loan move from AFC Telford United is driven through. The versatile 24-year-old held talks with the Bluebirds boss on Thursday night and Edmondson will seek discussions with Telford early this week in a bid to finalise a loan deal which may be more than one month in length.

    But there is still work to do with Barrow yet to discover if Telford will accept their loan proposal, including how much they are willing to contribute to the player’s wage... Edmondson says the ex-Southport man resembles AFC hit-man Andy Cook... Said Edmondson, 'He runs channels, he holds the ball up well and he’s a big boy. He has got a great work ethic. He has got a very good left foot and he’s also versatile in what he does'".