an unofficial website

November, 2014

30 November 2014


Above: Mike Ripley captures Damian Reeves's winner on Saturday. More of Mike's images are on his website.

For the second time in a week Altrincham came from behind to take all three points against a team higher than them in the table....

Match report here.


Altrincham have now reached the half-way point in the league season and their record is...

P23 W8 D4 L11 F26 A41 GD-15 PTS 28 POS 17th

There are still four teams that we have not played this season; Chester, Dover Athletic, Forest Green Rovers and Torquay United.

It has been a strange season, in some respects, so far; in our seven matches against teams in the current bottom six, we have won one, drawn one and lost five (gaining 4 points). Paradoxically, in seven games against teams in the top eight we have won 3, drawn 2 and lost 2, gaining 11 points.


After Saturday's match Lee Sinnott told the NL Paper, "We were like two boxers fighting each other to a standstill. Kidderminster made it really hard for us and that meant our passing was only good in pockets. But we found the way to open them up for two good goals. Overall, I think our league form is good even though we can still improve".

On the contrary, Harriers' boss Gary Whild thought "It's not rocket science to know we conceded two poor goals. We scored a great goal, despite not being at our best, and that gave us a lift but Lawrie got in too easily for the first and the smallest man in the box headed the winner. It's not good enough".

Kidderminster Harriers reported that "Marvin Johnson’s stunning finish couldn’t inspire Harriers to victory as Altrincham came from behind to take all three points... and end Harriers’ three-game unbeaten run...

Again, boss Whild left his side unchanged after the same starting XI harvested four points against Grimsby Town and Wrexham, while striker Reece Styche returned from his loan spell at Tamworth to take up a place on the bench... Johnson gave Harriers the lead in sublime fashion only five minutes into the second half, capping off a well-worked attacking move with his fifth goal of the season... The winger unleashed a scorching left-footed strike from around 20 yards out which rippled the back of the net in the top right-hand corner.

Altrincham equalised just seven minutes later however, as Lawrie notched his fourth league goal of the campaign. In a move that the hosts had threatened to implement earlier on in the second half, Jake Moult played in Lawrie on the left of the area, who was well-placed to slot a low effort past Danny Lewis..

The Robins sneaked the upper hand four minutes from time. A cross from Adam Griffin found the head of Reeves, who guided his 11th league goal into the bottom corner... The home side started both halves brightly... before Harriers broke the deadlock. Instead of building on their advantage, however, they allowed Altrincham to try and find a way back into the game, which they did, as good chances by Simon Richman and Havern sandwiched Lawrie’s equaliser... It wasn’t to be for Harriers who, as Whild summed up in his post-match interview, 'shot themselves in the foot'".

The Kidderminster Shuttle adds that Kidderminster "were below par after a series of good displays in November... The first half was an evenly-matched affair which featured few chances. Altrincham had started well and forced Harriers custodian Danny Lewis into a triple save in the 11th minute... But Harriers went onto take control, but found a home side who were happy to sit back and attack on the break, hard to break down.

For all their pressure, the Aggborough outfit did no really test keeper Stuart Coburn... The hosts edged ahead in the 86th minute, getting between the centre backs to head home from a good left wing cross from Adam Griffin".


Michael Welch, forever remembered at Moss Lane for scoring with a 70 yard freekick against Crawley Town, is now Assistant manager at Lostock Gralam FC. The goal is here.


Vanarama Conference review says of Alty's next opponents that "A single goal from John Goddard was enough to give Woking a hard-fought win over Braintree Town at Kingfield to help the Cards bounce back from Tuesday's 3-1 defeat at Grimsby. The only goal of the game after 37 minutes when skipper Josh Payne put in a free-kick from the left which caused havoc in the visitors' box before the ball fell to Goddard, who hit it down into the turf from 15 yards and into the far corner. The final whistle was greeted with relief from the majority of the 1,622 spectators as the Cards climbed to fourth in the table."

And our opponents next Saturday, "Forest Green Rovers got back to winning ways against struggling Dartford at the New Lawn and are now just two points below the top five. Rovers opened the scoring in the 5th minute from the game's first corner, central defender Eddie Oshodi meeting Rob Sinclair's delivery with a firm header that left Darts` keeper Jason Brown helpless. It was precisely the fillip Ady Pennock's side needed after four successive draws...

Dartford's influence and confidence swelled as the first half progressed, and they were unlucky not to draw level on 41 minutes when skipper Elliot Bradbrook's header from a Lee Noble corner struck the top of the bar... On 70 minutes Rovers doubled their lead when Sinclair waltzed past Tom Bender and crossed for James Norwood to side-foot home his 10th goal of the season.

Bender curled wide from 20 yards before his side pulled one back on 82 minutes, the goal coming while Bennett was off the field receiving treatment for a hand injury".

More news of Alty's next opponents comes in the Daily Gazette, which says that "Braintree Town manager Alan Devonshire felt his side deserved something from their trip to Woking...

Devonshire made two changes from the side that started in their last game against Welling, with Mitch Brundle coming for the injured Ryan Peters and skipper Kenny Davis coming back in for Matt Paine, who dropped to the bench... However, the breakthrough did come at the other end...

Devonshire said, 'I’m gutted for them because I felt we deserved something out of the game. There are no excuses, it was a very even game. They nicked a goal and we didn’t, that was the difference'”.

From the other side, Get Surrey says that "A single goal from John Goddard was enough to give Woking a hard-fought win over Braintree Town. The 21-year-old's first half strike gave the Cards a 1-0 win and bounce back from Tuesday night's 3-1 defeat at Grimsby Town.

Manager Garry Hill named top-scorer Scott Rendell as a substitute following his injury scare in midweek while Ross Worner started in goal having been re-signed on another loan deal from AFC Wimbledon on Thurday. The final whistle was greeted by cheers from the majority of the 1,622 spectators as the Cards climb to fourth in the Vanarama Conference.

Woking had the best of the first half and created several chances... The only goal of the game after 37 minutes. Josh Payne, who captained the side, put in a free kick from the left which caused havoc in the visitors' box before the ball fell to Goddard who hit it down into the turf from 15 yards and into the far corner. The Cards were unable to reproduce their free-flowing attacking football for much of the second half which was a scrappier affair as both sides failed to keep the ball...

Rendell came on with a little over five minutes to go and nearly got on the scoresheet but Nick Hamann in the Braintree goal kept hold of his header."


  • AFC Telford Utd 1-1 Grimsby Town (gate 1198)
  • Altrincham 2-1 Kidderminster Harriers (1019)
  • Barnet 3-1 Macclesfield Town (1610)
  • Bristol Rovers 2-0 Welling United (5791)
  • FC Halifax Town 2-0 Alfreton Town (1198)
  • Forest Green Rovers 2-1 Dartford (1148)
  • Gateshead 1-2 Dover Athletic (1111)
  • Lincoln City 1-0 Southport (2034)
  • Nuneaton Town 3-2 Chester FC (973)
  • Torquay United 2-0 Eastleigh (1862)
  • Woking 1-0 Braintree Town (1622)
  • Wrexham 3-1 Aldershot Town (2464)
  • Through the Years by Howard Watts


Altrincham enter the FA Trophy on 13 December; the draw is on Monday. FA Trophy results on Saturday were...
  • Boston United 2 - 1 Workington
  • AFC Fylde 3 - 2 Hednesford Town
  • Gainsborough Trinity 2 - 1 Brackley Town
  • Stockport County 2 - 1 Colwyn Bay
  • Bradford (Park Avenue) 3 - 1 Leamington
  • King's Lynn Town 0 - 1 Harrogate Town
  • Halesowen Town 2 - 0 Gresley
  • Worcester City 3 - 0 Barrow AFC
  • Chorley 2 - 2 Stalybridge Celtic
  • Tamworth 3 - 4 Hyde
  • North Ferriby United 6 - 2 Mickleover Sports
  • Spennymoor Town 3 - 0 Chasetown
  • Barwell 1 - 1 FC United Of Manchester
  • Solihull Moors 2 - 1 Redditch United
  • Guiseley AFC 0 - 0 Rushall Olympic
  • Banbury United 0 - 3 Ramsbottom United
  • Sholing 1 - 2 Farnborough
  • Concord Rangers 4 - 0 Boreham Wood
  • Weymouth 3 - 1 Cray Wanderers
  • Merthyr Town 3 - 3 Didcot Town
  • Bedford Town 0 - 0 Weston Super Mare
  • Oxford City 6 - 1 Lewes
  • Truro City 1 - 2 Hemel Hempstead Town
  • Tonbridge Angels 0 - 0 Bromley
  • Bishop's Stortford 4 - 3 Chelmsford City
  • Eastbourne Borough 1 - 2 Lowestoft Town
  • St Neots Town 1 - 1 AFC Sudbury
  • Ebbsfleet United 1 - 0 Hendon
  • Maidenhead United 1 - 0 Metropolitan Police AET (2 - 1 at the end of normal time)
  • Basingstoke Town 1 - 0 Whitehawk
  • Havant & Waterlooville 2 - 1 East Thurrock United
  • Peacehaven & Telscombe 0 - 4 Gosport Borough
  • Wimborne Town 4 - 2 AFC Hornchurch
  • St Albans City 1 - 1 Wealdstone
  • Staines Town 3 - 3 Poole Town
  • Burgess Hill Town 3 - 2 Leatherhead
  • Hereford United 1 - 2 Sutton United

29 November 2014


You can follow the Altrincham v Kidderminster Harriers match (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.

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Brian Flynn adds that "Radio Robins, sponsored by Ashley Mowers Garden Machinery, will be broadcasting full live coverage of Saturday's game against Kidderminster Harriers at The J.Davidson Stadium. The match commentary sponsor is T.A.S.C. (The Altrincham Supporters' Club).

The commentators are Paul Salt and Brian Flynn, with match summaries from Joe Barry. Coverage starts at 2.50pm with the game kicking off at and 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).


Altrincham FC Reserves' next game is in the ADFA Senior Cup 2nd Round on Saturday, 6 December at home to FC Woodford.

The Altrincham FC Youth Education Programme team is away to Crewe Alexandra on Wednesday, 3 December.


NL Pitchero confirms that "Paul Phillips, manager of Ashton United, has announced that a few of his players have left the club in the last few days. Loanees Scott Harries and Robbie Williams have returned to their respective clubs Northwich Victoria and Barrow AFC respectively after their 28-day periods had run out."

Meanwhile, the NW Counties Football League, reports the registration by Glossop North End of Chris Denham.


Mike Garnett reminds us that our record against Kidderminster Harriers is:

  • At home: P23 W10 D5 L8 F32 A26
  • Away: P23 W8 D6 L9 F25 A39
  • All: P46 W18 D11 L17 F57 A65

Coincidentally, both teams' last match was against Wrexham. Alty had won 3-2 away and the Harriers had drawn 1-1 at home.

Today's referee is Mr Ross Joyce of Cleveland.

Above: Action from September's game at Aggborough.

KIdderminster Harriers say that "Position-wise, both Harriers and Altrincham currently occupy the same spots in the Vanarama Conference as they did back when Harriers beat Alty 4-0 - eighth and 19th respectively. That defeat was the beginning of a heavy three-game losing streak for Altrincham, as a 5-0 away loss at the hands of Barnet followed before Welling United left Moss Lane with a 4-0 victory.

Alty then went on a three-game unbeaten run, registering wins over Macclesfield Town and AFC Halifax Town as well as a goalless draw against Grimsby Town. The Robins have taken 10 points from their last six league games... Alty have only won four out of 11 games on their own turf. They are also the joint lowest scorers in the league on home soil, averaging just one goal per game in front of their own fans...

Harriers have beaten Altrincham in their last three meetings, the most recent of which occurred in September... a 4-0 win at Aggborough, as Alty had Simon Richman sent off early in the second half... Harriers, who have never[?] lost at home to Alty, kept another clean sheet on home soil back in August 2009 as Matthew Barnes-Homer and a Brian Smikle brace gave them a 3-0 victory, but Altrincham were triumphant later on that season, winning 3-2".

More comes from Harriers Online, which says that "Kyle Storer will be back for the Harriers at Altrincham tomorrow as we hope to see a continuation of our much improved form. Our mini three match run un-defeated has come against three of the more fancied clubs in the League...

Craig Reid last scored a goal against opponents, Altrincham, in the corresponding home fixture back in September and hasn't scored since. That tells me that we're in desperate need of someone that can actually score goals on a regular basis. To help with the problem Gary Whild was talking about bringing a loan player in but the deadline for that closed yesterday so we seem to have missed out there. Reece Styche was re-called from his loan at Tamworth on Wednesday evening so we do have another option there. Yesterday it was also reported by the Luton press that on loan midfielder Matt Robinson would be going back after tomorrow's game...

Considering we're both in a run of form at the present time then I'd go for a share of the points."

The Football Conference tells us that "Kidderminster Harriers have signed 21-year-old defender Jordan Tunnicliffe from Sutton Coldfield Town. Signed as a scholar for West Bromwich Albion in June 2010 after playing for six years in the junior set-up at The Hawthorns, centre-half Tunnicliffe then trialled with West Ham United in the summer of 2012 before joining the Nike Academy...

In the summer of 2013 Tunnicliffe joined Barnsley, playing regularly for the club`s under-21 side and also spent time on loan at Stalybridge Celtic last season. After being released by Barnsley at the end of last season, he trained with Alfreton Town and Solihull Moors but neither could guarantee him games so he agreed a deal with Sutton Coldfield in August".

The Worcester News adds that "Reece Styche is set to return for Kidderminster Harriers tomorrow... The striker, who was sent on loan to Tamworth for two months to ease Harriers’ financial concerns, could get the nod for the trip to Altrincham. Nathan Blissett has been sold to Bristol Rovers, while Michael Gash is still on loan at Nuneaton, leaving manager Gary Whild with teenager Reece Hales and Craig Reid...

The Kidderminster boss, who is hopeful of extending midfielder Matt Robinson’s loan from Luton, might also look to bolster his squad from the lower reaches of non-league... He added, 'We are hoping to tie Matt up. Verbally things have been agreed.'


The Football Conference confirms that " Macclesfield Town have secured the signing of striker Matthew Barnes-Homer on a deal until the end of the season from Conference South side Whitehawk. The 28-year-old’s loan spell with the Silkmen had expired recently... It was the striker’s second spell with the club after scoring 18 goals in the 2012/13 campaign... He will again link up with strikers Waide Fairhurst and new signing Denny Johnstone among others as the Silkmen fight for promotion".

Elsewhere, "Nuneaton Town made one more move to strengthen their squad with the addition of winger Adam Dawson on-loan from Leicester City. Dawson, who had a successful loan spell at the club earlier this season, beat the 5pm deadline this afternoon to join Christian Dibble in moving back to Liberty Way. The winger said, 'I thought I was going elsewhere at a higher level but things have fallen through. As soon as I found this out I was straight on the phone to Liam and I am glad to be back. I really enjoyed my time at the club'".

Also, "Macclesfield Town have signed striker Denny Johnstone on a month's loan from Birmingham City. Johnstone started his career at Glasgow Celtic and was with the Scottish club from 2000 to 2013... He joined Birmingham at the start of this season... The striker has also represented Scotland at every level up to the under-19s".

Meanwhile, "Darrell Clarke, manager of Bristol Rovers has had a busy loan deadline day. He brought in another striker to add to his squad, sold one young striker to a Championship club and sent three other players out on loan. The incoming player is Luton Town striker Alex Wall, 24, who has been at Kenilworth Road since the summer of 2013 having impressed whilst on loan to the Hatters from Maidenhead United. Wall signed for Maidenhead from Thatcham Town and during his time at Luton he has been out on loan at Dartford... He will remain on loan at the Memorial Stadium until 4th January 2015.

The outgoing striker is young Donovan Wilson, who has signed a permanent deal with Wolverhampton Wanderers after spending the last two weeks training with the Championship outfit... Rovers will receive a fee for him and a number of add-ons will kick in at various stages of his career...

Meanwhile, Jamie Lucas has signed for Gloucester City until 4th January, Pierce Mitchell has joined Weston-super-Mare for the second time this season until the same date and striker Ryan Brunt has been loaned to Stevenage. Brunt, who has already spent time at York City on loan this season, featured in three games on his return to Rovers from Bootham Crescent".

The Conference also confirms that "Callum Davies has re-joined Dover Athletic for a third time after returning on loan from Gillingham until January 4th 2015. Davies joined Gillingham in 2010 and was first on loan to the Whites in 2011. He then re-joined Dover again on loan in March this year and helped Chris Kinnear`s side gain promotion".

NL Pitchero says that "Grimsby Town have signed Rotherham United midfielder Nicky Walker on a loan deal to the transfer window. The 20-year old ... has since had a successful loan spell at Wycombe Wanderers... There had been a concern that the player had broken his wrist and the move to Town would have been off, but, although an x-ray has revealed a cracked bone, Walker was given the go ahead to continue playing and he reported for training with the Mariners".

In the Principality, "Wrexham have extended the loan spell of defender James Pearson from Leicester City by another month. Pearson is now recovered from a muscle pull and is back in the squad for tomorrow's match with Aldershot Town... He will be available through to the first weekend in January."

In Peterborough Today, we learn that "Peterborough United have been taken to a football tribunal by Grimsby Town over the transfer of Ryan Bennett to Norwich City. Centre-back Bennett was sold by Posh to The Canaries in 2012 for a reported fee in the region of £2.5 million in January 2012. Posh had paid Grimsby in excess of £500,000 for Bennett in 2009 with ‘The Mariners’ entitled to further cash in the event of a further sale.

Grimsby have already received a six-figure sell-on fee, but believe they are entitled to more. Grimsby director John Fenty told the Grimsby Telegraph, 'We had a 25 per cent sell-on as part of the deal that saw Ryan move to Peterborough. Our interpretation of this sell-on is that we enjoy the collective proceeds related to the payments that Norwich City have made to Peterborough. There is some wording in the contract that is deemed dubious because there’s a challenge from Peterborough that they don’t want to uphold these payments. We’ve been to arbitration, during this week, and it will come down to a judge’s decision, based on his interpretation of the case before him. They made their representations and we made ours and we’ll have to wait and see what the outcome is.”

Reports in the Shropshire Star reveal that "AFC Telford United today announced their latest trading profit of £6,070 for the 2013-14 season. Figures released today for the financial year, ending May 31, reveal the Bucks have made a profit for the ninth time in 10 years, though it's less than half of the £13,000 profit made 12 months before.

Turnover also fell by £50,000 to £788,000, which the club have attributed to a fall in income from having spent the season in Conference North. In a statement, chairman Ian Dosser warned the club must look at increasing income in a sustainable way as an 'absolute priority'. He said, '“We are very proud of that (profit) and it represents huge focus on generating income and very tight cost control. But I should temper this by stating this position is barely better than break even and, in fact, represents a position where on a weekly, monthly and annual basis we have to be very careful to only spend monies we have.

The club is treating as an absolute priority increasing our income in a sustainable way to compete at Conference Premier level and, potentially, beyond'. The report notes that season ticket income fell from £95,000 to £54,000, compared to the 2012-13 campaign. But gate receipts, overall, were up thanks to the staging of two ties in the UEFA Women’s Under-17s tournament. Commercial income reduced by £35,000 to £101,000, while there was also a small reduction in food and drink income.

Meanwhile, the playing budget was reduced by £23,000, following the club’s relegation from the Conference Premier the previous year. Dosser paid tribute to manager Liam Watson for leading the club to their first championship".

28 November 2014


Right: Community Hall manager, Stacey Rowley, receives the keys from contractors McGoff and Byrne.

Alty's joint Press & Media Officer, John Edwards, writes that "Chairman Grahame Rowley is hoping people power will help put the finishing touches to Altrincham’s new community sports hall after the handing over of the keys at The J.Davidson Stadium.

The ceremony signifies that the hall now officially belongs to the club, prior to it opening for business in the next few weeks, but Rowley is concerned that work still needs to be done to ensure the interior looks every bit as eye-catching as the exterior.

With appeals for financial backing failing to generate the funds required, Rowley is hoping Alty fans rally round and provide aid of a more practical nature by volunteering their services for one or two outstanding jobs inside the hall.

‘There is still some essential interior work to be done, in particular installing a sound system and television projector and distribution system,’ he said. ‘The idea is to have a big screen at either end of the hall, so really we are looking for people with some expertise in sound systems and acoustics who could fit speakers in the ceiling or on the walls.

‘The hall looks so impressive, it would be a shame if we couldn’t just finish it off to the same high standard, so are appealing for any supporters with the necessary know-how to come forward and kindly lend a hand.

‘I can be contacted at the club (0161 928 1045), and any help would be greatly appreciated. Anyone able to help in this way will have their efforts acknowledged, as there is an illuminated etched glass plaque in the entrance hall, mentioning anyone who has made a significant contribution.’"

Brian Flynn adds, "I am delighted to advise that The Altrincham Supporters Club (TASC) appeal to raise £10,000 to install a high quality audio-visual system in the new Community Sports Hall, has got off to a very good start. As of Thursday evening more than 40 people have come forward to make a donation & the current total raised is £5320, which includes a significant donation from two long standing supporters of the club.

This means that over half of the target has been achieved in 6 days. I have replied to the majority of emails, text messages and voicemail messages with details of how to make your donation but, if you haven't received a reply from me yet, it will be with you tomorrow.

Thank you Alty fans for your superb response to date. Donations have come in from far and wide and it's been particularly nice to receive messages expressing great support for the team, the club and the new Community Sports Hall. There will be a press release to local media on this subject tomorrow and I will provide a further progress update towards the end of next week.

As a reminder, we are asking people to make a contribution of £100 or commit to setting up a standing order of £10 per month for 10 months, with the first payment being made in December.

If you would like to support this mission, you can contact me to get payment/standing order details by e-mail or phone (0161 610 1193/07860 561011) or speak to me at the game on Saturday. Alternatively, you can telephone Altrincham Football Club on 0161 928 1045, or e-mail or call in at the ground from 9.30am-4.30pm between Monday-Friday or at the game on Saturday.

Brian Flynn, Chairman. TASC (The Altrincham Supporters' Club)".


TASC's Paul Salt informs us that "The first two draws in the this season's TASC Goal Rush scheme will take place live on Radio Robins at halftime of this Saturday's match against Kidderminster.

Both lucky prize winners get the choice of one of three prizes namely:

  1. Two tickets to a home Vanarama League match of their choice.
  2. Free coach travel to an away game for one person on a TASC organised coach trip or
  3. A signed photograph take with your favourite Altrincham player.

If you would like to take part and sponsor the team for any denomination of 25p for each goal scored throughout the season you will still be eligible to take place in Saturday's draws. Each 25p pledged gets you one entry in each draw.

If you haven't already entered and would like to help the club please contact Paul Salt by e-mail before Saturday's match.

For those unable to tune in to Radio Robins, the winners will be announced via the website early next week".


Following Thursday evening's training, manager Lee Sinnott confirmed that he will be without the suspended Scott Leather and the injured Nicky Clee on Saturday for the visit of Kidderminster Harriers. He hopes that Nicky will be fit for consideration next Saturday, against Forest Green Rovers. Scott, however, remains suspended for a further two matches after Saturday's.

Mike Garnett reminds us that our record against Kidderminster Harriers, is:

  • At home: P23 W10 D5 L8 F32 A26
  • Away: P23 W8 D6 L9 F25 A39
  • All: P46 W18 D11 L17 F57 A65

In the reverse fixture Alty lost 4-0 with Simon Richman being sent off. The referee assigned to this Saturday's game is Mr Ross Joyce of Cleveland.

Kidderminster Harriers report that "Manager Gary Whild believes his side are feeling positive after a strong run of league form...

Harriers travel to Altrincham on the back of a three-game unbeaten spell and Whild is pleased with how his players have remained focused throughout off-the-field goings-on in recent weeks, such as the sale of Chey Dunkley and Nathan Blissett.

'We’ve only lost one in our last five and the good thing is that we are getting the maximum out of the lads at the moment', he said. 'The last three games have been as tough as they come; it’s pleasing to not only get results but also put in good performances as well, and the confidence of the players is growing. Sometimes these things [off-the-pitch issues] can galvanise your players...

That’s what you want when you lose good players. You don’t want the rest of the players to sulk, you want them to step up and give a little bit more. In all fairness I think that’s what has happened...

We’re short of a few numbers and a bit of experience but the lads have found themselves in a backs-to-the-wall situation and sometimes you get that siege mentality, so let’s hope we can keep going with that...

On Saturday we want to continue what we’ve been doing, keep the run going and keep the points coming in'.

Harriers’ opponents Altrincham have lost only two of their last six league games and Whild admits that, despite them being only five points off the drop zone, they are not a side to be underestimated. 'It will be a difficult place to go, especially after they drew with Grimsby and then went away and beat Wrexham; they’ve got a bit about them,' he said.

'They were 2-0 down with a man sent off against Wrexham and showed a lot of character to come back and win. When we played them at Aggborough, although we beat them comfortably, I was impressed with them for the first half an hour or so. They played in the right way and showed a lot of spirit, so we know it will be a tough game.'

After Tuesday’s home game against Nuneaton Town, Harriers won’t be contesting any Vanarama Conference fixtures until December 20th... 'It’s always a shame at this time of year to have a free weekend,' he said. 'It’s important to sign off before the break with a good couple of performances against Altrincham and Nuneaton'...

Whild also revealed that Kyle Storer is ahead of schedule in his recovery from a hernia operation... He said, 'He’s not quite ready yet, although he’s not too far away. We had a clean bill of health after Tuesday so there’s nothing to worry about in terms of injuries at the moment'".


NL Pitchero reports that Mildenhall Town have announced the appointment of Dean Greygoose as interim manager, assisted by his son Sean.

The Greygooses replace Christian Appleford, who left Mildenhall earlier this week after more than four-and-a-half years in charge of the Suffolk club... Dean Greygoose has played football at professional level as goalkeeper for Cambridge United, Lincoln City and Crystal Palace to name a few and has held management roles at Histon, Team Bury and Ely City...

In addition he holds UEFA coaching qualifications and has coached at both professional and non-League clubs and this vast experience".

The Kidderminster Shuttle Rae has stressed that Nathan Blissett and Chey Dunkley’s respective moves to Bristol Rovers and Oxford United were only agreed by the club after their valuations were met. Both players joined their new teams on loan until the January transfer window opens, when five-figure transfers will be completed.

Harriers are experiencing money worries, with benefactors Kath and Ernie Lane paying the shortfall in the wages each month. Michael Gash (Nuneaton), Josh O’Keefe (Chester) and Jasbir Singh (Gloucester City) have also been sent on loan.

'We are a club which gives young players a good grounding so they can move on,' said the chairman. 'What’s happened with Nathan Blissett and Chey Dunkley is the same as Joe Lolley and Jamille Matt'...

The chairman also said there has been no interest in winger Marvin Johnson... It’s a remarkable turnaround for the 24-year-old, who looked on his way out after a loan spell at Hednesford in April but is now a key first-team player... Manager Gary Whild added, 'Everyone tells me Scott Neilson is the best winger in the league, but I’ve seen Marvin play Grimsby twice and... he’s up there with the best.'

Whild is hoping to bolster his squad before Saturday’s trip to Altrincham... Former Wrexham keeper Joslain Mayebi has joined on a non-contract deal, while young Oxford defender Sam Long has come to Harriers on a youth loan. Whild is also hopeful of extending Matt Robinson’s loan from Luton.

He said, 'It’s obvious what we need to do is what we’ve done before, which is look at lads from lower down where the wage demands are not excessive and give them a chance. Hopefully I will get it right with one or two'"


Alty have the little matter of a 400-mile round trip to Surrey on Tuesay night from where Woking say that "The Cards need to take maximum advantage of two successive home games, starting with Saturday’s match against Alan Devonshire’s Iron side, if they are to maintain their place in the play-off zone. Garry Hill’s side’s form has been a bit unpredictable in recent matches and the resilience and ambition of the team will be tested as they cope with the loss of key players...

"The record could be made even more respectable if the Cards could fashion a home win on Saturday against Braintree – and, ideally, start December off with three points at home to Altrincham.

But, demonstrating the thinness of the Cards’ squad, Garry is now facing the loss of the unlucky Jake Cole again and Scott Rendell, both of whom had to be substituted in the first half at Wrexham. Joe McNerney will also miss both of these home games following his three-match suspension imposed after the Barnet game. If Scott’s absence turns out to be lengthy, that would be a huge blow to Woking’s play-off aspirations, not merely because of the goals he scores but also because of his leadership of the line and the chances he creates for others. It sounds as if Garry will be seeing if he can bring in reinforcements.

One piece of good news... was the return from injury of Dean Morgan...

The Club’s classy new programme is still only £3 but now has 64 pages, with a soft laminate cover, high quality ‘finish’ and stunning photos. If you can’t get to the game, you can order a copy from the Club Shop on"

Also, "The road, from Rosebery Crecent to Kingfield Road, will be closed for up to 6 months due to works being carried out by Thames Water. One end of Loop Road will also be closed at the junction of Vicarage Road, to stop traffic switching to this narrow road".


The Football Conference reports that "Southport have signed goalkeeper Liam Roberts on loan from Walsall until January 4th 2015. A tall and imposing young goalkeeper who has done well whilst coming through the ranks at Banks’s Stadium. Towards the end of 2012/13 he established a regular place on the first-team bench before being handed his first professional contract during the summer of 2013.

Technically gifted, the 20-year-old will be aiming to make his mark during the campaign ahead having signed a new deal in July 2014 after previously being released two months earlier. He was loaned out to neighbours Rushall Olympic, at the start of the 2014/15 campaign".

From the Football Conference we lern that "Having brought in goalkeeper Liam Roberts on loan from Walsall, Gary Brabin, manager of Southport, has allowed Daniel Lloyd-Weston to spend a month with Salford City. Southport signed the former England C keeper Daniel Lloyd-Weston from Hereford United in the summer.

Lloyd-Weston started out at Port Vale before having a trial with Manchester United. He spent the 2010/11 season with Cheltenham Town, but failed to make a first-team appearance... After leaving Whaddon Road, Manchester-born Lloyd-Weston spent time with Greek outfit AEL Kallonis.

The 2012/13 campaign saw him turn out for Leek Town before he linked up with Market Drayton Town, subsequently signing for the Bulls just over a year ago."

Elewhere, "Droylsden have signed midfielder Jake Hibbs on a month's loan from FC Halifax Town. Hibbs will join the Bloods until the 28th December subject to the necessary paperwork. Hibbs has already had a loan spell in the same league as Droylsden with Salford City this season".

Also, "Busy Liam Daish, manager of Nuneaton Town, has brought in a fourth new player in young goalkeeper Christian Dibble on loan until January 17th 2015 from Barnsley. Dibble penned an initial one-year deal at Oakwell in June 2013 after departing Bury.

The 20-year-old son of former Manchester City and Wales [and Alty] goalkeeper Andy Dibble featured for the Reds in the under-21s cup and league fixtures throughout the 2013/14 season.

Dibble was called up to the Wales under-21 squad... the same month that he joined Stockport County on loan".

Elsewhere, "Neil Aspin, manager of FC Halifax Town, has boosted his squad with the loan signing of midfielder Will Hatfield from Accrington Stanley. Hatfield has previously played one game for the Shaymen in the 2011/12 season... as a second half substitute.

The 5`8” midfielder started his career at Leeds United... He joined York City on loan, making four appearances for the Minstermen. He joined Accrington on loan in October 2011, had a trial at The Shay before re-joining Accrington in February 2012 and he has made eighty-three appearances for Stanley, scoring 5 goals to date".

According to NL Pitchero, "Woking have re-signed goalkeeper Ross Worner from AFC Wimbledon on another month's loan. The 25-year-old originally left Woking in 2010 to join Charlton Athletic and later moved on to Aldershot Town before joining the Dons in the summer of 2013.

He has made forty-five appearances since moving to Kingsmeadow and then returned to the Cards on loan in September following an injury to both Jake Cole and Aaron Howe. He played nine times during a loan spell that was extended to the end of October before returning to the Dons."

We hear from Notts County that "County striker Tyrell Waite has joined side Lincoln City on a one-month loan deal. Waite has already spent time... on loan at Ilkeston and Nuneaton this season. The 20-year-old will now link up with former Notts midfielder Hamza Bencherif at the Imps".

At Wrexham "Boss Kevin Wilkin has moved to bolster his options in midfield by signing Bury’s Joe Thompson on loan until the start of January...

Bath born Thompson was initially with Rochdale before switching to Tranmere Rovers in August 2012. On 1 November 2013 it emerged that Thompson had been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and immediately begin chemotherapy as treatment for the disease.

This June, happily Thompson announced he had completed remission and later in the summer signed for Bury".

27 November 2014


Altrincham Ladies have accepted an invitation by Randalls Jewellers, who kindly sponsor the team's training kit, to visit the store this evening (Thursday, November 27th) to help them to publicise their links to the Club and also their Christmas Offers. A number of the Ladies players and Management will be at the Store on George Street from around 7pm if anyone wants to come down, meet the payers or ask any questions about the Ladies Team.

Randalls is located on George Street near WH Smith and the store is shown, right.


Altrincham travel to Forest Green Rovers on Saturday 6 December. FGR advise us that for "visiting supporters, we have an online ticketing shop which offers fans the ability to buy tickets in advance, which we would highly recommend to avoid queueing on the day. It also offers convenient ways to receive your tickets such as SMS ticketing and an option to print them out at home before you travel. Our online shop can be found here...

Visiting supporters can watch the game from our North Stand. It is a covered standing terrace with a capacity of 825 which is situated behind a goal next to our ticket office. There is a refreshments kiosk and access to toilets. Disabled/wheelchair spaces are available in shared areas of the Main Stand, both at ground level (through turnstiles A and B) and at first floor level (via the lift in reception).

Ticket prices are as follows:

  • Adult £15
  • Senior £11
  • Young adults (16 – 21) £7
  • Juniors (U-16) £4.

Free parking for... up to two supporter’s coaches is provided within the New Lawn... Car parking is available on-site at £4 per car. Disabled parking is available by prior reservation at the front of the main stand. Disabled parking permit holders who wish to take advantage of this facility should contact our Club Admin Office on 01453 834 860 at least 72 hours in advance of kick-off to make arrangements.

Our on-site pub, the Green Man, is open 3 hours before kick-off. Your visiting supporters will always be made very welcome where a selection of hot food is available to purchase. Before and after the Game supporters can use the Green Man, or during the game /half time the refreshments kiosk within the North Stand will be open".


The BBC reports that "Dover Athletic have signed Bury striker James Poole on loan until January. The 24-year-old has only made four appearances for the Shakers since joining from fellow League Two side Hartlepool United this summer. Poole, who can also play on the wing and in midfield, came through the youth ranks at Manchester City but never featured for the Premier League club...

Meanwhile, Dover have handed goalkeeper Andrew Rafferty a deal until the end of the 2015-16 campaign and cancelled the contract of Jeff Goulding by mutual consent".

According to the Chester Chronicle, "Steve Burr praised his players for sticking to the plan after a scintillating second half performance saw them come from two down to win 4-2 at Dartford on Tuesday. Lee Noble scored on 15 minutes to give the Darts a lead that remained intact until the end of a first period in which the Blues kept the ball well enough without really troubling the hosts.

Elliot Bradbrook got a second for the hosts a minute after the restart but the Blues responded with a quick-fire three-goal salvo. Craig Mahon scored twice in the space of four minutes, the second coming from a sweeping team move that had Burr purring, and Matty Hughes put them in front six minutes later.

Rhys Oates notched for the second game running on 84 minutes to wrap up the points at Princes Park.

Burr told The Chronicle...'I didn't have a go at them but the lads were very frustrated at half time, but in a good way really. They were frustrated with how things were going and were asking themselves how are we losing and things like that. I said to them that this league is all about coming up against teams who want to stop you playing and earning the right to play.

I told them it was important that we kept doing what we were doing and gave them some examples, like the Bristol Rovers game on Saturday, and I thought we were excellent in the second half. In the first half I thought we passed the ball well without threatening them really but the difference in the second was that we got in behind them and down the sides. I thought some of our passing and movement was fantastic to watch.

Dartford are not a bad side at home and are difficult to beat like all sides in this division and kept going route one and looking to pick up the bits but once we got a goal back I was confident that we were going to go on and win'.

Chester are now part of a group of 10 teams separated by only six points and can make up further ground at Nuneaton Town, who are second bottom, on Saturday (3pm).

Kingsley James will miss the trip to Liberty Way through suspension and Josh O'Keefe looks unlikely to be fit, leaving the manager with a void to fill in midfield.... Said Burr, 'Ben Heneghan is still nursing a knock and Peter Winn probably won't be right so we are starting to pick up one or two injuries. We have got a few lads one booking away from a suspension too so we have to be careful but I think we have done well to get this far without losing too many players'".

Altrincham face Kidderminster on Saturday and the Tamworth Herald announces that "Tamworth have lost the services of on-loan striker Reece Styche. He returned to Kidderminster after the 2-1 win over Brackley Town on Tuesday night.

'Since Reece came here, Kiddy have loaned Michael Gash out to Nuneaton,' said Lambs' boss Andy Morrell. 'They have also sold Nathan Blissett to Bristol Rovers so they are a little bit light up top and want Reece back. He’s come and done exactly what we thought. I wanted him to lift us a little bit, give us something in attack and he’s certainly done that'".

And the Daily Post reports on "Kidderminster 1 Wrexham 1... A brilliant strike by Connor Jennings handed Wrexham a draw... After conceding within the first 90 seconds of the game, Kevin Wilkin will be pleased to have taken a draw home from Aggborough. However, despite earning a point, the Dragons' boss has officially presided over the club's worst winless run since dropping into the Conference. It's now nine games since his side last won... meaning Dean Saunders no longer has that unwanted accolade...

There have been growing signs both last season and this that Wrexham's midfield is not the dominant force it once was... Wrexham were handed a big boost before they faced Kidderminster when Louis Moult had his red card rescinded, avoiding a four game ban. Anyone with half decent vision could see that his sending off against Altrincham was a dubious decision by referee Ryan Johnson and thankfully common sense prevailed...

In his post-match interview Kevin Wilkin also revealed that Dan Bachmann is back in training, which is also a welcome development given his imperious form between the sticks."

In the Kidderminster Shuttle we read that "Manager Gary Whild hailed his players’ effort after last night’s 1-1 draw at home to Wrexham... The manager could not fault his players as they stretched their unbeaten run to three games in the Vanarama Conference.

He said, 'When it’s one-nil you need a second goal to give you a bit of breathing space and unfortunately, we had chances to do that, especially in the first half. You are always in danger of conceding and that’s what happened. I thought we did well enough to win but the effort that was put in on Saturday, you could see a little bit of tiredness in their minds'...

Verma’s 30 yard thunderbolt was the midfielder’s second of the season. Whild added, 'I keep telling Aman that’s what he is capable of doing. He was exceptional on Saturday and Tuesday and I thought he deserved his goal'".

More comes from the Daily Post to the effect that "Wrexham battled for their lives last night against a well drilled and well organised Harriers side. To their credit, some sides, especially ones on a run of poor form like the Dragons are suffering, might have fallen to pieces [after going behind], but the 274 hardy travelling fans were treated to a battling showing...

Last night’s second-half performance could be just the spark they need to turn their slump in form around".

However, "There was more misery for Wrexham as Blaine Hudson, fresh from a one-match ban, picked up his fifth booking of the season meaning he will sit out Saturday’s visit of Aldershot".

News of next Tuesday's opponents comes from Woking who lost 1-3 at Grimsby Town on Tuesday. "Woking eventually succumbed to a ively Grimsby side despite long spells of dominance but were ultimately the architects of their own downfall, conceding two poor goals. Woking arrived at Blundell Park with the news that influential centre back Joe McNerney had received a retrospective red card and three match ban for an incident during the Barnet match. Joey Jones therefore partnered James Clarke in the centre of the defence, the other change being Jack Marriott starting in place of Giuseppe Sole.

Grimsby kicked off but it was the Woking trainer who was quickly into action as after just 6 minutes Jake Cole went down clutching his leg. It soon became clear that he could not carry on and Aaron Howe replaced him between the sticks...

On 32 minutes, there was more bad news for Woking as Rendell went down clutching his foot. After lengthy treatment, he was forced off and replaced by Dean Morgan... On 67 minutes Woking reduced the arrears. From 20 yards out, Dean Morgan hit a speculative shot which, much to the joy of the travelling contingent, went past the 'keeper, clipping a post on its way into the goal. This galvanised the visitors, who began to dominate proceedings...

However, with time running out, the visitors shot themselves in the foot again... Lewis's attempted back-pass to Howe was under-hit, allowing Ross Hannah to nip in and pass to the unmarked John-Lewis who slammed home Grimsby’s third to seal the match for the home side.

This was a frustrating night for the Cards who played some attractive football at times and showed why they are up there towards the top of the league table. However, they gifted their opponents a couple of goals which, in the end, was probably the difference between the two teams...

Woking: Jake Cole (Aaron Howe 7), Adam Newton, Mike Cestor, James Clarke, Josh Payne, Scott Rendell (Dean Morgan 35), Kevin Betsy, Theo Lewis, Jack Marriott (Giuseppe Sole 75), Joey Jones, Chris Arthur. Unused subs: Keiran Murtagh, John Goddard".

Macclesfield Town report that they "will be without Matthew Barnes-Homer for the visit of Torquay United tonight after the on-loan forward returned to his parent club Whitehawk. Barnes-Homer's loan with the Silkmen had expired yesterday and, after the club was unable to reach an agreement to extend his loan, the forward has left the club.

In his loan spell, Barnes-Homer made six appearances scoring two goals against Chester and at Dartford".

26 November 2014


Brian Flynn interviewed Shaun Densmore, after Saturday's win at Wrexham. You can now hear what the Altrincham captain had to say, here.


In advance of Saturday's match, Kidderminster Harriers report that "Harriers fans will be housed in the Hale End terrace, the capacity of which is 1,434, as well as the Main Stand, which holds 1,133 supporters... On police advice, due to the ground being located in a residential area, no drums or other musical instruments are permitted in the ground".


Alty dropped to 19th following Welling's victory on Tuesday night.
  • Braintree Town 0-1 Welling United
  • Bristol Rovers 1-1 Barnet
  • Dartford 2-4 Chester FC
  • Dover Athletic 5-0 Nuneaton Town
  • Grimsby Town 3-1 Woking
  • Kidderminster Harriers 1-1 Wrexham
  • Macclesfield Town 1-0 Torquay United
  • Southport 1-3 Aldershot Town


The latest Altrincham FC Saturday Yankee results and races for the next week are here. The jackpot now stands at £3,750.


Phil Taylor advises that " Despite falling behind, Altrincham Ladies defeated Runcorn Linnets Ladies 3-1 away on Sunday. The goal Scorers were Kathryn McIntyre, Charlotte Dudley and Tracey Blanchard Webb". Phil's match report is here. The excellent action picture, right, is courtesy of Tom Green.


Wrexham have confirmed that the club has "Just heard from the FA Wales and Louis Moult has won his appeal [against his red card versus Altrincham] so [is] free to play this [Tuesday] evening at Kidderminster."

More comes from the Leader, which says that "Wrexham striker Louis Moult has had his weekend red card rescinded... Moult was sent off two minutes after scoring in the 3-2 home defeat to Altrincham on Saturday. The club confirmed on Monday they would appeal the decision which has now been overturned by the Football Conference. Moult would have faced a four-game ban, having previously been sent off in the 1-0 home defeat to Grimsby which led to a three-match ban".


From the Daily Post, we learn that "There was more than a sense of defiance from Wrexham defender Manny Smith as he declared ‘we are not down and out yet’. Wrexham travel to the Aggborough Stadium to take on a Kidderminster Harriers side...

Two wins in the FA Cup over Macclesfield and Woking have masked Wrexham’s poor form somewhat, but Smith is adamant there is still a lot to play for... Smith said, 'It is another big test especially after the manner that we lost on Saturday... The foundations are right, it is just putting'...

Saturday’s defeat was particularly hard on the Dragons... He added 'One or two decisions didn’t go our way and then they are going to get chances and they took them and wore us down. It is all about the response now... We will take anything. It is just the three points; it doesn’t matter about playing good football or bad football, it is all about the win and the points at the end of the day... We are not down and out yet, not by a long shot'...

It is likely Smith will be reunited in the starting line-up with Blaine Hudson, who missed the Altrincham defeat as he served a one-match ban... The pair both joined the Racecourse outfit in the summer and have struck up an excellent partnership so far... Said Smith, 'I am always learning off him; we get on well together, on and off the field'".

The Halifax Courier tells us that "Neil Aspin is aiming to add two new faces to his squad ahead of Saturday’s game with Alfreton. Aspin revealed the Shaymen have had offers rejected for 'four or five' players, but said the squad would benefit from one or two fresh faces.

He said, 'We have to look to bring in a couple of players and we need the supporters to stick by us because you have to win and lose as a club. We are going through a difficult spell but like all things in football it will turn, but it’s got to turn sooner than later. If we could bring in new players we could do with getting them in early in the week so we can train with them. We’ve had a lot of things go against us in terms of bringing players in. We’ve had about four or five offers for players this season that have all been turned down. We’ve got to look at that again going into next week. We need to bring in a new face before the Alfreton game to give everyone a boost and we’ll be trying to do that'...

Aspin revealed Halifax unsuccessfully tried to snap up striker Che Adams from Ilkeston before his move to Sheffield United. He added, 'We have been looking in the right areas because we were one of the first clubs to spot Che Adams, who went to Sheffield United, but unfortunately we didn’t get him earlier in the season... We need to get players who have played at this level, got experience at this level, probably played for bigger clubs at this level. That’s the only way we’re going to improve'".

Welling United report that "midfielder Harry Beautyman has joined League 1 Peterborough. The 22-year-old departs Park View Road on loan until January, when the switch will become permanent for an undisclosed fee. Beautyman joined the Wings at the start of last season from Sutton, for whom he caught the eye in Conference South after leaving Leyton Orient.

However, his debut season for the Wings was blighted by injury and it was only after an injury-free pre-season that Wings fans saw his true potential this campaign, Beautyman has scored 11 goals so far this season and his energetic displays made him a popular figure at the club... Beautyman is another player to progress into the Football League in recent times from Park View Road, following the likes of Fraser Franks and Ross Lafayette, who both ply their trade for League 2 Luton.

Welling boss Jamie Day said, 'Harry was a player I had tracked for a while and I was delighted to get him. He had an up and down start with injuries but we could see in training what he was capable of. He has been first-class to work with and to manage. His attitude has been fantastic and he fully deserves this chance. His goals and workrate this season have been valuable and he deserved his recent England C call-up. He will be missed by everyone at the club but it again shows that this club can work with good young players and move them onto full-time football.'"

According to the Football Conference, "Nuneaton Town have taken young midfielder Marcel Barrington on loan from Leicester City for the rest of the season. A former Stoke City youngster, Barrington, 19, is a versatile striker with outstanding pace and power who is capable of turning any match. After joining City’s Development Squad during the last campaign, Barrington has operated both through the middle and from the left, and has scored several spectacular goals, making him a difficult prospect for opposition defences.

Barrington follows Foxes team-mate, Lithuanian international Simonas Stankevicius, who joined Boro on a two-month loan late last week, to Liberty Way."

Elsewhere, "Barnet have signed goalkeeper Raphael Spiegel on a month's loan from West Ham United. The 21-year-old, who has represented Switzerland at under-17, under-19 and under-21 international level, has been at Upton Park for two years and has played predominantly in their under-21 team. Spiegel started his career with Grasshoppers of Zurich... Earlier this season he had a loan spell...with Crawley Town."

A player whom we last saw at our last opponents, Wrexham, is now at our next opponents, Kidderminster, as ""Goalkeeper Joslain Mayebi has joined Kidderminster Harriers on non-contract terms. The former Wrexham shot-stopper will provide competition to Harriers' number one Danny Lewis. Cameroon-born Mayebi joined the Red Dragons in 2011 and made eighty appearances for the club...

Before signing for Wrexham, the 28-year-old played in France for FC Metz, Cyprus with AEK Larnaca and Israel with Hakoah Ramat Gan... He said, 'The non-contract terms are good for both parties. It's good to see some familiar faces; Mark Creighton was my team-mate '".

." BT Sport will be broadcasting Bristol Rovers v Gateshead on Friday, 19 December.

According to NL Pitchero, "Busy Liam Daish, manager of Nuneaton Town, has made former Coventry City striker Courtney Baker-Richardson his third signing of the week to date. Baker-Richardson stands 6`2” and possesses electric pace and an eye for goal. Although he failed to make the breakthrough with the Sky Blues, he played in the Conference with Tamworth during a loan spell last season.

Upon his release by Coventry, Baker-Richardson signed for Romulus, for whom he has scored 7 times this season."

25 November 2014


In an interview with joint Press and Media Officer, John Edwards, shortly after the final whistle, Lee Sinnott reflected on an eventful afternoon at The Racecourse Ground, where Alty looked to be up against it after going 2-0 down and losing Scott Leather to a straight red card but staged a dramatic fightback to win 3-2 against a Wrexham side who themselves had two players sent off.

Q: It was a lively game, Lee, wasn’t it?

A: Bizarre, really. I’ve just had a chat with the players in the changing room and given them a little bit of a rollicking, because of a few things that happened. You have to be careful what you say, but I just think the game went off on a bit of a tangent after we had played really well for the first 20 minutes. We went behind in circumstances where we should have done better and we missed a glorious opportunity at the other end, so there is a lot to talk about. I mentioned to the players that when you are a man up, whether it be 11 against 10 or 10 against nine, you still have to ask questions and put the ball in the back of the net. It doesn’t always follow that you are automatically going to make it count. Sometimes, the team who are one short will hold out. They will make it difficult for you, and the onus is on you to translate your advantage into goals.

Q: On that miss, the ball did seem to bobble just as Steven Gillespie (right) went to hit it, didn’t it?

A: Maybe so, but the goal is gaping, isn’t it? Enough said.

Q: The referee was at the centre of a lot of debatable incidents. What did you make of Scott’s red card?

A: He was stretching for the ball, and I couldn’t tell whether he caught their lad or not. Whether it warranted a red card, I don’t know.

Q: It looked, at first glance, like Scott and the Wrexham player were both off the floor as they jumped in for a 50-50 challenge. If so, wasn’t their player guilty of dangerous play as well, even though he came off worse?

A: I’ll have to have another look at it before I can answer that, but you always have to be careful what you say in these instances. The best way I can term it is, it wasn’t one of those shocking, stand-out, obvious straight reds. You would have thought the ref might have had to think about it for a few seconds before making his mind up, but, of course, the card came out in an instant. Maybe, in hindsight, he should have given himself a couple of seconds.

Q: From Scott’s point of view, is there a lesson to be learned?

A: For sure. It is a fine dividing line. Some might argue it was harsh, but the ref has interpreted it as a sending off. Scott (left) was stretching for the ball, but as I mentioned to him at half-time, you have to take great care in those situations. Another point not many people might latch on to was that there was a clear handball for their second goal. Even the lad involved admitted it. I might not have had a clear view of Scott’s sending off, and couldn’t really call it, but I did see an obvious handling in the scramble on the edge of the six-yard area, just prior to that goal. It wasn’t given and we find ourselves 2-0 down.

Q: The second red card was evidently for a stamp. That’s how the ref saw it, anyway. Did you see it that way?

A: Nah, less said about that the better. You can talk yourself into trouble, if you’re not careful, so we’ll leave it at that.

Q: So, we’re 2-0 down at half-time, but at least the numbers have been evened up. What did you say?

A: One man less each side means there is going to be more space on the pitch, so it is up to us to exploit it. What brought us the greatest joy was switching the play, and doing it consistently. You may have seen me shouting and jumping up and down on the touchline, and that was because, when you are in our situation and a man to the good, you can be impatient. You end up rushing things, and the ball scoots out for a goalkick, which suits the other team down to the ground.

By looking after the ball and switching the play, not once but twice or even three times, you start making inroads and creating opportunities to put the ball into their box. We got into those positions, especially down the left flank, probably seven or eight times, and it was through being patient.

That was the message I was trying to get across – just keep moving the ball, keep moving them around and the gaps will open up, because they will tire. That’s just human nature. Gaps will appear, and then hopefully we can exploit them.

Q: That would have been the thinking, presumably, behind sending on Ryan Crowther (right), to give us more width and stretch them even more?

A: Yeah, when they went down to nine men, we wanted to get another attacker on and get into those pockets and ask questions of them. We wanted to push the full-backs on as well. The idea was for Peter Cavanagh to sit in front of the back two and for the full-backs to bomb on, which is what happened.

We took a bit of a gamble by sending on our third sub with 30 minutes or so still left, but we were determined to give it a real go. It is rare these days that you come back from 2-0 down to win 3-2, so that’s why, I’ll be honest with you, there was half a ticking off for them at the end. It was because we needlessly made life so difficult for ourselves, through bad defending and bad finishing, after starting the game so brightly.

Q: Presumably, there was also some acknowledgement of the character that shone through in the second half?

A: Yes, of course. It’s a bit like the jam sandwich, or whatever the expression is. You know, you’re hard, then soft, then hard again. But for us to grow, we need to be addressing and remedying the points I’ve picked up on. We want to keep improving, and that’s the only way we will do it.

While I’m pleased with the way we moved the ball around during the course of scoring those three goals, we shouldn’t have been in that position in the first place.

Q: What about Adam Griffin’s delivery from the left? There were some quality crosses whipped in.

A: Griff (left) got into those positions probably a bit more than Dens (Shaun Densmore) did on the right, and we profited from it. But I’m being a bit hard on them with some of the things I’m picking up on because I have to be. It’s no good just saying ‘oh, that was brilliant’, because comebacks on this scale don’t happen every month. They come along maybe once a season or once every other season, so that’s why it’s important we stamp out the shortcomings that cost us in the first half, when we were in the ascendancy but gave them the initiative with our defending for the first goal and then our miss. We really should have converted that chance, while, for their goal, it may have been a good finish, but we shouldn’t have allowed him to get clear.

Q: Having got ourselves into bother, it was an incredible turnaround in the second half, wasn’t it?

A: Yes it was, but I’m going to sound like a right miserable old git again, because the way the final few minutes panned out annoyed me. We go 3-2 up, and then what happens? Nine men push us back for the last five minutes and leave us hanging on. I pointed out to the players what the consequence could easily have been.

Let’s say eight of our players and seven of theirs were inside the box when we were defending our goal at the end. That’s 15 players inside the area, as the ball is played in. It only has to hit someone on the backside and fall at one of their players’ feet, and it’s 3-3. How galling would that have been? That is what disappointed me.

People call it game management, and we should have managed the game better in those last five to 10 minutes. We shouldn’t have let them have that half-a-sniff. It was only half-a- sniff, but we shouldn’t have allowed them even that.

Q: It would have been frustrating to let the lead slip, wouldn’t it, because their formation was basically 4-4-0?

A: Precisely. In that situation, you put them to bed. You turn the screw completely, but, instead, we nearly let them back in it. From 2-0 down, we pulled one back, and it was like ‘flippin eck’, then 2-2 and it’s ‘flippin eck, this is great’, then 3-2 to us, and it’s ‘wow, this is unbelievable’. You can actually feel the momentum building with each goal, but then, for some reason, it just went flat. We stopped doing what we’d been doing so well. We just went flat at exactly the moment we should be saying to the opposition: ‘No chance. We’ve got you where we want you and there’s no way back. We are going to grind you into the mud. We are going to keep moving you around the park and keep you as far away from our goal as possible.’ But we are learning. We have been learning all season and will continue to.

Q: Was it good to see Damian Reeves (right) back among the goals?

A: Yes, of course. I had all this last year. I had jip off supporters. We left him out of the starting line-up for the Brackley game for tactical reasons and because he’d gone through a bit of a spell that happens with all strikers. So what did he do? I’m getting it in the ear from supporters about how he scores when he starts, blah, blah, blah, but he goes on as sub and nabs the equaliser. That can happen. Like any player, he can sometimes benefit from a breather. People may not have noticed, but we have played about four or five different systems. Not only that, Reevesie has had a big workload. I know him as well as anyone does, because I have managed him since he was 14.

He has been through a lot of legwork and he needs to be sharp to be getting on the end of chances. His confidence needs to be up as well, and it’s a fact that he has been through a couple of games where chances have come along that he would normally stick away but he hasn’t. So you think ‘just step aside a little and then we’ll put you on’, and what happens? He’s back among the goals again.

You have to work it that way sometimes, and he’s happy because he’s in double figures in the Non League Paper scoring chart. They were a poacher’s finishes today, but that’s my point. If you are back on your heels, as a defender or a striker, you are not going to react to situations as effectively. But Reevesie was really on his toes. He was ready for those chances when they fell his way, a bit like Wayne Rooney against Scotland the other night. The ball is there, he reacts like a flash and, bang, it’s in the net". 1990s.


Altrincham FC is saddened to hear of the death of former player and manager "Paddy" Fagan at the age of 84. Paddy, whose real name was Fionan Fagan, was player-manager at Moss Lane from 1 July 1961. He resigned in April 1962. A former Manchester City, Derby County and Republic of Ireland international, Paddy also played non-League football for Northwich Victoria and Ashton United.

Paddy was mentioned in "The Best of Charles Buchan's Football Monthly", a compilation from the top-selling football magazine of the 1950s to 1970s. The book has a fascinating full page about Altrincham FC, reproduced from its May 1966 issue, which tells the story of White and Swales's revival of Altrincham FC. It says...

"By 1961 the club was in a bad way financially, the ground was in bad shape, the team doing badly and the future gloomy. They [White and Swales] decided to step in... They loaned £6,000 to the club to clear its immediate debts. They·took up £2,000-worth of unissued shares and by guaranteeing wages, they succeeded in preventing the club's complete professional staff from walking out... Knowing only too well that names make news, they brought in ex-Newcastle.and Manchester United inside forward Ernie Taylor; Paddy Fagan from Manchester City and Tommy Banks from Bolton. They made Paddy player-manager, but three weeks later he was injured and never played again".

The Robins' Review for the Alty v Oswestry Town game (28/8/61) had the following pen picture:

"FAGAN, Paddy: Player Manager. Winger. 5ft 6in, l0st.7lb. Played for Eire against Scotland as recently as May. Voted fontballer of the year in Eire, 1960. First Player-Manager at Moss Lane for quarter of a century. Won F.A. Cup Winner’s Medal with Manchester City before moving to Derby County".

All at Altrincham FC express their condolences to Paddy's family.


Phil Taylor advises that " Despite falling behind, Altrincham Ladies defeated Runcorn Linnets Ladies 3-1 away on Sunday. The goal Scorers were Kathryn McIntyre, Charlotte Dudley and Tracey Blanchard Webb". Phil's match report will follow.


"TASC (The Altrincham Supporters Club) is appealing to Altrincham fans to help raise £10,000 to ensure that the bar matchday experience is as good as it possibly can be when the new Community Sports Hall at The J.Davidson Stadium opens next month.

TASC Chairman, Brian Flynn, said 'The new Community Sports Hall is looking fantastic and is set to play a pivotal role in supporting the development of Altrincham Football club in the short, medium and long term. In all honesty, it's probably a better facility than many of us imagined it could be and it's going to be a superb asset for the people of Altrincham.

Unfortunately, appeals for financial funding have not been as successful as hoped for and the potential impact of this is that the finishing touches to the project are not as impressive as the building itself. By this, I mean the essential interior work that needs to be done, specifically installing a sound system and television projector and distribution system, as the plan is to have a large screen at either end of the hall... the total cost of which is £10,000.

The main beneficiaries of these facilities will be our supporters, who will use the bar on matchdays, and I am calling on 100 people to contribute £100 each to help us put the cherry on the cake of this project. The official opening of the hall is less than a month away and it's probably unrealistic to expect to raise all of the £10,000 before the first matchday that the new bar will be open for on the Saturday before Christmas. Therefore, we are asking for 100 people to make a contribution of £100 or commit to setting up a standing order of £10 per month for 10 months, with the first payment being made in December. In achieving this, we will be able to invest in the equipment needed to make the bar matchday experience at the J.Davidson Stadium, second to none!

Every one of the 100 people who contributes to this cause will be recognised for their support, with their name being included on a high quality, glass-fronted list of Alty fans, which will act as a permanent reminder of the people who helped this project reach the finishing post.

Please support us in this mission by contacting me for payment/standing order details by email ( or phone (0161 610 1193/07860 561011) or speak to me at any of the forthcoming matches. Alternatively, you can telephone Altrincham Football Club on 0161 928 1045, e-mail me or call in at the ground between 9.30am and 4.30pm, Monday-Friday.

Brian Flynn, Chairman, TASC (The Altrincham Supporters' Club)".


News of our Cheshire Senior Cup opponents comes from NL Daily, which says that "Northwich Victoria have fended off a winding-up petition. The charges were brought from the HMRC at London's High Court today. Registrar Stephen Baister dismissed a request from HMRC for an order against Northwich Victoria Football Club (2007), currently playing home matches at Valley Road in Flixton, after being told a debt had been paid in full. Lawyers representing HMRC asked for the petition to be withdrawn during a hearing that lasted thirty seconds."


The Football Conference reports that "Craig Curran has left Nuneaton Town, having agreed a mutual termination of his contract. Despite being injured, Curran travelled from his home in the North West to the Southport game to support the team. He also took the opportunity to talk with manager Liam Daish and chairman Lee Thorn, suggesting to the management team that he would be willing to leave the club and seek a fresh start elsewhere.

Thorn was quick to praise the player. '“Craig is well aware of how tight the playing budget is here at Nuneaton and offered to terminate his contract early to free up funds. He is such an honest and decent lad, a true gentleman, and I can’t speak highly enough of him. He is facing at least six weeks on the side lines but wants the club to be successful so thought his departure would benefit everyone. Players come in for a lot of criticism for sitting in the stands and picking up their money but Craig’s gesture shows that there are decent people in the game and at this club'".

Meanwhile the former Nuneaton boss is subject of a report from the BBC, to the effect that "Kevin Wilkin says Wrexham will appeal against striker Louis Moult's red card in Saturday's 3-2 defeat against Altrincham. Moult was shown a red card in first half stoppage time only two minutes after scoring Wrexham's second goal. Manager Wilkin felt Moult's second dismissal of the season, for an alleged stamp on Simon Richman, was harsh.

'We'll appeal the sending off,' said Wilkin, 'And, hopefully, that will be rescinded'.

Andy Bishop was also sent-off for two yellow cards in a game which saw Altrincham come back from two goals down to win 3-2 at the Racecourse. Wrexham have now gone eight league games without a win and their last victory at home to Kidderminster Harriers in September. The Dragons travel to Kidderminster on Tuesday and Wilkin says his players cannot 'feel sorry for themselves' following Saturday's defeat to Altrincham...

Midfielder Dean Keates will not feature against Kidderminster, but Wilkin is hopeful fellow midfielder Jay Harris will be available".

And Wrexham add that "Media Team Member Rich Fay takes stock of team matters. Eight league matches without a win, both top goal-scorers suspended and currently occupying 12th spot in the league. It's not the electric start we'd all hoped for in our prestigious anniversary year but, it's still not all doom and gloom.

Altrincham on Saturday marked another tough league defeat for Wrexham... [who are] without a league victory since a 1-0 win on the 30th September... That victory against the Harriers came almost exactly two months ago and saw Wrexham move up to third in the table as they approached October. So what's changed Wrexham's fortunes over the past two months?

Well, unfortunate injuries to Dan Bachmann, Jay Harris and more recently Andy Coughlin have left the Dragon's without an established spine to their squad and perhaps surprisingly Wrexham haven't actually won a league game since Bachmann's long-term lay-off at the start of October... It is also crucial to remember that Wrexham have largely been without leading scorer Louis Moult since mid-October following a lengthy suspension, a lack of match fitness and more importantly the birth of his daughter. His controversial dismissal on Saturday will again provide this problem as he looks set to miss another four matches, however the positive out of this is that a rejuvenated Andy Bishop will be back for Saturday's clash against Aldershot, with Connor Jennings and Wes York eager to take their chance against Kidderminster on Tuesday...

Although Wrexham won't move up the table with a win at Aggborough, a win could potentially see them only three points off the final play-off place... A good cup run could also be a catalyst for a mid-season revival... I still fully believe we have what it takes to achieve a famous promotion in our 150th year".

The Leader tells us that "Woeful Wrexham hit a new low on Saturday equalling their worst ever run since becoming a non-league side. The Reds have now gone eight Conference Premier League games without a win, matching a similar wretched run back in 2010...

Despite the horrendous run, boss Wilkin remains defiant.'I can only work with the tools that I have got and try and progress the situation,' said Wilkin... 'I don’t see it as pressure, it is expectation. Clearly I want to win games, that is what I have been about and what I remain about... It is about keeping your head at crucial times. It is important to remain positive, which I’ll do. The optimism around the camp is still there, we have got a fantastic FA Cup game to look forward to'...

Goalkeeper Jonathan Flatt, brought in on a one-month loan deal from Wolverhampton Wanderers... was disappointed not to mark his debut with a victory... Said the 20-year-old, 'Obviously it was really disappointing and a hard one to take... It was a long half when we had nine men with cross after cross coming into the box but I thought we were going to hold out... I came into the team and was thinking, when we were 2-0 up, ‘How haven’t they won in seven games?’, added Flatt.

'One minute you are winning and within five minutes you are 3-2 down... It is hard with only eight outfield players'".

According to the Grimsby Telegraph, "Kidderminster boss Gary Whild says the Harriers' performance in their victory over the Mariners was 'The most complete you're likely to get'. After a difficult week at Aggborough, during which Whild has seen a number of key players leave, he was delighted with his depleted side's display at Blundell Park.

With a bare squad of 16, the Harriers took an early lead through Marvin Johnson before extending their within five minutes of the restart when Jack Byrne headed home from a corner. It was the Harriers' first win in three league games... and afterwards, Whild couldn't speak highly enough of his players' efforts.

He said, 'The lads did fantastic and I was really proud of them. In saying that, apart from only a couple of occasions this season, they've been fantastic right through... If you can ever get one in football, that was as close to a complete performance as you're going to get. We got an early goal and then another just minutes after half-time... We created a lot of opportunities in the last third. The build-up play to get in was good and we looked a threat... Look at the two benches and you could see the difference with the experience Grimsby had on theirs and the youth we had on ours.

With our bench at the minute you know what you're going to get... We know the lads that we've got on the bench are going to go on and give us a real shift out there. That's a massive plus point for me as their manager'".

24 November 2014


Match report here

Brian Flynn reports that Saturday's Radio Robins commentary from Wrexham is available here.

There are brief highlights of the game on You Tube.


The Shropshire Star tells us that "AFC Telford United manager Liam Watson has admitted he picked the wrong team line-up and formation in the first-half of the 3-1 defeat to Braintree Town. The Bucks' chief has favoured a 5-3-2 formation for much of this season, but had enjoyed success with 4-4-2 in Tuesday's FA Cup first round replay win over Basingstoke.

That selection was influenced by injuries and unavailability but Watson opted to stick with it for the visit of Braintree and his team then shipped three first-half goals on their way to a disappointing defeat. And he said, 'That first-half was, without a doubt, as bad as it has been this season. No excuses. I have got to look at myself, because I think I picked the wrong line-up and the wrong shape. It was probably going off the fact that we had a good result against Basingstoke in the week. But it has been proven time and time again that it doesn't work for us when we get pressure put on us.

And it was the same again here. You could turn round and say that their first goal was miles offside, because it was. But that is making excuses. And their third goal kills the game off. It was a cross into the box and we just don't pick it up. The game had gone at half-time. We just looked leggy. We looked like we didn't have any energy, didn't have anything in terms of pressing, commitment, work rate, especially in the final third of the pitch. We didn't put them under any kind of pressure and, if you just look at their forwards, they worked Andy Parry, they worked Steve Akrigg, they put them under pressure just by working, and we never did'...

But he said, 'We came out in the second half and showed a little bit of character but that was easy. because the game has gone and I suppose we were playing the second half for a bit of pride'. He added that his team, which is bottom of the Conference Premier, have suffered too many defeats against teams in the bottom half of the table. He said, 'It has been our Achilles heel. We have slipped up in games against your Dartfords, your Dovers, the teams in and around down the bottom. Braintree aren't going to be anywhere near the bottom come the end of the season but we have got make sure we stay in games and work our socks off. The more clean sheets we get the more points we get and that is what we haven't been able to do'".

Alty travel to Nailsworth on 6 December from where Stroud Life tells us that "A point away from home [at Dover] was more than satisfying for Forest Green Rovers boss Ady Pennock after he saw his side draw at Dover. Rovers’ fourth consecutive draw, in a far from exciting stalemate, maintained a place just outside the play-off positions for the Nailsworth side.

And Pennock, who has seen his squad grind out 10 draws this season, was happy to take a point against last season’s Conference South play-off winners. 'It wasn’t a classic. It’s a difficult place to come here – they’ve won their last six games on the spin here', he said. 'They are saying it is a fortress and everything else but I’ll take a 0-0 away from home all day long. We have been conceding a few goals in the last three games. We have been working on that in the last week and the back four have done really well....

The Rovers' boss withheld further praise for Jersey-born attacker Kurtis Guthrie, who impressed once again. Signed from Welling United in the summer, Guthrie appears to be beginning to find his feet in the Forest Green set-up after bagging a brace the previous week at Torquay. 'He was up and down like a yo-yo. His other side of the game is really coming on as well,' added Pennock. 'He looks dangerous when the ball is coming into the box and his hold up play is good but his defensive work has been fantastic.' P> Pennock confirmed after the game that Christian Jolley’s loan spell at The New Lawn had come to an end. The attacker made seven appearances in a two month period having joined from League Two outfit Newport County... 'It just hasn’t worked out so he will be going back'" said the manager."

More on this game comes from the Gloucester Citizen which says that "A reputation as the Vanarama Conference’s draw specialists appears to be building for Forest Green after they picked up their tenth draw of the season at the Crabble. For a fourth league game in a row, Rovers were held to a draw by a Dover Athletic side... Alongside Macclesfield Town, Forest Green have suffered defeat the least amount of times in the division this season...

This uninspiring meeting against last season’s Conference South play-off winners did little to whet the appetite for the Rovers faithful who made the long trip south. Kurtis Guthrie did have the ball in the back of the net once for Rovers, only to see his header disallowed, but that was as good as it got in a dreadfully dull showing. There was a return to the fold for left back Chris Stokes, whose selection in the back four allowed Marcus Kelly the opportunity to resume his position in the Rovers midfield...

FGR: S Russell, D Bennett, C Stokes, D Coles, E Oshodi, J Norwood, C Kamdjo, R Sinclair, M Kelly (S Wedgbury 55), L Hughes (J Parkin 71), K Guthrie. Subs not used: P White, D Pipe, L Oliver".

In the Kidderminster Shuttle, "Jubilant Harriers' boss Gary Whild hailed his side’s impressive 2-0 in over high-flying Grimsby yesterday... Marvin Johnson grabbed a slick opener just 66 seconds after kick-off, before Jack Byrne headed home the second three minutes after the half-time break...

Fans may have feared the worst before the game after their cash-strapped club had been forced to see Chey Dunkley join Oxford and Nathan Blissett Bristol Rovers. 'The lads did fantastically will and I am proud of them,' said Whild. 'It is great to see them get what they deserve... I thought we did well at a difficult place'...

There was also an eye-catching first start for rookie hitman Reece Hales, who worked extremely hard to link up play".

The Conference fixtures have dealt Altrincham a Tuesday night (December 2nd) in Woking and the Times Series reports that you can "Watch highlights of Barnet's 1-1 draw at Woking on Saturday... Former Leyton Orient defender Mike Cestor scored at both ends, handing the Bees an early advantage before equalising for the Cards in the second period".

23 November 2014


The sad news that Mike Williams has been forced to retire at the age of 28 left both sets of supporters stunned when it was announced during half-time at The Racecourse on Saturday.

Mike is seen (right) in action for Altrincham against Barrow in August 2013.

After informing chairman Grahame Rowley earlier in the day, Mike asked for the opportunity to deliver a personal message to everyone at The J.Davidson Stadium. We were only too happy to oblige, and here, in an interview with joint Press and Media Officer, John Edwards, Alty’s former Wrexham defender explains exactly what brought his career to an abrupt end and expresses his gratitude for the club’s unstinting support during his long fight for fitness. This is what he said:

‘I have signed the release forms, so I am now officially an ex- footballer. As I’m sure you can imagine, it has come as a big shock, but I’m not one to mope around, feeling sorry for myself. I’m already planning my future but, before I get on with that, I want to say a big thank you to everyone at Altrincham and also to explain what happened to cut short my career.

Speaking to a few people, there seems to be an assumption that the original injury was the problem, but, in fact, the Achilles has healed really well and is absolutely fine. Since the start of pre-season, an entirely different condition has been troubling me, and we finally got to the bottom of it after a series of scans and assessments. The specialist said I had been diagnosed with osteoarthritis in both hips and added, 'That’s it, Mike. You’ve got to stop playing immediately, right now.'

As a player, you tend to take football for granted, and it was a shock to the system to be told something like that. It was particularly frustrating after all the time and hard work that had gone in to recovering from the Achilles injury that kept me out so long. The hours I spent with (Alty physio) Alan Ainsley, working my way back to fitness, seemed worthwhile when I was able to join the rest of the lads for pre-season.

But it was then that I started feeling some discomfort in the groin area. There were sharp pains sometimes as well, and initially all the signs suggested I’d got some sort of groin problem. After so long on the sidelines, though, you just want to be out there. You know how it is. You think to yourself, "Play your way through it, you’ll be all right".

I mentioned it to Alan (left), because it was constantly there, but I said I was going to play through it and just put up with it, if need be. Anything to be pulling the boots on again and playing. I went to Stalybridge on loan and played a few games, and I can honestly say I could feel the old sharpness coming back with each appearance.

But by now, it was a good four months since I first felt some discomfort in my groin, and it was still there. Clearly it wasn’t just going to go away, so we had to get it seen to. The diagnosis came after a scan that entailed some dye being injected into the joint, and it couldn’t have been much worse.

Never mind playing football, I had to stop any activity that involved running or any sort of impact. I went in to the appointment hoping for positive news, a cure that would put me right and enable me to play pain-free, but came out having to accept my career was over and I couldn’t even play any other sport. That’s pretty much the extent of it. Working on a bike and cross training should be OK, and maybe a bit of swimming, but anything else is out. I’ve got to be careful. It’s more than likely I’ll need a hip replacement at some stage. How well I look after myself in the meantime will determine when.

As I tried to take it all in, the specialist explained that it wasn’t hereditary or anything like that. There was no reason for it. I’d just been unlucky. I’ve still a lot to be thankful for, though. I joined Wrexham’s Academy at 10, had five or six years as a professional with them, then with Kidderminster, and, of course, I’ve had a couple of years as a semi-pro here at Altrincham.

I couldn’t leave without placing on record my thanks and gratitude for all the help and support I’ve had from the chairman Grahame Rowley, the management, staff, players and supporters at Altrincham. Everyone associated with the club, in fact. The way you all stood by me during such a long rehab programme was absolutely fantastic. I wanted to repay you all on the pitch, and I’m sorry I now won't be able to.

It’s not just the recovery, and the way you looked after me, that has made Alty special to me. It is such a well-run club. Everything about it is right, and you can tell the lads enjoy being there. It just comes across every time you’re with them. There is a sense everyone is pulling in the same direction.

It’s still hard to believe I won’t be in that changing room with them again, but I wish them all the very best for the future. When I spoke to Grahame about having to finish, he told me I was more than welcome to pop in anytime and say hello.

I’m only just over an hour’s drive away in Rhos-on-Sea, near Colwyn Bay, so you can be sure I will be taking him up on his invitation. I will be visiting, and taking in a few games, when I can, but in the meantime, I need to turn my attention to using my brain, rather than my boots, to earn a living.

I have been in touch with the PFA for help with the transition, and I am going to do a sports science degree course, with the aim of becoming a PE teacher. I am looking forward to a new chapter in my life and a new challenge, and if I can put my knowledge of the game to good effect and help some youngsters make the most of themselves, that will be ample reward in itself.

You have to move on, and I will. I’ll take some great memories with me, too, of my years at Wrexham, the people I met at Altrincham and the proud moment when I represented my country. I actually appeared in the same under-21 team as Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey and Joe Allen.

That’ll be me in years to come, the feller in the corner of the pub, boring all his mates with, “You know that Gareth Bale .. played in the same team, I did, you know. Oh yes.” They won’t be able to shut me up.’


Match report here

After Saturday's game, Altrincham manager Lee Sinnott told the NL Paper, "At 2-0 down I thought we still created chances. and I was pleased with how we switched the play and stayed patient in the second half. We took a bit of a gamble with the substitutions but, either way, it's rare to rare to come from two goals down to win the game".

Above: Alty line up before the match.

Meanwhile, Wrexham posed the question "Where do you start on an afternoon like that? Nine-man Wrexham let a two goal lead slip as they lost at home to the Altrincham, who themselves had seen a man sent off.

The Dragons led midway through the first-half when Elliott Durrell calmly slotted home into the far corner, after a precise pass from Wes York, to give Wrexham the lead in an otherwise tight opening exchange.

The best chance of the opening period fell to Steven Gillespie, who find himself in front of an open net following a fantastic move down the right, however he couldn’t connect and saw his attempt fly into the stand...

Things got even better for Wrexham after 40 minutes, when Altrincham saw defender Scott Leather sent off following a lunging tackle on Mark Carrington. And when top-scorer Louis Moult volleyed in a rebound after Andy Bishop saw his powerful effort cannon off the crossbar, things were looking up for Kevin Wilkin’s men.

However, the mood soon dampened at the Racecourse as only a minute later Moult saw red himself following a late collision with Simon Richman. After 15 comfortable second-half minutes, it took a pointless tackle from the already booked Andy Bishop to turn the game on its head. His late lunge resulted in Wrexham having to play out the remaining 35 minutes with only nine men on the pitch.

Despite a resolute defence spearheaded by Manny Smith and Wrexham’s other debutant Scott Tancock, Altrincham did get back into the game...

Wrexham did push for another late twist, but sadly nothing materialised and now we find ourselves without a win in eight league games and with only ten points from their last eleven Conference matches".

The BBC reported that "Wrexham manager Kevin Wilkin told BBC Radio Wales, 'I'm gutted with that. You're 2-0 up against 10 men and comfortable and to come away with nothing is quite difficult and will take a little while to gather my thoughts. It's difficult to start criticising people when you've had to play so long with nine men. I'll perhaps go and look at the goals and think we probably could have done better for the goals but is it harsh to be critical of the players at that stage? Possibly.'"

More comes from The Leader which says that "strikers Louis Moult and Andy Bishop were controversially sent off while Altrincham were also left with 10 men... The starting line-up showed four changes from the side that lost at Braintree.

Goalkeeper Jon Flatt and centre-back Scott Tancock, brought in on one month loan deals from Wolves and Swansea City respectively, replaced Andy Coughlin (injured) and Blaine Hudson (suspended). Left-back Neil Ashton, fresh from serving a one-match ban, took over from Johnny Hunt while top scorer Moult returned to the attack with Connor Jennings missing out...

Moult, moments after celebrating his goal, was shown a red card for an alleged stamp on Richman which looked a very harsh decision. Little had happened in the second half before Wrexham found themselves with nine men in the 55th minute, Andy Bishop shown a second yellow card... It was another controversial decision, more so the fact Bishop’s first yellow card shouldn’t have been shown but it gave Altrincham hope of getting something out of the game".

and Wales Online states that "Wrexham raced into a two-goal lead... before Louis Moult doubled Wrexham’s advantage on the stroke of half-time. Yet no sooner had the forward dispatched an exquisite volley he was joining Densmore [i.e. Leather] down the tunnel for a stamp only referee Ryan Johnson could see. And there was even more frustration for the Dragon... when Andy Bishop was dismissed for a second bookable offence".


  • AFC Telford Utd 1-3 Braintree Town (gate 1523)
  • Aldershot Town 0-2 Eastleigh (1737)
  • Chester FC 2-2 Bristol Rovers (2936)
  • Dover Athletic 0-0 Forest Green Rovers (916)
  • Grimsby Town 0-2 Kidderminster Harriers (3446)
  • Lincoln City 1-0 Dartford (2483)
  • Macclesfield Town 2-0 Alfreton Town
  • Nuneaton Town 2-3 Southport (743)
  • Torquay United 2-2 Gateshead (1947)
  • Welling United 2-1 FC Halifax Town (500)
  • Woking 1-1 Barnet (2617)
  • Wrexham 2-3 Altrincham (3002)
  • Through the Years from Howard Watts.

22 November 2014


Altrincham FC defender Mike Williams (28) has announced his retirement. Mike has an ongoing groin problem which, according to a specilaist, would lead to a hip replacment being needed, should he continue to play football. So he has decided to take up a teaching career with help from the PFA.

All at Altrincham FC wish him well and thank him for his services. Mike will be interviewed by the Alty press team in the near future and the interview will be posted here on the website.

Mike joined Alty in early June 2013. Unfortunately, a cruciate ligament injury sidelined him after just five league starts and one sub appearance in the 2013-14 season. He had arrived at Moss Lane from Kidderminster Harriers, where he had spent the previous three seasons. 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.

Mike also appeared 13 times for Wales's under-21 team and, in 2009, received a Wales cap for playing for their semi-pro international side. He had recovered his fitness by the early summer of 2014 but only managed the first 45 minutes of the current season before further injuries sidelined him. Though named on the bench later in the season, he did not make a further appearance.


Alty came from 2-0 down at the interval to win three-two in an eventful game which featured three sendings-off...

Match report here

Right, Scott Leather salutes the travelling supporters at the Racecourse Ground before the match on Saturday.


The Conference reports that "Hyde FC have signed Connor Hunt on loan from Everton and Matt Flynn, who was most recently at Southport...Defender Flynn began his career at Warrington Town before...making eleven appearances in total for Rochdale. He signed for Fleetwood Town in August 2011 and joined then Conference North club Altrincham on loan in December 2011".


On the eve of their match against Altrincham, Wrexham announce that "With injury to James Pearson, as well as Blaine Hudson also suspended for one game, manager Kevin Wilkin has moved to add more depth to his squad by bringing Swansea City defender Scott Tancock on loan for a month. Subject to being approved by the Conference, Premier League and FAW, he will be available for tomorrow's game with Altrincham. Happily, no International Clearance is required!

The 20-year-old is captain of their U21 side and is also a Wales under-21 international, who featured against the Reds in the second half of our pre-season friendly with the Swans. A product of the Swansea City academy, he joined Newport County at the end of September on a one-month deal and made his Football League debut in their League Two match against AFC Wimbledon... Scott extended his loan for a further month with County, before returning to the Liberty Stadium this week.

He is also eligible for both the FA Cup and FA Trophy during his stay in North Wales."

Wrexham also report that "Alex taylor takes a closer look at the Moss Road[!] side... Wrexham look to bounce back after a poor defeat away at Braintree last Saturday, the Reds’ first defeat in six games in all competitions. However, their search for a league win now stretches to seven matches in the Vanarama Conference.

Despite Wrexham’s vast riches in attacking areas, we’re struggling defensively, as centre back Blaine Hudson misses out through suspension and goalkeeper Andy Coughlin is absent with a hand injury. New signing Jon Flatt could make his debut on loan from Wolves, subject to his International Clearance arriving in time. James Pearson is also still out after injuring a muscle against Woking, but Jay Harris could return to the side after his training ground injury.

Theo Bailey-Jones (foot) and Daniel Bachmann (knee) are long term absentees for Wrexham, although more encouraging reports are coming from Stoke about the latter.

Altrincham go into the game on the back of 1-1 draw at home to in-form Grimsby Town. The Robins currently find themselves in 18th place in the Conference, but they are no strangers to a scalp against one of the bigger teams in the league. Two of Altrincham’s four wins this season have come away from, at FC Halifax Town and Lincoln City...

Players To Watch: Damian Reeves... Scott Leather: The youngster has become one of Altrincham’s stalwart defenders at centre half... James Lawrie... Kyle Perry. The striker is in good form, with recent goals against Telford and Blyth Spartans in the FA Cup".

And the BBC adds that "Wrexham could give debuts to defender Scott Tancock and goalkeeper Jonathan Flatt after they each joined on a month's loan... Altrincham winger Nicky Clee has a fractured toe, but there are no fresh injury concerns for boss Lee Sinnott... Wolverhampton Wanderers' Flatt is likely to start in goal... Manager Kevin Wilkin also has striker Neil Ashton available after the 29-year-old returned from suspension...

After losing 1-0 to Braintree last weekend, Wrexham boss Kevin Wilkin said, 'Braintree was really poor and we need to show a reaction and a response to that. We need to draw a line under it by performing a whole lot better and trying to get a win. Let's not discount the two fantastic results we've had along the way, beating Woking 3-0 in the FA Cup and Macclesfield 5-2."

According to the Daily Post, "Blaine Hudson has paid tribute to Manny Smith, stating his centre-back partner has helped him come on leaps and bounds this season. The duo signed for Wrexham in the close-season and have formed an excellent partnership... Saturday’s visit of Altrincham will be the first time this season the duo have not lined up next to each other with Hudson serving a one-match ban...

'It is always a bit of a blow to miss games through suspensions, especially in the manner it happened. I can’t really say too much, but I don’t think it was the right decision at all,' said the 23-year-old. 'The last couple of games referees have cost us with suspensions and goals, and hopefully it will swing in our favour at some point soon, I think we are due a few, but I’m really not happy to miss a game. I think the referee started dishing out a few yellow cards quite happily and it was just a nothing yellow card, it wasn’t even a foul, we were 1-0 down and there was about 10-minutes left and I don’t really see what he was trying to get in booking everyone but some referees do it.

I think especially at my age when you play centre-half you want to play as many games as you can, I think centre-halves are the players that tend to last all season, maybe its because we don’t do as much running about as the rest of them. But yeah it is frustrating, but it is only one game and hopefully I can keep myself out of trouble for a couple of games because I go back in on four bookings, so I am sure Manny will able to manage without me for one game. I am sure whoever goes in will do a good job, whether it is Ste (Tomassen) or whoever it is, Manny is a good defender and he has helped me a lot since I’ve been here, and I am sure whoever goes in will do well...

We get on really well off the pitch as well, we live together a few days in the week. He’s (Smith) got tonnes more experience than I have, and he’s played in the league and his positioning sense and his talking has helped me so much and brought me along as a player in a short space of time, so I am quite happy to keep playing along side him and see how we get on'...

Asked if Hudson had apologised to his team-mates for the sending off in the aftermath of the loss, he replied, 'I didn’t need to apologise to the lads'".

Team-mate "Mark Carrington is adamant Wrexham will find their form and kick on in the hunt for a play-off spot. Wrexham are low on form at present, having claimed only 10 points from a possible last 30, and have slumped to 12th... Wins in the FA Cup over Macclesfield (5-2) and Woking (3-0) have belied a poor run of form in the league...

'If you look at the table we have not picked up a win in seven and we are only five points off a play-off spot,' said the utility player... We are not far off, we know that and I am sure it will all click into place. We always look a threat in every game we play that we are going to score goals... We have picked up quite a few draws in the league over the last few games and we could do with getting back to winning ways. It is a home game as well, and we’ve done all right at home this season, so hopefully we can get a win.

But Altrincham won’t be a pushover. I don’t think where they are in the table reflects what kind of a team they are but we have worked hard this week and worked hard and we will give it a go. They are going to be desperate for a win. A lot of teams come to Wrexham and think this is a big game to turn us over...

There will be a few changes, obviously with Blaine being out, he has been really good for us this season... but I though when Tommo (Steve Tomassen) came in last season and played centre-half did really well, so he can step in and do a job no worries about that. With the keeper situation I’m not sure about that'...

Carrington... may be forced to fill in back at right-back against Altrincham on Saturday. 'I definitely prefer playing in midfield, that’s my position, its where I think I am best,' said Carrington. 'But obviously I’ve played right-back for a while for Wrexham and I am pleased to get my chance in midfield for Wrexham, and I’d like to stay in there, but I’ll play anywhere that is best for the team.. It will be either me or Ross (White) you would have thought who will slot back in there...

I see myself as a ball playing midfielder, I like to get the ball down and pass the ball and keep it moving, so if I am playing in there that is the kind of job I’ll do for the team'".

Also, Wrexham will be LIVE on BBC Wales on Saturday 6 December 5.30pm when they meet Maidstone United in the FA Cup Round Two.


Altrincham's Cheshire Senior Cup game away to Northwich Victoria has been arranged for Tuesday 13th January 2015 at Valley Road, Flixton at 7-45pm.


According to the Grimsby Telegraph, "Grimsby Town have been told they must submit a report into the actions of its fan at the away game at Altrincham by November 25. As reported, the Football Association (FA) is investigating claims that Grimsby Town fans threw four smoke bombs during last weekend’s game.

It also comes after the club had been warned it could face disciplinary action if such behaviour continued, following previous reports of fans misbehaving at other fixtures earlier this season. Greater Manchester Police confirmed one person was arrested and cautioned for being in possession of a flare during the game at Altrincham... The FA has asked for observations from both clubs, and will investigate once aware of the “full set of circumstances”.

At Southport, "Striker Danny Hattersley has suffered a broken bone in his foot, sustained before his excellent FA Cup midweek performance. X-rays reveal a break which can take up to six weeks to heal."

The Football Conference reports that "Kidderminster Harriers have taken defender Sam Long on loan for just over a month from Oxford United. The 19-year-old will remain at Aggborough until January 1st. Long is a product of Oxford's youth system...

Long moved to Aggborough as Harriers` England C defender Chey Dunkley makes the opposite move".

Elsewhere, "Liam Daish, manager of Nuneaton Town, has returned to the loan market to add additional fire power to his frontline. Full Lithuanian international Simonas Stankevicius has joined the club on a two-month loan deal from Leicester City. The striker, 19, has represented his country at senior level six times but has yet to appear for the Foxes' first-team. Chairman Lee Thorn said... 'He is a powerful target man with a great awareness and physical presence, along with a killer instinct in front of goal. Simonas has just returned from International duty with Lithuania who are competing for qualification in England's group for the 2016 Euro Final'".

NL Pitchero reports that "Torquay United have signed James McQuilkin in a non-contract deal. The gifted Northern Ireland under-21 international midfielder has been without a club since leaving Walsall in the summer... McQuilkin came through the youth ranks at West Bromwich Albion and then spent some time in Czech football with Tescoma Zlin before making his mark in four years at Hereford United."

21 November 2014


Altrincham travel to Wrexham on Saturday and, following Thursday training, Altrincham boss Lee Sinnott only expected to be without Nicky Clee from his first-team squad. The wingman is still recovering from a fractured toe but should be fit "in two weeks, possibly less" said Lee. The referee on Saturday is Mr B. Toner.

Meanwhile, Mike Garnett reminds us that our record against Wrexham is:

  • At home: P6-W1-D3-L2-F4-A6
  • Away: P5-W1-D2-L2-F3-A6
  • All: P11-W2-D5-L4-F7-A12

Conference statistics show that Altrincham have scored seven first-half goals but 14 after the interval in their league matches this season. In contrast, Wrexham have hit 13 goals before the interval and ten after the break. Wrexham go into the game without a win in seven league matches whilst each team's top scorer has eight league goals this season; Louis Moult (Jake's brother) is the leader for the Dragons and Damian Reeves for Alty.

Our next opponents, report that "Police are appealing for people to be aware if offered lawnmowers for sale, after three were stolen from Wrexham Football Club. We are told the theft took place at some point between 5pm on Friday (14th) to 9am on the 18th (Tuesday).

We believe they are “Heavy Duty” self-propelled rear-roller mowers, with a value of around £1000 each".

On the pitch Wrexham report that "The Reds have secured, subject to international clearance, the loan signing of [goalkeeper] Jonathan Flatt from Wolverhampton Wanderers on a month’s loan to cover for the injuries suffered by both Andy Coughlin and Dan Bachmann.

The 20-year-old plays with the Wolves U21 side... In August they gave him an extended two-year contract... The keeper has been with the Wolves Academy since the age of eight and, having been an unused substitute for the first team last season, was part of the pre-season tour in Ireland and made his senior bow against Bohemians".

Wrexham added, before Flatt's signing, that "Following scans on his hand over the weekend, it appears that Andy Coughlin has broken two bones but he is seeing a specialist to give a more formal opinion on the injury. Physio Di Spendiff is hoping that it is not a long term problem and the player might actually be looking at weeks on the sidelines, rather than months...

Nevertheless, with Dan Bachmann also out with knee ligament injury, although the Austrian is recovering well, a new keeper to bolster the ranks is high on the manager’s list of priorities... 'We still have Louis Gray, although to be fair to him, he has not had a great deal of playing time... You have seen over the years that teams who are successful are helped by having squads which are strong and can cover for injuries. These last few weeks have certainly challenged us.'

The boss is also hampered by the loss of centre half Blaine Hudson to suspension, even if it is only a one-match ban at this stage... 'I have been looking at cover for the defence, but one player we thought was a possibility has not worked out. We do have other irons in the fire and we will have to see how things develop over the next couple of days'" said the manager.


Details of the TASC supporters' coach to Wrexham on Saturday, 22 November, are here.


FC Halifax Town report that their "U19s continued their good form with an emphatic 6-0 win over Altrincham U19s [Youth Education Programme team].

Town went the closest in a tight first half... Altrincham also went close to taken the lead with a one on one, but Ellis Halpine pulled off a fantastic save to keep the scores level.

Altrincham started the half brightly and only the post stopped them from opening the scoring. However, it was Town that broke the deadlock with two quick fire goals...The two goals gave Town a lot of confidence and they started to take a grip of the game. The youngsters added a third... They only had two wait two minutes to score their fourth... Will Chappell grabbed a goal late on... Isaac Nichol then scored Town’s sixth with an excellent left foot driven from around 20 yards.

The boys could have inflicted further damage if it weren’t for some excellent saves. Will Chappell had a ferocious shot stopped expertly from close range. Town also went agonisingly close to piling on more misery when they had three efforts cleared off the line from a Nicholl corner, however it was another impressive victory".


Some Cheshire Senior Cup Second Round matches have now been assigned dates. The remainder are set to be played in week commencing 13 January 2015.
  • Northwich Victoria v Altrincham FC
  • 20/01/15 Crewe Alexandra v 1874 Northwich
  • 17/01/15 Nantwich Town v Tranmere Rovers
  • 20/01/15 Alsager Town v Stockport County
  • Hyde FC v Macclesfield Town
  • 17/01/15 Runcorn Linnets v Runcorn Town
  • 17/01/15 Cammell Laird 1907 v Winsford United
  • 17/01/15 Northwich Flixton Villa v Congleton Town


When Droylsden beat Trafford this week in the Dootson Cup, their goalkeeper was sent off for bringing down the Bloods' former Alty Youth striker Ben Deegan. With no keeper on the bench, Trafford's former Altrincham midfielder, Lewis Chalmers, now a defender, went in goal.


The Football Conference says that "Cheyenne Dunkley has completed a move from Kidderminster Harriers to Oxford United. The defender will initially join United on loan until January, which will then become a permanent transfer for an undisclosed fee.

Dunkley moved to Aggborough from Hednesford Town in June 2012, and his last appearance for Harriers - against Bristol Rovers last Saturday - was his 100th for the club. The 22-year-old began his career at Crewe Alexandra, progressing through the youth ranks before being released in May 2010. He joined Hednesford shortly afterwards following an earlier loan spell and went on to play around 100 games for the Pitmen".

Elsewhere, "Bristol Rovers have signed striker Bradley Goldberg in a one month loan deal from Dagenham & Redbridge. The 21-year-old former Charlton Athletic player signed for the Daggers in July 2013 from Hastings United... After scoring for the Daggers in pre-season games he was immediately put on a season-long loan to Conference South side Bromley, managed by his father Mark, for experience and scored 23 goals in forty-four appearances. In addition, he won the Conference South player of the year award...

Rovers'` manager Darrell Clarke was delighted to capture the youngster, saying, 'Bradley did very well last season when he was out on loan at Bromley but hasn’t been able to cement a regular place in the Dagenham & Redbridge side this season. We lost Jamie White earlier this week and Brad is a player I know a great deal about. I think our style of play will suit him as he likes to play off the shoulder of a target man'".

Meanwhile, "Gary Brabin, manager of Southport, has announced that Walsall have agreed to extend striker Amadou Bakayoko's loan... Bakayoko became Brabin`s first signing upon his return to the Merseyrail Community Stadium in October. The leading goalscorer for the Saddlers 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, went on to make nine senior appearances for the Saddlers, including three this season.

Meanwhile, left winger Johnny Gorman, who has nine full international caps for Northern Ireland, has extended his loan spell with Barrow AFC... He signed for Port in the close season and made five appearances, scoring one goal before joining the Bluebirds last month."

From NL Pitchero we learn that "Nathan Blissett has sealed a switch to Bristol Rovers from Kidderminster Harriers. Blissett is in his third season at Aggborough... [He has had spells] on loan at the likes of Cambridge United and Hednesford Town but he has failed to nail down a regular first-team spot... The deal will initially be a loan agreement, which will become permanent in January."

In the Salisbury Journal, we learn that "TV pundit and football legend Steve Claridge is among a group of four who have launched a bid to salvage Salisbury City FC. The former striker at Pompey and Leicester City has joined forces with supporters and businessmen David Phillips, Jeremy Harwood and Graeme Mundy to buy the club which owes creditors more than £640,000.

Guiding the newly formed consortium, which is gunning to see football played at the Ray Mac next season after a league-less period, will be sports writer and former Weymouth chairman Ian Ridley. Claridge, a pundit on Football League Show who was set to succeed Mikey Harris as manager in the summer and has scored 255 goals in his 29-year playing career, said, 'I hope the administrator will see that our offer is a fair one and that we are the most credible and best-qualified people to get this club up and running again. There does need to be a swift resolution to this. It may seem like a long time to next season but any new club has to apply to the Football Association for allocation of a league in December and we are keen to make preparations'...

The Journal understand there is another interested party wanting to buy the club."

Conformation comes from the Halifax Courier that "FC Halifax Town have confirmed striker Josh Wilson’s loan move to AFC Fylde. Wilson will spend a month on loan at the club... Wilson also had a recent spell on loan at former club Guiseley and is yet to make an appearance for Halifax this season."

And "Grimsby Town have signed New Zealand striker Hamish Watson. The former Wellington Phoenix striker has been on trial with the club for the past month... The 21-year-old is a strong, robust centre-forward and is a product of the New Zealand Lower Hutt club ... and Team Wellington."

20 November 2014


Phil Taylor has kindly provided a report on the Altrincham FC Ladies 14-0 win against Heswall on Sunday. It can be found here. Pictured, right by Tom Green is a photo from the match.


Stacey Rowley, the General Manager of the new Community Sports Hall, writes that “We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who supported the Sportsman’s Dinner on Friday night, the guest speakers, Robbie Savage and Darren Fletcher from Radio 5 Live's "606", were fantastic entertainment and answered all questions, just as they would on their Saturday show live on radio.

They surprised us during the night by offering a unique auction item, a day at the 606 show alongside both Savage and Fletcher while they recorded the show. The auction overall was a huge success, in particular the Manchester United Limited Edition Opus Book, kindly donated by the Manchester United Foundation, which was won by Martin Nolan. The Cresta Court Hotel yet again provided a delicious meal and excellent service throughout the evening.

The money raised from this evening will help contribute towards the continued fundraising for the new Community Sports Hall. We look forward to seeing you all at the next Sportsman’s Dinner early next year, which will be held in our Community Sports Hall where we will hopefully see former Premier League player Danny Higginbotham as our guest speaker.”


Altrincham Fc report that "It has come to our attention that a bogus caller has been phoning club sponsors with regard to advertising on a calendar/wallplanner for the new Community Sports Hall. They have mentioned Grahame Rowley as the Chairman and Stacey Rowley as the CSH manager as giving authority for them to call.

This is not the case. We would like to warn potential sponsors/businesses and would ask them to phone the club direct on 0161 928-1045 to confirm any sponsorship/advertising deals please".


Alty's opponents on Saturday are Wrexham, from where the Daily Post tells us that "Wrexham FC's Theo Bailey-Jones is relishing returning to action. A stint on the sidelines, with his foot in plaster, has made Theo Bailey-Jones a little bit more appreciative of the life of a professional footballer.

Bailey-Jones suffered a broken metatarsal in his left foot in a freak training ground accident back in September and was immediately sidelined until around Christmas. That means the pacy winger won’t be back in action for at least another six weeks as he continues his rehabilitation... He admits the spell on the sidelines has given him the desire to return to action even better."

Also, the Leader Live reports that "Kevin Wilkin will try and bring in a new keeper for Saturday’s home game with Altrincham after Reds’ number one Andy Coughlin was sidelined for six weeks with a hand injury. Scans revealed that Coughlin has broken several bones in his hand after he was sent home from international duty with the England C squad complaining of pain.

Coughlin, who played the entire game in Wrexham’s 1-0 defeat at Braintree on Saturday, won’t be back in action until the end of the year. With on-loan keeper Dan Bachmann recovering from a knee injury sustained at the beginning of October, Coughlin has enjoyed a run in the side. Wilkin decided against signing a replacement for Bachmann, but is ready to act after Coughlin’s shock injury update.

Speaking before news of the [s]can broke out last night, Reds boss Wilkin said, 'We are speaking to one or two other clubs and trying to cover the base should we get worse news than we hope, but we are only governed by the results of the scan,' said Wilkin. Bachmann, on loan from Stoke City, was expected to be out for three months, but is closing in on a return. 'Dan is making really good progress... and is ahead of schedule so hopefully we will have him back with us very shortly,' added Wilkin, who does have first-year pro Louis Gray as another option."


Altrincham FC has copies of the popular "Football Manager 2015" game on sale at for the bargain price of £20. Please visit the Club Shop on matchdays or ring on 0161-928-1045 during normal office hours, or send an e-mail.


In Wednesday's FA Cup First Round replay Aldershot Town deservedly beat Portsmouth 1-0 in a Hampshire derby played out in front of 5,374 spectators, of whom 1,238 were away fans.


The Football Conference reports that "Aldershot Town have extended the loan of striker Dan Holman from Colchester United until 5th January 2015. The 24-year-old, who joined the 'U's in the summer from Braintree Town, has scored two goals in three appearances for the Shots.

Manager Andy Scott said, 'Dan’s work-rate, assists and goals have been key to us. He’s been a catalyst to get us moving again and I think everybody has sparked off that. He’s a great lad and I love having him here; he enjoys his work and he’s loving playing football again. He could easily stay at Colchester, playing for their reserves, but he just wants to play football. To extend his loan until January is a big thing for us and we’re hopeful that we may be able to revisit it in the New Year and keep him here for the rest of the season'”

From Pitchero Non-League says that "Alfreton Town manager Nicky Law has endured a trying few days in the run up to Saturday’s testing game at Macclesfield Town. The Reds boss will be without left-back Lathaniel Rowe-Turner, through suspension, after he picked up a fifth caution of the season last Saturday but, more importantly, Law will also now have to bring in a fourth goalkeeper of the season after Sheffield Wednesday made an early recall on keeper Cameron Dawson from his loan spell with the Reds which was set to end after this Saturday’s game any way...

Dawson was re-called to Hillsborough on Tuesday... Law will now be concentrating his efforts on bringing in another goalkeeper but as he continues to reshape his inconsistent squad, he has already brought in vastly experienced defender Cliff Byrne on non-contract terms. 'We have been trying to bring Cliff in for around five weeks but have had to wait for international clearance from Ireland. You would not believe how difficult it is',” said Law.... 'We have been making too many wrong decisions which is costing us massively and hopefully Cliff can help us eradicate some of the errors we have been making'”.

According to BBC Sport, "Gateshead have signed defender Valentin Gjokaj, who was released by Derby County in May, while striker James Brown has departed by mutual consent. Albania under-21 international Gjokaj made six first team appearances for the Rams, and also spent time on loan at Carlisle and Barnet. The 21-year-old has joined Conference club Gateshead on non-contract terms.

Brown, 27, played nine games for the Tynesiders this season, only three of which were starts, without scoring. Injuries limited the former Hartlepool striker to 70 league appearances at Gateshead, scoring nine goals. "

19 November 2014


In the Daily Post, "Andy Bishop has slammed Wrexham for a lack of 'fight' after the Dragons went down to a dismal defeat at Braintree on Saturday. The dust is still settling on Wrexham’s 1-0 loss at the Amlin Stadium, the Dragons slipping 16 points behind leaders Barnet, and five points off the play-offs following the loss.

Wrexham have now failed to win in their last seven Vanarama Conference matches, while they have collected only 10 points out of their last 10 games, with wins over Macclesfield Town and Woking in the FA Cup the only bright spots in an otherwise dismal autumn.

Bishop admitted he cannot put his finger on why Wrexham have hit such a bad run of form, but said Saturday’s showing in Essex was unacceptable. 'I think we have gone down there and just not turned up at all, we have not done the basics, and we’ve not done enough to get anything out of the game,' said Bishop. 'It is hard to put it down to anything, nothing seemed to happen and we didn’t work hard enough as a team. I think as soon as they went a goal ahead it was always going to be difficult because they sat back and invited us on and that is what they did and fair play to them.

I think it has been a tough week with all the travelling, but that is no excuse for Saturday’s game. This week we need to have a little bit of a rest at the start of the week but, then, we need to get into the reasons why we didn’t produce and work on ways of improving. That is the frustrating thing, we have got players here who can get us out of the league. We’ve got a lot of quality here, but that wasn’t the problem on Saturday, it was digging in and fighting and that is what we have got to get into our game as well.'

Wrexham will now turn their attention to Saturday’s visit of lowly Altrincham in the league as they look to reignite their bid for at least a play-off berth...

'We have got to be bang at it (against Altrincham),' added the 32-year-old striker. 'We would probably have been better off having a team at the top of the league and gone out fighting rather than one scrapping for their lives already. It is going to be tough, I think the league shows how close everyone is, and everyone can beat everyone, and we have got to get back to winning ways.

I’ve said all along if you get out of this league you’ve got to be consistent and that is what we have got to start doing. We have got to start winning games, and go on a run, and we are better being eight points off it now than come February or March but, hopefully, we can work on things, get on a run and start picking up those wins and points that we need.'

Wrexham will definitely be without Blaine Hudson for Saturday’s encounter after the centre-half was sent off at Braintree for two yellow cards. Hudson, along with centre-back partner Manny Smith, has been a mainstay for the Dragons this season, but Bishop said...

'Him (Hudson) and Manny have been solid at the back and it has given us a lot to work off. He will be missed but it gives someone else a chance. Just like me when I came in to the team, you get your chance and that is the sort of squad it is, there is always someone on you heels and I am sure they will do a good job.' Bishop was referring directly to his own situation after finding himself on the bench at the start of the season.

Wrexham boss Kevin Wilkin worked hard in the summer to bring in reinforcements up front with Louis Moult, Connor Jennings and Wes York all signing deals at the Racecourse... [Bishop] was finding it frustrating after being omitted from the starting XI, even looking to line up a loan move away from the Dragons. That is football, at the time I wasn’t playing and the gaffer and I decided it was best for me to get out and playing games,' said Bishop. 'That never materialised and then all of a sudden I was back in the team and I have scored a few and stayed in there, like I said that is football, I am happy now I am back in the team and it is good.

It was all discussed, and I think a couple of teams had spoken to the gaffer about it, but at the time Connor (Jennings) and Moulty (Lewis Moult) were both on four bookings and he said just give it a week or so. I could have gone, but then obviously Moulty got sent off and I was back in and I’ve not looked back since.

I think we have played a bit of a different formation, I’ve had someone up front with me, we’ve got balls into the box, apart obviously from Saturday, and I have more than anything worked very hard in the summer to get myself fit and strong and to prove a point to people that I’ve still got it, and I think I have done that in the last few weeks...

I was in and out of the team last year, and I was quite inconsistent. I think a lot of it was to do with coming out of the league and into the Conference, it took a lot of getting used to, even on the mental side, but I have got my head down to get myself in peak condition so I could do it on the pitch'".

And the Leader Live adds that "Wrexham boss Kevin Wilkin is hoping to sign a centre-back on loan before Saturday’s home clash with Altrincham. Blaine Hudson will serve a one-match suspension...

'It is a problem,' said Wilkin. 'I have spoken to one or two clubs and had previously spoken to one or two clubs, I am waiting for answers now... If nothing happens and we can’t get anybody in to bolster us there then there are a couple in the ranks that might have to step in and do the job. But I want to speak to people, see who we can get in and have a look at it from there.'

Wilkin, who has already secured the services of Dan Bachmann and James Pearson on loan from Stoke and Leicester City respectively, is hoping to clinch a similar deal and make the most of his contacts. For clubs at Premier League and Championship level, there is more of an eagerness because they carry squads full of lads that are 20 or 21 years old, and sometimes a little bit beyond that age, that need to get out and gain that bit of experience,' said Wilkin...

Wilkin added, 'The time I have been involved in football as a player and a manager, you do build up contacts and know of people about. They are forever changing and people come into jobs and go out of jobs. There are people I know within academies who give us the heads up on players that are worth looking at'...

Steve Tomassen or Ross White could come into the side in place of Hudson if Wilkin, who also has left-back Neil Ashton available after serving a ban, fails to bring in a replacement. 'You have got Steve, and Ross that has equally played at centre-back,' said Wilkin. 'Steve hasn’t had had a lot of game time, I fully appreciate that situation and it is something we need to consider. Blaine and Manny Smith have, by and large, been developing a relationship there, they will say they are not the finished article yet but the pair of them work incredibly hard at their game and are eager to develop it'".


The Altrincham FC Saturday Yankee jackpot has now risen to £3,500. Last week's winning code was 1244 and details of last week's winners and this week's races are here.


Farnborough report the "loan signing of striker Reece Beckles from Woking until 20 December... London-born Beckles was released by Aldershot Town in May 2013 and Woking snapped up the pacey frontman on a two-year deal in November 2013 after impressing following a trial.

The 19-year-old made his League debut for The Cardinals in January 2014."

The Grimsby Telegraph reports that "blogger 'Too Good To Down' has his say on the smoke bombs that were thrown on to the pitch at Altrincham... 'Can someone explain to me the appeal of setting off smoke bombs and flares at Grimsby Town away games? It seems as though Town are getting a reputation for supporting their side at away grounds this season. And while the numbers, and the noise, [are a] credit to the club, the recent craze of letting off flares and smoke bombs is going to get the club into some serious trouble.

Whether it be a fine, points deduction or a serious injury, those "supporters" aren't exactly helping the club's cause right now. On Saturday at Altrincham, some Mariners fans were forced to move from their position behind the goal after Town "fans" let off smoke canisters... A promising Town attack was interrupted after someone threw a flare onto the pitch as the Mariners players advanced on goal.

How long before a player gets hit by one of these smoke bombs? Or what if a supporter gets injured by one? Today, the FA have confirmed that they are investigating the incidents at Altrincham, as supporters apparently continue to disregard the club's pleas to stop. Without wanting to sound like a killjoy, I just don't understand the appeal".

And the Telegraph adds that "The FA are investigating claims that Grimsby Town fans threw four smoke bombs during Saturday's game at Altrincham, despite previous warnings the club could face disciplinary action if such behaviour continued. Greater Manchester Police have confirmed one person was arrested and cautioned for being in possession of a flare.

As reported, the club was told earlier in the season it was on the verge of facing official action from the Football Association (FA) for fans' use of pyrotechnics at matches. But a spokesperson for the FA confirmed the referee's post-match report from Saturday included details of four smoke bombs which had been thrown onto the pitch from the area of the stadium where the Grimsby fans were housed. The FA has asked for observations from both clubs, and is expecting them to report back in the next few days...

Blundell Park stadium manager Nick Dale confirmed the club was investigating the incident. He said, 'There will be further action and there will be a criminal investigation.' He also added that the club was aware of disruption caused by some of its fans on a train returning back from the game...

Town boss Paul Hurst said of those using smoke bombs, 'For me, they are not real fans. It spoilt things a little bit, and it certainly didn't help us. I feel sorry for the real fans in there and that's the large majority. There is no doubt it's a minority, and the club will certainly look into it. It's just frustrating for the team, me and people that want to watch the game.'

A smoke bomb was deployed during the 1-0 victory at Wrexham in October, and they were also used at September's derby defeat at Lincoln City as well as May's play-off semi-final second leg defeat at Gateshead...

The FA said being in possession of a pyrotechnic device at a football match, or attempting to bring a pyrotechnic device into a football stadium, is a criminal offence under the Sporting Events (Control of Alcohol etc) Act 1985. Any person committing such an offence faces arrest and can expect a Football Banning Order. It added that, although a firework or flare may be seen as more dangerous than a smoke bomb, the courts do not distinguish between them. Fans have been sentenced to three months in prison just for carrying a smoke bomb."

Confirmation comes from Sheffield Wednesday that "Cameron Dawson has been recalled from his loan spell with Alfreton Town. The Owls shot-stopper will bolster the goalkeeping ranks following the ankle injury sustained by Joe Wildsmith whilst on England Under-20 international duty. Dawson, who has played 17 games for Alfreton in the Conference Premier this season, was due to return to Hillsborough later this month."

According to the Express & Star, "Chey Dunkley looks set to be the next player leaving cash-strapped Kidderminster Harriers after it was revealed the centre-back is in talks with Oxford United. The 22-year-old England C international signed a new deal at Aggborough in May but now looks likely to follow the likes of Michael Gash out of the exit door after a fee was agreed with the League Two club...

Dunkley, who joined Harriers from Hednesford Town in 2012, has made 95 appearances for the club".


The Football Conference reported that "Goalkeeper Josh Ollerenshaw of Colwyn Bay has received a surprise call-up by England `C` ahead of their final International Challenge Trophy group game against Estonia under-23s at The Shay in Halifax on Tuesday night. The Manchester-born 24-year-old got a late call on Sunday to report to the England team’s hotel in Leeds and he trained with the squad today.

He has been called up because Calum Kitscha of Hayes & Yeading United was injured in his club's home defeat to Bromley in the Conference South on Saturday and has had to withdraw with concussion, while Wrexham’s Andy Coughlin is also a slight doubt with a hand injury.

'At this stage I am expecting only to be on the bench but it is a great honour and tremendous experience just to be here and to have been considered at all,” said Ollerenshaw from the England team’s HQ. The call came out of the blue and everything has happened so fast but, just walking out to training this morning wearing the England badge was a fantastic feeling', added Ollerenshaw, who has no previous international experience...

Ollerenshaw was previously with Oldham Athletic and has returned to Colwyn Bay for a second spell after a season with Fleetwood Town which ended with him going out on loan to FA Cup heroes Warrington Town."


FA Cup Round 1 ties and replays on Tuesday evening were:
  • Accrington Stanley 2-1 Notts County
  • AFC Telford United 2-1 Basingstoke Town
  • AFC Wimbledon 3-1 York City
  • Mansfield Town 1-1 Concord Rangers
  • Rochdale 2-1 Northampton Town
  • Sheffield United 2-0 Crewe Alexandra
  • Shrewsbury Town 1-0 Walsall
  • Southport 2-0 Dagenham & Redbridge
  • Weston-super-Mare 0-4 Doncaster Rovers

Wednesday 19 November:

  • Aldershot Town v Portsmouth (Live on BT Sport)

Thursday 20 November 2014

  • Maidstone United v Stevenage (Live on BT Sport)


In Tuesday's international, England C beat Estonia 4-1 at The Shay. FC Halifax Town have a full match report. England's goals came from Bogle, Beautyman, James and Yiadom.
18 November 2014


"Here are Lee Sinnott’s thoughts on Saturday’s stirring 1-1 draw with Grimsby, in an interview with joint press and media officer John Edwards in the manager’s office at The J.Davidson Stadium shortly after the final whistle.

Q: What did you make of the way the players came storming back to equalise in the final few seconds after going behind in the 67th minute?

A: Grimsby had a 10-minute period just before their goal when they started to exert a bit of pressure. They never really stretched us that much, but it still needed a world-class save from Stuart Coburn to keep them out. They then scored a couple of minutes later, and it could have been a hammerblow for us, because we contributed to our own downfall with a misplaced pass, even if it was still a wonderful strike by their lad from distance. The game drifted for just a few minutes, but then, from the 71st minute to the final whistle, we had a go at it and really took the game to them. The word that sums it up for me is character. The players showed buckets of it. They could easily have thought ‘we’re 1-0 down to second in the league, we ain’t going to get back into this’, and the game could have petered out. But there was none of that, and no one could possibly argue we were lucky to equalise, because we kept exerting pressure, winning corners and going for it, and it paid off. I was delighted for the players that they showed that much character and got their rewards for it, unlike at Telford. They put a tremendous amount in to the Telford game for no return, so after again giving their all until the last kick, it’s only right they have something to show for it.

Q: There is still this disparity, isn’t there, between how we fare against the likes of Grimsby and FC Halifax and results against Alfreton and Telford?

A: The fact that we have picked up more points against top-half teams than bottom-half teams tells a story. If you asked any logical person which is the harder gap to bridge – trying to find a way of improving your results against top sides or lower-placed ones – there would surely be only one answer. If you are getting turned over by teams in the top half of the league, it has to be more difficult remedying that than doing something about points that have slipped away against lower teams.

Don’t get me wrong, we will address those results that have proved so frustrating, but the point I’m making is that when you look at where we are, it’s a glass half-full scenario, in my view, rather than half-empty. It’s bricks on top of each other, and another was planted today, because they are second in the league and obviously a very good team. We have stuck to our task and our game and deservedly drawn with them here and at Blundell Park. We have played a full part in both games and deservedly come away with something each time. I don’t think anyone can argue with that.

We have just come into this league and are acquitting ourselves to the challenge. I know we need to take points off teams around us, and we will endeavour to do that. We are not pretending to be the finished article. It is a brick-by-brick process, building as we go along, so let’s see where the team is and the club is in two years time. Just look at the last three league games, Lincoln, Telford and Grimsby. We could easily be looking at three wins, and we’ve played some decent football along the way in each game. Of course, there are improvements to be made, but if people expect this club to win promotion, then walk into The Conference and suddenly be hovering just outside the play-off places, I would ask them please to review their thought process.

Q: With games coming thick and fast, how important is it to have enough options to make changes when you feel you need to?

A: It is a long season, and I am going to need every last member of our 19-man squad of senior players. I pick the team based on who we are playing, what system will suit us for that particular game and also with an eye on how my players are faring at the time. Some people may say we only drew against Grimsby because Damian Reeves didn’t start, but, in a way, we have to protect Damian a little bit because we are not a one-man band. It is a squad game, and if people wonder why I make certain decisions, I would say the devil is in the detail. Centre- forward is a difficult position to play. A bit like goalkeeper in that respect, a difficult, challenging role.

Q: Did you sense Grimsby were taken aback and even a bit rattled by the way we went at them in such a sustained manner towards the end?

A: I honestly always concentrate on my own team, rather than what our opponents might be thinking, but there may have been an element of that. We really went at them and had them on the back foot. I’m not necessarily saying we deserved to win, though we so nearly did right at the end, but to suffer the same fate as at Telford, after again putting so much into the game, would have been wrong. I said to the players there have been times where we haven’t had the rub of the green, and you just hope these things even themselves out over the course of the season. I mean, when you look at the points we have gained this season, you can’t say there are any we didn’t thoroughly earn. We earned this one against Grimsby, and the squad will feel better for it.

Q: We are already approaching the halfway mark, in terms of games played. How do you think we are shaping up?

A: Players will make mistakes, as we did for Grimsby’s goal, but it’s the toughness and character we have as a unit that is important. I know one thing, we are a better team now than we were on August 9th, when we headed down to Aldershot for our opening fixture.

The experience we have been through since has made us better, and if we hadn’t had that, we wouldn’t have come back the way we did against Grimsby and taken a point off them. It has been a huge step-up this season, but we have learned and improved along the way. In the Conference North last season, there were games where you would have maybe 10-12 scoring opportunities.

Does anyone seriously think we are going to have that many against a team like Grimsby, second in the league and a really tough nut to crack? Of course not. So to keep going like we did, to keep hammering on the door and finally find a way through was top quality. I thought the system we used worked well. We looked secure, and it was panning out as a game of few clear-cut chances, which you are going to get against a well-organised team like Grimsby.

We are up against better players than last season, and we have to be on our mettle every time. We certainly had to be today, and we were".


There will be an Open Day at the new Community Sports Hall at the J. Davidson Stadium on Sunday 14 December, so please put the date in your diaries now. More details of the event will be announced nearer the date.

The building itself is effectively complete and the formal hand-over is expected in the next day or two, once the Club and project manager Ian Foden, have completed their "snagging" checks. In the accompanying images, taken on Monday afternoon, the size of the floor-space in the new facility can be appreciated. As the photos show, the main space is occupied by a large open hall, which can be divided by a mobile set of panels which hang from the ceiling.

It is envisaged that, on matchdays, the entire hall space will be open as a bar, though licensing regulations prohibit spectators from actually watching matches on the pitch from there. Automatically operated blinds have been installed on the windows facing the pitch. The serving area behind the bar can be split and, adjacent to it, is a counter for serving refreshments and space for cooking food. Adjoining the bar is a new beer "cellar", which allows drinks to be stored in the optimum conditions.

The Hall can be entered either from a door opposite the current Noel White door or from an entrance adjacent to the existing refereshment bar, at the Golf Road End. The new Hall also has direct access to the pre-existing toilets at the Golf Road/Moss Lane corner of the ground. An exterior door on Moss Lane will also allow visitors to enter the facility without first entering the Stadium, which will be especially useful on non-match days.

Beyond the Hall, in the Golf Road end of the structure, there are offices and a reception area. Consultations are taking place with supporters about the decor of the Hall and there will be at least two televisions installed for pre- and post-match viewing.

Bookings have already been taken for the Sports Hall from a range of activities and the space is also available to be hired for functions. The Club's BTEC course students will also be housed in the new buidling. Please tell your friends and business contacts about the new facility as every booking will help the Club's finances. For further details about the facilities and services on offer, please contact Stacey Rowley at the football club (0161 928-1045) or e-mail the club; more details about booking arrangements will be announced shortly.

But, above all, why not come along on the Open Day and see it all for yourself?!

  • Below, top row, l. to r.: Exterior of the Hall; the vast open space of the new Hall.
  • Below, middle row, l. to r.: The new bar; the partition being put in place.
  • Below, bottom row, l. to r.: Chairman Grahame Rowley with Ian Foden who has overseen the construction project; Club Secretary, Derek Wilshaw, looks at home behind the bar.


£56.78 was raised in Saturday's bucket collection, for which the Club thanks the donors and collectors.


The already excellent Alty TV highlights have got even better with addition of a third camera viewpoint. The highlights of the game against Grimsby are adjacent.

Mike Ripley has a collection of excellent images from the Grimsby visit to Moss Lane on Saturday. Below, right, we see Damian Reeves going for goal.


Speaking to the NL Paper, Lee Sinnott said after the game, "Despite the blips, I am pleased with the progress we are making. We showed tremendous character after falling behind to a great goal that was helped by poor defending. We knocked at the door and it opened. We could have folded but we didn't and that was evidence of another brick in place as we look to build a good Conference side".

And Alty TV has an interview, after the game, with Neil Tolson, assistant manager.

The unofficial Fishy website records that "Grimsby were just minutes away from recording their sixth successive victory, when they were leading 1-0 at Altrincham thanks to a Nathan Arnold goal. However this time the Town defence didn't keep their customary clean sheet and a mistake by Parslow led to a late equaliser by Leather.

The result nonetheless consolidates Town's position in second place, although [it] highlights the danger of trying to win games 1-0 every week. The game followed the pattern of most Town games of late: give the opposition very few chances, and win the game with a moment of brilliance from a handful of opportunites... Earlier Town had had most of the opportunities on goal, with Altrincham not looking much of a threat to Town's solid back line.

Town sat back in the closing stages. It's worked in the last couple of games, which they have won 1-0, but this time Parslow failed to make a decent clearance and a cross came in from Sean Williams which Leather scored from in the 89th minute".

More comes from the Grimsby Telegraph which tells us that "Grimsby Town are still one of the Conference's envied sides. That's according to boss Paul Hurst, who watched the Mariners draw 1-1 at Altrincham on Saturday...

He told the Telegraph, 'Of course the lads were disappointed in the dressing room. But 16 points from a possible 18 in six games is something that most other teams would take. We have to be humble and respect the point we got... We have picked up a point more than some, with the exception of Barnet. Sometimes a point away from home is good but, with the form we are in, it would have been nice to take all three.'"

Cheered on by an army of 719 fans, the Mariners were slow to start – before chances fell to Scott Neilson and Arnold. The latter stunned the home side with a 35-yard opener, but the Robins hit back on the stroke of full-time. And it could have been worse for the Mariners, as Altrincham fired a late free-kick over the crossbar.

Hurst added, 'We are on a very good run, with some very good players at the club, so there is plenty to look forward to'".

Paul Hurst also told the Telegraph, 'I don't think we played with enough energy in the first 30 minutes. As soon as Scott (Neilson) got higher, he had two attempts and that was our best period of the first half. We then got into a winning position, and they were forced to change things and go for the equaliser. After our goal I thought we had a seven or eight-minute spell where we looked well on top and might get a second... I felt then we dropped deep and didn't get enough pressure on the ball, so we will have to have a look at that'.

On the Altrincham equaliser, Hurst added, 'I think we had a couple of opportunities to clear the ball. We didn't manage to do that but it was a good ball in and the lad's got a touch, to give James (McKeown) no chance'. Ahead of kick-off, Hurst named an unchanged side for the first time this season... It wasn't all Town, though, as James Lawrie underlined his threat from set pieces. But in truth McKeown was, similarly to the past month, largely untroubled in the Mariners goal...

After watching his half-volley deflect over the crossbar, the speedy winger unleashed a wonder strike to put Town ahead... Arnold brushed past his marker before hitting the net with a powerful, swerving drive... However, the Mariners were unable to keep up the pressure – and changes of their own saw Altrincham come back into the contest. McKeown denied Luca Havern from an eighth Robins' corner, and home persistence was eventually rewarded as added time approached.

Having kept Altrincham at bay, a half-clearance allowed Sean Williams the time and space to find Leather. And the defender made full use of a rare charge into the opposition box, glancing past McKeown from ten yards. It was only their second shot on target but the hosts could have had it even better moments later... as the Robins won a free-kick just outside the Town box. Already into added time, Densmore placed the ball down with purpose, but then saw his curling effort just evade the target".


On Sunday, Alty Youth won their Neil Thomason Cup tie 3-2, away at Ashton Athletic. The next round brings an away tie at Witton Albion, on 22 March at 1.30pm. James Farrington's report is here.


Two ex-Alty Youths and Reserves, Alex Frost and Ben Deegan were both sent off on Saturday, playing for Droylsden.

The NL Paper has an interview with Matt Doughty, who featured in Warrington Town's recent cup win over Exeter City. In it he says, "People I don't even know have been coming up to me on the street, shaking my hand and saying 'You don't know how much you have done for this town, we're all so proud of you'".

Matt adds, "I was going to retire. I'd just got promoted to the Conference with Altrincham and thought 'Let's finish on a high'. I've got bad knees. I've had about five operations. I'm the oldest 33 year-old in the world! But when Reidy phoned me up... I'd have been absolutely gutted if I'd turned him down and then seen the lads do this without me.... I'm made up to have played a game because I was injured, My knee, my hamstring, my calf, everything was wrong.

I had to take about eight or ten painkillers that day just to get onto the pitch.. The next day, I was in agony... They practically had to carry me around".

As for the next Round, "When he said Gateshead, you think, 'No I don't want them... I wanted Portsmouth. They're a well supported club and it would have meant a lot more money for the town... It couldn't be much worse than Gateshead away. But it's winnable'".


Following victory over Altrincham, Blyth Spartans' Robbie Dale told the NL Paper, "We could have scored five or six by the end. I can hopefully pinch another [goal] at Hartlepool. The confidence is high and I don't think there will be much difference between Hartlepool and Altrincham... I don't think there is much difference, anyway, between League Two and the Conference so the quality will be very similar".

Dale, a barman by day, added "When you're the underdog, it brings a bit more fight out of you. You put that one more tackle in. You just have more adrenalin and fight that bit more".


The Football Conference tells us that "Alfreton Town have signed former Derry City skipper Cliff Byrne. Byrne started his youth career at Sunderland in 1999 and was loaned out to Scunthorpe United to gain first-team experience... They approached to sign him and made him a permanent player for the Iron and [he] was named as club captain in 2009.

Having had an injury hit season in 2011/12, he was released and was quickly snapped up by Oldham Athletic. However... Scunthorpe realised their mistake and took him back on loan. In 2014, new Derry City manager Roddy Collins, who had previously tried to sign Byrne in his younger days, finally got his man... Byrne had his contract at Oldham terminated by mutual consent and he was free to sign for Derry... He had made twenty-one appearances this season and scored one goal early in the campaign against Drogheda United, but was released in September by mutual consent after suffering an injury that he is only just overcoming."

Alty's next opponents, Wrexham, report that "There was some good news for striker Connor Jennings at the end of a poor weekend, when he was called into Paul Fairclough's squad to face Estonia U23s at Halifax this midweek. An injury to a Halifax Town player during Sunday's televised defeat to Woking has given the former Scunthorpe United man his chance.

Unfortunately, Andy Coughlin looks like he will be heading home though, after hurting his hand during Saturday's defeat to Braintree. The giant keeper will have a scan this morning to see how bad the damage is, but whatever the outcome, he is unlikely to be involved with England."

And "To add to our headaches after the defeat at Braintree on Saturday, we will also lose central defender Blaine Hudson for one match following his dismissal late in the game. He... was shown a second yellow with seven minutes of the match remaining... The match referee, who issued his ninth yellow card of the afternoon and obviously followed it up with a red. With no right of appeal for a sending off as a result of two yellow cards, we now expect Blaine to receive an immediate ban and miss next weekend's match with Altrincham. We wait on official confirmation from the FAW in the next few days.

Having already been booked earlier in the match, he had reached five cautions for the season, so would been banned next weekend under the same totting up procedure that saw Neil Ashton sit out our visit to Essex. The additional bad news is that he now reverts to four bookings, so another yellow in his two remaining games before 1st December will see him earn an additional one-match suspension.

The deadline for a ban after five cautions has this season been brought forward to the start of December, as in recent years you had to survive until New Year's Day. Players who reach five bookings after this date will received a letter from the FAW warning them about their future conduct, but they can still be suspended if they reach 10 yellows before the second Sunday in April (two games) and/or 15 before the end of the season (three games)."

We learn from the Bristol Post that "Jamie White has left Bristol Rovers after agreeing to terminate his contract by mutual consent. White, who only arrived on a free from Salisbury City in the summer, has struggled to force his way into the reckoning at the Memorial Stadium following issues with match fitness and injury and has become the first casualty of manager Darrell Clarke’s bid to shake up the attacking areas of his squad.

Offers are on the table for Millwall frontman Jermaine Easter and one other, as yet to be named, striker with further movement in and out of the club possible before Rovers continue their Vanarama Conference promotion bid at Chester on Saturday. White, who worked under Clarke at Salisbury City and boasts a proven record at Conference Premier level, will join Conference South side Sutton United after failing to score in 11 appearances for Rovers.

'Jamie has been frustrated by a lack of regular football,' Clarke said. 'He has trained well and worked hard since joining us but his move hasn’t worked out as well as he, and the club, had hoped. He needs a good run of regular games to get his fitness right to the level where he operates best, but, unfortunately I don’t have the time to give him that. We need to freshen things up at the top end of the pitch and we are aware that our goals for column needs to improve...

To his credit he has agreed to terminate his contract at no extra cost to Bristol Rovers'".

NL Pitchero confirms that "Nantwich Town have taken defender John Disney on a month`s loan from Chester FC. Disney signed for Chester in June. Disney is a 22-year-old former Irish under-17 international defender who began his career at Stockport County before having spells at Northwich Victoria and more recently Hednesford Town. Disney is an attacking full-back and last season made over fifty first-team appearances for the Pitmen."

17 November 2014


On Sunday, Altrincham FC Ladies beat Heswall Ladies 14-0. The goalscorers were Tracey Blanchard Webb (5), Aimee Gibson (3), Emma Booth (3), Charlotte Dudley (1), Annie Nelson (1) and Hannah Shufflebotham (1).


Ian Senior, owner of SKkits, reminds supporters that he will be "at the J. Davidson Stadium on Wednesday from 5pm until 9pm to repair any shirts with faulty sponsor logos".


Our next opponents are Wrexham and their official site reports that Saturday was "A day to forget the Dragons as a first half goal by Charlie Strutton, a second effort following a blocked free kick, was enough to tip the game Braintree’s way. Not that we deserved a great deal from one of our poorer displays of the season...

From [a] set piece, 25 yards out, the ball struck the wall but rebounded back to Charlie Strutton to fire his second effort home from outside the box!... This was the Iron’s first goal in four games and Strutton's first of the season, but you had to say it was coming...

On the hour a triple change for Wrexham with Keates, Evans and Moult on - Durrell, White and York off. Moult made an initial impact". Wrexham had HUdson sent off for a second yellow card after 83 minutes.

Wrexham: Coughlin, White (Evans 59), Smith, Hudson, Hunt; Durrell (Keates 59), Clarke, Carrington, York (Moult 59); Bishop, Jennings. Subs: Tomassen, Evans, Keates, Rushton, Moult.

Wrexham FC have sent the following information to Altrincham FC in advance of the match next Saturday...

The venue is the Racecourse Ground LL11 2AH. Wrexham will be playing in red and black hooped shirts, black shorts and red socks.

"Travelling fans will have use of a section in the Yale Stand – 1,200 seats – via turnstiles 1-4. Unfortunately, we do not have wheelchair disabled spaces available with the rest of your visiting fans. They are though most welcome to use facilities within our Mold Road Stand and we would ask that they contact the club on 01978 891864 in advance of their visit. Free car parking is also available close to their entrance, on the adjacent University car park.

Yale Stand, Turnstiles 1-4:

    Adults - £19.00
  • Concs - £14.00 (Over 62 & 16-21)
  • Concs - £7.00 (Over 80 & U16)
  • *Minors - £2.00 (Under 11).
  • Proof of age could well be requested

*Family Tickets:

  • Adult + Under 16 - £22.00
  • Adult + Under 11 - £20.00
  • *Please note that Family & U11 prices are NOT available at the turnstiles – so please buy these tickets from the nearby Club Shop on arrival at the ground or online at (Book Online) – a small discount of £2.00 is available to Adults, Over 62s & U21 tickets bought in advance of matchdays and collected from the Club Shop on the day.

    Corporate Hospitality: We will be pleased to accommodate any supporters who wish to use our facilities – contact Steve Cook on 07921 371766.

    Directions from the North: Approach Chester on the M56 to Jct 15, leaving to join M53 (s/p Wrexham) which continues on as A55 dual carriageway. At its junction with A483 (s/p Wrexham) leave the A55 and at lights take the first exit for Wrexham. In 9 miles, leave the A483 at its junction with the A451 (s/p Mold ) and at the lights take the first exit for Town Centre, crossing over the next roundabout, with the football ground in sight on the left hand side, after the college".


    The Sunday Express reports that "Fitness coach Tony Strudwick and masseur Rod Thornley will join up with England for the Euro 2016 qualifiers with San Marino and Estonia next week, but are likely to stand down from their roles thereafter. Van Gaal, who has seen his United squad decimated by injury this season, wants the duo to focus on club duties during the international breaks from now on... The popular Thornley has a long-standing association with the national team having been originally brought into the set-up on the recommendation of former captain David Beckham. The FA will seek to further dialogue with United after the qualifiers, but Van Gaal's position on the matter looks set.

    The Daily Telegraph adds that the upcoming match against Scotland "will represent Thornley's 161st and final match with the England team".

    According to NL Pitchero, "Manager Mike Derbyshire and his assistant Dean Greygoose, along with first-team coach Pawel Guziejko, have left Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division club Diss Town. Diss were beaten 3-1 at home by Haverhill Rovers on Saturday and have only six points from seventeen matches".


    Terry Rowley published the following amusing article in Satruday's Robins' Review.

    Some Advice and Hints to Players. (Taken from the Amateur Friendly Football League Official Handbook for the 1924/25 season).

    I have, in my collection, a number of handbooks for various football associations and leagues dating back to the 1920s. These include the Cheshire League, Lancashire League, Altrincham and District FA and North Cheshire Football League, and all, to greater or lesser degree, have associations with Altrincham AFC.

    However the one that I was browsing the other evening was the Amateur Friendly Football League Official Handbook for the 1924/25 season. (The League was affiliated to the Cheshire and Altrincham FAs and a number of Altrincham FC luminaries were involved in its management). Teams competing included Altrincham Old Boys, (Old Alts), and Lymm Grammar School Old Boys. The section in particular that caught the eye and brought a fair amount of mirth was titled, ‘Some Advice and Hints’.

    Thereafter there are sections in the handbook advising club secretaries, players, referees and spectators on the right way to ‘play the game’. Of particular interest was the section addressed to players. The language and tips are littered with an air of Victorian stoicism, yet this is 1924.

    Below is a transcript of advice and hints to players;

    This League exists for you. Make yourself worthy of playing in it. Read our “Foreword” and the other “Advice and Hints” as well. Ponder over what we have written specially for you. Make yourself acquainted with the League Rules and Laws of the game. Know what you are talking about.

    Stick to your team and work for the credit of your club, the League and the game. Use your brains, they are not in your feet. Play with your “head” in more senses than one. Be “pally” with your club mates. Many real chums first met on the football field. Pay your share and don’t want “prodding” constantly before you do it. Help your secretary; be loyal to your captain. Be a good sportsman. Take a “licking” in a good spirit- come up smiling. When you have promised to play, turn out, wet or fine and don’t bother your head about seeing the “City” or “United”. Playing is your job, not watching. Never, unless of course it is totally unavoidable, be the cause of a short team.

    Help a club pal who is down on his luck; let the help be given so his pride does not suffer.

    There are many things you should practice, e.g. “trapping” the ball, instep kicking, toe kicking, heading accurately, forward and oblique passing, kicking a bouncing ball, shooting for goal, corner kicking, accurate throwing in etc. You are never too old to learn; certainly not to improve.

    Be too much of a sportsman to resort to “shady” tricks; “kneeing”, tripping, kicking or “sloshing” an opponent are no part of a sportsman’s equipment. Be modest and don’t “fancy yourself”. Let others broadcast your abilities! Work with the rest of your team. Don’t be afraid to adopt new methods. Give the other chaps a chance. We are out to encourage and help the really good player (sporting as well as capable). Let us help you. Be ambitious but be fair and modest.

    Don’t quarrel on (or off) the field. Be merciful to the goalie when he lets “a soft ‘un” through. Maybe “it had a swerve on it” shots are often deceptive: the writer has kept goal- or tried to!- and he knows. If you ever do get “on the carpet” tell the truth; you will receive far more sympathetic treatment, but try not to get there, (keep your temper and you won’t), Most exhibitions of “lost temper” are appallingly childish.

    People enjoy good tempered humour. Don’t “chip” or abuse the referee. HE is in charge of the game and probably he is right, not you. There are some bad referees but most Referees are competent and fair. If a referee is bad he can be reported and will be dealt with by the proper authorities. The best of referees - like players- make mistakes. No referee has more than two eyes.

    Help your club to win - and maintain- a good reputation. Try for the “Sportsmanship” Cup. All you have to do is be a gentleman and “play the game”. Surely you would rather have a reputation for being a “good sport” than proudly to exhibit a watch chain heavy with “umpteen” medals won, maybe, by none too scrupulous methods!

    We meet many fine “sports” May we include you? Think it over!

    Some Hints and Advice to Spectators

    You are asked to help in attaining the ideal of the League “Sportsmanship First”. By all means be keen on your particular pet club but be fair.

    Appreciate and encourage good play on both sides. Discourage foul play and foul language on both sides. Help your club in every way by helpful criticism and advice and by replenishing its exchequer.

    “Barracking”, ill-naturedly “chipping” the referee or a player “booing” and the use of sultry language are exhibitions of bad taste. Leave such exhibitions to people whose brains have “wandered” Don’t be hard on the goalie: keeping goal is not a “soft Job” by any means. Try it and See! If you really could “referee better than any referee you’ve ever seen” there is room for you. In fact, we have been looking for you for years! Write to us at once and we will arrange for you to be examined immediately. Come out into the open and show how things should be done.

    Help us to educate spectators and players to a high standard of sportsmanship. Heated arguments do little good as a rule; most of those we hear are extremely stupid. A real knowledge of the laws of the game is necessary before one can argue; truly “knowledge is power!”

    We appeal to the many sporting spectators for their earnest co-operation. To the League officials their work is a labour of love because they believe in true clean amateur sport and, incidentally, they have a keen admiration and liking for young fellows who are such excellent sportsmen and so keen on their game. The spectator can help or hinder us in our work. Which will you do, help or hinder?

    You don’t play; nor do we who “run” the league so let us make things pleasant for those that do. As we say to the player, We meet some real fine “Sports” at matches may we include you? True sportsmanship in all life’s affairs would soon straighten out our many troubles.


    "Smells like Blyth Spirit" is the latest offering from Barry Pikesley to appear in the "Robins' Review". It can be found here.
    16 November 2014


    Woking went third in the table, with games in hand, as they became only the second club (after Altrincham) to win at The Shay this season in Sunday's televised game.

    FC Halifax Town 1 Woking 3.


    Altrincham secured a well-deserved point with a 90th minute goal from centre-back Scott Leather. It was a much improved performance from Altrincham who dominated the opening stages...

    Right: Kyle Perry and Aristote Nsiala compete for an aerial ball.

    Match report here.


    After Saturday's game, the BBC quotes, Paul Hurst, the Grimsby manager, as saying "I don't think we played as well as we would have liked today but, with such a late equaliser, it kind of feels alittle bit like a defeat. The lads are down in the dressing room but, 16 points out of 18 in the last six games, I think any team team would take that. We have to be humble and respect the point that we've got but, again, I would have liked us to have played better. We had a couple of opportunities and certainly, with the goal, we had an opportunity to clear the ball. We didn't clear it long enough and it came back at us with a good ball in".

    And Grimsby Town add that "Town’s unbeaten run continued but they were held to a draw by Altrincham at Moss Lane. The Mariners looked to be on course for six league victories in a row...

    Altrincham had started well but Town grew into the game and created the better chances before half-time. That pattern continued after the break and Arnold’s goal on 67 minutes seemed likely to be enough for all three points. The home side had other ideas though and after a late spell of pressure, they got their rewards to claim a point.

    Town boss Paul Hurst named an unchanged starting XI after Tuesday’s home victory over FC Halifax Town... The hosts were on top in the early stages... Town’s first attack of note came on 14 minutes and saw Magnay find Arnold, who shot at home keeper Stuart Coburn.

    Another Town attack was in progress when a smoke bomb was thrown onto the pitch from the away section and the game was briefly stopped... Town had come into the game after Altrincham’s quick start... The game remained goalless at the break... Chances were proving hard to come by in the early stages of the second period...

    Town could have taken the lead when Neilson ran down the left and crossed for Arnold but his shot was well saved by Coburn, who turned the ball away for a corner... But the Mariners did not have long to wait before they finally broke the deadlock with 67 minutes on the clock. Arnold picked the ball up and unleashed a 30-yard rocket which went across Coburn and into the back of his net...

    Altrincham were having a good spell and they won a corner on 81 minutes... Nsiala conceded another corner as the home pressure continued... before a cross from Peter Cavanagh was blocked for a corner by Pearson... The home pressure continued and the flag-kick quickly led to another corner, which was eventually dealt with by Parslow. Altrincham kept possession though and after the ball was worked back into the penalty area, it was turned into the net by Leather for 1-1...

    A foul by Nsiala right on the edge of his own box gave Altrincham the opportunity to win the game. Densmore stepped up to take the free kick but his shot narrowly cleared the bar".

    More comes from the Grimsby Telegraph. It says that "A wonder goal from Nathan Arnold was cancelled out by a late leveller as Grimsby Town drew 1-1 at Altrincham... to put an end to Town’s five-match winning run.

    It was a slow start from the Mariners, but they eventually settled into the game. And while the visitors pressed early on, it was Town who had the clearest chances... Arnold fired in with a stunning strike from 35 yards. And while the Mariners continued to probe, a 90th minute equaliser from Leather, who flicked home from 10 yards, meant the points were shared."


    Saturday 15 November
    • Aldershot 1-0 Nuneaton T. (att. 1658)
    • Alfreton T. 2-3 Dover A. (650)
    • Altrincham 1-1 Grimsby T. (1881)
    • Barnet 3-1 AFC Telford U. (1671)
    • Braintree T. 1-0 Wrexham (840)
    • Bristol Rovers 1-1 Kidderminster H. (5848)
    • Chester FC 1-0 Gateshead (2308)
    • Dartford 1-1 Southport (1163)
    • Eastleigh P-P Lincoln City Postponed because of fire in Lincoln's hotel.
    • Torquay U. 3-3 Forest Green R. (2117)
    • Welling U. 0-0 Macclesfield T. (508)

    Sunday 16 November

    • FC Halifax T. v Woking (2pm BT Sport)


    News of Altrincham's next opponents, Wrexham, comes from the BBC, which reports that "Charlie Strutton's first goal of the season secured Braintree's first win in 11 league games with a 1-0 victory over Wrexham... Strutton's free-kick struck the defensive wall but he lashed home the rebound for Braintree's first goal in over nine hours of play in the league. Wrexham were reduced to 10 men with seven minutes left when Blaine Hudson was sent off for a second yellow card. Kevin Wilkin's side have now gone seven league games without a win."

    On Saturday the Football Conference reports that "Today`s game between Eastleigh and Lincoln City has been postponed due to a large fire at the [Lincoln City] team hotel this morning. The fire broke out at the Hilton Hotel in Chilworth at 11.16am today. Crews of 55 firefighters from eight stations across the Southampton area have been tackling the flames which is thought to have started in the hotel’s sauna.

    Eight pumps from St Mary’s, Hightown, Redbridge, Romsey,Eastleigh, Hamble and Fareham were deployed". An eyewitness added that City's squad "were evacuated at 11.15 am and [were] stuck in the carpark... Game was delayed to 4pm but Fire Brigade just warned that is could be after 5pm before anyone would be let back in due to smoke in the building, so the game was off".

    15 November 2014


    Details of the TASC supporters' coach to Wrexham on Saturday, 22 November, are here.


    Following Saturday's match against Grimsby Town, why not stay on to watch England v Slovenia in their Euro 2016 qualifier? The game, which kicks off at 5pm, will be shown in the Noel White Suite, where you can also enjoy a pint.


    You can follow the Altrincham v Grimsby Town match (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 against Grimsby Town at the J.Davidson Stadium. The match commentary sponsor is Chris Furlong, an Alty fan for over 35 years, who now lives in Ireland. The commentators are Ian Wilkinson and Brian Flynn with match summaries from John Edwards.

    Coverage starts at 2.50pm with the game kicking off at 3.00pm. You can listen to Radio Robins on the internet at Leah and Simon Brotherton will be providing regular updates on Twitter (@altrinchamfc) as well as half-time and full-time updates on facebook (Altrincham FC).

    Mike Garnett reminds us that our record against Saturday's opponents, Grimsby Town, is:

    • At home: P1-W0-D1-L0-F2-A2
    • Away: P2-W1-D1-L0-F1-A0
    • All: P3-W1-D2-L0-F3-A2


    George Heslop, manager of Altrincham FC Youth, says that "The Youth team fixture has changed on Sunday. Abbey Hey have been withdrawn from the Neil Thomason Cup for playing ineligible players in the game with us. So, on Sunday, we are in the Quarter-Final v. Ashton Athletic F.C. @ Brocstedes Park, Brocstedes Road, Ashton-in-Makerfield, Wigan, WN4 0NR. Kick-off is at 1.30 p.m. This replaces the original fixture, which was a league game against the same opponents, but the K.O. is now a different time".


    Grimsby Town write that "The Mariners face a trip to Altrincham on Saturday searching for a sixth successive victory in the Vanarama Conference. A rich vein of form has seen Town rise to second place in the league table, just six points behind leaders Barnet...

    Altrincham lie 18th in the league table and suffered defeat at rock-bottom Telford on Wednesday night. Lee Sinnott's side have posed problems for some of the division's promotion-chasers, however, boasting recent victories over Halifax and Macclesfield. Indeed, the Robins were the last team to deny Grimsby all three points when they held on to a 0-0 draw at Blundell Park back in October.

    Town, who boast the league's best defensive record, haven't conceded a league goal for almost a month and only Barnet have picked up more points on the road. Lenell John-Lewis has scored five goals in his last four away games and is sure to be a handful for the Altrincham defence.

    Paul Hurst has multiple selection headaches ahead of the weekend with almost an entirely fully fit squad to choose from. Carl Magnay is a slight doubt with a minor knee problem, which could see Danny Parslow move from defensive midfield to right-back. Scott Brown could make his return to the side after recovering from ligament damage, while Craig Clay and Jack Mackreth will be hoping for recalls to the starting eleven.

    Altrincham's leading goal scorer Damian Reeves, who was surprisingly demoted to the substitutes bench on Wednesday night, could return to lead the line for the hosts in place of Kyle Perry. Jake Moult [suspended] and Tom Marshall were also omitted from the side in midweek having started in Alty's 4-1 FA Cup defeat to Blyth Spartans.

    'We didn't manage to beat Altrincham at Blundell Park although we were the dominant team'" said manager Paul Hurst. He continued 'We've got to try to make sure we get three points this time.'"

    The Mariners also say that "Town hope to take plans for a new community stadium, with the goal of £200 million investment in related housing and retail development, to the next level before the end of the year. The club has revealed that it is keen to secure a five-year lease for the Peaks Parkway site, in order that it can work up its proposals with other interested parties.

    After more than 115 years at Blundell Park, the club are desperate to provide the new facility that will be a springboard to greater success in the much-coveted Football League. A new stadium with its 2,000-space car park and its enabling developments could regenerate the area with an estimated £200 million of investment. After being knocked back in a bid to build on land in Great Coates, the 22.7-hectare site between Peaks Parkway and Weelsby Avenue, which includes allotments and a former council depot, is now at the top of the table.

    Town director John Fenty, said the organisation would work with the community at every stage to ensure any concerns were addressed. And he stressed that any five-year lease on the site was not a green light for development but a statement of intent, which would allow the club to have further talks with other businesses, that could help underpin the plan and offer financial backing. As already revealed, the club's plan is to build a 14,000 seater community venue, with a 2,000-space car park.

    A new retail and housing development will help fund the scheme and is vital if it is to go ahead. Mr Fenty said, 'It will leave a lasting legacy, deliver a flagship project, the first for generations. It would also secure the vast array of community schemes currently being delivered by Grimsby Town Sports and Education Trust, the club's delivery arm, all of which are as at much risk as the club itself, should this scheme not come to fruition.'

    This latest move comes as a year-long exclusivity agreement with North East Lincolnshire Council runs out. The council and GTFC had the agreement in place so the club could do initial assessments on the viability of the site."

    According to the Grimsby Telegraph, "Mariners' boss Paul Hurst will take a full-strength squad to Moss Lane tomorrow – and that includes Carl Magnay. The versatile defender suffered a recurrence of his knee injury during the 1-0 victory over Halifax on Tuesday night. But, with a 'free week' to look forward to, Magnay could retain his place in the starting XI for Grimsby Town's clash with Altrincham.

    Hurst told the Telegraph, 'Carl didn't train yesterday, but we are hopeful he might be all right for the game. His knee is giving him some discomfort from Braintree the previous week. Although he started the game the other night, he felt it a little bit and didn't want to let anyone down. Fingers crossed, we are not too concerned with it in the long term. He needs some rest, but we have got a free week next week, so there is opportunity to rest Carl then'

    Magnay, who missed the FA Cup loss to Oxford, returned for the opening 55 minutes on Tuesday. He was replaced by Craig Clay for the closing stages, in a change that saw Danny Parslow move to right back. Hurst added, 'Carl put in a good performance, but we had to change it. I asked him to do a job knowing that he wasn't quite right and he certainly didn't let me or the team down.'

    Magnay's possible inclusion tomorrow means Hurst now has everyone available, with Scott Brown expected to line-up on the bench. The midfielder, who was an unused sub against Halifax, played 60 minutes in the midweek friendly win over Corby Town. Hurst continued, 'I know he is desperate to come back into the team... With us bringing Harry Pell and Danny Parslow in, we have good competition in the midfield and that's what I want."


    Reports in the Shropshire Star say that "AFC Telford have completed their second loan singing of the day following the arrival of left-back Kyle Brownhill. The 19-year-old defender has arrived on a month's loan from Hyde and has been handed the number three shirt. Earlier today, the Bucks confirmed they have also snapped up Lincoln City midfielder Karl Ledsham on a similar short-term deal. The 26-year-old, who has made 13 appearances for Lincoln this term, will wear number seven.

    Bucks' boss Liam Watson is believed to be aiming for three new signings to help combat a series of injuries as his side look to take on table-topping Barnet tomorrow. Watson was already missing injured skipper Steve Akrigg and midfielder Kristian Platt (both hamstring) before Sean Clancy and Mike Grogan were injured in Wednesday’s 2-1 Conference Premier win over Altrincham. Clancy suffered a broken collar bone and three broken ribs after a heavy landing while Mike Grogan injured his ankle and was forced off at half-time."

    The Football Conference confirms that "AFC Telford United have signed midfielder Karl Ledsham on a month`s loan from rivals Lincoln City. Ledsham, 26, is an attacking midfielder who has made thirteen appearances for Lincoln so far this term after joining them in the summer. His former clubs include Southport, Skelmersdale United and St Helen's Town. He is a versatile player who can operate on the left or in the centre of midfield as well as up front."

    Also, "Lincoln City have taken young midfielder Charlee Adams on youth loan from Birmingham City until the New Year. The versatile Adams has featured regularly for the Blues under-21s this season and will remain with the Imps until January 1st 2015. The 19-year-old enjoyed a successful loan spell at Sincil Bank during the second half of last season, where he made fourteen appearances... The youth loan deal gives Blues the option to recall the player after 28 days if needed".

    Elsewhere, "FC Halifax Town have taken attacking midfielder Josh Gillies on a month`s loan from Carlisle United. Sunderland-born attacking midfielder Josh Gillies enjoyed an excellent 2012/13 season as he bagged 15 goals for Gateshead... He can also boast a strike in the FA Vase at Wembley as he helped Whitley Bay to retain the trophy for a second successive season... He signed a two-year deal with Carlisle in June 2013 but was restricted to a bit-part role last season while he spent much of the campaign out on loan. He made twelve outings for Conference Premier Promotion Final winners Cambridge United."

    NL Pitchero reports that "Basingstoke Town have signed locally-born defender Ryan Case from Braintree Town. The former AFC Bournemouth youngster joined Braintree in August... He made half-a-dozen senior appearances for Braintree this season."

    We learn from the Worcester News that "Gary Whild has warned that Kidderminster Harriers could end up part-time unless the club receive extra investment. The Harriers manager gave a frank and honest account of some of the difficulties the management and playing staff have experienced this season at a fans' forum.

    Whild revealed the full impact of the 11th-placed Vanarama Conference outfit’s struggles to pay the monthly wage bill. He was forced to send out midfielder Josh O’Keefe, keeper Jasbir Singh and forwards Reece Styche and Michael Gash on loan from Aggborough.

    'I don’t know all the details of the finances but I think Harriers going part-time is a real possibility,' admitted Whild, who has seen his playing budget cut dramatically during the campaign. 'We can’t keep loaning players out and not bringing some in. We were able to get in Matt Robinson (from Luton on loan), who has done OK and given the lads a lift.'

    A 130-strong contingent of supporters quizzed Whild, his assistant Mark Creighton and player-coach Josh Gowling on a wide range of subjects. Members of the board were invited to sit on the panel but declined. It was revealed Harriers' cash problems led to a transfer embargo by the Conference in the summer. The return of Kath and Ernie Lane's financial backing, covering the shortfall in wages each month, lifted the ban.

    Whild said, 'We’ve always been ambitious. We’ve either made the play-offs or finished very close to them but, unfortunately, times have changed. At the moment, we’re having to cut our cloth accordingly to make sure we can pay the players still here. We want to make the play-offs but I have to be frank and honest and say we must get to 50 points as soon as possible to ensure we are safe. Until mid-October, we were under a transfer embargo from the Conference because of the club’s financial restraints.

    We had discussed adding Amari'i Bell (on loan from Birmingham) and Johnny Hunt from Cambridge but we weren’t in a position to do that. We also wanted to bring in Kevin Nicholson but first had to de-register Reece Hales and Jake Green with the Conference before we were allowed to get him in. It was a long-drawn out process but that is the sort of thing we’ve had to deal with.”

    14 November 2014


    Altrincham welcome Grimsby Town to the J. Davidson Stadium on Saturday (3pm). It will be fewer than six weeks since Altrincham secured a well deserved draw at Blundell Park. Since then, however, the Mariners have won five successive league matches and arrive at Moss Lane in second place in the Vanarama Conference.

    Mike Garnett reminds us that our record against Saturday's opponents, Grimsby Town, is:

    • At home: P1-W0-D1-L0-F2-A2
    • Away: P2-W1-D1-L0-F1-A0
    • All: P3-W1-D2-L0-F3-A2

    After Wednesday's game, Altrincham will monitor the fitness of Scott Leather who took a knock at Telford.

    Grimsby Town tell us that "A Town Xl side thrashed Corby Town 13-1 in a friendly game. Ross Hannah (5), former Town striker Danny North, Lewis Bemrose, Paul Bignot, Hamish Watson (3) and Patrick McLaughlin (2) were the Town goalscorers. Danny North is currently training with the Mariners ahead of returning to the Irish league.

    Hamish Watson's future at the club is still unclear. The New Zealand striker is currently training with the Mariners in the hope of earning a deal. However, any permanent move to Blundell Park would require international clearance and the club are currently assessing those implications."


    Following the AFC Telford United v Altrincham match, Brian Flynn conducted an interview with Altrincham manager, Lee Sinnott. It can be heard here.

    For captain Shaun Densmore's detailed reaction to the Telford and Blyth games, please see below.

    Telford's Sean Clancy reportedly broke his collar bone and ribs during Wednesday's game. All at Altrincham send him good wishes for a speedy recovery.

    AFC Telford United have a gallery of images from the match

    Whilst defeats at Blyth and Telford have been very disappointing, a comparison with the Altrincham team's position in our last season at national level (2010-11) gives some perspective. It shows that after twenty league games, Alty have amassed 50% more points now than in that season (21pts against 14pts). In 2010-11 we had scored 17 and conceded 44 times in the first twenty games compared with scoring 20 and conceding 37 this season so far.


    With the structure of the Community Sports Hall largely complete, attention has moved to the perimeter with the installation of terrace steps and crush barriers in front of the building.


    News of our Cheshire Senior Cup opponents comes from NL Daily which says that "In an ongoing dispute with HMRC, Northwich Victoria have been issued with notice of legal proceedings. These proceedings are due to commence on Monday 24th November 2014.

    The club are disappointed that it has reached this stage, whilst still in negotiations to pay any outstanding amount due. They will be resolving the matter before the court hearing, and expect any action planned to be rescinded".


    NL PItchero says that "Paul Phillips, manager of Ashton United, has announced that Dale Johnson has returned to Hurst Cross after a brief spell with ambitious Salford City. Johnson joined the Ammies from home-town team Ashton in June.

    He really made his name in making over 200 appearances during a long spell with Hyde United. He has also turned out for Droylsden, Altrincham and FC Halifax Town as well as a loan spell with Barrow AFC. He is an effective striker whose fine performances last season pushed Ashton into the play-off places."


    "Kidderminster Harriers manager Gary Whild tells BBC Hereford & Worcester that the Conference club cannot afford to keep striker Michael Gash. 'We can't afford the likes of Michael Gash, so we need to look to get him out somewhere and get him fixed up', said Whild. 'The script has changed a bit. Something might happen over the next 24 to 48 hours. There's one or two clubs interested, although his wife is due to have a baby any day now, which also has to be taken into consideration. Hopefully, we can get something sorted out.'

    The Worcester News tells us that "Michael Gash is on the brink of leaving Kidderminster Harriers in order to reduce the wage bill. The 28-year-old, who has scored three goals this season, was not involved in last night's 2-0 defeat to Aldershot or win against Torquay United earlier this month, both at Aggborough.

    Manager Gary Whild has admitted Harriers are trying to cut the wage bill, which is around £68,000 a month, and Gash is one of the higher earners. Keeper Jasbir Singh, striker Reece Styche and midfielder Josh O’Keefe have already joined Gloucester, Tamworth and Chester on loan respectively. Conference rivals Nuneaton have shown an interest in Gash and their manager, Liam Daish, was at Aggborough for the Aldershot match.

    Whild, whose side visit high-flying Bristol Rovers on Saturday, said, 'The thing for me is that the lads who are here are getting paid... We’ve got to work with the players we’ve got. We were keen to have a fans' forum so we can tell the fans where we are. There is nobody more frustrated than myself and Mark Creighton, who gave his all for the club as a player.'

    Harriers will continue to be without midfielder Kyle Storer, following hernia surgery, while full-back Jared Hodgkiss serves a one-match ban after being sent off against Aldershot. Hodgkiss, who later [apologised] to fans live on BBC Rradio, was given his marching orders at the start of the second-half for pulling back Andre McConville. Brett Williams scored the resulting penalty before Mark Molesley added a second 17 minutes from time.

    Whild said, 'It was a sloppy start to the second-half and to be fair to Jared, he was the first to come in the office and apologise for letting the fans down. You could not meet a more honest guy but the sending off was the game changer'".

    Later, NUneaton Town confirmed that "Striker Michael Gash has joined... on a two-month loan deal".


    According to the Football Conference, "Revised details of ties in the FA Cup Second Round include the ties listed below moving to be played on Sunday, 7th December 2014 with a 2pm kick-off which will be covered in the BBC Final Score programme.
    • Scunthorpe United v WORCESTER CITY
    • Dagenham & Redbridge or SOUTHPORT v EASTLEIGH
    • Barnsley v CHESTER FC
    • Bradford City v DARTFORD
    • Cheltenham Town v DOVER ATHLETIC
    • Portsmouth or ALDERSHOT TOWN v Northampton Town or Rochdale

    The FA fee for each Club is £12,500".

    Chester add that "The FA Cup Second Round tie against Barnsley will be played on Sunday 7th December... The BBC will be showing extended highlights of the game."

    13 November 2014


    John Edwards, Altrincham FC's joint Press and Media Officer writes...

    "Alty skipper Shaun Densmore (left) has requested that his Captain's Chat column for Saturday's programme is used here, on the club's official website. Shaun spoke to joint press and media officer John Edwards after Wednesday night's game at Telford and said he wanted his views to reach as many Altrincham supporters as possible, particularly his thoughts on last Sunday's FA Cup defeat at Blyth. The column, below, will appear in The Robins' Review for Saturday's game with Grimsby at The J.Davidson Stadium".


    "Quite a few of the lads have taken to social media since last Sunday to tweet their regret and remorse at the way we bowed out of the FA Cup at Blyth Spartans.

    I have to say, I’m not one for twitter. It’s not really my style, so, instead, I would like to use the platform of this column to express my thoughts on our bitterly-disappointing first-round defeat, and I would like to start by making one thing perfectly clear.

    The responsibility for what happened was wholly and solely down to the players, not the manager or his coaching staff.

    A lot has been said about why we lost and where we went wrong, and all the anger and criticism has been both understandable and justified. It’s just that it should be aimed at us, rather than anyone else.

    We are the ones who let everyone down, including the manager, and there are no excuses for us to fall back on. The manager had us well prepared, well drilled in what to expect and how to deal with it, but, for some reason that is difficult to pinpoint, we just didn’t perform on the day.

    Our supporters, particularly those who made the long trek to the north- east, deserve better, and I can only apologise whole-heartedly for the way we let you all down.

    Believe me, I know how you feel. I share your anger and frustration, because I probably know a bit more than the rest of the players about this club and its traditions, due to my dad’s past at Moss Lane. I know the club’s history as giantkillers and how much it means to everyone, and it hurts me, as it does you, that it just hasn’t happened for us in the FA Cup during my time here.

    We haven’t had a really good run, yet I genuinely believed this could be the year when we finally made our mark and emulated those famed Alty Cup battlers of not so long ago.

    As a Liverpool fan, I dreamed of coming out of the hat with them in the third round, but that was shot to pieces by the way we fell so short against a side two divisions below us.

    We have no excuses. The preparation could not have been more thorough. The message that we had to be on our guard was drilled into us before we went out, in training on the Thursday and even before we went to Sincil Bank and beat Lincoln two days before that.

    All our focus was on the Lincoln game, but, even so, the manager and his coaching team planted the seed in our heads that, come Sunday, we had to be ready for opponents who would be wound up and ready to go at us.

    So what did we do? We started sloppily and gave away a penalty in the opening few minutes. It must drive the manager absolutely insane.

    The thing that makes it all the harder to fathom out is that we did such a professional job in similar circumstances at Barwell in the previous round and we went into the tie with the same line-up – minus Dave Parton who made way for Stuart Coburn – that did so well at Lincoln a few days earlier.

    That’s why full responsibility lies with us, and I include myself in that bracket, as it was down to the more experienced lads to lead the way and make sure we did not come unstuck. Instead, two or three block tackles in the opening minute or two went their way, and that set the scene for what was to follow.

    It got the crowd up all the more and put them on the front foot, and when they went in front from the spot, we were up against it. I actually felt we weathered that early storm and had chances to finish the first half ahead.

    Damian Reeves fired narrowly wide, Jimmy Lawrie forced a save from the keeper and, of course, Tom Marshall was so unlucky with a piledriver that hit the post. If a couple of those had gone in, we would have given ourselves every opportunity of at least staying in the competition, but, it has to be said, their second goal in the second half was poor from our point of view.

    A few of us could have done better with it, and our fate was sealed when, after pulling one back through Kyle Perry and then pushing for an equaliser, we left ourselves a bit open at the back and were duly punished.

    It was a bitter pill to swallow, and it has happened too often that we have looked one of the better sides in the division one week and one of the worst the next. In my view, we were back to being something like it at Telford on Wednesday night, even if we didn’t get the rewards our efforts deserved.

    We probably played better overall than we did at Lincoln, but, having still lost 2-1, there was clearly a lesson to be learned that we just need to be a bit more clinical in both penalty areas.

    They only got into ours about five times, but scored twice, whereas we swarmed round theirs and created opening after opening, yet only found the net in the last minute.

    The gaffer looked at Telford’s formation, and the way they use wing- backs, and decided to go three on three, with big Kyle up front and James Lawrie and Steven Gillespie either side, just behind him. If you look at the pattern of play and how dominant we were, you have to say it functioned well.

    Jimmy has played that role often enough, and it clearly suits Gilly, who is such an intelligent player for drifting into space and opening things up with his footwork. We didn’t test their keeper enough and were missing an end product, but the spirit and effort that kept driving us forward showed there was no hangover from Sunday. We’ve got to build on that now and match it with results.



    Altrincham's lamentable record against teams at the bottom of the league continued as, for the sixth time this season, they failed to overcome a team in the current bottom five places...

    Match report here.


    Tuesday 11 November
    • Alfreton T. 0-0 Bristol Rovers
    • Barnet 2-3 Torquay
    • Dartford 2-1 Welling U.
    • Dover 1-0 Braintree T.
    • Forest Green R. 1-1 Eastleigh
    • Gateshead 3-3 Lincoln City
    • Grimsby 1-0 FC Halifax Town
    • Macclesfield T. 3-1 Chester

    Wednesday 12 November

    • AFC Telford U. 2-1 Altrincham
    • Kidderminster H. 0-2 Aldershot
    • Woking 1-1 Wrexham


    According to the Football Conference, "A North-East derby under floodlights will kick-off the FA Cup's Second Round next month with three live ties across the BBC and BT Sport. Blyth Spartans' trip down the coast to Hartlepool United will feature on Friday, 5th December with a 7.55pm kick-off... live on BBC Two. The Evo-Stik Northern Premier League side stunned Altrincham last Sunday with Robbie Dale and Daniel Maguire both bagging braces in a 4-1 win for Blyth at their Croft Park home...

    The live match action then moves to Sunday, 7th December with two ties on BT Sport 1. And the cameras will again be in the North-East as Gateshead host First Round giantkillers Warrington Town... Gateshead versus Warrington will kick-off at 12pm on Sunday, 7th December.

    Later that day sees BT Sport 1 in Essex for Colchester United v Peterborough United... Posh's trip to the Weston Homes Community Stadium will kick-off at 4.30pm.

    All clubs featuring in the BBC/BT Sport live broadcasts will receive £72,000 from the FA while the winners will get an extra £27,000 in FA Cup prize money.

    Sandwiched between the BT Sport 1 ties on Sunday, 7th December will be another FA Cup Final Score special hosted by Jason Mohammed at 1.45pm on BBC One. There will be an FA Cup highlights show later that day on BBC Two and Monday, 8th December will see the Third Round draw on the same channel from 7pm".


    The final Cheshire Senior Cup Round 1 tie this week ended Warrington Town 0 Stockport County 1 in front of 357 spectators.


    "Nuneaton Town have suffered a blow to their goalkeeping options" reportsNL Daily. "On-loan goalkeeper Reice Charles-Cook [has been recalled] from his loan spell at Liberty Way by his parent club, Coventry City... as stopper Lee Burge received a red card in the shock FA Cup First Round defeat by Worcester City on Sunday, and will serve a three-match ban."

    Meanwhile, "Adam Cunnington has returned to parent club Cambridge United after the League Two side recalled him following injuries to a number of their strikers. The forward, who has been on loan with Conference club Bristol Rovers, was scheduled to return to the Abbey Stadium after next week's away game at Chester, but departed following last night's 0-0 draw with Alfreton Town".

    Since Altrincham took a point off them, there have been five straight league wins for Grimsby Town, who report that "The Mariners have signed goalkeeper Nick Draper on a deal until the January transfer window. The 21 year-old has played for Lincoln City, Boston United and had a spell... with Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

    With youth team goalkeeper Callum Bastock sidelined for the rest of the season with a serious knee injury, Town boss Paul Hurst is pleased to get the stopper in as cover for James McKeown. Paul said, 'Nick was with us earlier in the season, when we had a look at him in training, before he went off to pursue a couple of other avenues. But our Youth team keeper, Callum Bastock, has got injured and Jack Pearson is only a first-year, so as we move forward we’ve got to protect ourselves a bit. It also helps on the training ground if you’ve got another keeper to work with. Nick came here before and did well, so I’m delighted he is going to join us until January'".

    And more news of the Mariners, who visit Altrincham, next weekend, comes from the Grimsby Telegraph, which adds that "Shaun Pearson’s first-half header was enough to give the Mariners a fully-deserved and hard-fought victory at Blundell Park last night (Tuesday). The centre-half nodded home Nathan Arnold’s corner after Town had completely dominated the opening 45 minutes.

    And, despite Halifax’s inevitable, physical response after the break, the home defence stood firm once again. Scott Neilson was recalled to the Mariners’ starting line-up, in place of Jack Mackreth. And the tricky winger was joined in the starting XI by Carl Magnay and Harry Pell, who both missed the FA Cup defeat to Oxford through injury and ineligibility respectively. Craig Clay and Jon-Paul Pittman dropped to the bench, alongside the returning Scott Brown.

    Magnay’s return at right-back saw loanee Danny Parslow switch to a holding role within a three-man Mariners midfield... Town’s 4-3-3, or variation of it, gave the visitors plenty to think about in the opening half hour... The Mariners deserved at least a goal lead – and they got it, five minutes before the break. It couldn’t have been much simpler as Arnold’s set-piece was met by Pearson six yards out, and the centre-half ‘bulleted’ his header past Glennon.

    The away side had offered virtually nothing, but... Lois Maynard fired wide from ten yards out... Injury to Magnay forced a reshuffle, as Clay came on and Parslow moved back and across to right-back... Halifax continued to dominate possession as the clash headed into its final 20 minutes... Despite backs-to-the-wall stuff in the closing moments, Paul Hurst’s men held out for another excellent three points. Now, can they extend their unbeaten league run to eight matches and close in on Conference leaders Barnet with another victory at Altrincham on Saturday?"

    12 November 2014


    The Shropshire Star tells us that "Boss Liam Watson believes a maiden clean sheet is the key to success against Altrincham on home soil. The bottom-of-the-table Bucks have the worst defensive record in the league, having failed to shut out their opposition in 18 attempts.

    But, up top, Telford have one of the best goal-scoring records in the bottom half of the table. Watson said, 'We are looking a lot stronger defensively now and, if we can keep a clean sheet, we have always got a goal in us. It is very rare we don’t score but very rare that we keep a clean sheet. That has been our Achilles heel up until now.

    But we’ll go into tonight’s game with a real opportunity to keep another clean sheet, and, if we do, I am sure we will get three points'.

    The Robins visit the New Bucks Head in 17th spot, four places above the drop-zone. Telford are eight points from safety, at the foot of the table.

    Watson said, 'They seem to have picked up one or two good wins but, when the team sheet comes in, we know we are as strong as them'. Meanwhile, The Bucks have agreed a one-month extension to their loan of Luton Town defender Andy Parry, who is set start this evening".


    You can follow the AFC Telford United v Altrincham match (Wednesday, 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, will be broadcasting full live coverage of Wednesday night's game at The New Buck's Head. The match commentary sponsor is John Green Professional Editing Services. For all your editing and proofreading needs. Anything from novels, to essays, to football programmes. Contact John by e-mail.

    The commentators are Paul Salt and Simon Ellis with John Edwards as match summariser. Coverage starts at 7.35pm with the game kicking off at 7.45pm. You can listen to Radio Robins on the internet at Leah and Simon Brotherton will be providing regular updates on Twitter (@altrinchamfc) as well as half-time and full-time updates on facebook (Altrincham FC).


    Manager Lee Sinnott spoke to John Edwards after the Blyth defeat - here.


    Alty's opponents on Wednesday night, AFC Telford United announce that "Luton Town have agreed to extend the Loan of Andy Parry to AFC Telford United for one month until 9th December."

    The Bucks add that "AFC Telford United face a momentous 7 days ahead with three massive games. The Bucks face Altrincham tomorrow evening [Wednesday] as they look for three points to continue their push for survival in the Vanarama Premier. There is lots going on at the Buck's Head tomorrow evening.

    The club will be holding a minute's silence ahead of the game as a mark of respect for those who have served and fallen whilst serving our Country. The Wellington Branch of the British Legion will be collecting donations before and during the game.

    We are pleased to be hosting lots of guests at the game; University of Wolverhampton will be guests of the club ahead of announcing a major new commercial partnership in the coming weeks. The club will also be hosting 44 guests from the Telford Loyalty Card scheme including MP for Telford, David Wright, Mayor of Telford and Wrekin Cllr Malcolm Smith and 16 local businesses.

    Finally, we’re also hosting 8 representatives from the Rotary Clubs of Telford who will be promoting their Tree Of Light Campaign".

    AFC Telford United also report on their FA Cup draw at Basingstoke at the weekend. "Saturday afternoon saw the Bucks travel south to a rain-sodden Camrose Ground... returning with their name in the hat for the Second Round, but with plenty to do in a replay, a week on Tuesday, having come away with a 1-1 draw. Rod McDonald’s eighteenth minute free kick, cancelled out by Chris Flood’s close range header shortly after the interval...

    McDonald,... with the aid of a wicked deflection, scored his first for the club and put the Bucks a goal up in the 18th minute... [After half-time] the home side came out, obviously fired up by their managers’ team talk and within five minutes of the restart were back on level terms. Chris Flood contorting his body to somehow direct a header beyond Hedge from within the six yard. Louie Soares providing the devilish in-swinging corner... Basingstoke were growing into the game and the Bucks struggled to get a foot hold in the game...

    As conditions got yet worse, Liam Watson made a double change, with Andy Todd and Josh Hancock coming onto replace Sam Smith and Sean Cooke... The Telford goal was leading a charmed life".


    The Yankee jackpot stands at £3250. Details are here. Why not join the scheme and help the Club. Details are here.


    From Peter Foster comes the following article, which appeared in a recent Robins' Review.

    It seems as if the AFC Community Company has been going for ever however it’s just 2 years 7 months since it was formed, although 4 years since we started undertaking Community activities.

    In that time, we have been fortunate enough to receive approx £50k from the Conference Trust to support our Community activities. The funding source is the Premier League and Professional Footballers' Association. Both of these organisations do occasionally get a bad press. However, we can only be grateful for their generosity in supporting our Community activities, and also to the Conference Trust for their help and support.

    Right: Rocky Robin lent his support to the cause in Altrincham town centre, recently.

    Without this funding, the Community Company and most of the activities that it supports would not exist – or, if it did, the funds would have to come from the Club, at the expense of the playing budget. For those of you that don’t know what the Community Co does, as a brief headline, at present it provides organized football for approx. 500 boys, girls, and ladies each week.

    These activities are all delivered under the watchful eye of our Community Officer, Chris Bullock. Chris does an amazing job in combining co-ordination, session delivery, resourcing coaches, sales, and very importantly the marketing of the Football Club via free or subsidised tickets to supporters of the future.

    The activities supported include schools coaching – Primary and High Schools, boys and girls. This is typically delivered in eight schools each week, twelve different schools each year. We also run after-school and lunch-time clubs at various schools.

    The Ladies' team started as a direct result of the Conference Trust funding and has improved steadily, and we now run six Fun Weeks each year.

    We have also run schemes in conjunction with local Police during school holidays and are involved in many other activities in the Community e.g. supporting the Children's Adventure Farm, events in Altrincham town centre, Altrincham Festival, providing one to one coaching for less able children, etc.

    The future of the Community Company will be closely tied up with the Community Sports Hall, and we hope to extend the activities to other groups and ages. We feel that, this way, the Football Club will be able to support many more members of the Community and, in turn, we will attract many more supporters to the Football Club".


    Brian Flynn reports that "After a couple of malfunctions in the previous two games, sadly the recording software worked on Sunday!" So you can now listen again to the match at Blyth here.


    FC Halifax Town reports that "Neil Aspin has admitted that the next league game against Grimsby Town will be a big and difficult test, with the game just 48 hours after their thrilling FA Cup tie against Bradford City.

    Unfortunately, the cup run came to a close on Sunday in front of the cameras as the Shaymen were narrowly beaten 2-1 by the Bantams and they have no time to dwell on the defeat as they must now focus on a highly contesting [competitive?] clash against second-place Grimsby.

    'Grimsby are doing really well; they’ve moved up to second in the league,' Aspin began. 'They played really well here for 30 minutes, they were excellent so it’s a big game on Tuesday and a big test'.

    This will be the second time that the two have faced off in the league this season in the space of just two months. The first game at the Shay finished 1-1... The fixtures are very frustrating this season for Neil Aspin’s side as they face several sides twice before they play their first legs against other teams. Their final seven games also consist of five away matches.

    Aspin contacted Grimsby to try and delay the match by an extra day but the club refused to alter the date of the game but the manager respects their decision. 'We did ask Grimsby could we move it to the Wednesday but they wouldn’t do that which is up to them, so I understand that, but it’s worth asking. Today [Bradford] will have wilted a lot of the players and I realised the Bradford game would take care of itself but Tuesday is going to be a difficult test and a difficult game for us.'

    Despite the inconvenience, if Aspin’s side manage to pull off a victory, then they could move above Grimsby and into second, granted results go their way. The Shaymen will then come back to the Shay on Sunday to face Woking at 2.00pm – another game live on TV."

    Down in Hampshire, Portsmouth confirm that "Pompey’s FA Cup first round replay at Aldershot will be played on Wednesday, November 19. The match will kick-off at 7.45pm and be screened live on BT Sport."

    The Conference adds that "The other FAC televised game live on @btsport will be Thursday 13th between Maidstone United v Stevenage".

    According to the Football Conference "Gateshead have snapped up forward Tom Heardman on a one-month loan deal from neighbours Newcastle United. Heardman, 19, was a regular for the Magpies' under-18 side, and has made a handful of appearances for the under-21 side. Born in Gosforth, the young forward is 6'4" in height, and will hopefully prove a welcome addition to the Heed's injury-ravaged attack".

    The Conference also says that "Alfreton Town have signed striker Carl Lamb. Lamb, 30, was originally on the books at Liverpool. He then went non-League with Welsh sides Bangor City, Cefn Druids and Total Network Solutions before joining Droylsden in the summer of 2008. Spells with Witton Albion, Buckley Town and Abersytwyth Town followed before he moved to Australia.

    Lamb won the Regional Premier League goalscoring award for the 2012/13 season with Cobram, and also played for Shepparton United 'Down Under'. Upon returning to England he was offered a chance with Chesterfield. However, Lamb left Chesterfield at the end of October without making a first-team appearance... He scored twice in a trial game for Alfreton last week. Alfreton return to Vanarama Conference action after a ten-day lay-off when Bristol Rovers visit the Impact Arena ...

    Reds' manager Nicky Law has no new injury worries and will be without just long-term victims Andi Thanoj and Dan Gray which means he will have plenty of options all over the park as he looks for his side to build on the 1-0 win at Altrincham in their last outing on November 1st. Indeed, if Alfreton can record a fourth win from their last five home games, it could lift them out of the relegation zone."

    From NL Pitchero we learn that "Tony Burman, manager of Dartford, has confirmed that he has added 22-year-old defender Callum Driver to his squad... Driver played for West Ham United where he was a youth from the age of 12... Having been involved in several first-team squads with the Hammers, in 2012 he moved on loan to Burton Albion, where he made eight first-team appearances... He made his official debut in January 2014 for West Ham against Nottingham Forest at The City Ground in the FA Cup before being released at the end of last season. He then joined Conference South side Whitehawk in August."

    And the BBC tells us that "Chester have signed Kidderminster midfielder Josh O'Keefe and Barnsley striker Rhys Oates on short-term loans. O'Keefe, 25, arrives on a two-month loan deal until 1 January having only made once appearance for the Harriers so far this season. The former Hereford midfielder played five games for AFC Telford United in September during a loan spell.

    Oates has come through the youth system at Oakwell and the 19-year-old will stay until 20 December. The Blues have also announced that defender Danny Taylor has had his contract cancelled by mutual consent".

    11 November 2014


    The Sale & Altrincham Messenger has an interview by John Edwards. John has kindly provided the website with a fuller version of his post-match interview with the Altrincham manager, which is reproduced below.

    "A bitterly-disappointed Lee Sinnott spoke to joint Press and Media Officer, John Edwards, moments after Sunday’s FA Cup defeat at Blyth Spartans. A mixture of anger and despair was apparent as the Alty manager reflected on his side’s failure to respond in the manner that saw them through a similar challenge in the previous round at Barwell. Here is the interview, quotes from which have been used in this week’s Messenger and Advertiser articles.

    Q: There were worrying signs early on, weren’t there, when defensive hesitancy put us under pressure and led to the opening goal?

    A: There were. In the first 10 minutes, in fact. Let’s face it, the quality of our defending has cost us the tie, and it was evident from as early as that. The team that goes away to Lincoln and defends as they did and then four days later comes to Blyth and defends like that ... it’s chalk and cheese.

    Q: I imagine the last thing you said to the players was along the lines of don’t give the crowd any excuse to turn up the volume in the first few minutes?

    A: I’m sick and tired of telling them. I will take it in the throat every time. I get the catcalls as manager and whatever else. But no one surely thinks that before Witton three years ago and Trafford last season, I say to them, ‘Just go out there and mess around, it’ll be all right. Just mess around for 90 minutes, and we’ll be through to the next round.’ You defend with the quality we did today, and you are asking for trouble. The amount of times we dithered down our right-hand side in the first 10 minutes gave them a lift straightaway and was absolutely the last thing we could afford to do.

    Q: No complaints about the penalty award?

    A: None. I’ve no complaints about any decisions or the opposition, only about my players. You get to half-time, and it’s only one goal, and you consider your options and how you might implement them. We had it at the back of our minds to change to three at the back, if it was just one goal in it with half-an-hour to go. But then, still sticking to four across the back, we go 2-0 behind. We were about to make the change when we conceded that second. It was just rank bad defending.

    Q: Even then, Kyle Perry (left) scores a goal out of nothing to make it 2-1, and we’re back in with a chance, aren’t we?

    A: Yeah, yeah, we’ve hit the post as well, and had one or two moments. But the quality of defending was... well, I’ll refrain from going too far, but it just wasn’t good enough.

    Q: To think we could have been 90 minutes away from the big boys in the third round. That’s a huge disappointment, isn’t it?

    A: I’m fed up of saying that to the players, of reminding them what’s at stake and what’s needed to get through this sort of tie. Of course it is all the more baffling, just four days after the performance at Lincoln, but if they don’t want to grasp the nettle, this is what happens.

    Q: It goes without saying you would expect and hope for something better at Telford on Wednesday?

    A: I’m sure they will be better, but the damage has been done, hasn’t it? How do you repair that damage? You can’t. It’s a one-off, and we are out of the Cup. You treat all clubs with respect, and that’s the approach I expected from my players. Certainly, I didn’t expect what I walked into. I said it was going to be vociferous and a challenge of what we are about, and then we start like that. I don’t care what league you are in, if you start a game like we did, you are going to struggle in a Subbuteo league.

    Q: That was the key, wasn’t it, getting off on the wrong foot?

    A: We worked our way back into it after the penalty, but then had another five-minute spell in the first half where our defending was all over the place. That was the tale of the day. Our defending was all over the shop, and we paid the price.

    I feel so disappointed and sorry for everyone connected with the club, particularly all those who made the long journey in the hope of cheering us into the next round. It’s another point I keep making, that we’ve got supporters who go to incredible lengths, and expense, to make sure we’ve got vocal backing wherever we play and that we really should be doing our utmost to make it worth their while. They deserved better than they got today, and I am truly sorry for that".

    The Sale and Altrincham Messenger adds that "Centre-back Luca Havern summed up the players’ contrite mood by tweeting, ‘Apologies to the travelling fans, big performance needed on Wednesday (at Telford) from the boys'".


    After Sunday's FA Cup exit, Altrincham will be looking for a much improved showing at AFC Telford United on Wednesday (7.45pm). Please come and support the team and, if you can, make use of the TASC supporters' coach. Details of the trip are here.


    Alty travel to the New Buck's Head on Wednesday evening. Mike Garnett reminds us of the previous results in fixtures between Alty and AFC Telford United.
    • At Altrincham: p1-w0-d1-l0-f1-a1
    • At Telford: p1-w0-d0-l1-f1-a3
    • All: p2-w0-d1-l1-f2-a4

    Telford's line up in their last game was: 1. Jonathan Hedge, 23. Ryan Higgins, 11. Sean Clancy, 4. Neill Byrne, 24. Andy Parry, 6. Mike Grogan, 16. Rod McDonald, 20. Godfrey Poku, 9.Adam Farrell, 18. Sam Smith, 12. Sean Cooke. Subs: 5. Steve Akrigg, 8. Charlie Barnett, 14. Josh Hancock, 21. Andy Todd, 10. Tony Gray, 17. Kristian Platt, 13. Andy Pryce.

    In advance of Wednesday, AFC Telford United report that "Alty arrive in the town on Wednesday, surely smarting from their Sunday afternoon defeat at the hands of Blyth Spartans in the FA Cup... Their consolation coming through one of their former Bucks, Kyle Perry, with a clever lob.

    Other members of the Altrincham squad with a former Telford allegiance are top scorer Damian Reeves, who featured under Rob Smith and Larry Chambers, and James Lawrie, a wide player, recruited from Port Vale by Andy Sinton. All three offering a sizable attacking threat having all grabbed goals so far this campaign. The other former Telford stalwart, Carl ‘Bruno’ Rodgers, no longer plays for Alty, having departed in the summer to live the dream ‘Down Under.’

    A rather productive October yielded a good points haul for The Robins [and] saw them open up a bit of gap on the Bucks who, despite sitting bottom, have begun turning in some workmanlike performances and will now be targeting the visit of Altrincham as an ideal opportunity to plunder some much needed points in their bid for survival. Altrincham will likely be looking at a game they must not lose, which will put the emphasis on the Bucks to come out and attack and fans can look forward to that, under the lights at the New Buck's Head on Wednesday.

    Liam Watson is not likely to make too many changes from the side that drew with Basingstoke Town, in the FA Cup on Saturday, the number of fit/ available players making that a luxury he cannot afford. One player that will be pushing for a start is Josh Hancock, who has looked bright in his short cameos since returning from his loan spell at Witton Albion.

    Managed by the experienced former Farsley Celtic, Port Vale and Bradford Park Avenue boss, Lee Sinnott... conceding 16 goals in four games in September gave cause for concern for Robins' fans, but Altrincham rallied in October, amassing seven points, including an impressive victory (1-3 at Halifax) and another equally well earned point, away to Grimsby (0-0). November though has started inconsistently for the Conference North Play-Off Winners, who beat Lincoln away (1-2) but slumped to defeats at home to Alfreton (0-1) and Blyth...

    In the guise of AFC Telford United, the sides have only faced each other on two previous occasions. The Bucks running out 3-1 victors at the New Buck's Head in April, after the two sides had played out a 1-1 draw earlier in the campaign. Mike Grogan, Neill Byrne and Adam Farrell grabbing the Telford goals, before a consolation Walshaw strike reduced the arrears. At Moss Lane, Mike Grogan was again on the score sheet, grabbing an early opener, only for that man James Walshaw to level, just after half an hour into the tie. A repeat of the home score line would certainly put the Bucks in good shape ahead of the trip to The Hive Stadium, Barnet on Saturday.

    The game will be segregated with Altrincham FC supporters housed in the Budget Gas, Frank Nagington Stand: a covered terrace behind the goal. A limited number of seats are available for those that are unable to remain standing for long periods. Please enter the ground via the turnstiles and contact your nearest steward, [who] will assist in your transfer to the seated area...

    Visiting supporters will have access to a bar and refreshments stands in the concourse and are also more than welcome in the Simmonds Transport, Learning Centre Bar, which will be open from 6pm. Come along for a friendly pint with the opposition fans!

    Admission prices:

    • Adults: £15
    • Concessions: £12
    • 16-19s: £5
    • Under 16s: £2


    Mike Ripley has made available his photos from the Blyth Spartans v Altrincham game on his website. Above he captures the one bright moment of the afternoon as Kyle Perry lobs the keeper for Altrincham's goal.

    They are of broadcast quality but the highlights, with commentary, from Blyth Spartans of their win over Altrincham are now available. And the BBC has highlights of all the First Round games.

    Blyth Spartans have a report which starts...

    "'Written in the stars' was how Spartans midfielder Stephen Turnbull explained his side’s FA Cup run after the Fourth Qualifying Round win at Leek Town and after the 4-1 destruction of Conference side Altrincham who would argue with him? However the win over the Robins didn’t come courtesy of any divine influence. Braces from Robbie Dale and Dan Maguire added style and quality to a team display of dogged determination as Tom Wade’s side ensured they would be in the Second Round draw...

    With Croft Park expectant Spartans started well and while it would be easy to say they got in the faces of their opponents that would be underplaying the verve and style they displayed. Dale danced, Maguire and Rivers buzzed, Turnbull dictated and Spartans were in business. It was Dale who drew a foul from Robins full back and captain Shaun Densmore [it was actually James Lawrie] and referee Martin Coy had no option but to point to the spot.

    Dale picked himself up and from the spot calmly rolled the ball to Stuart Coburn’s right, the Robins keeper choosing to go to his left. That goal kept up Dale’s record of scoring in every round of this season’s competition, although it was also his first goal for the club in the 'proper' rounds of the FA Cup.

    Spartans swarmed over their opponents, seemingly intent on suffocating any enthusiasm out of Lee Sinnott’s side. It worked... While Spartans dominated possession their visitors finally got into the game. They should have equalised midway through the half as former Leeds United academy striker got through on goal but dragged his shot wide of Peter Jeffries's far post...

    Jarrett Rivers was causing problems for the Robins defence and his persistence forced an error from Gianluca Havern and that allowed Rivers a sight of goal... The Robins had a great chance as the half made its way towards the half our mark. Winger James Lawrie crashed a low shot towards the far corner but Jeffries parried it away from goal although the ball fell to Densmore who struck the outside of the post[?]...

    As the half time whistle approached, centre back Tom Marshall was afforded time to advance from his position at the heart of his team’s defence and smashed a thirty yard effort against Jeffries's right hand upright... The visitors made a change at the interval with the physical presence of Kyle Perry added to their frontline as he replaced Sean Williams...

    The half was a slow burner although Spartans were comfortable in possession and dictated the pace of the game... They doubled their lead just after the hour mark. A wonderful one-two between Maguire and Matthew Wade allowed the former to curl a low shot off the inside of the near post and into the net...

    Substitute Perry ran on to a through ball and calmly chipped Jeffries to halve Spartans lead... Spartans simply dusted themselves down and got on with it...

    Dale’s touch was perfect and he strode towards the edge of the box. As he was faced with Densmore [it was Havern] Croft Park knew what was coming... A chop inside his marker gave Dale a sight of goal and he rolled the ball to Coburn’s right to wrong foot the Robins custodian. Mercurial, marvellous and majestic, the pressure was eased in one fell swoop.

    Croft Park vibrated to the noise and bounce of the Green Army and to their delight a fourth goal was to arrive just before the ninetieth minute. Dan Hawkins bulldozed his way through midfield and if strength had got him there it was sheer style that saw saw him release Maguire in on goal. The forward never looked like missing and he duly rolled the ball past Coburn to set the seal on another wonderful day in the remarkable FA Cup history of Blyth Spartans".


    Alty Youth drew 1-1 at home to Witton Albion on Sunday; their second 1-1 draw in succession. James Farrington has provided a match report on the game.


    Blyth Spartans, conquerors of Altrincham on Sunday, have been drawn away to the bottom club in League Two and NE neighbours, Hartlepool United, in the FA Cup Second Round.

    The full draw is...

    • Oxford U. v Tranmere R.
    • Bury v Luton T.
    • Wrexham v Stevenage/Maidstone U.
    • Scunthorpe U. v Worcester C.
    • Colchester U. v Peterborough U.
    • Wycombe W. v York C/AFC Wimbledon
    • Notts C./Accrington S. v Yeovil
    • Hartlepool U. v Blyth Spartans
    • MK Dons v Chesterfield
    • Dagenham & Red./Southport v Eastleigh
    • Gateshead v Warrington T.
    • Oldham A. v Weston s-Mare/Doncaster R.
    • Havant & W./Preston NE v Walsall//Shrewsbury T.
    • Barnsley v Chester
    • Bradford C. v Dartford
    • Crewe/Sheffield U. v Plymouth A.
    • Cheltenham T. v Dover A.
    • Cambridge U. v Mansfield T./Concord R.
    • Bristol C. v Basingstoke/AFC Telford
    • Portsmouth/Aldershot T. v Northampton T./Rochdale

    For those clubs involved in replays in the FA Cup R1 it is confirmed that two will be chosen for LIVE screening by @btsport next week. One will be on Wednesday 19 November on BT Sport 1 from 7.30pm.


    The last game in the Cheshire Senior Cup Preliminary Round is:

    Tuesday 11th November 2014

    • Warrington Town v Stockport County


    According to the Shropshire Star, "AFC Telford United manager Liam Watson "was frustrated as defensive errors allowed hosts Basingstoke Town to come back from a goal down to force a first round replay...

    He said, 'If you had offered me the chance to stay in the competition and take it back to the New Buck's Head before the game I would have said yes, all day long, so we can't be too despondent. However, I think we missed a great opportunity to actually get through at the first time of asking. I am really disappointed with the goal that we have conceded. We have come out after half time so, so sloppy and again the goal was just so poor.

    The reason we have come out so sloppy is that defensively down the right-hand side we were abysmal. And the ball that has come into the box that they have scored from should be the goalkeeper's ball all day long so he has got to deal with that... but I feel sorry for a lot of the lads because I thought they all worked hard and put a shift in.

    I thought we had great backing from the fans and the work Godfrey Poku and Mike Grogan got through in middle of the pitch was good. But in the last 25 minutes, the game has become atrocious. One half of pitch looked all right after the game but the other, there were puddles everywhere. We were defending that half so it was hard to clear our lines. I think the referee has missed a blatant penalty for us...

    I think Ryan Higgins and Neill Byrne have got to look at themselves and ask could they do betterand I will answer it for them, yes they can, but we are in the draw on Monday".

    The superbly named Cod Almighty reports on the next visitors to Altrincham, Grimsby Town, who lost 1-3 to Oxford United at the weekend. "Town lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation as follows: McKeown, Parslow, Pearson, Nsiala, Thomas, Clay, Disley, Pittman, Arnold, Mackreth, and John-Lewis. The substitutes were Humble, Bignot, Walker, Doig, McLaughlin, Neilson and Hannah. Clay and Disley acted as a double defensive pivot. Mackreth was wide left, Pittman wide right, and Arnold lurked centrally between the pivots and the lonesome Shop...

    McKeown's garryowens and fly-kicks coiled backwards, so Town amended their methods. The defenders' garryowens and fly-kicks coiled backwards, further upfield. The ball rarely reached lonesome Lennie, and if it did the smouldering Shop was outnumbered and outmuscled...

    Oxford soaked up the non-pressure... Just forget the rest of the half if you have one black and white eye. Town were vaguely humiliated by talented teens tip-tapping through the tulips... I shall spare you the details. No-one really needs to see or read the autopsy on a loved one. You just need to know it happened and the result.

    They could score as many as they wanted: they are just superior, they don't look formidable, just better. Better organised, better players, better coached. Town were totally outplayed... Utterly one-sided. Absolutely everything was inferior, individually, collectively, mentally, physically, tactically and managerially. The crowd didn't boo: they just shrugged their shoulders and soaked up the salutary lessons".

    Elsewhere in Lincolnshire, Lincoln City report that "The Board of Directors would like to reaffirm their support for Chris Moyses and his backroom staff.

    Chris, assisted by Grant Brown and David Preece, took over first team duties a week ago and despite suffering two narrow defeats, the Board are happy with the progress being made. There are clear signs of improvement on the pitch, as we saw during Saturday's FA Cup tie at Eastleigh with the second half arguably seeing some of the best attacking football the team have played for some considerable time whilst the professional approach and dedication shown by Chris and his team has been second to none.

    Chris is fully committed to Lincoln City Football Club and we would like to reassure supporters that he will remain in charge of first team duties for the immediate future, and certainly longer than the 'four games' that has been reported in the media. [Moyses himself was quoted as saying this]. We urge all fans to get behind Chris, his staff and the players during the coming weeks".

    Meanwhile, the Grimsby Telegraph reports that "Grimsby Town’s boss has explained why Craig Disley and Lenell John-Lewis were substituted during Saturday’s FA Cup defeat...

    'I was concerned about Craig Disley’s thigh and that’s why I brought him off,' commented manager Paul Hurst. 'Some people were asking for him to come off, some people were questioning why I brought him off. Craig was fine in training on Friday until right at the end. I don’t think he was 100 per cent comfortable with his thigh, and for his and the squad’s well-being, it was right to take him off.

    I took Lenny off because I thought he might have got sent off with the way decisions were going against us... I made the substitutions because the league is the most important thing'”.

    The Telegraph adds that "Hurst admitted his side were simply not good enough" at Oxford.

    10 November 2014


    Blyth Spartans, conquerors of Altrincham on Sunday, have been drawn away to the bottom club in League Two and NE neighbours, Hartlepool United, in the FA Cup Second Round.

    The full draw is...

    • Oxford U. v Tranmere R.
    • Bury v Luton T.
    • Wrexham v Stevenage/Maidstone U.
    • Scunthorpe U. v Worcester C.
    • Colchester U. v Peterborough U.
    • Wycombe W. v York C/AFC Wimbledon
    • Notts C./Accrington S. v Yeovil
    • Hartlepool U. v Blyth Spartans
    • MK Dons v Chesterfield
    • Dagenham & Red./Southport v Eastleigh
    • Gateshead v Warrington T.
    • Oldham A. v Weston s-Mare/Doncaster R.
    • Havant & W./Preston NE v Walsall//Shrewsbury T.
    • Barnsley v Chester
    • Bradford C. v Dartford
    • Crewe/Sheffield U. v Plymouth A.
    • Cheltenham T. v Dover A.
    • Cambridge U. v Mansfield T./Concord R.
    • Bristol C. v Basingstoke/AFC Telford
    • Portsmouth/Aldershot T. v Northampton T./Rochdale


    Above: Shaun Densmore takes a second-half freekick, with the pink FA Cup ball, at Blyth.

    Blyth went at Alty from the off and the visitors did not stand up to it. Lawrie conceded a penalty after a freekick had hit the wall and rebounded to Rivers. Dale converted the spot kick (4 mins). Though Reeves missed a good chance and Marshall hit the post before the interval, Spartans deserved their lead at half time.

    Just after the hour Maguire added a second after a slick move on the left. Perry's great lob made it 2-1 after 73 minutes. Alty gave away a third seven minutes from time as Dale scored. As Alty folded, Maguire scored a fourth (88 mins) past the advancing Coburn.

    Match report here


    Pictured right, by Grahame Rowley, we see the newly laid floor in the Community Sports Hall at the J. Davidson Stadium as the building project nears completion.


    Sunday 9 November @ 2pm
    • Blyth Spartans 4-1 Altrincham
    • Braintree 0-6 Chesterfield
    • Coventry C. 1-2 Worcester C.
    • FC Halifax T. 1-2 Bradford C. (12 noon)
    • Forest Green Rovers 0-2 Scunthorpe U.
    • Gosport Borough 3-6 Colchester U.
    • Norton U. 0-4 Gateshead
    • Notts County 0-0 Accrington Stanley (3pm)
    • Portsmouth 2-2 Aldershot T.
    • Stevenage 0-0 Maidstone U.
    • Wrexham 3-0 Woking
    • Through the Years by Howard Watts

    Monday 10 November

    • Havant & Waterlooville v Preston NE (8pm)

    9 November 2014


    You can follow the Blyth Spartans v Altrincham match (Sunday, 2pm) 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 Sunday's game at Croft 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 Warrington Town, 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 their unique relationship with their suppliers, they guarantee that they 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 Ian Wilkinson and Brian Flynn, with John Edwards as match summariser.

    Coverage starts at 1.50pm with the game kicking off at 2.00pm. You can listen to Radio Robins on the internet at Leah and Simon Brotherton will be providing regular updates on Twitter (@altrinchamfc) as well as half-time & full time updates on facebook (Altrincham FC).


    The Manchester Evening News says that "This weekend sees a clash of the giant-killers as ALTRINCHAM visit Blyth Spartans in the FA Cup. The Robins are the only local non-league side to have reached the first round and the tie is one of eight switched to Sunday, with a 2pm kick-off, so that they can be featured on a special Final Score programme for the BBC.

    Alty hold the record for knocking out more Football League sides than any other non-league club but Blyth also have a decent Cup pedigree having claimed plenty of League scalps themselves. The two sides were in the same league as recently as 2011/12 but two divisions now separate Alty, who are 17th in the Conference Premier, and Blyth, 21st in the Evo-Stik Premier.

    'There is absolutely no question that it is going to be a tough day for us, as well as a big day,' said Robins' boss Lee Sinnott. 'The north east is invariably a tough place to go to and we know what we are walking into, from playing at Blyth two years ago. On top of that, they will have a bigger crowd behind them, so you can be sure we will give Blyth 100 per cent respect.'

    Long-serving keeper Stuart Coburn is available again after the birth of his second child, which ruled him out of Tuesday night ’s win at Lincoln City. Ryan Crowther (back) may also return but Nicky Clee (broken toe) remains out."

    And News Now tells us that "Blyth Spartans expect to have captain Robbie Dale and central midfielder Phil Turnbull available after both missed the FA Trophy win at Farsley. Ex-Hartlepool player Nathan Buddle is likely to remain in central defence alongside fellow defender Danny Parker...

    Northern Premier League Blyth are unbeaten in four games and looking to kick-start another famous FA Cup run, having gone as far as the fifth round in 1978, the best by a non-league side since World War Two. 'This cup tie gives us a chance to get the Green Army to Croft Park in their numbers and show Altrincham they are not only having to beat the players,' said boss Tom Wade. '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 are not ready to finish it'".


    Altrincham Reserves lost 3-1 at Cheadle Town in the Hallmark Security Cheshire Football League Cup on Saturday.


    The Football Conference says that "Steve Burr`s Chester travelled down to Roots Hall to take on Southend United and earned a tremendous 2-1 win. Defender Ben Heneghan's near-post header from a free-kick made it 1-0 after less than 5 minutes. The Shrimpers equalised just past the half-hour mark from Barry Corr's penalty after John Rooney had been adjudged to have brought down John White.

    But winger Craig Mahon scored what proved to be the winner for the visitors 6 minutes into the second half with a left-foot shot from just outside the box.

    Dover also beat League Two opposition in Morecambe at their own Crabble ground. The Whites, who are hovering just above the drop zone in the Vanarama Conference table, scored what proved to be the only goal of the game right on half-time when Stefan Payne`s low shot trickled in..

    Southport are only a point in front of Dover in the table, but they earned a home replay after holding Dagenham & Redbridge to a goalless draw at Victoria Road. The Daggers had the better of the chances in truth, but failed to find a way past a stubborn defence... Southport had chances of their own but Richard Brodie was denied twice by Daggers `keeper Mark Cousins.

    The Vanarama Conference was assured of a team in the Second Round at the Silverlake Stadium where league rivals Eastleigh met managerless Lincoln City. And it is the Spitfires who eventually earned a dramatic victory... Eastleigh`s league rivals Dartford are in the Second Round hat for the first time since 1984 after edging a seven-goal thriller at the Fortress Stadium against Conference South hosts Bromley...

    Struggling Vanarama Conference outfit AFC Telford United will have home advantage now after earning a replay following a 1-1 draw at the Camrose against a Basingstoke Town side who started the afternoon as Conference South leaders...

    However, Saturday saw FA Cup exits for Vanarama Conference leaders Barnet, along with their league rivals Grimsby Town and Bristol Rovers, Conference North side AFC Fylde and Conference South outfit Hemel Hemsptead Town. Many saw Barnet`s tie at The Hive against League Two leaders Wycombe Wanderers as the tie of the round... The home side then went down to ten-men in first half injury-time when Sam Togwell was shown a red card for a tackle on Matt Bloomfield. Aaron Pierre's header on the hour-mark and a Sam Wood effort on 74 minutes sealed victory for Wycombe. And to make matters worse for the Bees, they had Andy Yiadom shown Barnet's second straight red card for his challenge on Josh Scowan in the final minute of normal time.

    Bristol Rovers fancied their chances at Prenton Park against an out-of-form Tranmere Rovers outfit. However, despite the hosts playing the final 28 minutes with ten-men, they went through 1-0... Grimsby were beaten 3-1 at Blundell Park by Oxford United".

    The Shrospshire Star says that "AFC Telford United remain in the hat for the FA Cup second round after drawing 1-1 at Basingstoke. But Liam Watson's side will need a replay to advance, after Chris Flood's second-half header cancelled out Rod McDonald's early opener... Telford had stand-in Sean Clancy to thank midway through the half though for preventing Jamie Brown equalising at the far post...


    • Barnet v Wycombe Wanderers 2,410
    • Barnsley v Burton Albion 5,158
    • Basingstoke Town v AFC Telford United 1,251
    • Bromley v Dartford 4,105
    • Bury v Hemel Hempstead Town 2,944
    • Cambridge United v Fleetwood Town 2,870
    • Cheltenham Town v Swindon Town 3,470
    • Crewe Alexandra v Sheffield United 3,222
    • Dagenham & Redbridge v Southport 1,172
    • Dover Athletic v Morecambe 1,609
    • Eastleigh v Lincoln City 873
    • Gillingham v Bristol City 2,654
    • Grimsby Town v Oxford United 3,241
    • Hartlepool United v East Thurrock United 2,800
    • Luton Town v Newport County 3,656
    • Northampton Town v Rochdale 2,790
    • Oldham Athletic v Leyton Orient 3,034
    • Peterborough United v Carlisle United 3,168
    • Plymouth Argyle v AFC Fylde 5,153
    • Port Vale v Milton Keynes Dons 4,120
    • Southend United v Chester 4,047
    • Tranmere Rovers v Bristol Rovers 3,559
    • Walsall v Shrewsbury Town 3,546
    • Yeovil Town v Crawley Town 2,355
    • York City v AFC Wimbledon 2,085

    8 November 2014


    Friday 7 November

    • Warrington T. 1-0 Exeter C.

    Saturday 8 November

    • Barnet 1-3 Wycombe W.
    • Barnsley 5-0 Burton A.
    • Basingstoke 1-1 AFC Telfor U.
    • Bromley 3-4 Dartford
    • Bury 3-1 Hemel Hempstead
    • Cambridge U. 1-0 Fleetwood T.
    • Cheltenham T. 5-0 Swindon T.
    • Crewe A. 0-0 Sheffield U.
    • Dagenham & Redbridge 0-0 Southport
    • Dover A. 1-0 Morecambe
    • Eastleigh 2-1 Lincoln C.
    • Gillingham 1-2 Bristol C.
    • Grimsby T. 1-3 Oxford U.
    • Hartlepool U. 2-0 East Thurrock
    • Luton T. 4-2 Newport C.
    • Mansfield T. P-P Concord Rangers
    • Northampton T. 0-0 Rochdale
    • Oldham Athletic 1-0 Leyton Orient
    • Peterborough U. 2-1 Carlisle U.
    • Plymouth Argyle 2-0 AFC Fylde
    • Port Vale 3-4 MK Dons
    • Southend U. 0-1 Chester FC
    • Tranmere R. 1-0 Bristol R.
    • Walsall 2-2 Shrewsbury T.
    • Weston-s-Mare P-P Doncaster R.
    • Yeovil T. 1-0 Crawley T
    • York C. 1-1 AFC Wimbledon


    With Altrincham's first team playing on Sunday, why not support the Reserves on Saturday afternoon as they take on Cheadle Town (away, 2pm) in the Cheshire Footbaal League Cup? All support and encouragement will be very welcome.


    Gas main works at the junction of Moss Lane and Welman Way in Altrincham may affect travel to the J. Davidson Stadium from the town centre. The work is expected to start on or before 24 November and will involve installation of three-way traffic lights near the roundabout at the above junction.


    The BBC has a video preview of Blyth Spartans v Altrincham in which both Club Secretary, Derek Wilshaw, and the multi-tasking Karen Rowley are featured. The text adds that "Blyth Spartans face Altrincham in the FA Cup first round on Sunday and both sides know a thing or two about pulling off shock wins. Spartans have beaten, amongst others, Bournemouth in 2008, while Altrincham have knocked out 16 League clubs, a record for a side who have never been in the Football League themselves.

    BBC Sport's Patrick Gearey looks back at the giant-killings each side has under their belt and previews the match".

    The EvoStik League says that "Blyth Spartans have added a poppy to their famous green and white kit to pay tribute to the armed forces during Sunday's FA Cup clash with Altrincham. With the FA Cup First Round clash coinciding with Remembrance Sunday, the Premier Division club unveiled the specially tailored kit after training on Thursday night...

    Spartans' defender Danny Parker and midfielder Matthew Wade [have been] pictured modelling the strip with the logo of the Royal British Legion and a poppy taking pride of place on the front and the words 'Lest we forget 1914-2014' on the back...

    Proud Spartans' manager Tom Wade said, 'It’s a massive gesture from the Club and we shouldn’t forget that Blyth Spartans lost players during the First World War. We shouldn’t forget the brave men and women who are serving now, so we are honouring them as much as we are remembering those who are no longer with us. We have to thank Colin Baxter, who has worked hard with the Royal British Legion, and of course we have to thank them as well".


    Registrations this week in the NW Counties Football League include Bootle's signing of Ian Craney

    Reports from Football 365 say that "Mansfield have completed the signing of centre-back [and ex-Alty loanee] Luke Waterfall on loan from Scunthorpe. The 24-year-old, who spent a loan spell earlier this season with Macclesfield, will go straight into the Stags' squad".


    Peter Foster writes, "As a part of the Fund Raising for the Altrincham Football Club Community Sports Hall, the Club will be auctioning a copy of the Manchester United Opus – Icons Edition. This publication is copy number 447 of a limited edition of 500 produced, and has been donated to the Club’s fundraising by the Manchester United Foundation. We are all really appreciative of this generosity.

    Apparently, the Opus holds the world record for the most expensive sports publication, having sold at £758,000. We think its most unlikely that anyone would pay the Club that much. However, you will have the opportunity to buy this collectors' item by bidding over the next week, or on the night of the Sportsman’s Dinner on Friday November 14th. If you wish to make a bid before the Dinner, then please send an e-mail.

    The United Opus Icons Limited Edition looks at the evolution of the club from its humble origins as a works' team, playing beside a railway, through the tragedy of Munich, to an unprecedented Treble triumph in 1999, and beyond.

    With 850 pages, weighing in at over 35kg and with a 500mm x 500mm (20" x 20") page format, this is a heavyweight production designed for maximum visual impact.

    The Opus is bound in fine leather embossed with the Manchester United logo. The pages are of 200gsm wood-free paper, all images are spot varnished, and the page edges are silver gilded. The Opus is packed in an 8mm pressboard shell, covered in silk. The clamshell includes the logo of the club.

    The Opus features over 2,000 spectacular archive photographs carefully selected from every known agency and various private collections. These are complemented by images of an amazing array of United memorabilia dating back to the 1880s. Specially commissioned photo-shoots of past and present United players, managers (and fans), by some of the world's most respected photographers including Mathias Braschler, Chris Steele-Perkins and John Ingledew, complete the visual feast.

    The Opus contains over 400,000 words written by a selection of the finest sportswriters in the UK. Wordsmiths such as Hugh McIlvanney, Patrick Barclay, James Lawton, Jim White and Jonathan Northcroft have been commissioned to ensure that the quality and originality of the writing in the United Opus is unmatched.

    The Official United Opus Icons Edition includes two signature pages, firstly signed by Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Bobby Charlton, with the second page containing autographs of three of United's greatest-ever players – Denis Law, Bryan Robson and Eric Cantona".


    The Football Conference has issued a Board Statement on Financial Prudence. It says "The initiative which the Football Conference introduced six years ago to address the level of Crown Debt amongst its 68 member clubs recently achieved its ultimate goal when the latest quarter-end reports showed zero arrears throughout the entire competition.

    Commenting on the success, Financial Planning Committee Chairman, Graham Wood, said, 'It has been very rewarding to see HMRC indebtedness in our member clubs fall from a collective high, approaching £2,000,000, to a position where all of our clubs are reporting nil arrears. Having reached this point, we are naturally looking to clubs to remain compliant, which of course should be a simpler task than the one just completed'.

    Chairman of the Football Conference, Brian Lee, added, 'The strength and resolve of the Board over the past six seasons to drive down debt, have unfortunately taken their toll with a number of high profile club casualties. This was a consequence the Board knew could be a distinct possibility in pursuing such an initiative. However, it was a long-term objective and clubs were duly warned they may face a severe sanction if they failed to meet their financial obligations'.

    'As a competition, we can no longer leave to chance the long-term survival of clubs on short-term gambles. It is not fair on supporters of these clubs to see winding-up petition after winding-up petition brought by HMRC. There is a strong wind blowing throughout the game in support of this welcomed change of direction, so we should all join to applaud each and every club which works so hard to live within its means and rightly budget to only play at the level it can truly afford".

    According to the Football Conference, "Experienced centre-back Mark Phillips is back on loan with Aldershot Town. Phillips, 32, signed for AFC Wimbledon in June 2014. He was a Millwall youth player and was with the Lions for eight seasons...

    In 2008 Phillips moved across London to Brentford, helping them to promotion to League One. Released by the Bees in May 2010, he signed for Southend United, becoming a regular in the side... He spent the end of last season on loan at Aldershot, making seven appearances and scoring once".

    Also, "Welling United have been dealt a major blow with the news that right-back Loui Fazakerley could miss the rest of the season. Fazakerley was injured in last month’s televised defeat at Kidderminster Harriers and requires a major knee operation.

    Reacting to the news, Welling boss Jamie Day said, 'We’re extremely disappointed to lose Loui for such a long time. Hopefully he can get himself back before the end of the season and, knowing him, he will do his best to do that. We will miss his experience on the pitch and his mobility but we will now have to use his experience in other ways to benefit the squad from the sidelines.

    He is a good lad and has been a great servant for the club so I hope that he makes a speedy recovery and we get him back to full fitness as soon as possible and look forward to seeing him in a Wings' shirt again'".

    Meanwhile at "Grimsby Town have re-signed defender Danny Parslow on loan from York City until January 5th 2015. The 29-year-old former Cardiff City and Wales Youth, under-21 and semi-pro international has not featured for the Minstermen since last November because of a knee injury... He first joined the Mariners on September 18th and made seven appearances before returning to Bootham Crescent on October 20th".

    According to NL Pitchero "Leon McSweeney and Ben Hutchinson have left Nuneaton Town, having both agreed mutual terminations on their contracts. Irish right-back McSweeney joined Boro in September, having played last season for Northampton Town.

    McSweeney has also played for Stockport County, Hartlepool United, Leyton Orient and Carlisle United. Hutchinson, 25, signed a month earlier after being released by Mansfield at the end of last season... His sparkling performances for Arnold Town in the FA Youth Cup earned him a move to Middlesbrough in 2005, where he made eight first-team appearances.

    Glasgow Celtic came calling in 2008 and he would play five times for the Scottish club, but spent most of his time out on loan at Swindon Town, Dundee and Lincoln City. A further move to Kilmarnock followed before joining Mansfield in 2012. Manager Liam Daish is currently looking to bring in new players as soon as possible."

    Nearer to home, "Alan Lord, manager of Stockport County, has swooped to sign Andy Owens on a one month loan from AFC Telford United. Owens recently completed a similar stint with County's league rivals Barrow AFC... The 25-year-old, standing at 6`3”, is a versatile player who can feature anywhere down the left-hand side of the pitch or as a target-man, up front.

    The England ‘C’ international came through Liverpool’s Academy before signing for Stoke City. Following a spell at Glenn Hoddle’s Academy in Spain, he has enjoyed a successful career in the lower leagues with Stafford Rangers, Altrincham, Rhyl, Accrington, Southport and Mansfield...

    Lord said, 'Andy is a real handful and can play in a number of positions; he is a very exciting addition to our squad. He also possesses a throw-in longer than most fans will ever have witnessed, which provides an extra attacking threat'. The signing of Owens is the first to have been financed by the new `Players' Fund`, which has been created by County fans in partnership with the Stockport County Supporters’ Cooperative and `Help the Hatters`.

    County director Jon Keighren said, 'This is a magnificent gesture by our fantastical[?] supporters, who are keen to ensure that any additional monies they contribute go straight to the manager... It’s important that we spend within our means, so this additional revenue is most welcome'...

    In a return gesture of goodwill, acting on behalf of all shareholders, Sharon Brammall has decided to donate shares to the Stockport County Supporters' Cooperative. For every £2 pledged to the fund, the Supporters Cooperative will receive a £1 share in Stockport County. Every pound donated goes directly into Lord’s budget".

    In the Grimsby Telegraph we read that "Scott Brown could make [a] surprise Grimsby Town comeback next week... The Mariners' midfielder has been out of action with ankle ligament damage since October 18...

    'Scott could be ready to join up the squad again next week, whether that’s in a fit enough condition to be involved on Tuesday, we’ll know after the weekend,' said manager Paul Hurst. 'He’s certainly not too far away and I’ll look forward to getting him back involved'".

    In the same county, the Lincolnshire Echo reports that "Chris Moyses is looking to find a winning formula for Lincoln City and stick to it. Gary Simpson has only been gone a matter of days. However, his former coaching staff, who have taken over his responsibilities, are keen to put their own stamp on the team's line-up.

    Simpson was renowned for his tinkering and making changes as he tried to find a line-up to tackle the opponents in front of him. Moyses believes a more straightforward approach is needed to get back to winning ways. 'There has been a load of system changes in the past,' said Moyses. 'I'm not one for that. I want to get to a system we are good at and stick with it. My personal objective is to get the team playing a lot better football than they have been doing. I want the team to get the ball forward quickly and create more chances.'

    That mind-set saw Moyses along with fellow coach Grant Brown adopt a two-man forward line in the first half of Tuesday night's game against Altrincham. It proved woefully ineffective, with City finding themselves going two goals behind. It was not until Conner Robinson was introduced to the action as a second half substitution and the team switched back to a 4-3-3 line-up that the team sprang into life.

    And Moyses accepts he got it wrong at the start of the game... Said Moyses, 'I take the blame for that. I changed the system to a 4-1-3-2 and it didn't work for us... The 4-3-3 system suited us better and we had more energy about ourselves and I thought we could have won the game. We had to make the change, it wasn't working and the lads looked uncomfortable. We went to something we knew they were comfortable with'...

    Chairman Bob Dorrian said... 'We had been monitoring Gary Simpson's performance for the last two months. We were in a situation where in August, we had picked up 10 points from four matches. We then got to a position where the last 14 league games brought us only 13 points and, of those 14 games, five were against teams in the bottom six.

    'Gary had taken us as far he could. It is regrettable, as we expected a lot more.' Moyses's promotion to the top job raised a few questions for supporters. The local businessman is himself a director in the club, so how can a member of the board sack himself if things start to go wrong?...

    'I could quite easily take myself out of the loop and resign as a director,' said Moyses. 'If things go wrong I will do the right thing anyway. I'm passionate about this football club and I want to make sure it prospers... It's bigger than me and we've got to get it right.'"

    7 November 2014


    Alty boss Lee Sinnott reported on Thursday night that both Stuart Coburn and Ryan Crowther had trained that evening. Both players missed last Tuesday's game at Lincoln City. In Stuart's case that was due to his becoming a father for the second time on Monday, whereas Ryan was missing owing to his back injury. Stuart will be available for selection on Sunday and it is hoped that Ryan may also return to the squad which is available for that game.

    Nicky Clee's broken toe will sideline him from the FA Cup match. However, the hospital indicated a recovery time of two to four weeks for his injury, which is not as bad as the toe fracture suffered by Shaun Densmore earlier this season. Damian Reeves has recovered from a knock suffered at Lincoln but Mike Williams (right) has a hip injury, which is being treated.

    Lee underlined that it has been, and will continue to be, a season of "learning" for the players. Just as when we dropped a division in 2011, the environment following promotion in 2014 is a new level, which requires a period of adjustment. However, Lee is pleased to see progress in this process of adaptation to the national level of the Vanarama Conference.


    The draw for the Second Round of the Cheshire Senior Cup has produced another away trip for Altrincham. This time they visit Northwich Victoria, who now play at Valley Road, the former home of the defunct Flixton FC.
    • w/c 12 Jan 2015 19:45 Northwich Victoria v Altrincham
    • 20/01/15 19:45 Crewe Alexandra v 1874 Northwich
    • w/c 12 Jan 2015 19:45 Nantwich Town v Tranmere Rovers
    • w/c 12 Jan 2015 19:45 Alsager Town v Warrington Town /Stockport County
    • w/c 12 Jan 2015 19:45 Hyde v Macclesfield Town
    • w/c 12 Jan 2015 19:45 Runcorn Linnets v Runcorn Town
    • w/c 12 Jan 2015 19:45 Cammell Laird 1907 v Winsford United
    • w/c 12 Jan 2015 19:45 Northwich Flixton Villa v Congleton Town


    Blyth Spartans report that "Just days before Conference side Altrincham make the journey to Croft Park for an FA Cup First Round tie Blyth Spartans striker Dan Maguire admitted the game was the biggest of his fledgling career. The youngster has three cup goals to his name this season and feels that the game against the Robins 'can’t come quick enough'.

    It has been an almost meteoric rise for Maguire. September 2012 saw him sign for Spartans from Northern Alliance side Seaton Deleval. Then manager Tommy Cassidy saw the forward as a squad player but, by the end of that season, he was a key part of a Spartans side who, by then, were managed by current boss Tom Wade. However, despite making a step up of four leagues, Maguire always believed he could be a success at Croft Park.

    'I always had confidence that I could make it at this level. I never once thought that I couldn’t make it at Blyth Spartans and knew I would take my chance once I was given it'.

    For Maguire and his team mates there has been one constant during a cup run that has seen them notch up over 1,200 miles on the road over four away ties. The players have been roared on by the travelling Green Army and the striker felt that the supporters have been a key factor in the successful passage to the First Round.

    'The supporters are massive for us and, so far in the cup run, they have been brilliant. When you see how they were at Skelmersdale, Mickleover and Leek it really gets you going. It’s been a tough run but the supporters have really helped us. We believe we can win and, hopefully, get through the tie. It’s a tough game but it’s one we can win'".

    When Alty last visited Blyth in January 2012 (seen right), the line up was 1. Adam REID, 2. Matt FLYNN, 5.Adrian HAWES, 6. Mark LEES, 3. Nicky CLEE; 7. Kieran WALMSLEY, 8. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 4. Chris LYNCH, 11. James LAWRIE; 9. Michael TWISS, 10. Damian REEVES, Subs: 12. Adam FLYNN, 14. James HOLDEN, 15. Brian SUMMERSKILL, 16. Neil TOLSON, (4 subs only). Mike Garnett's statistics reveal the following about previous games between these two sides...

  • At Moss Lane: P6-W4-D1-L1-F12-A6
  • At Blyth: P9-W2-D5-L2-F13-A11
  • All games: P15-W6-D-6-L3-F24-A18
  • Altrincham last met Blyth in a cup competition in 2010-11 season, when the Robins lost 2-1 in an FA Trophy game.


    Altrincham were one of only four Vanarama Conference teams which had to play in midweek this week. One of the other three clubs was Braintree Town, where "boss Alan Devonshire has questioned the logic of staging their game with Grimsby Town just days before the clubs' respective FA Cup First Round ties", reports the Grimsby Telegraph. "The Iron lost 1-0 to the Mariners on Tuesday and while the former West Ham legend didn't want to be accused of sour grapes, he couldn't hide his opinions of the Conference scheduling.

    Braintree host League One side Chesterfield on Sunday, the day after the Mariners face Oxford United at Blundell Park. Devonshire said, 'It was quite a dire game to watch against Grimsby and both teams maybe had their heads elsewhere to be honest. I'd have loved to have beaten Grimsby because then I could have come out and ask why the hell we were playing just days before the first round of the FA Cup. Saying it after a defeat sounds like sour grapes, and it isn't, but I'd like to ask the Conference why we played it this week.

    It's the same for Grimsby as well, they've got a game at the weekend. The Conference want their teams to progress in the FA Cup, so why did we have to play the game this week? We were poor against Grimsby to be fair,' he added. 'But, as poor as we were, they only had one shot and we should have taken something from the game'".

    The Lincolnshire Echo states that "Stand-in Lincoln City boss Chris Moyses has been given four games by the club's board to earn a permanent job. Speaking ahead of the club's trip to Eastleigh in the FA Cup First Round, MOyses revealed... 'I spoke with the chairman on Wednesday and we decided that I would have four games to prove myself,' said Moyses. 'If we don't get the results we need, then I will have to walk away.

    I am fine with that because I only want what is best for the club. If I can't do the job then the club will look to bring someone in who can take the team forward'...

    Moyses's first game in charge on Tuesday night ended in a 2-1 defeat at home to Altrincham. Club captain Alan Power said... 'We didn't do well in the first half on Tuesday and, while Moysie took responsibility for the formation and the tactics, I feel the players need to take responsibility for their own performances,' said Power. 'We want Chris to get the job. We know we need to perform a lot better to make that happen but we are all behind him 100 per cent'.

    Meanwhile, "Bob Dorrian has admitted Lincoln City are so cash-strapped that they cannot afford to hire a new manager from outside the club. Former boss Gary Simpson was relieved of his responsibilities and put on gardening leave this week following what the club called a 'performance review'. Club director and first team coach Chris Moyses has been given the job of running the team along with Simpson’s former assistant Grant Brown. They started their tenure in charge with a 2-1 defeat at home to lowly Altrincham on Tuesday night...

    However, Dorrian is backing the pair... 'People have put their CVs in but bringing in an unknown manager is a gamble,' said Dorrian. 'They might have been able to lead a group of players successfully, but can we expect them to do the same with our current team? It’s a massive gamble, and financially we cannot take that gamble. The appointment of Chris Moyses and Grant Brown as joint managers is a logical step for the board. They have been in the dressing room for the last two years. They have been working with this group of players during this time and taking training. All they haven’t done is had the opportunity to decide the tactics, the formation or make calls on substitutions.

    They have the players’ respect and there is a good rapport with them and the squad. The club is running on empty, so it is a logical step as well as it will not cost the club. If we find that it is not working, and we will know when that time comes, then we will step into the market place and we will not wait to do that... There is no concern we will not have the cash to get through the season,' said Dorrian.

    'I will not let that happen. However, we do need that extra investment. We did have one party come to us to discuss buying the club back in February but it turned out to be a waste of time on our part. It was another of the thousands of wannabes out there but what they put forward was not feasible. We are yet to have any formal offers of any sort put forward to us'".

    The BBC reports that "Bristol Rovers have signed Fulham midfielder Lyle Della-Verde on a month's loan. The 19-year-old joined the academy at Craven Cottage in 2011 after previous spells with Tottenham and Southend. Rovers have brought him in to cover for Andy Monkhouse, who is serving a three-match ban, and Jake Gosling, who has been called up for Gibraltar.

    'I mentioned him last season but we couldn't get him in', manager Darrell Clarke told BBC Radio Bristol... 'He's always impressed me. He can play on either flank, has tricks in the locker and is very attack-minded. The kid's got potential so it's a good deal'.

    Clarke has also been linked with a move for Forest Green Rovers striker Lee Hughes and Bournemouth forward Matt Tubbs, as he looks to build his Conference squad. When asked about the reports, the Rovers manager responded, 'I know Tubbs; I played with him at Salisbury and I tried to sign him in the summer. They're both very good players and I'm interested in good strikers. Those two certainly fit the mould'".

    According to the Times Series, "Young Watford striker Bernard Mensah has joined Barnet on loan until January 5... The 19-year-old striker has made just one substitute outing for the Hornets... Mensah spent the final few months of last season on loan at Braintree Town, scoring twice in seven outings before a knee ligament injury ended his stay with former Hornet Alan Devonshire’s side.

    He had previously had surgery on the same knee two years earlier... Eligible to play for Ghana or England, the Hounslow-born forward trained with Ghana at Watford's Vicarage Road Stadium ahead of the Black Stars' friendly with Nigeria in 2011, but was not called up".

    In the Stroud News, we learn that "Forest Green have issued a hands-off Lee Hughes warning to rivals Bristol Rovers. The 38-year-old veteran striker, who has scored six times in 13 appearances this season, has not started a match for Forest Green since October 7 and has been sidelined with a heavy cold. An FGR spokesperson said, 'We're aware of their interest and have already told them it's not going to happen, end of'".

    The BBC confirms that "Artificial pitches will not be allowed in Leagues One and Two in 2015-16 after a tied vote by club chairmen. The outcome was a surprise after a majority had indicated in September they would vote in favour of permitting the use of plastic playing surfaces.

    At Thursday's meeting, 34 chairmen voted in favour of artificial pitches, with 34 against and four abstentions. 'This issue divides opinion amongst clubs,' said Football League chief executive Shaun Harvey. 'While the outcome is different to previous indicative votes, it demonstrates that there is still a desire amongst clubs to find out more about artificial playing surfaces before taking such a significant step'...

    Artificial surfaces were outlawed from professional football in 1995 over issues with ball roll and injuries. However, they can be used in the FA Cup and at Conference level. Advocates say that the pitches, which cost around £500,000 to install, represent good value and could produce vital revenue streams for clubs who struggle to make ends meet... League and club sources had been confident that the motion would be formally passed at Thursday's summit at Derby County's iPro Stadium.

    The Professional Footballers Association (PFA) had voiced its opposition to plastic pitches and made it clear it was against the proposal. Speaking after Thursday's tied vote, assistant chief executive Simon Barker said the players' union was 'surprised but happy' that artificial pitches would not be permitted. 'We did a survey two years ago from our membership, the professional players who actually play, and they were overwhelmingly against playing on the artificial surfaces,' Barker told Radio 5 live...'A number of our members said that would be their career over because they couldn't play on that surface'".


    From the Warrington Guardian we learn that "One of Warrington Town’s most experienced players is urging his younger teammates to take their chance in the limelight when Exeter City visit in the FA Cup tomorrow, Friday.

    Matt Doughty (left), who spent 14 years playing professionally with the likes of Rochdale and Chester City, is battling a hamstring injury to be fit for the first round tie. However, the left back will take comfort in missing out if it means a chance for one of the Yellows’ younger stars to shine. 'They are playing for their careers,' said the 33-year-old. 'There will be a lot of scouts there and people watching on TV. They need to prove that they can step up to the mark. They don’t want to be spending their whole careers at this level; the FA Cup is a chance to impress. If I don’t play then it gives one of the young lads a chance and I hope he takes his chance. The limelight is there for anyone to take.

    That experience, to play in front of around 2,000 people, against a Football League team, is fantastic. It’s their chance to show "Can I mix it with players from the League?". I hope they take that chance with both hands'.

    And Warrington-born Doughty does not think Shaun Reid’s side will have any trouble coping with the additional pressure of the television cameras. 'I got to the fifth round with Rochdale when we lost to Wolves live on BBC and played for Altrincham on ESPN,' he explained. 'It makes a difference leading up to it but, once you are out on the pitch, it’s just a normal game. You forget about it. I can’t see them bringing a lot of support to Warrington on a Friday night when the game is on TV.

    We’ll have the fans. Reidy is a born winner and gets you going, so if we can start well we’ve got a chance'.

    The proud father-of-three has worked at Warrington Hospital since stepping out of the professional game but would love one last chance for his children to see him on television. 'Nothing beats training every day,'” he explained. 'I loved football growing up and that’s what you dream of as a little boy. These things happen, you move out of the League and get a job to support your family. I played 14 years as a pro and was very fortunate to do so. I’ve got Cameron, 13, Mia, 10, and Jake, four. This will be the first time, if I make it, that Jake has seen me play on TV. Cameron remembers seeing me play for Rochdale on Sky Sports in the play-offs, but it will be the first time for Jake. I want to get fit just for that!'".

    Elsewhere, Alty Youth graduate Jeff King scored for Kendal Town as they beat Padiham 5-1 in the NW Counties League this week.


    BBC Sport press release..

    "BBC Sport is asking football supporters to share their FA Cup experiences this weekend by capturing magical moments from the first round. Fans are requested to upload pictures and videos to social media, chronicling their journeys to and from matches, using #getcarriedaway, to join in.

    The best of the content sent in will be used across the BBC’s FA Cup coverage this weekend and may be featured across a range of broadcast, website and social media coverage; whether that’s pictures and videos on a supporters’ bus, in the pub singing songs, celebrating victories, or recreating some of the action on a local park pitch.

    The 1st round tie between Warrington Town and Exeter City, will be live on BBC Two and at Dan Walker will host Match of the Day Live from Warrington's Cantilever Park from 19:30pm. As part of the BBC's weekend of 1st round coverage, Football Focus will come live from Weston-super-Mare AFC on Saturday before the Conference South side's home tie against League One Doncaster Rovers.

    Other programmes to look out for include Jason Mohammad presenting a new FA Cup edition of Final Score on BBC One from 13:55pm on Sunday 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 from 18:30pm. You will be able to follow every draw in a regular Monday evening slot (19:00pm) on BBC Two, BBC Radio 5 live and via the BBC Sport website - continuing with the second-round draw on 10 November".

    6 November 2014


    As Alty fans will know, goalkeeper Stuart Coburn missed Tuesday's game at Lincoln as his wife, Eve, had given birth the previous day. Eve and Stuart are now parents to a second son, Jack, whose elder brother is Finn. All at Altrincham FC send their congratulations.


    Details of the TASC supporters' transport to Blyth this Sunday and Telford the following Wednesday are now on the Away Travel page.


    Alty manager Lee Sinnott spoke to joint press and media officer John Edwards outside the away changing room shortly after the final whistle at Sincil Bank on Tuesday night. Here are his thoughts on what was an outstanding 2-1 win.

    Q: We’ve certainly scored some decent goals this season, and the opener was another to add to the list, wasn’t it?

    A: I keep saying to the players that if they see the whites of the keeper’s eyes, I won’t be having a go at them for pulling the trigger. Simon (Richman) was outside the area but centrally placed, and it’s funny because he was in a similar position at Alfreton earlier this season but chose to pass rather than shoot. I said to him then ‘Don’t be frightened to have a go yourself’, and I’ve been delivering the same message to the rest of the players as well. If it’s there to be hit, have a pop, and thankfully, this time, that’s what he did. Everything about it was outstanding, from the work Reevesie did to set it up, showing strength and pace to win possession and then break down the left, to Simon’s unerring finish. I thought it was a very disciplined performance in the first half, and that was the icing on the cake. I thought there was a lot of discipline about our play in that first half.

    Q: The second goal wasn’t bad, either, was it – a clever cross from James Lawrie and Reevesie seemed to know just where to meet it?

    A: Exactly right. It showed great understanding, with James curling it towards the near post and Reevesie reacting before any of the defenders around him to get himself into position to steer his header inside the post. I had a word with Reevesie beforehand because he had gone a few games without scoring. It was a simple message to go out and do it. Of course it will have preyed on his mind a bit. Players will tell you they are not affected, but it’s only natural that they are, so I just tried to take the pressure off a bit by saying: ‘You’ve done it before many a time, so just go out and do it again – it will happen for you.’

    Q: One or two anxious moments at the end – how do you think we coped with them?

    A: For 65-70 minutes, we were superb. We got the ball down, passed it around the park and caused them a few problems. It is understandable that when you are away, you’re going to have to do some defending at some stage, and that was the case after they pulled one back. They had a couple of near-misses, but for the majority of the time, I thought we stood up to it really well.

    Q: The ideal response after Saturday’s home defeat by Alfreton?

    A: Yes, absolutely. I couldn’t have wished for a better response. It really showed the character of the players. I don’t think anyone could possibly class it as a fluky win. We had to do our defending late on, but there was nothing fluky about the result. The fact is, if we had passed the ball like that on Saturday and been as ruthless and clinical in and around the box, we would have beaten Alfreton.

    Q: So how can it happen that the same team that disappoints against lower-placed opposition at home can play so well and win deservedly at a place like this three days later?

    A: Because we are still coming to terms with the consistency needed at this level. Someone said to the chairman that this campaign is a bit like my first season in charge, when we had six or seven chances during the course of the season to break into the play-off positions but just fell down a little bit each time.

    At the moment, it’s a case of getting into the halfway area of the table and striving for the consistency needed to do that. It is about development and the team evolving, and basically that is the period we are in at the moment. We are one of the new boys in this division, and once we start getting consistency in terms of performance, we will get greater consistency in results.

    When you look at it and analyse what we have done so far this season, you have to say we could easily have had another seven points on the board. It is about achieving that consistency as newcomers to this division. It will come, hopefully, and that is why I related it to what happened three years ago, because, after that first season, we got into the play- offs, and, after that, we got through the play-offs.

    That is the improvement we are aiming for. It is about evolving. You can’t walk into this league and expect to be pushing for the top six straightaway. No chance. Not unless you’ve got a hell of a lot of cash. It is a tough league. You can see the step-up we have taken every matchday. You look at stadiums like this, and it reminds you how much you want to test yourself at this level every season.

    It is a learning experience that is going to last all season, and one of the benefits is that belief comes with each positive result. You beat a team like Bristol Rovers and believe you can do it again. You go away to Grimsby and draw, and you win at places like Halifax and Lincoln, and it builds and builds slowly in the psyche of the players.

    But you can’t expect to walk in and be up there straightaway. It is a building blocks process, especially for a club our size. If you look around at what we are up against, you have to be in cloud cuckoo land to think we can stroll in and be knocking on the door of the top six straightaway.

    Q: Adam Griffin showed up well on the left of midfield on his return from suspension?

    A: The team was picked specifically for the job in hand tonight, and with two left-sided players (Nicky Clee and Ryan Crowther) currently out, we had to look for an alternative. Griff has played there before, and you could tell. I thought he did exceptionally well and looked very solid throughout. There are no frills with him. You get what you ask for, and I was delighted with his contribution.

    Q: Another important contribution came from Kyle Perry, when he went on at the end and provided an outlet when we needed it most. He does that well, doesn’t he?

    A: He got us a couple of free-kicks as well. There’s nothing better when you are looking to see out time than to have someone who can hold the ball up in the opposition half and prove such a pain to get it off that someone ends up fouling him. He held the ball up really well, won a couple of headers and generally disrupted the pattern Lincoln were looking to build.

    Reevesie had got through a lot of hard work and taken a few knocks for his pains, but Kyle brings a different sort of conundrum to the equation for the opposition. The way he retains possession and forces them to concede free-kicks is ideal for eating up the clock when we are looking to finish the job.

    Q: Our attention switches to the FA Cup on Sunday, and it is going to need another professional job to avoid an upset, isn’t it?

    A: There is absolutely no question that it is going to be a tough day for us, as well as a big day. The north-east is invariably a tough place to go to, and we know what we are walking into. We know, from playing at Blyth two or three years ago, what to expect, and, on top of that, they will have a bigger crowd behind them. At least we should be pretty well prepared, because it seems we are away in the FA Cup every single time!

    You can be sure we will give Blyth 100 per cent respect. We will enjoy this result against Lincoln but then get straight to work again on Thursday, making sure we are ready for the test ahead at the weekend.

    Q: Finally, any injury update?

    A: It’s not looking too bad at the moment. Ryan [Crowther] may be getting closer, with his back problem. He has been doing more intensive training, which has made him a bit stiff, but that is a good sign.

    Nicky [Clee] has broken his toe and has no chance for Sunday. At least it’s not the big toe, like Shaun Densmore had, but it is going to be two to four weeks. Of course, Stuart Coburn has had an addition to his family, with the birth of a little boy, so congratulations to him and his wife. He will be back with us on Thursday. Also, Mike Williams is back from his loan spell at Stalybridge and available for selection".

    The Sale & Altrincham Messenger has an edited version of the above interview with Lee Sinnott.


    After Tuesday's game, the BBC reports that "Lincoln caretaker managers Grant Brown and Chris Moyses made a losing start to their reign as Altrincham picked up their second away win of the season. Damian Reeves was their key man, scoring one goal and making the other.

    He first dispossessed Thierry Audel and set up Simon Richmond [Richman] to hammer in an 18-yard opener in the 45th minute and then guided in the second. Substitute Connor Robinson got one back for City, lifting the ball over keeper Dave Parton, but they could not level.

    Mid-table Lincoln performed better in the second half than in the first when they offered little... Chris Moyses told BBC Radio Lincolnshire, 'I am extremely disappointed with the first-half performance. We did OK second half but were off it for the first half and I take the blame for that because we changed the system. For the last 25 minutes we had a go. We looked lively, we moved the ball a bit better and looked a threat. Altrincham worked very hard and we weren't at it. It has been difficult, but we have to be strong'".


    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!


    Ian Senior advises us that his "commitments as goalkeeping coach, and the Telford game being put back 24 hours, mean that I will reschedule repairing SKkits shirt logos to Wednesday 19th November between 5pm and 9pm. Apologies for any inconvenience".


    Bulls' News tells us that "Grimsby have announced a loss of £227,441 for last season, with Director John Fenty telling fans that a move from Blundell Park is vital for the club's future. The club's Directors are owed over £2 million in loans with Fenty saying the site isn't suitable for modern football and the club's existence will be threatened if they do not get the move they are looking to make."

    The Football Conference tells us that they "are extremely pleased to announce the appointment of a new independent chairman who will succeed Brian Lee, when he steps down after eight years leading the competition, at the end of this current season.

    The Board of the Football Conference at its meeting in London agreed unanimously to offer an invitation to Brian Barwick to become its future chairman. Brian Barwick comes to the competition with a wealth of experience in the sporting and media world with a number of high profile organisations and his achievements in those is well documented.

    Barwick commented, 'I am delighted to have been appointed the future Chairman of The Football Conference and I particularly look forward to working with the accomplished current chairman, Brian Lee, as he brings to a close his superb stewardship of the competition. Along with my fellow Board members I will be looking to build on the well-established strengths of Conference football and play my part in taking the organisation forward.

    'Throughout the Vanarama Conference divisions, there is a vast number of committed and hard-working football people who make their clubs tick and who provide great enjoyment for their local communities. In due course, I intend to meet all of them and share our mutual passion for football. I look forward to a long and positive relationship with one of football's most enduring and endearing competitions'.

    Brian Lee wished to endorse the selection procedure by the Board to find the right person to take on the task of leading the competition over the coming years. He stated, 'Since I indicated this would be my last season at the helm, behind the scenes of the everyday work of the Football Conference, much has taken place into finding the right calibre of person, with the best credentials, to oversee the challenging times the game is going through and to enhance the future positioning of the Football Conference in it.

    'That choice has been well made and I am sure all connected with us, including directors, staff, club personnel, supporters and our sponsors, will join with me in welcoming Brian and extend to him the support I have received during my term of office.'"

    At club level, "Vanarama Conference leaders Barnet have brought a former title-winning boss onto their coaching staff. Gary Waddock, 52, who led Aldershot Town to the Conference title in 2008, has joined the Bees on a month-to-month contract. Waddock, who was manager of Oxford United last season, has been helping head coach Martin Allen with the coaching as a favour but has now been officially added to the staff.

    Waddock, who played alongside Allen at Queens Park Rangers, also turned out for Millwall and Luton Town... After Wycombe Wanderers sacked Peter Taylor in 2009, Waddock moved to Adams Park, but was unable to halt the slide into League Two, winning promotion and overseeing a second relegation before being sacked in September 2012.

    Following Chris Wilder’s defection to Northampton Town, Waddock took up the reins at Oxford in March of this year, but could not help the U’s reach the play-offs and was released following a change of ownership."

    Elsewhere "Dover Athletic have signed right-back Ben Sampayo from Grays Athletic. Sampayo's previous clubs includes Greenock Morton, Chelmsford City and Brighton & Hove Albion. Sampayo, who was also part of the youth set up at Chelsea, joined Grays in September...

    Dover have also signed young central defender Tarik Moore-Azille from Thurrock. The 18-year-old previously played for Arsenal, Peterborough United and Coventry City in their youth set-ups and joined Thurrock last summer. Also putting pen-to-paper for the Whites is 19-year-old former Chelsea and Crystal Palace midfielder Alistair Gordon. Gordon was released by Palace at the end of last season and trialled with Dagenham & Rebridge in pre-season.

    Meanwhile, midfielder Solomon Taiwo will be staying with the Whites for at least one more month, with Dover and Luton Town agreeing terms on an extension of his loan deal."

    Also from the Football Conference, we learn that "England `C` manager, Paul Fairclough, has announced a larger than normal squad in preparation for the forthcoming International Challenge Trophy Group A fixture with Estonia Under-23 which will be played at The Shay Stadium, Halifax on Tuesday, 18th November.

    The increase in the size of the squad is due to the possibility of FA Cup First Round replays which are scheduled for the same week as the game.

    Fairclough was philosophical in his thoughts, 'There is little we can do apart from hope for the right outcomes over the coming weekend,' he added. 'If the results go a certain way then up to ten players may have to be released and replaced. I am of the opinion that I have covered all possible eventualities and whatever sixteen are involved against Estonia will, as usual, perform to their highest level.'"

    Squad: Calum Kitscha – Hayes & Yeading United, Luke Purnell – Weston-super-Mare, Andrew Coughlin – Wrexham, Marc Roberts – FC Halifax Town, Cheyenne Dunkley – Kidderminster Harriers, Joe McNerney – Woking, Tom Parkes – Bristol Rovers, Joe Oaster – Aldershot Town, Kingsley James – Chester FC, Matthew Pearson – FC Halifax Town, Jon Nolan – Lincoln City, Jake Gallagher – Welling United, Josh Payne - Woking, Kieron Forbes – Aldershot Town, Lee Brown – Bristol Rovers, Chris Stokes – Forest Green Rovers, Andy Halls – Macclesfield Town, Andy Yiadom – Barnet, Jordan Burrow – Lincoln City, Connor Jennings – Wrexham, Louis Moult – Wrexham, Jordan Roberts – Aldershot Town, Elliott Frear – Forest Green , Harry Beautyman – Welling United, Che Adams – Ilkeston FC, Dayle Grubb – Weston-super-Mare, Elliott Johnson – Barnet, Omar Bogle – Solihull Moors, Ryan Bowman – Torquay United".


    YouTube has "The first episode of our new show, where... Non-League Corner looks ahead to the upcoming FA Cup ties for Gateshead and Blyth, as well as other action from across the region."

    Meanwhile Blyth Spartans say that they "were already firmly established as FA Cup giantkillers when the 1977/78 season kicked off. During that campaign... League opposition in the form of Chesterfield and Stoke City were defeated as a record run was played out.

    Nobody connected with football in the North East will forget the FA Cup Fifth Round tie against Wrexham as Spartans were controversially robbed of a Quarter Final fixture against Arsenal. In the tie against the Welsh outfit a controversial last-minute equaliser saw Wrexham force a replay that would be played at St James Park.

    Another debatable decision - this time a penalty - helped the Welsh side to a 2-1 victory over a brave Spartans team who were given a heroes ovation as they left the pitch... Amongst the remarkable crowd of 42,000 at the home of Newcastle United was current Spartans' manager Tom Wade, a lifelong supporter of the Croft Park club. Now Wade follows in the footsteps of his boyhood hero Slane as he take Spartans into the FA Cup First Round on Sunday as Conference side Altrincham come to Croft Park, something Wade describes as an 'honour'.

    'All of my family will be there on Sunday and I know people in the crowd from travelling to grounds when I was younger. It’s a privilege to be in charge of my club and one that I don’t take for granted. Brian Slane was my hero and was an unbelievable goalscorer, he is a legend at the club. As a manager I am nowhere near where he was but to be following in the footsteps of someone I idolised as a kid is very special for not only me but for my family as well'...

    Wade revealed... 'I was talking to a couple of our players last week about that side and they asked about what kind of side it was. For me they were a side of big men... big players and strong men. We are young lads but we are getting better and to do what we are doing in remarkable. People think the weight of history weighs heavily on players at this club but the lads in the dressing room thrive on it. They are young lads and they want to make names for themselves so to hear them asking about the great sides of the past is refreshing and shows what the club means to them all'.

    As well as the distinctive green and white stripes and the unique name of the club if you were to ask supporters what they associate with Blyth Spartans it’s a fair bet that the FA Cup would be brought up. For Wade the competition is something that not only remains special for the club but also for the town as a whole and he admitted he can’t wait to see the turnout at Croft Park on Sunday.

    'The club have been great in the competition haven’t they? You look at what Harry Dunn did here in 2009 and the atmosphere at the Blackburn game was brilliant. The competition is special and makes this club and more importantly the town feel special. It gives us a buzz and a lift. The town gets behind us and I am sure they will do that in their numbers on Sunday'".


    Cheshire Senior Cup Preliminary Round results:
    • Barnton 1-7 Hyde FC att.59
    • Runcorn Town 3-1 Chester att.176

    5 November 2014


    Above, the teams line up for the pre-Remembrance Day minute's silence.

    Altrincham gained three hard-earned but deserved points, which lifted them to seventeenth...

    Match report here

    Other result:

    • Braintree T. 0 Grimsby T. 1

    The Lincolnshire Echo reported that "Lincoln City slipped to a 2-1 defeat at home to Altrincham in the Conference Premier as they started life without Gary Simpson. Simpson was placed on gardening leave amd relieved of his duties as first team boss... However, his departure failed to lift the Imps... The visitors were sharper out of the blocks and forced two early corners...

    City were poor going forward and struggled to build anything. In the middle Altrincham were continuing to win more possession, but they too failed to force anything of note. On 35 minutes the visitors created a great flowing move down the Imps right flank, but Damian Reeves failed to get his shot on target... Alty looked dangerous but it took a spectacular effort to give them the lead seconds before the half-time whistle.

    The visitors were further ahead on 51 minutes. A cross from James Lawrie was met by Reeves at the near post and the striker timed his run to perfection to get in front of his marker and head past Farman. Lincoln made two substitutions... Conner Robinson replaced Sam-Yorke. It made an immediate response, with Robinson’s pace helping to pull a goal back for the Imps... Robinson got between the pair to chase the ball down and get a flick on it to lob it over the stranded David Parton on 66 minutes...

    Miller headed agonisingly wide. Lincoln piled on the pressure and Burrow... had a free header, but his downward attempt crashed into the ground and back up over the bar on 84 minutes".

    Lincoln City say that "Altrincham kicked off and were quickly on the offensive... Altrincham were certainly looking sharp on the break as they looked for an early advantage... The goal, Altrincham's first effort on target, came from Simon Richman who let fly from 25 yards with his left-footed effort beating Farman and crashing into the top right corner of his net...

    When Lawrie fired in a low cross it met by a stooping Reeves who saw his flicked header fly past Farman to double his side's advantage with 51 minutes on the clock... Two substitutes quickly combined with the latter [Tomlinson] volleying wide on the turn but it was the former [Robinson] who pulled one back for the Imps in the 66th minute".


    A report, by James Farrington, on the 1-1 draw between Prescot Cables and Altrincham Youth, last Sunday, is now here.


    The Football Conference "announces that from 6pm on Wednesday 5th November our official website (desktop version) will be taken off-line, whilst a new version is loaded. It will re-launch from 10 am Thursday 6th November.

    During this period of time the official mobile site will continue to function. Over the next two weeks the mobile site will also receive an upgrade to bring it into line with the new desktop version, with enhanced applications.


    The half-time bucket collection on Saturday raised £37.91, for which the Club thanks the collectors and donors alike.


    Members of the Altrincham FC Saturday Yankee now have a chance to win £3,000 for a £1 stake after last week's winning code, 3661, proved to have been unissued. However, two members won £75 each for winning trebles. Details of the scheme are here.
    4 November 2014


    Following the move of Altrincham's FA Cup tie next weekend to Sunday, the Football Conference has transferred several of the following Tuesday's league fixtures to the next day, Wednesday, 12 November, although as yet these are not shown on the Conference website. Therefore, AFC Telford United v Altrincham will now be played on Wednesday, 12 November at 7.45pm.


    As reported here last week, Altrincham FC Ladies' assistant manager, John McManus has been competing in the Freestyle Karate World Championships in Portugal over the last few days. Phil Taylor reports that John has now become World Champion in Traditional Weapons and all at Alty sent him their congratulations on a tremendous achievement. Not content with that, John has also won a silver medal and a bronze at the Championships. Apparently the "Traditional Weapons" involved are bowstaffs. John, who is a black belt First Dan in Freestyle Karate, has previously represented England three times against Italy, Portugal and 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.


    Away supporters at Lincoln 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)

    You can follow the Lincoln City v Altrincham Vanarama Conference 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, will be broadcasting full live coverage of Tuesday's game at Sincil Bank against Lincoln City. The match commentary is sponsored by Techknowledgey Ltd. Techknowledgey Ltd provide IT support services to home and small business users. They offer services ranging from PC, Mac and Laptop repair to networking and servers and are your local provider of IT maintenance and support. With over 10 years' experience in IT operations, Techknowledgey Ltd are able to help you get the best out of your computer systems. Need a hand? Call Dan Jones on 0161 883 1692, e-mail him or take a look on the web.

    The commentators are Ian Wilkinson and Brian Flynn and the match summariser is John Edwards. Coverage starts at 7.35pm with the game kicking off at 7.45pm. 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 and full-time updates on facebook (Altrincham FC).


    Michael Ripley's excellent images from the game are on his website. Pictured right we Tom Marshall blocking a shot as some bare-chested Alfreton fans behind the goal brave the rain and cold wind.

    Alty TV has an interview (right) by Brian Flynn with Lee Sinnott following the defeat by Alfreton Town on Saturday.


    Altrincham go into Tuesday's match at Lincoln with Adam Griffin available again after suspension. Also available for selection is fellow defender Mike Williams, who has completed his loan spell with Stalybridge Celtic. However, it seems that Ryan Crowther may miss his fourth successive game with his back problem. Manager Lee Sinnott indicated that the wide man was seeing a doctor on Monday to try and resolve his problem. And wingman Nicky Clee is a major doubt after suffering a toe injury on Saturday.

    Following Monday's managerial developments at Lincoln City, Lincoln Vital Football says "The managerial merry-go-round stops at Sincil Bank once again. Whatever the rights or wrongs of Gary Simpson's dismissal, we are looking for a new manager this morning. It has to be said that the majority of recent appointments here have been uninspiring. The constraints of a tight post-Football League budget combined with some fundamentally poor appointments have left City in the bottom half of the Conference table three and a half years after relegation.

    Instead of Southend, we have had Southport; instead of Barnsley we have had Braintree; instead of Carlisle, we have had Carshalton (and lost to them all). To supporters of a club with a great Football League tradition, that is simply not good enough.

    So who is next? Will it be another mediocre journeyman from the dole queue, or is it time for the board to dig deep and appoint an experienced manager with a track record of success at this level? That is exactly what Luton Town did when they appointed John Still. The board has a very big decision to make on that front.

    In the interim, let's take a look at some of the obvious candidates.

    Chris Moyses: Has a brief window of opportunity in the next few weeks to show his credentials. Many fans feel his position of power within the club makes his position as manager untenable. Has very little experience either as a player or manager: played a few games for City as a substitute 30 years ago, a few games for Halifax and has managed Lincoln Moorlands Railway. Many fans will be hoping that he is merely the caretaker for a limited period, but a few wins may change that view.

    Grant Brown: Has been caretaker manager several times previously without getting the job on a permanent basis and is not likely to be considered seriously at this point. The fact that Moyses has been placed in charge instead of him may indicate that Grant's time at the club is now limited, especially if a new manager is appointed from outside...

    Gary Mills: Arguably the strongest candidate for the job, if it transpires he is interested. Had a lengthy playing career at the top under Brian Clough at Nottingham Forest including a European Cup win. Capped by England at U21 level. Has an excellent knowledge of the Conference, having taken York to promotion in 2012 and Gateshead to the play-off final in 2014. Although Gateshead's style of play is occasionally frustrating, Mills does get results. May not want to leave his current job and would probably cost City in compensation, so this may be a non-starter...

    The future may well lie in a young and enthusiastic manager with a knowledge of non-league football. Regardless of who eventually gets the job, this is a vital appointment... The next manager must be someone who can take that good squad of players and quickly mould them into that winning team".

    The Lincolnshire Echo tells us that "Lincoln City chairman Bob Dorrian has said the decision to relieve manager Gary Simpson of his duties was made before Saturday's 3-3 draw with Forest Green Rovers. The Imps were 3-0 up in that game before being pegged back...

    Speaking to BBC Radio Lincolnshire, Dorrian said, 'The progress that we are making this year, points we have got, results we have had, have just not been good enough. It is fair to say the board have backed him as much as we possibly could with the money available. To see us struggling in the bottom half of the league is not conducive[?] to the quality we have got at the football club at the moment. In the last 14 games, we have won three games. At some stage something has to give. If we carried on at this rate we could well be contenders for relegation let alone a play off place. I think it is fair to say we had made a decision prior to Saturday’s game.

    We played Alfreton in the FA Cup. I thought in the end we were very lucky to get away with a one all draw. We were lucky not to concede a winner for Alfreton'.

    Moyses will take charge for the first time at home to Altrincham tomorrow. 'Whilst one or two things have worked against Gary such as sendings off, we have to take a view and the view is that Gary just has to leave the football club as simple as that,' added Dorrian. 'We are sorting contractual things at the moment and until that is sorted out there is not much more we can say about it. It is very regrettable. All we want is continuity and that is what we were hoping to have and I would have dearly loved it to have worked out with Gary. We are no further forward than when he came. The reality is we don’t appear to have moved on much from those days.'


    According to the Shropshire Star, "AFC Telford midfielder Kristian Platt is facing a short spell on the sidelines... But skipper Steve Akrigg could be out for even longer than expected after a scan revealed greater damage to his own hamstring injury.

    Platt limped out of the Bucks’ 1-0 defeat to the Pirates on Saturday after just 31 minutes. And Liam Watson said afterwards, 'Kristian’s pulled his hamstring so he is going to be out for a couple of weeks'...

    Watson said, 'It is a shame because the role he is playing is a good position for him. He soaks up a lot of stuff and he is actually better on the ball than people realise.'

    Akrigg suffered the same injury against Kidderminster Harriers just over four weeks ago... Watson said, 'He has got a really bad tear so he is going to be out for a good while. It just depends how quickly it reacts but he has done 75 per cent of the fibres in his hamstring so I think he will be out for a while.' The latest news on Akrigg’s injury adds extra urgency to Watson’s plan to extend Andy Parry’s loan spell from Luton Town. Parry was brought in on a month’s loan at the start of last month as cover for Akrigg".

    The Vanarama Conference Manager of the Month "is Paul Hurst of Grimsby Town. Grimsby have had an impressive month remaining unbeaten in their last six games. The Mariners are currently eighth in the Vanarama Conference league table.

    On the announcement of the award Paul said, '“It's nice to get the award, it means that we are doing something right. As a lot of managers say, it is true, it is the players and the performances that they put in. I'm almost just the person that receives this award on behalf of the players. It's a reward for some of the good performances that the lads have put in, and as a result, we have gained some valuable victories. It's pleasing for the club, as well as myself'"

    The official awards panel said, “With Forest Green, Grimsby and Macclesfield all remaining unbeaten in October, the battle for the Vanarama Conference Manager of the Month award was closely fought... Following what Paul regarded as a poor September, the Mariners have moved up the Vanarama Conference and have a home tie against Oxford United of League 2 to look forward to in the FA Cup.”

    NL Pitchero says that "Macclesfield Town have taken defender Liam Hogan on a month's loan from Fleetwood Town. A versatile defender, Hogan joined the Cod Army from FC Halifax Town in the summer of 2013.

    Hogan, who can operate as a right-back or centre-half, was known as one of the brightest prospects outside the Football League and was handed an opportunity to play in the Football League by manager Graham Alexander. His career began at Woodley Sports (now Stockport Sports) in 2007 before signing for Halifax Town in July 2010. Hogan went on to make over 100 appearances for the Shaymen and in his final season helped the club win promotion from the Conference North."

    News of a former Alty loanee comes from Scunthorpe United who tell us that "Iron defender Luke Waterfall has returned to the club following the end of his loan spell at Macclesfield Town. The centre-back had been at Moss Rose for three months, making 17 league appearances and scoring twice".


    Press release: "Four of the Premier League's leading stars are now in the shortlist to win one of the top prizes at the MBNA Northwest Football Awards. And speculation is mounting across all divisions to discover the recipients of the 2013-2014 Player of the Year honours.

    All will be revealed on November 18 when the North West football family makes its annual trip to the Point, Emirates Old Trafford for the climax to more than three months of voting and judging in a wide ranging list of categories... England star Sterling is up against formidable opposition including Manchester City's reigning African Player of the Year, Yaya Toure, Everton's influential dynamo, Seamus Coleman and Manchester United's Spanish goalkeeper, David de Gea...

    Over 20,000 football fans throughout the region have now cast their votes to decide which of the players will be honoured. And now the final count down begins. Voting officially ended at the start of the week... For a full run down of players, shortlists and all other Award categories see here".

    3 November 2014


    As Altrincham prepare for their match at Lincoln City on Tuesday evening, LIncoln City announce that "After reviewing our season so far, taking in to account progress made and performance levels achieved, the Board has decided to relieve Gary Simpson of his current duties as Manager of Lincolm City."

    The Lincolnshire Echo adds that "Chris Moyses and Grant Brown have taken the Lincoln City first team for training today following the club’s decision to place manager Gary Simpson on gardening leave. The Imps were held to a 3-3 draw at Forest Green Rovers on Saturday, having led 3-0 at one point during the match.

    Lincoln will be back in action on Tuesday night against Altrincham in the Conference Premier at Sincil Ban. Moyses, who is also a director at the club, initially started working in a coaching capacity with the youth team back in 2011. He made his first step towards the first-team dugout when he was assistant to Brown, when he was caretaker boss, following the sacking of previous Imps' boss Steve Tilson in October 2011.

    When Simpson was appointed manager in February 2013, Moyses was named as part of his coaching staff alongside assistant boss Brown.

    Previously, Moyses was manager of Northern Counties East League side Lincoln Moorlands Railway. Outside of football, he built up a successful contracting business called East Midlands Contracting."


    TASC is running supporters' coaches to next Tuesday's league match at Lincoln City and to the FA Cup 1st Round tie at Blyth Spartans on Sunday, 9 November (k.o. 2pm). Details are here.


    Match report here.

    Photos of Altrincham vs Alfreton are available on Michael Ripley's website.

    Speaking after the defeat by Alfreton Town, Altrincham manager Lee Sinnott told the NLP's Dave Stringer, "I asked the players to play with tempo and be ruthless in their box. We did neither. We were crap but still should have won with three gilt-edged chances. I would be upset at losing to a relegation candidate if it were March 1 but, at least, we're only in NOvember".

    Alfreton Town report that "manager Nicky Law was pleased with the reaction he got from his side in the 1-0 victory at Altrincham on Saturday. 'I thought we did well. We are the away side and we set up how we thought we needed to', said Law. 'They had a lot of good possession, to be fair to them, they try and play the right way. We got the goal and could have possibly had a couple more before they really came back into it. And then, obviously, right at the death, Luke Graham, who I thought was magnificent all afternoon, has just climbed on the lad a bit and given the penalty (away) right on the 94th minute as well and you are thinking oh well, that just sums it up for us.

    The young 'un (Cameron Dawson) has made a great save. I don't know whether it was a poor penalty or a good penalty and a great save but it doesn't matter, he saved it and we have come out the other end with three much-needed points. I think the turning point today was that we came and turned up. I think from the front to the back we have worked extremely hard. Massiah (McDonald) and (Paul) Clayton) have worked hard up front, the midfield four have worked really well, backed them up behind, they have worked across and up the pitch well and the back four have mirrored that and defended great.

    The two centre-halves were good, Bradley Wood and Rowe-Turner were excellent. The 'keeper has not had a great deal to do to be fair. They have had a lot of possession, but he (Dawson) in terms of shots has not had that much to do. He had one right at the end and got that one right. We are just grateful for the three points and we can now use that as our bench mark and kick on. We played at a tempo. I think there is still a lot more in us. I think to get back to being the team people don't want to play, we have shown big parts of that today but I think there is still room for improvement there."

    Law also had praise for Nathan Hicks who made his first start since dislocating a shoulder in the corresponding fixture with Altrincham at the Impact Arena back on September 9th. 'I said before the game that I am going to pick players who are going to go out and have a go, put themselves on the line, and I think he certainly did', reflected Law. 'That boy had a dislocated shoulder a few weeks ago and he has been putting himself forward for three weeks now. That's the kind of commitment and desire we are going to need if we are going to survive and he just epitomised everything. I brought him off near the end because he was blowing a bit but that is great testament to him as well. He has only had probably three training sessions but he has looked after himself, kept himself fit.

    I thought Massiah McDonald came in and has done really well. I think Joe Ironside has been unfortunate. Joe came in and really, really did well and had a bit of burn-out. He has probably been a victim of his own success and he has not quite got back in. I am really pleased with Massiah and Hicksy coming in today, I think they made a big difference for us. That's a different Dan Bradley to the one from the last three or four games. I shouldn't have to keep leaving him out to get a reaction from him. That was what Dan Bradley is about'.

    Looking ahead to a blank weekend following the midweek FA Cup exit, Law had mixed feelings about not being able to follow up on a good performance and gain some momentum. 'Obviously we would like to go into a game next weekend and I don't know whether that will still be the case. The FA (may) suggest we play someone or bring a game forward, it that's the case, then that's what we will do. We will use the week, we will work hard Tuesday and Thursday and if it need be, Saturday, and there's a lot of things we can work on. We are nowhere near where we want to be yet and it will give us opportunities to work on and that's what we shall do', ended the Reds boss."


    Altrincham FC Youth (under-18s) drew 1-1 in a league match at Prescot Cables on Sunday. Alty are now third in the league table. Next Sunday they are scheduled to be at home to Witton Albion at Clay Lane.

    Altrincham Reserves won 3-2 at home to Cheadle Town FC Reserves in the Cheshire Football League Cup on Saturday.

    Altrincham Ladies lost 6-1 at Stockport County HNR.


    Altrincham travel to Lincoln City on Tuesday. Howard Watts's Through the Years record tells us of previous Alty games on that date, 4 November.

    Video of our next opponents, Lincoln City, in action in a 3-3 draw with FGR last Saturday is here

    Mike Garnett provides data on previous matches against Lincoln City...

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

    In the Lincolnshire Echo we read that "Gary Simpson was frustrated by the lack of ‘game management’ shown by his Lincoln City side as they let a 3-0 lead slip to end up drawing 3-3 with Forest Green Rovers at The New Lawn,,,

    Simpson felt his players were guilty of not seeing the game out. 'I said to the players, they had to fill the holes, that’s all they had to do, because all Forest Green could do was pump it up to us,' said Simpson. 'As long as we filled those gaps we’d be okay. We just didn’t quite get to the far one in final seconds and he’s got it in the bottom corner. The wide players didn’t need to go wide, they didn’t need to go forward. They just need to sit in front of the full backs. It’s the full back who has got into score the equaliser, so we were out of position somewhere. That was in the final moments. If we had filled that gap, it wouldn’t have mattered, because we could have defended it.

    Farman has kicked the ball well, but he didn’t kick it to the corner flag... so it gives the ball back to them. That’s game management. That’s going to slow the game down a bit more and give us some time. The players are still learning, but they can take some heart from the performance, because they are disappointed they haven’t won the game'".


    News of our FA Cup opponents comes from the Telegraph & Argus to the effect that "Farsley failed to reach the first junction on the road to Wembley as they were knocked out of the FA Trophy in the first round by Blyth Spartans. The Spartans are in the top tier of the Evo-Stik League but are low in the Premier Division table. However, they went into the game high in confidence after a win in the FA Cup at Leek Town and a draw at FC United of Manchester in the league.

    They continued that momentum but Farsley did have chances in the goalless first half... Blyth finally made the breakthrough five minutes into the second half but it was from a disputed penalty. Spencer Harris was adjudged to have fouled Arran Wearmouth and Damen Mullen sent Tom Taylor the wrong way from the spot...

    The Spartans hit back to double their lead just after the hour when Nathan Buddle got a faint touch on Mullen's free-kick...

    Farsley boss [briefly an ex-Alty man] Neil Parsley...said... 'It is difficult for me to comment on the penalty because I didn’t see it but I understand it was given for a trip. The second goal came from a free-kick that I thought wasn’t a free-kick'".


    Barry Pikesley's latest article in Saturday's "Robins' Review" was entitled "I Fought the Law". It sadly got the response "And the Law Won" after Nicky Law's Alfreton overcame Alty on Saturday. Barry points out that the article contains 47 allusions/references to the popular beat combo, The Clash. The allusions are to the band's songs/album titles/band members/lyrics. Barry invites you spot all 47! The first person to attempt the challenge, Bobby Fuller, only got 4.


    Darren Gregory has alerted us to a book that may be of interest to Altrincham supporters, given our clubs' shabby treatment by the Football League's re-election system in the 1970s and 1980s. It is "The Election of Clubs to the Football League 1888-1939" by Mattthew Taylor and John Coyle, which is available online


    The BBC says that "The FA Cup is returning to BBC Television this autumn with more coverage than ever before across TV and BBC Local Radio. To celebrate this, the famous old trophy is going on tour, visiting five regions across five days, beginning in the North East on Monday 3 November and ending in the North West on Friday 7 November.

    The whistle-stop tour will see the FA Cup visiting various community-focused projects, as well as the BBC building in each region where there will be the chance to take a selfie with one of the most coveted trophies in the football world...

    Friday 7 November: North West – The FA cup will be visiting Street League’s Centre of Manchester Academy to attend a Street Football session with unemployed young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. The trophy will also visit a women’s veteran’s football team called Reddish North Town in Stockport. The FA Cup will then make its way [to] Warrington ahead of BBC Sport’s first live FA Cup 1st Round game: Warrington Town v Exeter City, live on BBC Two on Friday from 7.30pm.

    Charles Runcie, Head of BBC Sport, English Regions, says, 'The FA Cup has got to be one of the most famous trophies in world sport. It’s great we’re able to bring it to so many different places where there some inspiring footballing projects going on. To see the trophy up close and personal, it’s almost as good as scoring the winner at Wembley!'

    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, with BBC Local Radio stations across the country charting the route to the first round proper, with many local sides up against league teams ranked much higher than themselves. Fans will be able to enjoy every twist and turn along the road to Wembley this season with extensive coverage across all platforms. This includes up to 16 live matches on TV, live commentaries on Radio 5 live and BBC local radio, and every FA Cup goal being available to watch online at

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


    Cheshire Senior Cup Preliminary Round fixtures this week:

    • Monday 3 November: Runcorn Town v Chester
    • Tuesday 4th November: Barnton v Hyde FC
    • Wednesday 5th November: Cheadle Town v Northwich Flixton Villa
    • Tuesday 11th November: Warrington Town v Stockport County

    2 November 2014


    Above, Altrincham defend a first-half corner.

    Altrincham could have no complaints as Alfreton went home with all three points.

    Match report here.


    Saturday's attendances were:
    • AFC Telford United v Bristol Rovers 2,860
    • Aldershot Town v Gateshead 1,679
    • Altrincham v Alfreton Town 960
    • Braintree Town v Woking 876
    • Eastleigh v Chester 1,306
    • Forest Green Rovers v Lincoln City 1,379
    • Grimsby Town v Dartford 3,116
    • Kidderminster Harriers v Torquay United 2,081
    • Nuneaton Town v Macclesfield Town 853
    • Southport v Dover Athletic 1,398
    • Welling United v Barnet 906
    • Wrexham v FC Halifax Town 3,421


    Before Saturday's match, Brian Flynn produced the latest "Sinnott Speaks" article on Altrincham Today.


    Sarah Rowley writes that "Altrincham FC Community Sports are one of the chosen charities for the Asda Altrincham Community Life scheme for November and December. All customers can ask at the checkout for a green token and then place it in one of the chosen charity slots. There is no purchase necessary, you can simply ask for a token. Adjacent is a photo of the display and our slot. Everyone's support would be greatly appreciated!" Asda's local premises are at Altrincham Retail Park at Broadheath.


    Tuesday 4 November
      Braintree Town v Grimsby Town
    • Lincoln City v Altrincham


    Alty travel to Lincoln City on Tuesday. The Lincolnshire Echo reports that "Lincoln City came close to causing a big upset against high-flying Forest Green Rovers at The New Lawn, but had to settle for a 3-3 draw today. There was some good performances from the side which looked like it would pull off one of their best results of the season so far. It was a day for the strikers, and Delano Sam-Yorke was on superb form for the Imps and takes the Echo’s man of the match nod.

    Lincoln City 4-3-3

    • GK, Paul Farman … 6
    • RB, Tom Miller … 6... it was another one of his now trademark long throws which led to City’s opener.
    • CB, Nat Brown … 6
    • CB, Theirry Audel … 6
    • LB, Sean Newton … 6
    • CM, Arnaud Mendy … 7
    • CM, Hamza Bencherif … 7
    • CM, Jon Nolan … 6 / CF, Jordan Burrow …. 8. Jon Nolan lasted less than 10 minutes as a hamstring injury put paid to his afternoon. Jordan Burrow came on and put in one of his best displays so far for Lincoln. Deserved his goal simply for the amount of energy and running he put in. Been a great acquisition for the Imps.
    • LF, Karl Ledsham … 7. Looked good on the left-hand side and showed great composure to net his goal. Saw his spot and went for it and didn’t flinch that he was taking the shot with his weaker foot.
    • RF, Marcus Marshall … 7. Did well with some brilliant probing runs. Was getting in some good crosses again and was looking like he was on course for his best display for City so far. Sadly, giving away the penalty that led to Forest Green Rovers fight back blotted his copybook.
    • CF, Delano Sam-Yorke … 9. MAN OF THE MATCH. Opened the scoring with a nice little poached effort and pulled off a great run to earn a penalty which led to Imps third goal. Was also doing well holding the ball up and found a good link-up with Burrow."

    From the other side, the Gloucester Citizen adds that "Dale Bennett struck with virtually the last kick of an incredible match as Forest Green overhauled a three-goal deficit to salvage a point. Delano Sam-Yorke's fourth goal of the season and a first for the club for Karl Ledsham meant the Imps had a surprise lead at the break, extended when substitute Jordan Burrow made it 3-0 in the 61st minute.

    James Norwood then inspired a stunning final 20 minutes with two goals, and it was right-back Bennett who completed the turnaround... A bad afternoon for the hosts took another turn for the worse just after the hour mark when Sam-Yorke bundled his way past Danny Coles into the area and was bundled over from behind by Marcus Kelly. Sam-Yorke put the resulting spot-kick too close to Russell, who produced another save to keep out the striker's follow-up effort but was powerless to prevent Burrow ramming home to seemingly put the game to bed [at 0-3]....

    [At 2-3] there was one final twist in the 94th minute, Norwood working the ball wide for onrushing right-back Bennett to slot nervelessly into the bottom corner, his first ever goal for the club".


    On Saturday, our FA Cup opponents, Blyth Spartans played in the FA Trophy. They won 2-0 at Farsley AFC in the First Round Qualifying, thanks to a brace from Damen Mullen, one of the goals being a penalty.
    1 November 2014


    Howard Watts's Through the Years information for this Saturday, 1 November, is here

    Saturday, 1 November 2014

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


    In advance of their visit to Altrincham, the Derbyshire Times tells us that "Alfreton Town return to Conference Premier football this Saturday with a trip to Altrincham. Reds manager Nicky Law will be looking for a big reaction from his squad following the 5-1 FA Cup fourth qualifying round replay crash at Lincoln City in midweek.

    Law is expecting to have goalkeeper Cameron Dawson back for what promises to be another tough away game and there will be late fitness checks for some of the walking wounded after the Lincoln game. Alfreton are second from bottom and, with just one win from their last eight games in all competitions, urgently require a victory which could reinvigorate their season...

    The Robins go into the game in 19th place, two places and two points above the relegation zone and a win for them would put some daylight between the Cheshire club and those below them. Altrincham have had mixed fortunes on home soil this season although 13 of their total of 18 points have been won at their Moss Lane home... The sides drew 1-1 at the Impact Arena earlier in the season, Alty having an 89th minute Kyle Perry equaliser to thank for their point after Alfreton had led through Joe Ironside’s 42nd minute goal back on Tuesday, September 9."


    Altrincham FC "is delighted to announce the recruitment of two full time personnel to set up and run the Community Sports Hall (CSH), which opens for business in January 2015. Both were appointed after an open recruitment exercise, with interviews conducted by a panel drawn from the Community section, the CSH project team, and Club Board. This recruitment attracted an outstanding field, including some very good friends of Altrincham FC, and the Club is grateful to all who applied.

    Stacey Rowley has been appointed as CSH General Manager and starts formally on 1 December 2014. Already a Club volunteer, Stacey has highly relevant marketing, management and administration experience from the sports, hotel, conference and logistics industries.

    Judy Henson has been appointed as CSH Deputy Manager and a member of the community outreach team. She also starts formally on 1 December 2014. New to the Club, Judy has several years invaluable experience working in sports and leisure centres in North Yorkshire and Trafford, is a qualified football coach and runs her own blog on women’s football.

    Stacey and Judy will share the load of providing CSH management cover across the week (up to 7 days/week, 13 hours per day), and it is expected there will be future opportunities for part-time staff to support them as the volume of CSH business builds".


    According to the Football Conference, "BT Sport will be screening LIVE a further fixture from the competition when the match between Bristol Rovers and Gateshead is brought forward from Saturday, 20th December by 24 hours to Friday 19th December.

    Traditionally fixtures played on the last Saturday before Christmas always struggle to attract large attendances so, by moving it to the Friday evening, it is hoped this will enable more home supporters to attend and, importantly, allow more Heed fans to watch from afar as their seasoned manager Gary Mills takes on his younger counter-part Darrell Clarke in charge of the Gas.

    The game kicks off at 7.45pm from the Memorial Stadium and confirmation of which BT Sport channel it will be screened on will be advised nearer the date".

    Meanwhile, "Gateshead have confirmed that defender Nick Anderton has joined on a one-month loan deal from Preston North End. Anderton, 18, signed a professional contract with the Deepdale outfit in the summer after spending time on loan with Chorley last season... Manager Gary Mills... said, 'He will be bring a bit of solidity to the back-four... If the ball comes into the box, he's going to defend that ball. I'm sick of saying it; we've conceded too many sloppy goals. It has to stop. It needs to be addressed'".

    Also, "Kidderminster Harriers have taken midfielder Matt Robinson on a month's loan from Luton Town. Robinson is a product of the Leicester City youth system and represented their under-18 side. He started training with Luton at the back end of the 2011/12 season and linked back up with the Hatters after being released by Leicester in the summer of 2012, signing a two-year contract... He made thirty-one appearances for the Town in last season`s title-winning campaign and scored twice."

    Elsewhere, "AFC Telford United's midfielder Jordan Deacey has joined former club, Bradford Park Avenue, on a month`s loan. The 20-year-old has struggled to break into the team since arriving in the summer, but still has a big future at the New Buck's Head. Deacey, son of Avenue boss John, had been with Bradford since 2011 and caught the attention of both Scunthorpe United and Hartlepool United... However, he signed a one-year contract with Telford in July".

    It is reported by NL Pitchero that "Andy Morrell, manager of Tamworth, has added 25-year-old striker Reece Styche to his squad on a month’s loan from Kidderminster Harriers. Styche joined the Harriers in the summer from Forest Green Rovers where his appearances were limited due to a long-term injury.

    He went on loan to Wycombe Wanderers towards the end of last season... The former England `C` star began his career at Hednesford Town, progressing from the youth team".

    On the South Coast, "Durrell Berry has joined Torquay United on a non-contract basis after impressing during a trial period this week. Berry, 22, came through the ranks at Notts County and then Aston Villa before joining Plymouth Argyle in 2011. But he has been a free agent since turning down a contract offer from the Pilgrims earlier this year".

    Forest Green Rovers report on Alty's opponents next Tuesday, Lincoln City, "A 5-1 win on Tuesday night over league rivals Alfreton ensured Lincoln secured safe passage through to the first round proper of this year’s FA Cup... That victory means Saturday’s opponents are unbeaten in five matches in all competitions going into this weekend’s match up. They sit in 14th place having enjoyed mixed fortunes so far this term. Consistency, like many teams in the division this year, has again been a problem.

    This is the Imp’s fourth consecutive season in non-league football’s top tier... Gary Simpson is in charge of the Imps. He is in his third management job following spells at Macclesfield and Gainsborough Trinity... He leads a Lincoln side that will likely line up with teenage goalkeeper Nick Townsend in goal on Saturday. He is currently on loan from Birmingham City... The Lincoln back line may include left back Sean Newton as well as former Huddersfield Town central defender Nat Brown. While in midfield the Imps look set to hand another berth to Irishman Alan Power. The one-time Rushden & Diamonds man currently fulfils the role of club captain at the club. Ben Tomlinson offers a threat in attack as does Jordan Burrows. The 22 year-old was playing in League One for Stevenage last season".


    In the EvoStik League, "Blyth Spartans, Lancaster City and Spalding United can look forward to be honoured for their sportsmanship and fair play after being named as October’s EVO-STIK Northern Premier League Fair Play Award winners.

    After topping the latest fair play tables in their respective divisions which were published on Thursday, the trio will be presented with inscribed certificates to record their achievement and a bottle of Polo Roger champagne to toast their success at upcoming fixtures by representatives of the EVO-STIK NPL.

    To qualify for the monthly fair play accolades, run as part of the EVO-STIK NPL’s successful backing for the FA’s Respect campaign, clubs must play a minimum of four league games with one point awarded for a caution and three for a dismissal before a totting up of red and yellow cards divided by the number of NPL fixtures played. In the event of a tie, technical area points are used. If still tied, disciplinary records in external cup games are taken into account.

    Tom Wade’s Spartans are flying the flag for the league in the FA Cup after reaching the FA Cup’s First and they’ll have boosted both their own and the league’s reputation with their attitude to fair play in October after collecting just three cautions in five outings to post a disciplinary average of 0.60 and climb to fourth in the overall to date table."