an unofficial website

January, 2015

31 January 2015


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


Although the Alty v Aldershot Town game has been postponed, don't forget that the bar in the Community Sports Hall will be open today, from 5pm, for transmission of the Chelsea v Manchester City game (k.o. 5.30pm) so please come along and enjoy that game.


The adjacent image was taken at the J. Davidson Stadium at 10am on Saturday morning, showing why the match today against Aldershot Town had to be postponed.

As things stand, Altrincham's next game is not till Tuesday, 10 February, when the club plays Macclesfield Town at the Moss Rose. With today's game against Aldershot Town called off and next Saturday's fixture at Dover postponed because of the Kent club's FA Trophy involvement, Alty face a potential gap of 17 days between games.

However, the Club has obtained Conference approval to entertain Aldershot Town next Saturday, but this can only happen in the following circumstances...

On Tuesday, 3 February, FC Halifax Town are scheduled to play Dartford in a postponed FA Trophy Round 3 replay at The Shay. Should this not go ahead, it will be played on Wednesday, 4 February. So, if the Halifax v Dartford game is postponed both on Tuesday and Wednesday of the coming week, the two teams will meet next Saturday, leaving Aldershot without a game as they are due to play FC Halifax Town on that date (7 Feb).

Alternatively, if Halifax win the replay this midweek, they will be playing in the Fourth Round of the FA Trophy on Saturday, 7 February. This, likewise, would leave The Shots without a game on that date (7 Feb) and, therefore, free to come to Altrincham on that date.

So, in short, we will not know until either Tuesday or Wednesday night whether Alty can play Aldershot next Saturday (7 Feb).


The Altrincham v Aldershot Town match this Saturday has had to be postponed. As locals will be aware the pitch at the J. Davidson Stadium is snow covered and it is unlikely to improve significantly in time for the match.

Dan Jones's image, above, shows the conditions on Friday...


Aldershot Town "have signed prolific teenage striker Kabongo Tshimanga on a one-month loan from MK Dons. The 18 year-old, who has scored 42 goals in 25 matches for the Dons’ Under-18 side this season, signed his first professional contract earlier this month to remain at StadiumMK until June 2016. Tshimanga, who has been with the Club since the age of 10, made his first-team debut last November...

A pacy and powerful striker, his 2014-15 feats saw him break the MKDons’ Under-18 record for most goals in an entire season before Christmas, with a run which saw him score five doubles, three hat-tricks and one quadruple. Tshimanga will wear squad number 20."

According to the Football Conference, "Kidderminster Harriers have made two new striking signings. Returning to Aggborough is former fans` favourite Lee Hughes who joins after being released by league rivals Forest Green Rovers. The 38-year-old returns to the club where he made his senior debut. The experienced striker had fallen down the pecking order at Forest Green following the arrival of James Marwood last week...

Harriers have also confirmed the signing of Dominic Knowles from Burton Albion on loan until the end of the season. Twenty-two-year-old Knowles progressed through the ranks at Burnley but was released in 2012 before making a first-team appearance. Spells with Gainsborough Trinity and Harrogate Town in the Conference North highlighted his goalscoring abilities, as he found the net 8 times in ten games for Gainsborough and scored 10 in fourteen for Harrogate during 2012/13 before joining Burton at the end of that season...

Knowles said, 'I wasn’t getting much game time at Burton Albion... I was really keen to come here. As a player, I always work hard and my hold-up play is good. I see it as my job to score goals and that’s what I’m here to do'...

Manager Gary Whild believes Knowles can offer Harriers a different presence up front... 'Dominic was a prolific goalscorer at Harrogate Town, and has had a good goal ratio since moving to Burton... He offers another option for us as an 18-yard-box finisher. He's hard-working and financially he's in the right bracket too'".

Elsewhere, "Nuneaton Town have seen one midfielder arrive and one leave Liberty Way. Joining on a month's loan from Notts County is Elliott Whitehouse. County signed the former Sheffield United midfielder on a one-year deal in August... The 21-year-old, who was released by the Blades last summer, had spells on loan at York City and Alfreton Town last season. He made five first-team appearances during his time at United.

Meanwhile, playmaker Lee Fowler has left Nuneaton to join Crawley Town.... He joined Boro in September. Crawley have agreed to send a full-strength team to Liberty Way for a pre-season friendly as part of the deal".

Meanwhile, "Torquay United have signed French defender Olivier Gueguen on non-contract terms as cover for their centre-back position. Gueguen, 24, has trained with the Gulls for the last ten days, and his availability could be timely because of a knee injury for current first-choice centre-back Angus MacDonald. Gueguen has played French league football for Brest, Amiens and Stades Plabennec and has also been trialling in the United States."

Nearer to home, "Winger Adriano Moke has further added to the feel-good factor at Macclesfield Town by putting pen-to-paper on a short-term contract extension with the club, keeping him at the Moss Rose until the end of the season. Moke has been in terrific form this season, with 27 appearances to his name and two goals. His initial deal with the club had ran out following the Lincoln game, but despite major interest from sides in the Football League, Adriano has agreed to stay at the club for the rest of the season.

Club chairman Mark Blower [said] '"There is a real feel-good factor around the club at the minute and I think that shows when you have players like Adriano and Rhys (Taylor) opting to stay here rather than move in to the Football League. Players want to stay apart of what is going on here'".

Still in the North West, "Paul Carden has made his first signing since taking over as manager of Southport, bringing in experienced striker George Donnelly on loan from Tranmere Rovers until the end of the season. The 26-year-old has Football League experience at Plymouth Argyle, Luton Town, Stockport County, Macclesfield Town, Fleetwood Town and Rochdale where he scored 13 goals in seventy-eight appearances...

Carden said, 'George is an experienced striker who will strengthen our squad, adding competition and a variation to our forward options'".

Leaving the Vanarama Conference is Mat Mitchel-King, who "has left Dartford by mutual consent. Mitchel-King joined the Darts in August 2013 from AFC Wimbledon... but [he] came to the fore with Histon, where he enjoyed a successful four-year spell. That earned him a move to Crewe Alexandra in the summer of 2009 and he went on to play forty-six times for them before transferring to the Dons in June 2011...

Dartford manager Tony Burman said, 'Mat was out of contract and had some longer-term work commitments and will be joining another club in due course nearer to his place of work and home'".

In Hampshire, "Eastleigh have announced the signing of midfielder Harry Pell from AFC Wimbledon. Twenty-three-year-old Pell started his career with Charlton Athletic... Following a loan spell with Hastings United, Pell moved on to Bristol Rovers, Hereford United then Cambridge United before joining AFC Wimbledon. Pell, who had a loan spell with the Sptifires' league rivals Grimsby Town earlier this season, will immediately join the squad".

According to the BBC "Nuneaton Town have signed Barnsley forward George Maris on a one-month youth loan. The 18-year-old is the second Barnsley player to move to Liberty Way, with goalkeeper Christian Dibble having joined on loan earlier this month... Maris signed his first professional contract with Barnsley at the end of last season, having scored 20 goals for their under-18 side, but has yet to appear for the first team".

NL Pitchero says that "Dover Athletic have announced that James Poole has returned to Crabble initially until the end of the season... The 24-year-old spent time on loan at Crabble earlier on this season on loan from Bury in November 2014. A skilful attacking midfielder or forward, Poole is a product of the Manchester City Academy, although he joined the Sky Blues for a small fee from Macclesfield Town’s centre of Excellence...

He joined the Shakers on loan in search of League experience, making nine appearances for Bury before re-joining City... Another loan move followed the following season, this time to Hartlepool United where he made six appearances... At the end of the 2011/12 season, he signed for Pools on a permanent basis... Poole attempted to seek a club abroad and even scored against the Shakers whilst on trial for Australian outfit Melbourne FC. However, he stayed in the UK and joined Bury in time for the new season on non-contract terms."

NL Pitchero adds that "FC Halifax Town have confirmed [the] signing of striker Jack Muldoon on loan until the end of the season from Rochdale. The 25-year-old started his career with home-town club Scunthorpe United and has had spells with Stocksbridge Park Steels, Brigg Town, North Ferriby United and Worksop Town. He joined Rochdale on a one-year deal last summer". Meanwhile there is a pitch inspection at Halifax at 9.30am on Saturday before the game against Barnet.

30 January 2015


Altrincham FC Youth had a fine 4-1 away win at Ashton Athletic on Tuesday night.

A match report, courtesy of George Heslop, is here.


Pictured, right, are the Altrincham FC Ladies celebrating their fine victory on penalties against table-topping Warrington Wolverines and, as Phil Taylor writes, "demonstrating the spirit and cameraderie which is such a part of the team. The photo is one of a number of excellent images captured by Mike Ripley, who was once again kind enough to come down and record events".

Phil's match report is here.


Another ex-Alty player has joined Graham Heathcote at Trafford as NL Pitchero confirms that "Forward Astley Mulholland has joined Trafford on dual registration with Chorley. Mulholland joined the Magpies in September 2014 following his release from FC United of Manchester.

He started his career as a striker and made a name for himself initially at Flixton as a pacey goalscorer. He made the leap up... to Conference football when he joined Altrincham, where he was converted into a left winger, a position he continues to thrive in. In 2011 he joined FC United and went on to make almost 100 appearances for the Rebels".


Altrincham FC Youth player and Manchester Grammar School pupil, Aaron Goldman, is playing for the England Independent Schools FA, who are "pleased to announce that Premier League referee Jon Moss will referee this Sunday's fixture between England Independent Schools and Australia Schools at Harrow School this Sunday, 1st February". Aaron is also in the squad when the ISFA meet Welsh Schools on Sunday 8th February (3pm) at The New Saints FC.


The Football Conference is delighted to announce, the UK's No1 van leasing company, who became title sponsor of the Football Conference at the start of this current season, has upgraded its current agreement and will continue as title sponsor for season 2015/16.

This information was released to the Football Conference’s member clubs at their EGM today in Telford today. Brian Lee, chairman of the Football Conference commented, 'anarama has demonstrated in a short space of a few months how a major sponsor can fully engage in an interactive manner, not only with our member clubs but, most importantly, their fans and our other partners. It has been a collective approach and been rewarded with a volume of first class comments received from many quarters of the game and the business world.”

Vanarama's managing director and founder Andy Alderson stated, 'We have been thrilled by the response to our sponsorship by fans and clubs alike. We are now seeking to increase our involvement in Conference football over the coming months, and plans for 2015/2016 season to help make this great competition bigger and better are already looking very exciting'.

For Brian Lee the announcement was of particular significance, 'This announcement is pleasing for me personally, for I am able in the last few months of my stewardship, prior to passing the baton to Brian Barwick, to sincerely thank Vanarama. It will assist to make the incoming chairman's position much easier, in as much that our partnership with Vanarama is blossoming and that must be really positive for my successor to know already.

Andy and his staff have in return been very complimentary in how member clubs and our staff and my fellow directors have responded to their open and often innovative sponsorship. I am sure I speak on behalf of all connected with our competition that we look forward to our relationship continuing even past 2015/16."

Vanarama’s partnership with the Football Conference was negotiated by sports marketing agency SportQuake, who have been instrumental in the innovative and successful national sponsorship campaign executed to date. SportQuake specialise in helping consumer brands and rights owners to deliver commercial and cultural value through sport. This year SportQuake has already completed over 100 football partnership deals including major transactions with all twenty English Premier League clubs."

In Kent, "Defender Jamie Richards has joined Dartford on a month's loan from Plymouth Argyle. Richards, 20, recently returned from a previous six-month loan spell with League of Ireland side Linfield, and has now signed for the Darts on loan until February 28th... He will be ineligible to feature in Dartford’s FA Trophy replay against FC Halifax Town as he was not registered when the tie began".

The Western Gazette tells us that "Yeovil Town have had an offer for Kidderminster Harriers' sought-after winger Marvin Johnson turned down. The 24-year-old signed a year’s extension at Aggborough last summe...

Out of contract at the end of the season, Johnson is understood to be on the radars of Birmingham City, Notts County, Yeovil and Luton Town. The Western Gazette understands that the Glovers have made an approach to sign Johnson, only to be rebuffed...

Huish Park manager Gary Johnson said, 'We’re aware of everyone that’s available and we have even spoken to players in non-League that we like'".

Meanwhile, the Worcester News informs us that "Kidderminster Harriers are set for a much-needed cash windfall when they receive the final instalment from Joe Lolley’s transfer to Huddersfield Town. The young winger moved from Aggborough to the Terriers in January 2014 for a fee thought to be in the region of £250,000. The club are set to receive £50,000 tomorrow.

It’s a lift for the Reds, who are still being financially supported by benefactors Kath and Ernie Lane. Harriers have also received five-figure fees for Chey Dunkley and Nathan Blissett, who joined Oxford United and Bristol Rovers. It is believed Dunkley joined for £50,000 and Blissett made his switch for £70,000.

Chairman Ken Rae said, 'A clause in Chey’s contract was activated and for Nathan we were made a very good offer for a player who was not an ever-present in our side'. Rae confirmed the Reds have turned down one derisory offer from an unnamed SkyBet League One club [see above!] for highly-rated winger Marvin Johnson. The offer fell far below Harriers’ six-figure valuation for the winger. The transfer window closes on 11pm on Monday".

In the Leader Live we learn that "Manager Kevin Wilkin admits success in cup competitions has had a etrimental effect on Wrexham’s promotion challenge and not helped his own cause. Wrexham, who reached the third round of the FA Cup... are also still going strong in the FA Trophy and a number of league games have had to be rearranged.

But there has been less to cheer about in the Conference Premier with Wrexham winning just two of their last 15 games, dropping from third to 17th position since the end of September and putting more pressure on Wilkin.

'If you go out of the FA Cup early and wants cup games, it is not too bad,' said Wilkin. 'But we had a run in the FA Cup and are having a run in the FA Trophy. We are probably suffering more than anybody and it’s far from ideal backing up and backing up your fixture list. For us, it is great having cup runs, we love them, but it has had an impact on our league campaign. And when you are losing league fixtures to the weather, it makes life difficult for you. I need a run of fixtures and it’s made it more difficult than it needs to be, I need to pick up results'.

Last night’s Trophy third round replay against Gateshead was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch at The International Stadium and will be played next Tuesday... and the rearranged home match with Forest Green Rovers will now take place at a later date. 'We could have played Gateshead on Tuesday and got a result one way or another', said Wilkin. 'But you leave it to the middle of the week and now we have lost it to the weather'...

Some Trophy ties are played to a conclusion during the first meeting if both clubs agree, going to extra time and penalties to avoid a replay, and WIilkin believes this would have been beneficial to Wrexham but Gateshead weren’t keen on the idea. 'There was a bit of a reluctance from Gateshead to play it to a conclusion', said Wilkin... 'In hindsight, the opportunity to play to a conclusion would have made good sense. Settling it on the day, I am sure it is something that comes up at future meetings the league have'.

Wilkin has completed the signing of midfielder Kyle Storer after he left Kidderminster Harriers by mutual consent... 'We have got one in and I am hoping for another', said Wilkin, who is targeting a loan addition before the visit of the Gulls... The game could come too soon for Rob Evans and Elliott Durrell".

29 January 2015


News of Altrincham's next opponents comes from Aldershot Town which tells us that "Striker Brett Williams has confirmed that he will not be leaving Aldershot Town in January, and given his full support to Caretaker Manager Chris Barker.

The Shots’ top scorer has been the subject of increasing speculation during the transfer window, including rumours of interest from Scottish Premiership side St Mirren, but says, 'I’m an Aldershot Town player until the end of the season, I know where I stand, and I’m very happy about that. I now hope I can get back to my goalscoring ways of last season and help the team move up the table'.

Speculation started in November, with reports that Brett had been placed on the transfer list, and he now admits, 'Without me realising, it has probably affected my concentration. One minute I was allowed to go and then the next I wasn’t. But it’s all been cleared up now. Chris and the Board have been very supportive, and I’m happy'.

With preparations well underway for Barker’s first match, at Altrincham on Saturday, Williams encourages, 'Recent results haven’t been good enough but Chris has come in and straight away we’ve seen improvements. Chris is very professional and although the changes have been slight, in training and preparation, the squad has welcomed them. We are now training on Fridays and that’s something I’ve wanted and needed'.

The arrival of Ryan Jarvis, on loan from York City, and return to fitness of Josh Scott has also been welcomed by the former Reading striker.'This season has been slightly different, tactically, and we didn’t quite gel. Ryan has started helping me with the physical side of games, when of late I had felt that there was a lot of weight on my shoulders as a targetman. I’ve been trying to adapt to a slightly different role, but I like to get on the ball more and run at defences, and with Ryan and Josh you share that physical responsibility.'

Now, needing to arrest a run of one victory in ten, The Shots travel to Cheshire with renewed optimism and confidence. 'The boys are really excited about working with Chris,' concludes Brett. 'Everybody is happy and really looking forward to Saturday'”.


Altrincham FC Youth had a fine 4-1 away win at Ashton Athletic on Tuesday night. The latest NWYA league table is here.

Altrincham FC Youth Education Programme team won their Wednesday game away to Hyde, 2-1. The latest league table is here.


Altrincham FC confirms that discounted tickets will be available for the away game at Macclesfield Town before Altrincham's game this Saturday. From 1pm, they will be sold from a desk in the new Community Sports Hall by Derek Wilshaw and Geoff Morris. Tickets will also be available at half-time and after the game, when you will also be able to watch Chelsea v Man City on the Sports Hall TV screens.

Macclesfield tickets are also available from the club offices during weekday office hours (9.30am to 5pm). Cash payments only can be accepted.


On Wednesday it was announced by the Football Conference that "The FA Trophy Third Round tie between Gateshead and Wrexham has been postponed again. Rain and snow have caused the tie between the two Vanarama Conference rivals to be called off again following an early inspection. The two clubs have initially agreed to play the match on Tuesday, 3rd February, although this will need rubber stamping by the FA. If this happens, Wrexham`s scheduled Vanarama Conference fixture with Forest Green Rovers will have to rearranged yet again. "

Meanwhile "Conference South club Whitehawk have completed the loan signing of Christian Nanetti from Dover Athletic. Nanetti signed for Dover in July 2014 from Havant & Waterlooville".

Elsewhere, "Jody Brown, manager of Welling United, has boosted his squad with two more new signings this week. Karl Duguid and Anthony Jeffrey have both joined the Wings subject to the approval of final paperwork. Duguid enjoyed a successful Football League career with Plymouth Argyle and Colchester United, where he is known as something of a club legend, while Jeffrey started his career at Arsenal and was playing for Wycombe Wanderers only last season".

The BBC adds that "Welling United have signed former Colchester stalwart Karl Duguid and ex-Arsenal trainee Anthony Jeffrey. Duguid made 476 appearances for the U's during two spells in Essex either side of a three-year stint at Plymouth. The 36-year-old midfielder has been at non-league Stanway Rovers since leaving Colchester last summer.

Striker Jeffrey, 20... did not make a senior appearance for Arsenal and left the Gunners last January, having been on the Premier League club's books since the age of eight".

Braintree Town announce that "Following Tuesday evening's 1-1 draw with Ebbsfleet United, the FA Trophy Third Round replay will now take place at Ebbsfleet United's Stonebridge Road ground this coming Tuesday, 3rd February, with kick-off at 7.45pm".

In the Gloucester Citizen we learn that "Yeovil Town have decided not to pursue their interest in Forest Green defender Chris Stokes. The left-back had been training with the League One strugglers after finding himself out of favour at the New Lawn.

But Glovers' boss Gary Johnson has revealed they will not be making an offer for the 22-year-old, who will become a free agent this summer. Johnson said, 'Chris Stokes has gone back to Forest Green. Our full-back position wasn’t really a priority. We’ve got other priorities, he’s on a good wage at Forest Green and they’re not willing to give that up for someone to leave. Everyone thought it was best he went back to Forest Green'".

According to the Macclesfield Express, "He's been desperate to add to his squad, but Macc Town boss John Askey looks like he’s now steeling himself for a fight to keep hold of his players this winter. Having missed out on Luke Waterfall, who joined Wrexham on an 18-month deal, Askey then set his sights on bringing Thierry Audel back to the Moss Rose.

But he’s now faced with the prospect of losing winger Adriano Moke, who’s been speaking to League Two side Cheltenham Town...

Moke, 25, has been in talks with the Robins... The manager’s expecting a decision from him within the next few days. 'Mokes has been down to speak to them... He’s out of contract and he’s seeing what they say, which I understand; I’d probably do the same. Obviously they’re able to offer more than we can, so I’m hoping to sit down with him and his agent this week. I’m not surprised he’s been attracting other clubs, it’s probably the first season he’s played this many games. He’s always a threat and he pushes the opposition back with his pace, he’s been an important player for us this season.

He’d be a real loss but this is what happens when your players are all on short-term or non-contracts'...

Although the ongoing financial restrictions remain he hasn’t yet abandoned hope of completing a return for Audel, but the centre-back has returned to his native France, due to the passing of a family member. 'Thierry’s gone home to France to deal with it all, so I won’t be bothering him at the moment', he added... 'But again, I’d understand if he went to a Football League club... If it doesn’t come off we might be looking at George (Pilkington) and Alex (Grant) playing out the rest of the season. There’s no reason why they can’t get through 15 games in a row. That’s the hand we’ve been dealt. It’s frustrating but we’ll have to play it the best we can'".

The BBC says that "Lincoln City manager Chris Moyses gave an 11-second interview to apologise for his side's performance after the 4-0 thrashing against Chester on Tuesday. Moyses was furious after another poor display, which followed Saturday's 3-0 loss at Macclesfield, and interrupted startled BBC Radio Lincolnshire reporter Rob Underwood.

'I will give you a statement', said Moyses, who was appointed in December. 'I will apologise straight away. That is unacceptable in my eyes'.

The Imps have won their last six home league matches under Moyses, but have lost their three last away from home, conceding 11 goals in the process. 'It is my fault', said Moyses continued. 'I will carry the can for it and that's the end of the statement. That is all I am going to say.'

The Imps were 13th in the Conference table when Moyses and Grant Brown took over from previous manager Gary Simpson in November, eight points adrift of the play-off places and seven points above the relegation zone. Their home form since then has helped them move up to 11th place, only four points outside the top five and 18 points clear of the bottom four."

A report in the Dorking & Leatherhead Advertiser tells us that "Leatherhead are set to sign Dover Athletic club captain Craig Stone on a month-long loan. The midfielder, who can also play in defence, is looking to get some game time as he continues his recovery from a broken ankle, which he suffered... on November 1. Stone... has played at right wing-back for the majority of his time at Dover."


Live TV coverage of the FA Cup Fifth Round will feature:

Saturday 14 February:

  • West Bromwich Albion v West Ham United (12.45pm) – Live on BT Sport
  • Crystal Palace v Liverpool or Bolton Wanderers (5.30pm) – Live on BT Sport

Sunday 15 February:

  • Aston Villa v Leicester City (12.30pm) – Live on BBC1
  • Arsenal v Middlesbrough (4pm) – Live on BT Sport

Monday 16 February:

  • Preston North End or Sheffield United v Cambridge United or Manchester United (7.45pm) – Live on BBC1

28 January 2015


In the Sale and Altrincham Messenger reports that "Lee Sinnott admitted Altrincham had only themselves to blame after Bath pulled the plug on their Wembley dream on Saturday.

Impressive wins over Macclesfield and Kidderminster raised hopes this could be Alty’s year in the FA Trophy, but their cup hoodoo against lower-placed opposition returned to haunt them, as they succumbed to a late headed winner.

'I wouldn’t agree that Bath necessarily deserved the win, because we had an awful lot of possession', said Alty boss Sinnott. 'They perhaps had more efforts on goal, without those chances being clearcut, but we let ourselves down by not capitalising on having so much of the ball on the fringe of their final third.

If you don’t make the most of that, you are always going to be susceptible to one creeping in at the other end. To be fair, it was a great header, and I take nothing away from that, but it was easy to pinpoint what cost us. We were not dynamic enough in the final third, and we sometimes gave possession away too cheaply. We got ourselves in some decent positions to test them with dangerous crosses but the quality was not there. It just didn’t ignite for us on the day'...

'I am disappointed for our supporters, of course I am, but, in terms of the performance, this was not a Trafford or Blyth,' he said, in reference to recent cup defeats against lower league opposition. 'You could not possibly fault the players for effort or application, and if we had been anywhere near our A game in the final third, we would have gone through. It is disappointing to go out so close to the final stages, but the players can’t be faulted over the course of the season, and that’s why I have to hold it back a bit. We just need to dust ourselves down now and go again in the league'"


James Farrington has kindly provided a match report on Altrincham FC Youth team's creditable 1-1 draw away to Curzon Ashton last Sunday.

The Cheshire FA reports that the "County Youth Team represents Cheshire in competitive action against other counties in England, participating in both the Association of Northern Counties League and the FA County Youth Cup". The FA list of players for 2014-15 includes Altrincham's James Campion, Harry Cain and Sam Heathcote.


Dover's Trophy win means that Altrincham's league game at Dover on Saturday, 7 February is now postponed. Alty drop to fifteenth following Chester's win against a Lincoln side reduced to nine men. Tonight's Conference games mean that exactly 1000 goals have been scored in the division this season; Abbott of Chester got the goal in question.

Tuesday 27 January

Vanarama Conference

  • AFC Telford U. 0-1 FC Halifax T.
  • Chester FC 4-0 Lincoln City
  • Eastleigh 0-1 Grimsby Town >/li>

Cheshire Senior Cup

  • Alsager Town 0-2 Stockport County
  • Cammell Laird 1907 3-2 Winsford United
  • Crewe Alexandra 1-0 1874 Northwich
  • Hyde FC 2-3 Macclesfield T. aet
  • Northwich Flixton Villa 1-5 Congleton Town

FA Trophy Round 3

  • Braintree Town 1-1 Ebbsfleet United
  • Dover Athletic 1-0 Woking

Wednesday 28 January

  • Gateshead v Wrexham


Aldershot Town announce that "To mark Chris Barker’s first game as Caretaker Manager for the Shots, the Trust are pleased to announce a brilliantly low rate of just £10 to come along on the coach and support the Shots' away travels to Altrincham on January 31st."

At Wrexham, "Following his departure from Kidderminster Harriers, by mutual consent, the Reds are delighted to announce that Kyle Storer will be switching to the Racecourse for the rest of the season.

The 27-year-old midfielder joined the Harriers in 2011 after serving at Nuneaton Town, where he worked with Kevin Wilkin, Gary Mills, Wes York and briefly with Louis Moult.

Based near Coventry, Kyle started out with local side Bedworth United and then stepped up to join Tamworth... In his three and a half seasons with the Harriers, he has played over 140 times and been club captain.

'This a massive club and I’m just glad to get the chance to come and play here at such a professional club', said Kyle. 'The ambition of the club has forced my hand to come and join. Hopefully we can kick on and be around the play-offs at the end of the season'".

In the Torquay Herald Express Officials at landlords, Torbay Council, and tenants, United, are not confirming the news officially, but the Herald Express understands that the price is right, and both parties would be keen to do a deal.

It could have a major bearing on the current talks going on at the Launa Windows Stadium over possible new investment or a full takeover of United.

Local councillors and sports officials have been talking openly about the various scenarios which might follow United finally buying the ground they have called home for 115 years.

A sale is likely to remain on hold while United chairwoman Thea Bristow, her board and advisor Kelvin Thomas, the former Oxford United chairman, continue to grapple with a difficult root-and-branch review of the Gulls’ finances and operation.

Thomas is leading that drive, with a view to attracting new investment or clinching an outright sale. Major shareholder Mrs Bristow, who has been covering monthly losses for some time, is not prepared to keep bankrolling the club indefinitely.

But ownership of the ground, even though it would still have original ‘leisure and recreation’ covenants on it, might be an added attraction for a potential buyer. Former owner and chairman Mike Bateson said, 'We looked at it with a view to selling the ground for development and building a new stadium elsewhere. But the best offer then, as I recall, was £100,000-odd for a longer 100-year lease and it didn’t take us where we wanted to be.

I don’t know whether I would advise Thea to go down that road. But, just as land, it’s good value'".

United have already joined forces with adjoining Westlands School, which is short of room for sports facilities, to build the £1.9 million Bristow’s Bench grandstand (2012). That stand, named in memory of Mrs Bristow’s late husband Paul, completed the redevelopment of Plainmoor, but also incorporated teaching facilities for the school.

Thomas’s look at United still has a fortnight to run, and it could lead to some possibly painful slimming-down of the business.

But the Gulls’ mood... has received a boost with their FA Trophy run which has produced an intriguing quarter-final tie at home to FC United of Manchester on February 7... Northern Premier League FC United, the Old Trafford breakaway club, are expected to fill most of their 1,500 allocation".


The latest Altrincham FC Saturday Yankee results are here.
27 January 2015


Altrincham entertain Aldershot Town at the J. Davidson Stadium this Saturday (3pm). Details of previous matches on this date are in Howard Watts's Through the Years data.

Meanwhile, Mike Garnett reminds us of our previous record against Aldershot Town>..

  • Home: P3-W1-D1-L1-F6-A3
  • Away: P5-W2-D1-L2-F6-A6
  • All: P8-W3-D2-L3-F12-A9


The first Sportsman's Dinner to be held in the new Community Sports Hall at Altrincham Football Club is on Friday 27th February 2015, starting at 7.30pm, when Danny Higginbotham [right] will be our guest speaker. There will be a three-course meal, a raffle and an auction. Ticket prices are £25 per head with a 10% discount for a table of 8.

All proceeds from the dinner will go to the Community Sports Company (Registered Charity no. 1154394). Book your tickets by ringing the club (0161 928-1045) or by e-mailing the club.


The draw for the Fourth Round of the FA Trophy delivered an away game to our conquerors, Bath City, at either Woking or Dover Athletic on 7 February. Should Dover win their Third Round replay this Tuesday, Altrincham's scheduled league game at Dover on 7 February will be postponed.

  • Woking or Dover Athletic v Bath City
  • Dartford or FC Halifax Town v Wrexham or Gateshead
  • Torquay United v FC United of Manchester
  • North Ferriby United v Braintree Town or Ebbsfleet United


The Football Conference reports that "Grimsby Town have completed the signing of striker Christian Jolley and defender Gregor Robertson on deals until the end of the season. Jolley, 26, started out at Kingstonian where he became an immediate hit... After impressing at Kingstonian, Jolley was signed by AFC Wimbledon in May 2010. He scored on his debut against Southport and was part of the squad which was promoted to the Football League.

In 2012, Jolley joined Conference side Newport County on loan... After his prolific form, consisting of 5 league goals in only four league games, Jolley was recalled by AFC Wimbledon. However, the frontman later returned to Newport County on a permanent deal for an undisclosed fee.

His prolific form in front of goal continued and his goals helped County get promoted to the Football League via the play-offs...

Meanwhile, former Scottish under-21 international defender Gregor Robertson has also joined the Mariners on a deal until the end of the season. Robertson, 31, started out with Hearts before moving... to spend three years with Nottingham Forest, making thirty-six League appearances. Spells with Rotherham, Chesterfield and Crewe Alexandra followed before he signed for Northampton Town just over a year ago.

He totalled more than 250 League games in total and played a dozen times for the Scottish under-21 side".

FC Halifax Town report that "Town's home game with Dartford in the FA Trophy Third Round will not go ahead tomorrow night due to the pitch. Therefore Town will revert to their original game away at AFC Telford United in the Vanarama Conference, 7.45pm kick-off."

Dartford add that "Due to a waterlogged pitch, the replay at FC Halifax Town in the FA Trophy has been postponed. It will now be played on Tuesday 3rd February, 7:45pm".


The BBC says that "Cambridge United will spend their FA Cup windfall sprucing up the toilets, says chairman Dave Doggett. The U's held Manchester United 0-0 at the Abbey Stadium on Friday to secure a lucrative replay at Old Trafford, which is expected to be worth more than £1m.

'Hopefully we can get the stadium done and start putting in some proper toilets', Doggett told the Sunday Mirror... The Cambridge board have been desperate to upgrade their 8,000-capacity stadium... but the ground is owned by a property developer, who wants to secure a deal to build houses on the other side of the city before improving the club's stadium...

The U's will now face the 11-time FA Cup winners at Old Trafford on Tuesday 3, February and have been given an initial allocation of 9,000 seats. Doggett told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, 'It's a shame it's a school night isn't it? I'm just hoping someone from the education department might be listening and may be a bit lenient and let them leave school early and get in late the next day. It's a once in a lifetime experience, it would be a great gesture'".


Our neighbours, Trafford FC "have placed central defender Nia Bayunu. on the transfer list at his own request, citing wanting a new challenge in his career. Nia, aged 24, joined the club at the start of the 2009/2010 season. He has since made 287 appearances, missing only a handful of matches in that time... The club is seeking a transfer fee for the player."
26 January 2015


Owing to unscheduled maintenance by this site's web hosting company, the mobile version (only) of this site cannot be updated tonight. It is hoped to update it tomorrow.


Right: Mike Ripley's image shows Steven Gillespie being tackled by David Pratt of Bath on Saturday. More of Mike's images are on his website.

Match report here.


Altrincham FC Youth drew on Sunday, 1-1, away to Curzon Ashton. It was their first match since 7 December.

Phil Taylor advises us that on Sunday, "Alty Ladies took on the previously unbeaten and top of the table Warrington Wolverines in the first round of the League Challenge Cup. Altriincham took an early lead through Aimee Gibson but Warrington equalised and that is how it stayed through to 90 minutes and also an additional 20 minutes of extra-time. The game was decided by the sixteenth penalty with Chloe Brereton securing the win 5-4. There will be a report when I have calmed down a bit!"

In their first game since 8 November, Altrincham FC Reserves won a league cup match 9-1 away at Moore United on Saturday. Kane Hughes grabbed a hat-trick and the others came from Ryan Goodwin (2), Matt Christie, Craig Goulden, Iwannis Stouppis and Connor Sutton.


Stockport County has a video interview with Alty loanee Greg Wilkinson - the sound is a bit iffy but the content is interesting.
25 January 2015


Altrincham saw plenty of the ball but rarely looked like scoring as they exited a cup for the third time this season to lower league opposition. Walsh headed in a 78th minute freekick as Bath deservedly won the tie after an evenly balanced first half. Match report here

Right: Tom Marshall sees off a challenge from Bath's David Pratt.

According to the Non-League Paper, "Altrincham manager Lee Sinnott felt his side did not deserve to lose... He said, 'I can't fault my players' effort and how they went about the game. Our fault was that we had a lot of the ball but we just didn't do enough with it when we got to the final third. That's what's cost us.

The Trophy was important to us. We were certainly not taking it lightly but Bath made us pay. Their goal was a great freekick and a great header'"


FA Trophy 3
  • Bath City 1-0 Altrincham
  • Braintree Town P=P Ebbsfleet United
  • Dartford 2-2 FC Halifax Town
  • Farnborough 0-2 North Ferriby United
  • FC United of Manchester 3-1 AFC Fylde
  • Hemel Hempstead Town 0-2 Torquay United
  • Woking 3-3 Dover Athletic
  • Wrexham 1-1 Gateshead

Vanarama Conference

  • Alfreton Town P-P Forest Green Rovers
  • Barnet 4-0 Southport
  • Chester FC 1-0 Kidderminster Harriers
  • Gateshead v Welling United POSTPONED - Gateshead in FA Trophy
  • Macclesfield Town 3-0 Lincoln City
  • Nuneaton Town 0-2 Grimsby Town


Alty midfielder Greg Wilkinson, on loan at Stockport, scored for County yesterday with a long range shot. Greg awaits suspension after his red card last week.


Former Alty loanee keeper Ben Williams was in goal for Bradford City in their historic FA Cup win at Chelsea yesterday.

On "Burns' Night" we learn that striker Aaron Burns has joined Chorley from Nantwich Town.

24 January 2015


You can follow the Bath City v Altrincham 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 advises that "Radio Robins, sponsored by Ashley Mowers Garden Machinery, will be broadcasting full live coverage of Saturday's game. The match commentary sponsors are Barry and Carol Pond. The commentators are Laurence Howarth & Brian Flynn with Ian Wilkinson as the match summariser.

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

Mike Garnett advises us that Alty and Bath City have never previously met in a cup competition. He provides our historical record against The Romans:

  • Home P.17 W.9 D.3 L.5 F.24 A.14
  • Away P.17 W.7 D.6 L.4 F.23 A.19
  • Overall P.34 W.16 D.9 L.9 F.47 A.33

The clubs first met on 13th October 1979 (APL) when the outcome was Alty 4 Bath City 0. Our most recent meeting was a 0-3 defeat at home to Bath on 22nd January 2011.


The Bath Chronicle reports that "Bath City players have their say on big FA Trophy showdown with Vanarama Conference Premier side Altrincham

Bath City's players believe they have every chance of beating higher-league Altrincham and reaching the FA Trophy quarter-finals for only the second time in their history, if they can channel the spirit of Bristol Rovers and Whitehawk.

City's victories and performances in the previous two rounds were arguably their best of the season and they will be looking to repeat that form when they host Conference Premier opposition on Saturday (3pm).

Andrew Kerslake of Bath City Internet Radio asked four players what they thought of the big match, only City's second in the third round in the past decade...

  • Sekani Simpson (defender) 'It's going to be a tough match, but whoever you draw at this stage its going to be tough. When we were in the Conference Premier I don't think I played in the game up there [which City won]. They are probably the slight favourites but we will go out there with every confidence that we can win'.
  • Chris Allen (midfielder) 'I think it's a good draw for us, although it doesn't really matter who you get at this stage. All you can hope for is a home draw and that's what we have got. Any game is winnable and at this level its probably just about who plays better on the day - hopefully that will be us.
  • Ashley Kington (midfielder) I was talking to Chas Hemmings and we agreed that any team at this stage was going to be tough game. But we can also give them a tough game, we have no need to be afraid. We need to get the fans behind us and hopefully get a good crowd in. I fancy us to win if we play as we did against Bristol Rovers'.
  • Dave Pratt (striker) 'I have never played against them before so I will be looking for video footage of them this season. Nowadays there is always material about teams that you can look at. I like to check out what a team's defence is like, who I am going to come up against, whether they are big or small and how they tend to play'".


Altrincham FC has been advised that the away game at Macclesfield on Tuesday, 10 February, is not all ticket. However, Macclesfield Town has sent tickets to Altrincham for pre-match sale. There are two advantages in purchasing in advance; the price is lower and pre-purchase facilitates entering the ground. On the night of the fixture you have to go to the ticket office to buy a ticket to present at the turnstile as no cash is taken at the turnstiles. Although there is a dedicated away supporters' ticket office, it can get busy at evening games as everyone tends to arrive in a narrow time band.

Advance prices are:-

  • Adults: Seated £16 Standing £12 (on the day £2 extra for both categories)
  • Concessionariess, Seniors (65+): Seated £12 Standing £9 (on the day £14 and £10 respectively)
  • Juniors, Under-18/Students: £4 (on the day £5)
  • Juniors, Under-12: £2 on the day £3)
  • Helpers/Carers: Free
Tickets can be bought from the new offices in the Community Sports Hall at the J Davidson Stadium, (entrance on corner of Golf Road/Moss Lane), between 9am and 5pm on weekdays. It is also hoped to have arrangements in place to purchase tickets next Saturday at the game against Aldershot Town.


Altrincham Football Club is pleased to announce that it has come to a reciprocal agreement with Aecom on Moss Lane, (the former Riley's Snooker Hall), over the use of car parking. Aecom will have use of the club's car park (which is not available for public use on matchdays) during the day on weekdays and Altrincham Football club will have use of Aecom's car park on Tuesday nights and Saturday afternoons when a game is being played at the J. Davidson Stadium.

Chairman Grahame Rowley adds, "We urge supporters to use the car park and thus alleviate the parking problems around the ground and surrounding roads. The Aecom car park will be open on Saturdays from 10.30am and will be locked at 7pm and on Tuesdays will be open until 11pm. The address and post code of Aecom is 179 Moss Lane Altrincham WA15 8FH and a map is here


NL Daily tells us that "Alfreton Town manager Nicky Law has strengthened his squad further with the addition of talented central defender Niall Heaton. The eighteen-year-old has transferred to the Reds from Bradford City and has penned an eighteen-month contract with Alfreton.

Leeds-born Heaton began his career with City's Academy/Centre of Excellence before moving to Liverpool, where he impressed in their under-18s side and gained England Schoolboy honours. He rejoined Bradford City two years later in May 2013 and signed a one-year professional contract with City in May 2014 and has had recent loan spells with both Ossett Town and Bradford Park Avenue.

Commenting on the latest signing, Legend Football Partners' Michael Hitchcock said, 'We are excited to make another important signing for the club. Niall Heaton will add depth to the spine of the team. Our collective goal in this transfer window was to add key players who would not only assist Alfreton Town in our battle to stay in the Vanarama Conference, but also to establish a foundation for the future of the club'.

Niall will wear squad number 26 and he becomes the fifth player to join the Reds in the January transfer window following on from goalkeeper Jason Mooney, on loan from York City; striker Joe Ironside who has transferred from Sheffield United and signed an 18-month contract; former Crewe Alexandra winger John Johnston who has also signed an 18-month contract and central defender Callum Howe, on loan from Scunthorpe United."

NL Pitchero adds that "Busy Nicky Law, manager of Alfreton Town, has bolstered his squad with a sixth January transfer window signing. Law has brought in Joe Leesley, 20, on contract to the end of the 2014/15 season after the player became available earlier in the week when he was released by Matlock Town. Leesley is a tall, bustling left-back who has had trials with Bradford City and played for Winterton Rangers in the Toolstation Northern Counties East League before joining the Gladiators where he was named young player of the season during the 2012/13 campaign.

'We have been trailing him for a while and are pleased he has joined us. He is certainly one for the future', said chairman Wayne Bradley."

23 January 2014


Manager Lee Sinnott has confirmed that Peter Cavanagh will not be fit for Saturday's FA Trophy tie at Bath but Shaun Densmore is expected to be available after suffering a dead leg when fouled during the Torquay game last Saturday. Sean Williams is suspended for Saturday's game following his dismissal last Saturday.


There is still time to book on the TASC supporters' coach to Bath City on Saturday but don't forget to ring the club on (0161) 928-1045 before 5pm on Friday evening to book your place. Timings and fares are on the Away Travel page.


Alty TV has Brian Flynn's post-match interview with assistant manager, Neil Tolson, in which he talks about the game against Torquay United.


The Bath Chronicle reports that "Dan Bowman says Bath City’s status as underdogs for Saturday’s home FA Trophy showdown with Altrincham (3pm) can help them reach the quarter-finals for the first time in 25 years.

The Cheshire side beat Torquay United 2-1 on Saturday to make it three Vanarama Conference wins on the trot and currently sit 14th in non-league football’s top-flight. However, City have already knocked out Bristol Rovers en route to the last 16 and produced perhaps their best performance, other than that one, when they won 3-1 at Wealdstone in round two. Bowman’s display in that game was described as 'fantastic' by coach Lee Howells and he followed it up with a man-of-the-match effort in Saturday’s 2-1 home success over Staines Town in the league.

'Playing against Altrincham is a good challenge', said the 21-year-old wing-back. 'We have already beaten a side from a higher league, at Rovers, although that was a bit different because that was a local derby but we have shown we can beat a side above us. For me personally I have always wanted to go up and I want to push myself as far as I can. It’s always good to come up against opposition that should be better than you, at least on paper.– I think that gives us an extra edge as we are definitely the underdogs. If we can reproduce the football we have been playing over the last couple of weeks then I think we can really produce an upset'.

Bowman had a hand in City’s second goal against Staines as a third win in four league outings lifted them to 11th in the Conference South table. 'It was part of the plan against Staines for me to press down the right and try and push them back a bit', he said. 'We thought that, given their results recently, it would be hard for them to come back at us. For the defence I was definitely the ‘out ball’ today. Overall, it was a really good start from the boys. We knew we had to go at them from the off, press them hard and win the ball back. It was nice to get the early goal but we could have had two or three. In the second half it was frustrating. We were going down the hill and always like attacking that end of the pitch'".


From NL Pitchero comes news that "Trafford`s latest signing is the vastly experienced 33-year-old defender Matty Doughty from Warrington Town. A former Altrincham favourite, the left-back first joined Alty from Halifax Town in mid-June 2008.... He made his Alty debut in August 2008 and he became one of the team's most consistent players, as well as its penalty taker, but he sadly suffered cruciate ligament damage against Salisbury City in February 2010. This injury effectively ended his initial spell at Moss Lane.

After leaving Altrincham, he joined Witton Albion before moving on to Hyde FC... Doughty gave up football after his release from Hyde and a short spell with Warrington but, after a year, he returned to Altrincham in 2012 and went on to make a further thirty-four appearances before leaving to re-join Warrington."


The Football Conference tells us that "Paul Carden, the newly-appointed manager of Southport, has brought the highly-experienced Alex Russell in as his assistant. The new management team will be on the bench at The Hive on Saturday when Southport take on league leaders Barnet.

Russell has an impressive playing career making 101 appearances for Rochdale, 153 at Cambridge and 56 at Bristol City, while also playing for Burscough at the start of his career in 1993, Cheltenham, Exeter City, Bath City, Northampton Town and Yeovil Town. After retiring from playing Alex has been assistant-manager at Tranmere Rovers and chief scout at Oldham Athletic.

His father was a Southport legend playing in both Southport's promotion squads under Billy Bingham and Jimmy Meadows scoring Southport's Fourth Division Championship clinching 90th minute equaliser against Hartlepool in April 1973. Carden said, 'It is great news for me, the squad and the club that Alex has agreed to join us at such short notice. Alex is like me a young coach with lots of energy and he has an excellent knowledge of north-west football. We both see huge potential at Southport Football Club and are excited about the job ahead'".

Following on yesterday's news, "Torquay United have confirmed they have appointed a team headed by former Oxford United chairman Kelvin Thomas to look at all aspects of the Vanarama Conference club. Thomas has been involved in various businesses in both the US and the UK and his background includes a very successful spell as chairman of Oxford United, where, under his stewardship, the club gained promotion back into the Football League from the Football Conference, plus he oversaw revenue growth from £1.9 million to £3.2m and increased average attendances from 4,300 to 7,200 upon his departure".

Elsewhere, "Vanarama Conference North leaders AFC Fylde's progress up the leagues is going a little faster than was originally planned. This, combined with the delay in building the new ground which the club now plan to have open by February 2016, has led to speculation in certain quarters that the current ground is not up to Conference standards. In simple terms this is true and, if the club did nothing, they could not go up. The Conference has very high standards and rightly so.

The Board of Directors understand this and, based on the current league position, have decided to invest the money necessary to meet the Conference grading requirements at the current ground. There are three main areas that the Coasters have to upgrade. Firstly, the floodlights LUX reading which must be a minimum 180. This was done some weeks ago and the information submitted to the league.

Secondly, they need to have 500 covered seats. At present they have 283 so the club have ordered a new 250-seated stand which will be installed in late March and situated at the south end of the ground behind the goal.

Finally the club have to have a ground capacity of 4,000 and this will require the installation of new safety barriers in and around the ground and, in particular, upgrading the perimeter fencing; again, this is all in hand. The total cost of all the new upgrade will be over £75,000 which sounds a lot of money for something the club won’t need in twelve months' time. However, you can’t halt progress and, if Dave Challinor and Colin Woodthorpe keep up the good work on the pitch, the club want to ensure is doesn’t fail off it".

According to NL Daily, "The Bucks were dumped out of the FA Trophy with a 4-0 thumping at the Conference North leaders' Kellamergh Park [Fylde]. The defeat, which was Kittrick's first in six games as Bucks' boss, came just three days after the Bucks had hammered Wrexham by the same scoreline.

And the Bucks boss was uncompromising in his assessment of his team's performance, saying, 'We were poor. I have told the players that and it's not acceptable. As good as we were against Wrexham on Saturday, we have been as poor as we've been all year here. People haven't wanted to put a foot in, they have not been working hard and I think, psychologically, some of them have turned up and thought, after Wrexham, we'll beat these easy. I knew it was going to be different to that game and I said it that to them. We needed to be mentally strong enough. But I was disappointed that I took two players out of the squad and we have not looked the same team as we did on Saturday. They got about us in the first 10 minutes and there was only (going to be) one winner for me'.

A Danny Rowe brace and further goals from [ex-Alty loanee] Liam Tomsett and Josh Wilson did the damage... Kittrick questioned the desire of some of his players and added, 'If people don't want to be here, just come and see me and I will release you. I want a team of lads who are going to work hard, even if it is not bouncing for them'.

He added that on-loan Notts County defender Kyle Dixon, who was cup-tied last night, had requested to be allowed back to his parent club so that he can go on loan at Boston. He said, 'He rang me on Sunday and, because he's not playing, he wants to go back to Boston, but he's signed with us and has got to stay with us'".

In the Western Gazette, "Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson has revealed he is pursuing 'a couple' of transfer targets that will command a small fee, including Forest Green Rovers' defender Chris Stokes. The former Bristol City and Bolton Wanderers youngster is training with the Glovers in a bid to convince Johnson that he would be able to cut it in Sky Bet League One".

In the Chester Chronicle, "Steve Burr has revealed Chester FC missed out on Gateshead's Danny Wright, who joined Kidderminster Harriers on Tuesday.... Burr said he had not been in a position to meet the 30-year-old's demands and admitted his surprise when Wright moved to Kidderminster, where manager Gary Whild had seen his budget reduced.

'I enquired about Danny myself so I know the type of figures they were looking at so I was quite surprised at that', said Burr. 'Gary keeps telling me he's got no money there but that was one we missed out on. We're still a club where the Michael Gashs and Danny Wrights are out of our reach at the minute but the lads we have got in come within our structure and with a hunger to do well. For us at the minute, it's still about bringing in young lads from Football League clubs if we can or bringing the ones like George Thomson and Kane Richards through from lower down and we'll work with them and try and improve them.

Hopefully, in seasons to come, we can get stronger where we can maybe go an afford the Michael Gashs and the Danny Wrights of this world'.

Having settled Danny Harrison's contract this week, Burr still has some funds available to strengthen but doesn't think there will be further additions in the immediate future. Instead, the manager plans on moving a couple of players out on short-term arrangements with 19-year-old forward Tom Peers heading to Marine and an unnamed club making an approach for left winger Peter Winn".

At Kingfield, Woking "can confirm that Charles Banya has joined on loan from Crawley Town until the end of the season, with Dean Morgan moving on loan in the opposite direction. Reece Beckles has also gone on loan to Farnborough for a month. Charles Banya will be familiar to Cards’ fans, having made 10 appearances on loan from Fulham last season".

22 January 2015


Joint Press and Media Officer, John Edwards, based this week’s Messenger and Advertiser articles on an interview he did with Lee Sinnott after Saturday’s 2-1 win over Torquay. Here are Lee’s thoughts in full.

‘I thought our best spell came after the opening few minutes of the second half, when we saw a response to what had been said in the changing room at half-time. The players got a bit of a rollicking, because I just thought we were a bit slow in mind and body in the first half. If we had moved the ball around as we can, we would have asked them a few questions, and that’s certainly what we did in the second half.

I go back to that saying about the lazy racehorse and how you sometimes need to get the whip out and give it a crack. That’s what we did, and I was delighted with the reaction. It is a quality result.

OK, they will point to a couple of opportunities they had and say they should have scored, and maybe so, but it was still a top-notch result for us and one we deserved.

I just thought, in the first half, we were a bit sluggish in mind, not moving the ball around, or moving ourselves around, as we can. I was bored with it, to be honest. I remember at one stage, just after our first goal, I shouted to Tom Marshall (right), and when he came over, I said: ‘Tell them I’m bored.’ I’m not going to sit there and think that if we carry on the same way we’ll be OK, just because we’ve scored. The fact is, we probably wouldn’t have been OK. That’s why they had a heads-up at half-time. We had to up our energy levels, and our awareness levels, and apart from the first five minutes in the second half, bang, we moved it up a notch or two and went at them.

Apart from those opening few minutes, and a spell near the end after they scored, we were the team in the ascendancy. It was a decision I had to take to deliver a few stern words, because otherwise you wonder whether we were doing enough to get through the game. I don’t think we were.

They had a couple of opportunities they might have done better with, but we manufactured ourselves a 2-0 lead with two very well-taken goals, both of them really well converted. It was a great header from Reevesie for the first, and I thought he was excellent for the second. It was a good, clean first touch, and he had only one thing in his mind after his turn opened up a shooting opportunity. Good for Ryan Crowther, too, that he was alert to the possibilities after the keeper parried it, and, of course, he had a hand in the opener as well.

At 2-0 up, a third goal can make it deckchairs and sombreros time, but equally there’s the risk of being pegged back to 2-1 and having to see the game out. That’s what happened, and I wasn’t at all happy with the way we allowed Louis Briscoe to pull one back for them. We let him step into a pocket and pull the trigger, and with the quality he’s got, it’s in the back of the net before you know it.

In my view, we switched off a bit. We had a lot of bodies around him but put no pressure on the ball, and he was always likely to make us pay. That seemed to shake us a bit, because there were too many instances after that of allowing people to pick the ball up in the final third and drive at us.

Saying that, I was delighted with the way we held out. You’ve got to have the capability to do that, and we showed at Eastleigh and Kidderminster that we have that about us. Maybe that stood us in good stead, because, once more, we saw the game out really well. I’m always going on about putting bricks on the wall, and that’s another one in place.

Of course, Sean Williams’s second yellow for a supposed dive was a talking point, but there’s not much I can say. From my vantage point, it was right over the other side of the pitch, but Sean (left) says he did not dive, so we will leave it at that. It’s just disappointing that we will lose him for the FA Trophy tie at Bath City on Saturday, but I would expect Peter Cavanagh to be for after a bit of stiffness in his Achilles. The other debate was over whether Nicky Clee might have had a penalty in the second half, when he weaved into the area. If he had gone down, it surely would have been a pen. In fact, to be honest, I don’t know how he stayed on his feet! He was certainly given enough of a clip to have gone to ground without anyone thinking anything untoward of it. There was a theory he was mindful of already being on a yellow and how the ref might have interpreted it, if he had tumbled. That may well have been the case, especially the way bookings for simulation are so readily dished out these days.

Overall, though, I have to say I’m delighted with the result and the way the players went about it in the second half, but no-one is getting carried away. I know the gap between us and the play-offs is getting a mention, but I’ll reiterate once more that we’ll just keep rolling the dice and seeing where it takes us. I make no apologies whatsoever for saying we will simply move on to the next game and do our best to try and win it. That is the best way to approach it. People may say we are only so many points from one end of the table or that many clear of the other, but I’m not going down that road. Who knows how many points we can put on the board? It would be madness to do anything other than focus all our attention and energy on the next game.

What I would say, though, is this group of players can get better. The second half against Torquay was the best spell of football we have produced for a good few weeks. Whereas it took resilience at Eastleigh and Kidderminster, two strong teams who forced us to dig in for the result, we had more of the ball against Torquay and did better with it. That’s why I believe there is more to come from these players. We are what we are, and it doesn’t matter who we are up against – Barnet or Bristol Rovers at the top or Telford down near the bottom – we will stick to our way of playing. You won’t find us lumping it, because we can’t play that way. We’ll keep passing, keep moving.

Bristol Rovers is coming up on the horizon, and we will go down there with the intention of playing our football. Not only that, we will strive to do it better, because I know we can improve even more. We have shown we can dig in as well, but it’s about having the courage to play your football, regardless of the surroundings or occasion. There may be 6,000 at Bristol, but we can’t be put off our stride and resort to an ale house approach. To grow as a club, we must have the mentality that wherever we go and whatever the challenge, we play our way. We play to our strengths. This is what we are, and this is what we do.

So far, I think the players have earned their 42 points. You look back at the first few games and think, if we carried on like that, we’d be heading for serious problems. But full credit to them for what has happened since. We have played everyone in the league now, and every game has brought its own challenge. I’m not saying we have cracked it yet, but we have become accustomed to what it’s all about and what is required.

Shaun Densmore (left) had to go off with a dead leg but should be all right for Bath. He has shown repeatedly this season what a useful outlet he is for us, with his attacking forays down the right, just as Adam Griffin has down the left. I’ve started calling them Ant and Dec, because they are in the same car school and always seem to be together. They are a great outlet for us, though. They’ve both got the appetite to get forward and deliver dangerous balls into the area. That really adds to our attacking options. Nicky Clee was hobbling a bit after a kick on the Achilles, but he always hobbles! He’s a 50-year old occupying a 29-year old body! He looked to have run it off by the end, to be fair, so I think he should be fine".


The Football Conference reports that "The January winner of Vanarama 'Pic of the Month' is Mike Ripley of Altrincham FC".


From NL Pitchero we learn that "Jeff King has left Kendal Town to join Trafford FC. King joined the Mintcakes from Trafford`s league rivals Nantwich Town in October, having signed for the Dabbers two months earlier from Altrincham. King, who lives in Liverpool, was finding the travelling to Cumbria too much on his own."


Chester FC "are delighted to announce that George Thomson is set to join the club from from King's Lynn Town.

A deal has been agreed between the two clubs and Blues' fans will be familiar with Thomson from pre-season, when the bearded midfielder featured for the club...

Steve Burr was pleased... 'We wanted to sign George earlier, but we weren't able to do so after his spell in pre-season with us, however I have followed his progress since he returned to Kings Lynn, and he's done very well for them, scoring plenty of goals. He's the type of player that will fit in well at the club and I'm sure the fans will be pleased with the news'.

After starting his career with three years at Nottingham Forest, Thomson moved to Spain and joined the Glenn Hoddle academy before playing for Jerez Industrial, Hinckley United and then Histon prior to his move to the Walks.

Thomson has been in fine goal scoring form this season, scoring 22 times in the league, including hat tricks against Ilkeston and Fylde, as well as converting a number of penalties. The midfielder is expected to complete paperwork in the next 24 hours.

In other news, Danny Harrison has left the club with immediate effect after the midfielder agreed to cancel his contract".

We learn from Dartford that "After a visit to his consultant, Tom Bradbrook has to unfortunately undergo surgery for his groin injury. Once Tom has had the operation, we will know more regarding the length of time he will be unavailable.

Obviously this is a major blow to the squad, however on a more positive note, Andy Pugh’s received the great news that he’s been given the all clear to resume full training with the team".

Meanwhile, "Forward Lewis Guy has left Gateshead after his contract was cancelled by mutual consent. The 29-year-old made 15 appearances during his six-month stint at the International Stadium, scoring three goals.

The Penrith-born frontman, who began his career at Newcastle United, joined the Heed in July, after leaving Carlisle United".

According to Get Hampshire, "Shots' chairman Shahid Azeem said the appointment of a new manager will not be a 'knee-jerk reaction'

The Shots' chairman claimed Andy Scott will be always be remembered for stabilising the club but insisted 'We had to make a change'.

Aldershot Town FC chairman Azeem told Get Hampshire, 'It was a difficult decision to make because we are not a club that wants to sack managers for the sake of it. We want to give as much time and patience as we can, especially in Andy's case as he stuck by us during our period administration, working unpaid for four months, and pieced together a squad from nothing at the start of the season.

He stabilised us and stopped the rot and he will always be remembered for that. However, using the old cliche, it is a results-driven business and results have not gone our way these last few weeks and the board felt we had to make a change'.

Mr Azeem continued, 'Andy [Scott] and Terry Bullivant come as a pair but in Chris [Barker] and Matt Gray we have two men who can give us that continuity with the team. Chris Barker has been there, done that, got the T-shirt. He is well respected and valued by the team, the board and the supporters, he is club captain and if there's anyone you want in the interim then he's your man. It was a no-brainer.

He's helping us out but we are in no hurry to make a decision on the new man quickly. It has to be the right one, it will not be a knee-jerk reaction. We are extremely grateful to Andy, he is very hard working, very ethical and a very good football manager. He's been loyal through difficult times, stopped the rot and given this club a lot a happy memories. I just hope he stays in football and gets another chance to show his true worth'".

We learn from the Western Morning News that "Former Oxford United chairman Kelvin Thomas has emerged as a key figure in talks which may lead to a sale of Torquay United.

Thomas, who left the 'U's in 2012 after four years at the helm, is advising a group which is currently negotiating with United’s chairwoman and major shareholder Thea Bristow.

Mrs Bristow, Thomas and Tristan Lewis, currently assistant manager of struggling Conference South club Hayes & Yeading United, met the club’s playing and backroom staff, including manager Chris Hargreaves, yesterday.

That meeting was designed to calm growing anxieties around the Plainmoor club, but it confirmed earlier reports that Mrs. Bristow is seeking new investment – or even a sale.

Following that meeting, United issued a statement which revealed that Thomas has been enlisted 'to look at all aspects of the club'.

The statement added, 'Kelvin’s role will primarily be to work closely with chairman Thea Bristow, the board of directors and the club’s existing staff to offer direction and guidance to help drive the club forward'.

Mrs. Bristow added, 'It is well known that I have been subsidising the club for three years and I would like to make some changes, so that the club can grow in a more sustainable manner.

“It is also well known that I have no experience at running a football club and making these type of changes, so I have made the decision to seek external help in this area. Kelvin has been highly recommended in this role, and I am looking forward to working with him over the next few weeks.

There has also been speculation in regards to additional investment or a purchase of the club. I can confirm that I have had talks with various parties about additional investment, but obviously nothing has been completed, and these talks will be ongoing. My love for the football club hasn’t changed, and my role now is to ensure, if there is additional investment and new parties introduced, that it has to be beneficial for the football clb. The football club’s future comes first'...

Thomas commented, 'Having met Thea and been approached to help, it was quite an easy decision. She has immense love for this club, but has found herself in a position where she feels quite lonely in her role. Hopefully, during this initial three-week period, I will be able to use some of my experience and expertise to help her and the club'.

Thomas, who knows Gulls team boss Hargreaves from their time together at the Kassam Stadium, has spent much of the last four years in the United States, where he has business interests. It seems that he is advising a group, fronted by Lewis, which is interested in buying United.

West London-based Lewis, who is also the UK director of several youth football coaching franchises, was a guest of Mrs. Bristow’s at Torquay’s 2-1 Conference Premier defeat at Altrincham last Saturday. The ‘three-week period’ referred to by Thomas is thought to be part of a ‘due diligence’ process.

But it may also give any other possible suitors the time and chance to get solid bids together".


  • Gateshead 3-2 Grimsby T. after extra time.

21 January 2015


Aldershot Town announced this morning that, "Following the Club’s recent run of results, Aldershot Town have relieved manager Andy Scott and assistant Terry Bullivant of first-team duties for the remainder of their contracts. The Club recognise, and are grateful for, Andy’s contribution to Aldershot Town FC through a very difficult period of relegation and administration, but have now taken this tough decision to safeguard the team’s immediate prospects in the Vanarama Conference.

Until a permanent new manager can be appointed, Club Captain Chris Barker will take charge of the first-team, assisted by coach Matt Gray. The Club hope that supporters will give their full backing to Chris, and will be unified behind a new manager in building a successful future for Aldershot Town". Despite beating Alty 3-1 on the opening day of the season, Aldershot are now nine points behind us, after winning just one of their last 12 games in all competitions.

The Shots have no match before they travel to the J. Davidson Stadium, a week on Saturday (31st, 3pm). They were due to meet Dover Athletic this Saturday but the Kent side, like us, are in FA Trophy action that day.


Quays News has a report and a post-match interview with Lee Sinnott from Saturday's victory over Torquay United.


Now that the Community Sports Hall is operational at the J. Davidson Stadium, the administrative offices of Altrincham FC have moved into the new premises from their previous location adjacent to the Manchester Glass Ltd Sponsors' Lounge. So, if you need to visit the club, the new entrance is on the corner of Moss Lane and Golf Road. The former entrance gate, further up Moss Lane, will now be closed. The offices are normally open on weekdays from 9.30am to 5pm though this may vary on match days, so check before travelling (0161 928-1045).

And the Community Sports Hall has also launched a remodelled website, which is well worth a look.


The first Sportsman's Dinner to be held in the new Community Sports Hall at Altrincham Football Club is on Friday 27th February 2015, starting at 7.30pm, when Danny Higginbotham [right] will be our guest speaker. There will be a three-course meal, a raffle and an auction. Ticket prices are £25 per head with a 10% discount for a table of 8.

All proceeds from the dinner will go to the Community Sports Company (Registered Charity no. 1154394). Book your tickets by ringing the club (0161 928-1045) or by e-mailing the club.


Vanarama Conference:
  • Aldershot Town 0-1 Kidderminster Harriers
  • Chester FC v Lincoln City POSTPONED - FROZEN PITCH
  • Dover Athletic 2-0 Wrexham
  • Macclesfield Town v AFC Telford Utd -POSTPONED AS TELFORD IN FA TROPHY
  • Southport v Braintree Town POSTPONED - FROZEN PITCH

Also postponed on Tuesday night was our FA Trophy opponents Bath City's game at Whitehawk in Conference South.

Cheshire Senior Cup 1st Round

  • Alsager Town v Stockport County POSTPONED - FROZEN PITCH
  • Cammell Laird 1907 v Winsford United POSTPONED - FROZEN PITCH
  • Crewe Alexandra v 1874 Northwich POSTPONED - FROZEN PITCH
  • Northwich Flixton Villa v Congleton Town POSTPONED - FROZEN PITCH

FA Trophy

  • AFC Fylde 4-0 AFC Telford United


Southport report that manager "Gary Brabin has joined Everton to be part of the coaching set up at Goodison up to Under 21 level. Southport Football Club would not stand in the way of Gary Brabin when he informed Chairman Charlie Clapham on Monday afternoon he had been head-hunted to be part of Everton's coaching regime.

Paul Carden takes immediate charge at the Merseyrail Community Stadium with an assistant to be announced shortly.

Chairman Charlie Clapham said, 'We gave Gary a manager's post after a couple of years out of the game. It is a complement to both Gary and Southport FC that Everton want our manager for such a prestigious role. It's Gary's lifelong ambition to be part of Everton Football Club and, sometimes in life, things happen when you are not expecting them to. I would not want to stop Gary achieving his ambition and genuinely wish him all the best. Gary made an immediate impact here and I want to thank him for that and our FA Cup run culminating at Derby County. Paul Carden now has the task of building on Gary's foundations over the last four months and getting us to a safe position as quickly as possible'".

According to NL Pitchero, "Kidderminster Harriers have completed the signing of Danny Wright from rivals Gateshead. Wright has signed a contract until the end of the season and will be available for Monday's game at Aldershot Town.

The 30-year-old joined Forest Green Rovers in 2013 and made forty appearances, scoring 8 goals, but had not featured for the club this season before signing for Gateshead at the end of August 2014. The striker can count Wrexham, Cambridge United and Histon amongst his former clubs, and has scored over 80 goals in almost 300 appearances throughout his career.

'I’m delighted to join Kidderminster', Wright said. 'In the end, things didn’t quite work out how I thought they would at Gateshead, and Kiddy are closer to home to my family near Gloucester. I’m hoping to settle down somewhere and get my career back on track. It’s a good move for everyone involved, so hopefully I can hit the ground running and help kick Kidderminster on towards the play-offs. I’ve scored 10 goals already for Gateshead this season in a relatively short period of time so I’m looking to do the same for Kiddy.

I’ve been in and around the play-offs with Wrexham, which is where I know Mark Creighton from, and I got there with Histon when we finished third in the Conference in 2009. I’ve had plenty of experience in this league and hopefully I can use that to bring to the squad and give us a boost... It’s just nice to get back down south, get amongst the lads and get playing again. I’ll be working hard, which is a big part of my game. I put in a lot of hard work as a big target man'".

At Welling United report that "The Wings trip to the International Stadium at Gateshead on Saturday in the Vanarama Conference is still in the balance. With Gateshead due to play at home versus Grimbsy Town in an FA Trophy replay on Wednesday and the weather being among the obstacles for the Wings to form their travel plans.

If Gateshead’s FA Trophy match is postponed on Wednesday, the Wings' match on Saturday at Gateshead will be postponed and need to be rescheduled as Gateshead will attempt to play their FA Trophy replay on Saturday. If Gateshead play on Wednesday night and progress in the FA Trophy then the Wings game on Saturday at the International Stadium will be postponed on Saturday as well, as the Heed will be playing in the FA Trophy on that day.

If Wednesday’s game goes ahead and Gateshead are knocked out of the FA Trophy then the Wings game on Saturday at Gateshead will go ahead weather permitting."

From the BBC, we learn that "Bristol Rovers has [sic] confirmed it will be taking supermarket giant Sainsbury's to the High Court in a bid to force through the sale of its ground. The club wants to move from the Memorial Stadium to a new purpose-built arena and had agreed to sell the ground to the supermarket. But Sainsbury's has threatened to pull out of the deal.

The supermarket said the action was a 'just a continuation' of current proceedings between the two. Bristol Rovers new stadium would be located alongside the University of the West of England in Stoke Gifford and would be financed partly by the sale of the Memorial Stadium.

In a statement the club said, 'Most of you will have read an article in today's edition of The Post detailing our intention to take Sainsbury's to the High Court regarding their contract to purchase the Memorial Stadium site. It is with regret that we have felt it necessary to revert to High Court action to complete our contract with Sainsbury's but it was felt that this course of action was necessary to allow us to invest in our new stadium at UWE'.

The case is due to be heard in the High Court on 23 February."

NL Pitchero reports that "Aldershot Town have signed midfielder Jim Stevenson on loan from Luton Town until February 21st. The 22-year-old has already made a dozen appearances for the Hatters this season, following six games last season as Luton won the Conference title.

Stevenson also played twenty-three games for Dartford in another loan spell, from December 2013 to April 2014... The dynamic, box-to-box midfielder joined Luton in May 2013 on a two-year deal from then Conference North outfit Histon, for whom he made 113 appearances in three seasons, scoring 16 goals."

Elsewhere, "Woking have confirmed that Jack Marriott has been recalled by his parent club, Ipswich Town, ahead of his proposed loan to Colchester United. Marriott played twenty-five times in all for the Cards this season in two separate spells and scored 5 times [including one in two appearances against Altrincham]. It was the 20-year-old's third temporary spell at Kingfield".

20 January 2015


Trafford MBC reports that "Trafford Council congratulates Altrincham Football Club on the completion of its new Community Sports Hall and is asking local people to help it thrive.

The new facility, which opened to the public in December 2014, houses a fantastic new space for community use and has been made possible through grants, donations and fundraising. Trafford Council has supported the club by agreeing a new lease to accommodate the Community Sports Hall and a Community Use Agreement for public use of the new facility, which will offer a range of activities for all ages including fitness classes, Tumbletots, after-school clubs and Scouts.

There is an opportunity to hire the hall for a range of classes and functions.

Sean Anstee, Leader of Trafford Council and Chair of the Altrincham Forward Board, Altrincham’s public and private sector partnership in the town, said, 'I am extremely pleased to see how the Sports Hall has come together and both the Council and Altrincham Forward will support the club in promoting it as one of the fantastic venues and assets in the borough.

'I can also see how this new facility will firmly bring the community and the club closer together. The team have already achieved a lot by being promoted this season and I look forward to seeing them and this business and community opportunity thrive. On behalf of Trafford Council and Altrincham Forward, I wish them every success in this venture'".


According to the Sale & Altrincham Messenger "Former Manchester United chief executive, David Gill, was instrumental in securing a visit from Sir Alex Ferguson to open Altrincham FC’s new community sports hall, it has been revealed.

The Manchester United legend will visit Moss Lane on February 9 to cut the red ribbon on the £750,000 community hall facility.

Altrincham FC chairman, Graham Rowley said, 'A lot has been said about who should conduct the opening ceremony, but you cannot get a bigger name anywhere in football than Sir Alex Ferguson. We could not have wished for anyone better. It was with the help of former United chief executive, David Gill, that we managed to secure the services of Sir Alex. David was a regular visitor when United's reserves used to play at our ground and he has occasionally come along to watch us, when his busy schedule has permitted. We are grateful to him, as well'.

Completed in November 2014, Altrincham FC’s new community sports hall has been open for business since December. Around £550,000 for the new facility was secured through grants, but the rest has been raised by the community with a wide range of fundraising activities. Although construction is now complete, a further £63,000 still needs to be raised to cover the cost. With the arrival of Manchester United’s former manager on the horizon, it has already got local people talking about the sports hall and gaining more interest.

The hall is currently running yoga, Slimming World, Scouts, Beavers, Cubs, karate, boxing, senior aerobics, socials, after school clubs and mini kickers.

It is also the venue for Altrincham FC’s match day food and drink, as well as being available for private hire. For more information, visit the website, email:, or phone 0161 928 1045".


There are a number of similarities between Altrincham and Bath City, both of whom were founder-members of the Football Alliance, the precursor to the Football Conference in 1979. Both clubs started this season poorly before climbing towards mid-table. Both have lost matches to lowly teams yet The Romans have done the double over league leaders Boreham Wood. Similarly, Altrincham have a much better record against the top six than the bottom six in their division.

Bath knocked out Bristol Rovers 2-0, away, in the FA Trophy but crashed 7-1 at East Thurrock United in the FA Cup. Likewise, Alty have beaten Macclesfield and Kidderminster in the FA Trophy but crashed out of the FA Cup at Blyth Spartans.


James McCarthy has moved from Kidsgrove Athletic to Trafford, where he rejoins manager Graham Heathcote, who has signed him three times.


Make your own mind up about the controversial Sean Williams sending off on Saturday by viewing the excellent Alty TV highights (right), which also show the excellent finishes from Damian Reeves and Ryan Crowther. Few would agree with the referee's decision about Sean and it clearly took reminders from the Torquay players before he realised that, barely ten minutes earlier, he had booked the Alty midfielder, so had to send him off. For some reason, appeals are not permitted against second yellow cards so Sean now has to sit out Saturday's game at Bath.


After Saturday's match Torquay United says that "There was no hiding the intense disappointment for Torquay United boss Chris Hargreaves after his team slipped to a frustrating 2-1 defeat at Altrincham on Saturday. The Gulls spurned a big chance early in the game when Duane Ofori-Acheampong fired over and the hosts came back with the opening goal from a crafty looping header by the dangerous Damian Reeves.

The same player was involved in Altrincham’s second, forcing a good save from Jordan Seabright and the rebound was easy for Ryan Crowther. Substitute Louis Briscoe pulled one back for United...

'We created the chances to win the game but we weren’t ruthless enough in front of goal', said Chris. 'Some of the chances fell to the wrong people at times and they had a striker [Reeves] who was cleverer than us on the day. Duane had one of those chances where you expect the net to ripple but he didn’t manage to get over it, and it could have been a goal to help us calm down a bit. The first goal was a disappointing one to concede. Krystian Pearce has lost his man and Jordan Seabright got caught on his heels. It was a mistake and their first shot on target. Jordan had a bit of bad luck on the second goal and they reacted first.

Louis has that sort of goal in his locker and he’s a good player. He’s been suffering after basically having a year out of football. We worked him hard in pre-season and we’ve used him sparingly, but it was still a very disappointing result'".

More comes from the Western Morning News, which states that "Torquay take step backwards as their struggles in Conference combat continue...

Not only did the result drop the Gulls into the bottom half of the Conference Premier table for the first time, but Chris Hargreaves and his squad, without a win in six league games, face renewed problems as they prepare to travel to Hemel Hempstead Town for a place in the quarter-finals of the FA Trophy next weekend. A tenth booking of the season for skipper Luke Young will earn United’s talismanic midfielder a two-match ban...

Hargreaves is also anxiously awaiting fitness reports on his leading scorer Ryan Bowman and promising young centre-back Angus MacDonald. Twelve-goal Bowman missed the Altrincham defeat with a chest complaint and MacDonald, who was out with a knee injury, may need surgery after a scan on a possible ligament problem.

United were undone at Altrincham by the home side’s prolific striker Damian Reeves, who has averaged 25 goals a season since he joined from local rivals Northwich Victoria in 2010. Just to show that he cannot only do it in the Conference North, he took his tally to 17 in all competitions this season with the opener on Saturday...

Without Bowman, United were lightweight up front... 'We had a shout for handball in the box at the end, but their player pretended that the ball hit his face, and the referee bought it' said Hargreaves... He is still waiting for a go-ahead to sign French defender Olivier Gueguen on non-contract terms. Gueguen, 24, who has trained with Torquay for the past fortnight, travelled with the squad to Altrincham, but is held up by an international clearance delay anyway".


Saturday's TASC bucket collection at the J. Davidson Stadium raised £50.77. Donors and collectors are thanked by the club.


Southport report that "Joining goalkeeper Callum Burton on loan from Shrewsbury is winger James Caton. Gary Brabin concluded the loan on Monday morning, adding the ex -Bolton and Blackpool player to Tuesday night's squad versus Braintree".

Another player leaving the Shrosphire club on loan is the subject of a piece from the Worcester News which says that "Shrewsbury Town midfielder Aaron Wildig has joined Kidderminster Harriers on a month’s loan. The 22-year-old will remain at Aggborough until February 21".

On Monday, Gateshead reported that "Tonight's FA Trophy Second Round replay between Gateshead and Grimsby Town has been POSTPONED after the pitch at the International Stadium failed a second inspection this afternoon... The pitch passed a first inspection at 11.45am, conducted by Football League referee Geoff Eltringham. However, after incessant rainfall this afternoon, a second inspection was arranged, with the game called off because of a waterlogged pitch shortly after 2.30pm. The tie is now scheduled to take place on Wednesday night, with kick-off at 7.45pm."

Dartford "would like to advise that Adam Green, after mutual consent, has had his contract terminated".

The Shropshire Star tells us that "AFC Telford boss Steve Kittrick says he is closing in on the final pieces of his January transfer project. The Bucks chief, whose team are bottom of the Conference Premier, has already brought in four new signings since taking over the managerial reins in late December.

And, if he can land two further targets, that would probably conclude his player hunt during this transfer window. He said, 'We are down the line with a couple of players. If we get the couple of players that I want, I think that will be it. I’m looking at utility players. I like players that can play in two positions'.

Kittrick has signed midfielder Jack Rea from Bradford Park Avenue and ex-Chester full-back John Disney. He has also secured loan deals for full-backs Kyle Dixon and Ben McLaughlin from Notts County and Everton respectively, and versatility has been a constant theme.

He said, 'Kyle Dixon can play in midfield or at right-back, Ben McLaughlin can play either side of defence, and Jack Rea anywhere in midfield'. Rea can also turn out at right-back, while Disney can operate at either left-back or right-back. Defence has been Kittrick’s main priority in the market as he aims to plug the division’s worst rearguard. He is confident that if his team can keep clean sheets, as they did in Saturday’s 4-0 win at Wrexham, they have enough firepower at the other end.

He was delighted with forwards Tony Gray and Sam Smith at the Racecourse Ground on Saturday and he revealed that he has set both players a goal target. Gray’s brace against Wrexham took him to 12 for the season while Smith’s second-minute opener was his sixth. Kittrick said, 'I have told Smithy him how many goals I want and he is one nearer and Tony is two nearer to what I have asked of him, so that is fantastic for us'."

19 January 2015


After Saturday's 2-1 win over Torquay United, manager Lee Sinnott told Dave Stringer of the NL Paper, "That was probably they best we have played for a few weeks. We moved the ball about well and had a really good spell for five minutes after I had words at half-time. Their goal rocked us but we held on for a good win".

Right: Gavin Rathbone captures Ryan Crowther as he celebrates his goal against Torquay. More of Gavin's images are on his GR Photography website.

On the Torquay Fans website, we read of Saturday's game "Make no mistake about it, we deserved to lose today. We weren’t bullied by a stereotypical run-of-the-mill non-league side full of big and ugly bruisers. In fact, they [Altrincham] had quite a few small players. We were simply outplayed by a part-time team who played some neat football on the deck and showed more heart and desire...

We were lucky to go into the break only one down but it was only a matter of time before they would score a second after we swapped ends. Seabright parried a shot and their player was quickest to react to slot in the rebound. At that point I was resigned to defeat – until Briscoe scored a peach out of nothing, firing into the far corner from the edge of the box. Their goalkeeper didn’t move. After that I thought we’d throw the kitchen sink at them but it wasn’t until they had a player sent off – his second yellow for a dive which was a good call by by referee – that we threatened to snatch an equaliser".


Alty travel to Bath City next Saturday. Last Saturday Bath beat bottom club Staines Town 2-1 in the Conference South and M. Tanner Sports has a report by Kevin Porter and video of the game. It includes, "Bath City recorded their third consecutive home victory in Vanarama Conference South... The Romans were indebted to Dave Pratt for two goals before the break which were just reward for a dominant first half performance, but they almost paid the price for not taking full advantage of their supremacy,,,

City were in almost total control, and the only effort that the visitors could muster was a long range shot... It was, therefore, hugely against the run of play, and somewhat out of the blue, when Staines equalised on 40 minutes. A corner from the left was flicked on at the near post, and skipper Max Worsford hooked the ball high into the net from close range.

To their credit Bath responded within a minute, following Bowman’s cross into the box. Watkins squared to Pratt in front of goal and, despite Turner catching the latter’s point blank shot, the linesman indicated that the ball had already crossed the line.

The only remaining incident of the half was a lengthy injury to Ball who was pole-axed by his own keeper’s punch following a Town corner. The defender eventually rose back to his feet, but was substituted ahead of the resumption by Pat Keary.

The second period was completely different in character, as the home side struggled to regain their momentum, and The Swans pushed more men forward...

City were worthy of their victory by virtue of their first half performance but, in truth, the three points should have been secure well before the interval, and their inability to convert their dominance into goals could have proved costly..

BATH CITY - Jason Mellor, Dan Bowman, Dan Ball (Pat Keary 45), Phil Walsh, Andy Gallinagh, Ben Adelsbury, Chas Hemmings, Ashley Kington (Naby Diallo 70), Frankie Artus, Dave Pratt, Andy Watkins (Ross Stearn 74). Subs not used, Nick McCootie, Chris Allen".


Given the recent tales of Kidderminster's financial problems, it comes as a surprise to read in Stroud Life that "The career of Lee Hughes at Forest Green appears to be over, with Kidderminster Harriers keen on re-signing the veteran striker on loan. Hughes did not travel with the Rovers squad to Braintree Town on Saturday and has been suffering from a chest infection, but it has since transpired that the 38-year-old watched Kidderminster's 2-0 defeat to Macclesfield Town at Aggborough.

Harriers' boss Gary Whild said, 'No disrespect to Forest Green because I don't like to talk about somebody else's player but Lee is a local lad and started his career at Harriers and he'd be keen to come back and that would be a godsend'.

Rovers' manager Ady Pennock suggested, after his side's 2-1 win at Braintree, that the future of Hughes, who moved to the New Lawn from Port Vale a year ago, would become clearer in the coming days. Pennock said, 'Lee has been poorly but there may be a little bit more information about him next week'. ..

Hughes was sentenced to six years in jail in 2004 after fleeing the scene of a fatal road accident, eventually resuming his football career in with Oldham Athletic in 2007 and moving on to Blackpool, Notts County and Port Vale. He then became one of the most high-profile signings in Forest Green's history, and he scored eight goals in 21 appearances last season, although his wage demands could yet be too high for Kidderminster...

Pennock said, 'Over the last month or two Jon (Parkin) has been absolutely outstanding. He's getting his rewards for working hard on the training ground and, more importantly, in matches'”.

The Torquay Herald Express reports that "Talks between Torquay United chairwoman Thea Bristow and at least one set of investors appear to be gathering pace. Mrs Bristow, the Gulls' major shareholder and benefactor, has made no secret of her efforts to attract new money to her depleted board. There has been no announcement that the Plainmoor club is for sale, a move which might broaden the field of potential suitors.

But a representative of at least one interested party is believed to have been at United's 2-1 defeat at Altrincham on Saturday when the Gulls, relegated from the Football League last April, slipped into the bottom half of the Conference Premier table for the first time this season. If Mrs Bristow is prepared to sell the club, it would be a move which may well alert other possible buyers. The current regime has been in place since May 2007, when they bought United following the club's first relegation to the Conference.

The 2006-07 season had seen a group headed by Chris Roberts try and ultimately fail to purchase the club from former owner-chairman Mike Bateson. The major backers of the 2007 takeover were the late Paul Bristow, who died in 2010, and Mrs Bristow, who had won £15 million on the National Lottery. Mrs Bristow has carried on her husband's work, helping to fund the building of the Bristow's Bench grandstand and supporting the club financially in recent years. Her son Alan also joined the board 18 months ago.

Although four directors, ex-chairman Alex Rowe, brothers Mark and Cris Boyce and Ian Hayman, have stepped down in recent months, the current board is still nine-strong. Mrs Bristow is supported by joint vice-chairmen Simon Baker and Bill Phillips, Tony Carter, Eric Coote, James O'Dwyer, Brian Palk, Alan Bristow and James Perry."

According to the Bristol Post, "Director Brian Seymour-Smith has dismissed claims that Bristol Rovers declined the opportunity to make their match at Woking all-ticket after up to 200 away supporters were turned away from the Kingfield Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

A Woking spokesperson last night said that the club had no choice but to bring the shutters down after all away areas of the ground sold out on a pay on the day basis and added that Rovers had turned down the opportunity to make the game all-ticket, which would have served to prevent the fiasco. Almost 1900 of the 3853 crowd were travelling supporters and although the ground was not completely full, segregation meant that Woking were unwilling to allow away fans into areas designated for home supporters.

Mr Seymour-Smith, who wasn’t at the game, explained that chairman Nick Higgs had been in touch with Woking in a bid to get the locked out supporters into the ground soon after being notified of the situation at 3.20pm... Mr Seymour-Smith wrote...'The staging of a home game is the responsibility of the home club and their decision is final. However, in my own personal view, and again I was not there, is that it is safer to have people in a stadium rather than outside on the street, providing there are sufficient facilities to accommodate them. I am disappointed this did not happen'.

Mr Seymour-Smith continued, 'Nick makes it absolutely clear that Woking were advised by BRFC that we were expecting in excess of 1,500 supporters to attend the game. It was Woking's decision therefore not to make the game all ticket and to charge on the gate. Clearly, they felt they had sufficient room in a stadium, catering for over 6,000 to do this. They no doubt appreciated that the Rovers' allocation would have been greatly restricted, possibly to 600 on an all ticket game, and this would have had an effect on matchday revenue. They must also have been aware from our other away games that Rovers away support is constantly in excess of 1,200 and this attendance yesterday was not uncommon'.

Liam Gulwell, 28, was one of the unlucky supporters denied entry to the ground after having trouble to find anywhere to park around the congested streets of the Kingfield Stadium.... Mr Gulwell said, 'I think someone has misread the amount of demand for tickets considering that it is a relatively short trip... In fairness to Woking I saw one of their officials arrange to let one Rovers' supporter with two young kids into the home end, but I can understand why they wouldn’t want to let another 200 away fans into the same area. There were a few people around having a bit of a moan and groan, but I didn’t see any trouble. I thought people were pretty well-behaved considering the circumstances'".

The next league visitors to the J. Davidson Stadium are Aldershot Town and Get Hmpshire reports that "Aldershot Town crashed to their eighth defeat from the last nine league games after going down 3-1 at Lincoln City. Andy Scott gave full debuts to all three of his new signings... Andy Scott believes there is no pressure on his job... The Shots' boss claims his side put in their best display for some time in the opening half an hour at Sincil Bank, only for three goals in the space of 17 minutes either side of the break to leave them empty-handed.

Scott's men now lie just six points clear of the relegation zone ahead of another tough test on Tuesday night when play-off chasing Kidderminster Harriers visit the Electrical Services Stadium. But the boss, who handed full debuts to new trio Danny East, Matt Saunders and Ryan Jarvis, insists it's not time to press the panic button just yet.

'There's definitely no pressure, in fact, the first half today was probably as well as we have played in a long time', Scott said. 'We were on the front foot then, all of a sudden, their lad scores one of the best goals I have ever seen in all my time in football. Then, just after that, we get punished for a poor individual error, whereas if we gone in at half time 1-0 down it's there for the taking. The third goal was scrappy and killed us off, especially as it came so soon after the break. The second and third goals came at the worst possible times to concede. People will look at the scoreline and think it was comfortable for Lincoln, but it wasn't.

There are positives today; the three new players all had good games we moved the ball well, created good chances and our ball retention was as good as it has been in a while. It's my job now to get the lads to respond in time for the next match on Tuesday, and that's what I'll do. We've got to stop these silly mistakes because that's what's killing us'.

As Scott surmised... totally against the run of play, it was Lincoln who broke the deadlock on 31 minutes with a goal to grace any stage. Midfielder Charlee Adams, on loan from Birmingham City, picked up a loose ball and let fly from a full 35 yards... The Shots forced a remarkable 12 corners in the first half alone, yet they somehow found themselves 2-0 down eight minutes later when Imps' top scorer Ben Tomlinson capitalised on a weak back header from Shots captain Glenn Wilson to prod past Smith from 12 yards...

They didn't have to wait long for the killer third goal after the break".

18 January 2015


Today's Altrincham FC Youth game at home to Chester FC has been postponed owing to an unfit pitch at Clay Lane. It was 7 December when the Youth team last played a game!

However, in a rearranged fixture, Alty Youth are now set to travel to Ashton Athletic on Tuesday, 27 January, k.o. 7.30pm.


This third successive league win was well deserved and lifted Altrincham to 14th...

Match report here.

Right: Damian Reeves is congratulated on his goal against Torquay United.


Torquay United report that "United slipped to a frustrating defeat at Altrincham and it was a simple case of the home side taking their chances when they came.

The Gulls, on the other hand, were wasteful in the big moments and a cute header from Damian Reeves gave Altrincham the advantage at half-time. Ryan Crowther forced home a decisive second just after the hour and, despite Louis Briscoe pulling one back with a stunning strike, the points remained at Moss Lane...

Reeves found his range on 37 minutes, looping a header back over the header of Seabright and the frustrating reality was Altrincham kept piling on the pressure toward the end of the first period. Briscoe and Ashley Yeoman were introduced in an attempt to change Yellow fortunes but it continued to be Altrincham sweeping forward, and they soon doubled their advantage when a Reeves shot was saved by Seabright, leaving an easy rebound for Crowther.

United desperately needed a quick riposte and Briscoe provided the answer with a thunderbolt from 20 yards, and defender Aaron Downes very nearly forced home the equaliser moments later.

Referee Ryan Johnson decided to unnecessarily spice up a fairly tepid game by waving his yellow card at just about anyone he could find, all of which left United with six bookings and two for Mike [Sean] Williams left Altrincham with ten men for the closing minutes.

One more chance for salvation fell to Downes in the box and he connected well with the volley, but when the ball sailed over, it was the end of the road on a frustrating day".

And the Torquay Herald Express says that "United’s chances of reaching the Conference Premier play offs are fading after yet another disappointing goal-shy performance saw them end up 2-1 losers at Altricham. It was the home striker, the prolific Damian Reeves, who showed Torquay’s attackers how the job should be done, scoring one goal and making the other, while Duane Ofori-Acheampong, in for the ill Ryan Bowman, failed to provide the kind of spark that the Gulls needed up front.

Reeves headed his 17th goal of the season to give the home side the lead in the 37th minute. His control, movement and awareness was a constant threat, and it was his shot on the turn, parried by Jordan Seabright, which set up Ryan Crowther's second goal for Lee Sinnott's side in the 61st minute.

Briscoe fired a rasping 25-yarder to haul United back into contention only five minutes later, and United dominated the closing stages, but in pursuit of an equaliser that would just not come.

Hargreaves said, 'We had plenty of chances to win the game; we just weren’t ruthless enough in front of goal. Some of the chances fell to the wrong people at times. There was a striker that was cleverer than our two centre halves today'...

But Reeves, who had forced Seabright to one good save, struck in the 37th minute, looping a clever header over the Gulls’ goalkeeper from Crowther's cross... Reeves took one of his good first touches, turned, shot, Seabright parried his swerving drive and Crowther reacted quickest to drill home the rebound for 2-0.

United picked themselves up, and Briscoe gave them some hope in the 66th minute. There seemed no real threat when he unleashed a savage 25-yarder which flew low past Coburn, who hardly twitched a muscle.

Alty did threaten to catch United on the counter in the closing stages, but they were under increasing pressure, when referee Ryan Johnson wasn't waving his cards all over the pitch. He ended up sending off home midfielder Sean Williams for two cautions, and showed another nine yellow cards, six of them to Torquay players.

The captain Luke Young's was the most damaging – he will now miss the next two games after chalking up 10 yellow cards...

Hargreaves said, 'It’s tough being a ref and I can’t make excuses because no one wants to hear it. He was a bit card happy and he sort of got confused. The lad even handballed it at the end in the box and he pretended it was his face and the ref bought it. When you are not getting those decisions with a minute to go for a penalty you know that perhaps it is not your day. I feel like it but I don’t want to lose players by ranting and raving because, for the last 30 minutes, it was just constant pressure and I was expecting us to get the goal. But the effort is there, the desire to try is there. But I suppose we have to say that at times some aren’t good enough'.

United now have a free week before their FA Trophy third round tie at Hemel Hempstead Town – and that is a competition Hargreaves is desperate to go further in. He said, 'I am looking forward to it. I am obviously desperate for some success for the fans and the players. The fans were here today in numbers and it’s great. They are frustrated and I can tell you that I am but I can’t do anything at the moment. I need to shuffle the pack in the summer because I want a team that steps on to the field and dominates. I have had that at times this season but it needs work, it needs constant work, on a full -sized grass pitch and, when we get these things sorted and I can shuffle the pack again, I will produce that. But at the moment it is frustrating for me, it’s frustrating for the fans and I’ve got no excuses'".


Saturday, 17 January 2015:
  • Altrincham 2-1 Torquay United (gate 1,223)
  • Braintree Town 1-2 Forest Green Rovers (661)
  • Dover Athletic 6-1 Dartford (1,042)
  • FC Halifax Town P-P Eastleigh (Frozen pitch)
  • Grimsby Town 3-1 Barnet (3,116)
  • Kidderminster Harriers 0-2 Macclesfield Town (1,761)
  • Lincoln City 3-0 Aldershot Town (3,022)
  • Nuneaton Town 0-2 Gateshead (637)
  • Southport 0-0 Chester FC (1,894)
  • Welling United 2-3 Alfreton Town
  • Woking 0-0 Bristol Rovers (3,853)
  • Wrexham 0-4 AFC Telford Utd (3,194)

17 January 2015


This third successive league win was well deserved and lifted Altrincham to 14th...

Match report here.

Right: Black skies surrounded a sunny Moss Lane for much of the game, before the match finished in light sleet.


Sean Williams was not the only Altrincham player sent off on Saturday. Stockport County had loan player Greg Wilkinson sent off as they lost 2-0 at Gainsborough Trinity.


Saturday, 17 January 2015:
  • Altrincham 2-1 Torquay United
  • Braintree Town 1-2 Forest Green Rovers
  • Dover Athletic 6-1 Dartford
  • FC Halifax Town P-P Eastleigh (Frozen pitch)
  • Grimsby Town 3-1 Barnet
  • Kidderminster Harriers 0-2 Macclesfield Town
  • Lincoln City 3-0 Aldershot Town
  • Nuneaton Town 0-2 Gateshead
  • Southport 0-0 Chester FC
  • Welling United 2-3 Alfreton Town
  • Woking 0-0 Bristol Rovers
  • Wrexham 0-4 AFC Telford Utd


You can follow the Altrincham v Torquay United 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 advises that "Radio Robins, sponsored by Ashley Mowers Garden Machinery, will be broadcasting full live coverage of Saturday's game. The match commentary sponsor is 'E-Cignature' a locally based company supplying a full range of high quality E-Cigarettes & E-Liquids.Their website is here.

The commentators are Ian Watmore and Ian Wilkinson, with Joe Barry as match summariser. Coverage starts at 2.50pm with the game kicking off at 3.00pm & you can listen to Radio Robins on the internet at


The Macclesfield Town v Altrincham league game, postponed from 24 January owing to Altrincham's continuing involvement in the FA Trophy, has been rearranged for Tuesday, 10 February, at 7.45pm.


Torquay United report that "United have fitness concerns over Ryan Bowman ahead of the weekend trip to Altrincham, as the striker is struggling with a chest complaint.

Defender Angus MacDonald is also battling a knee problem but manager Chris Hargreaves is confident he has the squad to achieve a vital result on the road.

A strong start will be massively important to the Gulls and we will also be looking for that stroke of luck that can so often prove the difference in a tight encounter.

'We haven’t started many games badly but the ones where we have been slow out of the blocks have seen us come unstuck', said Chris. “We didn’t start well at Braintree and we need to be on the button on Saturday. 'In the most part, we’ve started well and we’ve just been missing that little piece of luck. I know we don’t like to talk about it but the Bristol Rovers’ games spring to mind.

We have to look at each team we play and work out the right system. It is dependent on who is fit and Ryan Bowman is a doubt, as is Angus MacDonald'".

Also "Torquay United have 16 more games to go in the Conference season and the dream of reaching the play-offs is still very much alive. The Gulls are currently tenth in the table and there is no doubt we need to put together a run of victories to get back in the mix, starting with three points at Altrincham tomorrow.

'We’ve still got a great chance of making the play-offs and the players have to believe that as well,' said manager Chris Hargreaves. 'There is plenty of ability in the squad to do that. We just need to get some momentum and turn the draws into wins. It is definitely possible and I would say that it’s still possible with five or six games to go, but we need to start now.

'We will prepare the players and we’ve had Altrincham watched, looking at their strengths and weaknesses. We work on that and send the players out to hopefully nail it, but you can’t give them the experience of that stadium or that pitch on that day. It is impossible to do that in a training session but they have to be mentally focussed on getting a result because we need to be coming back with a result'”.

According to the Torquay Herald Express, "Young striker Duane Ofori-Acheampong is set for a recall and should get the chance to prove himself when Torquay United take on Altrincham in the Vanarama Conference tomorrow, with fellow striker Ryan Bowman doubtful for the Moss Lane game.

Twelve-goal Bowman is likely to miss the match because of a chest complaint, but the manager Chris Hargreaves will be reluctant to wander far from the 4-4-1-1 formation which proved too good for Bromley (4-0) in the FA Trophy last weekend, with Toby Ajala highly effective playing just behind Bowman.

So a place for Ofori-Acheampong, who’s scored six goals from 16 starts this season, could be the one change. United have been trying to rush through the non-contract signing of French trialist defender Olivier Gueguen, because centre back Angus MacDonald is hampered by an ongoing knee problem. But there have been issues over international clearance, and teenage Academy defender Levi Ives may be added to the squad.

Ives, 17, has just returned from a post-New Year break at home in Belfast, but he has a job on to oust Tom Cruise from the left-back spot. Hargreaves has been quick to praise the recent form of Cruise, 23. The former Arsenal starlet found Ives preferred to him several times before Christmas, but Hargreaves said, 'Tom has responded really well. He’s shown some good fight and he’s done well of late. He’s giving himself a chance to get himself another club or get himself another, longer contract here'.

Apart from Bishop’s Stortford in the FA Trophy, United haven’t won on the road since they beat leaders Barnet (3-2) at The Hive on November 11, and their last three league games have all ended in draws. Hargreaves knows that his squad need to improve on that form.

'Even with five or six games to go, it’s usually still possible to get in the play-offs, but we need to get in there sooner than later,' he said. 'We just need to get some momentum going, and turn these draws into wins. We haven’t started many games badly, but when we have started slowly, we have come unstuck. So we have to mentally focus on the day, and be on the button from the off'.

Lee Sinnott’s Altrincham, promoted last May, started the season with only two wins and eight defeats in their first 12 games, but those days appear to be behind them. They’ve now lost just two of their last 12, are up to 15th place, through to the last-16 of the Trophy and their remarkably consistent leading scorer Damian Reeves has hit 16 goals in all competitions.

Reeves has averaged more than 25 goals a season since he joined Alty in 2010, although several of those campaigns were spent in the Conference North. Goalkeeper Stuart Coburn, 38, and captain Shaun Densmore are both survivors from the last time the teams met – a 1-0 win for Torquay in March 2009.

The referee is Lancashire’s Ryan Johnson. Johnson has sent off six players in eight games so far this season, including three the last time he refereed Altrincham - a 3-2 win at Wrexham on November 22.

Torquay United from: Seabright; Berry, Pearce, Downes, Cruise, Chapell, Young, Harding, Cameron, Ajala, Ofori-Acheampong, Rice (gk), Briscoe, Yeoman, McQuilkin, Richards, Ives, Gueguen.

Unavailable: Tonge (knee), Bowman (illness), MacDonald (knee), Benyon, Chaney and Parcell (all out on loan)".

The Western Morning News tells us that "Torquay United are expected to make a move for French defender Olivier Gueguen as cover for their centre-back roster. Gueguen, 24, has trained with the Gulls for the past ten days, and the Conference Premier side want to sign him initially on non-contract terms. His availability could be timely because of a knee injury for resident centre-back Angus MacDonald.

'Olivier has been with us since the start of last week, after he was recommended by a couple of good contacts', United manager Chris Hargreaves said, 'He has trained with us, he obviously knows the game, and he has looked good'. Gueguen has played French league football for Brest, Amiens and Plabennec, with Hargreaves adding, 'He’s also been in the USA for a while'.

MacDonald, 22, has had a scan on the knee injury which has been worrying him in recent weeks. United are waiting for the results. The former Reading and Salisbury City player was a second-half substitute in last Saturday’s 4-0 FA Trophy win...but Hargreaves reported that he is now a doubt for tomorrow’s Conference Premier trip to Altrincham.

United also released young centre-back Jake Hutchings recently, hence the option of Gueguen as back-up for Krystian Pearce and Aaron Downes. Another released Plainmoor youngster, Plymouth-born forward Danny Sullivan, is currently having talks with Truro City manager Steve Tully.. and Tully is keen to sign him".


Brian Flynn advises that on Saturday evening the start time for the Question of Sport Quiz Night is 6pm. The event will take place in The Community Sports Hall and tickets can be obtained from the TASC desk in the Hall at Saturday's match against Torquay United.


Ian Senior of SKkits reminds us that "Throughout January, any away shirts purchased will entitle the buyer to a free pair of away shorts of any size (usually £15). Please contact Jenny Heslop at the club (061 928-1045) with your requirements. In addition, at Saturday's game with Torquay, you can have a free name and number on any shirt sales, which usually costs £10.


BT Sport "announce two further matches from the Vanarama Conference in February.
  • Sat 21 Feb: Nuneaton v Kidderminster 12.45pm
  • Sat 28 Feb: Eastleigh v Macclesfield 12.45pm."

Walsall report that "talented Walsall striker Amadou Bakayoko has today joined Southport on loan for another month. Bakayoko scored three goals in fifteen appearances".

A report from Cheshire Today says that "Macclesfield Town manager John Askey is refusing to join in fans' pressure for club owner Amar Alkadhi to release funds to cement a play off place are a superb start to the season.

The fans’ point to Alkadhi’s statement made at a forum last year that if the club was in danger of relegation, or indeed in contention for promotion, he would make money available... Askey refuses to be drawn on the issue but indicated that he was satisfied with the backing he had received thus far.

'We might sign someone this afternoon or next week but nothing so far', he said, pointing out that the club had re-signed both Alex Grant and Demi Johnson on loan until end of the season. 'We are after another centre half and a decent left back, but there will be no great expenditure. If there is anything spare it will go to the players we have already got; it is only fair that we reward them first'".

From the Football Conference, we learn that "Dover Athletic have announced the signing of midfield duo Solomon Taiwo and Adam Mekki. Taiwo joins on a permanent basis following a loan spell at the club earlier in the season, whilst Mekki was a free agent after leaving league rivals Barnet earlier this month.

Taiwo, 29, initially joined the club on loan in September 2014 and made nineteen appearances for Whites before returning to Luton Town. His tough style of play made him an instant fans` favourite and adds options to manager Chris Kinnear’s midfield...

Mekki, 23... a winger... spent five years at Aldershot Town between 2009 and 2014, making 100 appearances and scoring scoring 6 goals. After loan spells at Oxford City, Carshalton Athletic, Dorchester Town and Basingstoke Town, Mekki joined Barnet in August 2014 but left in order to find first-team football.

Both players have signed deals until the end of the season, with a view to extending them both until the end of next season."

Elsewhere, "Chester FC boss Steve Burr has confirmed that Matty Hughes's loan spell with the club has been extended until the end of the season. Fleetwood Town have agreed to allow Hughes, 22, an extended stay".

Also "Chester FC have signed highly-rated Canadian-born goalkeeper Jonathan Viscosi. The 6`2”, 23-year-old goalkeeper... only arrived in the UK on January 6th after making the 2,700 nautical-mile trip from his home-town Ottawa, [and] trained with the club just three times before Burr was keen to sign the Canadian shot-stopper".

Over the border, "Wrexham have announced the signing of centre-back Luke Waterfall. Born in Sheffield, Waterfall began his career in the youth set-up at Barnsley, but after not being offered a professional contract at Oakwell, he joined Tranmere Rovers for the 2008/09 campaign...

The Yorkshireman moved on to Ilkeston Town... He then moved on to Gainsborough Trinity and enjoyed three successful years at the Northolme... His eye-catching displays resulted in a transfer to Scunthorpe United in May 2013, and he made ten appearances as the Iron...

Waterfall had a seventeen-game loan spell with league rivals Macclesfield Town and is only just back from a temporary stint with Mansfield Town... Waterfall has signed a contract until the end of next season".

NL Daily says that "Having been charged by the Football Association under FA Rule 20(a) - player mass confrontation - both FC Halifax Town and Forest Green Rovers have been sanctioned[?] by an Independent Regulatory Commission following misconduct at the conclusion of their Conference fixture played on Tuesday 2nd December 2014.

The charge against FC Halifax Town was found proven, with a fine of £1,250. The charge was admitted by Forest Green Rovers, with a fine of £2,000. Each club was severely warned as to its future conduct.

In separate sanctions, three Forest Green Rovers players received match suspensions which related to violent conduct and remarks made to a match official. Both club fines are subject to a right of appeal, whereas player suspensions imposed have already been served."

According to NL Pitchero "Nuneaton Town have signed Rob Ogleby and Jack Nardiello. Ogleby has signed for Nuneaton after being released from his contract with Scottish Championship outfit Livingston. The 23-year-old former Coventry City Academy winger is expected to be included tomorrow...

He was signed for Hearts development squad before a move back to England with Wrexham... Last May he returned north of the border to Livingston...

Nardiello hails from nearby Coventry, although the 20-year-old striker started his career with Leicester City. He is now in his fourth season with Stoke and is a Wales under-19 international. He becomes the latest Potter to move to Liberty Way on loan."

Elsewhere, "Giant goalkeeper Jason Mooney has joined Alfreton Town on loan from York City for the remainder of the season. Mooney signed for the Minstermen in June 2014. The tallest man to date to play for York, Mooney stands 6`9” tall which makes him amongst the tallest professional footballers in the history of the game!

He arrived on a two-year deal having turned down terms at Tranmere Rovers, his previous club and second club in England, having started playing football in Ireland for Ards and Bangor amongst others...

He was snapped up by Wycombe Wanderers, then sent out on loan to Oxford City, where he played a full season in goal and helped them win promotion into the Conference North. Mooney came to the professional game late, having played football on an amateur basis and at 25 is looking to make up for lost time."

Aother tall story... "Teenage goalkeeper Aidan Grant has today joined Lincoln City on non-contract terms. A 6`6” former Newcastle United and Aston Villa youngster played a handful of games for home-town team South Shields at the beginning of the season before joining Peterborough United on a non-contract basis in September.

An unused substitute on nine occasions during his time with Posh, Grant, 19, has been on trial with the Imps this week".

In Kent, "Dartford have signed Christian Doidge, a 22-year-old striker from Dagenham & Redbridge on an initial one month`s loan. Doidge signed for the Daggers in August 2014...

The tall striker started his career at the Bristol Rovers youth academy but after being rejected, signed for Welsh League side Croesyceiliog. He impressed enough to earn himself a move to home-town club Cwmbran Celtic then on to Barry Town... Carmarthen Town signed him in 2013".

FC Halifax Town report that "manager Neil Aspin has signed 20 year-old defender Ross Killock on a season-long youth loan from neighbours Leeds United... He had a loan deal at Alfreton Town in the 2012/13 season making 17 appearances and has been on loan at Chester FC this season".

In Stroud Life we learn that "Relaxed Ady Pennock is in no rush to extend the contracts of further players at Forest Green. Defender Danny Coles recently became the 11th player to commit his services to Rovers beyond the end of this season, but several other first-team regulars are due to become free agents this summer.

They include goalkeeper Sam Russell, defensive trio Dale Bennett, Luke Oliver and Aarran Racine and the influential Marcus Kelly and James Norwood. The futures of experienced strikers Jon Parkin and Lee Hughes also remain unresolved, while Eddie Oshodi, Kieron Forbes and Magno Vieira are all expected to move on in May.

Pennock said 'There will be people signing contracts over the next few weeks but I don’t think there is any rush or panic from the club’s point of view. I would rather have my players concentrating on their football than worrying about off-field stuff. I’ve just brought in Corby Moore on a deal until the end of the season and he has got the opportunity to show he deserves a longer one. “The same goes for the other lads who are out of contract in the summer'...

Midfielder Moore... [is] a product of the much-vaunted Southampton academy; the 21-year-old has spent the last six months plying his trade in the North American Soccer League with Indy Eleven. He said... 'Southampton was my club for 12 years, I had been there since I was eight... I’d like to think of myself as an attacking midfielder who can create things'"

16 January 2015


Following Thursday evening training, manager Lee Sinnott said that James Lawrie, who has missed recent games with a hamstring injury, is expected to be available for selection on Saturday against Torquay United. However, Peter Cavanagh is a doubt for the game.

The referee for Saturday's game at the J. Davidson Stadium is Mr R. Johnson. He is the man who officiated at the re-played FA Trophy match at Colwyn Bay last season, after the referee of the original match was unable to complete the game through injury.

Our visitors, Torquay United lie tenth in the table, five places above Altrincham, with three more points from the same number of games as Altrincham. The respective form guides over the last six league games are as follows:

  • Altrincham: WWLWDD
  • Torquay United DDDLLW

Alty have yet to beat The Gulls, and Mike Garnett reminds us of the outcome of previous clashes between our teams:

  • Home: P2-W0-D1-L1-F1-A2
  • Away: P2-W0-D1-L1-F2-A4
  • All: P4-W0-D2-L2-F3-A6


The latest Conference official statistics include a section on each club's disciplinary record. To date, in league matches alone, Altrincham have picked up 48 yellow cards and four reds. Whilst Peter Cavanagh is the clear leader in terms of yellow cards, with nine, James Lawrie has committed just as many fouls as Peter, 35, yet James has only picked up three cards!

And, a different picture emerges (right) if the booking statistics are mapped onto the details of time spent on the pitch. When this is done, Peter is only the fifth most prolific offender.

The ratio of yellow cards to fouls is also interesting. Here Peter has the misfortune to average a booking once every 3.9 fouls, whereas Jake Moult's ratio is a yellow card once every 8.4 fouls. Although Alty captain and defender, Shaun Densmore, sees yellow once every 4.25 fouls, surprisingly, it is strikers who generally seem to get booked more often per offence than defenders.

Thus Damian Reeves is booked once every 4.75 offences and Steven Gillespie is cautioned for every five offences, whilst defenders Luca Havern (once every 8), Tom Marshall (every 6 if red cards are omitted), Scott Leather (every 9.5) and Adam Griffin (one in thirteen) are much less commonly cautioned even though one might expect them to make more tackles.

The Conference figures do not give the nature of each caution so dissent may account for some of the above anomalies.


New Trafford "manager Graham Heathcote is to appear on the BBC Manchester Radio on Monday 19th January with presenter Jimmy Wagg at 6.00pm till 7.00pm".

From the EvoStik League we learn that "Mark Beesley won the right to manage Burscough on a permanent basis on Wednesday when officials at the Linnets confirmed his appointment as the permanent successor to [another ex-Alty player] Derek Goulding. Beesley, pictured, agreed to hold the fort at Victoria Park in November, when Goulding left the First Division North club to join Neville Southall's management team at Bangor City".


A report from the Western Daily Press informs us that "Skipper Andy Gallinagh says there is no reason why Bath City cannot go all the way to Wembley in the FA Trophy. An impressive 3-1 victory at Wealdstone on Saturday put City one step away from a first quarter-final appearance in 25 years and saw the club bank another £6,000 in prize money.

In order to reach the last eight, they will need to overcome in-form Conference side Altrincham at Twerton Park on Saturday, January 24.

'Winning on Saturday adds something to our season', said Gallinagh. 'As players, we want to progress and if we could get to the final then we get to play in a really nice stadium. It's also good for the club finance-wise and its definitely a competition we can progress in if we play to our best. Obviously, when we beat Bristol Rovers in the previous round it was something special with a big crowd and it being a local derby. But Rovers were probably one of the favourites to get to the final, so it shows if we can beat them then there is no reason why we cannot get there'.

Gallinagh played in an unfamiliar left-back role against Wealdstone. He admitted, '"I'm not naturally a left-back, and I prefer to be on the right, but I am more than willing to do a job there. I have to say I thought Sekani was tremendous. He saved us from conceding three or four goals and was communicating well at the back'".


According to the Football Conference, "'I chose Alfreton Town'. Important words, significant words, exciting words. Joe Ironside spoke these words after the striker turned down offers from Football League clubs to sign with Vanarama Conference club Alfreton Town.

'I'm extremely excited to sign with Alfreton Town', Ironside [who scored against Alty earlier this season] said. 'I enjoyed my time with the club on loan earlier in the season and I can't wait to get started again. I am really pleased to be back and am hopeful I can help keep the club up. With the recent announcements, it's obvious that the club has ambitious plans. While I had opportunities to sign with Football League clubs, I chose Alfreton Town because I believe in the direction of the club. I'm looking forward to playing football for the supporters of Alfreton who were great to me during my previous time there'.

The recent announcements Ironside is referring to is the infusion of support from the American investment group Legend Football Partners, which has joined Wayne Bradley at the Alfreton table. Ironside has appeared for Sheffield United and most recently Hartlepool United. Bradley knows full well Ironside’s exciting capabilities after his loan stint with the Reds, where he bagged four goals in sixteen appearances for the club.

'We are extremely happy that Joe made the decision to sign with Alfreton when he had a number of other options', Bradley said. 'Joe is a quality player who will help Alfreton Town'...

The addition of Ironside marks the second significant signing during the current transfer window for the Reds. Former Crewe Alexandra winger John Johnston was added on an eighteen-month contract to keep him with the Reds through to the end of the 2015/16 season.

Jonathan Collura from Legend Football Partners added, 'Ironside is an excellent example of the focus that we have going forward and the commitment that we have to developing young talent'".

Elswhere the Conference adds that "Conference South club Hemel Hempstead Town have today agreed to transfer Matt Saunders to Aldershot Town. The 25-year-old was signed by Hemel from the Shots' league rivals Dover Athletic in November. He had joined Dover just two months earlier from Hemel's league rivals Whitehawk. Saunders graduated from Fulham's academy and in January 2010 he joined then League Two club Lincoln City on a one-month loan deal, later re-joining them for another loan and made a total of eighteen appearances for the Imps, scoring 3 goals.

In February 2012, he joined Dagenham & Redbridge on an eighteen-month contract and went on to make forty-one appearances for the Daggers and scored 4 goals. He signed for Whitehawk last summer."

NL Pitchero says that "Macclesfield Town have announced the signing of Stoke City`s under-21 forward Tomi Adeloye and former Macclesfield youth team goalkeeper Conor O’Keefe. O’Keefe made one appearance for Macc in the 2012/13 campaign and it came in the Cheshire Senior Cup second round. He followed this up in the 2013/14 season by coming on as a second half replacement for Richie Branagan in the semi-final of the cup against Northwich Victoria.

O`Keefe, more recently with Ashton United and Mossley AFC, has now registered with the club to help strengthen the squad. Manager John Askey has also managed to bring Adeloye to Macc where he will join up with Alex Grant, who is also from the Stoke under-21s. The young forward will bring another attacking threat to the side as the Silkmen aim for promotion into the Football League. Adeloye has previously played for Charlton Athletic and Millwall under-18’s before joining Stoke."

And "Dover Athletic have announced that Tom Bonner has rejected offers to stay at Crabble past his loan spell, instead opting to sign for Vanarama Conference South side Ebbsfleet United. The 26-year-old joined Whites on-loan from Cambridge United in August, and made twenty-nine appearances... With the central defender's loan set to expire after this Saturday's league fixture against Dartford, the club put an offer on the table to sign him on a permanent deal - but Bonner has chosen to play for ambitious Kent rivals Fleet".

According to Kent Online, "Dover boss Chris Kinnear is making plans to bolster his attacking options ahead of Saturday’s clash with Dartford at Crabble. But he wasn’t prepared to reveal all, just yet.

Kinnear said, 'I’ve been around this game far too long to know that nothing is certain until the ink is well and truly dry on a contract. All I can say is that hopefully I’ll complete the signing of someone tonight (Thursday). He can play either in an attacking midfield role or ahead of that'.

Stefan Payne and Tom Murphy have done an impressive job of leading the attack since they first started together in a league game at Macclesfield in October. Payne is Whites’ leading scorer with 11 league goals while Murphy has bagged four to help Whites climb to 13th....

Kinnear added, 'We are going really well, and have been for a while now. That doesn’t mean changes to the squad cannot be made. I am always looking to strengthen'...

Former Hartlepool forward Greg Rutherford has left the club while fellow striker and Bury man, James Poole’s loan spell has also ended. With Nathan Elder out on loan at Maidstone, that leaves Jake Reid, who was also put on the transfer list last November, as the only other frontman on the books. Kinnear said he had the faith in Reid to deliver...

He said, 'Jake started the season really well before he picked up an injury and struggled to get over it. Now he’s back and he’s starting to show us what he’s capable of again.'

Kinnear is also hoping to complete a deal to bring back Solomon Taiwo from Luton Town on loan. The midfielder spent three months at Crabble earlier in the season. As for the game against Kent rivals Dartford, it will mark the end of defender Tom Bonner’s loan spell before he heads back to Cambridge United".

15 January 2015


Altrincham FC Ladies' next game is at home to Warrington Wolverines in the League Challenge Cup 1st Round on Sunday, 25 January (2pm) at Mersey Valley.

Last Sunday, the Ladies had a fine 3-1 away win to AFC Stockport (pictured right) and, courtesy of Phil Taylor, we have a match report.


TASC's Paul Salt writes: "Many thanks to all those supporters intending to come along to, and have reserved tickets for, the Question of Sport Quiz Night after Saturday's home game against Torquay. Four 'celebrity' teams from the Players, Management, Radio Robins/Alty TV and TASC supporters will be battling for bragging rights on who has the best sporting knowledge.

In addition, everyone else can participate by entering a team. There is no limit on the size of the teams (although a handicap system will be in operation!) Based on the popular BBC 'Question of Sport' quiz we have four rounds plus a 'picture board' round, plus other competitions and raffle.

Entry Fee is £6.00 an the night or £5.00 if you reserve your tickets in advance and the price includes a Hotpot Supper. If you are intending to come along and would like to reserve tickets in advance, to benefit from the £1 discount, please e-mail Paul Salt.

Tickets will be on sale at the TASC desk before Saturday's home match but the cost then will be £6.00."


Northwich Vics report on their alleged "4-0 destruction of Vanarama Premier side Altrincham in the competition's second round...

The match opened with snow falling as Alty made a good start to the game, Joel Swift's scissor-kick effort went well over the bar from 8 yards after Mike Clarke had missed a routine clearance on the edge of the box on 6 minutes...

Vics now had a foothold in the game and rocked the Robins' back with a two-goal blast inside two minutes... Josh Amis powered in right-footed 10 yards out, from an inch-perfect left-hand side cross by strike-partner Gaz Burnett; then with his second, he nodded in a header into the corner four yards out from Sanogo's flighted cross...

The second half began with the Robins' battling away but struggling to stem the tide... On 70' minutes Vics made the game all but safe; Scotty Harries's jinking run took him past two Alty defenders and a third, Dino Jones, upended the flying winger as he entered the box and a penalty was awarded. Mike Roddy duly stepped up to send Samberg the wrong way from the spot...

The fourth goal arrived in stoppage time though; Richie Bennett tapped in from two yards ouL".

Seen above, right, are Alty's Ryan Barry and Shaun Arrowsmith in the thick of the action, courtesy of Mike Ripley. More photos from the CSC match between Northwich Victoria and Altrincham are on Mike's website.


The only club not to have played Altrincham this season in the Vanarama Conference is Torquay United. That will be put right on Saturday when The Gulls visit the J. Davidson Stadium. Mike Garnett reminds us of the outcome of previous clashes between our teams:
  • Home: P2-W0-D1-L1-F1-A2
  • Away: P2-W0-D1-L1-F2-A4
  • All: P4-W0-D2-L2-F3-A6

In the Torquay Herald Express, we read that "Despite the financial restrictions which currently curb his January transfer ambitions, manager Chris Hargreaves insists that Torquay United fans should continue to back the club’s chairwoman and benefactor Thea Bristow.

Hargreaves, who stresses that he has received no firm offers for his star midfielder and captain Luke Young in the current transfer window, admits, 'It is not easy at the moment, and I think everyone knows that but I still support the position that Thea is taking and the work she is doing. If people really knew how much money she has put into the club, and is still putting in, they would be staggered. We are still working with the legacy of the last couple of years, and that’s tough but someone’s got to do it.

Of course, I would like more money, and people can say I’m bound to back Thea because she’s my boss, but I do believe in what we’re trying to do here. That’s to build a younger, more affordable team that will give us a chance to win promotion, this season or next. Because if we’re losing money each month, with the fans and the gates we’re getting, I dread to think how much some of the other teams in our division, and League Two, are losing.

It means that someone, somewhere, is having to keep writing out cheques, or letting their clubs slide into big trouble. Anyone can see that’s not a way forward'.

Four directors, Alex Rowe, brothers Mark and Cris Boyce and Ian Hayman, have left the Plainmoor board for various reasons over the past year, and Mrs Bristow has been trying to secure new ‘blood’ for some time. She is believed to be talking to some potential investors at the moment.

Gulls' fans have been worried that United might be tempted to cash in on Young, 21, who has been a conspicuous success since his free transfer move from Plymouth Argyle last summer. And Exeter City’s recent £1.7 million windfall, from the sale of Matt Grimes to Swansea City, has fuelled speculation that the Grecians might splash some of the money on Young.

But Hargreaves said, 'I’ve had one or two inquiries, but no firm offers and none from Exeter. I repeat, it would take a massive offer to take Luke out of here. I’m trying to build a team around him. Luke is the first to admit he’s not the finished article, and he has plenty of work to do yet. But he is up for that, he is proud to be captain of this club and he wants to achieve something here'.

Some Gulls' fans have started a ‘Crowdfunder’ drive to raise money to sign former Plymouth right-back Durrell Berry, who is currently playing for Torquay on a non-contract basis. United have welcomed their 17-year-old Academy starlet Levi Ives back into the first-team squad, after a post-New Year break at home in Belfast. But Ives now faces a job to oust Tom Cruise, who has been in good form of late, from the left-back spot.

With injuries and out-loans reducing his senior squad to 19 players, including two goalkeepers, Hargreaves may also consider promoting another of the Gulls’ promising scholars, Liam Prynn, to the squad for this Saturday’s Conference Premier trip to Altrincham.

Cornish-born striker Prynn scored twice in this week’s 4-1 win for the Youth team at Newport County, taking his tally for the season to 17 goals. United go to Altrincham in tenth place, five points off the Play-Off zone. It could be an important weekend for United to register their fifth away win, because the top-eight teams face each other; Grimsby (4th) v Barnet (1st), Woking (8) v Bristol Rovers (2), Kidderminster (6) v Macclesfield (3) and FC Halifax (7) v Eastleigh (5).

The Gulls were rewarded for their 4-0 FA Trophy win over Bromley last Saturday with another draw against Conference South opposition – away to Hemel Hempstead Town – in the Third Round".


According to Chester First, "Steve Burr has reflected on the disappointment of losing out in the race to sign Kidderminster Harriers striker Michael Gash who signed for league leaders Barnet.

He said, 'I worked with Michael while I was at Kidderminster and I know what he is all about. I had spoken to him and I was hoping he was going to sign for us, but we are not quite at the same marketplace as Barnet and I would like to see us being able to compete. I have been given money, which I am trying to spread around, but I would like to see us reaching the same place at Barnet so that we can also attract top players'".

Still in Cheshire, the Macclesfield Express tells us that "John Askey was this week on the verge of pulling off a deal to bring [ex-Alty loanee] Luke Waterfall back to Macclesfield Town. The big defender has been at the top of Askey’s shopping list since his three-month loan stay at the Moss Rose ended in November.

And Askey, who this week extended the loan spells of Alex Grant and Denny Johnstone, was desperately hoping to beat off interest from a rival Conference club in order to land Waterfall from Scunthorpe United, who sent the 24-year-old back out on loan, to League Two Mansfield.

'I’m happy we’ve been able to keep Denny and Alex until the end of the season,' said the manager after convincing Birmingham and Stoke that their players will benefit from staying at the Moss... 'And I’m doing my best to get Luke back in. I know another Conference club is in for him and, if it comes down to money, then Scunthorpe will want him to go to whoever will pay the most money for him.

But if it’s going to be on loan then it will probably come down to the player himself. Luke has said he’d like to come back and we’d love to take him because he did really well for us and defence is the one position where we don’t really have any cover. If we can get Luke back in then it’ll give us a great chance and give everyone a lift as well. But we have to be prepared in case he doesn’t come to us so we’re still looking elsewhere. We also need someone in, in case anything was to happen to Scott Barrow; he’s like a creaking gate after some games! So we could do with a left-sided player, a midfielder who can play at left-back ideally'.

However, Macc’s financial limitations are to take another hit this winter with the postponement of next Tuesday’s league game at home to Telford being postponed due to the Bucks’ FA Trophy involvement. Macc will now host Lincoln City on January 24, the date Altrincham will continue their Trophy run, but with the Telford and Alty dates to be re-arranged there’s precious little to come through the gates with just one other home game before March 7.

'We’ve been trying to get Altrincham to change that game to next Tuesday but they don’t seem too keen to help us out on that one. Surprisingly, they’re refusing to move the date', complained the manager. 'It seems crazy when there are dates there to be filled. When these situations have come up in the past the games have had to be played on the closest fixtures that are free. Whoever does the fixtures certainly hasn’t helped us out either.

So we feel a bit like we’re being conspired against, but we’ll use it to spur us on. If people want to put things in our way that’s fine; we’ll just be even more determined to knock them out of the way'".

In the Stoke Sentinel we learn that "Stoke youth keeper Dan Bachmann is hoping a thigh injury will not make him miss any more action on loan at Wrexham. Bachmann was forced out for two months, earlier in the season, after suffering a knee ligament problem but has impressed since returning to action in December.

But he limped off during last night's 6-1 FA Trophy second round replay win over Stockport County and his injury is still being assessed. 'It is Dan’s thigh muscle but it is a bit too early to know exactly the extent of it', manager Kevin Wilkin told the Wrexham Leader. 'He was struggling with it when he took a kick just outside the box and wanted to soldier on with it but it was the right thing to take him out and not inflame the situation any more than needs to be'.

Former Stoke youth forward Louis Moult got one of the goals as Wrexham eased into the third round. They didn't even have to sweat when midfielder Joe Clarke took on Bachmann's gloves as there was no keeper named among the substitutes. Wilkin said, 'Joe has gone in goal and hasn’t had a lot to do but, fair play to him, he has got the gloves and got on with the job. There was a couple of them that we knew we could stick in if we needed to, Jay Harris is comfortable in goal as well, but unfortunately he was under the weather.

Fortunately he wasn’t tested, and I would have been criticised for not putting a goalkeeper on the bench but, generally in my experience, I have not had to call upon a goalkeeper too many times off the bench'".

The Bristol Post says that "Bristol Rovers' chairman Nick Higgs has taken his search for fresh investment to the Middle East.

Higgs has been conducting an on-going attempt to attract outside investment in the club and has this morning appeared on the front page of a Bahrain newspaper inviting interested parties to invest in a ‘sleeping giant’. 'It is a sleeping giant,' Higgs told Gulf Weekly. 'There is an opportunity to come in at grass roots level for not a huge investment to start with and to be able to take this club to the highest level if they so wish. You don’t have the problems of buying into a big Championship club or Premier League club with a huge debt burden, inheriting problems that have gone on before.

We have a clean sheet now, the bones of an international standard stadium and the catchment and ability to bring in a lot of local support. We have full planning permission and are ready to go with a new 22,000 all-seater stadium. It can extend to 26,000 very cheaply and 35,000 if the club makes the higher echelons and needs it. And, with a population in wider Bristol of 1.2 million people it pays to have that ability to be able to extend'...

Higgs, meanwhile, continues to work through the ‘legal niceties’ of a sale of the current Memorial Stadium site to Sainsbury’s in order to fund the building of the proposed stadium on land at the University of West England...

'I think it’s a good time for investors to come into the club,' he added. 'I think it would be fantastic for Bristol and the surrounding area to have some investors who have the level of funds we would need to kick on,' he explained. 'We have invested our own money to get to where we are and it would be nice for someone to realise that now and take it to the next stage. As a fan it has never been my intention to be here forever as chairman, I just wanted to get the club on a level footing again and get the stadium in the process of being built'.

He added, 'This is a great time now. It could be a modest investment to start with and it would be tailored to how far they wanted to take the club. It depends on the investor; the interest he has on taking the club to the highest level, whether he wants to take it as a stepping stone, kick-start the stadium whilst we are waiting for the rest of the things.

Bristol is the fifth biggest city in the country and we’ve got to have top-class football here at some stage and that is the main focus for having this new stadium. I think the interest it will create when it opens will be phenomenal'"

"Twenty-year-old Denny Johnstone joined Macclesfield Town from Birmingham City on loan in November and has scored 2 goals in seven appearances" reports NL Pitchero.

The Silkmen have now moved to secure Johnstone until the end of the current campaign. The Scot has helped John Askey’s side to third in the table... The impressive youngster will now boost Askey’s options in attack until the end of the season."

According to NL Pitchero, "Alfreton Town can now concentrate solely on league survival after a 3-1 home defeat by Matlock Town ended their interest in the Derbyshire Senior Cup on Tuesday evening. It was a result which means Alfreton are now out of all cup competitions this season and focus will be total for the remaining eighteen league games.

However, the survival bid looks set to receive a boost with a signing imminent ahead of this Saturday’s hugely important trip to Kent to face Welling United. Manager Nicky Law should also receive another fillip for the weekend’s game with midfield man Dan Bradley expected to be available again after recovering from a slight thigh strain which has kept him out of the past two games.

It is the first meeting of the season between the sides and a crucial one as Welling sit two places outside of the relegation places, nine points ahead of Alfreton but having played two games more."

The Football Conference reports that "Reece Styche has re-signed for Vanarama Conference North club Tamworth on a loan deal from Kidderminster Harriers until the end of the season. 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... He has already spent a month on loan at The Lamb this season".

14 January 2015


Tonight's FA Trophy replay between Gateshead and Grimsby Town has been postponed.


With Altrincham's heavy Conference and FA Trophy schedule of five games in two weeks, a number of fringe and reserve players got their chance in his Cheshire Senior Cup tie at Valley Road, Flixton, now the home of Jim Gannon's Northwich Victoria. For the first half hour Alty competed well, with Ryan Barry their stand-out performer. But two goals in as many minutes settled the match

Match report here

As Northwich Victoria commented, "Vics began the defence of their Cheshire F.A Senior Cup this evening with a 4-0 destruction of Vanarama Premier side Altrincham in the competition's second round. Josh Amis grabbed a quick-fire double close to half-time and Mike Roddy extended the lead to 3-0 with a confident penalty on 70', with sub' Richie Bennett completing the scoring in injury time".


Tuesday's CSC fixtures:
  • Northwich Victoria 4-0 Altrincham
  • Nantwich Town 1-5 Tranmere Rovers
  • Hyde v Macclesfield Town POSTPONED
  • Runcorn FC 0-2 Runcorn Town

Vanarama Conference fixture:

  • Dartford 1-2 FC Halifax Town Halifax finished with 9 men.

FA Trophy Round 2

  • AFC Fylde v AFC Telford United POSTPONED; rearranged for 20 Jan.
  • FC United 1-0 Chorley (replay)
  • Woking 2-1 Oxford C.
  • Wrexham 6-1 Stockport Co.


Stacey Rowley, General Manager of the Altrincham FC Community Sports Hall advises us that "The Hilton Manchester Airport Hotel are doing an event to raise money for the Community Hall as we one of their registered charities this year". Stacey adds that “We are delighted to announce that the Hilton Manchester Airport have selected Altrincham FC Community Sports as one of their registered charities in 2015. They will be raising money to help with children’s activities such as our after-school clubs and Alty Mini Kickers. One of their first fundraisers is a Sportsman’s Dinner on the 13th March". Details and a booking form are adjacent; click on the image to enlarge it.


Trafford FC tell us that "Graham Heathcote has been unveiled as the new manager of Trafford Football Club. Graham is a legend in non-league football having made over 500 appearances for the star-studded Altrincham side of the 1970s and 1980s. That side were famed for its giant killing efforts and Graham scored FA Cup goals against the likes of Everton, Spurs and Liverpool. It is perhaps ironic that Graham’s first game in charge for Trafford will be against FA Cup giant killers Blyth Spartans [who beat Alty in this year's FA Cup].

Having retired from playing, Graham became involved in coaching and after spells with Runcorn, Witton Albion, Winsford United and Barrow, he returned to Altrincham. Graham undertook many roles at Moss Lane, including coach, assistant manager, secretary, groundsman, and eventually manager and, in 2005, he masterminded Alty’s return to the Conference National on very limited resources.

He was made a Freeman of the Borough of Altrincham for his services to the town. Since leaving Altrincham in 2011 Graham had a spell with Stafford Rangers and has worked in an advisory capacity for a number of clubs.

The task now facing him at Trafford is a daunting one as the club fights to stave off relegation and Saturday’s baptism could not come any tougher. Graham brings Chris Adams with him as Assistant Manager and the club are also delighted to announce that physiotherapist Robyn Jones is staying. Welcome to Trafford, Graham and Chris, and the very best of luck to you".


Above,courtesy of Mike Garnett, we see the record of Altrincham in Round 3 of the FA Trophy. It is 10 years since we got this far in the competition and 20 years since we won in Round Three!

Mike also advises us that Alty and Bath City have never previously met in a cup competition. He provides our historical record against The Romans:

  • Home P.17 W.9 D.3 L.5 F.24 A.14
  • Away P.17 W.7 D.6 L.4 F.23 A.19
  • Overall P.34 W.16 D.9 L.9 F.47 A.33

The clubs first met on 13th October 1979 (APL) when the outcome was Alty 4 Bath City 0. Our most recent meeting was a 0-3 defeat at home to Bath on 22nd January 2011.


The Football Conference tells us that "Darrell Clarke, manager of Bristol Rovers, completed his second signing of the week today, bringing in midfielder Adam Dawson on loan from Leicester City. The 22-year-old completed a scholarship with Liverpool and on his release signed for Wigan Athletic.

He made his senior debut when on loan at Accrington Stanley, in a Carling Cup tie in August 2012. He turned out for non-League sides Bacup Borough, FC United of Manchester, Barrow AFC, and Nelson before joining Leicester in October 2013. This season he has spent time on loan with Notts County and Nuneaton Town.

In all he made thirteen Vanarama Conference appearances for Nuneaton, the last of which was against AFC Telford United on New Year's Day.

Clarke said, 'Adam is a player who knows the division and his background with Leicester City will stand him in good stead. He’s been at Nuneaton this season where he picked up quite a few man of the match awards and did really well'".

Dawson played against Alty for Nuneaton in December.

Elsewhere, "Aldershot Town have signed Portsmouth defender Danny East and York City striker Ryan Jarvis on loan. Twenty-three-year-old East, who has joined The Shots until 9 February, is primarily a right-back but can also play at left-back or in central midfield, whilst dynamic forward Jarvis has signed for the rest of the season."

From NL Pitchero we learn that "Vanarama Conference leaders Barnet have signed striker Michael Gash until the end of the season... after having his contract with league rivals Kidderminster Harriers cancelled by mutual consent last week.

Gash joined the Harriers on a permanent basis in the summer of 2013 following a loan spell with the club in March of the same year, and has scored a total of 24 goals in seventy appearances for the Aggborough outfit...

Commenting on his arrival at The Hive, the 28-year-old, who has also played for Braintree Town, Cambridge United, Rushden & Diamonds, York City and Ebbsfleet United, admitted that he was delighted to have joined the club and is confident of making an impression during the remainder of the season."

Nearer to home, Southport report that "Andy Parry has joined Southport on, initiall,y a month's loan from Luton Town. Gary Brabin has agreed the loan deal wIth Hatters' manager John Still saying, 'I am delighted Andy has agreed to come in on loan, he is a versatile player who will strengthen our squad'. Previously this season Parry had a period on loan at AFC Telford where Liam Watson described him as outstanding".

Kidderminster Harriers "can officially confirm that the contract of Freddie Ladapo has been cancelled by mutual consent. Ladapo signed from Colchester United in January last year and made four appearances for the club."

Meanwhile, there is another new arrival at Forest Green where "Corby Moore has joined Forest Green Rovers on a deal until the end of the season after the club received international clearance for the 21-year-old midfielder. The Hampshire born attacker becomes Forest Green’s third January signing alongside the arrivals of Stuart Fleetwood and Charlie Clough, earlier this month.

He... knows the club well having been training with the squad since December. Moore moves to the club from North American Soccer League outfit, Indy Eleven, where he played alongside former Manchester United and Brazil international midfielder Kleberson. He originally began his career at hometown club Southampton where he rose through the Academy ranks at St Mary’s.

In October 2011 he earned a call up to the first team squad, however he was an unused substitute in a League Cup fourth round tie against Crystal Palace. As well as training with Rovers, he has featured in a number of training ground friendly matches. He played just off the striker against Exeter City just before Christmas, and he also featured in a 1-0 defeat at Newport County's training ground on Monday, which also included a number of other first team players... and has been given 25 as his squad number."

Chester FC "are pleased to announce the signing of Cory Williams. Cory has been training with the club for the past week and he has done enough to impress Steve Burr to earn a contract.

The pacy forward was at Hereford United last season and made several appearances from the substitutes' bench. Since leaving Hereford the 19 year old had been at his home town club Caernarfon. He will wear the number 12 shirt."

13 January 2015


On Tuesday night Altrincham travel to Valley Road, Flixton for a Cheshire Senior Cup Second Round tie away to Northwich Victoria (7.45pm). Vics are the current holders of the Cup. Thw Vics include former Alty midfielder Brian Summerskill in their squad. They currently lie third in the Evostik NPL Division One North, three points behind leaders Salford City.

With Altrincham having played five tough matches over the past fortnight, three of them away from home, and, with a small squad having picked up some niggly injuries, supporters can expect numerous changes to the Altrincham line-up against Northwich Victoria on Tuesday night. As a result, fringe first-team players and reserves will get the chance to show their ability in this Cheshire Senior Cup tie.

There will be NO live matchday updates on this website from the game between Northwich Victoria and Altrincham. However, there will be a brief report after the match this evening and a fuller report tomorrow.

Radio Robins, sponsored by Ashley Mowers Garden Machinery, will be broadcasting full live coverage of Tuesday night's game here. The match commentary sponsor is Ideal Engineering Support Ltd. I.E.S. is Timperley's number one industrial automation specialist.

For further information contact Dave Hudson.

The commentators are Paul Salt and Ian Wilkinson with John Edwards as match summariser. Coverage starts at 7.40pm with the game kicking off at 7.45pm & you can listen to Radio Robins on the internet at


Details of the TASC supporters' coach to the FA Trophy game at Bath City on Saturday, 24 January, are on the Away Travel page. Please book by ringing the Club during normal office hours (0161 928-1045).


Altrincham FC held its company AGM on Monday evening, starting at 7pm. Opening the meeting, chairman Grahame Rowley briefly outlined the events of the financial year in question, 2013-14. It had been a successful year for the club both on and off the field, with promotion for the first team and the building of the new Community Sports Hall.

However, despite some transfer income, the Club had uncharacteristically breached its budget and incurred a loss of around £16K. However, this "acceptable risk" had resulted in promotion and our now competing at a higher level of football.

Tony Collier from accountants MBL, took the meeting through the 2013-14 accounts. The attendees comprised some two dozen shareholders as well as the Club's four-man Board (Grahame Rowley, Andrew Shaw, Paul Daine, Derek Wilshaw) and Company Secretary, George Heslop, who was the chairman of the AGM. Mr Collier pointed out that wages had risen by 12% over 2013-14.

A question from the floor elicited confirmation that the length of lease on the Club's stadium was currently in excess of forty years. A further enquiry concerned the relationship between the Community Hall company and the Football Club.

Grahame Rowley explained that there was a Service Level Agreement between the two companies and that bar and food takings in the Hall accrued to the Football Club rather than the Hall. Club President Noel White enquired about the funding of the upgraded dressing rooms at the J. Davidson Stadium. It was explained that these had been funded by grants as a part of the Sports Hall project.

After the accounts had been accepted and MBL reappointed as the Club's accountants, a question was asked about the differing ages applied to senior citizen entry prices at the stadium. Currently the age of 60+ applies to female supporters and 65+ for males. Chairman Grahame Rowley undertook to revew this situation with his Board.

The meeting closed at 7.14pm as chairman of the AGM, George Heslop, lamentably failed to match the 7.11pm finish of AGM in 2014!


Phil Taylor has notified us that, on Sunday, Altrincham FC Ladies "won a tough, bruising encounter away at AFC Stockport by 3-1. The goals came from Tracey Blanchard Webb (2) and Georgia Plant and there was also a stupendous penalty save by Lizzie Brereton. A report will follow.


Alty's away tie at Bath City on the FA Trophy on 24 January will be their ninth away game in the last eleven FA Trophy draws. In fact, because the matches at Curzon Ashton in 2010-11 and Colwyn Bay in 2013-14 both had to be replayed after abandonments, Alty have actually played 11 of their last 13 Trophy ties away from home.


When Alty face Bath City in the FA Trophy, Bath are likely to field at least one player whom Altrincham have encountered previously in Frankie Artus. He played for Exeter City against us in 2007. A former Bristol City midfielder Artus also had a loan spell at Kettering Town in 2009 amd made his Football League debut at Brentford. In June 2014 the Bath Chronicle reported that "Bath City gave been handed a double boost ahead of the 2014-15 season with the signing of Frankie Artus and a new deal for popular winger Ross Stearn.

Artus made 35 Conference Premier appearances for Hereford United last term, leaving the Bulls after financial problems saw them demoted to the Southern League. The Bristol-born midfielder has played League football for Cheltenham Town, Exeter City, Brentford and Chesterfield... after starting his career with Bristol City. He also had a two-year stint at Grimsby Town before moving back to the West in 2013.

Stearn, meanwhile, proved a huge hit on the Twerton Park terraces last season after signing from Weston-super-Mare. He found the net 14 times in 23 starts, making a further 19 appearances from the substitutes bench."


The BBC reports that "Alfreton Town chairman Wayne Bradley says securing US investment of up to £250,000 will not result in a silly spending spree but says it will bring about a steady 'revolution'. The deal sees a link with lower-league American side Fort Worth Vaqueros.

Bradley told BBC East Midlands Today, 'You won't see a blank chequebook but I hope it will bring a focus from supporters who want to come and see what a revolution looks like, - although it will start from small ashes'. The Conference Premier side have one of the smallest budgets and one of the smallest supporter-bases in the league and are struggling in the relegation zone. Manager Nicky Law said just surviving at the highest level in non-league football has been tough.

'Wayne has always been looking for someone to come in and help out on the financial side', Law said. 'We are not blessed with big crowds. The investors are very positive and and are confident they can bring a lot of new ideas to the club'.

Alfreton's average attendance is just over 600 from their 13 league games this season and is the lowest in the Conference Premier...

'I am under the impression there will no instant investment and a war chest to get five or six players but we will look to bring in younger players. The investors are full of enthusiasm and good ideas. They are business men and will not just do it for a bit of fun. They seriously believe they can bring something and take the club forward and we all hope the same. They like the atmosphere and what the club was about. They know what they are getting in to and have taken time to study the club. They have done their homework'...

'We have had a poor first half of the season', Law said. 'But we have to come good in the second half of the season. On our day we can beat anybody. We just need to this some consistency'".

Meanwhile, the BBC says that "Bristol Rovers have signed striker Jermaine Easter on an 18-month deal following his release by Millwall. The 32-year-old, capped 12 times by Wales, had not played for the Championship side since Boxing Day and his contract was cancelled on Thursday. Rovers, second in the Conference, are the 12th club of his 16-year career.

'I think it's quite a coup, to bring a player of Jermaine's calibre to the Memorial Stadium', chairman Nick Higgs told the club website. Manager Darrell Clarke added, 'Although Jermaine was keen to move to a club closer to his Cardiff home, he has come to us for all the right reasons. However the fact that he was keen to be closer to home, it gave us an advantage when it came to signing a player of his calibre'.

Easter started his career at Wolves and has also played for Hartlepool, Cambridge, Boston, Stockport, Wycombe, Plymouth, Colchester, MK Dons, Swansea and Crystal Palace".

Elsewhere, "Torquay United manager Chris Hargreaves has admitted he is powerless to stop right-back Durrell Berry leaving. Berry, 22, has played 11 Gulls' games since joining on non-contract terms in October, after failing to find a club since leaving Plymouth last summer. But Hargreaves said he does not have the finances to sign the former Aston Villa youngster on a permanent deal.

'I can't give him the money he needs yet because we haven't got it', the Torquay manager told BBC Sport. 'I've told him "I want to sign you, I think you're a great player, you're in the shop window"... I'm not happy with saying that, but it's the truth'.

Meanwhile, Hargreaves says much-heralded young full-back Levi Ives has still not signed the contract offered to him. The 17-year-old Northern Ireland youth international has impressed at left-back for the club this season, but could leave Plainmoor when his youth deal runs out in the summer. 'The main thing for him is to get a career in football and, if him and his family and his agent don't want him to sign and don't want him to rush into it, I totally understand that. From our point of view we're protected by EPPP [the Elite Player Performance Plan] by compensation if he does go anywhere, and if that's the case, that's the case.

As far as I'm concerned if he trains well and he's good enough, he gets in the team and he helps us win games. Of course I want him to sign so he's in our first-team squad, at the minute he remains a youth-team player with those jobs etc... To play first-team football at 17 is a big thing'".

12 January 2015


In today's FA Trophy Round Three draw, Altrincham have been drawn against Bath City away.

The full draw is...

  • Stockport County or Wrexham v Grimsby Town or Gateshead
  • Braintree Town v Ebbsfleet United
  • Chorley or FC United Of Manchester v AFC Fylde or AFC Telford United
  • Dartford v FC Halifax Town
  • Farnborough v North Ferriby United
  • Hemel Hempstead Town v Torquay United
  • Bath City v Altrincham
  • Oxford City or Woking v Dover Athletic

Bath City are currently 12th in Vanarama Conference South. They were relegated from the national level in 2012, the year after Altrincham went down. City's last matches against Altrincham were in 2010-11:

  • Sat.6.11.10 Away 2-2 (gate 974 - Alty scorers Clee 39, Twiss 47) Alty team: 1. Stuart COBURN, 5. Robbie WILLIAMS, 4. Marc JOSEPH, 6. Shaun DENSMORE, 7. Robbie LAWTON (capt), 25. Matt SOMNER, 27. Andrew MILNE, 15. Ryan BROWN, 11. Nicky CLEE, 17. Wes BAYNES, 9. Michael TWISS, Subs: 21. James COATES, 8. Damian REEVES, 20. Sam HEWSON, 22. Michael WELCH. 16. Anthony DANYLYK.
  • Sat.22.1.11 Home 0-3 (gate 831) Alty team: 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. James SMITH, 26. Carl PIERGIANNI, 5. Robbie WILLIAMS, 19. Mark BEESLEY, 6. Shaun DENSMORE, 7. Robbie LAWTON (capt), 8. Damian REEVES, 9. Michael TWISS, 17. Wes BAYNES, 20. Sam HEWSON, Subs: 11. Nicky CLEE, 15. Ryan BROWN, 16. Anthony DANYLYK, 10. Chris DENHAM, 30. Craig DOOTSON.

Right: Alty's two scorers in November 2010 at Bath are seen here; left is Nicky Clee and right is Michael Twiss.

Bath reached the 3rd Round this season by beating Gloucester City 3-1 in a replay after a goalless draw. A 2-0 win away at Bristol Rovers then earned them an away match at Wealdstone, which Bath won 3-1.


Brian Flynn's post-match interview with Lee Sinnott, from Kidderminster is here


The precise timing of the FA Trophy draw is always, for some reason, an uncertain event. However, according to the Football Conference, "For those Vanarama clubs still with an interest, the FA Trophy 3rd Round draw is tomorrow (Monday) at around 11.30am at Wembley". Then a Twtter feed on Monday morning said the draw is at noon. So, who knows?

Once the draw is known, it will be posted here.


Above, Michael Ripley's image shows how Stuart Coburn kept the ball out of his net with his legs as well as his hands at Aggborough on Saturday. More of Mike's images are here.

Match report here.


According to Harriers Online "Harriers woes continue with another home defeat but this defeat wasn't just any old defeat.

This was one that we should have won for many reasons, the least of which was it was our third home defeat on the trot. There were other reasons, such as second half domination, missed penalties, great goalkeeping and so on but the real reason why this was such a bad defeat was because the club, and the fans, were relying on a good run in the Trophy to bring some much needed funds into the club and also the chance to go to Wembley again. The possibility of us getting anywhere near the play-offs is looking thinner by the minute if we can't drop on a player that can hit the back of the net.

A bad mistake from the Harriers' new loan signing, Nathaniel Kelly, to allow Altrincham to score their only goal of the game didn't help matters but Kelly could be excused for being nervous in his first game on the big stage but Craig Reid's shocking penalty miss wasn't down to nerves. It was down to a lack of clinical ability and composure that saw him sky it over the bar and almost over the stand too.

We started the game on a poor pitch, once again, with the only improvement from the last time we played on it was that it wasn't as wet and the high winds overnight had dried it out to a certain extent. Nathan Kelly was... thrown into the deep end and had never played at this level before. On the bench was another new face. Keyon Reffell had finally received international clearance to play and he soon got his chance to shine when Marvin Johnson was taken off injured mid way through the first half...

By then the damage had been done and Altrincham had taken the lead in the nineteenth minute through a Damian Reeves's opportunistic goal after he capitalised on a slow clearance from Kelly that only got as far as a few feet away into the path of Reeves. The Alty hitman quickly took the ball forward and fired in an unstoppable shot that left Danny Lewis no chance of saving.

Up until then both sides were equal with, probably the visitors just shading the possession and passing, against our chances of scoring.... Reeves had already given notice that he was going to be a danger when he forced Lewis into a save that was tipped over the bar but then went one better with the goal five minutes later. He should have doubled their lead just before the Johnson injury when his header at the near post was poorly directed and should have been buried. Instead it went well wide of the upright..

Three minutes from the break came the moment that was to define the remainder of the game for us and also the result. Jack Byrne was upended in the area by Luca Havern; some may say it was a bit soft, and the ref pointed to the spot. Up stepped Craig Reid to take it (all primed and up for it after scoring our first of the season on New Year's day) and missed. Groans rang out around the ground and the mould was cast.

The second period was much improved apart from the ability to play on our pitch. Yet Altrincham seemed to manage it, as did Southport and FGR a few weeks back, and continued to pass the ball around without losing it too much. Within minutes of the re-start came an unexpected surprise. One that no one saw coming. After nine minutes Craig Reid was called off for Reece Styche to take his place... We found out later on the radio that Gary Whild had lost patience with his lack of interest and effort. If it was then we could have told the manager this months ago.

Styche answered his critics in the best possible way by making the frontline start to work harder and also give the visiting defenders something to do... The Harriers had now upped the tempo but the visitors were happy to sit back and soak up the pressure. They made a few changes to that effect by bringing on players that could hold up the play at the expense of ones that could score goals.

With the game now ticking away for the last ten minutes the Harriers staged an onslaught on the Town End... The dream was over for another year. Hopefully our season won't be over but it doesn't look too good".

11 January 2015


After Damian Reeves had scored a fine goal in the 20th minute, Alty held a deserved interval lead. But Harriers dominated the second half with goalkeeper Coburn being Alty's hero.

Match report here.

Right: Jake Moult (in yellow) in action for Alty at Aggborough.


  • AFC Fylde P-P AFC Telford Utd
  • Chorley 3 - 3 United of Manchester att 2254
  • Ebbsfleet 1 - 0 Forest Green Rovers att 1018
  • Gosport 0 - 2 Braintree T. att 460
  • Grimsby 0 - 0 Gateshead att 1185
  • Halifax 5 - 3 Alfreton T. att 949
  • Havant & Waterlooville 0 - 1 Dover A. att 405
  • Hemel Hempstead 3 - 1 Concord R. att.529
  • Kidderminster H. 0 - 1 Altrincham att. 1204
  • Maidenhead 2 - 2 Farnborough att 303
  • North Ferriby U. 2 - 0 Hyde att.265
  • Oxford City 2 - 2 Woking att.652
  • Stockport Co. 2 - 2 Wrexham att 2416
  • Torquay 4 - 0 Bromley att. 1507
  • Wealdstone 1 - 3 Bath City att. 553


On Tuesday night, Altrincham travel to Flixton to play Northwich Victoria in the Cheshire Senior Cup. On Saturday, "third-placed Northwich Victoria suffered a 2-1 defeat at Spennymoor Town... A crowd of 457 saw Joe Tait give the Moors a 7th minute lead that Aboubacar Sanogo cancelled out just past the hour-mark. Michael Roberts won it for the home side deep into stoppage time".


After Saturday's game, manager Lee Sinnott described Damian Reeves's goal on Saturday to the NL Paper, "It was probably the best bit of skill in the whole game. The main objective of these games is to be in the hat for the next round and we've achieved that. We had to soak up quite a bit of pressure and our goalkeeper has pulled off a couple of wonderful saves and they've missed a penalty.

I can't fault the players for character. They are a tired bunch but they achieved what they set out to do".

Harriers' boss Gary Whild opined, "We raised the tempo in the second half and made their goalkeeper work and their defenders earned their money. I'm disappointed we have lost three home games on the trot. That's not good enough for me. Something has got to change".


Three Alty players are nearing significant landmarks. Damian Reeves's next start will be his 200th for Altrincham; he has also made 23 appearances from the bench. His goals tally in these games is a phenomenal 141. Damian is pictured, right, receiving congratulations from Simon Richman and Nicky Clee just after netting his 141st goal, the winner at Aggborough on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Scott Leather and Jake Moult face a close race to be first to 100 starts for Alty. To date, defender Scott has 98 starts and 19 more from the bench, whilst midfielder Jake also has 98 starts but also 24 appearances as a substitute.


Kidderminster Harriers report that "Harriers exited the FA Trophy after Damian Reeves’s first-half effort was enough to send Altrincham into the Third Round of the competition. Craig Reid missed a penalty while Alty ‘keeper Stuart Coburn was in top form, denying Harriers time after time in the second half to keep his side in the game.

The likes of Akwasi Asante and substitute Keyon Reffell showed brilliant potential for Harriers with bright performances as they all but put the ball into the back of the net...

Gary Whild made one change to the side which beat Dartford last week, as cup-tied defender Jordan Tunnicliffe was unable to feature after appearing in the competition for previous club Sutton Coldfield Town. On-loan Birmingham City defender Nat Kelly, who joined on a month-long deal on Friday, slotted straight in alongside Jamie Grimes at centre-back...

The visitors broke the deadlock after 20 minutes, following up a Harriers chance on goal immediately with an attack of their own. Asante had forced Coburn into one of many saves with a quick turn and shot on the edge of the area from Kyle Storer’s pass, and the ‘keeper reacted swiftly to propel the ball upfield. From there, an error by Kelly allowed Reeves to steal possession and fire a low angled shot from the right into the opposite corner, bagging his 15th goal of the season in the process.

Reid then fluffed a golden opportunity to level for Harriers from the penalty spot after Jack Byrne was fouled by Gianluca Havern in the box. Byrne burst into the area aiming to finish off a well-worked Harriers forward move, as Asante held the ball up brilliantly to find Reid, who laid the ball into the midfielder’s path. But the striker, who scored his side’s first penalty of the season with a confident effort against Forest Green Rovers, blasted his spot-kick over the bar four minutes before the interval,

Harriers were unlucky to be behind at the break after calling Coburn into action on several occasions... For Alty, Reeves issued Harriers with a warning on the 13th minute, when a Danny Lewis fingertips save sent his header over the bar, before the striker sent a headed effort narrowly wide after 34 minutes.

But, in truth, that was as good as it got for the visitors as Harriers turned up the heat in the second half. They were forced to do so without Johnson, however. The winger, who highlighted his importance for Harriers with last week’s brace to earn three points at Dartford, hobbled off 10 minutes before the interval, a huge blow for Whild’s side. But his replacement Reffell stepped up admirably and became a real danger for Harriers as the game wore on...

It was Asante who had Harriers’ best chance of the second half on the 66th minute, unleashing a stinging shot after latching on to Jared Hodgkiss’ header, but Coburn pulled off another stunning stop to keep his opponents out... It was all getting rather frantic as the game entered its final 10 minutes with the likes of Asante and Reffell both denied with last-gasp blocks or brave stops by Coburn as Harriers piled on the pressure.

Nicholson got in on the act with a curling hit from just outside the area, but again Coburn could not be breached, the ‘keeper diving valiantly to his right to thwart the left-back. And the Harriers defender was denied by Coburn once more two minutes from the end as his threatening free-kick was dealt with by the ‘keeper.

In the end, Whild’s men gave it everything they had but just could not beat the admirable Coburn, who played a huge part in helping Altrincham into the draw for the next round".

The Kidderminster Shuttle adds that "Harriers were left to rue Craig Reid's penalty miss as Altrincham ended their FA Trophy dreams. Kidderminster fell behind to Damian Reeves' 20th minute penalty {er?!] but Reid fired a spot-kick over the bar late in the first half. The hosts piled on the pressure and were denied by Altrincham keeper Stuart Coburn, who made a slew [?] of saves...

Altrincham were also keen to get forward and in the 13th minute, Danny Lewis had to tip Reeves's header onto the bar. Akwasi Asante was making his first home start for Harriers and forced a diving save from Coburn after a neat turn and stinging shot in the 19th. But the hosts fell behind less than 60 seconds later when Kelly made the error of losing Reeves and the forward had time to volley a fine effort into the bottom far corner...

The hosts then wasted a gilt-edged chance to level in the 42nd minute when Jack Byrne was tripped from behind by Gianluca Havern as he junked [jinked?] into the box. Reid stepped up for his second penalty in three games but blazed it over the bar... Altrincham's keeper produced heroics to deny Harriers as they swarmed over the away side".


On the FA Trophy games on Saturday, NL Pitchero says that "A potential surprise is still on the cards after FC United of Manchester held Vanarama Conference North high-flyers Chorley to a 3-3 draw at Victory Park. FC United will now have home advantage in the replay on Tuesday night at the Tameside Stadium after fighting back to draw a six-goal thriller in front of a crowd of 2,254.

The Reds were 2-0 down at half-time due to an own goal by Luke Ashworth and a superb strike by [ex-Alty loanee] James Dean. But a Tom Greaves brace got the visitors back on level terms by the 66th minute before Matthew Wolfenden looked like he might have scored the winner with 9 minutes to go. However, the lead was short lived as Dean got his second goal and the equaliser barely 3 minutes later to earn a second chance...

Ebbsfleet United ousted Vanarama Conference visitors Forest Green Rovers at Stonebridge Road... Burgess Hill Town, the lowest-ranked club left in the competition, bowed out 2-1 at Leylands Park to Vanarama Conference side Dartford...

A Richard Peniket hat-trick sent FC Halifax Town into the Third Round after an eight-goal thriller at the Shay against Alfreton Town... An early Alfreton goal within the first 5 minutes from Bradley Wood got the game going, before Steve Williams got the home side level. Lee Stevenson then put the away side back in-front before the break, but Peniket was on hand to send the teams in level in the final minute of the half.

The Reds began the second half similar to the first, scoring within 10 minutes, thanks to Tom Shaw. But once again, back came the Shaymen and Peniket. The 21-year-old equalised with his second goal on the hour-mark before getting his hat-trick and Town’s fourth minutes later. A long range Danny Schofield free-kick that cannoned in off keeper George Wills wrapped things up in a phenomenal game at the Shay...

Grimsby Town and Gateshead will have to try again to settle their tie after a goalless draw at Blundell Park... [For Dover] it was a trip to Westleigh Park for a tricky test against Conference South play-off chasers Havant & Waterlooville. And the Whites scraped through with a late goal...

Louis Moult’s spectacular overhead kick earned recent Trophy winners Wrexham a replay with Conference North hosts Stockport County following a 2-2 draw at Edgeley Park... Two goals in 2 minutes with a quarter of an hour remaining saw Oxford City bounce back to grab a draw with old rivals Woking in the 125th fixture between the two clubs...

Two red cards, two penalties and a goalkeeping error were the story of last season`s runners-up Gosport Borough exit at Privett Park against Braintree Town... North Ferriby United comfortably progressed against Conference North rivals Hyde FC at Church Road... Bath City progressed to the last sixteen, thanks to three first half goals at Grosvenor Vale against... Wealdstone. Conference South side Hemel Hempstead Town went through against league rivals Concord Rangers...

In another all-Conference South tie, Maidenhead United and Farnborough shared a 2-2 draw at York Road".


  • Eastleigh 4 Lincoln City 0
Eastleigh missed THREE penalties in this match!

In this game, the Football Conference reports that "The Imps were up against it after Jon Nolan was dismissed after just 20 minutes following a high challenge on Will Evans.

The hosts took a 1-0 lead at half-time, courtesy of Jack midson, but it could have been more had recent signing Brian Howard not made a hash of his penalty opportunity on 27 minutes. A two-goals in 2-minute spell from James Constable and Midson again just after the break killed the game as a contest as Eastleigh went 3-0 ahead.

It could have been more though as Eastleigh had two more penalties, and while Paul Farman made a great save to deny Midson his hat-trick, Evans's effort was well over the bar. Eastleigh wrapped the game up in added time with a Craig McAllister strike."

Chester "midfielder Wayne Riley has come to a mutual agreement to leave the club with immediate effect... after finding his chances limited at Chester FC."

Bristol Rovers say that "Vanarama are delighted to announce that the winner of the Vanarama Conference Manager of the Month award for December is Darrell Clarke of Bristol Rovers. Rovers have had an impressive month recording a total of 11 points in December and currently sit in second place in the Vanarama Conference. On the announcement of the award Darrell said, 'It’s a privilege to accept this award again on behalf of everyone connected with the club'”.

And Barnet confirm that "the winner of the Vanarama Conference Player of the Month award for December is John Akinde of Barnet. Barnet are currently 6 points clear at the top of the Vanarama Conference and John has had a major part to play in this, scoring 21 goals in the league this season."


The EvoStik League reports that Lewis Chalmers has moved from from Trafford to New Mills and Craig Dootson from AFC Fylde to Salford City on dual registration.


At our neighbours, Trafford, "Manager Garry Vaughan has resigned from the Club Saying he can’t take the Club any further".
10 January 2015


Following a pitch inspection at Aggborough at 10.30am this morning, today's game is ON.


At stake on Saturday's FA Trophy Round Two matches is prize money of £6,000 for the winning club.

In advance of the game, Kidderminster Harriers "have signed Birmingham City defender Nathaniel Kelly on a month-long youth loan. The 19-year-old will remain at Aggborough until 9th February and will be available to play for Harriers in Saturday's FA Trophy tie.

It provides manager Gary Whild with a much-needed defensive boost to his squad for this weekend's game against Altrincham, with Josh Gowling injured and both Jordan Tunnicliffe and Tyrone Williams cup-tied. Kelly signed a professional deal with Birmingham City last year, when he was a second-year scholar, and has featured for the reserves and the under-21s. He is the third player associated with Blues to join Harriers this season and will be known to both Reece Hales and Akwasi Asante, who also progressed through the Blues' academy but were released by the club last summer. Kelly will wear the number 5 shirt while at Harriers."

In addition, "Harriers can confirm that striker Keyon Reffell has been given international clearance after signing from Welsh side Port Talbot. Reffell is now able to play for the club and will be in contention to make his debut in this weekend's FA Trophy tie against Altrincham at Aggborough. He will wear the number 23 shirt". But there is also a departure as "Reece Hales has signed for Stourbridge on loan until the end of the season. The striker, who joined the club for an initial two-month spell back in September and October 2014, has returned to the War Memorial Athletic Ground... Hales has made six appearances in total for Harriers in 2014/15.

Meanwhile, Haydn Whitcombe has signed non-contract terms with Harriers until the end of the season. The 21-year-old goalkeeper progressed through the youth team at Harriers before leaving in 2011 and playing for the likes of Stourport Swifts, Littleton and Halesowen Town".

And the unofficial Harriers Online tells us that "The Harriers get down to the nitty gritty of the FA Trophy tomorrow when Altrincham arrive at Aggborough for this 2nd round tie... There's just one fly in the ointment though and that's that bloody pitch.

Over the festive period that was our downfall and going by photos taken of the pitch yesterday, there doesn't seem to have been much of an improvement. The pitch has been covered in an attempt to keep it free from frost and, hopefully, encourage some grass to grow but it's the wrong time of the year for that now and the playing surface remains as more soil than grass. We just have to hope there will be no rain on it between now and three o'clock tomorrow...

We met up with Altrincham at theirs a few weeks ago and lost in the second half after taking a lead just after the break through, who else, but Marvin Johnson. In the league game played at Aggborough earlier in the season we racked up four goals against them with no reply but since our defeat in November they have been on a run of good form and at the moment sit in eighth place in the form table, just two behind us...

If we fail in this [FA Trophy] it could mean hard times financially for the club".

Meranwhile, Birmingham City confirm that "Teenage defender Nat Kelly has joined Kidderminster Harriers on a one-month youth loan.... This is the first time that the 19-year-old Blues Academy product, who has made seven appearances for the U21s this season, has been out on loan".

And NL Pitchero adds that "Harriers have re-signed young goalkeeper Haydn Whitcombe, who started out at Aggborough before joining Stourport Swifts, from neighbours Halesowen Town. More recently [he has] been at Littleton before making his debut for Halesowen in the Birmingham Senior Cup against Coventry City."


John Edwards, joint Press & Media Officer at Altrincham FC writes that, "Altrincham chairman Grahame Rowley has expressed his gratitude to Sir Alex Ferguson for agreeing to a change of date for the official opening of the club's Community Sports Hall.

Alty feared they may have lost their star attraction for the eagerly- awaited ribbon-cutting ceremony after it emerged that Sir Alex will be out of the country on the original date of Wednesday, January 21.

But after promising to do the honours, the former Manchester United manager kindly reassured club bosses he would keep his word and has now consented to be at The J.Davidson Stadium for a rearranged launch of the hugely-impressive new facility on Monday, February 9, from 1pm onwards.

'Such are the demands on Sir Alex's time, both at home and abroad, it was just one of those unfortunate things when it transpired he would be out of the country on the original date,' said Alty chairman Rowley. 'But he was good enough to find another day when he could attend, and we are all extremely grateful to him for his kindness and consideration.

'A lot has been said about who should conduct the opening ceremony, but you cannot get a bigger name anywhere in football than Sir Alex Ferguson. To have someone of his standing opening what we believe is a very prestigious facility in the Trafford Borough is entirely fitting. We could not have wished for anyone better.

'It was with the help of (former United chief executive) David Gill that we managed to secure the services of Sir Alex. David was a regular visitor when United's Reserves used to play at our ground, and he has occasionally come along to watch us, when his busy schedule has permitted. We are grateful to him, as well.'"


Courtesy of Phil Taylor, we have a match report on the Altrincham FC Ladies 5-2 win against Stockport County HNR in a match switched to Stockport because of the weather.


NL Pitchero reports that "Welling United have signed vastly experienced defender Darren Purse from Chesham United. The 36-year-old, much-travelled centre-back joined Chesham United in January 2014 following a short spell at IFK Mariehamn in Finland. He is a well-known figure having made 556 League appearances from 1996 to 2013 and is perhaps best known for his spells at Birmingham City, West Bromwich Albion and Cardiff City, and commanded transfer fees of around £2.5m across his playing career...

His other clubs include Oxford United, Sheffield Wednesday, Leyton Orient, Millwall, Plymouth Argyle and Port Vale and he is employed as the academy boss at ambitious AFC Rushden & Diamonds. Chesham manager Andy Leese was disappointed to lose Purse, saying, 'I have done all I can to retain Darren but his circumstances have changed, and he wants to get back to an environment where he is used to playing as he plans the next stage of his football career'".

According to the BBC, "Torquay United manager Chris Hargreaves says the club will save £300,000 when the contracts of some of their biggest earners run out in the summer. The Gulls have already released Jake Hutchings and Niall Thompson and Elliot Benyon is out on loan. Benyon will be out of contract in the summer, as will Dale Tongue, Krystian Pearce, Aaron Downes and Ben Harding.

'There are probably wages of £300,000 annually that are going to come off in the summer', Hargreaves told BBC Devon. The 42-year-old took over 12 months ago and inherited a number of players recruited by previous managers Alan Knill and Martin Ling. He... believes he will not be able to rebuild the side properly until he is able to fill the squad with his own players.

'I've got to build a team that can challenge and you're not going to do that on peanuts. Historically, the clubs that have gone up have spent big', Hargreaves said. 'We did that when we went up, so will I have that type of money? I don't know, but I will be able to choose a squad of players, whatever budget it is, and then I'll be judged'.

Hargreaves has previously claimed there is 'no money' for transfers at the club, and although Durrell Berry and James McQuilkin were signed on non-contract deals, he has struggled to persuade players to come to the club on loan. 'I've spoken to four or five managers, three in the Premier League last week, and they've given me their blessing for players, but the players haven't wanted to come down to the area, they feel it's too far and that's another thing that's a stumbling block', he added.

'I won't necessarily get any money, but if I can find a player that I can get in for nothing and we can sort out some sort of accommodation then of course we'd look at it'".

Reports in the Derbyshire Times tell us that " Alfreton Town have sent defender Dan Gray out on loan to Bradford Park Avenue... until February 8th, 2015 inclusive. Mansfield-born Gray, 25, began his career with Chesterfield but had his first taste of senior football on a 'work experience' loan with Alfreton in 2008. He began his career as a central midfield player before being converted into a right-back where he has spent most of his first-team career.

After two loan spells at Macclesfield Town, where he made a further twenty-three appearances, Gray was released by Chesterfield at the end of the 2011/12 season after forty-five games and moved to Lincoln where he spent the last two seasons, making fifty-two appearances. Gray signed for the Reds in July and has played eight times in all competitions to date".

From Forest Green Rovers, we learn that "Following the completion of the paperwork, Forest Green Rovers can confirm that Charlie Clough has joined the club on a contract that will run until the summer of 2016. The 24 year old moves to The New Lawn from Sutton United... and makes a return to full time football having begun his career at Bristol Rovers.

A central defender by trade, Clough can also fulfil a number of other roles, and actually scored twice as an attacker in his final game for Sutton... He was a teammate of current FGR duo David Pipe and Danny Coles when he kick-started his career at Bristol Rovers... He was shipped out on loan for several loan spells... and he tasted life at the likes of Newport County, Weymouth, Bath City and AFC Telford United.

On his release from Bristol Rovers, he signed for Dorchester Town, where he had enjoyed another loan spell, and after a season long stay... he was picked up by Sutton. Speaking to This is Local London, Clough declared, 'Rovers is a really good club with excellent facilities and some truly great players. For me this is a good move, at 24 I still feel I have something to offer and this is my shot at a higher level of football. If I can help Rovers push on, then maybe there’s a crack at the Football League, and that is the ultimate goal'. Clough will wear the number 4 shirt for Forest Green".

In Chester First, we read that "Steve Burr believes the Blues can finish the campaign in the top half of the league table. The Chester boss will complete one year in the managerial hotseat when his team face Southport at Haig Avenue on Saturday week...

'A lot of people have told me that Chester are in a better position now than we were at this same stage last season', Burr said. 'But I’m not happy that we’re still in the bottom half of the league table and I don’t want us to finish the season in that position. I think we are a much better team than our league position suggests and that we have played some good football without getting the results we were after. I’ve been very frustrated that we have been unable to kick on after our great win at FC Halifax Town and have failed to break into the top half of the league table because we are better than that.

Our results against Altrincham and at home to Braintree were poor and very disappointing... Jon (McCarthy) and I have been to a number of league clubs watching players this week and we have received a lot of positive comments from people who were impressed with how well we played in our FA Cup tie at Barnsley. Those comments remind me that the players don’t become bad players overnight... I don’t want us to stagnate for the remainder of the season'.

Chester have only achieved back-to-back victories on three occasions since Burr’s first game in charge on January 18... In all competitions, Chester have won 21 matches, lost 27, and drawn 10, and only four players from Burr’s first game in charge against Barnet currently play for the Blues, John Rooney, Tom Peers, Craig Mahon, and Michael Kay. Burr has reshaped the Chester squad and has employed 27 different players in league matches so far this term. But the Blues boss is likely to include new signings Josh Green and Ryan Higgins for the next match at Southport. Burr has also revealed he is hoping to add three more players to his squad, including a striker, ahead of the trip to the Sandgrounders who are managed by former Chester City skipper, Gary Brabin."

The Eastleigh News reports that "Eastleigh suffered their first home defeat of the season on Sunday as they went down to Altrincham 2-0 with left-back Michael Green getting sent off... Hill’s men would now look to bounce back against a team who they have already beaten at home this season as they welcome Lincoln City to the Silverlake Stadium on Saturday...

Gary Simpson’s Imps currently sit in mid-table two points below Eastleigh in 11th but are in good form having recently beat the league leaders 4-1 at home... The Spitfires met Lincoln back in November in the FA Cup where Ben Strevens got the all important late goal that sent Eastleigh into the next round."


Welsh Premier tells us that "Two days after parting company with Gap Connah's Quay, former Nomads' player-manager Marc McGregor [left] has signed as a player for Cefn Druids.

'Mark is a real professional and has the experience we required in the bottom six of the Welsh Premier League', says Ancients' manager John Keegan. 'We were very surprised he was allowed to join a Welsh Premier team, with Connah's Quay being one of our bottom six rivals, but hopefully their loss is our gain. With Mark playing such a major role as a player in their survival last season it was a no brainer to try and bring him to the club and add much-needed experience and leadership qualities to our young team. He had a fair few offers on the table, but we are delighted to have Mark at the club'...

Chester-born McGregor started his playing career as a trainee at Wrexham... before moving to Burnley on a free transfer in July 2001. McGregor made 54 appearances at Turf Moor before moving to Blackpool in July 2004, making 59 appearances before moving on to Port Vale. He was a permanent member of the first team squad for the Potteries outfit, but was released by manager Lee Sinnott in April 2008 after the club's relegation to League Two and, after an unsuccessful trial with Mansfield Town, arrived at Altrincham, where he made 41 appearances, occasionally as captain.

'I love playing football. it's all I know, so to get a chance to play again at this level was to good to turn down', McGregor commented. 'I loved my time at Nomads but football moves on and it will be nice to just be a player again without the added pressure of management'".

9 January 2015


Reports from Kidderminster suggest that the Harriers are confident that Saturday's game against Altrincham in the FA Trophy will go ahead, despite the well publicised problems recently with Aggborough pitch. The club has covers on vulnerable parts of the pitch to help ensure that the match proceeds.

Details of the TASC supporters' coach are here and bookings can be made by ringing the club on 0161 928-1045.


Altrincham and Southport have agreed to bring forward their Vanarama Conference match at the J. Davidson Stadium in April by 24 hours to Good Friday, 3 April, at 3pm.


Following Thursday training, manager Lee Sinnott reports that James Lawrie (hamstring) and Peter Cavanagh (Achilles) are Altrincham's two main doubts for Saturday's FA Trophy at Kidderminster.

News of Saturday's opponents comes from the Kidderminster Shuttle, which says that "Harriers boss Gary Whild has a selection headache for Saturday’s FA Trophy Second Round home clash against Altrincham. The Reds are suffering from a lack of defensive options, with centre backs Jordan Tunnicliffe and Tyrone Williams cup-tied, after playing in the competition for Sutton Coldfield and Romulus respectively.

With Josh Gowling still recovering from medial ligament damage, the Reds have only one recognised centre back in Jamie Grimes. Young striker Jamie Spencer is also ineligible, after playing in the competition for Redditch, while Aman Verma is struggling with a back problem.

Winger Keyon Refell, who joined the club from Welsh side Port Talbot, looks set for his debut with the Welshman’s international clearance close to coming through.

But Whild is keen for the Aggborough outfit, who are back in the Vanarama Conference play-off spots, to progress in the competition despite his squad worries. He said, 'Altrincham are one of the division’s form sides and had a really good result at Eastleigh but we’re at home so that gives us an advantage and, as I had said before, the Trophy is a competition we’d like to go a long way in.

Jordan Tunnicliffe and Jamie Spencer are both cup-tied but we’ve got options and we’re working on a few things. The club are also working hard on Keyon Refell’s international clearance, it’s not done yet but we’re hopeful he’ll be available for Saturday'.

Meanwhile, striker Michael Gash has left the club after his contract was cancelled by mutual consent. The forward, who has been on loan at Nuneaton, was top scorer last season, but fell out of favour with the management, who felt he did not pull his weight in training. Whild added, 'If you look at Michael’s club record he starts well and then fades. He’s got to go and get some games under his belt and get fit because he has a young family to look after'.

The groundmsan at Aggborough, Gary Birch, speaks here about "problems the club has faced with the pitch and the short- and long-term solutions they are applying to improve its condition.

Worcester City, who are tenants at Aggborough, have published a photo of the pitch as of 3 January.


Saturday 10 January
  • Chorley v FC United Of Manchester
  • Grimsby Town v Gateshead
  • Stockport County v Wrexham
  • FC Halifax Town v Alfreton Town
  • North Ferriby United v Hyde
  • AFC Fylde v AFC Telford United
  • Kidderminster Harriers v Altrincham
  • Wealdstone v Bath City
  • Ebbsfleet United v Forest Green Rovers
  • Havant & Waterlooville v Dover Athletic
  • Maidenhead United v Farnborough
  • Gosport Borough v Braintree Town
  • Oxford City v Woking
  • Hemel Hempstead Town v Concord Rangers
  • Torquay United v Bromley
  • Burgess Hill Town v Dartford


NL Daily reports that "Gary Lowe, manager of Hyde, has added three new players to his squad.

The new arrivals Danny Racchi from Icelandic side Valur Reykjavik, Tyler Devlin from Ryman League Division One North outfit Aveley, and Danny Hall on a month-long loan deal from league rivals Guiseley... Danny Hall will be no stranger to Hyde fans, being part of the title-winning squad in the 2011-12 campaign. He proved to be an instant hit at Ewen Fields with some assured performances at the back and an impressive three goals in his first five league appearances.

The 31-year-old has a wealth of Football League experience with Oldham Athletic, Shrewsbury Town and Chesterfield and has played in the Scottish Premier League for Gretna. More recently he was a member of Crawley Town's 2010-11 Conference-winning squad, but spent half of the season on loan at Forest Green Rovers. He began the 2011-12 season with a short spell at Stockport County. After leaving Ewen Fields, Hall made the short switch to Altrincham before signing for Celtic Nation and then Guiseley last season".


According to NL Daily, "Neil Aspin, manager of FC Halifax Town, has confirmed that the deal for midfielder Danny Schofield has been extended. The 34-year-old former Huddersfield Town midfielder joined The Shaymen last summer on a short-term deal."

Macclesfield Town report that "John Askey is looking to make the most of an extended break between games. Macclesfield were last in action on New Year's Day and with no more fixtures until the Silkmen take on Kidderminster on January 17th, Askey is looking to use the break to his advantage. Askey was out watching earlier in the week and he says he will be in attendance when Kidderminster take on Altrincham on Saturday in the FA Trophy.

The Silkmen boss also says he will use the break to assess the areas of the squad that he feels need to be strengthened ahead of the rest of the campaign. Askey told Silkmen Player, 'The break gives us a chance to have a look at where we are and revaluate what we feel that we need to bring in. So it is very useful from that point of view for myself. It also gives me a chance to go out and watch some games. I watched a game on Tuesday night and I will be going to watch Kidderminster vs. Altrincham at the weekend because we obviously play both of those sides in the coming weeks'".

A manager whose team does not have a break is the subject of a report from the Times Series, which says that "Barnet head coach Martin Allen has labelled the Conference's festive schedule as 'absolutely ridiculous' after playing five times in 15 days. [For the record, part-time Altrincham have also played 5 games in 15 days but we also have a game this Saturday which Barnet do not].

The Bees' six-match unbeaten run came to an abrupt halt at Lincoln City on Sunday, with the Imps running out 4-1 winners at Sincil Bank. Chris Moyses side had enjoyed the benefit of a break since December 28, with their New Year's Day clash at Alfreton Town postponed due to a waterlogged pitch but had also been due to play five times between December 20 and January 4. And Allen did not hold back with his views about the scheduling over the festive period in the Conference.

He fumed, 'I have got to say it, now the Christmas schedule is finished. I had said it before privately, but the amount of games we have asked the players to play is absolutely ridiculous. It is a rip off for the supporters, it is difficult for the players and we have got more injuries in there now. I do not know who it is in the Conference who has a schedule and a reason for doing it like this, but I think it is ridiculous. It is not fair on the players or the supporters who pay and I do not know why they do it.

We have had five games in 15 days and for the next five weeks we have got five. What a ridiculous way to do a schedule. For the paying public, how difficult and expensive it is to come and watch the games'.

The Times Series put Martin Allen's complaint to the Football Conference and Colin Peake, Media and Partnership Support Director at the Football Conference, said in response, 'Whatever system is devised and implemented before a ball is ever kicked, no one will ever be able to calculate how each season will pan out at our level of football and which clubs will be successful, thus possibly competing on a broad front in a number of competitions, let alone fitting in the 46 fixture scheduled for the Vanarama Conference.

The clubs themselves also requested more early fixtures mid-week this season, with the request to free up the second half of the season to allow capacity for cup competitions and inevitable postponements, caused either by prolonged cup runs or the weather. Before the 20th December, it should be noted Barnet were also out of the FA Cup and the FA Trophy so they may feel they have free mid-weeks here on in but in reality no one could predict that or, in fact, which clubs might choose to perhaps play a weakened squad as the FA Trophy is not seen to be a priority.

No system can be perfect and, like Torquay previously, the complaint came only to the fore when results were not at their best. The majority of the clubs accept the fixture schedule and get on with it. It is also interesting to note that many fans have posted the opposite views to those expressed by Martin Allen as, in fact, many supporters look to the festive season for more not less games. Finally, each club receives the fixture matrix pre-season to comment upon if they wish and also Barnet is represented on the Conference Board so they have had ample opportunity to raise any concerns previously and not wait until more than half the fixtures had been played.

". According to Kent Online, "Dartford will not be able to make a 'significant' increase to their playing budget this month, despite a good FA Cup run and still being in the FA Trophy. Reaching the second round of the FA Cup saw the club bank £43,000 in prize and TV money plus sizeable gate receipts from big crowds at Bradford and Bromley.

Darts' fans are eager for manager Tony Burman to splash some of that cash during the January transfer window to help their fight against relegation in the Vanarama Conference. But finance director Jason Outram admitted it was not that straightforward.

He said... 'This is not going to mean we can afford significant changes'".

Southport confirm that "Steve Brogan has left Southport Football Club. Summer signing and, initially, club captain, Steve Brogan who has not been able to make an impact in recent months has come to an agreement with Gary Brabin to settle his remaining contract".

There is unexpected news from the Football Congference, which tells us that "Brackley Town have signed former Chelsea star Frank Sinclair as a player following his departure as manager of league rivals Colwyn Bay earlier this week... He signed for Colwyn Bay as a player in January 2012 from Hendon and took over as player-manager in February 2013. He joins Brackley as a favour to manager Jon Brady to help his young squad short-term".

8 January 2015


Ian Senior of SKkits announces that "Every away shirt sold over the next month will qualify for a free pair of matching shorts. Please contact Jenny Heslop at the club (0161 928-1045) with any orders".


In the NW Counties Football League, Player of the Month in the Premier Division is former Alty striker, Kieran Lugsden, whilst the same division's Goalkeeper of the Month is Craig Ellison, now of Congleton Town.


Wednesday 7 January
  • Gateshead 0-0 Woking


Following in the footsteps of Conference North club Oxford City, Alfreton Town has now been partly acquired by an American group as Fort Worth Vaqueros announce that "The Vaqueros gained a new group of amigos in Alfreton, England in a bold start to 2015. Fort Worth Vaqueros owner Michael Hitchcock kicked off the New Year as the newly formed Legend Football Partners acquired a significant interest in the English team, Alfreton Town Football Club. The acquisition, effective as of Jan. 1, 2015, creates an immediate avenue for player sharing, cross marketing, international matches and preseason training in both countries.

'This move automatically makes the Vaqueros a stronger organization through the benefits of shared players, training techniques, matches and the collaboration of ideas from two different soccer nations', Hitchcock said. Legend Football Partners includes Playbook Management International (PMI), of which Hitchcock is the managing partner, and 1836 Capital, led by Managing Director Jonathan Collura, a Dallas-based corporate finance company that specializes in mergers and acquisitions.

Successful local business leader and ATFC owner Wayne Bradley retained interest in the club including three of the six seats on the ATFC board. The additional three board seats will be filled with Legend Football Partners representatives...

'Alfreton Town Football Club has a long and proud history', Bradley said. 'I have been honoured to have been its chairman for the past sixteen years of that history. 
During my time as chairman I have overseen the club through four promotions, won numerous cups and trophies, in addition to generating substantial income via player transfer sales. The club now operates at the highest level of non-League football in England. 
I have made it clear throughout my period as chairman that my main aim would be to achieve a place in the future of the game. The development of the game on a world stage progresses at a pace and the challenge for Alfreton Town FC continues to mount. Therefore, when the opportunity to link with like-minded individuals in the United States of America [arrived], I had no hesitation in exploring and developing those links to the good of Alfreton Town FC.

I am therefore delighted that the formalities of a partnership have been agreed. An exciting position[?] has now been created. A position which will propel the great history of the club well and truly into the future. I firmly believe that I will have achieved my ultimate aim of securing a future for the football club in a shape that I could only of [i.e have] dreamed of'.

PMI owns and operates the Fort Worth Vaqueros of the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), which is the fourth division of U.S. soccer’s professional structure.

'Alfreton Town FC has enjoyed unprecedented success in the past five years and sits primed to continue its climb up the ranks of the English soccer leagues', Hitchcock said. 'We are thrilled at the opportunity to continue that success with marketing techniques, financial support, player sharing and expanding the ATFC brand throughout England and the global soccer marketplace'.

The fall-spring English season has little overlap with the American summer season, which will allow players to train and play with both clubs as well as potential pre-season tours for the Vaqueros in England and the Reds in Texas. The partnership creates exciting opportunities for Vaqueros coach Mark Snell to exchange players, ideas and experience between the two clubs.

'Acquiring ownership in Alfreton Town FC continues to address our philosophy of player development and growing the sport of soccer in Fort Worth,' Snell said. 'Through this mutually beneficial partnership, the Vaqueros have joined the global football community. We as a club are extremely excited'...

The Vaqueros launched in January 2014 and quickly made an impact through their grassroots and social media marketing. The club’s name and logo were both chosen through fan voting. Meanwhile, the club launched its innovative season seat campaign that allowed supporters to wear their jersey into the stadium rather than needing paper tickets for entry. The Vaqueros opened the year with a season high 2,700 fans en route to an average of 2,000 per game.

PMI is a sports management company with consulting, management & technology divisions. Michael Hitchcock founded PMI in 2009 after a 12-year career in Major League Soccer where he started as an entry-level sales rep and rose to become President and General Manager of FC Dallas. Hitchcock won the MLS Sales Director of the Year 4 times, his sales team won MLS Sales Team of the Year 5 times and he was recognized as the Commissioner’s New Business Leadership Award winner. PMI built and managed the San Antonio Scorpions of the 2nd division NASL and managed the business operations of the NPSL before launching its own club in Fort Worth, Texas, USA.

1836 Capital is a Dallas-based boutique capital placement company with a focus on corporate finance... 1836 specializes in partnering with a company's management team to meet capital needs".

Woking "announce that Chris Arthur has signed for the Cards until the end of the season, following his release from AFC Wimbledon. The club is also pleased to confirm that Jack Marriott’s loan from Ipswich town has been extended until 25th April 2015. Theo Lewis has joined Ebbsfleet United for an undisclosed fee".

According to the Football Conference "AFC Telford United have completed the signing of Ben McLaughlin from Everton on a one-month youth loan deal. Everton signed McLaughlin from Irish outfit Dundalk in August 2012. A right-back, the teenager penned a three-year deal with the Blues...

McLaughlin only made his debut for Dundalk in March 2012".

Elsewhere, "Following a long loan from last summer to the January window, Stoke City goalkeeper Dan Bachmann will be staying with Wrexham for the rest of the season. The Austrian has been a favourite with the Wrexham faithful and his displays have also impressed the Barclays Premier League outfit, who were keen for him to continue in north Wales and develop on what he has achieved so far. A knee injury picked up in... October curtailed his involvement, but Bachmann has battled back to fitness and returned to action".

Macclesfield Town report that "The January transfer window is now open and manager John Askey [said], 'We need to bring some in because, obviously, in some areas in haven’t got any cover so it’s important to be able to do that'.

Striker Denny Johnstone signed on loan for Macclesfield towards the back end of last year and the club is hopeful of extending his loan deal, 'I’ve left it with Mark Blower to sort out with Birmingham', said Askey. Arthur Gnahoua has recently returned to Spain so securing Johnstone would provide a great boost to the squad...

'We’re also trying to get a centre half in so hopefully that will be possible', said Askey. Many players’ contracts run out in four months’ time and the club is working hard to ensure new contracts are available".

More comes from NL Daily which says that "Macclesfield Town have confirmed that Arthur Gnahoua has left Moss Rose. The versatile striker has decided against remaining in Cheshire and will now head for a new challenge in Spain".

And NL Pitchero tells us that "Gateshead have announced the signing of Matty Robson on a loan deal from Carlisle United until the end of the season. Robson, 29, who joined the Cumbrians from Hartlepool United in 2009, and can operate at left-back or left-wing, has over 300 League appearances to his name to date".

Bulls' News reports that "Former Hereford United striker Cory Williams is set to join Chester FC pending international clearance. 19 year old Williams has been playing for his home town of Caernarfon for the last two months. Currently he is training with Chester whilst manager Steve Burr takes a look at him.

'Cory has been given a great opportunity to play full-time football at Chester FC and that's something that we will not be standing in the way of', said Caernarfon manager Lee Dixon. 'He is a young player who is looking to play full-time and this was the agreement we had when he initially signed for us in November... The door will always be open for Cory to return if things don't work out'".

In the Lancashire Evening Post we read that "David Raya Martin’s Southport swan-song ended in heartbreak but boss Gary Brabin is determined to re-sign the heroic keeper. Raya Martin starred in the Conference strugglers’ cruel 1-0 stoppage-time defeat to Championship high flyers Derby County at Pride Park on Saturday.

But since the clash, the 19-year-old Spaniard’s loan spell [has] ended and he [has] returned to Blackburn Rovers. Raya Martin’s return means Blackburn boss Gary Bowyer now has five keepers at his disposal... With Bowyer’s wealth of keepers and the little matter of Blackburn’s transfer embargo, Brabin is hoping the ‘heartbreaking’ third-round exit will not be Raya Martin’s last for Southport. He said, 'I am hoping we can keep hold of him for a little bit longer'”.

7 January 2015


The articles joint press and media officer John Edwards supplied to this week's Messenger and Advertiser were based on his interview with manager Lee Sinnott after Sunday's 2-0 win at Eastleigh. Here is a full transcript of Lee's thoughts on the Eastleigh game and the 4-1 home win over Chester.

'It’s nice to tick a couple of boxes so early in the New Year, first home win and first away win, both at the first attempt. I thought we looked tired (at Eastleigh), but that just makes the result even more pleasing. The normal spring in the step wasn’t there, but you accept that, because we’ve had four games in 10 days and, for this one, the players were up at six in the morning.

Most of them would have been up that early, because the bus left at eight. It was a massive ask to go all the way down to Hampshire under those circumstances and take on a team in one of the promotion places, but you simply couldn’t fault the desire and application the players put in.

There are different ways to win games. You can turn on the style, like we did against Chester on New Year’s Day, or you can dig in when the passes aren’t flowing like they usually do. I’m not going to say that, on the balance of play, we necessarily deserved to win, but we shouldn’t feel too guilty about that when you consider the times, earlier in the season, we did deserve the points but didn’t get them.

It was a long day, and a bit of tiredness showed itself, in the way we were a bit wasteful, at times, in our decision-making and use of possession. The players were tired mentally and physically, but they showed character by the bucketload. They worked really hard for each other against a team who have been on a roll and are not used to losing at home, and that graft, desire, stamina and sheer guts got them over the line.

The first goal may have been a bit fortuitous, with one of their players miskicking into his own net, but there was nothing fortunate about the second. The way Shaun Densmore (right) hit his free-kick with enough pace and dip to get it over the wall and into the net was superb, the best bit of skill in the game by far. We are fortunate to have two full- backs (Densmore and Adam Griffin) who love getting forward and supporting attacks. They are both good at it, and it provides an important outlet for us. Considering Shaun was laid low by a sickness bug just a few days ago, it’s remarkable the legwork he got through.

I know some people are beginning to wonder how high we can climb in the table, but our approach will remain exactly the same. We will continue to roll the dice and see where it takes us. We will look at the next game and see whether we can win it. That has to be the approach. There is no point looking any further ahead. We cannot get carried away, and we won’t. This is a very difficult division, and there is no chance of us losing sight of that.

But we are working hard and playing well, and to see us battling our way to such a good result at Eastleigh was another encouraging sign. When the programme caught up with us earlier in the season, we went to Barnet and got stuffed 5-0. This time, when we started feeling the strain, we went to another promotion-chasing team and secured a 2-0 win. That is a sign of progress. It gave us nine points out of 12 over the holiday period, which is a superb return for us, but I repeat we will not be getting carried away.

The most pleasing thing about the Chester result and performance was the reaction from the players after the disappointment of losing at home to Nuneaton. We know we should have beaten Nuneaton, but the ball just wouldn’t go in for us, so to respond like that impressed me. We were quick out of the traps and two up early on, and while we went into our shell a little bit for a while, we finished strongly to run out emphatic winners.

Of course, Nicky Clee’s first goal had everyone in raptures, and rightly so. I have never known a season like this one for being spoilt for choice when it comes to deciding on goal of the season. It is quite incredible when you think of the skill and vision that went into Nicky’s goal and realise it’s going to be up against maybe four or five others of comparable quality. Adam Griffin’s springs to mind, and there have been others as well, and we are only just into the New Year.

It was a wonderful strike, and he knew it was in as soon as it left his foot. It did a lovely little kink to straighten up, and it really was a beautiful exhibition of a quite brilliant technique. He punched it with his left foot, rather than lofting it high into the air, and that immediately took the keeper and any covering defender out of the equation. The trajectory meant they had no chance of getting back in time, and you could tell Nicky knew that, the way he turned to the crowd and took the acclaim before it had even crossed the line. Brilliant stuff.

Now it’s a case of patching people up and ensuring others are rested before we head to Kidderminster in the FA Trophy. There are a lot of sore bodies, and Peter Cavanagh came off at Eastleigh with a stiff Achilles, though that was more a precaution than anything. The players have got Tuesday off, so they can have a well deserved breather, and we will reconvene on Thursday to see how everyone is fitness-wise and prepare for the Kidderminster tie.'"


Altrincham are set to travel to Aggborough on Saturday to take on Kidderminster Harriers in the FA Trophy. Alty's recent record there has been poor. If you need a reminder, here is the catalogue of woe..
  • 1-1 26.12.05 "After the supporters' coach suffered a puncture near Hilton Park services on the M6, many Alty fans arrived at Aggborough just as the home side were taking the lead with a dubious penalty awarded against Maddox for handball when a ball was driven against him from close range (23 mins). But, with their vocal support in place, Altrincham enjoyed the better of the second half and deservedly equalised after 80 minutes when Lugsden was brought down by Jackson in the box and Aspinall, making his first ever Conference start, drove the resulting penalty home".
  • 2-3 9.12.06 "Altrincham lost their second successive game 3-2 and are still without an away win this season but it was a very controversial penalty award by referee Vaughan which ultimately cost Altrincham the points"
  • 1-1 5.4.08 "Kidderminster's goal depended on a refereeing decision as Mr Creighton awarded them a questionable penalty just before the interval from which Christie scored. It was the third successive time that a spot-kick had been won against Alty at Aggborough - and all three have been converted by Christie. Alty had held a deserved lead from the eighth minute "
  • 0-4 23.8.08 "It was referee Simpson from Middlesex who determined the outcome of this game by adjudging Chris Lane to have deliberately handled the ball on the line after 33 minutes, when the defender had been hit on the body from point blank range by a Harriers shot" Lane was sent off and Richards converted the penalty.
  • 0-3 29.8.09 "For the second year running, Altrincham had the better of the opening stages only to fall behind after having an early goal disallowed for offside... When Johnson was tripped by last man Riley, the Harriers' man saw a red card... After 36 mins Densmore was sent off ... It got even worse for Alty when Chris Senior was stretchered off with ankle ligament damage".
  • 1-2 12.2.11 "Altrincham were very unlucky to take nothing from this game which they finished with eight fit players on the pitch... Just before the break Piergianni was controversially sent off when he made a fine covering tackle which the referee judged to be a foul. It seemed that Piergianni had been dismissed for denying a goalscoring opportunity but it later emerged that the reason given by the referee was "foul and abusive language". Dootson made a fine save from the penalty kick, however... Smith got himself sent off for a petulant spat in injury time - again the reason given was "foul and abusive language". To cap the afternoon Densmore finished the game lame after being fouled, leaving Alty with eight fit men at the final whistle".
  • 0-4 16.9.14 Richman sent off.

But recent results in 2014-15 give grounds for a better outcome for Altrincham this time.

Mike Garnett reminds us of the overall record between the two clubs...

  • At Altrincham P23-W10-D5-L8-F32-A26
  • At Kidderminster P23-W8-D6-L9-F25-A39
  • All P46-W18-D11-L17-F57-A65


Saturday 10 January
  • Eastleigh v Lincoln City


The BBC says that "Wrexham manager Kevin Wilkin says he is close to completing a deal to bring back Stoke goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann on loan until the end of the season. The 20-year-old, who joined Wrexham on loan in August, returned to the Britannia Stadium after playing against Southport on Boxing Day.

Wrexham also want to extend defender James Pearson's loan from Leicester. 'Daniel will come right back into the reckoning, [that's] the idea,' said Wilkin. 'Stoke have been very kind to let him come for the end of the season, so that will be the intention to take him, subject to getting the paperwork sorted out. [With] James we'll sit down and have a chat with him in the coming days and decide where that goes. I think he's benefited from playing with us and we'd like to keep him around the place."

Pearson is the son of Foxes manager Nigel and has played eight games for Wrexham since joining in October. The 21-year-old returned to Leicester after Sunday's 3-1 FA Cup third round defeat to Stoke. Goalkeeper Jonathan Flatt and midfielder Johnny Hunt have also returned to Wolves and Cambridge respectively after their loan spells ended. Midfielder Joe Thompson, who was on loan from Bury, has returned to his parent club, having recently sustained an injury".

Also according to the BBC, "Assistant manager Grant Brown says Lincoln City have taken control of their play-off hopes after beating Conference leaders Barnet 4-1. The Imps moved to within four points of the top five with at least one game in hand on those sides in play-off places.

'The lads were magnificent', Brown told BBC Radio Lincolnshire. 'They are full of confidence. They can look at the table, see we are four points off the play-offs with games in hand and see it's in our hands'.

Victory over Martin Allen's Barnet was Lincoln's sixth win from seven league games, and took Chris Moyses' side to 11th place in the table. 'It's great result and great performances that keeps this run going and keeps us moving in the right direction,' said Brown. 'Barnet are a good side that are full or confidence and we took the game to them, scored four goals and we couldn't be happier. The lads believe in what they are doing, are playing with smiles on their faces and the results are coming'".

Our Trophy opponents Kidderminster Harriers "confirm that the contract of Michael Gash has been cancelled by mutual consent. Gash joined Harriers permanently in May 2013 from Cambridge United following a loan spell at Aggborough, and has scored 24 goals in 70 appearances for the club, including three goals in 16 games this season". Gash recently scored against Altrincham whilst on loan at Nuneaton Town.

Dover Athletic manager Chris Kinnear admits that in their FA Cup defeat by Crystal Palace, 'We were caught in a perfect storm with their new manager coming in and they did not take liberties with us. They played a full Premiership side and, four weeks ago, a team similar to that beat Liverpool. Their support was great and ours was magnificent with people even hanging out of the trees.

We started really nervous and they went for us. But when a new manager comes in, players have something to prove, especially with it being the window now he can move one or two out and I am sure a few of them want to stay.

I am disappointed that we did not play as well as we could do, but realistic that we have just faced a massive, massive club. The lads may have their heads down, but I have said to them that they have achieved a lot and I'm sure a lot of their friends would have liked to have been playing here today".

At Dartford, Jason Outram, Finance Director, says "As a board we are keen that the Club progresses to the highest level attainable. Unfortunately in this day and age this is capped by the available funds. That said we will always seek to over achieve and move forward.

With that in mind when we set this year’s players budget with Tony, we included an estimate to cover our hoped for achievement in both the FA Cup and FA Trophy. A risky option, but with appropriate contingencies in place we felt it was worth the risk to try and improve on last year. So far we have met our expectations financially, but we have not exceeded them by much, at this time of the year we review the budget and I would hope to squeeze a little extra for Tony for the rest of the year, but this is not going to mean we can afford significant changes...

My fellow board members are very cognisant of the events of 1992 and we do not want to repeat that time again. This does mean we cannot always do what we or the fans want. Currently we are on budget. We had in preparing the figures, forecast a small loss for this year that could be covered by our reserves. We do however understand, and indeed share, the fans concern over the position on the league we currently find ourselves. It would be good to be able to increase the players’ budget, but without additional revenue the head has to rule the heart".

FC Halifax Town "confirm that defender Simon Ainge has left the Club and joined local neighbours Bradford Park Avenue. The former Guiseley and Luton Town defender has made 16 starts for the Shaymen this season".

Forest Green Rovers "and Accrington Stanley have come to an agreement for Anthony Barry to remain on loan at the League Two club until the end of the season. The midfield man initially joined Accrington on a three-month loan deal in October and will now remain at the Store First Stadium for the rest of the campaign... It was at Accrington where Barry began his senior career".

6 January 2015


Phil Taylor advises us that Altrincham FC Ladies defeated Stockport County HNR by five goals to two, on Sunday. Phil adds that "HNR had beaten the Alty Ladies 6-1 in the previous fixture between the two teams this season and, at kick off, were in second place in the League. The Alty victory means that we have now leapfrogged them and hold second position ourselves. The goals were scored by Tracey Blanchard Webb (3), Emma Booth and Aimee Gibson but every single player contributed significantly. There will be a report soon".


Good quality extended highlights of Eastleigh game against Altrincham on Sunday can be found here.


According to NL Daily, "Steve Burr, manager of Chester, has confirmed two new signings in Ryan Higgins and Josh Green. Right-back Higgins has joined from league rivals AFC Telford United following a seven-day approach by Burr. 19-year-old midfielder Green has moved to The Swansway Chester Stadium on loan from Fleetwood Town.Neither player did sign in time to feature in yesterday's 3-2 home defeat to Braintree Town".

The BBC tells us that "Former Birmingham City and QPR striker Rowan Vine is among five new signings made by recently-appointed Welling United manager Jody Brown. Vine, 32, was a free agent and is awaiting international clearance after leaving Scottish side Greenock Morton.

Reece Harris and Joseph Zerafa have joined the Wings from East Thurrock United and Grays Athletic respectively. Bournemouth midfielder Josh Carmichael and Charlton defender Harry Osborne, both 20, have also joined on loan. Meanwhile Reading goalkeeper Jonathan Henly has agreed to extend his loan stay with the Conference side, but fellow stopper Benji Buchel has returned to Bournemouth. Brown's assistant Glen Little has also signed playing forms with Welling. The 39-year-old former Burnley and Reading winger was previously registered with Grays but joined Brown in moving to Park View Road last month".

At Macclesfield Town, "Boss John Askey is hopeful that the club can extend Denny Johnstone's loan with the club. The forward has been in terrific form since arriving at the club from [Birmingham City] in November... [A] former Celtic man... Johnstone s now set to return to his parent club although Askey is hopeful a deal can be worked out.

John told Silkmen Player, 'Birmingham have said we have first shout on him so hopefully we can work something out. He was excellent at Grimsby... and he’s just getting better with every game and that’s what he needs. He’s better with us than playing U21 football so hopefully we can get a deal done".

A report from Get Hampshire says that "Aldershot Town stumbled through the fog and fell to another debilitating defeat against the league’s bottom side as AFC Telford United exposed the Shots’ shortcomings in glaring fashion to come through with a 2-1 win. Once again, Andy Scott’s side were their own worst enemy, scoring two own goals and creating precious little in response.

Lacklustre and unable to find a cutting edge, Aldershot Town eventually got what they deserved, as they were booed off by supporters who had witnessed a sixth defeat in seven league games. Having already promised changes to his inconsistent team, Scott at least had some of his suspicions confirmed over his under-performing players, 24 hours after the January transfer window opened.

'There were always big question marks over several players, because the consistency hasn’t been there. I think it’s confirmed that we need to make changes', he admitted. 'We need players that are prepared to put the effort in and play to the style of play that we want them to. There’s plenty of players who have had the opportunity, some have taken it and some haven’t. I don’t think there’s any area that we don’t feel we need to strengthen. I don’t think any player can feel harshly treated if they are moved on or it doesn’t work out for them here. Our quality has got to improve, and on and off the ball.

We’re losing too many battles all over the pitch. We need to do better in the second half of the season but we’ve got to make sure that we bring in the right players'.

Time and again they pressed towards the Bucks’ penalty area only to fail to muster a shot on goal, whereas the resurgent opposition, now unbeaten in four games and encouraged to play a confident passing game under new manager Steve Kittrick, had a simple efficiency about their play which saw them test Phil Smith far more regularly. The lively Tony Gray typified their approach... Adam Farrell then took up the mantle, with two low drives...

After briefly flirting with a top-ten finish earlier in the season, The Shots are now giving increasingly anxious looks over their shoulder at the bottom four. AFC Telford still prop up the whole table but their respective performances here suggest that both teams could yet be involved in a relegation scrap".

5 January 2015


Report here

Right, Luca Havern heads clear as Jake Moult, Damian Reeves and Tom Marshall await developments.

There is a post-match video of Eastleigh manager, Richard Hill, following his side's defeat by Altrincham on Sunday. It can be viewed here. And there are local photos of the game here and here.

Hill told the NL Paper, "It wasn't a bad day at the office. Up until the final third we were superb... We played well".

According to the Hampshire Daily Echo, "Despite their dominance, Eastleigh’s unbeaten home record in the Vanarama Conference ended after a 2-0 defeat to a feisty Altrincham side at the Silverlake Stadium this afternoon. The Spitfires went down to ten men with 20 minutes remaining after Michael Green was shown a second yellow and dropped out the play-offs after Kidderminster’s win at Dartford.

The Stoneham Lane side still have games in hand against the teams around them but after 13 games they were finally between by an in-form Robins side. Jack Midson’s own goal just before the half and a glorious late free-kick by Alty skipper Shaun Densmore ended a run of four games without defeat.

Joe Partington, who looked safe and calm at the back throughout despite losing, made his debut after his loan move from AFC Bournemouth, coming in for Will Evans at centre-back. Brian Howard, the former Saints [Southampton] trainee, started on the bench, coming on just past the hour but failed to have an impact.

Altrincham, who have been hovering around lower mid-table, had won two of the last three. Those victories came against Chester and they took momentum into this one. Eastleigh, on the other hand, had climbed into the top five in the last few weeks after a series of good results.

Spitfires, the second highest scorers in the division, were in the driving seat for much of the first half, having 66 per cent possession and hitting six shots to Alty’s three. The home side played in a number of dangerous crosses and were able to maintain possession in the final third well; Craig McAllister and James Constable both had shots at goal but the visitors’ goal was unaffected by their efforts.

Unfortunately for Hill’s men, The Robins, who were mostly restricted to attacking on the break, took an unlikely lead with eight minutes left of the half. Ryan Crowther hit, what looked like, a fairly innocuous corner from the left, and that should have been easily cleared by Eastleigh. However, the usually prolific striker at the other end Midson, spooned his attempted near-post clearance past the helpless Ross Flitney and into the net with his right foot...

Eastleigh continued their pressure but went into the interval a goal down due to that anomaly in proceedings. And the Spitfires... instantly imposed themselves at the beginning of the second 45... Altrincham were proving difficult to break down... Eastleigh were full-on piling the pressure on...

Eastleigh’s task of coming back, something they’ve done on five occasions this season, became even harder when Green was shown a second yellow for pulling back Reeves as he looked to break through. They were then consigned to their first home defeat as Densmore curled an excellent free kick from the edge of the box into the top right of the net past the outstretched arm of Flitney on 86 minutes".

According to the NL Paper statistics, Eastleigh, for all their attacking only had six shots, the same as Alty. The BBC adds that possession was 53-47 in favour of the Spitfires who also won the foul count 11 to 6 and the corner tally by 12 to 3.


Altrincham FC expresses its condolences to the wife and family of 27 year-old Scott Hope, who died in a six-vehicle crash on the M60 in Sale on 20 December. Scott was a driver for Selwyns Coaches and he had several times driven Altrincham supporters to away games in the past couple of years.


NL Pitchero reports that Hyde's "boss Gary Lowe has also signed midfielder Danny Racchi and much-travelled goalkeeper Ashley Timms... He has also played for the likes of Altrincham, Atherton LR, Bolton Wanderers, Leeds United, Shrewsbury Town, Moor Green, Curzon Ashton, Mossley, Altrincham, Runcorn, Accrington Stanley and Barrow, Stalybridge Celtic, Barrow again, Tamworth, Bacup Borough, Worksop Town, Hinckley United, Hemel Hempstead Town, Ilkeston FC and King`s Lynn Town".


At Colwyn Bay report that "Frank Sinclair has resigned as Colwyn Bay manager after his injury-hit and threadbare squad suffered a heavy 5-0 defeat at Boston United. Ade Akinbiyi has also gone and the board will meet on Monday to discuss a successor, with Gus Williams likely to be offered the chance to over if he wants it".


Sunday's Conference gates were: Sunday 4 January
  • Aldershot Town 1-2 AFC Telford Utd (att. 1410)
  • Chester FC 2-3 Braintree Town (1690)
  • Dartford 1-2 Kidderminster Harriers (902)
  • Eastleigh 0-2 Altrincham (1204)
  • Forest Green Rovers 4-1 Welling United (1147)
  • Lincoln City 4-1 Barnet (2759)
  • Nuneaton Town 0-2 Bristol Rovers (1661)
  • Torquay United 1-1 Alfreton Town (2028)


NL Pitchero reports that "Hyde FC have recalled Kyle Brownhill from his loan spell with AFC Telford United... Brownhill has become a virtual ever-present in the AFC Telford side since breaking into the first-team shortly after arriving on loan, making six starts for the Bucks...

In Stroud Life, we read that "Defender Charlie Clough and midfielder Corby Moore are joining Forest Green, who have also re-signed striker Stuart Fleetwood on loan from their rivals Eastleigh. Fleetwood scored 36 goals in all competitions for Rovers in 2008/08, helping them to their highest league finish of eighth place, before joining Charlton Athletic for a six-figure fee.

Born in Gloucester, he will remain at the New Lawn until the end of this season... Afterwards, Rovers' boss Ady Pennock confirmed the captures of Sutton United centre-back Charlie Clough for an undisclosed fee and former Southampton academy starlet Moore, who has been playing in America.

Pennock said, 'I actually had a text from Stuart saying he might be available for loan, so I did my homework and called him in. He is a fox in the box and a natural finisher and will give us something we've been lacking, although we've scored eight goals in the last two games so we can't be that bad! Corby Moore has been playing in America for the last two years and is an attacking midfielder who can also play centre-forward, a very talented boy.

Charlie Clough had to play for Sutton today, so hopefully he is okay and he will be able to join up with us tomorrow'. Clough, 24, began his career at Bristol Rovers and has played in the Conference for Newport County and Telford United, while Moore is just 21 and last represented Indy Eleven in the North American Soccer League.

But it is the return of Fleetwood that has captured the imagination of Rovers fans, and the 28-year-old admitted it feels like coming home. Fleetwood said, 'It's no secret that I had the best season of my career at Forest Green and it feels great to be back. When the manager told me he wanted me to play as a striker my eyes lit up. That's where I am at my most productive, so I'm buzzing'... He first made his name at non-League level for Hereford United, helping the Bulls to promotion from the Conference in 2006, and he scored a memorable hat-trick for Coventry City in a League Cup tie... He was snapped up by Charlton for a fee in excess of £100,000. His career since has been somewhat nomadic, taking in loan spells at Cheltenham Town, Brighton and Hove Albion and Exeter City, and he returned to Hereford in 2010. This was followed by two seasons at Luton Town and then a move to Eastleigh, where he tasted promotion again".

4 January 2015


Report here

Above: Alty got everyone back to defend this freekick from the edge of the penalty area.


Sunday 4 January
  • Aldershot Town 1-2 AFC Telford Utd
  • Chester FC 2-3 Braintree Town
  • Dartford 1-2 Kidderminster Harriers
  • Eastleigh 0-2 Altrincham
  • Forest Green Rovers 4-1 Welling United
  • Lincoln City 4-1 Barnet
  • Nuneaton Town 0-2 Bristol Rovers
  • Torquay United 1-1 Alfreton Town


Sunday, 4 January 2015
  • Dover Athletic 0-4v Crystal Palace
  • Stoke City 3-1 Wrexham


Altrincham FC midfielder Greg Wilkinson has gone on a one-month loan to Stockport County. Greg, whose late goal secured Alty's place in the national level of the Conference at the end of last season, has been unable to secure a regular starting place in the Altrincham team in 2014-15 and so has played only 187 minutes of league football this season. He has made one start and nine substitute appearances to date in the Conference and one further appearance from the bench in the FA Cup.


The Chairman of TASC, Brian Flynn, writes that "For a number of reasons, TASC has decided to change the Spurs 1995 Reunion event to be a Reunion of the two teams that played Spurs in 1979 and 1995 and to hold the event later in the year, (probably in March), rather than on Friday, January 9th.

Once a date has been agreed, we will confirm details of the new event, which we believe will be a fitting tribute to the teams that created F.A. Cup history on the two occasions that we were drawn against Spurs in the F.A. Cup 3rd Round. We do hope that this does not inconvenience anyone who had made special arrangements to attend on January 9th".


Our opponents today (Sunday) have made their second signing in 24 hours, as Eastleigh report that they "have agreed to take AFC Bournemouth defender Joe Partington on loan initially until the 1st February. Partington who is in the AFC Bournemouth squad that travelled to Rotherham for an FA Cup tie yesterday will finalise the formalities after the game which will enable him to be in Eastleigh’s squad for their home fixture with Altrincham on Sunday.

Capped at Welsh Under 17, 19 and 21 level Partington started his career at his home town Club Portsmouth before moving along the South Coast to A F C Bournemouth in June 2006. The 6 foot 2 inch, 24 year-old central defender, who can also adopt a midfield role, has made fifty-two league appearances for AFC Bournemouth and also had loan spells with Eastbourne Borough and Aldershot Town."


The Daily Mirror reports that "Phil Neville could be in line to take temporary charge of Salford City after the club's management team was removed on Friday. The former Manchester United defender is set to take caretaker charge of the club for Saturday's fixture at home to Kendal Town, MirrorFootball understands. Salford revealed that they were looking for a "'change of direction', after the club slipped to third place in the league table, while Darlington, favourites to win the title, have three games in hand on the Ammies.

Manager Phil Power and assistant Dave Chadwick, both of whom are highly-regarded on the local non-league scene, were both given the boot following the 3-2 loss to promotion rivals Droylsden on New Year's Day. The club had not won their previous two league encounters prior to that.

A club statement said, 'Salford City Football Club would like to announce that discussions between the owners of SCFC and the committee have led to the departure, with immediate effect, of team Manager Phil Power'...

Manchester United's Class of '92 took control of Salford in the summer, vowing to spend what it takes to take the club to the top. They have big plans to guide the Evo-Stik club, in the eighth tier of English football, into the Championship within 15 years. A new management team is expected to be appointed within the coming days and MirrorFootball understands that Ramsbottom United gaffer Anthony Johnson is the leading candidate for the job. He resigned from his role at the Evo-Stik Premier club after the news of Power's departure broke".


Saturday 3 January
  • Blyth Spartans 2-3 Birmingham City
  • Derby Co. 1-0 Southport
  • West Bromwich A. 7-0 Gateshead


According to the Football Conference, "Goalkeeper Christian Dibble has re-joined Nuneaton Town on loan from Barnsley until the end of the season. The keeper, son of former Manchester City stopper Andy, had been an unused substitute on a number of occasions for the League One outfit this season.

He spent a short time on loan at Stockport County last season, and joined the Tykes from Bury".

Elsewhere, "Bristol Rovers have confirmed the permanent signing of striker Nathan Blissett from rivals Kidderminster Harriers following a successful period on loan. Blissett was in his third season at Aggborough before joining the Gas in November, since when he has netted 7 times in all competitions."

Meanwhile, "Dartford have signed Nathan Green from Dagenham & Redbridge. Green, 23, who can play at full-back and on the wing, signed a one-year contract with the Daggers in June".

Welling United report that "boss Jody Brown has been busy on the first day of the January transfer window. The Wings' boss has signed former Birmingham and QPR forward Rowan Vine, midfielder Josh Carmichael and arranged for a goalkeeper loan to be extended. Vine joins the Wings having been a free agent since his departure from Scottish outfit Greenock Morton. The 32-year-old six-foot tall striker once moved to Birmingham for £2.5million. He has also had spells at the likes of Luton, MK Dons and Gillingham having started his career as a trainee with Portsmouth.

Brown said, 'I think the experience he adds to our young squad is invaluable. He also has that cutting edge around the final third that we have missed in my short time here so far'...

Carmichael joins on loan from AFC Bournemouth, who the Wings continue to have a good relationship with under Brown, [who added]... 'As a result of signing Josh and, with Aristide Bassele still part of our plans, keeper Benji Buchel has had to return to Bournemouth, as we can only sign two players on loan from one club'... Keeper Jonathan Henly has extended his stay with the Wings, however, after a new agreement was made with Reading by Brown. Assistant boss Glen Little has also signed Conference forms for Welling. Brown added, 'Glen will be used sparingly but there are moments in games where his ability on the ball could prove pivotal. He’s played around 1,500 minutes of football this season already and, although it was at a lower level, he was often the best player on the pitch'".

In the Chester Chronicle we learn that "Chester FC winger Jamie Menagh has left the club after reaching an agreement to terminate his contract. Liverpool-born Menagh, who has featured 17 times this season, announced his departure on Twitter on Saturday. He had started the last two games for the Blues...

Chester boss Steve Burr had made it clear he wanted to move some players on to free up funds for new signings and Menagh has decided to continue his career elsewhere following discussions with the manager. Former boss Neil Young brought Menagh, who had been on the books of Blackpool and Stoke City, to the Swansway Chester Stadium in October 2013 from Prescot Cables... Menagh signed a new 12-month deal in the summer and leaves having scored four goals in 38 appearances for the club."

In the Torquay Herald Express we read that "Ben Harding is Torquay United's most experienced player and he says the Gulls need to learn how to play against teams like Alfreton Town, who they meet at Plainmoor tomorrow. The former Aldershot Town, Milton Keynes Dons and Northampton Town midfielder, who is 30, has just forced his way back into the first team after the latest in a series of injuries which have plagued his 18-month United career.

And he says the make up of the Conference this season means that while Torquay have beaten and drawn with many of the club's at the top of the table, it is not a surprise they have struggled against some of the teams from lower down. He said, 'You can be playing in front of 8,000 one week, like we did at Bristol Rovers this week, and then all of a sudden you are at Braintree or Welling on a sloping pitch in front of 800. You face different conditions and different situations every week. You should deal with that, because it's part and parcel of the job. But it's something we need to improve on'...

Harding, who helped Aldershot to win the Conference title in 2008, has overcome a hamstring injury to play in United's last three games...

Krystian Pearce is expected to step back into the defence to replace the suspended Angus MacDonald, who was dismissed for a second yellow card at Bristol. It's been confirmed that MacDonald will be out for one match, his second ban of the season. Centre-back Pearce may well be up against his friend and former teammate Karl Hawley; the pair shared a flat together last season, when Alfreton come to Plainmoor this afternoon. Striker Hawley had a frustrating year with the Gulls before leaving by mutual consent in August...

Injuries, suspensions and loan deals count seven members of Hargreaves' squad out of contention today, with the latest being striker Elliot Benyon's temporary move to Hayes & Yeading. Benyon... joined the West London club on an initial one-month loan yesterday. One of several players transfer-listed last summer, he hasn't figured in Torquay's first team too often this season...

Pearce for MacDonald is expected to be the only alteration to the starting line-up, especially as skipper Luke Young, he's just won a fourth successive Player Of The Month award for December, got through 90 minutes after passing a fitness-test on a thigh strain which has been troubling him of late".

From their opponents, Alfreton Town say that "Reds manager Nicky Law has been handed a double boost ahead of Sunday's game at Torquay United. Talented young goalkeeper George Willis has extended his loan to the club from Sheffield United for a second month.

And the Reds have moved quickly to snap up winger John Johnston following his release by Crewe Alexandra and he has penned an eighteen-month contract which will keep him at the Impact Arena until the end of the 2015/16 season. Johnston has been on loan with Alfreton since November 28, 2014".

The Halifax Courier tells us that "Town boss Neil Aspin is aiming to add two new names to his squad during the January transfer window. Halifax ended the year with a 2-0 home defeat against Chester on Sunday and are now without a game until they host Alfreton in the FA Trophy next Saturday. By then the window will have been open 10 days and Aspin will use that time to try and finalise his search for new recruits.

He said, 'We could certainly do with getting a couple of players in. I’ve got players in mind but whether we can get them or not I don’t know... The funds might be there but wages is another issue. We don’t pay wages that compete with some of the bigger clubs'... Aspin has hinted that any new signings may come from the lower leagues...

Aspin said, 'We’ve got a good network in the fact that we feel we’re looking in the right areas but trying to get those players is difficult when you’ve got full-time teams and league clubs after them'.

Halifax captain Marc Roberts has been the subject of speculation about a move away from the Shay after a superb first-half to the season... Said Aspin, 'I don’t know what discussions are taking place with his agent and with himself - that’s out of my hands... It’s not just a one-way street where if a player wants to leave, he can leave'...

Midfielder Will Hatfield played the last game of his loan spell against Chester, but Aspin didn’t rule out the possibility of the Accrington man returning to the Shay... Josh Wilson left the club last week to join AFC Fylde, where he had been on loan, a move which Aspin welcomed... Aspin is wary of Town’s squad becoming too bloated and added, 'The club hasn’t said to me that I need to get players out but I’m not a big fan of players sat in the stand not doing anything. I think they need to be playing. We’re a part-time club and to have players not involved isn’t good... I’ve always worked with a smaller squad because I feel you need keep the players playing. The key anything is players playing regularly and if you’ve got 20-odd players, and we don’t have a reserve side, they’re not getting any game time and I don’t think that’s good'".

Alty travel to Aggborough next Saturday for an FA Trophy match. From there, Kidderminster Harriers report that "In recent weeks it has become apparent that the playing surface at Aggborough has deteriorated. A combination of the large number of fixtures played on the pitch this season, and the high amount of rainfall during the back end of September and in October, the worst on record for a decade, has caused problems with surface drainage on the pitch.

Supporters will be aware that work was done on the pitch during the close season, carried out to the specification obtained from a specialist company, nominated by the FA, who conducted the initial soil investigation. The drainage channel across the pitch covering the penalty area was increased, while additionally, the pitch has been verti-drained, which refers to the process of creating holes to allow air into the soil. However, because of the wet surface, it has not been possible to sand-fill these holes, meaning they keep closing up and causing issues with the pitch.

Due to the limited time available during the close season, it was not possible to install gravel and sand-filled channels, which would have taken the surplus surface water down to the drainage channels and away from the pitch. The club are now looking at ways to improve the surface from now until the end of the season.

For example, on Friday 2nd January, the club used a specialist piece of equipment which pushes compressed air below the surface of the pitch with the intention of breaking up compacted soil and letting water pass through the drains. This is a proven way of relieving compaction in the surface, which helps the water reach the existing drainage. The club is currently using these methods to try and keep the pitch playable until the end of the season.

The process needed to renovate the pitch is too invasive to carry out during the season, and so plans for end-of-season renovations are currently underway."

3 January 2015


The Football Conference confirms that "All Vanarama Conference matches on Saturday, 25th April 2015 (the final day’s fixture programme) will kick-off at 5.15pm enabling the selection of LIVE coverage of a match, or matches, on BT Sport as part of the likely climax to the regular season". On that day, Altrincham are away at Braintree Town.


On Saturday week, January 10, Altrincham are away at Kidderminster Harriers in the FA Trophy Second Round. For the game, the Harriers have reduced their admission prices to the following rate:
  • Adults £10
  • Concessionaries £5
  • Under-12s £1
Should there need to be a replay it will be on Tuesday, 13 January (7.45pm), which would necessitate the postponement of our CSC tie against Northwich Victoria, scheduled for that date.


Above: Mike Ripley captures the celebrations after Nicky Clee's opening goal agai8nst Chester; even the ballboy got congratulated! Miore image are on Mike's website.

Brian Flynn's informative post-match interview on New Year's Day, with Nicky Clee is available here.

Extended highlights from the New Year's Day fixture are on Alty TV.


The following is Shaun Densmore's "Captain's Chat" column which, owing to tight publication deadlines and Shaun's recent illness, did not appear in the Robins' Review on New Year's Day...

"On behalf of all the players, I’d like to wish everyone connected with Altrincham Football Club a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

We may not have ended 2014 as we would have liked, after losing at home to Nuneaton on Sunday, but I still believe there’s plenty of reason for looking back on the year with pride and satisfaction. We are heading in the right direction, and there was more evidence of that in the way we shaped up against today’s opponents Chester at their place on Boxing Day.

Given what we were up against, in terms of opponents who have been going really well this season and weather that was positively Arctic, I thought we turned in a top performance and came away with a brilliant result.

I can’t remember ever having to contend with conditions like it. It was the worst I’ve known, rain in the first half, snow in the second and a strong, bitterly cold wind throughout. It was something of a challenge, but we rose to it superbly, with goals from Tom Marshall and Luca Havern and an impressive return to action by Stuart Coburn after his recent injury absence.

It pains me to pay Stuey a compliment, but credit where it’s due. His save from a first-half free-kick, when the game was still scoreless, was right out of the top drawer and absolutely pivotal. On a surface that must have made it difficult to move his feet, he got across brilliantly to a shot that looked bound for the bottom corner and got a strong enough hand to it to tip it round the post.

It was the old feller at his best, and the importance of keeping that effort out became apparent five or 10 minutes later when we went up the other end and went in front with another example of how Mash can be so effective in both areas.

He has already shown this season he can be a threat in the opposition box, and he did it again with a great downward header that skidded off the surface and gave their keeper no chance.

It was a great ball by James Lawrie for the second, and the way Luca (right) headed it in off the post served as another reminder of the value of having a goal threat in all areas. It certainly eases the burden on others when you’ve got people chipping in from various positions.

It was a really good team performance, with everyone contributing and doing their bit to safeguard the lead and ensure we came away with another notable addition to our collection of eye-catching results this season.

The three in midfield have different roles in the system we are playing, but they all shone. It was probably the best Peter Cavanagh has played for us so far, Jake Moult was excellent in combining defensive responsibilities with attacking duties, while Simon Richman’s energy was to the fore again. The combination of that trio’s qualities helped us control the game.

The following day, a sickness bug suddenly came over me, and I had to endure about as ropy a five hours or so as I can remember. I couldn’t eat anything for a day and a half, and, for a while, I couldn’t even keep a glass of water down.

Needless to say, I was advised to steer clear of the ground for Sunday’s game against Nuneaton, but I managed to follow it on twitter and I spoke to some of the lads about it on the phone afterwards.

Clearly, there was a sense of disappointment and frustration at not building on the Chester result, particularly after we created so many clear chances, enough, by all accounts, to have won with something to spare.

It does seem that a bit of a theme is developing that we rise to the occasion when we are perhaps not expected to then slip up against teams who are around us in the table or even below us.

That is annoying when you consider how much healthier our position could be, and it’s something we have to address pretty quickly. I don’t know whether it becomes a subconscious problem or not, but, either way, we will be endeavouring to do something about it, and striving for greater consistency, as we go into 2015".


Eastleigh "are delighted to announce that following his release from Oxford United Brian Howard has agreed to sign for the Spitfires until at least the end of the season. Brian should go straight into the squad and be available for selection for this Sunday’s home fixture against Altrincham (04/01/15).

His previous clubs include Southampton, Swindon, Barnsley and more recently Birmingham City and Oxford United. Brian, born in Winchester... scored a memorable goal for Barnsley as they beat Liverpool 2-1 in the FA Cup 5th round in 2008

Richard Hill commented 'I am delighted to have secured a player of Brian’s calibre. He is a talented footballer who has played for some impressive clubs at a very good level. I am sure he will be a great addition to the squad. He has trained with us numerous times over the last couple of seasons. He is obviously a local lad which is also great for the fans and I am sure he will be given a warm reception this weekend'".

The Football Conference reports that "AFC Telford United have signed Kyle Dixon on loan from Notts County. The versatile right-sided player has completed the paperwork to sign on loan for the Bucks until the end of the season... Dixon, who captained the Notts County youth team... was converted to right-back by current County manager Shaun Derry. On the new signing, new Bucks’ boss Steve Kittrick said, 'He’s a young lad who will be out to prove himself at this level; he’s young and hungry to develop. He’s a bright prospect.. We can’t be looking to fetch too many loans in'".

More on this comes from the BBC which says that "Steve Kittrick has made his first signings since taking over by bringing in Notts County defender Kyle Dixon and Bradford Park Avenue midfielder Jack Rea. Dixon, 20, who had previously been loaned out to Conference North side Boston United, will spend the rest of the season at the Buck's Head. He will replace full-back Ryan Higgins, who is set to sign for Chester.

Rea is reunited with Kittrick, having first played for him at Guiseley... Kittrick's Bucks are now unbeaten in three matches... Kittrick is also expected to bring in another goalkeeper to provide competition for current number one Freddy Hall and Jonathan Hedge."

In the Chester Chronicle, "Steve Burr says his Chester FC side 'massively let down' the supporters who travelled to Altrincham on New Year's Day... Chester had a sizeable following but the fans, many of whom were drenched with rain on the open terrace, had only a 28th minute John Rooney free kick to cheer.

Defeat means the Blues... have dropped to 17th in the table and further reinforced the squad's need for fresh blood. Burr said after the game, 'Im very, very disappointed with that. We take one step forward then take a giant step back. It was just nowhere near good enough or the type of performance we showed just a few days ago up at Halifax. We had a great following and we literally took the ground over with Chester fans so I just feel for them because they back us so much.

After the travelling support at Halifax and to come here and put on that type of performance in front of the people who have come here, I really do feel we've let them down massively, really massively. We've just got to look at where we are with the squad and try and get improvements in to kick us on in the new year'...

Burr did not accept the Robins wanted the win more but acknowledged his side were well beaten. He said, 'It appears like that when you've had a beating like that. I'd never want to think a team want it more than you and they shouldn't do. It will appear like that because of the nature of how we didn't play and the performance of Altrincham. We didn't get off to a great start with the first goal and then obviously the sending off has not helped us in any way, shape or form

It's just really disappointing because we seemed to have got to a level of where we are at and we just can't get over that barrier and obviously with that we need to put an injection of new people in there who can take us now to that next one'. Burr had no complaints with the 56th minute dismissal of Touray for a reckless challenge on Clee...

Gareth Roberts should come back in for Touray and the manager hopes to have Ryan Higgins, who has agreed a move from AFC Telford United, available to face the Irons. 'There was no doubt about it,' said Burr. 'I don't think you got away with that 10 years ago so that was disappointing. It was a moment of madness really. I don't know what Ibby was thinking and it didn't help our cause. It was really disappointing'".

2 January 2015


Altrincham lifted themselves to 16th in the table, recorded their first four-goal haul of the season and completed their first double of the campaign with this well deserved win over neighbours Chester FC.

Right, Simon Richman, had a fine game for Alty.

Match report here.

Chester FC report that "New Year started with a resounding defeat at Moss Lane where the Blues went down 4-1 and had Ibou Touray sent off to compound the misery. Steve Burr named an unchanged line up from the win at FC Halifax with Gareth Roberts returning to the squad having served his 3 match suspension. Damian Reeves led the line for Altrincham having missed the game on Boxing Day.

It didn't take long for the hosts to get in front as with 10 minutes gone Nicky Clee fired home from the edge of the box after Jon Worsnop's clearance went straight to the Alty attacker. The Robins then doubled their lead just 7 minutes later when Reeves found the bottom right corner with a left footed shot and suddenly the afternoon was looking bleak for Chester.

On 28 minutes Chester were back in the game when John Rooney curled in a free kick from 30 yards out and hopes were raised that the Blues would make another comeback from a two goal deficit.

Bookings dominated the remainder of the first half with Kane Richards yellow carded for a foul on Shaun Denmore and just 90 seconds later Sean McConville found his way into the book after fouling Peter Cavanagh. Simon Richman was the third player to receive a yellow when was booked for a foul on Jamie Menagh..

Just 13 minutes into the second half the Blues were reduced to ten men after Ibou Touray was given his marching orders for a foul on Nicky Clee. Gareth Roberts then came on Jamie Menagh but that failed to plug the gap at the back and on 61 minutes Reeves grabbed his second goal of the afternoon finishing from six yards out... The hosts extended their lead when Reeves found Nicky Clee who then fired in his second of the afternoon to make it 4-1".

The Leader Live reports that "Ten-man Chester started the New Year with a miserable defeat at Moss Lane. Chester were forced to play catch up after conceding two goals in seven first half minutes and they faced a mountain to climb after Ibou Touray was red carded for a high tackle in the 56th minute...

Altrincham capitalised on their bright start by taking the lead in the 10th minute thanks to Clee who seized on a poor clearance from Chester keeper Jon Worsnop and steered a 30 yard shot into an empty net. The home club doubled their advantage in the 17th minute when Clee picked out Reeves who clipped the ball over Worsnop to find the target from the left edge of the penalty area...

Chester reduced their arrears in the 28th minute when Rooney curled a 25 yard free kick round the wall of defenders to find the net and leave Coburn rooted to his line... But the Blues were reduced to 10 men in the 56th minute when Touray was shown a straight red card for a high tackle on Clee... Chester trailed 3-1 in the 62nd minute when Kingsley James completely missed a clearance and the ball fell to Reeves who made no mistake with a powerful eight yard shot...

And Chester conceded a fourth goal in the 67th minute... Clee extended Altrincham's advantage with a low 15 yard shot that Worsnop got a touch to, but he failed to stop the ball from finding the net. And Reeves should have made it 5-1 with seven minutes left after a left sided corner fell to the striker but he blasted his effort from eight yards over the bar".


The "Friends Of Altrincham FC" draw for January was made during half-time of the match against Chester. The winners are -
  • *19 Dianne Swindells £100
  • *87 Alexander Raynal £50
  • *22 Laurence Howarth £35
  • *49 George Heslop £15


  • AFC Telford Utd 0-0 Nuneaton Town (gate 1797)
  • Alfreton Town P-P Lincoln City
  • Altrincham 4-1 Chester FC (1840)
  • Barnet 1-0 Aldershot Town (2088)
  • Braintree Town 3-0 Dartford (934)
  • Bristol Rovers 1-1 Torquay United (8044)
  • Grimsby Town 1-2 Macclesfield Town (3545)
  • Kidderminster Harriers 2-4 Forest Green Rovers (2182)
  • Welling United 0-2 Dover Athletic (783)
  • Woking 1-1 Eastleigh (1383)


The BBC reports that "Derby County have signed Stoke defender Ryan Shotton on a two-and-a-half-year contract for an undisclosed fee. Shotton, 26, originally signed for Steve McClaren's men on loan in August, but he has now completed a deal which keeps him at the iPro Stadium until the summer of 2017. Rams head coach McClaren said, 'He's shown he's an important member of the squad with his versatility'".


News of Alty's next opponents comes from the Daily Echo to the effect that "Eastleigh were seconds away from the perfect start to 2015 at fellow Conference Premier promotion hopefuls Woking. But a dramatic late Cards leveller meant it finished 1-1 at the Kingfield Stadium, keeping Eastleigh in fifth place...

After almost 70 minutes of defensive action, which saw little in the way of free flowing attacking entertainment, Craig McAllister popped up at the back post to head the Spitfires into the lead...

Spitfires manager Richard Hill made one change. Dan Spence, who was absent from the 5-1 win at Braintree on Sunday, returned in place of injured captain Dean Beckwith. Will Evans slotted in alongside replacement skipper Paul Reid at centre back, which proved to be a good partnership...

In fact, much of the goal-mouth action happened from corners, and the Spitfires were dangerous from Michael Green and Jai Reason deliveries from their flag-kicks McAllister and Evans both headed over from tough angles and a number of other corners flashed dangerously across Jake Cole’s net... As the half developed, Eastleigh started to utilise their wide players. Green swung in a tempting low cross that avoided everyone in the box from the left, while Reason and Jack Midson were also creative.

McAllister and James Constable, leading the visitors’ frontline, were constantly physical and busy trying to disrupt the Woking back four... On 68 minutes Eastleigh broke the deadlock when Green delivered a free kick to the back post from around 30 yards. Lying in wait was the powerful McAllister, who knocked a header into the opposite side of the goal. That sparked a previously dreary game into life... Just as it looked liked the Spitfires had run down the clock, Marriott controlled in the box on the break. Then, making room past Green, he smashed into the far corner of the net to level.

Eastleigh: Ross Flitney, Dan Spence, Michael Green, Craig Stanley (Jamie Collins 60), James Constable, Jai Reason , (Yemi Odubade 66), Craig McAllister (Stuart Fleetwood 78), Jack Midson, Ben Strevens, Will Evans, Paul Reid. Subs: Chris Todd, Lewis Noice."

1 January 2015
  • AFC Telford Utd 0-0 Nuneaton Town
  • Alfreton Town P-P Lincoln City
  • Altrincham 4-1 Chester FC
  • Barnet 1-0 Aldershot Town
  • Braintree Town 3-0 Dartford
  • Bristol Rovers 1-1 Torquay United
  • Grimsby Town 1-2 Macclesfield Town
  • Kidderminster Harriers 2-4 Forest Green Rovers
  • Welling United 0-2 Dover Athletic
  • Woking 1-1 Eastleigh


Altrincham FC thanks all its supporters for their attendance over the past twelve months and wishes them a happy and prosperous New Year in 2015.


Details of the TASC supporters' transport to Kidderminster Harriers for the FA Trophy clash on 10 January are now on the Away Travel page. Bookings can be made at Thursday's match.


In the Sale & Altrincham Messenger we read that "Lee Sinnott was left to rue missed chances after Altrincham passed up the opportunity of a 100 per cent return from their Christmas programme at The J.Davidson Stadium on Sunday.

After defying Arctic conditions to return from Chester with an impressive 2-0 win on Boxing Day, Alty reverted to type by failing to punish lesser opposition and slipping to a 1-0 home defeat against struggling Nuneaton. It sent Alty into the New Year still glancing anxiously over their shoulders after a start to the season in which they have toppled some of the Vanarama Conference’s leading lights but faltered in the role of favourites.

'The message going into the New Year is that we have to be more ruthless,' said Alty boss Sinnott (left). 'We have made progress on and off the pitch during 2014, and we must look to keep that momentum going. There have been some great performances and great results, but it is frustrating when you look at the imbalance between our points tally against top-half teams and those lower down. You look at the points that have slipped away against teams like Alfreton, Southport, Telford and now Nuneaton, and there should be so much more distance between us and the danger area.

Consider games in their entirely, and we have created openings against just about everyone. That was certainly the case against Nuneaton, and the lesson is, you can’t afford to pass up gilt-edged opportunities. They were on a silver platter, but there is merit in the fact that they were there, begging to be taken. They are being created. If someone told me before a game we could have four gilt-edged chances but would concede one scrappy goal, I’d take that every time, because you would expect one or two of ours to be snapped up.

That’s the one thing we need to remedy, heading into the New Year. We need to develop a ruthless streak to finish teams off when they are at our mercy'".


Paul Salt writes that "TASC would like to remind all supporters that tickets will be on sale before the match against Chester on New Year's Day for the 'Question of Sport' Quiz Night, which takes place on Saturday 17th January 2015, following the home game against Torquay United.

Tickets, priced £5.00 in advance (or £6.00 on the night), which include a hotpot supper, will be available from the TASC desk located in the Community Sports Hall. The quiz, based on the popular BBC series, is open to all supporters and members of the public and will start shortly after the match at around 6.15-6.30pm.

Teams representing the Players, Management, Radio Robins/Alty TV and a TASC supporters team will also be taking part in what promises to be an entertaining evening. As the Chester game is the last scheduled home match before the 17th January, supporters are requested to book their tickets in advance if possible to enable numbers to be estimated for catering purposes.

Tickets can also be reserved in advance by e-mailing Paul Salt before the 17th January, with payment to be made on the night".


Last Sunday Altrincham were without captain Shaun Densmore and Simon Richman (right), who were ill, as well as the injured Peter Cavanagh. They hope to have all three available on New Year's Day but James Lawrie is a doubt after picking up an injury against Nuneaton Town. Nicky Clee also limped off in that game so he, too, will be a doubt for the Chester match.

According to the Chester Chronicle, "Steve Burr wants to make three new signings this month... Chester have generated more than £100,000 through the FA Cup this season but the supporter-owned Blues have to be more prudent than most to ensure the club remains sustainable in the long term.

Burr... told The Chronicle he was waiting to hear what he has to spend. A new striker is the priority to ease the burden on Craig Hobson, Kane Richards and Tom Peers, and fill the void left by the departures of loan pair Matty Hughes and Rhys Oates...

The manager could look for a central midfielder and a full-back too, with AFC Telford United's Ryan Higgins on his shopping list. Burr said, 'I was told that if we could get some money in through the Cup then some of that would be made available to use so I’m hoping there will be money to bring people in. 'I think we need to bring three lads in to strengthen us and I would like to do that but if there is no money there then we understand and we’ll work with what we have and get the best out of them...

The squad has done brilliant up to now but I don’t want to rest on that, I want us to keep pushing on and keep improving. We do seem to have hit a bit of a barrier and, hopefully, getting a couple more in can help us get over that and into the top half of the table. I’m looking at all areas but we do need another forward because losing Matty and Rhys in mid-December, when you can’t go out and get another loan in, was very difficult. We managed to get Kane in as a non-contract and he’s done well but he’s still one for the future really'".

The Chronicle adds that "Burr has made an approach to sign Ryan Higgins from AFC Telford United. Higgins moved to New Bucks Head in September but decided against signing a contract, meaning he can freely move to another club. An attack-minded right back, he has been an ever-present for the Bucks... Burr put seven days notice of approach for the 20-year-old in on Christmas Eve and Telford have offered Higgins a new deal in response.

Telford managing director Lee Carter said, 'We have made Ryan a very healthy offer, in fact the best we have offered to a player of his age... Ryan is currently thinking things through with his agent'. Liverpool-born Higgins progressed through the academy at Everton, where he played alongside current Chester players Ben Heneghan and Ibou Touray. He was released from Goodison Park in 2012 and moved to Birmingham City, initially playing for free before earning himself a professional deal.

Higgins spent time on loan at Leamington and Tamworth but did not make a first team appearances at St Andrew's and was released at the end of last season".

Meanwhile, Chester's "Matty Brown was delighted to see his team-mates taking heed of his message.. The skipper called on the squad to develop a hard work ethic and have the right attitude week in, week out. Altrincham’s 2-0 win at the Swansway Chester Stadium on Boxing Day illustrated Brown’s concerns yet the defeat elicited a positive response from the squad.

Goals from Brown and teenager Tom Peers capped a fine team performance in a 2-0 success at FC Halifax Town on Sunday. Brown hopes the squad will use that win as a catalyst for further victories, starting at Alty on New Year’s Day...

Brown said, 'We knew it wasn’t about football against Halifax, it was more about the team getting together, fighting for each other and going that extra yard for each other. On Boxing Day we didn’t really do that...

[At Halifax] We went there and we played them at their own game. We kept it tight, we managed to score... We just weren’t at it on Boxing Day for some reason, things weren’t clicking'...

Liverpool defender Brown took his tally for the season to two with the opener at The Shay... 'But I’m more happy with the clean sheet to be honest', said the 24-year-old Brown".


We learn from the Macclesfield Express that "As Macclesfield Town prepare for more trials and tribulations in 2015 their manager is calling for the same effort from his charges, not least in Thursday's year-opener at Grimsby...

'We're in a fantastic position but we need some help to maintain it,' said Macc boss Askey, who's hoping to arrest a mini-slide of two defeats in two games. 'I know Grimsby lost on Sunday but they rested a few, they made changes and they were able to bring in some players of equal quality. When you look at it like that we have to be realistic and appreciate what we have. We're in third place and that's something to celebrate and be proud of, even though we've achieved nothing yet.

In the last two games there was nothing in the first Grimsby game, or in the first half against Bristol. They just got away from us in the second half... We need everybody to pull together. There are always one or two that are going to moan but we need everyone pulling as one. They don't realise the club is still in a mess but we're still here, still struggling but still fighting'.

Askey had a 14-man squad for his side's own defeat on Sunday, at second-placed Bristol Rovers...

Defender Liam Hogan was replaced at half-time in the Boxing Day clash with Grimsby and it was revealed that he's broken a bone in his foot, which effectively ends his loan from Fleetwood. 'Liam has gone back, he did well for us but he's in a cast with that broken bone, he's going to be out for at least six weeks so that's the end of his time with us', confirmed Askey...

'We've no more news on investment. We wouldn't be able to do anything just yet anyway. I'm hoping it will happen but I'm more in hope than expectation if I'm honest. We think we've done well with what we've got, it's just that at this time other teams, whether they're up at the top or down near the bottom of the table, are looking at rejigging their squads, and we can't do that, certainly not until one or two people are moved out. We were promised in summer that, if we were in a play-off position, we'd be able to have a go for it but, as it stands it doesn't look like that's going to happen.'

With most outfield positions in need of a bolstering Askey (above) would have to be shrewd with whatever he does get to splash out. However, there was good news surrounding his defence as, although Hogan and Adam Thomas's loan spells have ended (the latter returning to Stoke City) the Potters have agreed to extend Alex Grant's stay until the end of the season. The 20-year-old has appeared 10 times in league and cup matches..

Elsewhere Askey revealed that strikers Domaine Rouse and Malachi Lavelle-Moore haven't had the impact he was hoping for and are likely to be seeking fresh pastures. Will Bailey is sidelined by injury and while Liam Gibson and Milan Thompson currently train with the Silkmen they're embroiled in North West Counties action with Woodley, now Stockport Sports. Two Jacks, Hunter and Disney, are still with the club but Askey is reluctant to play them before he feels they're ready to make the step up.

'Domaine isn't getting paid so he's still with us but he's not been progressing as I thought he would and Malachi hasn't shown enough to be pushing for a place. He is contracted until the end of the season so we need to get him out on loan which would be best for everybody,' he added. 'And Efe (Sodje, assistant manager) hasn't kicked a ball in about 18 months so we couldn't consider putting him in at Bristol either. So it's clear that we have a small squad and we need some help'".

The Football Conference says that "Macclesfield Town have re-signed attacking midfielder Danny Rowe from AFC Fylde. Rowe joined the Coasters in August 2014, signing a deal with the club a few days before the season kicked-off. Able to play in both midfield and attack, Rowe joined from Macclesfield and nailed down a starting berth in the first-team this season...

He started his career at Stockport County, making over fifty appearances for them when they were in the Football League and Conference. He then made the move to Barrow AFC in the 2012/13 season and made forty appearances for the Bluebirds before joining Macclesfield during the summer of 2013."

And the Conference confirms that "The transfer window for our 24 Vanarama Conference clubs opens at 00.01hrs Saturday, 3rd January and closes at 2300 hrs Monday, 2nd February".

News of a departure comes from Barnet, who "can confirm that winger Adam Mekki has left the club with immediate effect. Adam joined Barnet during the summer on a non-contract basis having been released by Aldershot at the end of last season. The 22-year-old made a total four starts as well as seven substitute appearances for the Bees, but will now be moving on due to a lack of first team opportunities."

Alty's next away game is in Hampshire on Sunday from where the Daily Echo says that "Eastleigh face a hectic start to what could potentially be a truly sensational 2015. Richard Hill’s Spitfires enjoyed a record breaking 2014, but next year could be even more remarkable.

Eastleigh welcome in 2015 lying fifth in the Conference Premier, the elite division of English non-league football. Last Sunday’s 5-1 romp at Braintree elevated Richard Hill’s men into the final play-off place, still with at least two games in hand on all the four teams above them... Eastleigh have 21 games left... and a third of them take place in January...

It seems incredible to think of Eastleigh potentially winning promotion to the Football League, where they could have two Hampshire derbies against once mighty Portsmouth in their 2015/16 fixture list. After all, this is the club that as recently as 2003 were still playing in the Sydenham's Wessex League. The club first reached the Conference South – the sixth tier of football in this country back in 2005...

The arrival of Oxford-based Bridle Insurance as owners in 2011 provided an extra financial boost. Hill was appointed Ian Baird’s successor in September 2012 and Eastleigh have not looked back since... The club stormed to the Conference South title last season. Helped by Bridle’s backing, Hill was able to bring in experienced Football League players such as strikers James Constable and Jack Midson, defender Paul Reid and midfielder Craig Stanley during the summer...

One thing in Eastleigh’s favour is a superb home record. They have truly made the new-look Silverlake Stadium, featuring a brand new covered stand behind one of the goals and covered terracing opposite the main stand, the proverbial fortress. Out of 23 home league games in 2014, Eastleigh won 18 of them... only one defeat was suffered, against Boreham Wood in the final game of 2013/14, after Eastleigh had already won the Conference South title.

This season’s form has seen the club’s league average attendance jump from 680 to 1,537 – a percentage increase of 126!". A number of games at Eastleigh this season have featured free admission for all spectators.