an unofficial website

February, 2015

28 February 2015


Saturday, 28 Feb:

Howard Watts's record of games on Saturday's date is on the Through the Years page.

  • AFC Telford Utd 0-1 Alfreton Town
  • Aldershot Town 1-1 Dartford
  • Altrincham 1-3 Barnet
  • Eastleigh 4-0 Macclesfield Town
  • Forest Green Rovers 5-3 Southport
  • Gateshead 0-1 Bristol Rovers
  • Grimsby Town 1-0 Braintree Town
  • Kidderminster Harriers 0-0 FC Halifax Town
  • Lincoln City 0-2 Woking
  • Nuneaton Town 1-0 Welling United

FA Trophy, Semi Final 2nd Leg

  • North Ferriby Utd 2-1 Bath City
  • Torquay Utd 0-3 Wrexham


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

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Brian Flynn 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 Ideal Engineering Support Ltd.I.E.S. is Timperley's Number 1 Industrial Automation Specialist.For further information contact Dave Hudson here.

The commentators are Simon Ellis and Stewart James with John Edwards as match summariser. Coverage starts at 2.55pm with the game kicking off at 3.00pm. You can listen to Radio Robins on the internet at www.


Altrincham fans who attended the FA Cup tie at Shildon in September 2012 will remember the warm welcome we were given up there. This led to a number of our supporters keeping in touch with some of the fans of Shildon and Wilf Tray and Stephen "Bonz" Thornberry have attended Altrincham games when Shildon have not been playing.

Through these connections on both sides the club welcomed the Shildon & District Sunderland Supporters' Club last season prior to Sunderland's Carling Cup tie at Old Trafford to use our bar before heading to the game.

This Saturday Sunderland again face Manchester United and the club are delighted to welcome 30 travelling members to the Community Hall at lunchtime to use the facilities before heading off on the tram around 1.30pm to the game. They plan to return around 5.45pm for a pint before heading back on the coach home.

The Hall will be open to all from 11am on Saturday.


TASC travel coordinator Mark Eckersall informs us that "There will be a list in the shop to get numbers for the supporters' transport so we can decide what size of vehicle to book for Welling United on Sunday 8th March (1pm kick off). Please can you add your name to it at the game tomorrow or contact me directly by e-mail to put your name down? Please only book if you are sure of coming as you may take the place of someone who does want to attend by cancelling late".


At Barnet, "A rejuvenated Martin Allen says that he has made the most of having a week to reflect ahead of this weekend’s trip to take on Altrincham.

Having been laid low with flu all week, Martin says that he has used the time to both assess the season so far and plan for the final two months of the season as Barnet look to finish the campaign strongly.

'It has been a bit different for me as I’ve been off with flu so Stacky and Nursey have taken the training with the players. It has given me a chance to have a good think about things and reflect on how we have been doing during the season so far overall, and where we are right now with the difficult month that we have had.

Having the flu and being crashed out on the sofa has given me a good chance to think about things and look at things and perhaps it is now time to just freshen things up a little bit just to help us all move forward'.

Barnet saw Bristol Rovers take over the top spot that they have held since August on Tuesday night after playing an extra game, but Martin insists that that will not alter the approach of the camp as they look to ensure that they end up on top of the pile in April.

'Of course it is going to affect the mindset, but the important people that it doesn’t affect are myself and the players, with the league table, games in hand, who’s playing who and what’s happening there. I can only work with my players, with Nursey and Stacky, and between us do the best we can, as we have done from day one. We’ve had an unbelievable seven months, to be top of the league for the whole season is quite incredible.

They have caught us, they are above us, and now I suppose you could say that we have got to fight back'.

Although admitting that it has been a difficult month, the manager has no doubt that the group has what it takes to bounce back during the final stretch, starting with this weekend’s trip to Moss Lane. 'The attitude of the players and myself, I don’t think that can be faulted. Everybody has worked as hard as they could on the training pitch. Training has been spot on and the analysis of the performances on the DVDs has been spot on.

We had enough chances at Wrexham to have won three games, we had some good chances on Saturday. We’ve had some difficult decisions with substitutions with centre-backs having to go off injured at key moments in games. 'They have just gone against us a little bit, but we can’t blame those or use those as excuses or reasons for not winning. We have played how many cup finals since the beginning of the season with the best team coming into town, with five across midfield and five at the back when we play here at home. We have got to overcome all of those things and we have done, we have overcome some massive challenges throughout the season.

'Altrincham are third in the form table at the moment. They have got a good manager and some dangerous players. But, if we play as well as we can play, and play as we did from the beginning, then we are strong. We know we are strong. We are the top goal scorers, we have got some good players, we have got some great supporters and we have to see it through'"


"Gateshead have signed striker or midfielder Lynden Gooch on a month`s loan from Sunderland" reports NL Pitchero. "Gooch joined the Black Cats` Academy on a two-year scholarship in the summer of 2012. He arrived from California in the United States but holds a British passport...

Gooch made twenty-five appearances for the club’s under-18s during the 2013/14 season, before breaking into the under-21s".

Meanwhile, "Winger Alex Rodman insists that he is feeling 'fitter and stronger' with each game, after completing 90 minutes for Gateshead against Kidderminster Harriers on Tuesday night. Rodman netted Gateshead’s opening goal in a crucial 2-0 victory against play-off rivals Harriers. After six weeks on the sidelines with a shoulder injury, it was the 28-year-old’s first start since January 7th...

He said, 'I’m not quite at 100% yet. I still feel a little leggy, but it was my first start since I’ve been back. I was out for five or six weeks, so it’s always going to take a little bit of time to get back to 100% fitness'...

Rodman believes that Tuesday’s performance was a far cry from the Tynesiders’ last outing, when the rock-bottom Boro claimed an unlikely 2-1 victory at the International Stadium... He said, 'It was a massive result for us after such a poor showing against Nuneaton. Three points slipped by that we really should have taken, but that has kind of galvanised us. It was completely out of character to play as poorly as that, and to lose at home. But, while I was out injured, the boys turned in some good performances, and we were on a decent little run'.

A stern test awaits Gateshead tomorrow as league leaders Bristol Rovers visit the International Stadium".

Elsewhere, "Paul Carden, manager of Southport, has brought in highly-experienced goalkeeper Peter Brezovan on a month`s loan from neighbours Tranmere Rovers. The 6'6”, 35-year-old Slovakian-born keeper has served a number of clubs, including PS Bratislava, HFK Olomous, Swindon Town, where he made sixty-six League appearances, Brighton & Hove Albion, for whom he appearances forty-seven times, Portsmouth and most recently Tranmere".

And "Wrexham have announced that young defender Ross White has signed an extended contract. Wrexham born and bred, the former Wales Youth international has worked his way through the schoolboy ranks... Involved with the first-team since the start of the season and playing against Woking back in August, he has since gone on to make fifteen appearances, of which thirteen have been starts".

27 February 2015


This weekend's partial closure of the M56 motorway should not affect Barnet supporters arriving from the south via the M6 and A556 if they avoid the M56 and follow the instructions below, reproduced from this website's location page

From the SOUTH (M6):

Leave M6 motorway at junction 19 (Manchester and Airport sign). Join A556 and follow Airport signs to M56. Do NOT take the M56 but carry straight on at roundabout on A56. At first traffic lights (1 mile) turn right into Park Road for Bowdon/Hale (B5161). Carry on for 1 mile, passing The Quality Hotel on the right. Go through the traffic lights, then right at the mini-roundabout into Hale Road A538 (avoiding town centre). Carry on for approximately 1 mile, before turning left into Westminster Road (opposite the cemetery entrance). Carry straight on for approximately 3/4 mile into Moss Lane, the football ground is on the right.

Some advice for supporters travelling to Moss Lane this Saturday comes from the GovUK, which announces that "Drivers heading to Manchester Airport this weekend are being urged to leave extra time to catch flights as the M56 will be closed in both directions between junctions 5 and 6 for work to install a £5.5 million new bridge.

The Highways Agency will be installing the bridge, linking Thorley Lane over the M56 near Manchester Airport, between 10pm on Friday 27 February and 5am on Monday 2 March. The westbound carriageway of the motorway will be closed throughout the weekend from junction 5 – allowing people heading away from Manchester to access the airport as normal.

The eastbound carriageway of the motorway will also be closed throughout the weekend from junction 6 at Hale, with people heading for the airport needing to take a short diversion along Hangar Lane to get to the airport complex. Drivers with no need to be at the airport are being warned they will be unable to travel westbound beyond junction 5 or eastbound beyond junction 6 – and risk being trapped in airport traffic if they try.

A good and clearly-signed diversion steering traffic away from the M56 and the airport will be in place between junction 9 of the M56 at Lymm and the M60 in Manchester – using the M6, M62 and M60 instead.

Highways Agency project manager Mark Mosley said, 'The simple message is that the M56 is closed this weekend at Manchester Airport and unless you need to catch or meet a flight then please, please stay clear for everyone’s sake. Local roads around the airport will be very busy so we appeal to anyone who does not need to travel to the airport or communities in the area to avoid the M56. Access for people heading to Manchester Airport will be maintained at all times throughout the weekend but other drivers are urged to avoid the area and use the official diversion routes instead.

Fans of Manchester United (home to Sunderland at 3pm on Saturday) and Manchester City (away at Liverpool at noon on Sunday) are also being warned not to try to use the M56 for journeys into and out of Manchester and to use the M60, M62".


Please also note that there is no public parking at the J Davidson Stadium itself. However, Altrincham Football Club have an agreement with Aecom on Moss Lane (formerly Riley's Snooker Hall) over the use of their car park. As a result, Altrincham Football club has use of Aecom's car park on Tuesday nights and Saturday afternoons when a game is being played at the J. Davidson Stadium. We urge supporters to use the car park and thus alleviate the parking problems around the ground and surrounding roads. The car park will be open on Saturdays from 10.30am and will be locked at 7pm and on Tuesdays will be open until 11pm. There is no charge for users of the car park.

The address and post code of Aecom is 179 Moss Lane, Altrincham WA14 8FH and the entrance to the car park is off Moss Lane.

Otherwise, on-street parking is permitted except where indicated by yellow lines or traffic cones.


Steve Foster of TASC advises us that "The runners and riders are ready – and for sale today! As usual, the End of Season Race Night and Award Presentation will be held after our final home game of the season. This year, it is against AFC Telford on Saturday the 18th April. Horses for £10 and races for £20 will be on sale at Saturday’s game from me. They can alternatively be bought by emailing me".


Guiseley report that "Guiseley AFC Academy hosted a revitalised Altrincham FC, who came over the Pennines full of confidence... Back in October the Young Lions were held to a 2-2 draw...

Altrincham looked bright from kick-off and Richie Semple and Neil Tolson’s youngsters created a couple half-chances but not enough to threaten Greg Moorhouse in goal. After only 7 minutes Guiseley AFC’s Cubs broke the deadlock.,,

In the 2nd half Altrincham reorganised and looked brighter. Both Alty wide men were exciting players...

The score remained 4-0 until the final whistle. This was a ruthless performance by the Academy".


Barnet FC report that "It has been an incredible 24 years since we last visited Moss Lane, and that visit I want to forget as we were hammered 4-1 during the run-in to our promotion in March 1991. Altrincham were actually made favourites to go up after that game, which featured an on loan Paul Culpin's goal for the Bees. In fact I wish to forget most visits, especially a 7-0 thrashing in the APL Cup in 1980. Our only ever win there was in May 1985 when a 2-0 victory was decorated by goals from Steve Mahoney and Nicky Evans!"


According to the BBC "Grimsby Town are hoping to become the first club in the country to use a safe-standing area. Their Blundell Park home has been all-seater since 1995. Grimsby want to install rail seats, similar to those used in Germany and Austria, which can be unlocked or locked for either seating or standing...

'This move is in response to the effort the young fans have made to try to improve the atmosphere of late', said stadium manager Nick Dale. 'It's also about trying to embrace modern ways of supporting football clubs and we are responding to a fans' survey carried out by the Mariners' Trust, which showed there is an overwhelming desire to see us return to some terraced areas'. All-seater stadiums have been compulsory in the Championship and Premier League since an inquiry into the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, which claimed the lives of 96 Liverpool fans. However, standing is permitted in League One, League Two and below...

At a Football League meeting last year, most of the 72 member clubs voted in favour of introducing safe standing. The Football Supporters' Federation... spokesman told BBC Sport, 'All credit to Grimsby Town for listening to match-goers. Nine out of 10 fans back the choice to sit or stand and we're sure the club's fans will welcome this. Supporters know it can really help improve the matchday atmosphere'".

Still in the same county, Lincoln City say that "Lincoln and Lincolnshire is steeped in heritage. It is home to one of the few remaining copies (and probably the best copy) of the Magna Carta; it is home to the Royal Air Force Red Arrows aerobatic display team; it is the home of the iconic Dambusters; and it is home to one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the world.

Lincoln City Football Club is an integral part of this proud heritage and we need to preserve this for future generations. It has been well reported in the national media that the Co-operative Bank has served notice that it no longer wants the Club as a customer. The Bank is using the argument that the Club no longer fits its core customer profile and it has told the Club to go away and find another bank. Currently, the Club has the benefit of a £380,000 mortgage and overdraft facility from the Bank (secured on its property assets), which the Club has enjoyed for a considerable number of years.

The Co-operative Bank has demanded that the Club sell its property assets in order to pay back the Bank all the money it owes. If it doesn't, then the bank could force a sale of assets and potentially put the Club out of business.

To secure its future, the Football Club is launching a crowd funding scheme to celebrate this proud heritage, which will see the replacement of the seats in our largest stand to create a mosaic which features the Avro Lancaster Bomber and Lincoln Cathedral; two of the most iconic images associated with the city and the county. The Avro Lancaster was probably the most famous aircraft flown by the 617 Dambusters squadron of the Royal Air Force in WW2.

By making a pledge to support this campaign, you will not only be helping to secure the future of the Football Club, you will also be helping to create something unique and iconic that celebrates the proud heritage of this city, this county and this nation.

'The Club needs to raise the money we need to pay back the Co-op Bank and so we came up with something that is fairly unique and celebrates our proud heritage,' said Kevin Cooke, Acting Managing Director. 'We wanted to create something that we can be proud of and will be there for many years to come. The idea is so different and the image is so eye-catching that we feel it will appeal to a very wide audience and not just to football fans. We will be marketing this opportunity worldwide, which should raise significantly the profile and the plight of the Club and, at the same time, make it possible for us to create something so iconic that our city, county and nation will be proud of it'.

The mosaic is made up of 5,681 individual pieces and each piece is available for purchase with prices starting as low as £40, rising to a maximum of £250. If you would like to pledge your initial support or if you would like further information then please contact the Club at"

The Newcastle United Blog says that Toon manager "John Carver has recalled top 17 year-old midfielder Callum Roberts from his loan deal across the River Tyne at Gateshead, and it seems it’s because Callum is not being played enough by Gateshead manager Gary Mills. The 17-year-old midfielder went on loan for the rest of the season at The Heed last month, with 20 year-old Adam Campbell, but John Carver is not happy about the situation.

This is what John has said today about Callum, 'He was left out of the team so we brought him back because they wanted him to play in their reserve team. We thought he was better off playing in our U21 team than Gateshead with all due respect'. The reason youngsters are sent out on loan is to give them first team games, and if that’s not happening – for whatever reason – they would be better off back at Newcastle and playing for the U21s.

It seems that things came to a head when Gateshead wanted to play Callum in their Reserve team but it’s a much higher standard in Newcastle’s reserve team, now the U21 side... It gives a message to Gateshead that if they are not going to play the youngsters in their first team, they will be brought home. They will also be training with higher class players at Benton, so this seems fair enough to us... Adam Campbell has played 5 times for Gateshead and has scored 4 goals – so it seems the 20 year-old is getting back to his goal-scoring form."

In the Shropshire Star we read that "Defender Ian Sharps is open to a longer stay at AFC Telford United following his loan switch from Burton Albion. Sharps, 34, became manager Steve Kittrick’s most eye-catching signing so far when earlier this month he arrived at the New Buck's Head on a deal until the end of the season.

The former Shrewsbury Town defender was told in January that he can leave the Pirelli Stadium by Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, manager of the League Two promotion-chasing Brewers... Sharps said, 'I am open to any suggestion, I have enjoyed my time here so far. They are a good bunch of lads and they have good facilities at Telford'. Sharps... has already been made the Bucks' club captain. He's also taking on some of the duties previously undertaken by assistant manager Andy Todd, who departed the club for Hednesford earlier this month.

Sharps said, 'I did a little bit of coaching with the lads which was a good test; to play and coach at the same time. It was fun, the lads were lively, and I would like to do more of it, but my job is (predominantly) to play football at the moment... Long term, maybe management would appeal, but I think jumping straight to management from being a player is a big ask. The two roles are very different. Management is not only about putting a team out. You get phone call after phone call, you have got a lot of other things to deal with. I don’t think I have got enough knowledge to deal with that at the moment to be honest'".

The Chester Chronicle says that "Steve Burr has revealed he plans to step up contracts talks with his squad as the Chester FC boss begins to turn his attentions to next season. Although he has not given up on the play-offs, the manager admits the 1-0 defeat to Eastleigh on Saturday means the top five now look out of reach.

Torquay United’s progress in the FA Trophy means the scheduled trip to Devon this weekend has been moved to March 10 so Burr has extra time to focus on next week’s Wrexham match and his plans for 2015-16. Burr told The Chronicle...

'We have got a nucleus of good, young players so it’s important that we keep these lads together and build again for next season', said Burr. His out-of-contract list includes defenders Ben Heneghan, Matty Brown and Michael Kay, and midfield quartet Craig Mahon, John Rooney, Kingsley James and Sean McConville, who are all under 26 and in theory with their best still to come. Jon Worsnop, Kieran Charnock, Gareth Roberts, Ibou Touray, Craig Hobson and youngsters Liam Blake and Tom Peers are also up for renewal at the end of the season.

Burr said, 'I don’t want to be in a position where we get to the end of the season with a lot of uncertainty. I want to sort one or two things out now and I’ve told the board that. There are one or two where we know what we want to do already but the lads should all be trying to earn themselves something for next season and I know that’s what they will be doing... It gives me and Jon (McCarthy) a lot of satisfaction when we come up against teams with bigger financial resources and we match them with what we have got at the moment.

Getting the best out of the players we have is pleasing for me and I know that the lads give everything they have got every time they go out there. Sometimes the lads will come up a little bit short, but I know I’m getting good value for money out of these players'".

Reports in the Kidderminster Shuttle say that "Harriers’ board of directors are set to face a grilling from disgruntled shareholders at the club’s annual general meeting. Monday evening’s showdown (7pm start) at the Aggborough Suite will be the first opportunity for fans to quiz those running the club over a series of burning topics face-to-face.

Supporters have urgent questions over Kidderminster’s perilous financial situation. Fans remain mystified how Harriers are struggling to pay wages each month and rely on the backing of benefactors Kath and Ernie Lane, despite a money-spinning FA Cup run and a game at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light, as well as selling the likes of Jamille Matt, Joe Lolley, Nathan Blissett and Marvin Johnson for hundred of thousands of pounds.

Last season’s abbreviated accounts revealed the club's net current liabilities had increased from £46,772 to £198,517 by May last year. Supporters are also worried about Harriers’ future, with manager Gary Whild warning that unless new investment was found, the club could become part-time once again...

Shareholders, including major ones such as Barry Norgrove, Jane Murrant and Neil Savery, will want to know what plans are in place for the 2015-16 campaign. Fans will also want to learn if the Lanes will continue to back the club next season and what blueprint the board have in place if they decide to stop their financial support.

Meanwhile, Whild has not given up hope of making the play-offs after two disappointing results... Kidderminster are now in eighth place, nine points off the play-offs spots. He said, 'We’re on a run like at the start of the 2012-13 season and all it takes is a one goal to get us going again'".

26 February 2015


Altrincham entertain second-place Barnet on Saturday, the Bees having lost the top spot on Tuesday night to Alty's last opponents, Bristol Rovers.

Mike Garnett advises us of the historical record between Altrincham and Barnet. Alty's record at Moss Lane is excellent whilst the Bees have beene almost equally dominant at their home stadium over the years. Alty lost 5-0 in the reverse fixture earlier this season.

  • Home: P13-W10-D2-L1-F30-A8
  • Away: P14-W2-D3-L9-F9-A24
  • All: P27-W12-D5-L10-F39-A32


Before Altrincham take on Barnet at the J. Davidson Stadium on Saturday (3pm), the Eastleigh v Macclesfield Town match will be shown live on BT Sport in the Community Sports Hall. Kick off in that match is at 12.45pm.


The Times Series relates that "Former Barnet midfielder David Hunt insists he would have forgone regular football with the Bees in order to be part of a promotion push but never received a contract offer.

The 32-year-old has since signed for his local team, Maidenhead United of the Conference South, and made his debut in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Havant & Waterlooville. Hunt made 13 appearances for the Bees during a three-month loan stay which concluded on January 31 but had been in negotiations to settle his contract with parent club Oxford United before it finished.

Bees head coach Martin Allen stated his intention to sign the former Crawley Town midfielder but told the Times Series on February 17 negotiations had ended. However, Hunt has revealed he never received an offer from the Bees despite training with the club after leaving League Two Oxford.

He said, 'I had full intentions to stay at Barnet but I was a little bit confused because I read an article which said negotiations had stopped. I did not have any negotiations at all, so that was a little bit confusing because if there was something offered then I would have signed it, that would not have been a question. After things were sorted with Oxford, for the next week or so I never once had an offer. I went into training and waited for it but nothing came. I could not keep training there and hope something would eventually be offered to me because I have got to look after my future really. So I did not really have a choice'.

Hunt added, 'I was looking forward to staying at Barnet and I was willing to swallow not being a regular starter to be involved in it all. I loved it, it was brilliant; the lads were top draw and the manager was brilliant to me during my time there. It has been great to be part of a successful team.'

The Dulwich-born utility man made just six starts for Barnet during his time at The Hive and admits it has been a frustrating season for him after falling out of favour at the Kassam Stadium prior to his loan switch. He explained, 'I left Oxford because I was not getting game time. I came to Barnet but appreciated they were top of the league and the lads were doing well. The manager let me know I would not be straight in the team, which was fine. I had not played many games before that this season. I always find anyone needs a good three or four games in a row to get back in the swing of fitness and I never really had that. It just sums up this year really; no consistency.

It was just hard to get into the swing of things really. But I was enjoying it that much I was willing to sacrifice all that and be part. It is hard for me to prove I am fit when I am not actually playing'.

The Bees have been knocked off the top of the Conference table since Hunt spoke to the Times Series but he is adamant Barnet have the quality to seal a return to the Football League.

He said, 'The way the lads train; they are very hard working, as if it is a game. They have got great team spirit so I think that all bodes well for a team which is going to be challenging until the end of the season'".

25 February 2015


It is currently (Tuesday 22.40 hours) not possible to update the mobile version of this website owing to "Maintenance of our database systems" by 1&1 Internet.


The Altrincham FC Saturday Yankee jackpot stands at £5,000. Details are here


Ian Senior of SKkits writes that "Due to the continued success of sales of away shirts with FREE shorts, the offer will remain in place for the remainder of the season. Supporters please note, shorts don't have to be same size as shirt, so any Dads who want a pair can do so when purchasing a JUNIOR sized shirt!"


The Sunderland Echo reports that "Fit-again Duncan Watmore took another step on the comeback trail with a second substitute’s outing against Manchester United last night. Watmore’s progress was halted by a broken fibula just before Christmas, when the promising winger had been edging closer to first-team contention after training with Gus Poyet’s squad.

But, after returning to the fold from the bench in last week’s defeat at Liverpool, Watmore played another half-hour last night in Sunderland Under-21s’ 1-1 draw against Manchester United. Development coach Robbie Stockdale said, 'It’s a little bit more time for him. He looked a bit rusty on his first run and then it took him 20 minutes to get back into position! But, in all seriousness, he lifts you and gives you something other players don’t have'.

However, Watmore couldn’t spark a victory against 10-man United after Mikael Mandron... had drawn the Black Cats level at the Stadium of Light. After United first-team defender Tyler Blackett was shown a straight red card for a daft off-the-ball push early in the second half, Stockdale felt Sunderland should have done more to make their man advantage count".


Tuesday, 24 Feb:

  • Alfreton Town v Dartford POSTPONED
  • Bristol Rovers 2-1 Braintree Town
  • FC Halifax Town v Eastleigh POSTPONED
  • Gateshead 2-0 Kidderminster Harriers
  • Grimsby Town 1-0 AFC Telford Utd
  • Torquay United v Lincoln City POSTPONED
  • Wrexham 0-0 Forest Green Rovers

In the CSC, Macclesfield Town defeated Crewe Alexandra 2-1.


From the Football Conference, we learn that "Anthony Hampson, chairman of Worcester City, has moved to clarify the situation regarding next season...

'Clearly one of the options being considered is a continuation of the current arrangement at Aggborough. Supporters will know that, over the last two years, one of the club’s concerns has been the costs associated with stewarding our home games. This has been the subject of discussion with colleagues at Kidderminster Harriers and we fully appreciate the reasons why the current levels of stewarding are necessary.

Should we take up a further two-year option at Kidderminster we will not be considering closing the terraces for all games as a matter of course. The Board of Directors would wish to continue to give supporters the option of sitting or standing at home games. But supporters must appreciate that there is a cost implication.

For a variety of reasons, attendances at midweek home games have been considerably lower than games on a Saturday. In many cases attendances at midweek league games have been between 300 and 400. On these occasions it is difficult, from a purely financial point of view, to justify opening the main stand and terraces. Therefore, the Board feels that it would be right to consider whether we should consider only opening the main stand for those games when we anticipate a lower than average attendance.

The club values the support it continues to receive whilst "in exile". Supporters can be re-assured that the club will continue, wherever possible, to accommodate the needs and wishes of our loyal supporters. However, any decision it takes will always be in the longer term financial interests of the Football Club and, at times, this can be a difficult balance to achieve'".

According to the Grimsby Telegraph "A Grimsby Town supporter has been charged with assault for allegedly striking a steward with an inflatable shark. Kenny Meech, 50, was one of the 969 Mariners supporters who travelled down to The Hive stadium to watch his team secure a dramatic 3-1 victory over Conference leaders Barnet on Saturday.

Kenny, of Alexandra Road, Cleethorpes, said the incident took place during the celebrations after Craig Disley's injury time goal for Town. The supporter... said he will deny the charge of assault and that he cannot remember his inflatable shark making contact with the steward... He said, 'You can imagine what it is like when they score a late goal like that; it's like England versus Germany. We were all jumping up and down and my inflatable must have accidently hit the steward on the head'.

He added, 'I got picked out by the steward and I was then pulled out of the crowd. I did not show any physical violence whatsoever'... He was later charged with common assault... In addition, Kenny said he has been given a banning order which prohibits him from being in the town centres of Grimsby and Cleethorpes for four hours either side of a home match. He is also banned from attending any home or away game until the matter has been resolved, he added...

Metropolitan Police added that two other arrests had been made among Grimsby Town supporters at the match; one for criminal damage and another for invading the pitch... Kenny said, 'Grimsby fans have always had a sense of humour but it's just a shame that police and stewards haven't. I feel like the jaws have nabbed me. I am a season ticket holder and have been a Town fan for around 40 years now. I don't know who is more embarrassed, me for getting arrested, or the police charging me for this'.

He added, 'I run Cafe Nemo's in Cleethorpes with my partner and this football ban is going to seriously impact on that'. The arrest comes just two weeks after another Grimsby Town supporter became embroiled in an inflatable-related incident. As reported on, Town fan Bryan Winship made national headlines when he was photographed being held in a headlock by a steward at Forest Green's The New Lawn stadium".

24 February 2015


John Edwards, joint Press and Media Officer, has contributed the following to The Advertiser...

"Lee Sinnott welcomed further evidence of Altrincham’s emergence as a force to be reckoned with in the Vanarama Conference after they went agonisingly close to denting Bristol Rovers’ promotion challenge at a packed Memorial Stadium.

Alty were unfortunate to concede just before half-time, after looking the better side, and were out of luck again when a marginal offside decision cost Damian Reeves an equaliser from a late Jordan Sinnott cross.

‘We were in it for the entire game, which was pleasing, because we knew what we were walking into,’ said Alty boss Sinnott. ‘Bristol are very much a team used to picking up points, and they play at one of the biggest grounds in the league in front of one of the biggest crowds.

‘That can either inspire you or make you wilt, and I was extremely proud of the players that they had the steel to step out in front of nearly 7,000 and show what they are about.

‘I hate losing, but I couldn’t help feeling proud of the way we went into an atmosphere like that and, particularly for the first 45 minutes, played the sort of football we wanted to.

‘It’s just disappointing we didn’t have something to show for it, and again it was down to fine margins. The flag went up straightaway for Reevesie (right), but there can’t have been much in it, and then he was the length of a toe away from finishing off another cross right at the end.

‘We switched off at a corner for their goal, which was disappointing, but really we didn’t want half-time to come, we were playing that well. Then, after 15-20 minutes of misplaced passes from both sides at the start of the second half, we picked it up again and pushed them all the way, right up to the 94th minute.’

Alty face leaders Barnet at The J.Davidson Stadium on Saturday, and Sinnott added: ‘Every game is hard in this league, but it is important now that we build on the confidence we have been showing. I think our football surprised the Bristol public a bit. We must keep that going.’"


Alty supporter Barry Pikesley writes that "You may well have noticed that Stuart Coburn is now just two more games away from overtaking John Davison as the holder of the record number of appearances for Altrincham FC. In anticipation of this impending milestone, the club are planning a special commemorative programme in honour of Stuart's achievement and I have volunteered to assist Grahame Rowley with its compilation.

Consequently, I would be delighted to receive your favourite memories of Stuart's career with the Robins, with a view to including some of them in the proposed celebratory issue of the Robins Review e.g. reminiscences/recollections about a particular incident, game, save, performance (highs and lows!) or penalty save....and, naturally, that goal at Runcorn.

All anecdotes about the great man are welcome, whether they relate to him either on or off the pitch.

Any photographs of Stuart would be most welcome, too (especially any images of him from those days when he had a full head of hair!). This is your opportunity to pay tribute both to Stuart's immense contribution to the cause of Altrincham FC and the man himself. Please email your submissions to me. Alternatively, you could always track me down in the main stand at the next home match and hand over your written contribution in person".

Above left: Stuart with Mark Maddox on New Year's Day, 2001, after the match against Frickley Athletic. In November 2000, Stuart had trials with Premiership Leicester City, who three months later signed Alty's Kevin Ellison.


Bristol Rovers have highlights of last Saturday's match against Altrincham, here


The Halifax Courier reports that "FC Halifax Town’s home game with Eastleigh scheduled for Tuesday night has been postponed following a pitch inspection at the Shay today (Monday). Town beat Braintree 1-0 on Saturday but Halifax RLFC have since played on the pitch, losing 18-6 against Leigh."

FC Halifax Town have a picture of the pitch. They add "FC Halifax Town’s home game against Eastleigh tomorrow night has been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch. A pitch inspection took place this afternoon, before it was eventually decided the pitch would not be in a suitable condition to stage the Vanarama Conference game. This is the second time in just over a month this fixture has been called off due to the pitch at The Shay, with the original date of January 17th being postponed because of a frozen pitch. Town’s next game will now be away at Kidderminster this Saturday and as things stand they are not scheduled to play back at The Shay until March 7th when Dartford are the visitors."

The Football Conference resports that "General football manager Steve Pitt has left Bishop`s Stortford to join Jody Brown’s coaching team at Welling United. The Wings are currently battling against relegation following the departure of boss Jamie Day to Ebbsfleet United.

Pitt, who has managed Leiston, Stanway Rovers and Wivenhoe Town, joined the Blues for a second spell in the summer and was responsible for scouting and player recruitment".

Elsewhere, "Forest Green Rovers' left-back Chris Stokes has joined Coventry City on a month`s loan deal. The defender has been training with the Sky Blues for the past couple of weeks having been given permission by the club to trial with the former Premier League side. He had earlier spent time training with Yeovil Town and is now in line to be named in the Coventry squad that travels to Sheffield United this afternoon.

The emergence of Marcus Kelly at left-back has seen Stokes forced out of the Rovers' first-team picture in recent weeks and he will now spend a month in the Midlands. The England C international, who joined the club after a lengthy spell with Bolton Wanderers in his youth, has made over 120 league appearances at The New Lawn. He links up with former Forest Green boss David Hockaday, who was recently appointed to the coaching staff at Coventry".

According to Barnet Today, "It was only a few weeks ago that Barnet seemed to be on an unstoppable march towards the Vanarama Conference title and a return to the Football League. But they have suffered a slump in form at just the wrong time and Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at home to Grimsby Town [was] their fourth loss in six matches...

'It was a funny game really', said manager Martin Allen. 'They dominated in the first half and then in the second half we got on top. I thought that we played superbly well in the second half and their keeper made a couple of brilliant saves. To concede two late goals, let’s not kid ourselves, that is bitterly disappointing at this stage. There are some good players in our dressing room and, more importantly, they are good people. I have great faith in all of them'.

With top scorer John Akinde missing through suspension, the Bees lacked their usual cutting edge in attack".

And Barnet add that "Bondz N’Gala says that he and his teammates are not feeling any pressure following this weekend’s defeat to Grimsby Town... The defender insisted that the mood within the camp was still positive despite... Barnet’s first home league defeat since November...

'The first half was not fantastic but we came out in the second half better following the team talk. It was a great start to the second half; a very positive start and we were high up in their half of the pitch causing them problems... We know if you keep working hard it is only right that things will turn. We are not feeling any pressure. We are top of the table and everyone comes here and it is their cup final so we have just got to rise to the occasion and be crowned champions by the end of the season... This is a little sticky patch but we will come through it and get back to winning ways'" he asserted.

News of Conference North comes from the BBC to the effect that "The English game is 'lost in medieval times' says the chief executive of Oxford City who have had four keepers dismissed in the last six games. Turkish debutant Ali Aksoy was sent off against Tamworth as Oxford lost Saturday's Conference North match 4-3. Oxford chief Thomas Guerriero said, 'The referees are not being educated in how the game is being played globally. Not every foul by a keeper is a red card. This is not the 1960s. It is a completely different style now'...

Mark Scott was sent off in the 5-0 win at Brackley on 7 February and Salva de la Cruz saw red against Barrow and in the previous meeting with Tamworth last month. 'I played in goal for 30 years and I was sent off once', said Guerriero, a Wall Street businessman, based in the United States. 'The idea now is for goalkeepers to use their feet, almost as an outfield player, not to just sit back on their line'".

23 February 2015


Above: Under the watchful eye of Lee Sinnott and the Altrincham bench, Nicky Clee advances up the Alty left during the second half at a packed Memorial Stadium, the home of Bristol Rovers.

Brian Flynn has an audio interview with manager Lee Sinnott after the game at Bristol. It can be heard here.


The Bristol Post reports that "Bristol Rovers moved to within a point of long-time Vanarama Conference leaders Barnet after a Tom Parkes goal was enough to secure victory over Altrincham... Parkes was offered the freedom of the penalty area to head home from an Adam Dawson corner right at the end of what had been a frustrating opening period for Rovers.

Altrincham, who had arrived in good form after winning four of their last six games, had offered more-than-able resistance, although Matty Taylor had been guilty of missing a glorious one-on-one opportunity when pulling his shot across the face of goal and wide on 38 minutes. Mark McChrystal, meanwhile, had almost broke[n] the deadlock in the 24th minute when forcing Coburn into a fine one-handed save after connecting powerfully with Lee Brown’s long diagonal to the far post.

There were few chances for either side over the remainder, although substitute Ellis Harrison struck a post early in the second-half, while 15-goal striker Damian Reeves saw a goal chalked off by the linesman after aiming a header past Steve Mildenhall in the dying stages.

The final whistle was welcomed by a raucous crowd inside the Memorial Stadium... Rovers had made a lethargic start, though, and perhaps Parkes was lucky to remain on the pitch after appearing to raise his arms in the direction of experienced striker Kyle Perry early on.

Rovers, meanwhile, failed to fashion any opportunity of note at all before goalkeeper Coburn was called on to make an easy save from Nathan Blissett’s low shot in the 17th minute. Altrincham were neat and tidy, but posed little threat going forward; James Lawrie seeing a shot charged down and a Shaun Densmore free-kick that was deflected over the crossbar the closest they came to troubling Mildenhall.

Ellis Harrison replaced Taylor for the start of the second-half and was quickly into the action when rattling the foot of the post with a low right-footed shot when cutting in off the left wing. It was one of very few chances as the game descended into a scrappy affair that forced Clarke to look again to his bench; this time bringing on Jake Gosling in place of Dawson with some 25 minutes remaining.

That Balanta followed from among the substitutes soon after was an indicator of just how ineffectual Rovers had been when going forward, and almost immediately the former QPR man linked up well with Harrison to force a save out of Coburn... Rovers survived a late scare when Reeves was thwarted by the officials after beating Mildenhall from Jordan Sinnott’s cross".


In Saturday's match at the J. Davidson Stadium, Altrincham FC Reserves beat Cheadle Town FC Reserves 2-0. The scorers were Swift and Stouppis. Alty now lie second in League Two, which is the third tier of the Hallmark Cheshire County Football League. Alty's team comprised (in A/Z order)...

Ryan Barry, Louis Brown, Jamie Burrows, Thomas Clarke, Ryan Goodwin, Sam Heathcote, Dino Jones, Robert Kennerley, Elliot Messam, Iwannis Stouppis, Joel Swift. The subs were Daniel Brown, Matthew Christie, Craig Goulden, Louis Potts and Thomas Westall.


Glossop North End progressed to the quarter-finals of the FA Vase on Saturday, winning their 5th Round replay at Dunston, 3-1 after extra time. The third goal came from former Alty Youth and first team player, Kieran Lugsden. Other products of George Heslop's youth team at Altrincham who play for Glossop are Sam Grimshaw and Tom Bailey.

The next Alty Youth game is on Sunday, 1 March, at home to Skelmersdale United at Clay Lane, 2pm.


Last Sunday's scheduled Ladies' match between Altrincham and Wallasey Wanderers was postponed because of a bereavement to a member of the opposition side. Altrincham FC extends its condolences.


Vanarama Conference gates:
  • Alfreton Town 2-3 Aldershot Town (gate 692)
  • Barnet 1-3 Grimsby Town (2,756)
  • Bristol Rovers 1-0 Altrincham (6,765)
  • Chester FC 0-1 Eastleigh (2,294)
  • Dartford v Gateshead OFF
  • Dover Athletic 2-2 Southport (1,008)
  • FC Halifax Town 1-0 Braintree Town (1,268)
  • Forest Green Rovers 3-0 AFC Telford Utd (1,300)
  • Nuneaton Town 0-0 Kidderminster Harriers (982)


From the Shropshire Star we learn that "AFC Telford United manager Steve Kittrick was left severely frustrated after his team shipped three late goals against Forest Green Rovers. The Bucks, who are now 10 points from safety following their 3-0 defeat at the New Lawn, had done a solid job containing their play-off-chasing opponents.

But, with a valuable point looming into view, Telford conceded three times in the final 25 minutes with Jon Parkin, Charlie Clough and Elliott Frear all scoring. And Kittrick said, 'For about 70 minutes, I thought we were in the game, but poor defending, again, and giving a silly free-kick away have cost us. It's same old, same old and it is very frustrating because we do speak about these things and people have got to take responsibility. But, unless people do that, we are going to end up with more games like that. I think some of the defensive frailties that were there before have started to rear their head again .

When I came here we were 15 points adrift of safety, but we have got ourselves back into it. Then we have a 20 minute display like we did at the end in which we looked disjointed and not interested. And I have said to the players afterwards, there's one or two of them who have got to start looking at themselves and their performance because it is not good enough. It is not about systems, it is about players. They have got to want to put a shift in and for 70 minutes (we did).

All right we didn't create a great deal but Forest Green are fifth in the league, they are a good side, they are organised, they have got a lot of good Conference players. A lot of them have even played in the Football League and I thought we did all right against them for long periods. In my own mind I was thinking "If we continue doing what we did in the first half in the second half, we'll end up getting a point".

But, if we keep making mistakes like we did and just falling to pieces, not turning the ball in the right areas, just being unprofessional, we will get punished. I am disappointed in how we lost. That was the big thing because in the last 20 minutes we looked like a very poor side'.

Telford were dealt a blow when they had to replace top-scorer Tony Gray at half time because of an eye injury but Kittrick insisted... 'It was a blow losing Tony Gray and the intention had been to get Tony on the ball as much as we could. But it is not all about Tony Gray. If he doesn't play on Tuesday against Grimsby it isn't the end of our season, but people have got to stand up and be counted and there's too many of them not wanting to be counted'".

News of Alty's next opponents comes from the Times Series which asks "Why have Barnet faltered in recent weeks? Tom Bodell identifies five reasons he believes the Bees are stuttering.

Having led the Conference since a 2-0 win at Southport on August 30, Barnet have been there to be shot at, yet they have always dodged the bullet until now. However, their recent run of form, four defeats from seven league fixtures in 2015, has seen their once intimidating nine-point barrier cut to a mere point. On Tuesday evening second-placed Bristol Rovers host Braintree Town in 16th.

Victory will send the Gas top, having played a game more, and you would expect them to do exactly that. For me, Barnet have been fortunate since the win at Aldershot on Boxing Day. The same swagger has not been there and in their three wins since you can pinpoint a moment or incident on which the game could very easily have swung the other way...

I put out four questions on Twitter on Saturday evening for Bees' supporters to answer. They were –

  1. What went wrong against Grimsby?
  2. What has been going wrong recently?
  3. How do Barnet correct those issues?
  4. Will Barnet win the Conference title?

Here are five reasons I believe Martin Allen’s men have faltered since the turn of the year.

1. Over-reliance on John Akinde... He is one of only two players in double figures for the season, the other being Luisma Villa (10 goals)... Barnet have only seven goals in 2015 which weren’t scored by Akinde and three goals in the final ten minutes against a tired Southport side boost the statistic somewhat...

2. A separate issue is the change in the style of play in recent months... There has been an undeniable shift in the modus operandi of Allen’s side from keeping possession and working opportunities to looking for the quick, direct route into either the area Akinde is operating within or the channels. There can be no denying Akinde’s effectiveness running at the last defender or charging towards the goalkeeper... But when he has been marshalled out of the game, long balls do not pose the same threat.

Although Michael Gash provides a similar physical presence to Akinde, he is not going to brush aside a couple of defenders and power towards goal. Yet I lost count of the amount of times on Saturday I witnessed hopeful cushioned knocks up the line or balls aimed towards Gash. The best teams are adaptable. I have my doubts Barnet are.

3. Teams have figured Barnet out: Put together the lack of adaptability and the reliance on Akinde’s goals and style of play and the Bees are pretty easy to negate. Put two defenders on Akinde, sit deep to deny the space in behind your backline and ask Barnet instead to pick the lock and you’ve got the beating of them...

4. Lee Cook is out of form... It would be unrealistic to expect a 32-year-old with a history of serious injuries to maintain the form he showed in the early months of the season right through until April without a dip but it’s growing increasingly hard to recall the last time he truly affected a game...

5. Cook might not have pace but Barnet need some. When your wide players are Cook and Luisma, pace is not on the menu. And whilst they are the most technically gifted players in the squad they are not going to beat their full-backs for speed... When you have got Gambin sitting on the bench and Keanu Marsh-Brown kicking his heels in frustration somewhere it is baffling to persist with two slow wide men, especially when the style of play has become direct...

The issue lies in the consistency of delivery with Gambin... Barnet have two quick, dangerous, unpredictable and exciting wide players. Let’s see the more often."

The Bristol Post adds that "Manager Martin Allen admits that Barnet are feeling the pressure... and are now only a solitary point ahead of in-form Bristol Rovers...

Asked by local reporters in North London if he and his squad were feeling the pressure after watching his side lose 3-1 at home to Grimsby Town on Saturday, Allen replied, 'Everyone is. We are not sitting back on our beach chairs and thinking, "what a wonderful world". This is what it is all about. We are at the sharp end and it is fantastic. When he had a seven-point lead I never spoke about it. When we have a five-point lead, a four-point lead, a nine-point lead and a one-point lead, I just deal with each game one at a time and try to help the players the best I can. Whatever will be will be. I never said anything when we went miles ahead and I am not going to say anything now'.

He added, 'We need to try and learn and that is the key point. We can’t brush it under the carpet and say everything is fantastic, because it is not. We have got work to do and we have got to learn from what we have done'".

22 February 2015


Above, Kyle Perry's face shows his frustration as an open goal chance is denied him. The grounded Rovers' defender has just cut out Shaun Densmore's low cross from the Alty right, during the first half.

A headed goal just before half time by Tom Parkes settled this match.

Match report here.

After Saturday's match, Lee Sinnott told the NL Paper, "We knew what it would be like coming to a club like Bristol Rovers, with the crowds they get. I told the players it was a chance to puff out their chests and show people what they were about.

They did just that. I'm disappointed with the goal we conceded because it came from an area we work on having covered and it was frustrating to concede with so little of the first half left.

But, if anything, that made me more proud of the way the team peformed in the second half. We pressed Rovers right up to the final whistle and, overall, I'm very proud of my players' efforts.

We had a goal ruled out for offside at the end, which must have been a close decision. All I can say is that the linesman put his flag up quickly, so he must have been sure, and we accpet that".

Bristol Rovers' boss Darrell Clarke spoke to the Bristol Post about the game.


Vanarama Conference:

  • Nuneaton Town 0-0 Kidderminster Harriers K.o. 12.45pm
  • Alfreton Town 2-3 Aldershot Town
  • Barnet 1-3 Grimsby Town
  • Bristol Rovers 1-0 Altrincham
  • Chester FC 0-1 Eastleigh
  • Dartford v Gateshead OFF
  • Dover Athletic 2-2 Southport
  • FC Halifax Town 1-0 Braintree Town
  • Forest Green Rovers 3-0 AFC Telford Utd

FA Trophy Semi-Final, first leg:

    Bath City 2-2 North Ferriby United
  • Wrexham 2-1 Torquay United

21 February 2015


You can follow the Bristol Rovers 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.

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Brian Flynn advises that "Radio Robins, sponsored by Ashley Mowers Garden Machinery, is providing full live commentary of Saturday's game. The match commentary sponsor is Sale Fencing & Surfacing who are a driveway and fencing company who provide free, no obligation quotes for any sized jobs, with options to suit all budgets.

Whether you are looking for a new driveway, beautiful patio, garden fencing, walls or gates, make Sale Fencing & Surfacing your first choice for exterior home improvements. A quality job is not just promised, it is guaranteed. Have a look at the Sale Fencing & Surfacing website.

The commentary team is Ian Wilkinson and Laurence Howarth with match summaries from Paul Salt. Coverage starts at 2.50pm with the game kicking off at 3.00pm.


Bristol Rovers have "Everything you need to know about tomorrow's opponents!...

Rovers: The men in blue and white have a fantastic home record in the league and will be looking to secure their 12th victory at the Mem. Defensive shut-outs have been key for Rovers at home with the side only shipping 9 goals in the 16 games this season. Team News: Darrell said in his press conference yesterday that rehab with Stuart Sinclair, Ollie Clarke and Jermaine Easter is going well but all three would need to be assessed before being passed fit enough to take part tomorrow.

Darrell's View, 'We may have lost against Altrincham earlier on in the season but we are a completely different animal now as are Altrincham, they have changed a lot through the season... Following a poor start to the season, Alty have recovered in recent weeks and have secured wins against Chester, Eastleigh, Torquay and Aldershot. In their last outing they drew 2-2 with playoff side Forest Green Rovers with top goal scorer Damian Reeves adding his 15th league goal...

Rovers had a game to forget at Moss Lane back in August with Damian Reeves and a Mark McChrystal own goal securing all three points for Alty in a 2-1 win. Lee Mansell pulled a goal back with 15 minutes remaining but it wasn't enough and Rovers had midfielder Stuart Sinclair sent off in the 90th minute."

Writing in the Bristol Post, Leroy Rosenior says "Given the way the Conference Premier campaign has panned out, I believe all the pressure will be on Barnet during the run-in. Front-runners for the entire season and nine points clear of their nearest challengers at one stage, the Bees have always been expected to go up as champions.

It has been altogether different for Bristol Rovers, who were never seriously expected to catch the leaders and whose focus has been on making the play-offs. But events took a dramatic turn last weekend and the title race has now been blown wide open. While Barnet were slipping up at Wrexham, Rovers were registering a really big win at Grimsby to close the gap on the long-time leaders to just four points...

And this weekend could turn out to be another pivotal one, with Rovers hosting Altrincham and Barnet playing a Grimsby side hell-bent on bouncing back after losing to the Pirates. Barnet are displaying all the traits of a typical Martin Allen side. Big on quality but short in terms of numbers, they are showing signs of faltering now that fatigue is kicking in and the pressure is mounting. They had John Akinde sent off at Wrexham and will have to make do without their top scorer against a very good Grimsby side tomorrow. They will definitely be feeling the pressure.

Rovers are now in a position where they can take advantage if Barnet slip up and I sense they are at long last enjoying being a big club at the top end of the table. They can afford to relax and enjoy it from here on in... Rovers will also believe they can go up without recourse to the play-offs. They have gradually improved as the season has gone along and, when they are not winning, they are usually drawing games and still picking up points. That consistency, and their habit of keeping clean sheets, will stand them in good stead during the run-in".

The Bristol Post also says in a "blog" that "A lot of things have changed since Bristol Rovers slipped out of the Football League for the first time in our history, yet the strength of our defence has remained a relative constant... After conceding just 26 goals in 34 games we certainly can be proud of by far the strongest defence in the division.

Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised considering four of the five players that currently form our water-tight backline were part of a defence that was better than over half of the other sides in League Two last season, which made what happened to us on that day of reckoning at the Memorial Stadium last May so utterly galling.

It was our failure to do the business at the other end that proved our ultimate downfall and, to a degree, the fact that we are the side who has scored the least goals among the teams that currently make up the top eight places in the Conference suggests that those issues have not been fully addressed just yet...

The continuing central defensive partnership of Tom Parkes and Mark McCrystal has been the cornerstone of most of our success at the back in recent times and they look to be back to somewhere near the level we saw from them as Rovers successfully fended off the threat of relegation during the second-half of the 2012/13 season. Neither are the tallest central defenders you will ever see, but I never lack confidence in either of them to win headers or at least making a sufficient challenge for a high ball at times when we are under aerial bombardment.

It has also been encouraging to see Parkes bring the ball out from the back on occasion, while his passing ability and decision making has also developed greatly... McCrystal is the ‘wise head’ and leader in an otherwise reasonably young defence and it is clear to see he is a great organiser, even if he generally leaves the more technical side of the game to others.

There are also very few left backs at this level, or in League Two for that matter, who have both the defensive and offensive capabilities that Lee Brown possesses... He can also beat a man whether it’s through skill and pace or via a good one-two with whichever midfielder is ahead of him down our left-hand side..

An interesting debate... is who should play at right back. Daniel Leadbitter is the man currently in possession and it is going to be difficult for Darrell Clarke to drop him when Lockyer doesn't have to provide cover for Stuart Sinclair in central midfield. Lockyer tends to be much more solid defensively, whereas Leadbitter has more of an attacking flair".


Alty Reserves are at home at the J Davidson Stadium on Saturday (21st), k.o.2pm against Cheadle Town. And entry is fee!


Trafford FC report that former Altrincham keeper "Russell Saunders, aged 26, joins us from Droylsden"


In the Daily Echo we learn that "Eastleigh are expecting a record attendance for their next home game. Macclesfield Town’s BT-televised visit next Saturday (kick off 12.45pm) is nearing a 3,500-plus sell-out, with more than 3,000 tickets sold. Community sponsor Compass Vehicle Leasing has bought 2,000 tickets for local junior football teams and thousands of blue-and-white banners, balloons and flags have been given out ahead of the official opening of the Mackoys Community Stand...

A club spokesman said, 'With only around 500 tickets left to sell, away allocation is still available and needs to be paid for on the gate, we advise booking in advance to avoid disappointment".

AFC Telford United "are delighted to announce the signing of Ross Dyer, on loan until the end of the season, from parent club FC Halifax. Dyer, who has spent time on loan at Southport this season is a 26 year old target man, who came up through the youth ranks at Hednesford Town, before attracting the attentions of Forest Green Rovers.

Following a spell at Forest Green, Ross moved to Mansfield Town and Halifax where he spent a spell on loan at Southport... A local lad, with Stafford roots, as well as predominantly being a target man, he can also chip in with a few goals of his own. His most prolific spell coming at local rivals Hednesford Town when he scored a hatful in the 2009-10 [season] ... In his only spell in the Football League Dyer scored 2 goals in seven starts, following on from eight in 45 the previous season...

A short spell at Hereford a couple of seasons saw him net 3 in 5... Bucks’ Chairman Ian Dosser said, 'We consider this to be another statement of our intention to do everything we can to support the manager and to retain our Conference Premier Status. Ross is a quality acquisition who we hope can help us in the time that he is here'".

20 February 2015


Altrincham FC joint Press and Media Officer, Brian Flynn, writes:

"Altrincham’s visit to Welling United, originally scheduled for Saturday March 7th, has been moved to Sunday March 8th, kick off at 1.00pm to be broadcast live on BT Sport.

There will be a superb opportunity for Altrincham fans who are not travelling to Kent, to get the ‘away day’ experience in the new Community Sports Hall, where the match will be screened live. Club caterer, Richie Bentley, will be serving full English Breakfasts from 11.30am and the bar will be open from noon to 4.00pm. Come on down, there is sure to be a great atmosphere!

The game could also be hugely significant for Stuart Coburn, as it is possible that he will break the record for the most number of games played for Altrincham Football Club".


The Vanarama Conference has announced that for the Promotion Final at Wembley this season "Every member club of the Football Conference will make a special voucher available to their fans, offering massive reductions on ticket prices for the Promotion Final. There will also be competitions and other opportunities to win tickets through Vanarama and EE, whilst at Wembley there will be pre-match entertainment for all the family and a major chance for a fan to win money, not only for themselves but their own Conference club. And we are talking BIG!

Typically a family of four could save £86 just by being first in the queue for a voucher. Can you afford to miss out on that sort of offer?

The vouchers are on sale ONLY from member clubs.... NOW. The ‘Early Bird Offer’ will be available until the end of February, with vouchers being available at an amazing discount price of £10 for adults and £5 for children under 16. Vouchers will be redeemable in due course for actual event tickets at the Vanarama Big Day Out, featuring the Vanarama Conference Promotion Final. There is nothing more to pay for your ticket!

As voucher numbers are limited, don’t delay in contacting your local Club to find out more details on how to take advantage of this opportunity, to ensure you grab the best deal ever for a great Venue of Legends experience. Wembley awaits you!"


Our next opponents, Bristol Rovers report that "Rovers face two home games in quick succession and [manager] Darrell [Clarke] tells us that the squad are in high spirits.

'Everyone is confident but that only comes from winning football matches but now we have to really focus on this weekend's game against Altrincham. They are one of the form teams in the league and are a good side and they have a good manager. We are just looking at the one game at a time and we need to take care of that one first.

We may have lost against Altrincham earlier on in the season but we are a completely different animal now as are Altrincham, they have changed a lot through the season. These two games will both be good tests but we won't be getting carried away because we have a job to do on Saturday. Everyone seems to look at it as Bristol Rovers vs Altrincham should be an easy three points for us on name alone but it won't be as easy as that and we certainly aren't taking it that way'.

Saturday's visitors to the Memorial Stadium have only had one [league] loss since the start of the year [away at Macclesfield] making them one of the form teams in the league, which is something that Darrell is very aware of. 'These are all things you need to take into account because they have been doing really well. It will be a very tough test but if we can get the crowd behind us at "The Mem." and we have to give the fans something to make them the 12th man. We need to be at it straight from kick off to give them something to cheer for and it would be great if we could pick up the three points.

The atmosphere at "The Mem." is fantastic and it is even better when we get that first goal. I understand that the supporters of this football club are anxious during games but, once we get that first goal, there is so much of a lift, which helps the lads so much. The lads understand that they need to do their bit as well, keeping the tempo and [ensuring that] the way we start football matches is right but it is a bit of a two-way thing'".

More is in the Bristol Post which reports that "Darrell Clarke says a 'rude awakening' at Altrincham earlier this season helped him in his bid to turn Bristol Rovers into genuine Vanarama Conference title-contenders. Rovers welcome in-form part-timers Altrincham to the Memorial Stadium on Saturday looking to avenge the disappointing 2-1 defeat they suffered at Moss Lane back in August.

The reverse left Darrell Clarke and his side just outside of the Vanarama Conference relegation zone at the end of the opening week of the campaign but the manager said, 'It might have helped in a way because it allowed me the opportunity to batten down the hatches and to install a siege mentality into the players. That stood us in good stead because football doesn’t always go right for you every week and you have to maintain some belief in what you are doing when things are going against you.

It would be wrong to say it wasn’t a massive rude awakening for us; it was a real kick up the backside to my players and to everyone else at the football club. There was a mixture of things that contributed to that defeat. I think one or two players from last season still had their heads up their backsides and the new players were still coming to terms with playing for a big and well-supported football club. It took a little bit of time for everyone to adjust and with a few tweaks here and there in the squad through the season I think we are a different animal now'".


The referee for Saturday's Bristol Rovers v Altrincham match is Mr Brett Huxtable (Devon). He oversaw Alty's defeat at Telford earlier this season.


Pictured, right, are Chris Rowley, Grahame Rowley, Steve Foster and John Skelhorn flying the flag for Alty at the England C game in Larnaca on Tuesday. England lost 2-1. Phil Jones also travelled but was absent on a smoke break at the time of the photo!


The Conference's weekly statistics show that "The Team With The Most Shots Off Target" is Altrincham, with 200 in 34 games to date!

At Torquay United, "Progress in the FA Trophy has combined nicely with the fixture schedule to provide United with a fascinating spell of games here at the Launa Windows Stadium. Incredibly, we have played only one League match at home this year but that pattern is about to change massively, starting with the visit of Lincoln on Tuesday. We then welcome Wrexham for the Second Leg of the FA Trophy Semi-Final and Yellow Day at TQ1 before embarking on a spell of March madness that brings four home games in the space of two weeks.

'We have an extremely exciting spell coming up at home and I have a points-total in my mind', said manager Chris Hargreaves. 'We want to get some momentum in the League and start playing catch-up on the teams ahead of us. I don’t really like looking at the table because you already know how well you’re doing. It’s a massive opportunity with the home games coming up and we’ve got a huge month that could make all the difference'.

Altrincham are the eighth visitors in the nine home fixtures to come at Torquay.

In the Times Series we learn that "Barnet head coach Martin Allen says he is not in the market to sign another midfielder despite moves for David Hunt and Scott Neilson breaking down. The Bees boss had previously stated his intention to sign 32-year-old Hunt after he was released by parent club Oxford United at the end of his loan spell with Barnet. However, discussions between Hunt and Barnet have now come to an end and the versatile midfielder-cum-full-back is no longer training at The Hive...

Allen replied, 'He is not training with us any more and he is looking for something more permanent. I think we have got enough players. [But] David has been a great help to me off the field', he added.

Conor Clifford joined on loan from Southend United on transfer deadline day but Allen had previously stated his desire to also bring Hunt to Barnet on a permanent basis... At the beginning of the month, Allen stated, 'His best years, let’s not kid ourselves, are behind him but he can do a good job guiding our players and I am talking to the chairman about keeping David Hunt through to the end of the season'...

Another player who will not be making the move to The Hive is former Grimsby Town midfielder Scott Neilson. The 27-year-old wide-man was reportedly a target for the Bees but Allen insists he has better options already. The Bees' boss said, 'I did have an interest in Scott Nielson but I have got a fantastic Spanish right midfield player (Luisma Villa) who has got a lot of goals and has been rested but is ready to come alive again on Saturday. Scott Neilson is a good player but certainly not better than the Spaniard'.

Neilson has subsequently joined Conference South side Whitehawk after being released by the Mariners last week. As he was let go by Town after the transfer window closed, he would not have been able to sign for a club in the same division as Grimsby. The Mariners will be the visitors to The Hive on Saturday and Barnet will be without the Conference’s 26-goal-top-scorer, John Akinde, for the first time this season after he was sent off...

The former Bristol City and Portsmouth hitman has been an ever-present for the Bees in the league this term... Allen is unconcerned as he has long maintained there are a number of potential candidates to replace Akinde up front but has stated Michael Gash will 'definitely' start. 'That is what I have brought him (Gash) in for. He has come on as a sub and done really well and he really is much fitter now. People question his attitude but I can say it has been spot on. He will definitely be playing on Saturday'".

In the Shropshire Star we read that "AFC Telford United are hoping to bolster their attack by snapping up a striker in time for Saturday’s trip to Forest Green Rovers. But the Bucks will not be following up their interest in trialists Alex Dixon and Luke Simpson, following their run-outs against Wolves Under-21s on Tuesday.

Manager Steve Kittrick is known to be pursuing an interest in a couple of targets up front and he said, 'We are talking to people and we are hoping to sign a striker before Saturday’s game'. Kittrick is remaining tight-lipped about the identity of the potential new recruit, although he's understood to have experience of playing in non-league’s top flight.

The former Guiseley chief brought in six new signings to strengthen his relegation-threatened side in January. Jack Rea, Kyle Dixon, Ben McLaughlin, John Disney, Glenn Matthews and Danny Ventre, five of [whom] remain at the club, with Dixon having since joined Boston United. Former Shrewsbury Town defender Ian Sharps and young Birmingham City goalkeeper Callum Preston also arrived in the loan window and Kittrick is keen to further strengthen his squad.

But the Bucks will not pursue their interest in winger Dixon or former Accrington goalkeeper Simpson... Kittrick said, 'We think they are both a work in progress and we need players who are a little bit more up to speed'. Aside from one potential new arrival, there could be movement in the other direction with interest in three of the club’s transfer-listed players. Midfielders Sean Cooke, Charlie Barnett and Kristian Platt have all recently been made available for transfer, along with goalkeeper Jonathan Hedge and utility man Andy Owens. And Kittrick said, 'We have had interest from other clubs for Charlie, Kristian and Sean. It is up to the players if they want to move on'".

19 February 2015


"Here are Lee Sinnott’s thoughts on last Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Forest Green Rovers, in a post-match interview with joint Press and Media Officer John Edwards.

‘I thought the opening seven or eight minutes were like the first half at Macclesfield, but the remaining 38 were like the second half there, with us very much on the offensive. Forest Green are a dangerous animal, though, and even when they were down to 10 men, you still sensed they could punish any mistakes we made.

That’s why I was a little concerned by a couple of instances of defenders going a bit gung-ho in the last few minutes, trying to chase a win. Sometimes you can lose out doing that, so I was a bit annoyed to see it. But overall I can’t fault the players for what they are doing.

If I were to be hyper-critical, I thought we had opportunities where we might have been a bit more clinical. We do get into good positions and create chances, so maybe it just needs a bit more quality in that regard. Certainly, we had the better opportunities in this game. ‘If’ is a great word, but if our percentage level of converting chances was higher, we would have more points and be in an even better position in the table. Some of our approach work has been so good, and I can’t take the players to task for that.

I thought we bossed proceedings after those first few minutes, and that’s against another team in the top five. We have faced Macclesfield and Forest Green, both in the top five, and there’s a case for wondering whether we might be sitting here with six points out of six. We could be quite easily, but instead it’s just one, and that shows the bridge that’s still to be made.

I asked the players for energy. I wanted us to be dynamic, and we were. We played on the front foot for the majority of the game, and I was pleased with that. We went for two up front for this game, because I thought that was best for us on the day. I like players to be adaptable, and that is particularly important with a small squad. One formation is not going to work for you throughout the whole season, and that is why you have to be prepared, and be able, to switch. I can think of four different systems we have used this season off the top of my head. By doing that, you can’t be second guessed quite so easily, and you can always change from one to another when the need arises.

I thought Kyle Perry (left) did extremely well against Aldershot and again at Macclesfield, so he deserved a start in this game. He was in on merit, and he again played really well. When the ball goes into him, it sticks, which is important, and he also showed some clever touches.

Our first goal set the tone, and was really well taken. The ball travelled a long way in the air from Nicky Clee’s throw, and it was great control by Damian Reeves to lay on the chance for Kyle. It’s all about being alive up front, and that applied again for the second. It was on a plate for Reevesie, when the ball broke to him, but you have to be in the right place, which he tends to be more often than not.

While it is encouraging to be faring so well against teams up at the top, I’ve got a thirst for points, whoever we are up against. I’m not so concerned about the opposition as about us doing our best, playing as we can and putting points on the board. That’s the mentality you need and one I hope will remain with the players week in, week out. It’s Bristol Rovers next, but there’s no point driving down there just to be able to say we’ve played at a club steeped in Football League history. We go there with the intention of trying to improve our points tally.’

On signing Jordan Sinnott for the rest of the season, Lee added: ‘We’ve got a small squad, and when you consider the positions Jordan can play, he will bring some adaptability, which is important. He is comfortable in central midfield or on the right, and that’s just in a 4-4-2.

He can fill different roles in other systems as well, and a bi-product of that is that having that extra option can help preserve Simon Richman’s energy, which is so important to us. We haven’t got mega-bucks to throw around, but he’s with us to the end of the season, and it’s good to have a bit more strength in depth. He has been here before, so, just as we know him, he knows the club and the level of football, albeit it a division higher than last time. Given that, and the versatility he brings, it ticks the right boxes.’"


Brian Flynn's interview with goalkeeping coach Ian Senior ii on Alty TV (above).


Full details of the TASC supporters' coach to Bristol on Saturday are here You can book during normal weekday office hours by ringing the Club on 0161 928-1045.

Bristol Rovers have kindly provided some pre-match information for Altrincham supporters visiting the Memorial Stadium (postcode BS7 0BF) this Saturday.

Rovers state that "Visiting supporters can watch the game from our East Stand Terrace. It is an open standing terrace with a capacity of 1000 which is situated behind the dugouts or alternatively from our South Stand. It is a covered seated area behind a goal with a capacity of 300. There is a refreshments kiosk and access to toilets. Disabled/wheelchair spaces are available in shared areas of the East Stand, adjacent the Visitors' Terrace.

Ticket prices are as follows:

  • Adult Standing (Early Bird prices are given in brackets) £18.00 (£16.00)
  • Adult Seating: £20.50 (£18.50)
  • Senior (65+) Standing: £11.00 (£9.00)
  • Senior Seating (65+): £12.50 (£10.50)
  • Junior U-16 Standing: £10.00 (£8.00)
  • Junior U-16 Seating: £11.50 (£9.50)
  • Disabled Standing: £11.00 (£9.00) U16 £10 (£8)
  • Disabled Seating: £11.00 (£9.00)

Supporters can take advantage of discounted Early Bird tickets up until 5pm on the day before the game. To buy please contact Pirate Leisure shop on 0117 909 66 48 (Option 1)

Free parking for your team coach and supporters coaches is provided within the Memorial Stadium... Limited car parking is available on-site at £5.00 per car. To take advantage of this facility please call Clare McDonagh on 0117 952 4001 at least 24 hours in advance of kick-off to make arrangements.

Our on-site clubhouse bar is open 4 hours before kick-off. Your visiting supporters will always be made very welcome where a selection of hot food is available to purchase. Your supporters can use the bar before or after the game, and at half time the refreshments kiosk within the Visitors' areas will be open.

Our match day programme will be available for purchase inside the stadium (cost £3.00)".


Barry Pond has produced an updated list of Matchday Sponsors. Please contact the club, by phone (0161 928-1045) or e-mail, if you wish to sponsor a game, a match ball or a player.


Trafford Council Fostering Service is using the new Community Sports Hall at the J Davidson Stadium for one of its "Information Events".

They say that "If you have been thinking about fostering and would like to find out more about the process, you are welcome to come along to one of our events. A member of the Family Placement Team and an approved foster carer will be able to answer any initial questions you may have and chat about the different fostering schemes we have within Trafford Council.

This is an informal ‘drop in’. You will not be under any pressure to move forward with an application. It is an information gathering opportunity and, if you wish to proceed to the next stage, we will send an information pack and contact you to arrange a one-to-one visit at your home. Please find below details of our planned events:-

  • Thursday, 19th February 2015. Altrincham Football Club, Moss Lane, Altrincham WA15 8AP, 5.00pm to 7.00pm
  • Monday, 23rd March 2015. Sale Waterside (Town Hall), Tatton Rd, Sale M33 7YH, 4.30pm to 7pm.

We would appreciate it if you could let us know you are coming by telephoning 0161 912-3558 or by e-mail.


Bristol Rovers report that "Saturday's win over Grimsby showed an all round solid team performance which was something that pleased Mark McChrystal. 'It was a good result for us. We knew before going there it was going to be a tough game and looking back it definitely was. The first half was really tight but the pleasing the was that we didn't let missing the penalty get to us. The way we went back on in the second half and everyone played well and we got the result was great.

I think we knew that if we kept it tight at the back then we had a real good chance of nicking something which eventually we did of course...

Going in 0-1 up at half time would have been a good lift for us but these things happen... Matty [Taylor] kept on going and as a squad we understand that people miss penalties and he kept going and I think played really well'.

There was a moment in the first half where Steve Mildenhall received treatment following a collision with Lenell John-Lewis with McChrystal worried that he may have had to have pulled on the goalkeeping gloves for the second time this season. 'When I saw him go down hurt, I looked over at the bench thinking "Here we go again". But thankfully he got back up and was able to carry on'...

Tom Lockyer scored his first goal of the season against Grimsby leaving Mark as one of the few outfield players who is yet to score this season but the captain tells us...

'I'm hoping that it isn't too far away, I definitely think I'm due one but for me as long as we keep these clean sheets that's my main priority. I'm not overly fussed who scores the goals, as long as we are winning games, but I would like to pop up with one or two before the end of the season. Saturday's shut-out against Grimsby was the teams 16th clean sheet of the season, which is really pleasing for McChrystal. That is what we go off really, if you keep a clean sheet you definitely have a chance of winning the game'".

According to the Football Conference, "Nicky Law, manager of Alfreton Town, has continued his squad re-shaping and brought in athletic central midfield player Simon Lenighan on loan from Harrogate Town to the end of the season. Twenty-year-old Lenighan is a former Leeds United youth player who joined Harrogate on a one-year contract in the summer of 2014.

Whilst at Elland Road he... was appointed captain of the under-18 team... He had a short loan spells with Bradford Park Avenue and FC Halifax Town in the 2013/14 season and has made thirteen appearances for the North Yorkshire outfit this season."

Meanwhile, the Bristol Post tells us that "Boss Darrell Clarke says everyone at the Memorial Stadium must rally for one final push to help Bristol Rovers become the first side in more than a decade to make a return to the Football League at the first time of asking... since Carlisle United achieved the feat in 2005...

They have 12 games of the campaign to overhaul Martin Allen's side if they are to take the one highly-coveted automatic promotion place, and Clarke said, 'We are the second best team in the league after 34 games and have a great chance of finishing in the top five or actually going on to win it. It has been a hard time to be a Bristol Rovers fan in recent seasons, but we have a chance to get out of this division at the first time of asking. That would be no mean feat, by any stretch of the imagination, as I can't think of many clubs who have returned in their first season after relegation in the last 20 years...

But it is going to take a massive effort by players, supporters, myself and everyone at the football club to make sure we go and do it. We've got 12 cup finals to go and I just want everybody to really get behind it'.

Rovers' bid to make a quick return to the Football League will be boosted by the returns of three key players from injury before the end of February. Striker Jermaine Easter and midfield pair Stuart Sinclair and Ollie Clarke are all pencilled in for returns when Rovers make the long trip to Gateshead on February 28. 'I have great belief in a squad of players, who will become even stronger when we get three key players back from injury at the end of the month. They are all back doing some light jogging'," said Clarke. 'We have still been winning games without them, but it will be a big boost to have them back because they are three key players for us'...

Rovers continue their promotion bid with a home game against an Altrincham side who have won four of their last six league Vanarama Premier games. 'Altrincham are a team who are in great form and managed to get a fantastic result at Forest Green recently', said Clarke. 'They were in the bottom four for a long time [3 weeks in total] during the early part of the season, but they have some very good players and Lee Sinnott has done a great job with them. To be around the 45-point mark at this time of the season, considering the limited resources he has to work with, is a tremendous effort'".


News comes from the Gloucestershire Citizen that "Striker Magno Vieira's unremarkable spell at Forest Green is over, with the club confirming he has left the club by mutual consent. The 30-year-old Brazilian had four-and-a-half months left on his three-year contract at Forest Green but has not played a Vanarama Conference game for Rovers this season, with his only two league appearances coming while on loan with Nuneaton Town back in August.

He was Rovers' marque[e] signing when he joined from newly promoted Fleetwood Town in the summer of 2012, where he had scored 31 Conference goals in 64 appearances over the previous two seasons. But despite being a popular member of the squad, Vieira never hit those heights in a green shirt, scoring only five times in 49 league appearances. In total he made 57 first-team appearances for Forest Green and scored six times".

According to the Chester Chronicle, "Grenville Millington says a possible play-off tilt should hold no fear and the chairman wants fans to jump on the bandwagon. Tempering expectations for a moment, the 63-year-old club legend raises the fact the Blues are still three points short of the 52-point mark needed to ensure survival last term.

Yet, with 12 games to go, including five against teams above them, Steve Burr and his team, now 10th, look an increasingly decent outside bet. Eastleigh head to the Swansway Chester Stadium on Saturday (3pm) and another three points would see the Blues climb at least two more places so Millington, appointed chairman in October, has urged supporters to fire up the atmosphere for the end of season run-in.

'I’ve got one eye over my shoulder, because we are three points away from that safety mark, so we don’t want to get carried away but, at the same time, we’ve got to back the team to the hilt', said Millington, who made more than 300 appearances for the club and took over as chairman towards the end of 2014. 'I’ve heard a bit of talk about us not being ready for the play-offs but I am not worried because, if we get there, we will be ready. In football terms, it’s called getting your finger out. I know, from when I was playing, what a difference that support can make. The people behind the goal, the lad with the drum are crucial.

If they start chanting and singing then it gets everyone else going. I’m asking the fans what can I do, what can you do and what can we do together to give us the best chance of getting into the play-offs. Being successful on the pitch gives us more power to our elbow off the pitch so if get into the play-offs then we’ll have a real go. I think the players the manager has brought in have really added something to the team and given real competition for places. That’s got the players who were here already playing even better so it’s been like having another two or three signings...

I wants [sic] us match the team-spirit the manager has got on the pitch, off the pitch'"

An unusual development is reported by Bulls' News which tells us that "Chris Swan, the chairman of Redditch Football Club, is reportedly plotting to move his club to Edgar Street, [Hereford]. Last Monday week Swan was seen at Edgar Street along with former Hereford United chairman David Keyte. They had met the Hereford Council and then were taken to the football ground. A photographer with them was seen taking pictures.

It has since emerged that Swan wants to move the Redditch club lock stock and barrel to Edgar Street. It's understood he will fund buses for the Redditch 150 or so to travel to their new home game venue. Swan has spoken to senior people at the FA about a move and had a 'sympathetic' hearing.

BN has been told that Keyte has been 'advising' Swan. It's also thought that former Hereford United directors Nic Nenadich and Bob Pritchard have also been consulted about the venture".

However, it has emerged that "The FA have turned down any thoughts by chairman Chris Swan of moving Redditch FC to Edgar Street. This was confirmed in a letter to Herefordshire Council which was read out at this morning's scrutiny committee."

Redditch is more than 50 miles from Hereford.

18 February 2015


According to the Manchester Evening News, "Altrincham manager Lee Sinnott isn’t banking on Conference Premier survival just yet. Having returned to non-league’s top flight this season and remained part-time, staying up was the main target.

After recovering from a shaky start, the Robins edged 15 points clear of the drop zone with a 2-2 draw at home to Forest Green on Saturday. But Sinnott insists the Robins can’t consider themselves safe yet.

'I’m a logical person,' he said. 'If we can still be caught mathematically then it’s feasible. We’ve played a few more games than the teams around us so it’ll even itself out. I said at the beginning of the season that we’re rolling the dice, we’re trying to put as many points on the board as we can. If that pushes us a bit further up then great, but we’re not putting any pressure on ourselves one way or the other - and I think that benefits the players.

If you take away maybe the first 12 games of the season, our form has been decent really,' added the Robins’ boss. 'There was always going to be a period of getting used to the demands of the league, physically and mentally. We had a bad spell early in the season when we were getting beat by three and four. We ran out of a bit of steam after the first glut of games because this league can catch up with you, especially being a part-time outfit. But when we’ve been low on energy recently we’ve had more about us to see out results. I think we’ve tuned into the league now'".


Stockport County boss Alan Lord has spoken to the Manchester Evening news about his two loanees Greg Wilkinson (from Alty) and Jack Ryan (from Preston NE). "They are two good players... If anyone had been at training last Thursday, they would have seen a performance and a half from Greg" said Lord.


There is a report here from Phil Taylor on the Altrincham FC Ladies' impressive win over Macclesfield Town Ladies last Sunday.


The Football Conference tells us that "Torquay United have taken former Jarrow Roofing striker John Campbell on loan from Oxford United for the rest of the season. Jarrow recently briefly had their prolific marksman back after his initial loan spell with the U`s came to an end on January 31st.

At that point if Oxford [had] wanted to keep him they would [have] be[en] forced to pay a fee, but it looked as though they were going to delay the decision until the end of the season. However Campbell, who scored once in three appearances for the U`s first-team in his initial loan stint, returned to the Kassam when the loan window re-opened.

Campbell, who has scored 16 goals for Jarrow this season, had previously been on trial with Fleetwood Town, with other clubs also known to be interested in his services. A former Newcastle United and Manchester City trainee, Campbell went on to play locally for Walker Central and Newcastle Benfield before joining Darlington, who were then in the Conference Premier.

His time with the Quakers was blighted by injury, but he did recover in time to make an appearance for them in the FA Trophy Final at Wembley. He moved onto West Auckland Town and then signed for Roofing in the summer."

More comes in the Western Morning News that "Torquay United are expected to clinch the signing of Exeter City winger Jamie Reid on Wednesday, the second signing in less than 24 hours. Reid will join the Gulls on a loan deal until the end of the season, the same terms which saw Oxford United striker John Campbell join on Tuesday...

The Grecians’ youngster [is being given] a chance to regain full fitness following a lengthy spell out through injury. Reid appeared only four times for the Grecians during the 2013-14 campaign due to a chronic groin problem called osteitis pubis, a condition that causes pain around the pelvis and abdomen... He was coached by Hargreaves during his time at City. More recently, he has been out on loan at Southern League club Weymouth."

News Shopper reports that "Welling manager Jody Brown insisted his side’s performances are improving, despite Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Aldershot condemning them to eight league games without a win.

A 90th minute Ryan Jarvis penalty stole the points for the Shots, after Dominic Vose had cancelled out Jim Stevenson’s opener on the stroke of half-time... Brown suggested his side’s loss was underserved over the course of the game. 'We were in complete control of the game and we gave away two gifts and it’s ended up costing us,' he said.

'When you control the game as much as that we should have scored more than one goal. It may sound like a bit of a broken record but it was a very positive performance and I do strongly believe that if the boys continue to perform like that it’s only a matter of time before they put a good run together'.

The Wings also conceded a late winner to Macclesfield in the previous game and Brown added that they came from his side’s own mistakes. 'It’s not so much the timing of the goals that’s the problem, it’s the nature of them,' he said. 'They aren’t goals that our opponents are earning, they’re coming from some quite costly individual errors. We’ve spoken about it as a team and we all feel that we’re improving. The general consensus from the opposition as well is that the performances are there. We’re playing well, the new players have settled and it’s a matter of time before we put a good run together...

We’ve actually gone eight games without a win at the start of the season and come back from it,' said the Welling boss. 'I know I wasn’t manager then but they must have been quite disheartening moments. However, the boys stuck together and proved they can pull through those moments. The wait [for the next game] is rubbish really. We had four games in the first nine days that I was here and then we’ve had four games in the next six weeks.

It’s not ideal when you’re trying to build a relatively new squad, and when you’ve had a few sucker blows in the 90th minute what you really want to do is get back out on the pitch and play. So waiting two weeks isn’t great but we’ll try and get a couple of friendlies in against local clubs and be ready for a massive game against Nuneaton'".

News of Saturday's opponents comes from the Bristol Post that "In-form Andy Monkhouse believes Bristol Rovers are 'back in the swing of things', after securing back-to-back victories following a win at Grimsby Town on Saturday...

'It has been good to get back-to-back wins after the disappointment of dropping points following a couple of draws in January,' said Monkhouse. 'It feels like we are back in the swing of things and we can't wait to get out and play the next game. You want to be fighting for titles and promotions at this stage of the season and we have put ourselves in a great position to do that.

We all know what we want and where we want to be after the last 12 games and, hopefully, we can quietly go about the business of achieving that'...

'Grimsby are a good team... I wouldn't say we had to grind out a result, but I thought it was a victory that was certainly made possible because of how hard everybody worked'...

Monkhouse, meanwhile, is enjoying his most consistent run of form in a Rovers shirt since arriving at the Memorial Stadium last summer. 'I wouldn't go as far as to say the start of the season was difficult for me', said Monkhouse. 'I was playing out on the right-hand side when throughout my career I have mainly been a left-winger. That is definitely where I am most comfortable and I have been pleased with my form and I feel I have struck up a decent understanding with Lee Brown down that side. I'm getting on a little bit now and I'm not going to be going past players and whipping balls in from the byline. That's not my game anymore, so having someone like Brownie behind me who wants to get forward and put crosses into the penalty area at every opportunity really helps out'".

17 February 2015


Alty TV's highlights of the game with Forest Green last Saturday are adjacent.


Altrincham FC Reserves beat Moore 4-2 last Saturday. The scorers were Joel Swift (2), Elliot Messam and Tom Clarke. Their next game will be at the J. Davidson Stadium against Cheadle Town this coming Saturday and will kick off at 2pm. Entry is free so, if you are not following the first team at Bristol Rovers that day, why not come along and support the Reserves?


Saturday's half-time bucket collection amounted to £56.63, for which the Club thanks the collectors and donors alike.


The Football Conference says that "The last five years have seen Non-League Day (NLD) grow from being an event on Facebook to an annual national campaign which has grabbed the attention of clubs, leagues, the media and most importantly the fans.

As NLD has grown we’ve received many requests to run a second event during the season to get even more people involved. Given the huge amount of time and effort and to preserve the uniqueness of NLD, we’ve never really been able to entertain this idea but have thought about other ways we could do things.

Our favourite alternative was to create an event where, rather than send football fans to a wide variety of grounds around the country, we would encourage them to head to just one ground, bringing as many members of the non-League community together in the same place at the same time. We just weren’t quite sure how to do this.

It then came to our attention that this year’s FA Trophy Final is taking place on Sunday 29th March during the spring international break. Being on the Sunday, it allows fans of virtually every team in the country, whether they follow a club in the Premier League, Football League or non-League, to take part.

We have therefore partnered with the Football Association in an initiative to try and mobilise fans in a different way and bring as many of us together at the country’s national stadium for one of the non-League game’s most prestigious finals.

The FA Trophy Final photo competition

To celebrate this occasion/partnership, we will be running a photo competition where snappers of all ages will be offered the chance to see their best non-league pictures published in the match day programme, displayed on the stadium’s big screens and win tickets for the match itself.

To enter, simply attend a non-League match between now and the 14th March and upload your photos on to Instagram or Twitter using #myfanphoto.

A panel of respected non-league photographers will spend the 15th March judging which 10 people will win in two categories (adults and under-18s) and we will then contact those who do.

In the weeks leading up to the game we will also be giving away further tickets via our social media channels in other competitions so there will be plenty of opportunities to take part.

Tickets for the game itself go on sale on Monday, 16th February and are only £20 for adults, £10 concessions and £7.50 for U16s*. These prices decrease still further if booked for a group of 15 or more.

We hope you like this idea and will think about joining us in trying to turn Wembley into the centre of the non-League football world for one afternoon on Sunday 29th March.

James Doe, Founder, Non-League Day".

News of another initiative comes from NL Daily to the effect that "The 'pay what you want' offer on Lincoln City tickets for the Imps' game against Chester could become an annual event according to club officials.

The club attracted a bumper crowd of more than 4,500 on Saturday, with supporters able to pay as little as £1 for their ticket. One supporter even paid £200 for his ticket, a welcome boost to the club who were told a fortnight ago that the Co-operative Bank was calling in the football club's £380,000 debt.

The Imps slipped to a 1-0 defeat, but General Manager John Vickers says the day was a success off the pitch. 'We are very pleased and we have had great feedback', he said. 'That (paying £200) is one extreme and the other is the people who were paying a pound. The average spend has been very encouraging and, if anything, it was up on what we were expecting from both home fans and away fans.

It just shows some people's dedication paying £200 for their ticket but also those paying £1 have shown dedication. The benefits are obviously the increased numbers coming through the gates and hopefully we can get new supporters from them... It has been a success. The big benefit is the secondary spend, things like programmes. We will look at the figures and do some number crunching. I can't see any reason why we can't make this an annual thing'"

Meanwhile, NL Pitchero reports that "Alfreton Town have released Nathan Hicks from his playing contract with the club. The right-sided midfield player has been on loan at former club Leamington for the past month and it is understood he will remain with the Brakes.

Since joining Alfreton from Leamington last summer, Hicks did not score in nineteen appearances in all competitions for the Reds, eleven of which were as a substitute."

In the Western Daily Press, "Darrell Clarke has played down Bristol Rovers' league-winning hopes after his players struck a significant blow in the race for automatic promotion at Grimsby on Saturday.

A Tom Lockyer goal was enough to secure an important 1-0 success at Blundell Park, to move Rovers to within four points of long-time Vanarama Conference leaders Barnet...

'I'd be lying to say it isn't good when results go for us elsewhere, but I don't want to get bogged down by what is happening in other games', said Clarke. 'If you win matches the table will take care of itself and that is how we have approached the situation all the way through. We are working hard to get out of a very tough league and we are always just trying to win the next football match...

We had 13 cup finals before Saturday and now we have 12 and we can only concentrate on our own business'...

Added Clarke, 'Getting the result was always going to be reliant on hard work. We were scruffy in spells, but we played some good stuff at other times to come away with an important three points... I think we deserved it in the end...

I have a group of players that has the mentality to recover quickly from setbacks like that when they arise. You can't coach belief into people, it is has to come from within themselves, and, as a group, my players have got it'.

On Lockyer's goal, Clarke added, 'Tom epitomises everything that I want at this football club. I have said before that I can't speak highly enough of the kid. He will kick his own grandmother if it means we'd win a football match'.

From the other side, the Grimsby Telegraph, says "Visiting Bristol Rovers weren't spectacularly better than Grimsby Town on Saturday but they didn't need to be, in truth, as they proved why they’re more realistic challengers to leaders Barnet this season. They were diligent and determined but shouldn't it require more than that to take the spoils from such an important occasion?

But having lost a similar game last weekend at Forest Green, Town stuttered once again... And that's why, after their second consecutive defeat to a fellow promotion hopeful, if Town are to seal a return to the Football League this season, once again, it will now most likely have to be via the play-offs.

Hurst was probably right in his post-match assessment when he said that, just like in Gloucestershire last weekend, despite being below par, Town hadn't actually been torn apart and had in fact enjoyed a decent enough first-half.

That's despite conceding a controversial penalty five minutes before the break, which the lively Matty Taylor rattled against the post...

Speaking in his post-match debrief, Hurst said... 'We're now on the back of two consecutive defeats and there's been nothing in the last two games. We're talking about fine margins, but I've told the players that I don't want to be talking about what might have been any more'"


The NW Counties Football League tells us that "The League Management Committee can now issue a further statement with regard to Stockport Sports. The Club has failed to fulfil fixtures on three separate occasions this season, which is in breach of League Rule 8.6...

The Club have also failed to comply with League Rule 2.3.1 by failing to comply with the Management Committee instructions regarding confirmed notification of venues for their remaining home fixtures by the 24th January 2015 deadline. The Club had been notified of the implementation of League Rule 4.6, whereby they would not be allowed to play or take part in the competition until the expiry of 7 days from the day this instruction was complied with.

The Club also has considerable outstanding debt to the League, and have not complied with the instruction issued on 29th January 2015, when they were made aware of the requirement to settle the debt in full within 14 days.

Having sought confirmation from The Football Association of the procedure to be adopted in these circumstances, the League Secretary has now issued 14 days notice to all member clubs that an Extraordinary General Meeting will be held on Monday March 2nd 2015. The agenda for the meeting is, 'To expel Stockport Sports F.C. from membership of the North West Counties Football League'. In the event that that member clubs vote in favour of Stockport Sports being expelled, their playing record will be expunged".

16 February 2015


Once again an Altrincham v Abbey Hey youth match was mired in controversy as the visitors included in their line-up a player allegedly contracted to a football club. If this were the case, he was ineligible to compete in youth football. Earlier this season the Gorton club's use of ineligible players against Altrincham ed to their exclusion from the Neil Thomason Cup. Today's match referee was not in a position to rule on the matter and so opted to play the game, leaving the League to resolve the eligibility issue.

And, with Alty leading 3-1, the game itself was to culminate in a mass brawl which saw Abbey Hey's Ryan Masterson and Alty keeper Jamie Burrows red-carded.

Altrincham took the lead with the last kick of the first half as Reece Dwyer converted a penalty, awarded after he had been fouled. Abbey Hey equalised through Masterson after 66 minutes. However, two late goals from James Clancy sealed the win for Altrincham.

There is a match report here.

Above: Reece Dwyer nets his penalty to make it 1-0.

The NWYA Premier results and table are here. According to the FA, next up is a home game on 1 March against Skelmersdale United.


Phil Taylor advises that "The Altrincham Ladies were, once again, successful this afternoon, defeating Macclesfield Town Ladies 4-3 in the Cheshire County Cup after another excellent game of football. The Alty goals were an Aimee Gibson hat-trick and an own goal and the game was watched by, amongst others, Stuart Coburn. Thanks to Stuart and everyone else who came to support us".


Match report here.

Forest Green Rovers report that "Rob Sinclair rescued a point and helped extend Forest Green’s unbeaten run into a seventh game in an absorbing encounter at Altrincham’s J Davidson Stadium, writes Richard Joyce...

When Jon Parkin capitalised on a bright start with the games opening goal after only seven minutes, it looked like FGR were eager to make up for their failure to hang onto a win at Alfreton on Tuesday. However Kyle Perry and Damian Reeves both found the back of the net for the hosts to peg Ady Pennock’s side back in the first half...

Despite the fact Danny Coles was sent off for the first time in his FGR career, Rovers held on for a point ahead of next Saturday’s visit of bottom club AFC Telford United to The New Lawn. Kurtis Guthrie was thrown straight into the starting eleven after missing Tuesday’s trip. He partnered Parkin up top in attack...

Parkin did manage to find an early breakthrough when he capitalised on a poor punch by Alty keeper, Stuart Coburn, and finished confidently to snatch his 21st goal of the season. The response from the hosts was however swift. In fact they had the ball in the back of Sam Russell’s net only two minutes later. A long throw in wasn’t dealt with, and former Port Vale front man Perry was on hand to slam his side level.

The goal sparked Altrincham into life after they had began the game slowly... The hosts ended the first half on a high. Only a minute after Russell had produced an unconventional save to keep out an effort from Clee, they managed to take the lead. Northern Ireland international James Lawrie saw his strike from the edge of the area deflected into the path of Reeves, who had the simple task of guiding the ball into the back of the net.

Rovers needed to respond after the break, but if there was to be any reaction to what had been offered in the first 45 minutes, it would be from the hosts... Marwood had been moved up top at the start of the half, and the club’s latest signing was instrumental in helping Sinclair level the affair. His clever movement on the ball on the right hand side of the Alty box allowed him the space to deliver a telling ball into the danger zone, where Sinclair was on hand to fire in...

Coles received a second yellow card and was sent down the tunnel by referee Robert Jones".

The photos of Gavin Rathbone and Mike Ripley from Saturday's game against Forest Green are as below:

Quays News also has a match report on the game.


Altrincham's next visitors, on 28 February, are league leaders Barnet. Get West London reports that their manager "Martin Allen was frustrated with John Akinde's second yellow card in Barnet's 1-0 defeat at Wrexham. Robbie Evans scored the only goal of the game before the Conference's top scorer received a second yellow card for diving.

Allen did not want to incur the wrath of the FA for criticising a decision but felt that referee Ian Hussin made a mistake. Allen said, 'John has said that he got tripped. We’ve seen that numerous times. I thought he had got tripped and the Wrexham subs thought that he had got tripped. But the referee didn’t see it that way so we have to accept and respect his decision and deal with it. It did make it difficult. But Michael Gash has been outstanding in training, he has been knocking the goals in and has shown a great attitude so he is already pushing for a starting place so I suppose now with John suspended then Gash is going to play'.

Allen was also frustrated after his side missed chances as the Bees were unable to tame the Red Dragons. He added, 'I thought that they played very well during the first half. They were better than us. In the second half I thought that we were very unlucky. We had numerous chances and opportunities but they just didn’t go in today, when through the year they have gone in. But the Wrexham boys fought for their club and put their bodies on the line, like they did at our ground when they beat us earlier in the season. They rode their luck and there were a couple of decisions that went against us today which I thought were questionable but if the chances don’t go in then you don’t win the game...

The one thing that you can’t ever question with our players is their attitude but we did need to tweak it to improve in certain areas of the pitch and I think that we certainly did that in the second half'".

Times Series adds that "Martin Allen insists they won’t 'pop the pills' after their third consecutive away defeat. The Bees boast the second-best away record in the Conference across the entire season but have lost each of their last three away trips, going down at Lincoln City, Grimsby Town and now Wrexham in 2015...

Allen said, 'I have always maintained that we won’t pop the champagne when we win and we won’t pop the pills when we lose. We will brush ourselves down, we will deal with it and we will try and learn from it and go onto the Grimsby game next week. Every game is worth three points and in the job that we do it is very important that you keep it all in perspective, take a defeat on the chin, learn from it and move onto the next one'...

The Bees were much improved in the second half, with Luisma Villa having a sizeable impact from the bench".


From the Halifax Courier we learn that "FC Halifax Town have confirmed the person killed in a car crash on Saturday evening on Rochdale Road was Debbie Charlton, their Director of Business Development. In a statement on their website, the club said... 'The car in which she was travelling as a passenger was in collision with another car on Rochdale Road, Triangle, Halifax. Everyone involved with the club extend their condolences to her family and friends at this sad, sad time".

According to the Grimsby Telegraph "Grimsby Town boss Paul Hurst gives his thoughts after Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Bristol Rovers. '“I thought Bristol had the better of the second half overall, although we had ten minutes towards the end and first-half I thought we shaded it... They were very good at managing the game, especially when they went in front. You saw the experience that they’ve got in the ranks come through....

We’ve got one of our more difficult games out of the way while others have had easier games on paper and we haven’t really lost any ground to those who are chasing us. All the results generally went for us... I was disappointed with the [winning] goal for two reasons. Firstly, the lads have said that its gone out of play, clearly, so that’s frustrating, but when the ball comes across, I thought we were slow to close it down and then the strike nicks off Gregor (Robertson). It’s never nice when one goes in at the near post'".

15 February 2015


The BBC says that "Ten-man Forest Green extended their unbeaten run to seven games with a hard-earned point at Altrincham. Jon Parkin's unstoppable shot from outside the area, his ninth goal in seven games, gave Rovers an early lead.

Kyle Perry pounced on a loose ball to level moments later, before Damian Reeves's 15th of the season put Altrincham ahead at the break. Daniel Coles was dismissed for a second booking, but not before Rob Sinclair finished James Marwood's cross for 2-2.

Rovers maintain their place in the play-offs, four points clear of sixth-placed Eastleigh.

Right: Simon Richman battles in midfield against FGR. The image is courtesy of Gavin Rathbone, who has more on his GR Photography site.

Lee Sinnott told the NLP's Dave Stringer, "I am a little disappointed. Forest Green are a dangerous animal. We gave them a chance and they took it but I can't fault my players.

After a poor opening, we played really well for the rest of the first half and pushed on after the break. I had to be careful after they went down to ten men not to leave too many gaps, as we could have been punished".

Forest Green Rovers manager Ady Pennock added, "I was pleased to be only one down at the break. Hats off to them... I had a lot to say at half time and we will take 2-2".

Pennock told BBC Radio Gloucestershire, 'I thought we were the second best team for a good hour, I thought they played really well. We're conceding straight after scoring and we're not learning at the moment, that's the problem. We've got to do something because we just switched off, the first goal was terrible from our point of view. I was pleased to go in at 2-1 down, because they were on the front foot today. There are some games where you're on top and others where you're not and I'd like to give them a lot of credit because they deserve it'".

The BBC statistics say that Alty had 53% possession and struck 21 shots (7 on target) to FGR's nine (3 on target).

Match report here.

Today's "Sunday Telegraph" has a lengthy article on FGR's owner, Dale Vince and his energy company. It claims he is worth £100 million.


The BBC reports on Alty's next opponents, Bristol Rovers, saying that " Bristol Rovers closed the gap on Conference leaders Barnet with a narrow victory over Grimsby Town. Tom Lockyer scored the winner in the second half... The Pirates missed the opportunity to take the lead earlier, as Matt Taylor struck the post with a penalty...

Grimsby Town manager Paul Hurst told BBC Radio Humberside, 'As I predicted, there was not much in it, very little really... We've been beaten by a good side who are on a excellent run. They're very well organised, they know their jobs and are willing to not get carried away with individual performances and work as a team. I don't mean any disrespect to Bristol Rovers but I said I would have been surprised if they totally outplayed us and I don't think that was the case'.

Bristol Rovers manager Darrell Clarke told BBC Radio Bristol, 'I'm delighted with our performance. I thought we edged the game if I'm being honest... You could have come in at half-time after missing a penalty and be mentally weak. But we didn't. We just pushed it aside. They're a mentally strong group'".

Bristol Rovers say that "Tom Lockyer's first goal of the season was enough to separate the sides in a game where Matty Taylor missed a first half penalty. Darrell Clarke named an unchanged side following last week's impressive performance against Lincoln City at the Memorial Stadium...

Leicester City loanee Adam Dawson was having another promising afternoon turning Grimsby full back Gregor Robertson in knots... Nathan Blissett's aerial ability was causing the Mariners issues on the first ball...

With under five minutes of the half to play Rovers were awarded a penalty as McKeown was judged to have prevented a clear goal scoring opportunity. Referee Darren England pointed to the spot but only gave McKeown a yellow card as Grimsby had players back to cover.

Matty Taylor stepped up to take the penalty but his effort came crashing back off of the foot of the post with the keeper beaten... The pressure continued to build from Rovers and they took the lead with just over 20 minutes remaining. Lee Brown's cross from the left hand side wasn't cleared properly by the Grimsby back line and Tom Lockyer arrived late to stroke home his first goal of the season...

Up next for Rovers is the visit of Altrincham to the Memorial Stadium next Saturday (21st February)...

Rovers: Mildenhall, Leadbitter, McChrystal (C), Parkes, Brown, Dawson, Lockyer, Mansell, Monkhouse, Taylor, Blissett. Unused Substitutes: Trotman, Wakefield, Gosling, Balanta, Harrison."


The Football Conference says that "Ten-man Barnet saw their lead at the top of the Vanarama Conference cut to four points after a 1-0 defeat at the Racecourse Ground against Wrexham, who completed the 'double' over the Bees. Robbie Evans got the only goal of the game midway through the first half... Louis Moult created the goal, cutting back for midfielder Evans to side-foot coolly beyond Graham Stack.

Barnet were much-improved after the break and there could have been few complaints if Martin Allen’s side had equalised. However, their task was made more difficult in the 59th minute when top scorer John Akinde was sent-off for two bookable offences...

Third-placed Macclesfield Town dropped their first points of 2015 at the Merseyrail Community Stadium against struggling Southport... Macclesfield's lead lasted less than 10 minutes, as Southport striker Richard Brodie capitalised on some poor defending to hook the ball over his shoulder and beyond Rhys Taylor...

Sixth-placed Eastleigh were beaten 2-1 at the Silverlake Stadium by FA Trophy semi-finalists Torquay United. Much-travelled striker Deon Burton opened the scoring for the Spitfires... Luke Young provided the cross for Olivier Gueguen to level from six yards right on the stroke of half-time. The Gulls secured victory with 14 minutes remaining when Louis Briscoe beat `keeper Ross Flitney from close range with a neat finish.

FC Halifax Town managed to cling on despite massive late pressure from Dover Athletic to win 3-2 in a thriller at The Shay... Town survived a scare in stoppage time when Dover had a goal disallowed to hang on to the points and move up to seventh.

Veteran striker Lee Hughes scored on his return to Aggborough but Kidderminster Harriers' hopes of kick-starting their play-off push were frustrated by promotion rivals Woking... Yemi Odubade levelled the scores on 68 minutes following Josh Payne`s corner.

Chester FC extended their unbeaten run to five games with a hard-earned victory at Sincil Bank against Lincoln City... Chester are now just six points adrift of the play-off places.

Nuneaton Town won only their second away game of the season {guess where their other one was!] to give their survival hopes a power of good and at the same time severely dent Gateshead`s hopes of mounting another top five challenge...

Braintree Town dented Alfreton Town’s hopes of staying up with a 2-1 win at the Miles Smith Stadium... A last-gasp penalty gave Aldershot Town a crucial victory against Welling United to bring an end to a five-game losing run and push the Wings further into trouble...

The relegation `six-pointer` at the New Bucks Head saw Dartford earn a vital 3-2 success against bottom-markers AFC Telford United and move to within five points of the safety-mark... Telford`s Godfrey Poku was sent-off on the hour-mark for violent conduct... Gray bundled in Telford's equaliser with 8 minutes to go, before Danny Ventre grabbed a 92nd minute winner. There was still time for Pugh to be dismissed for a second yellow card, but it came too late to have an effect on the outcome."


Saturday, 14 February
  • AFC Telford Utd 2-3 Dartford (att. 1653)
  • Aldershot Town 2-1 Welling United (1541)
  • Altrincham 2-2 Forest Green Rovers (1071)
  • Braintree Town 2-1 Alfreton Town (468)
  • Eastleigh 1-2 Torquay United (1844)
  • FC Halifax Town 3-2 Dover Athletic (1151)
  • Gateshead 1-2 Nuneaton Town (1047)
  • Grimsby Town 0-1 Bristol Rovers (4073)
  • Kidderminster Harriers 1-1 Woking (1646)
  • Lincoln City 0-1 Chester FC (4568)
  • Southport 1-1 Macclesfield Town (1207)
  • Wrexham 1-0 Barnet (2727)

14 February 2015


Altrincham more than matched Forest Green but were unable to capitalise on FGR being reduced to ten men with 17 minutes remaining...

Match report here.

Right: Nicky Clee was in good form against FGR on Saturday.


Saturday, 14 February
  • AFC Telford Utd 2-3 Dartford
  • Aldershot Town 2-1 Welling United
  • Altrincham 2-2 Forest Green Rovers
  • Braintree Town 2-1 Alfreton Town
  • Eastleigh 1-2 Torquay United
  • FC Halifax Town 3-2 Dover Athletic
  • Gateshead 1-2 Nuneaton Town
  • Grimsby Town 0-1 Bristol Rovers
  • Kidderminster Harriers 1-1 Woking
  • Lincoln City 0-1 Chester FC
  • Southport 1-1 Macclesfield Town
  • Wrexham 1-0 Barnet


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

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Brian Flynn advises that "Radio Robins, sponsored by Ashley Mowers Garden Machinery, is providing full live commentary of Saturday's game. The match commentary sponsor is Go Goodwins Coaches. The commentary team is Mike Reeves and Brian Flynn with match summaries from John Edwards. Coverage starts at 2.50pm with the game kicking off at 3pm. You can listen to Radio Robins on the internet at".


Altrincham FC's latest piece of merchandise is the "beanie hat" shown, right. It will be available from the club shop on Saturday, for just £9.


Altrincham FC caterer Richie Bentley writes that "Saturday's 'special' on the menu in the Community Sports Hall at the J. Davidson Stadium on Saturday for the game against Forest Green Rovers "for FGR and Alty fans alike is 'Richie's Spicy Beef Chilli', covered in cheese and served over either chips or nachos. We have sold out of the 'special' at every game so far, so please get to the Hall early! The dish is just £3 a go... a bargain!"


Alty's opponents this Saturday, Forest Green Rovers say that "An Altrincham side who are enjoying a terrific first year back in non-league football's top tier provide the opposition in Greater Manchester this weekend... as we face our second away trip in the space of five days.

Player connections between the two clubs are few and far between... Alex Meechan spent a year with Alty one year after he left The New Lawn. Meanwhile Mark Beesley also had a stint with Altrincham in his career after the time he has spent at Forest Green. Current duo James Jennings and Sam Wedgbury both spent time on loan at Altrincham when they were younger, while former FGR loanee, Danny Hall, spent a short stint at Moss Lane a year or so after his loan spell from Crawley Town in Nailsworth...

It will be the second time Rovers have taken on Altrincham after last season's Conference North play-off winners earned a draw in Nailsworth before Christmas... Goalkeeper Sam Russell is meanwhile on interview in a video piece that's online on the Stroud News & Journal website (see below)...

Stroud Life adds that "Still unbeaten in league football in 2015, Forest Green have been challenged to become more clinical by manager Ady Pennock. Rovers head to one [of] the Vanarama Conference’s surprise packages tomorrow in the shape of Altrincham and the pressure to claim all three points has been cranked up after the concession of a stoppage-time equaliser at Alfreton Town in midweek.

Having worked hard to clamber back into the play-off positions, overcoming a three-point deduction in the process, the prospect of returning to the rank of also-rans would be hard to stomach for all concerned at the New Lawn. Pennock said, 'We got ourselves back into a great position in the table with five wins on the spin, and we did that by managing games well. That was something we didn’t do (on Tuesday). Stuart Fleetwood gave away a needless free-kick in the 93rd minute and he was big enough to hold his hands up and apologise afterwards and that led to the corner which Alfreton scored from.

It was a horrendous way to finish the game, really frustrating. It was hard to take and it won’t feel any better, however many times I watch the game back on DVD. I drill it into the players about seeing games out and we were 10 seconds away from six wins in a row, so it’s a hard lesson. But they will learn. You can’t win them all and it was a point away from home. Alfreton is a difficult place to come because they are fighting for their lives and they have spent a few bob on a few players'.

A similar test is likely to await Pennock’s men at Moss Lane, where life was expected to be tough this season for a part-time outfit newly promoted from the Conference North. Instead, Altrincham are comfortable mid-table occupants, although their own four-game winning run was halted by defeat at Macclesfield Town on Tuesday night...

Pennock said, 'We’ve lost six (league) games all season so we’ve got to be positive. We’ll be aiming to win every single one of the 13 games we’ve got left'. Defender Dale Bennett is back at Pennock’s disposal after completing a four-match ban, although he will have to be content with a place on the bench at best. Aarran Racine (knee) remains a doubt and long-term absentee James Jennings definitely misses the trip to Cheshire."


The BBC reports that "Southport have cancelled the loan agreement to sign Accrington striker James Gray after just one training session. The 22-year-old Northern Ireland Under-21 international had agreed a move until the the end of the season.

'James attended training on Thursday with us', said Port boss Paul Carden. 'After shaking hands on it, James contacted me raising doubts about the move. Therefore, it is best James stays at Accrington where he's not playing. I would like to thank (Accrington boss) John Coleman for his support in this matter but I can't take a player who has doubts about playing in the Conference'.

Gray had scored five goals in his first eight appearances this season, but has not netted for the League Two side since September. He came through the youth system at Middlesbrough, and after his release moved to Darlington and Kettering before he joined Stanley in 2012."

NL Pitchero adds that "Paul Carden... having seen James Gray change his mind about a move on loan from Accrington Stanley, has now signed midfielder Joe Thompson from Bury for a month. Rochdale-born Thompson started his career with his home-town club, coming through their youth system to break into the first-team squad during the 2005/06 season...

Thirteen appearances the following season saw him named as the League Two`s apprentice winner and he signed his first pro deal with Dale soon after. An undisclosed fee took him to Tranmere Rovers in August 2012, and he went onto make just twenty appearances at Prenton Park before he was diagnosed with nodular sclerosing Hodgkin Lymphoma, a rare form of cancer.

He started chemotherapy almost immediately with the full support from Tranmere and the football family. In June last year Thompson revealed that he had beaten the cancer and was in full remission, his immediate aim to return to football and he signed a twelve-month deal with the Shakers in August in time for the new season after a successful trial spell at the JD Stadium".

According to NL Pitchero, "Dartford have confirmed that they have signed 19-year-old Tom Dallison on an initial month's loan from Brighton & Hove Albion. The 6`4” central defender has been playing with the Seagulls' under-21s for the past two years after signing from Arsenal".

Elsewhere, "Steve Kittrick, the busy manager of AFC Telford United, has made his second loan signing this week by bringing in teenage goalkeeper Callum Preston from Birmingham City for a month. Preston, 19, will be available for tomorrow's `six-pointer` game against fellow relegation candidates Dartford at the New Bucks Head.

Preston has spent the past five years with the Birmingham Academy and signed his first professional contract last summer. Preston, who has previously been put on loan at Worcester City, played for Telford against the Blues in a friendly at the Buck's Head on Wednesday night."

Meanwhile, "Having seen Sean Newton move to Notts County on loan until the end of the season, Lincoln City have taken defender Jordan Cranston from the Magpies for the same period.

Whilst Newton, whose contract at Sincil Bank comes to an end in May, has moved on to Meadow Lane with the club benefitting financially from the deal, former Wolves left-back Cranston joins the Imps... Cranston already has experience at Conference level having played for Nuneaton Town on a non-contract basis in August after his release by Wolves.

He also had a loan spell with Nuneaton at the end of last season. The former Wales under-19 international has made a dozen appearances for Notts County this season."

In Kent, "Jody Brown, manager of Welling United, has signed defender Sam Berry on loan from Sheffield United. Berry was formerly with Derby County, and whilst with the Rams spent time out on loan with Mickleover Sports".

Reports in the Western Daily Express say that "Darrell Clarke has hailed the improvement his side have made in terms of their mentality since they last faced promotion rivals Grimsby Town.

Rovers travel to Blundell Park for the reverse fixture tomorrow, having played out a 0-0 draw with the Mariners at the Memorial Stadium on the opening day of the Vanarama Conference season. It was the start of a week that ended with Rovers losing games at Barnet and at Altrincham to set early alarm bells ringing, but Rovers have adapted well to life in the Conference since and are placed third in the table ahead of this weekend's promotion showdown.

Clarke said, 'There has been a massive improvement since then. The first week of the season was disappointing, but we have been pretty solid in the weeks and months that have followed. We haven't won enough games away from home, but the team has certainly come a long way in terms of their mentality and are giving it a right go for both me and the supporters.

They have learned to cope with that edginess and fear that comes with the importance of getting out of this league at the first attempt and have put us in a good position for a real push over the final quarter of the season.' Rovers, who are unbeaten in 13 league games away from the Memorial Stadium, face a Grimsby side that are five points behind with a game in hand.

'It is definitely one of our toughest games of the season on paper', said Clarke. 'Grimsby have always been there or thereabouts in the play-offs over the last couple of years and are a bit unfortunate to still be in the league. We go there full of confidence and we will be going up there intent on winning the game. We have come off the back of a very solid performance against Lincoln and we will be looking to build on that again.

We are also on a good run of form away from home, although we are disappointed and frustrated not to have turned a few more of the games we have drawn into wins'".

13 February 2015


Altrincham FC is pleased to announce the signing on non-contract terms of midfielder Jordan Sinnott (right), who played six games for the club in 2012-13 when on loan from Huddersfield Town. Jordan was recently released by the West Torkshire club and now rejoins his father, manager Lee Sinnott, at the J. Davidson Stadium. In his previous stay with Alty, Jordan made his debut on the right flank against Gainsborough Trinity on 8 December 2012 before starting a run of five matches without defeat in an Alty shirt. Jordan is available to play on Saturday, which is his 21st birthday.

Jordan will wear shirt number 26 for Altrincham.


The referee for Saturday's game at home to Forest Green Rovers is Mr Rob Jones from Northumberland. He reffed our home defeats against Woking and Nuneaton Town earlier this season.

Mike Garnett reminds us of our record against FGR...

  • Home P7-W3-D3-L1-F12-A12
  • Away P7-W1-D3-L4-F11-A18
  • All P15-W4-D6-L5-F23-A30


Altrincham FC Ladies lost to Warrington Wolverines last Sunday. Phil Taylor's report on the match (seen above) is here. On Sunday, the Ladies have a 1pm kick off at Mersey Valley against Macclesfield in the league cup. All spectators are very welcome.


The Football Conference says that "Striker James Gray has signed on loan for Southport from Accrington Stanley until the end of the season. Gray has previous experience at Middlesbrough and Kettering Town. Meanwhile, John Marsden has moved to league rivals Lincoln City on loan for the rest of the season.

Also going out of the Merseyrail Community Stadium are Micah Evans and Jonny Lynch, who go to Worcester City on loan. Manager Paul Carden said, 'James Gray will add to our squad as we look to improve our goalscoring return. Along with Louis Almond we now have fresh, new faces to compete in our squad'".

Meanwhile, "Bristol Rovers have extended Adam Dawson’s loan deal by a further month, until 14th March. The Leicester City midfielder arrived at the Memorial Stadium on 12th January... He made his first start for the club last Saturday, against Lincoln City, when he won the man of the match award. Manager Darrell Clarke said, 'We have only played three games since he arrived, but he did very well in the game against Lincoln City last week and with six games to come in the next month he has an opportunity to challenge for a regular place in the side'".

More comes from the Bristol Post which says that "An unexpected windfall following the surprise sale of Rickie Lambert from Southampton to Liverpool has helped Bristol Rovers avoid posting a yearly loss of close to £1 million. Financial results for the year ending June 30, 2014, which are set to be approved at Rovers' annual general meeting on Tuesday, March 3, will show that the club reduced their yearly losses by 27.5 per cent from £781,911 to £566,408.

The club, however, would have posted a much more significant loss had it not been for the bonus they received as a result of a sell-on clause when Lambert was snapped up by Liverpool for about £4.5 million... Lambert's move is believed to account for the majority of the £470,000 the club received in player sales, while a deal that saw goalkeeper Matt Macey join Arsenal is also believed to have made up the most of the £150,000 collected for sale of youth players.

Total debt, meanwhile, was slightly reduced year-on-year (3.7 per cent) but current liabilities still exceed assets by almost £5.5 million and chairman Nick Higgs writes that the 'club's ability to continue trading is still heavily dependent on funding from directors'. This is a situation that is described as 'untenable' in the long term and brings into sharp focus the importance of getting the problem-laden UWE Stadium project moving again in the summer.

The report confirms that close to £1 million has been spent on pursuing a High Court action against Sainsbury's over the sale of the Memorial Stadium to fund the project. A trial is scheduled to take place in May and should a ruling going against Rovers, the report states that the club would have to 'return to the drawing board', a position that would be 'hard to contemplate'.

The club confirmed in the report that it had needed to take out a relatively high-interest, short-term loan with a company called MSP Capital Limited in December. When asked about the reason for taking out that loan, which is believed to be in the region of £2 million, finance director Toni Watola said, 'The High Court action is costing the club extra money and we were unable to obtain further funds from Barclays, who we had the mortgage with. To ensure we had sufficient funds to continue the action we had to seek alternative funding'.

The loan, part of which was used to repay former director Geoff Dunford £200,000 of what he is owed, is accumulating interest of 1.2 per cent per month and has to be paid back later this year. Elsewhere, turnover was up to £4,328,341 from £3,819,633, but the wage bill across the company as a whole was up from about £3.2 million to £3.5 million as the board invested in a number of loan players to try to improve a season of struggle that eventually ended in relegation.

'The real impact will come in the next set of figures as a result of the club getting relegated last season', said Watola. 'We have lost central funds of just short of £500,000 as a result of the relegation and we probably won't have the benefit of the profit from player transfers we have had this time around. The big positive we have had this season is that we are staying within the parameters of our budget this season. The great support of our fans has also helped because crowds have held up pretty well and the directors are generally pretty happy with the financial performance of the club this year. There will still be another loss at the end of this year and that is why we are continuing to pursue the stadium project through the High Court as that is the real future of the club."

At Macclesfield Town, "Silkmen manager John Askey is still hopeful of seeing a few more players join the squad to help bolster the promotion charge. Macc overcame rivals Altrincham on Tuesday night at the Moss Rose with the side playing their second game in four days. Speaking after the match, Askey stated that he’d like ‘two or three’ more players to come through the doors.

Said Askey, 'I’m hoping that there’ll be a few more players coming in but players cost money. As we saw tonight, we need a few more bodies in and hopefully we can do that. If we can’t, though, like I’ve said before, we have a great squad of players here who are doing very well.'

Despite wishing for some fresh faces, the Macclesfield Manager was full of praise for two members of his side that helped beat Altrincham 2-1. 'Danny Rowe has got everything you want in a footballer, he’s unplayable when he’s on song like he was tonight. He’s a terrific player and paired with [Adriano] Moke, they’ll cause anyone a problem. Of course I never get bored of praising [keeper] Rhys Taylor either. He had nothing to do in the first half but when he was needed he showed his value. He’s a big reason why we are where we are in the table'".

A bizarre story comes from the BBC which tells us that "Heat lamps confiscated in cannabis farm raids have been donated to Lincoln City FC. The club is using the equipment seized by police to make lighting rigs for use on the Sincil Bank pitch. The club said the idea came from similar schemes at Notts County, Oldham and Rochdale, where the lamps are used to help the grass to grow.

Lincolnshire Police said it was good to see the seized equipment being put to use in the community. Head groundsman Phil Kime said, 'Over a season the playing surface gets a lot of wear and tear, especially the South Park goalmouth, which doesn't get any sunlight for at least four months of the year. These lamps will make a great difference to the pitch'. The lights will be used to heat up the soil and replicate warmer conditions.

The club is looking to construct a mobile frame to hang the lights from and will use the stadium generator to power them in order to keep running costs down. A spokeswoman for Lincolnshire Police said, 'We are incredibly pleased to be able to put these lamps to good use after they were seized as part of criminal investigations. Once items like these are ordered to be destroyed there is a cost to the force to get rid of them, so not only does it help financially but it puts them to good community use'.

The force said it hoped to make more lamps available in the future."

12 February 2015


Brian Flynn's interview, after the Macclesfield match, with Tom Marshall and Kyle Perry (right) is here.


Macclesfield Town "Boss John Askey admitted the win over Altrincham last night has given him something to work on in training. An excellent first-half display from the Silkmen gave them a 1-0 lead through Matthew Barnes-Homer and an Adriano Moke goal early in the second-half looked to have sent Macclesfield on their way to a comfortable derby win.

But Altrincham pulled a goal back soon after which meant a really nervy ending to the game for Macc, who had to survive several scares to gain the vital win that sent them second in the Vanarama Conference.

Speaking after the game, John told, 'It is great to win the game but the game has given us something to work on in training. We stopped getting pressure on the ball and allowed them to pump big balls in to the box that we struggled to deal with. That is something we have got to be able to deal with in the future. In the first-half I thought we were terrific. We probably should have gone in to half-time more than one goal up. At the end of the game we were probably lucky to have held on to the 2-1, but it is just really pleasing to get the result.

It may be like that until the end of the season. Hopefully not as hair-raising as that, but we are going to have games when it is nail-biting and hopefully we can just come out on top like we did last night'".

The Silkmen add that "The game got off to a slow start with both teams trying to get a foot hold... It took until the 27th minute of the match for the away side to get close to the Macc goal but James Lawrie’s effort flew wide of Rhys Taylor’s post. The Silkmen finally made the breakthrough in the 29th minute after a pin-point cross from Barrow found Barnes-Homer and he headed home from close range into the bottom corner.

After the goal Macc continued to build in confidence... There was an early chance for Altrincham in the second half after Taylor failed to catch a cross, leaving the goal gaping for Damian Reeves but he couldn’t stretch far enough to connect with the ball. The Silkmen then punished them for this missed opportunity in the 49th minute when some good build up play around the Altrincham box led to Moke slotting home Whitaker’s perfect through ball.

In the 54th minute the away side had another good chance to get on the score sheet after Macc failed to clear the ball away from the penalty area, but Lawrie saw his shot fly past the post. The Robins did get a goal back just after the hour mark though when substitute Kyle Perry rose highest to head home Shaun Densmore’s free kick. The goal seemed to spark the away side into life and in the following minutes there were chances for Perry and Thomas Marshall.

In the 83rd minute Altrincham thought they had levelled the game when Densmore’s free kick was headed home powerfully by Perry but the linesman had his flag up straight away for offside. Altrincham almost draw level in the 88th minute but Taylor pulled off a brilliant one on one save to deny Reeves who was just six yards out."


Photos of the Macclesfield v Altrincham game are available at: Pictured, right is Mike Ripley's image of Tom Marshall going in where it hurts. Below, is Gavin's shot of Kyle Perry in action.


According to NL Daily "Alfreton Town manager Nicky Law heralded the point his side picked up from a 2-2 draw at home to high-flying Forest Green Rovers on Tuesday night as a reward for their resilience. It looked like the Reds were heading for a defeat when Jon Parkin put the visitors ahead with just six minutes to go. But battling Alfreton hit back in the 94th minute through Lathaniel Rowe-Turner.

'Points from games like this are a bonus,' said Law. 'These are not the games that are ultimately going to keep you up, it is the points gained from the games against sides in and around you that will keep you up. I am disappointed to have had one goal disallowed, it looked a perfectly good goal and I think the referee has got it wrong. Before the game, if you had offered a point from it you would have taken it, but we did well and I think if we had lost, it would have been a travesty.

We didn't deserve to lose, we played some good stuff. I was disappointed with the first goal but, after we have done well to get back in it, I am disappointed in the manner in which we have conceded the second. Overall though, we showed very good resilience and never gave up.'

Alfreton will be aiming to keep the momentum up and finally leave the drop zone when they face a mid-table Braintree Town side... 'You know what you are going to get with Braintree, especially at their place. It will definitely be tough. We have got to get the attitude and the work rate right, as we have done over the last two games. If we do, we will be OK, but it will be another tough one'.

Central defender Callum Howe... unfortunately picked up a minor hamstring injury which kept him out of Tuesday's game and he will be out of action for up to another ten days".

Reports from the WEstern Daily Express confirm that "Forest Green's five-game winning streak came to a halt in a scrappy but full-blooded affair in Derbyshire. James Marwood opened his scoring account for Rovers with a second-half strike, quickly cancelled out by John Johnston.

A 20th goal of the season in all competitions for Jon Parkin looked to have made it six straight Vanarama Conference victories for the visitors, but Lathaniel Rowe-Turner's header at the death earned Alfreton a share of the spoils.

Ady Pennock made two changes to his starting XI, replacing Kurtis Guthrie with weekend goal hero James Norwood and handing Marwood his first start for the club at the expense of Stuart Fleetwood... Rovers went ahead when captain Kelly mustered a delicious left-wing cross, enabling Marwood to convert with an outstretched boot at the far post.

The struggling home side might have been expected to wilt, but instead they roared back within three minutes when the lively Johnston bustled past Kelly and rammed the ball high into the net... Alfreton could now sniff an unlikely win, but it was Rovers who got their noses back in front with four minutes remaining when Jon Parkin converted Kelly's free-kick with a textbook header – his eighth goal in six league matches.

Cue another twist in stoppage time, Rowe-Turner bundling home a last-gasp corner for Nicky Law's gutsy outfit."

Only Alty and Braintree did not make a signing during the recent "window" but now NL Pitchero reports that "Alan Devonshire, manager of Braintree Town, has re-signed 20-year-old forward Bernard Mensah on loan from Watford for the remainder of the season... He scored 14 goals in nineteen appearances for the under-18 side during the 2012/13 season before becoming a full professional at the end of the campaign.

In November 2013, Mensah made his Watford debut as a 78th minute substitute... This will be the second time that he has been at the Miles Smith Stadium on loan. In January 2014, he joined Braintree on a one-month loan. Due to bad weather, which limited his playing time, the loan was extended until the end of the season, playing nine games and scoring twice. Mensah is eligible to play for Ghana or England but has yet to represent either country at any level. In 2011, he trained with the Ghana squad ahead of their friendly against Nigeria at Vicarage Road. However, he was not called up".

We learn from the BBC that "AFC Telford United have signed former Shrewsbury Town captain Ian Sharps on loan from Burton Albion. The 34-year-old defender has signed up with Bucks boss Steve Kittrick until the end of the season, with a view to a possible coaching role beyond that. 'It puts the fire back in your belly,' Sharps told BBC Radio Shropshire. 'I'm just looking forward to getting my boots back on and going in where it hurts again. I can add a bit of nous'".

In the Southport Visiter we read that "Success at home has been difficult to come by for Southport this season but on Tuesday night they must have thought their luck was about to change... Their last senior win on home turf came against Eastleigh in the second round of the FA Cup. Two months on, Southport looked to be closing in on a much-needed victory as they led against the same opposition with just 14 minutes remaining.

Manager Paul Carden was rightly pleased with a much more balanced display from his team, yet with the points seemingly in sight, the Sandgrounders were undone by two goals in the space of five minutes... On a night of little goalmouth action, there was never much to choose between Southport and their play-off chasing opponents. Carden’s team worked hard to achieve a better defensive performance but it could not prevent a result leaves the Sandgrounders now above the relegation zone on goal-difference only...

By the time they took the lead on 76 minutes, the Sandgrounders were playing the more productive football... Southport’s opener came from Marsden who, ten minutes after his introduction as a substitute, pounced from close range having been released by Brodie’s fine touch from Lloyd-Weston’s long ball.

Yet the Sandgrounders’ joy was to be short-lived. Within six minutes, a cross from Dan Walker was nudged in at the far post by Joe Partington and Eastleigh claimed the points four minutes from time when Jai Reason’s bending shot was deflected into the top corner".

11 February 2015


Altrincham were unfortunate not to take anything from this game after a spirited second-half showing saw them lay siege to the Silkmen's goal....

Match report here..


"Here are manager Lee Sinnott’s thoughts on our 2-1 defeat at Macclesfield on Tuesday night, in a post-match interview with joint press and media officer John Edwards.

Q: Difficult to avoid the old cliché about a game of two halves, Lee?

A: We would have liked to have started better. We went into the game on the back of two positive results against Macc at our place, and it was our first visit to Moss Rose for something like 17 years, so there was a lot surrounding the game. Macc are up in the top three, and it has to be said they started sharper than us.

They got out of the traps really quickly, and closed us down, and we found it difficult to get a foothold in the game. I thought they had the lion’s share of possession in the first half without actually managing that many efforts on goal. It wasn’t as if Stuart Coburn was having to make save after save. We had the lion’s share in the second half, and I thought we created more chances with our lion’s share than Macc did with theirs. John Askey may disagree, but that’s how I saw it.

Pictured, above, by Gavin Rathbone of GR Photography, we see Kyle Perry in action at the Moss Rose.

Q: It was quite a transformation after half-time. How much was it down to whatever was said and how much to Kyle Perry going on?

A: The half-time address was bog standard. It wasn’t flying tea cups. It was a question of we are letting ourselves down here. We are such a different animal compared to the start of the season that we are letting our supporters down. It was a case of saying to the players ‘come on, we are better than this, we can do more than this.’ To be fair, they grabbed hold of that and ran with it.

We were decisive at half-time, in changing things, sending on Kyle and going for it. Everyone knows our passing style, but we are no one-trick pony. If we need to go more direct because circumstances dictate it, we will adapt and do just that. I thought Kyle looked a bit awkward for their back line. He was creating problems for people, and you have to feel sorry for him that he has had a headed goal chalked off for the second successive game.

Replays have shown the one against Aldershot on Saturday was onside and should have stood, and the ball travelled a long way to him for this one. I’ll need to have another look at it, but I must say the possibility of offside never crossed my mind at the time. That just summed up the game really. Fine margins, really fine margins.

Q: The change certainly had the desired effect, though, didn’t it?

A: There was only one team in it at half-time, and when it became 2-0 so early in the second half, there was a danger it could have been three or four, and we head back down the road with our backsides well and truly kicked. But we weren’t having that, and the way the lads came back at Macclesfield and went for it was magnificent.

To be fair, if the ball had fallen a little more kindly for Damian Reeves, it could have been 1-1 before they got their second goal. We could have been in business then, and after Kyle scored, it looked for all the world as if we were going to take a point. We were superb in that second half, and if there was going to be another goal towards the end, I think most people would agree it was gojng to be us scoring it.

We are disappointed, because we came here on a four-game winning run and could so easily have taken something out of it, but I’m proud of the way the players reacted at half-time. That is the major thing. It shows mental strength. Anyone can have an off half-hour or first half, but to come out like we did and turn the game on its head was outstanding. We made all the running in the second half and contributed more than our share to what was a pulsating game.

Q: How important was it to finish so strongly, on the front foot, given the tough run of fixtures we are facing?

A: I have just had a word with the players in there and said we go into each game and treat it simply as the next one, regardless of who we are up against. It was Macc tonight, then it’s Forest Green, Bristol Rovers and Barnet. Four of the top five. So what? If you go into it with that mentality, rather than being intimidated, you are going to be all the better for it.

That mentality was evident in the second half. We were not going to go three or four down and let them kick our backsides all the way back to Altrincham. We are going to have a go at this, and that’ is exactly what we did.

So much so that, near the end, one of their players did what was basically a rugby clearance and found touch level with the edge of our area. It was exactly what I would have wanted one of my players to do in the same situation, but it just showed how much pressure we were putting them under and how much we were pushing them back.

They had no outlet. You could say we packed more into 45 minutes than we have managed in two or three games at times. There’s no doubt we had them a bit rattled, and it is important we build on those positives. We had a right go at it and can consider ourselves unfortunate not to have secured a point".


Tuesday, 10 February
  • Alfreton Town 2-2 Forest Green Rovers
  • Macclesfield Town 2-1 Altrincham
  • Southport 1-2 Eastleigh

FA Trophy

  • FC Halifax Town 0-1 Wrexham
  • Bath City 2-1 Dover A.


The Vanarama Conference has announced that for the Promtoion Final at Wembley this season "Every member club of the Football Conference will make a special voucher available to their fans, offering massive reductions on ticket prices for the Promotion Final. There will also be competitions and other opportunities to win tickets through Vanarama and EE, whilst at Wembley there will be pre-match entertainment for all the family and a major chance for a fan to win money, not only for themselves but their own Conference club. And we are talking BIG!

Typically a family of four could save £86 just by being first in the queue for a voucher. Can you afford to miss out on that sort of offer?

The vouchers go on sale ONLY from member clubs from Monday 2 February. The ‘Early Bird Offer’ will be available until the end of February, with vouchers being available at an amazing discount price of £10 for adults and £5 for children under 16. Vouchers will be redeemable in due course for actual event tickets at the Vanarama Big Day Out, featuring the Vanarama Conference Promotion Final. There is nothing more to pay for your ticket!

As voucher numbers are limited, don’t delay in contacting your local Club to find out more details on how to take advantage of this opportunity, to ensure you grab the best deal ever for a great Venue of Legends experience. Wembley awaits you!"


NL PItchero reports that "Scott Neilson has had his contract with Grimsby Town cancelled by mutual consent and he has now left the club. Neilson joined the Mariners in May 2013 and played fifty-six times, scoring 11 goals.

He started out in non-League football with the likes of Hertford Town, Ware and Cambridge City before being signed by Bradford City in the summer of 2009... and had a loan spell with Cambridge United before transferring to Crawley Town in 2010. He made fifty-seven appearances for the Reds and played ten times on loan to Grimsby before switching to Luton Town in December 2012.

The 27-year-old winger has not played since he limped out of the defeat to Lincoln City on December 28th."

10 February 2015


As Alty prepare to meet the Silkmen tonight, Macclesfield Town announce that they "have completed the loan signing of Wrexham winger Theo Bailey-Jones. The 20-year-old has signed for the Silkmen on an initial one-month loan and could feature in tonight's game against Altrincham provided the club receive international clearance in time. Bailey-Jones is a pacey winger, who was a Manchester City and Crewe Alexandra schoolboy in the past. He also had a spell at Northwich Victoria before a switch to Wrexham in 2013.

He made 22 appearances for the club last term and started this season in the first-team fold before he suffered a broken metatarsal in September. He returned to the Wrexham side in late January and will now join the Silkmen in a bid to get further game time."

Wrexham add that "Theo Bailey-Jones is joining Macclesfield Town on an emergency loan for the coming month. The process was started today, although he is unlikely to be available for the Silkmen’s home league game with Altrincham at the Moss Rose this evening.

The Wilmslow-based forward has yet to make a start for the Reds this season, coming off the bench nine times so far, although injury did side line him for several months from October through to early January... It was from Irlam Town that he was spotted by Wrexham and after a period on trial... Once his International Clearance is received, he will be available to play for the Silkmen through until 10 March."


Above left: On Monday, Sir Alex Ferguson opend the new Community Sports Hall at the J. Davidson Stadium. Here we see him with Stacey Rowley, general manager of the Hall. Right: Stacey and chairman Grahame Rowley with Sir Alex and pupils from nearby Stamford Park primary school. Photos courtesy of Gavin Rathbone of GR Photography.

Press release by John Edwards, joint Press & Media Officer:

"Sir Alex Ferguson has given his seal of approval to Altrincham’s latest ambitious initiative by officially opening their eye-catching new Community Sports Hall at the J.Davidson Stadium.

The presence of one of the most revered figures in world football was hailed by Alty chairman Grahame Rowley as an ‘entirely fitting’ way of launching a facility that has already attracted glowing praise since it was completed shortly before Christmas.

Former Manchester United boss Sir Alex was shown round by Rowley before unveiling a commemorative plaque, to declare the hall officially open, and wishing Alty continuing success, both in the Vanarama Conference and in their ever-expanding community endeavours.

Sir Alex Ferguson CBE, said, 'This new Community Sports Hall at Altrincham F.C. is going to be an invaluable resource for the club and community for years to come. It will provide opportunities for children and adults to get involved in sport regardless of the weather. The hall also doubles to cater for match day hospitality, which will act as a springboard for the club to grow commercially.

“The money to make all this possible has come from the Premier League and The FA Facilities Fund, which is delivered by the Football Foundation and funded by the Premier League, The F.A. and the Government, through Sport England. That is a strong and important partnership as every footballer ultimately starts out at the grassroots.

This sort of project is the perfect example of how the Football Foundation is working with its Funders to provide football clubs with facilities that get more people playing sport, support football clubs’ excellent community outreach work and create talent pathways through which promising youngsters can progress'.

Sir Alex originally consented to do the honours last month but had to withdraw after it transpired he would be out of the country on other business. He kindly gave his blessing to a rearranged date of February 9 to leave Alty bosses elated at such a major coup for their hugely- impressive, multi-purpose single-storey building.

‘We are extremely grateful to Sir Alex for his kindness and consideration in agreeing to a new date,’ said Rowley. ‘It means a lot to us, and it is a fantastic gesture on his part, given the demands on his time, both at home and abroad.

‘There was much debate about who should conduct the opening ceremony, but you simply cannot get a bigger name anywhere in football than Sir Alex Ferguson. We couldn’t possibly have wished for anything or anyone better.

‘To have someone of his standing and world renown attending The J. Davidson Stadium and opening what we believe is a very prestigious facility in the Trafford Borough is entirely fitting. It is the perfect culmination of so much hard work and dedication by a lot of people.

'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.'

The drive to try and fund building costs estimated at around £750,000 began in earnest in October, 2013, following planning permission and overwhelming support from local residents and councillors.

Grants from various organisations,most notably the Premier League, FA Facilities Fund and Football Stadia Improvement Fund,were augmented by contributions from individuals and businesses, and Alty were finally helped over the line by a gesture from supporters that amply illustrated how the project has been embraced by everyone connected with the club.

An appeal went out for a final £10,000, to enable the main hall to be fitted with widescreen television screens and the latest in sound technology. Within a matter of weeks, it was oversubscribed with supporters pledging £100 each and sending the total beyond the £10,000 target.

‘It was heart-warming to see that, and it really underlined how enthusiastically the hall has been received,’ added Rowley. ‘The club are extremely thankful to everyone who has played a part in bringing what was an ambitious and forward-thinking idea to fruition. It is a facility that will benefit the community as a whole and encourage people of all ages to become active and involved in all sports, not just football.

‘The hall will provide a real community hub. It will be a great facility, for use throughout the week as well as on match days. It really is something we can all feel rightly proud of.’

As an indication of the hall’s versatility, former United, Southampton, Stoke and Alty defender Danny Higginbotham is guest speaker at a dinner there on Friday, February 27, while it can also host a range of activities from after-school clubs, disabled groups and ballroom dancing to yoga, martial arts, indoor bowls and badminton".

The Sale and Altrincham Messenger has a report and images from the opening of the Sports Hall.


Alty Youth secured a narrow win away to Witton Albion yesterday. George Heslop's match report is here.


Altrincham FC is looking for a volunteer who could regularly staff the Altrincham FC shop outlet located, on matchdays, in the Community Sports Hall at the J. Davidson Stadium. The person(s) concerned would look after the facility before each match and at half-time, so would not miss the action on the pitch outside. And, as an added bonus, he or she would be able to watch the live Premiership football on the screens in the Hall between serving customers. If you can help, please e-mail Grahame Rowley as soon as possible.


John Edwards, joint Press Officer at Altrincham FC, writes, "Lee Sinnott praised his players for ‘holding their nerve’ after Altrincham maintained their 100 per cent start to 2015 with a fourth straight Vanarama Conference win, against Aldershot at The J.Davidson Stadium on Saturday.

A second-half own goal gave Alty the tightest of 1-0 wins and not only avenged an opening-day 3-1 defeat at Aldershot but underlined the strides Sinnott’s side have made in the intervening six months.

Reflecting on how Aldershot’s ambitions seemed to extend no further than containment, the Alty manager said, ‘We deserved to lose that opening game 3-1 and it was clear there was a lot of work for us to do. If Aldershot had continued to show the same form, and we had continued in the same vein as well, I dare say their approach to this game would have been different. So it is perhaps testimony to the progress we have made that they set up the way they did.

‘It is a pleasing result, but we had to work hard for it and change our system to a traditional 4-4-2 after about 30 minutes. It would be lovely to have the sun on your backs and be playing free-flowing Brazilian football all the time, but it doesn’t work like that. I don’t want to be detrimental to Aldershot but, if you’ve got two sides going at each other, it’s going to be a more open game. I can appreciate where Aldershot were coming from, though, and there were glimpses in the first half where they looked dangerous with their pace on the counter.

‘We had to try and find and exploit what little space there was, but we’ve shown over the past couple of months that we are prepared to work for openings. In these tight games, you have to hold your nerve and stay vigilant and diligent, and we did all that.’

After Damian Reeves and Kyle Perry (left) both had close-range headers ruled out for offside, Alty were indebted to Stuart Coburn for a brilliant reflex save late on.

‘I thought there were question marks over both offside decisions, particularly Kyle’s,’ said Sinnott. ‘They were marginal, to say the least. But it was a wonderful save by Stuart.’"


Alty's next opponents, Macclesfield Town report that "Silkmen manager John Askey has praised the character shown by the players in the 3-2 win over Welling on Saturday. Macclesfield came from behind twice to grab all three points at the Moss Rose.

'They’ve had good character all season and it becomes expected. Winning is a good habit to get into and that’s what we’re doing. Sometimes you wonder how, but I think against Welling we had quite a few chances where we should have taken them earlier but they weren’t to be,' Askey said.

A penalty from Fairhurst and a goal from Barnes-Homer took the game to 2-2 before Barnes-Homer scored a second. 'We got sloppy, second half, and gave away a goal but we showed good character to come back and not let it affect us before we got the two other goals'.

There are now 11 points between the Silkmen in third place and Woking in sixth place, just outside the playoffs... 'We didn’t play as well as we had been. We struggled and it looked as though we hadn’t played for a while. A win’s a win and we’ve got a game under our belt and hopefully we can move onto the Altrincham game now,' he said".

Macc also report that "Welling match-winner Matthew Barnes-Homer was pleased with the attitude of his team-mates after going 2-1 down against ten men... Barnes-Homer said, '“It was a great team performance, the lads dug in against a difficult ten men. We moved the ball quickly and got the three points that we needed...

Barnes-Homer levelled matters when charging down a clearance... 'Moke does that every week, he puts great balls in because he’s a great player. All I had to do is keep my head down and guide it into the corner, and that’s what I managed to do'... The Silkmen striker will be hoping to build on his impressive performance against derby rivals Altrincham on Tuesday night".


Derek Halliwell (right) was a most welcome guest at the Alty v Aldershot Town game. Derek played 298 games for Alty in the 1965-71 period. He is seen, right, before Saturday's game and, in the background, on the Popular Side near half-way, is where he started his run to score a memorable goal in the 7-1 thrashing of Cambridge United in a friendly match! Recently Derek has returned to watch football at Moss Lane and has become a regular supporter of the current team.


Phil Taylor tells us that on Sunday, "Altrincham FC Ladies were today defeated 3-1 in the first v. second fixture at Mersey Valley. Becci Hailes scored for Alty. There will be a report in the next day or so".


Kenny Palin is perhaps the best known character amongst Altrincham FC's supporters with his shouts of "Zigger, zagger" and "Get your subs on" being amongst his trademark comments to successive Altrincham players and managers over the years. As those who heard the annual roll call of supporters at New Year will be aware, Kenny has been in fragile health recently. So, it was great to see him in good form in Tesco's cafe in Altrincham recently. Kenny told us that he had had four spells in Wythenshawe Hospital in recent months but that he is now well again. Matches at the J. Davidson Stadium have not quite been the same without him!


Our neighbours at Wythenshawe Town advise us that "We're playing Kartel Sports in the Altrincham FA Senior Cup Semi-Final. We're letting Altrincham season ticket holders into the game on March 7th for free, so if they don't fancy a trip to Welling that day they have a local option. I thought this would be good for Altrincham fans as usually the final is at Moss Lane so I can only assume that the final is there as well.

If they're not a season ticket holder, we do have limited free tickets to give away. I've attached the poster (adjacent)".


The FA Trophy Fifth Round draw, with first legs on Saturday, 21st February and second legs on Saturday, 28th February 2015, is:
  • Dover Athletic or Bath City v North Ferriby United
  • FC Halifax Town or Wrexham v Torquay United


According to the BBC, "Former Oxford United chairman Kelvin Thomas will continue in his advisory role at Torquay United until the end of the current season. Thomas was brought in last month to conduct a review of the club, but has previously said that he has no plans to take over Torquay himself.

Gulls' chairman Thea Bristow is looking for new investment. She became chairman in 2013, having assumed a role on the board after her husband Paul passed away in 2010.

'It's been really interesting find out more about the club and finding out about Thea's role and what she's done so far,' Thomas told BBC Sport. 'I was impressed and moved at what Thea has done, especially with her limited knowledge of running a football club. Thea has made it clear that she needs some help financially in terms of investment into the football club and that can be a daunting process for someone that doesn't have experience in that.

So primarily, I'll help Thea in that role, meeting with potential investors and the current board to see if there's anyone else interested in coming in and taking the club forward financially and passionately. Secondly, I'm identifying some areas that need a bit of improvement. I've identified some areas that are great and just need some help along the way, and there are areas where you could not just save money, but also increase revenues'.

Torquay have not won a league game since 9 December, when they beat FC Halifax Town 2-1, although they have won four matches in the FA Trophy since then to move into the semi-finals of the competition. The Gulls, who were relegated from the Football League last season, are currently 14th in the Conference Premier, their worst league position since September 2008...

Bristow said in a statement... 'For this to work he had to stay involved at least to the end of the season... I have no intention of walking away or stepping down without first finding a secure future for the club'".

The Bristol Post tells us that "One of the country’s top judges at London’s High Court today fast-tracked a key court hearing in Bristol Rovers' plans to build a new stadium and sell the Memorial Ground to Sainsbury’s. Mr Justice Roth scheduled the seven-day hearing to begin between May 11 and 15, after being told that it is vital for the club to know by June whether it can hold supermarket giants, Sainsbury's, to a £30m deal to buy the current stadium.

At the end of the May hearing, the judge will almost certainly reserve judgment to give a written decision, probably in June. However, in view of the urgency of the matter he could give an off the cuff decision immediately at the end of the legal argument and then give his reasons in writing at a later date. Rovers whose lawyer, David Matthias QC, told the court were currently 'in the doldrums' in the Conference Premier following relegation from the Football League - seek to boost their fortunes by leaving the 12,000 capacity Memorial Stadium and moving to a new 21,700 all-seater stadium near the University of the West of England in Stoke Gifford.

However, Mr Mathias said that the June date was important for keeping the University on board with the scheme. There have been complications over plans for a shared car park used by the University during the week, and the stadium on match days, he said. He told the court that it was felt that, if a result was known by June, it was likely that the University would 'bear with us'.

In addition to seeking to hold Sainsbury’s to the deal the club also seeks damages for alleged breach of agreement by Sainsbury's. However, in respect of the latter part of their claim any compensation would have to be assessed at a second trial if the club are successful at the May hearing. Sainsbury's say that planning conditions were not met by a cut-off date last year and so they were entitled to terminate the deal which was to buy the Memorial Stadium for just short of £30m.

They seek a declaration from the court that the contract with the club is at an end, which would come as a devastating blow to Rovers' hopes of completing the move. Sainsbury's lawyer Mark Wonnacott QC agreed with the club that it was desirable that the hearing should be fast-tracked. He told the judge, 'If we're stuck with this contract it's as much in our interest to know that quickly as it is the club's'".

At Forest Green Rovers manager "Ady Pennock hailed Sam Russell’s terrific performance after Saturday’s win over Grimsby Town as he saw his side bag a fine fifth consecutive league win... a 2-1 success over the Mariners in a match where Russell was once again in brilliant form... Russell made two outstanding saves to prevent Ross Hannah from earning the former Football League team a share of the spoils.

Speaking to Bob Hunt from BBC Radio Gloucestershire after the game, Pennock said, 'The first save went through a crowd of players and he got his hand to it which was very good. I think in the past two, three, four weeks he’s played exceptionally well. Steve Arnold is fit now and he’s pushing him so there’s competition for places now... I think that’s bringing the best out of Sam'...

Pennock has led his team on a brilliant run since the start of 2015 with the win over the Mariners the best yet. He added, 'That’s five wins on the spin and that’s different class. I said before, when we were assembling the squad ,that it was all about our squad'".

Still at the New Lawn, Western Daily Press reports that "They do not always sing from the same hymn sheet, but James Norwood believes he is a more mature player under the management of boss Ady Pennock. Substitute Norwood became Forest Green's all-time top scorer in the Conference by netting the winner in Saturday's massive victory over play-off rivals Grimsby.

The 24-year-old has been benched for Rovers' last three matches after being publicly blamed by Pennock for the FA Trophy defeat at Ebbsfleet... The former Exeter man admitted he had been stung by the criticism after overtaking Yan Klukowski at the top of the New Lawn scoring chart.

Norwood said, 'When I came on I knew I was going to score, although I didn't think it would be like that. If you put me in that position I'll back myself to score, and sitting on the bench I knew it was a game I could get a goal in... I think I only scored four goals in my first season, so to break it in the equivalent of three years shows how far I've come... The manager has brought lads in and played them ahead of me, which I can respect. Obviously the Ebbsfleet comments were aimed at me so it's nice to answer my critics. I think I've matured since the gaffer came in and I know it's up to me to keep contributing'".

We learn from FC Halifax Town that FC Halifax "Town chairman David Bosomworth admits it’s 'frustrating' that the Shaymen were forced to switch their FA Trophy clash with Dartford to Droylsden’s Butcher's Arms ground from the Shay on Saturday... after Calderdale Council couldn’t guarantee the pitch would be playable at the Shay.

Bosomworth said, 'It was pretty evident the Shay pitch was struggling. We approached the ground staff and the council... The big problem with the Shay is when the air temperature comes up, no sun gets onto the surface on the South Stand side. To fix that is really difficult and, because we couldn’t get an assurance we could play, even on Sunday, we had to make a decision. We looked round various grounds. We looked at Bury, Rochdale, Oldham but for various reasons they weren’t available. Farsley were at home so we couldn’t use their ground. Harrogate Town were at home so we couldn’t go there. Guiseley we couldn’t get hold of and then Droylsden was another option and they said the pitch was playable...

We needed to play because the FA were getting really concerned the game wasn’t getting played... We’re frustrated that work that might have been done three or four years ago on the pitch never got done and we are where we’re at now. We’ve done one stage last year and there’s a likelihood of more work getting done this close season... It isn’t ideally set-up for rugby and soccer, I think we all accept that. Particularly for our needs, because we play on the surface and in rugby it’s a lot easier to play on different circumstances [surfaces?], but we accept all that...

When you get to the business end of the season and lots of big games coming up, you want to have home advantage for that. We had a conversation with the ground staff on Saturday and they feel the pitch will be ready for Tuesday'".

9 February 2015


Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson officially opened the new Community Sports Hall at the J. Davidson Stadium today. In his speech Sir Alex congratulated the Club on the successful completion of this initiative and emphasized the importance of involving people in community activity. With yoga being one of the many activities already occurring in the Hall, Sir Alex credited that regime for extending the career of Ryan Giggs by ten years and encouraged everyone to join in that or another of the activities taking place in the new venue.

As well as Sir Alex and Altrincham FC officials and volunteers, the guests included local children from Stamford Park school, officials from the Football Foundation and Football Conference, as well as the Hall's builders McGoff & Byrne. Club benefactors including Carole Nash and Ian Watmore were also guests. Local football figures such as Dennis Tueart, the former Manchester City winger, and Jimmy Wagg from Radio Manchester were also present along with current and past faces from Altrincham FC. These included Neil Tolson, Geoff Goodwin, Stuart Coburn, Graham Heathcote and Derek Halliwell.

After short speeches of welcome from chairman Grahame Rowley and the Hall's General Manager, Stacey Rowley, Sir Alex unveiled a plaque to mark the opening of the Hall.

Pictured, above right, we see the meeting of two footballing legends - Sir Alex Ferguson and Altrincham FC goalkeeper Stuart Coburn, who on Saturday equalled the Club record of starts for Alty.

The Club would like to thank Sir Alex for sparing the time from his busy schedule to open the Hall and to express its gratitude to all the sponsors and volunteers who contributed towards the project.


On Saturday, Stuart Coburn equalled the Altrincham FC record for the number of games started by any player in the club's history. Both Stuart and John Davison have started 672 games. John Davison also made six substitute appearances whilst Stuart has made just two appearances from the bench. So, to exceed John's total, Stuart needs another five appearances.

In that connection, chairman Graham Rowley would be pleased to receive e-mails from supporters with their special memories or stories about Altrincham's goalkeeper's career for the club.

Below are the leading appearance makers for Altrincham FC in terms of games started...

Stuart Coburn 672
John Davison 672
Stan Allan 564
Graham Heathcote 528
John Owens 506
Jeff Johnson 504

Saturday's win over Aldershot was Altrincham's fourth successive league win. It is the first time they have achieved four straight wins in the national Conference since 1995/96. In that season Alty started the campaign without a win in the first five matches; they then won five on the bounce before a dreadful sequence of ten games without a further win.

Alty's next four games are all against current top-five teams. However, of those four teams, only Barnet have beaten Alty this season in the reverse fixture, with Alty beating both Macclesfield Town and Bristol Rovers and drawing with Forest Green Rovers earlier in this season.

Football Webpages confirms that Altrincham are now top of the form guide in the Vanarama Conference over the last six matches played in the league.


The February Friends of Alty draw was made on Radio Robins during half-time of the match against Aldershot and Stuart Coburn got ample reward for his 672 starts for the club with a £15 win! The winners were:
  • 107 L R Wilkinson £100
  • 54 Ruth Gallagher £50
  • 75 John Searle £35
  • 3 Stuart Coburn £15

Many thanks to Geoff Morris for the above details.


Alty TV's highlights of the game on Saturday (above) show clearly that the winning goal came from a Nicky Clee cross, diverted inadvertently into his own net by Chris Barker, the Aldershot player-manager. At the toime, James Lawrie was credited with the goal but he was on the other side of the pitch, having just taken a corner kick.

Quays News has a match report on Saturday's Altrincham v Aldershot Town match as well as an interview with Lee Sinnott.

Get Hampshire tells us that "Chris Barker scored an own goal in his first match as Aldershot Town caretaker manager as his side went down 1-0 at Altrincham - their ninth league defeat from ten matches

Chris Barker suffered the worst possible start to his reign as Aldershot Town caretaker player-manager after scoring the own goal which led to a fifth straight league defeat...

While Altrincham just about edged an otherwise disappointing contest, the Shots weren't without their chances with Jordan Roberts smashing a first-half effort off the underside of the crossbar in the first half, while Josh Scott produced a fine save from Stuart Coburn as the Shots ploughed forward late on.

Defeat, however, means the Shots are now just three points clear of the relegation zone but, with lower-reach rivals Welling, Alfreton and Dartford to come in the next three matches, two of which at home, Barker knows a very important couple of weeks lie ahead as he states his claim for the permanent position. 'We have a lot of pride in the squad and I saw lots of honest, hard-working players,' Barker said.

'We just need a bit of luck. No matter how hard you work that's what it comes down to... I thought the three boys who came on did well... We now have three home games out of four so hopefully the fans will get behind us and hopefully we'll climb the table. We need more numbers in and I'm working hard to do that'".


Forest Green Rovers report that they "are investigating an incident before the kick-off to yesterday’s game against Grimsby Town at The New Lawn, where a fan was removed from the away end of the ground.

FGR accepts the photos of the incident do not make good viewing for a club that prides itself on being family-friendly and welcoming to away fans. The club are awaiting the post-match report from the stewarding company before we comment further on the incident".

In the Shropshire Star, "Manager Steve Kittrick saw his [Telford] team jump off the bottom of the Conference Premier with a 3-3 draw against the Spitfires [Eastleigh]. But in his post-match interview he said, 'There's one person who has just kicked off in the changing rooms today. He wasn't even on the bench and, as far as I am concerned, he won't play for Telford again'.

He added, 'I am here to do a job, he is paid to do a job and he was asked to go onto that pitch today and do some running and he said "no" so, as far as I am concerned, he is finished at this club'. When pushed as to the identity of the player in question he added, 'I am not going to mess around. It is Sean Cooke. He has got to learn. He's a young lad. He thinks he is better than he is. His dad rings me every other day saying how good he is and I have had enough. My patience has run out because I have left people out today and he's travelled. And he is treating this club like it is nothing and he is going to learn the hard way, I am afraid'".

8 February 2015


Pictured, above, by Gavin Rathbone of Gavin Rathbone, is this excellent shot of Nicky Clee in action against Aldershot Town.

After the game, Altrincham manager Lee Sinnott told Dave Stringer of the NL Paper, "It wasn't the best of games and only became a spectacle after we scored. We found it difficult to break down their two banks of four and I changed the system to a bog standard 4-4-2. We are playing well and just have to keep roling the dice".

Aldershot Town have an interview with player-manager Chris Barker, here in which he admits scoring the own goal which decided the match. There is also an interview with defender Joe Oastler here.

The BBC adds that "An own goal from Aldershot caretaker player-manager Chris Barker gifted Altrincham their fourth straight [league] win. It was the 34-year-old's first game in temporary charge of the Shots following January's sacking of Andy Scott.

Barker deflected in James Lawrie's effort from a wide angle as Altrincham finally broke the deadlock in a game they had dominated. The result leaves Altrincham safe in mid-table, while five defeats in a row leave Aldershot close to the drop zone.

Aldershot Town caretaker Chris Barker told BBC Surrey, 'It wasn't brilliant but we came here as an organisation and we've done the shape for the last four or five days and this is what we've all worked on. We have to stay together and we now have three home games out of four so, hopefully, the fans will get behind us and hopefully we'll climb the table.

I thought the three boys who came played well, I crossed the ball to Josh (Scott) and if that goes in 1-1, everybody is happy but we have to carry on and the results has gone against us today. We go again Monday'".


Details of the TASC supporters' coach to Bristol Rovers for Altrincham's game on 21 February are now on the Away Travel page. You can book at Saturday's game with Aldershot Town or, during the week, by ringing the Club on 0161 928-1045 during normal office hours.


Altrincham travel to Macclesfield Town on Tuesday evening (10 Feb) and the Silkmen say that "you can enjoy the derby game in style at the Moss Rose with a Macclesfield offering out a hospitality package to Altrincham fans. Full hospitality includes a pre-match meal, refreshments at half time, a match-day programme and the best seats in the house for the game; all for just £40. Alternatively, Altrincham fans booked on the hospitality package will be provided with tickets for the away end at the Moss Rose. They will then be escorted in to the suite at half-time for refreshments. Please call 01625 264686 for more details and to book".


Altrincham's next opponents, this Tuesday night at the Moss Rose, are Macclesfield Town who report how, on Saturday, the "Silkmen twice come from behind to beat ten man Wings [Welling]. A Waide Fairhurst penalty and Matthew Barnes-Homer’s second-half brace stretched Macclesfield’s winning run to four to keep the pace with Barnet and Bristol Rovers.

The Silkmen twice fell behind against a struggling Welling side, who played the whole of the second half a man short following Anthony Jeffrey’s dismissal for two bookings. Lee Bell came straight into the Macc midfield with Danny Whitaker still not fully fit, with Barnes-Homer the main striker with support from Fairhurst and Adriano Moke...

The Wings went ahead on 21 minutes... The Silkmen were awarded a spot kick... when Barnes-Homer’s initial shot was blocked and then fell into Bell’s path, who hit a powerful effort which was blocked by Purse who dived in to block. The protests from Bell and his team mates were answered by the referee pointing to the spot and after some debate between Barnes-Homer, Turnbull and Fairhurst over who should take the penalty, it was Waide who won and despatched it confidently into the bottom right corner to level...

In first half stoppage time Jeffrey tripped Moke who was in full flow running at the Wings’ defence and the referee showed him his second yellow card and he was ordered off to leave his side down to ten... However, despite their numerical disadvantage the visitors then came more into the game and for quite a period had Macc on the back foot, with a number of corners and free kicks in dangerous areas... before the away side went in front in the 68th minute. Healy managed to chip the ball between the Macc defence and Jason Williams beat the offside trap to reach his pass and dink over Taylor, finding the net on his debut on loan from Southend...

The equaliser came on 75 minute when Barnes-Homer showed great determination to charge down an attempted clearance from Chris Bush... the Silkmen striker muscled his way in to chip past Henly at his near post... The Silkmen went ahead for the first time on 83 minutes when Halls fed the ball down the right for Moke to get to the byline and he picked out Barnes-Homer, who perfectly planted his header into the far corner in off the post".


The Football Conference relates that "Leaders Barnet made it back-to-back wins with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over ten-man Woking at The Hive on Saturday. John Akinde notched his 25th goal of the season from the penalty spot... Five minutes into the second half Woking's woes worsened when a defensive mix-up led to Joey Jones poking the ball into his own net. The visitors pulled a goal back against the run of play 11 minutes from time when substitute Yemi Odubade...

Bristol Rovers beat a Lincoln City side hoping to mount a play-off challenge themselves... Fourth-placed Grimsby Town went down to a 2-1 defeat at The New Lawn against fifth-placed Forest Green Rovers... when a defensive error allowed sub James Norwood to burst through and slot home an 84th minute winner.

Eastleigh`s play-off hopes took a blow when they were held to a 3-3 draw at the Silverlake Stadium by battling AFC Telford United, who finally moved off the bottom of the table as a consequence. But the Bucks could have left Hampshire celebrating a third straight away win in the league, having gone 3-1 up early into the second half...

Alfreton Town also improved their hopes of avoiding the drop with a 4-2 win over fellow strugglers Southport at the Impact Arena. Southport led at the break after a mistake from on-loan home keeper Jason Mooney, who fumbled striker Richard Brodie's 20-yard effort into his own net...


Saturday`s FA Trophy Fourth Round ties saw Torquay United and North Ferriby United reach the Semi-Finals, while Dover Athletic and Bath City must try again after sharing a thrilling 3-3 draw... The Gulls [Torquay United] are close to their sixth trip to Wembley after ending the Trophy run of FC United of Manchester at a packed Plainmoor.

The Rebels certainly gave the Vanarama Conference side an almighty scare before Ryan Bowman's goal settled it 8 minutes from time...

It`s true to say that Dover and Bath have pretty dreadful Trophy records to date, but both are still on course for a first visit to the National Stadium after sharing a 3-3 draw at Crabble in a dramatic tie. Stefan Payne put Dover ahead in the 6th minute, but he was dismissed for retaliation after a scuffle in the goalmouth ahead of a Dover corner just before half-time... There was still time for more drama when Bath's Naby Diallo was sent-off following an altercation on the sidelines.

FC Halifax Town beat Dartford 3-1 in their FA Trophy Third Round replay at the Shaymen’s replacement home for the day - Droylsden`s Butcher’s Arms... Wrexham will play the Shaymen in the Quarter-Finals of the Trophy after beating Gateshead after a penalty shoot-out. The replay at the International Stadium finished 2-2 after 90 minutes and extra-time but Wrexham progressed after penalties... Bachmann became the hero, saving from Matty Robson to help Wrexham progress 5-3 after the Welshmen successfully converted their kicks".


FA Trophy Third Round Proper
  • Gateshead 2 - 2 Wrexham att.952, Wrexham won 5-3 on pens
  • FC Halifax Town 3 - 1 Dartford att. 451 (at Droylsden)

Fourth Round Proper

  • Dover Athletic 3 - 3 Bath City att.985
  • Torquay United 1 - 0 FC United Of Manchester att.3805
  • North Ferriby United 1 - 0 Ebbsfleet United att.610


Alex Frost has moved from Droylsden to Ramsbottom United. Former Alty centre-back, Greg Young, scored for Buxton, who lost 2-1 at Halesowen Town. Nelson beat Alsager Town 3-0, with Peter Wright scoring twice.
7 February 2015


On a raw afternoon at the J. Davidson Stadium Altrincham secured a 1-0 win in a game which rarely warmed the spectators. The winner came in the 73rd minute and was initially credited by the tannoy to substitute James Lawrie but Aldershot player-manager Chris Barker admitted it was his own-goal. Lawrie had taken the corner which prompted the goal but the cross which Barker diverted came from Nicky Clee.

Match report here

Right: Simon Richman and Jake Moult worked hard in the Altrincham midfield.


Saturday, 7 February
  • Alfreton Town 4-2 Southport
  • Altrincham 1-0 Aldershot T.
  • Barnet 2-1 Woking
  • Bristol Rovers 2-0 Lincoln City
  • Eastleigh 3-3 AFC Telford Utd
  • Forest Green Rovers 2-1 Grimsby Town
  • Macclesfield Town 3-2 Welling United

FA Trophy

  • FC Halifax Town 3-1 Dartford (at Droylsden)
  • Gateshead 2-2 Wrexham - aet Wrexham won 5-3 on pens
  • Dover Athletic 3-3 Bath City
  • North Ferriby United 1-0 Ebbsfleet United
  • Torquay United 1-0 FC United of Manchester


Today's match is definitely "ON".

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

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Brian Flynn advises that "Radio Robins, sponsored by Ashley Mowers Garden Machinery, will be broadcasting full live coverage of the game. The match commentary sponsor is Ideal Engineering Support Ltd. I.E.S. is Timperley's Number 1 Industrial Automation Specialist. For further information contact Dave Hudson by e-mail.

The commentators are Simon Ellis and Brian Flynn, with John Edwards as match summariser. Coverage starts at 2.50pm with the game kicking off at 3pm. You can listen to Radio Robins on the internet at


the Football Conference tells us that "Aldershot Town have signed 20-year-old defender Cheye Alexander to their squad. Alexander came through the West Ham United youth system. He was released by the Hammers at the end of the 2012/13 season and joined Port Vale in the summer of 2013.

Whilst with Vale he had a loan spell with Ilkeston FC... After a year at Vale he joined Concord Rangers in the summer... He switched to league rivals Bishop`s Stortford in November."


Those driving to the match today (Saturday) are reminded that Altrincham Football Club has come to a reciprocal agreement with Aecom on Moss Lane, (the former Riley's Snooker Hall), over the use of car parking. Altrincham Football club now has use of Aecom's car park on Tuesday nights and Saturday afternoons when a game is being played at the J. Davidson Stadium, so thus facility will be available for the game against Aldershot Town.

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


According to the Football Conference, "Vanarama are delighted to announce that the winner of the Vanarama Conference Player of the Month award for January is Jon Parkin of Forest Green Rovers... Rovers recorded four wins in four games in the league and Jon scored seven goals across the month". Also, "the winner of the Vanarama Conference Manager of the Month award for January is John Askey of Macclesfield Town... Askey was delighted with the award, but insisted it was down to everyone's hard work".

From NL Pitchero we learn that "Paul Carden, manager of Southport, has acted to secure Charlie Joyce's future by ensuring the ever-improving midfielder has a long-term future with the Sandgrounders. Carden said after extending Joyce's contract for the next two seasons, 'I have been very impressed with Charlie's desire to develop. He is a real athlete who is maturing in his midfield role at a considerable rate. I am looking to build the squad and I will endeavour to secure the players I believe will take the club forward'".

At Welling United "Jody Brown has strengthened his squad further by signing Anthony Jeffrey. The pacey forward can play wide or up front and has most recently been at Vanarama South side Boreham Wood. Jeffrey had spent 2 years at Arsenal which included loan spells at Stevenage and Boreham Wood. Last season Jeffrey made 10 appearances for Wycombe Wanderers. Jeffrey is available for selection for Saturday’s match at Macclesfield Town. The match is however subject to an inspection in the morning"

Macclesfield Town add that "Saturday's game against Welling United at the Moss Rose is subject to a 10am pitch inspection".

The BBC reports that "Alfreton Town's new American investors say their long-term commitment would not be affected by relegation from the Conference this season... Director Jonathan Collura told BBC Radio Derby, 'Regardless of what happens, the goal is still the same. And the goal is take the team as far as we can. If we do get relegated we will regroup'. However, Collura is convinced Alfreton will avoid the drop. 'Looking at it right now I am confident we will be able to stay in the Conference', he added. "

At the other end of the table, Forest Green Rovers announced on Friday that "There will be a pitch inspection at The New Lawn on Saturday at 11am ahead of our clash with Grimsby Town... because of the current freezing weather. The covers have been on the pitch all week, as they were before last weekend's match with Nuneaton Town, in order to protect the playing surface...

Also "In-form striker Jon Parkin has triggered a contract extension and will line up as a Forest Green Rovers player next season. The 33-year-old has romped to the top of the goal scoring charts at The New Lawn this season having found the back of the net 19 times in all competitions. Parkin automatically triggered an option in his contract that guaranteed him another year at the club, after playing a set number of games".

In the Western Daily Express we read that "Manager Darrell Clarke has called on everyone associated with Bristol Rovers to embrace the challenges ahead as his players prepare to enter the 'business end' of the season. Clarke still maintains Rovers can overturn Barnet's seven-point lead at the top of the Vanarama Conference over the remaining 14 games of the campaign but insists that giving into fear over the final few nerve-wracking weeks of the campaign could prove costly.

Rovers return to the Memorial Stadium for the first time in 37 days when they play Lincoln City tomorrow and Clarke issued a rallying cry ahead of the game at his usual Thursday morning press briefing. He said, 'I know the crowd will be right behind us on Saturday, they always are, and that will be important because they can play a part in helping us over these last 14 games. When you are getting close, and we do still have a chance of winning the league, it is understandable that people will be getting on edge a little bit more.

There has been a fear element around the place for most of the season, but we are coming down to the business end now and we need to approach the final straight without that fear. Some supporters have this nervous edge about what might happen, and that is understandable, but I have to try to move my players' focus away from that. It's the 'what happens if we don't go up' syndrome I am trying to eradicate and my message to everyone is that we all need to meet the challenge head on and not to fear it.

Players are human beings and they can be affected by negativity. I don't want them going to bed at night worrying about what will happen if we lose a game, rather than thinking about winning it. I don't want them fazed or affected by any negative vibes. I want them to look forward to what should be an exciting end to the season. We know one or two people will have a moan at times, that comes with the territory and is fair enough, but we have to ignore that and make sure it doesn't affect the confidence of the group... I want them to focus on the good things they have done to get us into a great position'".


The NW Counties Footbaall League's "Management Committee wish to issue the following statement with regard to Stockport Sports. The Club failed to comply with Management Committee instructions regarding confirmed notification of venues for their remaining home fixtures by 24th January 2015, a deadline issued by the Committee.

The Club was then notified of the implementation of League Rule 4.6, which states, 'If a Club fails to comply with an order or instruction of the Board within fourteen days... it shall not be allowed to play or take part in the business of the Company until the expiry of 7 days from the day the order or instruction is complied with'.

As yet, no indication has been received from the Club that they will be able to comply with the instructions regarding a venue for home fixtures. The Club are also currently suspended by Cheshire County FA for a failure to fulfil their financial obligations to the County. In addition, Stockport Sports have been given a further deadline with regard to settlement of outstanding debts to the League, which will expire on 12th February 2015. A further statement will be issued on this matter if the situation changes."

6 February 2015


Altrincham have a rearranged home game this Saturday at the J. Davidson Stadium when Aldershot Town are the visitors.

As of Thursday evening the pitch is described as "perfectly playable"; temperatures in the afternoon in Altrincham reached seven degrees Celsius. The forecasts for Friday and Saturday are promising so, barring any late developments, the game is "on".

And also don't forget to get your tickets in advance for the away game at Macclesfield next Tuesday (10th). Although that game is not all-ticket, it will save you queueing time and money to buy a discounted ticket in advance. These are available from the offices at Altrincham FC during weekday office hours and also at the J. Davidson Stadium this Saturday before, at half-time and after the match against Aldershot.


The Community Sports Hall at the J. Davidson Stadium will be open this Saturday from 12.30pm to show the Spurs v Arsenal match (k.o. 12.45pm) and, after the Alty match, the Everton v Liverpool game will also be shown (k.o. at 5.30pm). In addition, on Sunday from 3.45pm the bar and Hall will be open for the West Ham v Man Utd match which is a 4.15pm kick-off. Everybody is welcome to come along and watch these matches on the multiple screens in the Hall, whilst enjoying a drink from the bar.


Ian Senior of SKkits has produced some Altrincham FC wristbands, pictured right. These are for sale for just £1 from the Altrincham FC club shop with all proceeds going to the Community Sports Hall fund.


There is a video interview with Aldershot Town's new manager, Chris Barker, on The Shots website. Aldershot Town are set to travel up to Altrincham on Friday.

More comes from Get Hampshire to the effect that "Transfer frustration and fixture confusion, it's all in two weeks' work for the stand-in Aldershot Town boss

Chris Barker has spoken of his 'crazy' first fortnight in caretaker charge of Aldershot Town and that’s without a ball even being kicked!...

And the 34-year-old has already come of age having negotiated a very difficult transfer window, and an almost farcical fixture confusion, before finally setting his sights on leading the Shots out for the first time at Altrincham on Saturday. Barker revealed he was on the phone until 45 minutes before Monday night’s 11pm transfer deadline in a desperate attempt to replace key men Kieron Forbes and Anthony Tonkin, who both left the club on Monday morning.

But despite the frustrated boss’s best efforts, the revolving door was only swinging in one direction as young MK Dons striker Kabongo Tshimanga walked into the Electrical Services Stadium alone.

Influential midfielder Forbes returned to parent club Forest Green Rovers after a successful six-month loan spell came to an end, while injury-ravaged Tonkin, 35, left to pursue a job offer outside of the game that 'he couldn’t turn down' after two-and-a-half years at the club yielded 69 appearances.

But that wasn’t the end of Barker’s problems after conflicting information released on Tuesday night from FC Halifax Town and the Football Conference threw confusion as to Aldershot’s opponents this Saturday, with scheduled visitors Halifax attempting to get their pitch playable for their prioritised FA Trophy visit of Dartford. Eventually, it was confirmed that the Shots would be making the league trip to Altrincham, seven days after the initial fixture was postponed due to heavy snow, leaving Barker able to revert to his original game plan.

'It’s been a crazy couple of weeks,' joked a breathless Barker. 'We tried solidly for four days trying to get someone in but we just couldn’t get it done. As a player, it’s easy, you just pack your bags and go if you’re involved in a transfer but, sitting the other side of the fence, there’s a lot more to think about such as wages, budgets, squad integration etc. I’ve learned so much.

But I didn’t want to just sign anyone for the sake of it so we’ll be looking to go back into the market when the loan window opens on Monday... There can’t have been many caretaker managers who have been through what I have in his first two weeks... But I’ve just tried to keep things as normal as possible, taking some training sessions and running with the boys. They’ve all been magnificent'.

Tshimanga, 18, goes straight into an otherwise threadbare Shots squad for Saturday’s trip to Moss Lane for what will be his senior debut having scored 42 goals in 25 matches for the Dons’ Under-18 side this season under the supervision of Barker’s brother, Richie. 'Kabongo ticks all the boxes for us', Barker said. 'He’s been very sharp in training, has lots of pace and is raring to go. Anyone who can score over two goals a game at any level deserves to be taken seriously and I’m looking forward to seeing him perform at senior level'.

The good news for Barker is that long-term injury victim Damon Lathrope is edging closer to a first-team return, although fellow midfielder Mark Molesley has suffered a setback. Lathrope has been out for four months after suffering an ankle injury... Molesley, however, will have to wait at least another couple of weeks before returning to training after suffering a hamstring strain...

Barker, however, has slight injury concerns over loan duo Danny East and Ryan Jarvis for Saturday’s trip to Altrincham, although the pair, who missed training on Tuesday, are expected to be fit. East could be making his last appearance in an Aldershot shirt with his loan spell from Portsmouth expected to expire after the game."


The Vanarama Conference announces a "Romantic Gesture from the Title Sponsors Vanarama. This Valentine’s Day league sponsors Vanarama are giving you the chance to go to the football with your loved ones. Vanarama will be giving away two VIP tickets to every fixture across the three Vanarama Conference leagues, with the launch of their #VanentinesDay campaign. Including our forthcoming match against Forest Green Rovers. To be in with a chance of winning this prize all you need to do is follow Vanarama on Twitter and retweet their post about the game on Twitter. The #VanentinesDay competition will open on Wednesday 4th February and close at 11:59pm on Monday 9th February. Winners will then be announced on Vanarama’s website at 1pm on Tuesday 10th February.

This competition is open to both home and away fans so make sure you enter for a chance to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a VIP experience. Good luck! For more information visit Vanarama’s twitter page:

For further information on Vanarama’s football activity visit here

*Terms and conditions apply:

  • Winners will be picked at random
  • The competition is open to both home and away fans
  • There will be one winner per fixture
  • The #VanentinesDay campaign will open on Wednesday 4th February and close at 11:59pm on Monday 9th February
  • Winners will be announced at 1pm on Tuesday 10th February on Vanarama’s Website
  • The prize is non-transferrable
  • If the initial winners are unable to attend the fixture the prize will be re-drawn

The list of matches in question, as supplied by the Vanarama Conference, is here.


FC Halifax Town "have confirmed that the FA Trophy 3rd Round replay v Dartford will be held at the Butcher's Arms, Droylsden, this Saturday 7th February 2015 at 3.00pm. The FA are extremely keen to have the outstanding ties form the Third Round concluded as soon as possible.

After discussions with the Council, it was not possible to guarantee any prospect of staging a game [at The Shay] over this weekend, either Saturday or Sunday. We have to hope that the pitch is able to recover to a playing condition some time soon. We are very grateful to Dave Pace [of Droylsden] and colleagues for allowing us to Stage this vital tie, as the Shaymen strive to secure a home tie against either Gateshead or Wrexham in the next round. We can only apologise for having to move the game away from the Shay Stadium and we are assured that the Droylsden pitch will be playable unless there is some incredibly heavy rain or returning freezing temperatures."

According to the Football Conference "Veteran striker Deon Burton has agreed to join Eastleigh until the end of the season following his release from Scunthorpe United. Burton, who has played fifty-six times for Jamaica, scoring 12 times, enjoyed five seasons in the Premier League for Derby County, making 113 appearances and scoring 20 goals.

Burton, now 38, started his career with Portsmouth and went on to have spells with Brentford, Rotherham United, Sheffield Wednesday, Charlton Athletic, Azerbaijan outfit Gabala FK and Gillingham before joining Scunthorpe in the summer of 2013. He was loaned out to York City in October but sustained an injury on his debut which ruled him out for two months and he was released by the Iron last month. "

NL Pitchero says that "Centre-back Blaine Hudson has become the first of Wrexham's senior squad to commit to an extension on his contract, by agreeing an additional season with the Vanarama Conference club and taking him through to the summer of 2016.

The former Cambridge United and Welling United defender has appeared in thirty games this season... He joined after playing last season on loan at Welling, being a mainstay at the centre of defence for the Wings... Boss Kevin Wilkin made him his first signing of the summer, when released by the newly promoted U's and the Lowestoft-based player was quick to settle in Wrexham...

Said Hudson, 'While this season has not turned out how I envisaged when I first signed last year, with the way things are changing behind the scenes, I think we're going in the right direction... The facilities are first class, so I'm happy to be here... With seventeen league games left we can make a last-minute push to get back in there, but we'll have to start winning some games soon'".

In the Western Morning News we learn that "Harry Redknapp is said to be weighing up an offer to join a consortium which is looking to takeover Torquay United or Plymouth Argyle.

Reports in the Daily Star claim the consortium are keen to get the former QPR and Tottenham boss on board, as they look into buying a club on the south coast... The consortium has publicly courted Torquay United for the past fortnight, but are being linked to Argyle for the first time.

Former Oxford United chairman Kelvin Thomas has been brought in to advise Gulls’ chairwoman Thea Bristow on the possible investment or takeover at Plainmoor. Bristow admitted only this week that she was prepared to fund the purchase of the ground, only for Torbay Council to withdraw their initial offer of sale to the club".

5 February 2015


The Football Conference reports that "England C manager, Paul Fairclough, has selected a sixteen-man squad plus a fourteen-man contingency squad for the International Friendly with Cyprus under-21s. The fixture will be played in Larnaca, Cyprus on Tuesday, 17th February.

Squad: Calum KITSCHA (gk) Hayes & Yeading United, Andy COUGHLIN (gk) Wrexham, Marc ROBERTS FC Halifax Town, James BOLTON FC Halifax Town, Tom PARKES Bristol Rovers, Kingsley JAMES Chester FC, Matt PEARSON FC Halifax Town, Paul LEWIS Macclesfield Town, Josh PAYNE Woking, Lee BROWN Bristol Rovers, Andy HALLS Macclesfield Town, Andy YIADOM Barnet, Jordan BURROW Lincoln City, Elliott FREAR Forest Green Rovers, Stefan PAYNE Dover Athletic, James NORWOOD Forest Green Rovers.

Contingency Squad: Brandon HALL (gk) Ebbsfleet United, Luke PURNELL (gk) Weston-super-Mare, Elliott JOHNSON Barnet, Danny PRESTON Tamworth, Joe McNERNEY Woking, Alex WOODYARD Concord Rangers, Ellis DEENEY Worcester City, Ryan HIGGINS Chester FC, Ben HENEGHEN Chester FC, Jarrett RIVERS Blyth Spartans, Ross STEARN Bath City, Matt TAYLOR Bristol Rovers, Omar BOGLE Solihull Moors, Tom MURPHY Dover Athletic".

The Lincolnshire Echo reports that "Lincoln City chairman Bob Dorrian has warned the football club could be forced to sell its property assets after he said the Co-operative Bank has announced its intention to sever all ties with the club.

In a letter to shareholders, Mr Dorrian says the Co-operative has asked the football club to find new banking arrangements due to the club no longer fitting 'the core customer profile' of the organisation. However, after spending around 12 months trying the main High Street banks, the club has been unable to find a bank willing to take them on as a customer. Mr Dorrian says this is mainly due to the fact they would require an overdraft.

As a result of his claim that the Co-operative Bank is wanting to cut all ties with the club, Mr Dorrian goes on to say that they have told the club to sell property assets to pay back some of the £380,000 owed to the bank.

In the letter to shareholders today, Mr Dorrian has asked people to pledge financial support to the club in return for bonds and shares.

He says, 'We do not wish to sell Club assets as this would leave us in a very precarious financial position, i.e if we did, the Co-op Bank would get its money back and we would still be faced with raising a further £300k/£400k on top of what we owe the bank to use as working capital, effectively placing the Club in dire financial straits'.

Some of the fundraising plans include three-year bonds ranging from £1,000 to £10,000 with an interest rate of three per cent, with the sum invested being repaid after three years with interest. The club is also urging fans to buy shares in the club and are appealing for anyone who feels they could join the Board of Directors to contact them."

According to NL Pitchero, "Alfreton Town have snapped up free agent goalkeeper Thomas Flynn. Twenty-four-year-old Flynn began his career with home-town club Newcastle United's Academy.

He was released by the Magpies and joined Scottish giants Hibernian in the summer of 2007... He was loaned to Alloa Athletic in May 2010 and the following August he re-joined Alloa on loan... In January 2011 he was loaned out to Albion Rovers where he went on to make ten first-team appearances. He returned to Hibs and was released in April 2011.

During the summer of 2011, Flynn signed a one-year deal with Cowdenbeath.... He left Cowdenbeath last October."

In the NUneatonNews we read that "Nuneaton Town could potentially be welcoming Kev Wilkin and his Wrexham team to the James Parnell Stadium on Tuesday night but only under the right circumstances.

The game has been pencilled in for a 7.45pm kick-off on February 10, but it could have to be rearranged again if results at the weekend go against Nuneaton. Wrexham are due to play Gateshead on Saturday in the FA Trophy, a postponement in that game again would see it moved to Tuesday and the Boro game against the Dragons called off.

The game will also be off if Wrexham win in the FA Trophy on Saturday and there is also a winner in the Halifax versus Dartford game in the Trophy on Saturday at the same time. That is because all the clubs are a round behind in the FA Trophy and will need to catch-up, with Tuesday being the next available date.

If Wrexham win against Gateshead, though, and there is no winner between Halifax and Dartford then the Boro match against the Welsh side will be able to go ahead."

The Daily Post says that "Wrexham FC captain Dean Keates... wasblunt in his assessment of Wrexham’s season so far, describing it as 'not good enough'.

Wrexham sit in 17th place in the Vanarama Conference standings and have won just twice in the league since the end of September... A run to the third round of th FA Cup... and progressing into the third round of the FA Trophy have largely masked a horrendous streak of form for Kevin Wilkin’s men...

'It has not been good enough,' said the club captain, who has spent a large period on the sidelines with two injuries. “We had back to back wins against Eastleigh and then Kidderminster, and then after that it has gone down hill... 'The teams at the top are the only sides that have shown any kind of consistency but there is not a massive amount between second and all the way down to where we are, but we know as players it has just not been good enough and that is the be all and end all of it really.'

Mathematically, Wrexham are still in with a chance of the play-offs... Keates is taking a more realistic view. He added... 'Over the previous few months of the season we have only put two wins together, it is not going to suggest it (a play-off charge) by looking at it. But you look at the squad and look at the squad on paper and it should be up there and challenging...

We have got to turn the corner... It is getting to the point we just need a scrappy goal going in off someone’s backside'...

Dragons' boss Wilkin has been busy in the January transfer window to bolster his midfield options and has brought in loan signings Kieron Morris (Walsall) and Sam Finley (The New Saints), as well as permanent signing Kyle Storer."


The EvoStik League reports that "Northwich Victoria's fans, players and officials can look forward to ending their three-year exile after agreeing a groundsharing agreement with Witton Albion.

Instead of travelling 18 miles to their current temporary home at Flixton on the outskirts of Manchester, the First Division North Vics will be kicking off in their hometown at Albion's Wincham Park from August. Under the terms of an initial three year deal, Vics will play all their home league and cup games at the ground, an arrangement that worked successfully for both clubs in the early 2000s.

Hailing the news, a Vics' spokesman said, 'We are delighted to be returning to the town and would like to put on record our sincere thanks and gratitude to everyone at Witton Albion for the way in which negotiations were carried out and concluded in a very understanding and professional manner. Northwich Victoria have found that the time spent away from its home town have proved extremely difficult and we are more than ready to return. Witton Albion have made that possible for the foreseeable future which we hope will prove successful period for both clubs.

We would like to thank the Vics supporters who have managed to travel with us during our enforced exile and welcome back those who for a variety of reasons were unable to make the journey but continued to keep Northwich Victoria close to their hearts. We look forward to seeing you all and to creating the next chapter in a long and proud history'.

Witton Albion chairman Mark Harris echoed the sentiments of the Vics and believes the arrangement is fantastic news for both clubs. Welcoming Wednesday's announcement, he said, 'We have been looking for partner to share Wincham Park for some time. In the modern era it makes total sense for competing clubs to share facilities, providing that the deal works for both parties, especially financially. This agreement will provide a sound basis on which to build the revenue necessary to invest in both the team and the stadium’s facilities".

Harris, who is also chairman of the EVO-STIK NPL, added: "Witton Albion has a recent history of successful ground shares, both with Vics and Runcorn Linnets, so we know that they can work very well for both parties. We look forward to welcoming Vics to Wincham Park next season."

4 February 2015


Following the postponement of the FC Halifax Town v Dartford game until next Saturday, Aldershot Town are now free to travel to the J. Davidson Stadium for a rearranged Vanarama Conference match on that date (Saturday 7 February, 3pm).


The rearranghed league game at Dover Athletic against Altrincham will be played on Tuesday, 17 March (7.45pm).


Parts of this website ( are currently provided by a web-hosting service which is being discontinued in early March by the company concerned. The current desktop website and the mobile version should not be affected significantly (as they are predominantly on a different hosting service), except that a number of internal links may not work and some images may not appear. There will be a greater impact on the older (archive) section of the website, where some webpages and many images will not be available for a period. However, these will all be restored as soon as possible, albeit with new web addresses (URLs), once new hosting arrangements are in place.


Grahame Rowley writes, "When Nigel Collins brought his 'All Change for Alty' tin to the Board meeting on Monday and, once the contents were counted, it brought the total raised by this scheme to over the £4,000 mark. A great achievement from all concerned". You can collect a tin for yourself from the Club during normal weekday office hours and raise money for the Club by putting your loose change in it.


FC Halifax Town report that "FC Halifax Town have confirmed that the match against Dartford FC has been called off this afternoon (Tuesday). Following a 3pm inspection of the Shay pitch, a local referee has postponed the game. The match will now take place on Saturday 7th February 3pm."

And it was a similar story at Gateshead as their opponents, Wrexham, announced on Tuesday that there was to be "No game at the International Stadium this evening... A frozen pitch has left the surface unplayable. After talks with both the FA and Gateshead, while taking into account the weather forecast for tomorrow, it has been decided to leave our next attempt until next Saturday, 7 February."

The Football Conference adds that the above postponement "means Gateshead v Kidderminster Harriers and Nuneaton Town v Wrexham are off on 7 February."

Beforehand, the Daily Post said that "Kevin Wilkin was disappointed to see today's FA Trophy replay postponed for a second time... Before the postponement Wrexham could have been facing one of four teams this Saturday.

Should the trophy tie have taken place and Wrexham progressed they would have faced the winners of either Dartford or Halifax on Saturday, on the condition their replay survived the weather. If the game had been pushed back to Saturday, or if Wrexham were knocked out by Gateshead, then Wilkin’s men would have travelled to take on Nuneaton in a scheduled Vanarama Conference clash.

Hardly ideal preparation for a club, and Wilkin was glad to see the fixture list confirmed, even if it is likely to throw up more headaches over the coming few weeks. 'With the game being off tomorrow it is not ideal' said Wilkin. 'Everyone is having to hover around and with calling it off so late we have to drag everyone in training this afternoon. We train this afternoon and then tomorrow morning which is not great because it doesn’t leave a massive amount of rest period and getting the right sort of work into people, so it is far from ideal but here we are, we have to get on with it...

The kick on is that we go there on Saturday and we are in the process of making the arrangements for that now and it appears to be a juggling act at the moment and people want to know where they are at and what they are doing, players, managers and supporters, whoever it is (they) want to know what is going on and it was very much up in the air'.

Meanwhile the Conference says that "Sam Finley has joined Wrexham on loan from Welsh Premier side The New Saints until the end of the season. The former Warrington Town midfielder joined the Red Dragons at the 11th hour last night (Sunday). Finley, 22, was the Welsh Premier`s young player of the year for 2013/14 but injury problems have restricted the tenacious midfielder to only eight appearances during the current campaign.

Liverpool-born Finley will be available for selection when Wrexham next play a league game but, along with Kieron Morris, can’t play in the Gateshead FA Trophy replay. Manager Kevin Wilkin was happy that his patience [had] finally paid off... 'I’m glad it’s all done and Sam will offer us something different in midfield to what we already have got', he said".

From NL Pitchero we learn that "Paul Carden, manager of Southport, made attacking midfielder Louis Almond his deadline Monday night signing. The former Blackpool, Cheltenham Town, Barrow AFC and Lincoln City player has agreed to join the Port from Hyde FC.

Almond will have to wait to make his Port debut, however, as he is serving a suspension so will miss the trip to Alfreton Town on Saturday."

In the Midlands, "Liam Daish, manager of Nuneaton Town, rounded off a busy final week of the transfer window by securing the services of Stoke City under-21 right-back Elliot Wheeler. The 22-year-old is in his second year at the Potters, having started his professional career at Portsmouth.

Whilst on Pompey`s books, Wheeler had loan spells with Sutton United and Bashley. Wheeler moves to Liberty Way for the rest of the season."

Other reports from NL Pitchero tell us that "FC Halifax Town confirmed the signing of defender Graham Hutchison from Worcester City. The 22-year-old spent two years at Worcester after joining from Birmingham City. He was made captain last January and played a key role the eighteen clean sheets the club kept last season.

Hutchison is a former Scotland under-17 international and has experience of the Conference through a loan spell back at his first club, Lincoln City. The centre-back becomes Neil Aspin’s third signing of the final day transfer window, with David Mellor and Danny Hattersley both signing for Town."

And "FC Halifax Town have taken defender or midfielder David Mellor on loan for the rest of the season from Oldham Athletic. Oldham-born Mellor joined the Latics as a 16-year-old from Manchester United... and has forty-six senior appearances to his name.

Equally at home in defence or midfield, Mellor has had experience of non-League football, having had previous loan spells with Chorley and the Shaymen`s league rivals Alfreton Town earlier this season."

However "Marvin Johnson has left Kidderminster Harriers... in a deadline-day switch to Motherwell for an undisclosed fee. Johnson joined Harriers on deadline day of the January transfer window back in 2012 from Romulus... In total, the winger has scored almost 20 goals in over 100 appearances for Harriers.

Ten of those goals were scored this season".

Sporting Life reports that "Southend midfielder Conor Clifford has joined Barnet on a month's loan. The 23-year-old, who is on the transfer list at the Shrimpers, will stay at the Hive until early March.

Southend boss Phil Brown told the club's official website, 'He's gone to a big club in the Conference in a bid to restart his career. They're favourites to get back in the Football League... Like Jason Wiliams (at Welling), Conor's gone out purely because he needs to play football."

Kent Online says that "There were no last-minute deals at Dartford on transfer deadline day but manager Tony Burman will resume negotiations when the loan window opens next Monday.

Burman had been hoping to make some permanent signings before the 11pm deadline but time ran out with the Darts' boss unable to add to his squad... Burman said, 'I haven’t managed to bring anybody in. I spoke to a couple of guys and I was looking more to try to get someone on a permanent deal rather than on loan. But once the window opens again next week, I might be able to do something then.

They didn’t go elsewhere, the people we were looking at. They’re still at their clubs but we’ve not been able to pull things off before the deadline. The window opens again next Monday... but I did three in the window anyway (Nathan Green, Christian Doidge and Jamie Richards). I did it quite early and I wanted to add one or two more... I am confident of bringing people in'.

Among the players still available to sign on permanent deals are those without a club after being released during the window. Former Dartford winger Dave Martin falls into that bracket after Luton terminated his contract on Monday night... Burman said, 'I didn’t know Dave was going to be released from his contract'".

Elsewhere in Kent, the Kent News tells us that "Dover manager Chris Kinnear concluded a deal for League One striker Dan Holman yesterday, just hours before the transfer window shut. Holman, 24, will move to Crabble on a loan deal from Colchester United. His deal runs until the end of the season.

He joined the League One outfit last July, making four appearances, before going out on loan to Wrexham and then Aldershot."

3 February 2015


With the postponement this midweek of the scheduled FC Halifax Town v Dartford FA Trophy replay, Altrincham will now have a league fixture this Saturday (3pm), when Aldershot Town will be the visitors. This is because Halifax will now aim to play their game with Dartford on Saturday, a date on which they were originally scheduled to meet Aldershot in the league. As Altrincham were also without a game this Saturday because their intended league opponents Dover Athletic are involved in the Trophy, it made sense to rearrange the Alty v Aldershot Town game, which was postponed last Saturday.

Hopefully the weather will not cause us problems this Saturday!


Altrincham midfielder Greg Wilkinson (right), who recently completed a one-month loan at Stockport County, has now had the loan at Edgeley Park extended until the end of the 2014-15 season. Greg's most recent apperance for County saw him strike an impressive long-range goal.


John Edwards, joint Press & Media Officer at Altrincham FC, writes, "Altrincham supporters are being offered a Wembley trip for a tenner, and the chance to boost the club’s finances, in a unique initiative by Conference sponsors Vanarama.

Mindful that less than 20,000 turned out for last season’s play-off final between Cambridge United and Gateshead, Vanarama have launched a sales drive aimed at ensuring there are no vast empty spaces when the current campaign reaches its dramatic conclusion on May 17.

They have given every Conference club 850 vouchers for the final and devised an early-bird scheme whereby, for the month of February, the cost is just £10 for adults and £5 for children. Alty’s allocation is up for grabs at The J.Davidson Stadium (0161 928 1045), and anyone buying a voucher can exchange it for a Wembley ticket, at no added cost, once the finalists are known and the tickets have been printed.

Alty themselves are presently just eight points off the play-off places, and, as an extra incentive for supporters to participate, Vanarama have told clubs they can keep every penny they raise from voucher sales.

‘It’s a fantastic idea, and I am sure it will prove popular with all the Conference clubs, ours included,’ said Alty chairman Grahame Rowley. ‘When you consider the drama, atmosphere and sense of occasion at any Wembley final, I just think it is a great day out.

‘In particular, it is a great opportunity for anyone who perhaps hasn’t been before to go down there and see what it’s all about at a price way below what they would normally have to pay.

‘You’re looking at a family of four taking in a Wembley final for £30, which has to be outstanding value in anyone’s book. It is also going to raise extra revenue for the club to help with our community activities, so I’m hoping it gets a positive response.’

Alty’s impressive new Community Sports Hall, already hailed a success by supporters who stayed behind for a Question of Sport quiz after last month’s win over Torquay, will be officially declared open next Monday, when former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson cuts the ribbon in a ceremony starting at around 1.30pm".


Huddersfield Town have "agreed to terminate the contracts of players Matt Crooks and Jordan Sinnott by mutual consent. Both players’ contracts were due to expire on 30 June, but they have been allowed to leave now in order to secure a future at other clubs in advance of the summer... Sinnott, who will shortly turn 21, made two starts and three substitute appearances for Town’s First Team spanning the last three seasons and has also supplemented his experience via loan spells at Altrincham and Bury.

Huddersfield Town Manager Chris Powell commented, 'Matt and Jordan are both great characters to have around the training ground; they have been at the club for a number of years and came through the academy. Both were due to be out of contract at the conclusion of the current season and we believe it is fair to release them now and give them every chance of securing a future at a new club'".

Jordan, son of manager Lee Sinnott, made six appearances for Altrincham in 2012-13.


Our opponents next week, "Macclesfield Town have suffered a blow on deadline day after forward Denny Johnstone was recalled by his parent club Birmingham City. The former Celtic man has since signed a loan deal with Cheltenham Town. The powerful forward arrived at the Moss Rose in late November and made 12 league and cup appearances for the club, scoring three goals...

Johnstone had originally extended his loan deal at the Moss Rose for the rest of the season".

But from NL Pitchero we learn of an arrival at The Moss Rose as "Macclesfield Town have confirmed the signing of former midfielder Lee Bell. The 32-year-old has signed a loan deal from Burton Albion, keeping him at the Moss Rose for the rest of the season.

Bell is of course no stranger to the Moss Rose after a two-year spell with the club between 2008 and 2010. During that time he made ninety-one appearances for the club in all competitions, scoring two goals for the club. In his second year at the Moss Rose, Bell was named player of the year.

The experienced midfielder started his career with Crewe Alexandra... After his two impressive years with Macclesfield, Bell moved back to Crewe in the summer of 2010... More recently though he has found himself out of favour under new boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink" at Burton.

The Football Conference reports that "Anthony Tonkin has left Aldershot Town by mutual agreement. The 35-year-old defender, who joined the Shots from Oxford United in July 2012, has made sixty-nine appearances in his two-and-a-half years at the Electrical Services Stadium, including eleven this season.

Midfielder Kieron Forbes has also returned to league rivals Forest Green Rovers at the end of a loan spell in which he made thirty-five appearances for the Shots."

Elsewhere, "Central defender Tom Davies has joined Lincoln City on an initial month-long loan deal from Fleetwood Town. A former Manchester United and Blackburn Rovers youth player, Davies spent two years playing for Team Northumbria in the Ebac Northern League whilst completing a university degree in Newcastle before signing for FC United of Manchester.

Joining Fleetwood in March 2014, Davies, 22, was immediately loaned back to FC United until the end of the campaign... whilst he spent two months with Alfreton Town earlier this season".

At Dover Athletic "Following a pitch inspection at Crabble, tomorrow (Tuesday) night's match against Grimsby Town is OFF. The pitch is frozen and with temperatures forecast to stay low, the decision has been made not to proceed with the match".

NL Pitchero adds that "Dover Athletic have announced that defenders Tyrone Sterling and Richard Orlu have agreed contract extensions, with the pair now signed on until the end of the 2015/16 season. Centre-back Orlu joined Whites in August 2013... He is now a lynchpin in the heart of the defence.

Sterling, also a centre-half but deployed at left wing-back by manager Chris Kinnear, re-signed for Dover last summer from Kent league rivals Dartford. He joined Dover first in January 2013 on loan and impressed at in Whites' journey to the Conference South play-off final defeat at Salisbury City. "

NL Pitchero reports that "Striker Elliot Benyon has extended his loan spell from Torquay United to Hayes & Yeading United to early April".

Welling "have signed striker Jason Williams on loan from Southend for the remainder of the season. Williams has made four first-team appearances for Southend and enjoyed a spell on loan at Chelmsford earlier this season, scoring six goals in eight games.

Welling boss Jody Brown said, 'He’s had a fairly prolific spell at Chelmsford this year and has attracted attention from some big Conference clubs. We’ve needed a centre-forward, and we’ve managed to secure one for the rest of the season'".

From Southport, we have a "Transfer window deadline update. Striker Danny Hattersley has been sold to Halifax for a small fee with add-ons. Defender Andy Mitchell has joined Annan Athletic on loan until the end of the season."

At Lincoln City "Teenage midfielder Elliot Hodge has penned a contract with the Club which will run until the end of the current season. Hodge, who worked his way through the Nottingham Forest youth set up before serving his scholarship at Notts County, has recently been on trial at Sincil Bank...

The son of former England international Steve Hodge, Elliot (19) has been handed the vacant number 29 squad shirt."

Forest Green Rovers report that "defender Eddie Oshodi has decided to step away from football and his contract has been cancelled by mutual consent. The former Watford centre half, who only turned 23 last month, is set to turn his attentions to his charitable works.

He leaves as one of only seven defenders to have played over a hundred Football Conference games for the club. Manager Ady Pennock said, 'It was a surprise decision for him to leave'".

2 February 2015


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.

Advanced 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.

Should there be a reaaranged game at the J. Davidson Stadium this Saturday (7 February), it is expected that, from 1pm, discounted tickets for the Macclesfield Town game will also be sold from a desk in the new Community Sports Hall. Tickets will also be available at half-time and after the game.


And TASC Travel Coordinator, Mark Eckersall adds that "There will not be TASC coach travel to Macclesfield on Tuesday 10th February. As with other close fixtures, like Stalybridge Celtic, we just cannot make it pay with minimum coach hire prices and charging a reasonable fee.

It's been a real juggling act so far with the coaches in order to keep the finances on track, despite the longer distances and larger invoices, but we are doing OK so far. A loss on this fixture could jeopardise other trips and we want to be able to get people to the more inaccessible fixtures later in the season. As we saw with the turnout at Stalybridge in recent seasons, people will drive or get the train to these closer fixtures; it's 25 mins in the car and 18 miles to Macclesfield.

We will be running a coach to Bristol Rovers on Saturday 21st February and will announce details shortly".


The Football Conference reports that "Eastleigh followed up the signing of Harry Pell from AFC Wimbledon with the arrival of midfielder Dan Walker from rivals Braintree Town on loan until the end of the season. Chances have been limited so far this season for Walker at Braintree since he arrived permanently at the Miles Smith Stadium last summer.

Walker is an attacking midfielder, who can also assume a wide role. He started his career at Stony Stratford Town before moving on to Bedford Town, Leighton Town, Luton Town, Cambridge United, Eastbourne Borough, Southport and then Hereford United before joining Braintree in July. However, he has only had thirteen starts and eight substitute appearances for the Iron this year.

His last start came at the beginning of November".

And FC Halifax Town "can confirm that striker Dominic Marie has extended his loan deal with Bacup and Rossendale Borough".

According to Gateshead, "Valentin Gjokaj is targeting two trips to Wembley with Gateshead after putting pen to paper on a permanent deal at the International Stadium. The 21-year-old has signed a deal until the end of the current campaign, having been on a non-contract agreement previously.

Gjokaj, who arrived on Tyneside in November, has established himself in the Heed’s first-team in recent weeks, starting six of the last eight games in a defensive midfield role... He said, 'Since I came here, everybody has been fantastic with me; the gaffer, the chairman, and all the lads... Hopefully we can get to Wembley twice. I obviously like to play centre-back, because that’s the position I grew up playing. But if the gaffer says to me, "‘Val, you have to play in midfield", then that’s where I’ll play, and I’ll just get on with it. And I think I’ve done well there. I just want to be on the pitch, and it doesn’t matter where'...

Gjokaj played 88 minutes yesterday as Gateshead won 1-0 at struggling Southport. Robbie Ramshaw netted the game’s only goal early on... Gjokaj admitted that conditions on the day made the game a tough one to play in...

He said, 'Conditions were difficult; it was a horrible pitch, and it was very windy as well'...

Meanwhile, Gateshead manager Gary Mills was full of praise for Gjokaj’s impact at the International Stadium so far... He said, 'Val came in as a centre-half but, as everybody has seen at Gateshead now, he has given us something different in the middle of the park. He wins us a lot of balls, and we needed something that little bit different to give us a bit of solidity'".

More news comes from Gateshead to the effect that "Gary Mills conceded that midfielder Phil Turnbull is likely to miss the majority of the Heed’s remaining fixtures after... damaging a toe tendon on Thursday. Turnbull, 28, has been an ever-present for the Tynesiders this season...

Mills said, 'It’s not good. He’s snapped a tendon in his toe. It’s just something he’s picked up in training; there was nobody near him. It looks like he’s going to need an operation, and with the amount of weeks left in the season, it’s not looking good... We’re all gutted for him. He’s played every minute so far'.

Robbie Ramshaw struck eight minutes in as the Tynesiders closed the gap on fifth-placed Forest Green Rovers to just three points with victory at struggling Southport... Mills said, 'We should have won the game by four or five today, there’s no two ways about that... But I thrive on 1-0s. I love them. As we’ve been saying in training all week, it’s amazing how many games we will win 1-0 just by keeping our shape and by doing what we should be doing...

It’s always difficult when you’re sitting mid-table, but it was only really that one game that we had to win to close the gap on that top-five, and prove that we’re still in the mix'.

Ramshaw took his season’s tally up to seven with a superb first-time finish from 12 yards. It marked a perfect return to first-team action for the 21-year-old... Mills paid tribute to the former Darlington man. He said, 'He loves to score goals, he can score goals, and he will score goals... But the other side of his game, making it difficult for the opposition, is just as good'".

Meanwhile, at Bristol Rovers, Manager "Darrell Clarke has targeted Southend United midfielder Conor Clifford... as two key midfielders, Clarke and Sinclair are both set to be sidelined for a few weeks. The former Chelsea trainee has made 13 appearances for Southend this season scoring once, but has been but on the transfer list and has been made available for free. The 23 year has been out on loan Notts County, Plymouth, Yeovil and Portsmouth in the past few seasons. Clarke is hoping to secure Clifford on loan for the rest of the season."

From Kent Online we learn that "Dartford manager Tony Burman will work round the clock in an attempt to strengthen his squad before the transfer window closes on Monday night. Burman pulled off one permanent deal in January, signing winger Nathan Green from Dagenham & Redbridge.

He also agreed loan moves for Daggers' striker Christian Doidge and Plymouth defender Jamie Richards... The Darts' boss said, 'I’d like to bring some players in who I could sign until the end of the season on permanent deals if I can do it. I’ve been trying but it hasn’t come off yet. They would be coming from League clubs. Players at the moment are getting released at the last minute... I only have to wait another week with the loan players and we can loan again.

I’m pleased that I’ve brought Jamie Richards in from Plymouth. I met him last week and had a great conversation with him. He’s 20 years of age and he’s done all right for us today'".

1 February 2015


  • Altrincham v Aldershot Town POSTPONED
  • Braintree Town v Macclesfield Town POSTPONED
  • Dartford 2-2 Bristol Rovers (att. 1,832)
  • FC Halifax Town v Barnet POSTPONED
  • Forest Green Rovers 1-0 Nuneaton Town (1,333)
  • Grimsby Town v AFC Telford Utd POSTPONED
  • Kidderminster Harriers v Eastleigh POSTPONED
  • Lincoln City 1-0 Dover Athletic (2,509)
  • Southport 0-1 Gateshead (904)
  • Welling United 1-3 Chester FC (619)
  • Woking 3-0 Alfreton Town (1,526)
  • Wrexham 0-0 Torquay United (2,655)


Tuesday, 3 February

  • Alfreton Town v Lincoln City
  • Dover Athletic v Grimsby Town
  • Wrexham v Forest Green Rovers

Saturday, 7 February

  • Aldershot Town v FC Halifax Town - subject to FA Trophy replay
  • Alfreton Town v Southport
  • Barnet v Woking
  • Bristol Rovers v Lincoln City
  • Chester FC v Dartford - subject to FA Trophy replay
  • Eastleigh v AFC Telford Utd
  • Forest Green Rovers v Grimsby Town
  • Gateshead v Kidderminster Harriers - subject to FA Trophy replay
  • Macclesfield Town v Welling United
  • Nuneaton Town v Wrexham - subject to FA Trophy replay


NL Pitchero report that "Woking have confirmed that Yemi Odubade has joined on loan from rivals Eastleigh until 25th April 2015. Odubade, 30, started his career in England playing for Eastbourne Town, where he scored over 70 times in two seasons. The striker went on to play for Yeovil Town and Eastbourne Borough, joining Oxford United in 2006 where he made nearly 150 appearances before joining Stevenage Borough in 2009.

He helped Stevenage earn promotion to the Football League, finishing the season as the club’s top scorer. A loan move to Newport County followed, before signing for Gateshead in 2011, making over fifty appearances in the Conference during his two seasons there. He joined Eastleigh in May 2013."


Tuesday, 3 February

  • Ebbsfleet U. v Braintree T.
  • FC Halifax Town v Dartford
  • Gateshead v Wrexham

Saturday, 7 February

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